Sexual kinks as a form of therapy

Roland

Confident
I want to talk about kinks, but not self harm. Who here was abused and your kinks kinda derived from that and you were able to work through your trauma by fetishizing it essentially. Prolonged exposure therapy, taking back control. I see people talking about the self harm side of it, but not how it can and has been effectively managed.

I was sexually abused as a toddler by my dad and sexually harassed by him up until the day I left. He yelled a lot (he was really angry) and hit me with a belt as punishments.

BDSM is really attractive to me, I was able to take what I was afraid of and make it exciting. But I haven’t ever done it with anyone, I would read erotic literature and fantasize. I fetishized the dominance/submissive dynamic, control, punishment, spanking, and consensual nonconsent. The fear I get from the belt trigger, intensifies the experience. I got more and more comfortable with the fear, to the point where it’s mostly just exciting now.

BDSM with a partner can be safe if managed correctly. Limits are discussed beforehand, safe word is put in place, there’s a lot of communication and respect going into the dynamic. BDSM is not abuse (but to anyone who was abused with BDSM, I’m very sorry, that’s terrible and very not okay or exciting).

I was molested in the shower when I was a toddler, I don’t think about showers in that way, like I’m scared of it being too much. I’m constantly working through flashbacks on that one, but I bet one day I will.

Has anyone else done this? What was your experience? It doesn’t have to be sexual abuse, just any kind of trauma and kinks.
 

Roland

Confident
Another thing to add, my dad would grab my butt a lot, that was part of the harassment. I’m literally all about ass, it’s such an instant turn on.

ALSO, I was not hypersexual until I was like 19. Before then I was afraid of sex, avoidant of men, anything vaguely sexual or romantic. I had to actively work to even be able to do anything and enjoy it. It took a lot to reclaim my body, sexuality, sense of self and safety.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
My sexuality is unique. It's not-quite kink but it does fit the definition.

There is a lot of power in owning your experiences and working through them in a sexual manner. I ended up leaning more dominant. I enjoyed setting things up and taking care of people and the technical aspects of ropework and the responses I would get when I did my job perfectly.

That's a heady feeling. All my friends joke that my biggest kink is safety. When I was learning to drive a car my friend made up a song called Safety Shayne. So you get where I'm coming from. As long as it's safe, sane and consensual that's fantastic.

Just be mindful that these are other human beings you're with, and when you start getting into trauma work, that may have an impact on them. And they're not therapists. So they may not say the right things or know what to do.
 

Roland

Confident
My sexuality is unique. It's not-quite kink but it does fit the definition.

There is a lot of power in owning your experiences and working through them in a sexual manner. I ended up leaning more dominant. I enjoyed setting things up and taking care of people and the technical aspects of ropework and the responses I would get when I did my job perfectly.

That's a heady feeling. All my friends joke that my biggest kink is safety. When I was learning to drive a car my friend made up a song called Safety Shayne. So you get where I'm coming from. As long as it's safe, sane and consensual that's fantastic.

Just be mindful that these are other human beings you're with, and when you start getting into trauma work, that may have an impact on them. And they're not therapists. So they may not say the right things or know what to do.
Good point
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
sadistic hyper-sexuality was one of my major psych symptoms, starting at an obscenely young age, even for a child prostitute. in my 70's psychotherapy, i was encouraged to act it out and i think it worked. i learned quite a bit about myself by acting out that hyper-sexuality. i learned more about my rage issues than anything else. i was one angry puppy.

the 70's were a radically different era. i strongly suspect the play-it-safe, masked and socially distant citizens of the 21st century would not approve.
 

Roland

Confident
sadistic hyper-sexuality was one of my major psych symptoms, starting at an obscenely young age, even for a child prostitute. in my 70's psychotherapy, i was encouraged to act it out and i think it worked. i learned quite a bit about myself by acting out that hyper-sexuality. i learned more about my rage issues than anything else. i was one angry puppy.

the 70's were a radically different era. i strongly suspect the play-it-safe, masked and socially distant citizens of the 21st century would not approve.
Why don’t you think they would approve?
 
BDSM is not abuse (but to anyone who was abused with BDSM, I’m very sorry, that’s terrible and very not okay or exciting).
Yeah, it was terrible and it wasn't ok. But some of the allure of being a part of that was the excitement.

I still struggle with thoughts of doing BDSM. If I had never been abused I'd probably still really be into it. But the best I can do is rough sex, when I can do sex at all.

I can't possibly understand how doing BDSM could be therapy. For me, I think I'd be risking retraumatization big time.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I can't possibly understand how doing BDSM could be therapy. For me, I think I'd be risking retraumatization big time.
Indeed you would. There are benefits, but I don't think they'd benefit you specifically.

I had a period of time where I would hook up with strangers who wanted to get tied up, and I'd have them run through my questionnaire. I was very picky about who I'd take, because I didn't want people in there who couldn't handle it and I didn't want to be used as an instrument of self-harm.

That point in my life did help me see myself in a sexual manner in a way I hadn't prior, it's just not "sexy" I guess. It's very structured. Organized. Controlled. That's the stuff I like about it. I'm in complete and total control. My needs come first. Then I get to focus on the other person. But once you get into it, the rhythm works.

I found it a healing exercise because I got to actually enjoy sexual experiences on my own terms.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
BDSM with a partner can be safe if managed correctly. Limits are discussed beforehand, safe word is put in place, there’s a lot of communication and respect going into the dynamic.
I was involved in a BDSM relationship with my partner for about six years. Lots of folks tried to make it out to be me trying to work through abuse, but it wasn't. It was just a fun and different way to enjoy our relationship.

I learned a lot during that time. I also wrote my Master's thesis on it. BDSM done right is, in my opinion, the best kind of relationship to have. We discussed *everything* in detail before doing it--there were never problems with consent. If we were doing something that was uncomfortable for me, he'd stop. No questions. He put in safety measures for everything, so that if something happened to him while we were playing, I'd be ok.

There are all kinds of wrong ways to do BDSM, and I'm not talking about those. In terms of abuse, I think if a person has suffered similar when they were younger, BDSM *could* help, but it could also hurt.
 

Roland

Confident
I was involved in a BDSM relationship with my partner for about six years. Lots of folks tried to make it out to be me trying to work through abuse, but it wasn't. It was just a fun and different way to enjoy our relationship.

I learned a lot during that time. I also wrote my Master's thesis on it. BDSM done right is, in my opinion, the best kind of relationship to have. We discussed *everything* in detail before doing it--there were never problems with consent. If we were doing something that was uncomfortable for me, he'd stop. No questions. He put in safety measures for everything, so that if something happened to him while we were playing, I'd be ok.

There are all kinds of wrong ways to do BDSM, and I'm not talking about those. In terms of abuse, I think if a person has suffered similar when they were younger, BDSM *could* help, but it could also hurt.
Well said, thanks for the perspective

Yeah, it was terrible and it wasn't ok. But some of the allure of being a part of that was the excitement.

I still struggle with thoughts of doing BDSM. If I had never been abused I'd probably still really be into it. But the best I can do is rough sex, when I can do sex at all.

I can't possibly understand how doing BDSM could be therapy. For me, I think I'd be risking retraumatization big time.
I’m so sorry 💔
 

Friday

Moderator
I want to talk about kinks, but not self harm. Who here was abused and your kinks kinda derived from that and you were able to work through your trauma by fetishizing it essentially. Prolonged exposure therapy, taking back control. I see people talking about the self harm side of it, but not how it can and has been effectively managed.
I meet half your criteria… my sex life is/was/has absolutely zip zero nada zilch to do with self harm, guilt/shame, etc.; to the contrary has been a tremendous source of renewed strength, self confidence, mending shattered trust (in both others & myself /my own judgment), regaining a sense of control, gaining perspective (eliminating triggers & stressors & cognitive distortions before they start, perhaps), faith in humanity, sense of self, connection, list just keeps going on & on. And all that’s before one takes into account that sex is, bar none, my absolute favourite methods both to ground myself out & to blow off stress daily.

But I’m far more vanilla bean than kinky.

A lot of my sexual preferences are directly informed by trauma, and I’m perfectly okay with that.
 
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Roland

Confident
I meet half your criteria… my sex life is/was/has absolutely zip zero nada zilch to do with self harm, guilt/shame, etc.; to the contrary has been a tremendous source of renewed strength, self confidence, mending shattered trust (in both others & myself /my own judgment), regaining a sense of control, gaining perspective (eliminating triggers & stressors & cognitive distortions before they start, perhaps), faith in humanity, sense of self, connection, list just keeps going on & on. And all that’s before one takes into account that sex is, bar none, my absolute favourite methods both to ground myself out & to blow off stress daily.

But I’m far more vanilla bean than kinky.

A lot of my sexual preferences are directly informed by trauma, and I’m perfectly okay with that.
So then as vanilla, what does that look like?
 
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