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The Bible seems to be very specific about when sex is or isn't a sin. From my understanding, The Bible's stance on sexual activity could be summed up as "Any sexual activity unless it is consensual and in the context of a heterosexual marriage is a sin." This includes pre-marital sex, homosexual activity, adultery, pornography, lust, etc.

But does the Bible say anything specific about BDSM? How do the various denominations and Christian doctrines interpret the issue?

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closed as off-topic by Narnian, Bye, Flimzy, David Stratton Jul 30 at 17:55

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BDSM covers a wide variety of practices, so it's pretty unlikely that there will be a simple "yes/no" answer to this. There will also be different views within Christianity. –  DJClayworth Jul 30 at 16:40
    
First off, love your screen name. And while this is a good question we don't really do "Is X a sin? Is X not a sin?" questions on this site. Please check out our help section. –  LCIII Jul 30 at 17:12
    
@LCIII Am I correct in thinking it would be okay if the last sentence and title were changed? The main thrust of the question, about what the Bible says about specific sexual practices inside of marriage, seems to be good. –  trlkly Jul 31 at 0:08
    
@trlkly Yeah, I would say that's correct. A good way to phrase it would be "Is there anything in scripture that would forbid BDSM?" –  LCIII Jul 31 at 12:15
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I think the nature of this question is a problem as well. We shouldn't sexualize the site, and there's a danger of a whole trove of questions in this area being asked. –  Narnian Jul 31 at 12:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends

The two big things to keep in mind are these:

  1. God judges our hearts
  2. There is no set definition of BDSM

Romans 14:23 ESV But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

1 Corinthians 10:23 ESV “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

The Lord judges the hearts of people. Someone can have crazy, tantric sex with their wife and glorify the Lord and another can share the gospel with a heart that's entirely devoid of the Spirit. The question isn't "Isn't BDSM a sin?" the question is "What does BDSM do to my heart?"

Having said that, there's not a set definition on what BDSM is. It typically involves bondage and role-playing, but those are also subjective things. The dark aspects of tyranny, slavery, hatred, anger, etc... are thing Christians should avoid under any circumstance. But can a married couple perform BDSM while avoiding these things? If your definition of BDSM is just doing it with a whip, then sure.

So it's a matter of the heart. If you doubt in your heart whether you should be engaged in such an act then you probably shouldn't (Romans 14:23). At the same time, you can't look into another person's heart and objectively say it's sinful.

Here's an excellent article on this

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I would say “no”, because you are supposed to see yourself in the light of what Scripture says you are and that is to have a positive mindset.

“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”. (Eph 4:22-24 ESV)

BDSM involves the person who is the passive partner in the act to think of themself as “bad, or deserving of punishment or a slave etc. there is nothing positive about this at all. Furthermore, the one inflicting whatever it is upon the passive person is also not behaving in a manner that befits Eph 4:22-24.

Now unless you are in actual fact “bad” then confess your sin and repent. If you are “deserving of punishment”then whips, chains etc are not the way in which you would correct a person. Lastly, you are no one’s slave expect the slave of Christ.

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BDSM covers more than you are saying here. –  DJClayworth Jul 30 at 18:41
    
I don't think that BDSM requires that one thinks of themselves as "Deserving of punishment". I think it more is more of a fantasy, or a "roleplaying" if you will. (Especially since roleplaying is a large part of BDSM) If it did change the way you thought of yourself outside of the bedroom, where it changes your identity to where you say "my identity is: I am a slave to my partner" then there are larger problems. That would be verging on domestic abuse. If it is loving AND consentual, I don't think it will change your identity outside of the bedroom. –  Hingle McCringleberry Aug 1 at 6:13

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