How to get your Self out of the Binge-and-Purge Cycle?

General

http://sarahhaney.comQuestion:
How can I get myself out of this binging purging cycle where I indulge in my fetish and have a blast. But during my purging, I really reject this side of my personality and throw away all of my gear. How can I prevent the purges or the binging?

Answer:
Binging and Purging a nasty cycle that seems to continue forever (and often downhill). There is a lot of writing about this in bulimia nervosa-literature but you also can notice this cycle in drug-dependence and -addiction and I also have often seen it in the lives of people trying to integrate kink into their life.

Purging art by http://sarahhaney.com*

People into travesty buying all kind of new dresses and make-up only to throw it away after a few months. I’ve seen people buying whole new BDSM-cellars for the second or the 3rd time, seen latex fetishists rebuying exactly the same latex outfit, seen people throwing out al their bibs and diapers only to buy them again in less than half a year


“binging-purging-cycle”

Binging and purging

I said a little about integrated kink in: Wat is dat “kink-integrated”? En wat zijn de 5 stappen daar naartoe?* (Dutch)

Binging and purging is often a sign of a not-completely integrated kink. If you learn to integrate your kink – instead of trying to extirpate it out of your life – this dynamic gets way less violent.

There are a lot of theories about this binging-purging mechanism but I do like the simple idea of the normal hunger-eat-fullness cycle being compromised by feelings of anxiety and guilt that ask for numbness and for actions like redemption and control.

On the one side, there is the repression of an urge (that would probably not have been so big if it hadn’t been that much repressed). That repression itself is in the way of learning how to cope with that feeling in an integrative way, learning to give it its place in your life and not making it bigger or smaller than it should be in your emotional life.

Because of this repression that urge is not only built on actual feelings of hunger, it is not just the drive itself but it is fired by the adrenaline of feelings of fear and guilt, and it also is fired up by the longing for ‘freedom’ once one finally ‘escapes’ from one’s own control mechanisms. If the controlling willpower is switched off by satisfying the hunger that behavior then sometimes shoots out of control and escalates. Not to just eating/ enjoying until fulfillment.. but binging! In our kinky lives, this looks like “not just enjoying your kink”, but to really lose yourself in your kink. Perhaps spending to much time or money or other resources into your kink, therefore creating the guilt and fear in the future. Perhaps creating upheaval in the eyes of others who haven’t learned the role of this kink in your life.

Of course, there is the start when it feels great to finally give in to your kink. You wish your life would exist from nothing but these wonderful clothes, straps, diapers… (whatever your kink is). There are no societal obligations that hold you back, there is that satisfying feeling of satisfying that urge. An urge that surpasses the hunger by miles! Finally, we ditched all that control and dove into the world of kink that seems to fit so well with us.


Next Phase

And then we have satisfied the hunger… and then some. Again we have shown yourself that starting to “give in” to the hunger, you create a “spinning out of control”, maybe we’ve not paid attention to our other responsibilities, maybe you’ve created frowns from the people you love, maybe you’ve created a secret -because you haven’t talked about your kinky sides with others yet and you don’t have a kinky social network yet-. And because of these reasons the feeling of satisfying your kink gets overshadowed by guilt.
Of course, the questions would be interesting: “Guilt toward whom?” or “Guilt because?” Our non-usual sexuality didn’t harm anyone now, did it?

Yeah, but it’s not normal!

This is a phase that gets better over time. Maybe you did harm someone.. but he/she laves to be harmed a bit. Maybe you did harm your partner who loves you but who harms you by rejecting your kinky sides. There is no need to “like” it. But not accepting the parts of your partner that are important to him/her tends to create sour partners. Maybe you did not hurt anyone but maybe you hurt the image people had of you… maybe you did hurt your self-image… because your self-image does not match your self that well?
Maybe you did hurt yourself because you overshot your goals. Maybe you overdid your urge during your binge. Maybe you drank a bit much too and got foolish or maybe forgot to use that condom you bought (or maybe you did not want to need a condom but while you were out, the lack of a condom did not stop you), maybe you were a bit too eager and frightened the partner that agreed to give in to your kink. Maybe you fucked up somehow?… If we are following our desires when we are too needy, we tend to do so, somehow.


Guilt and shame

Whether there is guilt to others or guilt toward yourself… The feeling of guilt kills the feeling of satisfaction – therefore setting you up for the next binge by creating an even bigger ‘urge’ in the future -. But first, you are afraid of hat urge of yours that has created those problems. The idea that you should be able to resist this urge, the idea that you should be able to shake it off and perhaps by repenting you could leave this urge in the past.


What do you do with the people that surround you?

Sometimes our surroundings create part of our feelings of guilt and shame. Often I reflect with my clients upon the true nature of their guilt. Sometimes this comes from upbringing and people around you that have learned to shame, what you are ashamed of. Sometimes it really takes a few rounds of informing the social network about what a kink really is comprised of. Should there really be that much distrust and blame towards lovers of BDSM if people knew how loving it can be? Should there really be such an outrage against kinky parties if people knew that in the average rave the first aid is overloaded with drug-users whereas in the average kinky party there is hardly anyone overdoing dope because everybody wants to remember that night? Do you really think that the outrage against age-players would be so big if they knew how strongly those adult people are against sexuality directed toward real children?

And because we know since CBT (no, that is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy!) that our behavior has a direct influence on our feelings, it is easily understandable that covering up, hiding and concealing creates feelings of guilt and shame…
Purging yourself of all ‘evil’ influences so that you won’t be ‘lured into this wicked part of yourself that you don’t want to be.
notice that on both sides the image of the other side is something ‘external’ and ‘bad’, instead of an internal want (or need) that is understandable and O.K…?
So we start punishing our selves. instead of trying to understand who we truly are and taking care of our needs in a way that fits the other parts of our personality, we try to distance us from our ‘devils’ and work them out of our system with pain: repent!


Next Phase (the buildup)

We try not to think about the pink elephant that is in the room. We try to not feel our ‘dark’ wants and try to disconnect from anything that reminds us of them. Maybe it even helps us to talk about this experience in an “I will never again…” disdaining kind of way. And with a bit of luck, our social network will believe us and think of it as a stupid mistake that will surely never ever happen again. Thus forcing our selves into even deeper adaptation… which is a great short-term solution. But in a long run, adaptation seems to turn against us. We’re just not able to push that urge underwater if it does exist within us. If other things in our lives are more important we seem to be able to let it evaporate.

In my work with couples, I often work with the triad Needs, Wants, Nice-to-Haves* to get clarity of the couple-priorities

But if it is a true want or even a need in your life, it pops up in our unconscious, it pops up in the corner of our visual field and we notice cues that we haven’t before when the guilt was still so big. But the guilt and the shame evaporates bit by bit, and over the course of weeks or years, the fear of discovery does too. It does seem less dangerous to give in to your urge. And the urge grows because it does not get attended to, in your life. The rest of your life even seems to lose its glow maybe, without you attending to your kink.
It seems impossible to talk about the things you earlier did mention as being a mistake so you will start to “fap” in private, maybe you’ll look up some porn about your kink. Maybe you’ll buy your first latex short again, or your diaper, bib, whip, cuffs… You are likely to hide it and the fear of discovery, even the shame starts to blend in with your hornyness. A lot of people – because of this – don’t talk about their kink, not even because they are afraid, but because the silence and even the shame has become a part of the kink. Don’t believe me? A lot of submissives like to be shamed, a lot of kinksters like their kink to be “perverted” and “dirty” in the eyes of others. It would lose it’s appeal if everyone would do this on a Sunday morning. Now, why would that be? Where did your brain learn to couple sexual tension with shame?
Slowly the kink creeps back into your life… or the resistance against it slowly fades, there is no way of knowing where happiness lies until we go either way.


The Pendulum Swings

After having developed the Quality pendulum together with Paul Bindels, I always visualize this as the swing of a pendulum between opposites along a polarity. A polarity with a positive middle-field and the extremes towards the ends that tend to turn negative over time.
The more you pull the pendulum in the direction of one extreme, the more it will swing towards the other when you let go for a slight moment.


 

our favorite (the over-compensation) (too much) our natural quality (still OK) the OK playing field the challenge
(OK too)
the Allergy (too much)

How to get your Self out of the Binge-and-Purge Cycle?

This is how the purge creates the binge and the binge creates the purge.
With my clients, I try to find the more controlled swings of the pendulum. I’d say: “Live your extremities!”  Give them room but do so in a way that fits with the rest of your personality. Live it but don’t overdo it because then, the other parts of your personality will want to purge when you do overdo.
And do not purge… store! (this tip will save you a lot of money, for you will want to swing in the other direction one day). Do not purge and do not go for abstinence and repentance or even penitence… There is really no need to! You are who you are…
Could you imagine the relaxation that could enter your life once you’d stop to try to be someone else?… Once you’ve stopped to be ashamed of who you really are, once you integrated this kink/fetish/kick of yours?

And start to talk to people about your kink. This needn’t be your partner or your parents right away. It could be a Kink Aware Coach like myself, just to learn to talk about it and see what happens when you don’t try to channel all your controlling energy into abstinence and purging. Try to make yourself worthwhile with your out-of-the-ordinary sexuality… and with the other aspects of your self.

People also find themselves in this “binging-purging-cycle” in the field of dependence and addiction. If you want to learn more about this from that perspective go to PraatmetHans.nl*

So I practice with people to learn to give their surroundings feedback and create some boundaries and therefore some more room for your self. And if you want to decide to conceal (it is just one of the possibilities), then let’s think of how to do it in a way that doesn’t set you up for shame… because you will feel shame if your partner comes home early and runs into you while you are…

Hans West
(Kink Aware Coach)

 


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