Before You Choose the Dungeon as Your Therapy Couch…

Your life is a mess, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because you’ve just never been able to relate well with people. Perhaps someone you loved fucked you over. Perhaps someone way back in your past hurt you, and you cannot go a day without something reminding you of what happened – and the fact that you didn’t deserve it. Maybe your spouse can’t (or won’t) accept or try to understand your deep, unyielding need for an exchange of power and control in your relationship.

You’ve been clicking all over the Internet – looking at the kinky pictures, reading the kinky stories, hearing the accounts of how magical BDSM is. People write endless renditions of how their lives suddenly became enriched after finally stepping into the BDSM lifestyle. The Dominant/submissive or Sadist/masochist relationships open people’s hearts and emotions to depths they’ve never experienced before.

So, you start to believe that finding a kinky partner will fix everything. It will make you whole again. It will cure your depression. It will remove (or justify) the hurt you feel inside. It’s the answer you’ve been looking for, right?

It’s time for someone to shake you, and give you a dose of reality.

This lifestyle does not cure depression. This lifestyle does not turn an irresponsible person into a responsible person. It does not cure PTSD. It does not cure alcoholism, drug addiction, or stupidity. It won’t wipe away a history of child abuse or sexual abuse. It’s merely an alternative to a vanilla existence.

It is human nature to seek things that make us happy and normalize our lives. I know that BDSM and “normal” are not terms usually used in the same context. But, the very things that get branded as “kinky” are very normal for someone with a deeply embedded need for masochism, sadism, dominance or submission. For me, submitting to Mistress Oasis is normal, not “kinky.” For Mistress Oasis, hurting me to say “I love you” is normal.

In my book, FemDom Dating, I devote a chapter to self-reflection prior to just jumping into the scene and BDSM relationships. One piece of advice I give is to take care of your emotional baggage before seeking and dating potential partners.

In the BDSM world, we manipulate brain chemicals like dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin and endorphins. Each of these can have a profound effect on a person’s emotions. However, depending on the types of activities you engage in, your brain may experience a spike in all four of these. If you already struggle with feelings of depression, inadequacy, abandonment, loss, victim-hood, or a myriad of other complex emotions, there is no telling what a cocktail of mind altering chemicals may result in.

I know personally the roller coaster of emotions that is possible during masochistic play. I’ve felt myself go through euphoria, anger, frustration, passion, fear, resignation, panic, and vulnerability. Often, I go through several of these emotions during the course of a scene. But, that’s what I’m after – a dance along a cliff where I tempt and flirt with all of these feelings, while knowing in the back of my mind that no real physical harm is going to come to me. But occasionally, the emotional ride has been too intense for me and I had to stop scenes because of panic or loss of coherent thought. And, I have my mind right. If you have a whirlwind of stressful emotions spinning in your head in your vanilla life, unleashing vast amounts of these chemicals into your brain could intensify your negative feelings.

The potential for trouble doesn’t disappear when the scene is over. At some point those chemicals wear off. Your brain can actually go through a withdrawal stage as it adjusts to the lower levels of these substances. “Sub Drop” is a term used to describe a submissive experiencing negative physical and emotional effects when these chemical levels start dropping in the brain. I myself have experienced depression, lethargy, headaches, even hangover-type feelings a day or two after a really good scene. However, I know what it is when I experience it and Mistress Oasis stays close to me, reassuring me as I deal with the negative feelings, and wait for them to pass. It can sometimes be a full day or two.

Play is not the only place where our minds walk a tightrope. The relationship dynamics within the BDSM world are complex. BDSM relationships tend to be far more intense than what you find in the vanilla world. We communicate on a deeper level, exposing vulnerable and sensitive things about ourselves. That’s how we are able to interact the way we do, whether it’s service oriented, sexual, or sado-masochistic. We have to open our hearts and our innermost hidden places to each other to achieve the experiences we crave. If you’re struggling with a bunch of emotional crap that you cannot deal with, having someone toying around with your psychological “goo” like it was Jell-o is asking for trouble sooner or later.

This aspect of the BDSM lifestyle doesn’t just apply to submissives. Dominants need to have their heads screwed on right as well. Some of them don’t. Above all other things, a submissive wants to trust their dominant. A sub needs to know that their dom is looking out for their well-being. We subs who are also flying masochists depend on our dominant to be cognizant of our responses, our safety, and our emotional status during our play. We need to trust that they will do this so we can “let go,” and drift away into an alternative consciousness.

The deeper a relationship goes, the more a sub gives of him or herself. Being able to depend on a dom being stable and predictable within the relationship allows the submissive to lower more walls, and become more open to the dom.  This becomes harder if the dom exhibits unpredictable or irrational reactions to life’s little “situations.”

People with very low self-esteem tend to drag those around them down as well. Insecure people often display possessiveness and suspicion toward a partner. Trying to jump into a new relationship right after a breakup is usually a crutch, and tends to create an atmosphere of comparing the new partner to the old. And, even if the new partner passes the scrutiny with flying colors, no one enjoys hearing the constant re-telling of tales about things the old partner did to hurt you.

As wild as our lifestyle may seem from the outside, it actually requires a level head to make it work and grow long term. It can be the answer to all your prayers if you’ve had to suppress it most of your life. However, it doesn’t cure crazy. Get your emotional house in order before jumping into this game. It makes this lifestyle easier for everyone involved.

 

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