Scientists research bondage at Flemish fetish club

The fetish Club 78 in Ham in Limburg received some unusual visitors last year.  In addition to everyday punters scientists from Antwerp University also visited the club to discover how dominant and subservient visitors reacted to bondage, discipline and sado-masochistic titillations.

BDSM often involves roleplay: one individual plays the dominant figure, while the other is subservient.  Participants may be limited in their physical movements and receive intense stimulation of the nervous system.

Dr Elise Wuyts of Antwerp University explains that this is the first large scale survey of its kind.

“We wanted to discover the biological side of the story.  We examined what happens to the body when you take part in BDSM activities. We took blood samples in order to test the hormones of the stress and pleasure systems.”

Subservient individuals show a clear surge in stress and pleasure hormones when undergoing such activities. Elise Wuyts: “The two are linked together.  It confirms our hypothesis: BDSM triggers a positive stress reaction.  It’s the same reaction that you get from running, horror films or rollercoasters.”

In order to undertake their research the scientists had to visit the club and observe sexual activities.

Elise Wuyts: “It was an atypical experience, but also a very unique one.  I loved being there and hearing the people talk about the things that regularly give them pleasure.”

Club 78 was the first club the Antwerp scientists contacted and it immediately agreed to take part.

Elise Wuyts: “They people there know there is a stigma attached to BDSM, so they were very interested in taking party in a study that could reduce this in any way.”