How does BDSM facilitate personal growth?
If you’ve been following my writing over the years, you may have learned that I live with transgenerational trauma which led me to experience BDSM as instrumental to my healing process. Although technically I was kinky from the beginning of my sexual explorations, it was only when I read about a Dominatrix in a New Yorker piece back in 1991, that I had an Ahah! moment. I said to myself, “I could do that. I would be great, and I would love it”. Honestly though, I didn’t realize exactly what I was drawn to around kink and BDSM. Initially I also had internalized shame and confusion around being a deviant, pervert, outsider, (choose your term), and I eventually came to realize what drew me in and kept me coming back: healing through BDSM.
No matter your background or what drives you to explore the vast realms of BDSM, you can still benefit from possibilities. I’d like to share with you a few ways in which BDSM has facilitated the healing process for me.
Transparency Any practice can claim to encourage transparency, or the act of being fully clear and honest in our speech, and actions which leads to deeper trust. Abuse survivors find it, (really), hard to trust. When we know that our partners are fully disclosing any truths that may be harmful to the relationship, we can relax into creating healthy attachment and long term relationships.
Boundaries/Safe words As part of the act of being transparent, agreements/boundaries are drawn and respected. Safe words are used when boundaries, (often unforeseen), arise, allowing for play to shift to a more manageable space, perhaps even stopping to allow for space and compassion. When boundaries are respected, once again, trust can be built, rebuilt, and loving healthy relationships can foster and grow.
Consent Part of the healing process for all of us, is to radically accept who we are, what turns us on, what brings us pleasure, even if society may deem it abnormal. Part of consent is to validate these desires and give permission to each other to do certain things or act certain ways. If you want me to whip you until you cry and I consent, and then I want you to crawl to me on all fours and beg for it and you consent, we have a mutually consensual agreement that can help empower us to feel more authentic – or in psychological speak, to become more self actualized.
The Practice Much like yoga, or meditation, or whatever healing art you may practice, half of the work is showing up, the other is the journey of the practice. Creating scenes with our partner, and exercising all of the above practices, will help us know ourselves better, which will expose how fallible we can be, and ideally bring us back to compassion and integrity. What’s more healing than that?
Surrender Whether you are a top, bottom, switch, Dominant, or submissive, there will always be a process of letting go, surrendering to the moment, (which is why bondage is so imperative! Watch for a forthcoming piece on that). If I decide to suspend you, but your body is too tense in that moment, I may need to surrender my idea of suspending you just then, and explore alternatives to get you there. And you, as bottom, will need to let go of that suspension in that moment and surrender to my lead. It’s a dance of control and surrender.
Energetically, we all are giving, receiving, and validating. Although BDSM is a fulfilling form of adult play and can be quite simply put, amusing as hell, it can also be extremely liberating and healing in the process. Enjoy your new found freedom!
Are you ready to experience your own pleasure and personal growth through BDSM? Click here for possibilities