BDSM and Kink-Friendly Therapy

BDSM and Kink-Friendly Therapy

BDSM stands for Bondage and Discipline/Dominance and Sadism/Submission and Masochism (which is when you derive pleasure from inflicting or experiencing pain). “Kink” is a general term that refers to sexual desires that are considered by society to be outside the norm.

While these experiences may be considered taboo by some, that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

In fact, people with fetishes, kink, and BDSM practices are far more common than you think.

Kink/BDSM is sometimes referred to as an “alternative” lifestyle and way of exploring sexuality.


BDSM/KINK DEEPER QUESTIONS

For those of us who live “alternative” lifestyles that do not conform to mainstream society, there are a lot of big picture questions that we grapple with on the daily.

Like, how much do we accommodate society by sacrificing our own desires and trying to “fit in?”

And how far do we push the limits on what society constitutes as a valid way to live our lives?

It’s a constant battle that we must face and reckon with, especially when our alternative choices are sexual in nature and therefore, so intimately tied to our relationships with others and the way we see ourselves.

Over the past several years, we have found ourselves working with an increasing number of people who are a part of the BDSM and lifestyle community.

Working with these clients, we have learned a great deal about the community, and about how BDSM desires can contribute to feelings of shame and anxiety.

We’ve come to understand that the key to freedom is accepting every part of ourselves, even the taboo parts that we often want to keep hidden from the outside world.

And although the BDSM lifestyle is gaining awareness in mainstream culture, most people in the world remain pretty uninformed.

But that’s why we are here: to teach and build acceptance around a community that is deserving of respect, attention, and understanding.


BDSM INTERESTS ARE SURPRISINGLY COMMON

Fun fact: BDSM and predilections to kink are actually not as rare as you would think!

Yep, you read that right.

“47 percent of women and 60 percent of men have fantasized about dominating someone sexually,” according to a study in The Journal of Sex Research.

BDSM is far from a new phenomenon.

In fact, BDSM has been mentioned throughout history in Sanskrit Texts, ancient Greek and Roman art, and erotic French novels—all showing “pain being used as an erotic stimulus.”


BDSM/KINK INTERESTS FALL ON A SPECTRUM

As with other types of lifestyles and sexual orientations, BDSM activities fall into a spectrum.

This can range from light play to hardcore play.

Light play looks something like this: blindfolding your partner, tickling them, and just enjoying an overall sense of playfulness without much pain or force.

Hardcore BDSM on the other hand involves whipping, pouring hot wax, restraining each other, depriving each others’ senses, or binding your partner with ropes or chains.

BDSM took a small step toward becoming destigmatized when the American Psychological Association publicly recognized it as a consensual practice between two partners, rather than a forced sexual activity without consent.

Typically, people are drawn to BDSM because they are simply curious and want to explore new types of sexual experiences.

Studies have found that couples who engaged in BDSM “were no more likely to have been coerced into sexual activity and were not significantly more likely to be unhappy or anxious,” which makes a strong case for BDSM being a healthy form of sexual expression.

Although we as therapists think of BDSM as a normal part of the sexual spectrum, society’s limiting beliefs often cause people to struggle with guilt, shame, and other psychological issues.

That’s why therapy is an important part of the path to self-acceptance for those in the BDSM community.


REASONS FOR SEEKING TREATMENT

  • Coming out (to self, partner, or someone else)
  • To explore and overcome fear of others discovering BDSM identity or interests.
  • Compulsive issues around sexuality or BDSM.
  • Discomfort with your BDSM identity or wanting to extinguish your BDSM interests.
  • Fear of not being able to find partners with compatible BDSM desires/interests.
  • Identifying or recovering from an abusive dynamic in a BDSM relationship.
  • Guilt and shame about accidentally hurting a partner or crossing a partner’s sexual boundaries.
  • Gaining clarity around sexual interests or types of sensation or power dynamics that would be most satisfying.
  • Mismatches in sexual preferences within a relationship.
  • Difficulty sharing BDSM community space with a former partner after a breakup.
  • Finding a non-judgmental place where you can discuss your sexuality and other mental health issues without being stigmatized or having your kink pathologized.


MY LA THERAPY: A SAFE PLACE FOR THE BDSM COMMUNITY

Yes, there are stereotypes that exist within the culture at large, but our therapists recognize that they couldn’t be further from the truth.

At my LA Therapy, you will be treated as an individual, without being confined by any labels or preconceived notions.

Our experienced specialists in BDSM are very comfortable discussing all matters related to fetish, sexuality and dominant/submissive-issues within relationships—nothing is taboo here in our practice!


OUR BDSM AND KINK-FRIENDLY THERAPY METHODS

Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated to be effective for trauma, codependency, low self-esteem, and other depressive and anxiety disorders. 

Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page.


WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A BDSK/KINK EXPERT NOW

If you have any questions, contact one of our BDSM/Kink specialists for a free consultation any time.


RESOURCES

  1. Society for Psychotherapy
  2. Everyday Health

BDSM and Kink Therapists

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