Healing aspects in BDSM

Sexuality/BDSM/Kink

Question:

Lately, I am on the interested in healing elements in BDSM. So I am interested in (online) conversations with people that are into BDSM and also have diagnoses like (C)PTSD, depression, autism, AD(H)D etc.etc.
(No, I am not interested in the dirty details, NO, I don’t think that BDSM-therapy is a good thing. YES I do think BDSM can be healing and I’d like to show professionals the ways in which it could be healing)
No, I am not that interested in “meaning”, I’d like to hear from people who experienced the practice of things.

Could I interest into thinking about the ways that BDSM can be healing -if you do it right with the right partners-.
(and if you have a diagnose like this and you think that BDSM has nothing to do with it… please let me know too).

So, feel free read this and add your own experience to this. Mind you, this is an early start, a discussion-starter rather than a “fixed & fertig” line of reasoning. So it has a messy in layout and it is just meant to get you thinking (and reacting)

I do think that as a therapist/coach we could sometimes refer more to things that happen in sex and the things they experience in their scenes people play at home, or at parties.

But then we need to think about those healing factors in BDSM/Kink beforehand as to create the most healing life-experiences. Possibilities a kinkster maybe could have that most vanillas won’t have.

Healing aspects in BDSM


I often hear people say that BDSM:

  • helped ’em to get closure from certain things in the past (even people having C-PTSD, and serious depressions)
  • helped them understand better what happened in the past
  • people describe a calming effect to the storm inside
  • people describe a feeling of strength and beauty thru suffering

So let me try to make a list of points that could be used as mental health promoting elements in the life of kinksters with a mental problems.
Such a list might contain possible healing factors in BDSM such as:

  • Self-understanding (NL: “begrip geeft grip”)
  • BDSM and kink give a feeling of “otherness” and that makes you wonder about yourself and about what is… ‘normal’ in society, now you’ve found this freedom to make your own rules… Where do you like to rules and rulers.
  • It gives a format for self-understanding
  • Sessions can give some a better understanding of the perpetrator (urges) (both Tops and Bottoms) and may even lessen “the predatory fear”
  • Giving words to feelings in the here-and-now (for kinksters are often people who talk more about their feelings.

  • Reclaiming sexuality
  • Roleplaying situations are somehow partially similar to past experiences but now with way more control over the situation (both Tops and Bottoms), sometimes aid in reclaiming sexuality
  • Being someones sex object (in a respectful way) takes away the responsibility and makes it easier to live your sexuality
    • some aspects in MPD can ‘come out’ more easily because of the limited (i.e. safe) ‘play’ ground of the BDSM-structure

  • Getting a handle on feelings of stress and other feelings
  • A slow buildup in pain-play (endorphins) can have a mood-stabilizing effect (Bottoms)
  • Pain can also give a “rush” it makes some feel “stronger”
    • Endorphins and adrenaline because of prolonged painplay may relieve depression (or addiction) –Speransky Spanking Method

  • Safely exploring feelings
  • Being loved and cared for by your Dom(me)(for Bottoms)
  • It gives a format in which you can be feeling of sexiness/hornyness in a ‘safe’ way (not possible before)
  • Sessions can give more respect for your own strength (it gets clearer what you’ve endured) (both Tops and Bottoms)

  • Success experiences
  • BDSM as a structure can give a suitable “role” one that one can comfortably fill because it fits the personality, core values, and desires. It gives fulfillment in a way.
  • people describe a feeling of strength and beauty thru suffering

  • Structure
  • BDSM can give a structure with clear responsibilities (especially Old School settings),
  • kink can be a playing field that allows you to play (an important thing in life that is often overlooked)

  • Reparenting
  • A Dominant can have the aura of a “good enough parent” and thus help “reparent” the person that has missed a consistent parent in their youth (for submissives)
  • The guiding hand (often chores for your self-worth)
  • BDSM might show you a future self (a good Dom that is control of one’s own feelings) that you’d like to grow towards.

  • Corrective Experiences
  • Loving Doms can help quench anxieties (for Subs)
  • Obedient submissives can be very healing for uncertainty in the doubting Dom (for Doms)

reclaiming your sexuality might be the ultimate vengeance…

And of course: that is just a starting motivation. I think that some people need to be motivated and the angry ones can be motivated by vengeance… But in the end forgiveness is the bigger ‘vengeance’

Hans (Kink Aware Coach .com)


I’ve come to understand a better understanding of who I am now through BDSM. It has defined me, I found out who I am. I NEVER knew who I was. But mainly it’s because the Dominant I am with NOW has brought the best me out. It’s like a self-discovery for me.
I can be open and express myself in ways I didn’t think were possible. I can talk about anything and everything and not just let it bottle up for fear of a negative reaction or it turns into physical abuse.
My Sir/fiance has made me feel love not just for another person but love for myself. Made me feel safety in also not just him but also in myself.
The guidance he gives me is calming and is something I’ve always craved in life.
When I was being beaten in the past it made me feel weak, whereas now, these “beatings” makes me feel strong
Thanks to Several people that like to remain unmentioned and Adam Day, Donna Azar

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Consider, a woman is raped. During the act, she has no consent, no control, feels violated in the worst possible way, and may even be disgusted in herself and feels betrayed by her body because (often) there is a component of automatic sexual arousal during the act (the biological response to the expectation of friction).

Later, remembering this rape (and remembering that means replaying a memory which in itself reinforces both the memory and the attachment of the joining emotions) makes the negative effects worse. Soon, even the word “rape” or a belt buckle akin to the one of the rapist triggers these negative memories, and maybe even the motoric reactions.

Now, if that same woman willingly experiences a consensual rape scene. At face value the “act” performed may be very similar, but:
1) she has willingly consented.
2) she knows that she retains the ultimate power to stop the scene at any time.

So, while the physical sensations, the visual and audio input in her brain may be almost the same, the mental association is completely different. It is still a “rape”-like experience – but it is rape on her own terms.
An absolute precondition in this is of course that rough sex is enjoyable for her. If not this would be just a repetition of earlier experiences!)
So now there is a new memory of “rape”. Now the word and thought of “rape” takes on a completely different context (increasing over time as the memory is replayed). She no longer needs to feel ashamed for “enjoying it”, because the whole consensual scene was on her terms. She can take ownership of it, and put a completely different emotional spin on it. May even be proud, having pleased and being pleased. Of course, the original memory of the “real rape” still remains of course, but the brain will also be able to replay the memory of the recent event. Now, “rape” goes from a total violation where she had no control over, and that made her feel disgusted, to an enjoyable act that she had control over.

From this comes empowerment.

based on discussions with a few rape survivors that have done CNC-play

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