I don’t know that it’s a single thing. In the interest in improving my ability to understand different people and their motivations, IE. psychology, the BDSM thing is one thing that I’ve studied, and the more I’ve tried to figure out what motivates people in that direction, the more confused I am.
For instance, some of them are people that were physically/sexually abused when they were young and that was imprinted on them, thus they are drawn to the BDSM activities. But, only a small fraction of those who were abused seem to be drawn in that direction, not all of them by any stretch of the imagination. So they don’t account for all of those doing BDSM.
Some are “power people” that are drawn to the masochist side, IE. big business types that spend their days dominating and use the other side to derive some semblance of balance. As best as I can tell, that accounts for a lot of the men on the masochist side of it.
But, I can’t account for all of them and their unique motivations.
Some of it may be that some people nerve endings or perceptions literally get crossed in their head, the so called “pain/pleasure” deal. I don’t know, I haven’t been able to find any scholarly studies of that aspect of it.
Others may find the very notion that it’s a taboo arousing, often some people are drawn to what society says isn’t something that people are supposed to do.
I just, I don’t know. Nor do I understand why the book and movie were so popular. Hell, I don’t understand why the “Celebrity Dancing” contest show is so popular either. Few people I know who watch that show actually dance or are interested in dancing.
Well, here’s to being perpetually confused!