This is a guest post by Lazlo Toth.

So much of what we do in this lifestyle has an aura of gravity and seriousness about it.  From the clothing and accouterments, we choose to wear, to the names we give ourselves, to the things that we do in our relationships and our play.  Dominance and submission can be serious business.

But it doesn't have to be all the time.

In all my travels throughout the BDSM world, I have yet to find a single person, dominant, submissive, master or slave who doesn't like to laugh.

Humor is an essential ingredient to any relationship and a core part of the human experience.  It can help us relieve stress, it can be a way to show affection, it can be a way to appreciate another, simply by laughing at their jokes. But the benefits of humor go well beyond simply joking around.

According to researchers Melinda Smith and Jeanne Segal (http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm) laughing not only tickles your funny bone, it also has real health benefits:

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

So learning to laugh more is not only a fun way to spend the day, it is also a great way to "protect the property" and make sure your dominant is around for many years to come.

Unfortunately, in many circles humor, laughter, and lightheartedness are seen as disrespectful, insulting, or undermining.  By considering it as a form of service, bringing laughter to your relationship, life, and scenes can allow you to enjoy an infrequently discussed but a very pleasurable side of BDSM.

There are a few fun ways you can start interjecting more humor and laughter into your life and lifestyle, starting with thinking about how service, submission, and humor might go hand in hand.

Some things you might try to "laugh up" your relationship

  • A Joke a Day.  Find (or make up) one joke a day that you think will bring a smile to your dominant or master's face.  The more you learn about their sense of humor, the better you will know and appreciate them as a person.
  • Find the Light Side.  Most of life's struggles and inconveniences have an element of humor built right into them.  Sometimes stepping back and taking a moment to reflect on the absurdity or silliness of things can give you a world of perspective and release stress.
  • Do Silly Scenes.  It is not everyone's cup of tea to be sure, but for some finding a way to be silly, goofy or playful in the dungeon can really build a fun and strong connection. Spend some time in the kid's toy section of your local Rite Aid and see how many silly pervertables you can create!  Colored markers, kid's body paint, and school supplies can all be great for fun kinky scenes.  Ever try bondage or whipping with licorice strings? Fun doesn't have to mean light or soft!
  • Learn to Tell a Joke.  As any stand up comedian will tell you, "Dying is easy, Comedy is hard."  Take a local class in stand up or improv.  Opening that door to laughter will make you feel better about yourself and bring laughter to those around you.

While you are thinking about how to make yourself and your owner laugh, remember that humor doesn't have to be disrespectful, sarcastic or mean-spirited.

When you start thinking of humor and laughter as tools for service, it can open a whole new avenue for making you and those around you feel healthier, stronger, and more alive.

Lazlo Toth is a long time member of the BDSM lifestyle and editor of http://www.thedailyflogger.com, a satirical website devoted to helping all of us laugh a little bit more about what it is that we do.