Oh for sure. BDSM can be a complicated place to linger. I'm very sorry you had difficult experiences.people ‘in the scene’ often say this is well self policed. That’s not my experience and I’d be interested in seeing any research on preexisting trauma / ace factors in that community. This is something I really don’t have figured out. It interrelated a lot with my ongoing trauma symptoms and inability to return to normal sexual function for example so thoughts can get muddy if I linger here too long. I’ve attended bdsm functions with kink aware therapists promoting bdsm - something I feel really icky about now. I also see it promoted as a therapeutic device sometimes...... in itself this seems to feel like the risk aware and ‘safe and sane’ claims are getting pushed if it’s not a professional guiding it.
Mine were the opposite. Communication was better when I was in a relationship within this community than at any other time in my life. Obtaining consent - as in, "do you want to do this?" or "is it ok if we do this?" - was continuous. It was explicitly before, often during, and there was always a follow-up to make sure it had been ok. I don't pay attention to any research (there is some out there) on whether or not there is pre-existing trauma or not. I think the incidence of trauma is so high in the population anyway, you are just as likely to see it in BDSM as you are in the vanilla world.
BDSM opened up sexuality for me - I had never been intimate with anyone before I engaged in that world (and I was pretty old). It showed me that I was a beautiful person and that there was nothing inherently wrong with me (which I thought before).
I've talked to some kink-aware therapists and I decided that, unless they had an understanding because they had been immersed in the community, I really didn't want to talk to them.
I think sane in a BDSM context is not necessarily equivalent to sane in the vanilla world. I personally don't believe anyone - ANYONE - is qualified to declare someone else "sane" in the vanilla world. Everything is a perception and an opinion.Who is to say who is sane? I believe I saw a lot of non consensual situations (mainly coercion or what I would say related to DV - though the violence was emotional not the kink) and who is to define we are risk aware ?
And of course, BDSM has a "consensual non-consent" play that may not appear to be consensual to the onlooker. It's complicated and certainly can be abused, but it exists.