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Lifestyle, n. A style or way of living (associated with an individual person, a society, etc.); esp. the characteristic manner in which a person lives (or chooses to live) his or her life. [OED]

While some people might consider a BDSM lifestyle to be one where BDSM---in some form another---is present 24/7, it might be more realistic to consider a BDSM lifestyle as being one where there is a significant and deliberate involvement in BDSM by the person concerned and that they'd feel a loss if it were taken away from them. It's important here to recognise that a BDSM lifestyle doesn't necessarily mean that someone is a relationship with another BDSMer. Depending on how you define involvement a BDSM lifestyle might simply have to do with going out to BDSM clubs or parties or to BDSM-themed nightclubs every weekend and hanging around with other BDSMers. It could also involve any of the following:

  • Running a shop or business where BDSM paraphernalia is sold,
  • Running a business making BDSM furniture or toys,
  • Researching and writing books or articles about BDSM,
  • Being a professional BDSM dominatrix, dominant, slave or submissive,
  • Running a BDSM-themed nightclub or publishing a BDSM magazine,
  • Collecting BDSM toys as a hobby (even though you only rarely use them for their intended purpose),
  • Etc.

See also