Healing trauma takes many forms. People can overcome emotional distress in their own way, with common methods including talking to a therapist or mental health expert, taking medication, practising wellness exercises such as meditation and mindfulness, as well investing in self-care routines.

 

BDSM may be a lesser-known theutic practice for healing trauma, but its positive mental health benefits are widely-felt in the community – if performed safely, sanely, and consensually. BDSM is all about power exchange, pushing players to their limits, and the eroticization of pain vs. pleasure. The intentional infliction of emotional distress within the BDSM context can actually provide a space to overcome past psychological trauma.

For many, kink is an invaluable tool to heal from emotional distress. BDSM and mental health are so intrinsically linked, that using it to deal with trauma requires honest and open communication with others, and safeguarding practices such as BDSM aftercare. 
 

Playing safe and smart

If anyone is thinking of exploring BDSM for theutic purposes, serious precautions must be taken. Healing trauma can take a person on a long and painful journey through past hurt. It's important to be risk aware. Be extremely mindful of what BDSM actually is, as opposed to the frequent fantasies around it. It might be best to enter the kink world for its many pleasurable aspects first, rather than a way to overcome emotional distress. Spending time in the community allows for greater education and experience before considering BDSM for mental health purposes. 

The same goes for choosing others to play with. Always choose a partner or partners who have spent a lot of time practising BDSM. Even if a person seems like a dream playmate, if they don’t understand the risks involved or what could go wrong, they might not be the best option for healing trauma in this way. 

As a person explores kink to overcome psychological issues, it's also a good idea to get the help of a qualified mental health professional alongside; even better if it's someone with knowledge of BDSM and its impacts on mental health. Power exchange can be incredibly intense – both physically and emotionally – and players may need a therapist to talk to in the aftermath. Healing trauma through BDSM practise is not linear and can bring deep-rooted trauma to the surface unexpectedly. That's why seeing a doctor or medical professional in tandem can help make sense of the muddier psychological effects. 
 

Communication is key

Communication is everything. In life, and even more so in BDSM. Confronting emotional distress makes this fundamental tenet of BDSM practise even more critical. Extra steps should be taken to ensure clear and honest dialogue, where anyone can comfortably change their mind or end a dynamic if they so wish. The serious implications of BDSM and mental health mean that the players involved must have the emotional maturity to admit when something isn't working. It's better to approach with caution than potentially jeopardize a person's mental state. 
 

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How can BDSM heal trauma in a healthy way? 

So, how can you use BDSM for healing trauma? Well, it's different for every person. But here are a few examples for anyone hoping to learn new methods to cope with past and present emotional distress. 

A dynamic where a Dominant gives positive reinforcement to their Sub is a good option. Praising the Sub during play or instructing them to perform self-care acts encourages them to nurture their mental health. It also takes the onus off the individual who may not know how to care for or love themselves. Dominants can provide a workable structure for a Sub, ordering them to eat well, get restful sleep, and exercise regularly. 

Physical play can be cathartic, too. A dominant may use something like bondage when a Sub is feeling anxious or overwhelmed, or impact play to help a Sub process painful memories through the infliction of bodily pain. BDSM and mental health go hand-in-hand because transferring pain from the mind to the body can cause a powerful release in a Sub. 
 

Agency and aftercare

Everybody is different, and each person will approach BDSM for its theutic benefits differently. While it's always wise to take advice from others, ultimately, the players healing trauma should always be in control, particularly if they're taking on a submissive role.  

A final word: using BDSM to overcome emotional distress can be physically and psychologically intense, so aftercare is absolutely essential. Aftercare is that special time when play is over and everyone in the scene comes back down to earth. Subs, in particular, can feel a sudden low commonly known as 'the drop'. Therefore, it's crucial for a Dominant to check in with how they're feeling. BDSM 


M. Christian is a respected author and BDSM educator, having taught classes on everything from polyamory to tit torture for venues such as the SF Citadel, Good Vibrations, Beat Me In St. Louis and many others.

Has BDSM helped you overcoming trauma? Let us know in the comments! 💜

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Posted

The more I learn about BDSM, the more I understand my trauma and the process of healing. This community is filled with open and honest individuals that have allowed me to be equally so. Being surrounded by like minded individuals is so refreshing

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Posted

It's why I joined this fetish site.To get release from all the trauma,and just let it all go.

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Posted

This is great 😊

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Posted

Sorry Metal but NHS is no hope system , maybe we should change it to FHS , fetish health services and make it free for all 👌

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Me****

Posted

Can i get this on the NHS?

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Posted

Yes, yes, yes ! Fetish play has been an amazing release for the trauma I faced as a child. I’ve been through the whole mental health system and was left confused and disappointed. At the age of 21 I bought some rubber wear and visited a torture garden party in London. I was positively overwhelmed with excitement and the variety of costumes and sadomasochist play intrigued me. It kick started a life long obsession which has given me comfort and joy which beats Prozac into surrender.

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KittenKween88

Posted

I not only agree with this but I’ve witnessed how BDSM works as a theutic technique. I love it.

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kree90

Posted

I love this. It helps me understand why I desire certain aspects of BDSM. I'm big into mental health and it's something people don't talk enough about.

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