Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Self Abuse vs. Kink

A friend of mine once confessed she was dark and had issues because the only way she could orgasm was if she was choked or hate fucked in a rough punishing manner...I think the choking is what she found the most disconcerting.

I found this troubling because I didn't know her well enough to tell if she really was using sex as self abuse or if this was just an ingrained kink.

I froze for a minute before stuttering through questions trying to ascertain what was really going on with her. And most of all, I wanted her to know she wasn't alone. She wasn't abnormal. I hear it all the time from people in the kink communities who have found themselves, I thought there was something wrong with me. I didn't think I was normal.

But we are all a branch growing off the normal tree. I was raised by insanely sex positive parents. Their message was a human can be aroused by many things. It's normal and healthy. There was scientific studies mentioned, and possibly a bar graph shown at some point...

It starts at home
Many people need something special to get them off. I happen to love being choked by that special someone in a sexual setting. I have days where I'm just not going to reach Happy Land Express if I'm not fighting against restraints and getting my bottom spanked. That just needs to happen. Usually I need to be made to give up control in the bedroom. It's my thing.

Does that make me depraved?
Only in the best sort of way

Figuring that sort of thing out is tough, and accepting it is even more difficult.

Step One: Acknowledge what turns you on. No reason why. No need to analyze it. Just embrace it.   

You're allowed to get sexually aroused by being spanked, flogged, tied up, dominated, calling your special someone mommy or daddy, cartoon characters, tentacles...the list it goes on.

The other side of that coin, if you're going through emotional upheaval differentiating between desiring kink and using kink to purposely inflict pain on yourself can be extremely difficult.

I myself am very sex positive. Accepting my kinks came very easy to me. Recognizing when I was using it as self abuse because I wanted to feel pain and be broken was much more difficult. 

Many of us have used sex and/or kink as self abuse, whether we are into kink or not. I'm sure all of us know at least one person that in their pit of self loathing sleep around to inadvertently magnify their feeling of worthlessness. Sometimes they know they're doing it and can't stop, but often they don't acknowledge that's what's happening. And I think we can all agree, either way, it's not a healthy path of behavior.

When you add in a masochist searching out pain, not for pleasure or release, but in order to feel raw and broken because they need to punish themselves, there is a new level of danger.

A great example of this is Maren Smith's Owning O, where we have a submissive blatantly using pain to punish herself, over and over, until one Dom finally puts a stop to it. But that's not usually how it goes. In real life there isn't always a hero Dom around the corner with open insight into our damaged souls.

Step Two: Claim your baggage. Be self aware. Dominants and sexual partners are humans who rarely have mind reading capabilities. You can't expect to be fixed by someone else. Something I've always recognized in the kink community is the necessity to be self aware, and owning one's shit. And things like using kink for self abuse is one of the many reasons why this is so important.

Not everyone is watching your back like some BDSM Utopia, with dominants/partners who magically know your psyche and give a shit. By not respecting yourself you're not respecting the person you're playing with. Not to mention I'm sure it can leave others feeling empty.

If you're feeling self loathing or hatred after sex or BDSM play it's time to take a long look in the mirror. You're not being fair to yourself, or those around you. Talk to a friend, sex positive therapist, or pull up your panties and stop the course of behavior that is contaminating your life.

This of course will be much easier said than done, and usually involves quite a bit of angst, tears, and coming to terms with things you really rather not.

It will still be worth it. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves and their choices.

Can pain be used in a healthy manner?


Step Three: When seeking pain, use common sense.

Pain and punishment can set you free when used correctly. Safe, SANE, and Consensual means you aren't just using pain without a care to your own well-being.

I have a friend who adores suspension. For those of you not sure what that is, it's when a seasoned practitioner puts hooks in your skin and strings you up from a high, sturdy ceiling. My friend? He gets strung up like shark bait.

My tummy gets squirmy just looking
Not for sexual gratification, but for the emotional release. He doesn't do it because he wants to be punished or feel broken. He does it to be released from anxiety and angst.

He uses people who are trained to do this, using sterile equipment, in a clean environment. Responsible pain.

I have to admit when he first got into it, I thought he was cracked. I mean, have you seen a suspension session? Yikes! But the thing is, I've never seen him happier or freer than after a suspension session. And that makes me happy for him.

As a spanko gal you know I have to touch on asking for punishment and desiring sexual pain. This can ride a fine line. When desiring this a person may be feeling guilt, angst, stress, and/or self loathing. It makes acknowledging what one hopes to accomplish with said punishment or pain extremely important.

Do you want pain for the sake of pain or for freedom?

When I first wrote my Candi's Debt I had a scene where Candi begs for Hank to hurt her. She begs for pain. All my beta readers had a unanimous "eek, nope" to the phrasing I used. They all understood the emotion behind it and that she was asking to be liberated from her inner turmoil, but still, her blatantly asking for pain just didn't sit well.

I think the word pain has a stigma, but it can be beautiful and liberating. 

I of course changed the wording to punish me:

“I want you to punish me,” she says in a small voice.
I don’t think I heard her right, but one look at her face, full of pain and anguish and I know. “Do you really think you’re ready for that?”

And of course Hank instictively knows Candi's desire to be punished may out weigh her common sense, because lets face it. It's hard to keep our common sense when we're hungry for the sweet elixir of release:

“This is going to be more than anything we’ve ever done before, princess. Are you ready for that?”
    I almost nod my head and think better of it. “Yes, daddy.”
    “If things get to be too intense you put up two fingers, and I’ll stop everything. Ropes can come off. We can be done for the night. I won’t be disappointed with you.”
    “Two fingers. Got it,” I say, but I won’t be doing any kind of safeword or signal. I need this more than he knows.
    Fisting a hand in my hair he makes me look up at him. “I mean it Candi. I’m your daddy, I’m your Dom. I will stop everything if I think you’ve had enough and you’re not making the call. Then I really will be disappointed with you. Is that understood?”
    “Yes, sir,” I let out on a rush.

Again, that special someone you're shacking up with may not be as insightful and all knowing as the fictitious characters we writers dream up. Communication and knowing yourself is the key to a happy, healthy sex life.

In review; embrace your kinks, claim your emotional baggage, and respect yourself. Kink and a healthy sexual well-being aren't an either/or thing. They go hand in naughty hand. Have both responsibly.

Love yourself.

Because your body is f****ing temple


  1. Great post! I think a lot of times with sexual kinks we have the urges and desires before we even know what the hell they are. At least that was the case for me. I think your friend was lucky to be confiding in you, even if you weren't very close. Perhaps they instinctively knew you weren't going to judge.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad she felt comfortable opening up too. No one should like there is something wrong with them.

  2. It would be embarrassing to admit how many fist pumps and "fuck yeahs!" I did while reading this post.

    Well done, Aubrey!!