Can, Not Will.

I joined this group because I believe what the group title says, but I have delayed writing here longer than for most groups I join, because I think this is a touchy subject, and I fear to be misinterpreted.

First, let me say that anything two mature, consenting adults choose to do is fine by me, so long as they're not endangering themselves or adversely affecting others.  And if it's not consenting, it's not OK; period, end of story.  If you have a fantasy of being raped by a stranger, and you and your lover want to act it out, that's fine.  If you rape someone, that's illegal; go directly to jail, for a very long time.  If you seriously want to be raped by a stranger, you have a potentially life-threatening problem; go directly to get professional help.

What I want to discuss here is the positive potential of BDSM between two consenting adults of unequal emotional maturity levels.  Yes, there is great potential for abuse here.  Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, mostly women, but not all, suffer abuse at the hands of someone who says they're doing it, "for your own good."  HINT: if they say that, they're almost certainly not!  If someone suggests you should start BDSM practices in order to cure you of your problems, run the other way, fast!  And tell someone!  And keep telling until someone listens!

However.  I have known couples in loving relationships for whom BDSM was very useful in helping one member deal with and overcome a history of abuse.  Most commonly, I have seen emotionally mature, intelligent, loving, caring doms lead a submissive with a prior history of abuse on the road to recovery.  And sometimes it's the other way around; I have seen a strong, emotionally mature sub, be of great help to a dom with a history of childhood sexual abuse.  While rare, such relationships make me very proud to be a part of the BDSM community.  I think these instances represent the community at its finest, working in love to help heal a suffering person.

The reason I've been very hesitant to write this, is that those who have been abused can be uniquely vulnerable to potential abusers making just such claims.  If you find yourself wondering, "Am I being abused?", most likely you are.  Reach out.  Let friends and family know.  There are some very healthy, experience subs here on EP, and I suspect, some good doms, too.  Take advantage of their experience.

I hope this story will start a thread in which experienced people can post their positive experiences, and perhaps a few cautionary tales as well.

:-)  E. Bunbury

EBunbury EBunbury
46-50, M
12 Responses Jun 7, 2008

I'm with you. If there is any responsibility we have as 'a community' it is to promote healthy relationships and be openly against abuse.

Very thoughtful. Never knew there was this side to it.

I so enjoyed your post. Unfortunately too many have negative assumptions concerning the lifestyle. For me, it has helped in so many ways, beyond anything sexual. With the help of an intelligent and patient dom, I have been able to really open up and face my fears surronding intimacy and self acceptance. In doing so I have also been able to face issues that I have long since avoided, and even enter into therapy and face an addiction. This is all a direct result of BDSM. I have had many an interested person claim to be a dom, but thankfully, have been able to weed out the wanna bes, and fakes looking for an easy mark. I thank most especially EP and a sub I met here who was kind enough to answer any questions and direct me to some helpful and educational websites where I could research and really take my time to find out about what it is that I was after.

I unexpectedly had this very healing experience occur to me through BDSM at the hands of a very caring Dom. He was aware of my past, and we were not really "attempting" anything, it just seemed to occur.<br />
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With all the honest, open communication and "checking in" that occurs, it's amazing the amount of control a sub feels. And quite frankly, the sub DOES control the situation (I knew the all action would stop immediately if I said the word).<br />
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This truly empowered me. Where once I was ******** of power, now I was in complete control of my body and the situation and had immense trust. I gained trust not only in my partner, but in myself. It chased many ghosts away.<br />
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The entire experience has been wonderfully healing. I would not recommend it as any kind of therapy, but I feel lucky to have stumbled on it.

Thank you for this well considered story, EB.<br><br />
I offer my hand as a Mentor to genuine seekers as a Woman with over 12 years experience in the BDSM lifestyle. No thrill seekers, just true hearts, please.

Thank you, queenofprusssia. I suspect your experience is very common; many of the subs I know are very successful, powerful people professionally, who enjoy the stress relief of handing over the reins to someone else in play. I certainly don't want to give the impression that all who are involved in BDSM are abuse victims; rather, that in my experience, BDSM has occasionally helped abuse victims.

Personally, I'm in an extremely high-profile position at work and am definitely the main earner at home. I consider myself to be an extremely successful, powerful person. When I come home to my husband, all I want is to forget about all of that and just let him lead me. My man is slowly (after 11 years and 2 kids together) figuring out what his role in this part of my life should be. I find it so relaxing to just hand over the reins -- all I do is run everything, it's amazing to have someone tell me what to do, because I'm used to being such a badass all the time. I think it's so therapeutic for people who are stressed.

Wonderful story! Thank you for your insights :)

Thank you. It so strue what you say. Thanks for the courage to show the healing potential..and I would add...the potential to grow.

Thanks. It's a very touchy subject to write about, with much risk of being misinterpreted; and there will be those with different backgrounds for whom this is definitely not the case. But for me, I have occasionally found it can be helpful.

I would have to agree, that far too often, perhaps most of the time, it happens that way. I have been lucky enough to have it happen positively, but I suspect that's rare. I certainly would not recommend to the average abuse victim that they seek healing through BDSM, but I know some who have, successfully.

I wanted to let you know that I appreciate the story you submitted. This is an issue that I have grappled with quite a bit. I would like to believe that there is some possibility to re-work previous negative life experiences or abuse in a different way through BDSM and a good BDSM relationship but my sense is that far too often trauma is often re-experienced this way even when both partners are well-intentioned. I think often the desire to help or the desire to be helped is there but trauma is complex and sometimes we can harm even when attempting to do good or be harmed when attempting to be helped. I certainly don't have the answers on this one. I also would love to hear others share their comments.