When I was eighteen, I moved out.
I couldn’t go to bars; I didn’t want to go to house parties. I didn’t know where to go to meet people. So I joined my local dungeon, and I’ve been practicing BDSM ever since. Now, it’s become a core part of my identity.
Before moving out and before kink, my life had been marked by abuse, but through BDSM, I was able to heal, to grow, and to become entirely new.
Practicing BDSM helped me heal from my abuse, and here’s how.
BDSM taught me the importance of consent, and more specifically, informed consent. I was asked explicit questions and made to give explicit answers. I was allowed and encouraged to ask questions. I was given safewords and asked repeatedly during filming if I remembered them. Before and pictures or videos of my adventures in BDSM went up, I was asked again if I was comfortable. BDSM and BDSM porn taught me that I’m entitled to information and to changing my mind.
BDSM taught me that emotional abuse is a legitimate form of abuse which should be acknowledged as damaging. Through the knowledge I’ve gained about informed consent, I’ve gained a ton about coerced consent. I began to understand that consent given under duress isn’t actual consent. It is with this knowledge that I was able to look back on my past and begin to acknowledge and heal from abuse that I didn’t know was abuse until I entered into the world of BDSM.
BDSM taught me that I am in control of myself. Even tied to a table and gagged, I had the right and ability to back the hell out if I wanted or needed to. All it took was a hand signal. I had never had this much control over myself or my situation, and after learning that it was something I was entitled to, I was going to exercise this right.
BDSM taught me how to be in my body again. In my beginning days, I was always asked “Where do you feel that?” and “Does that feel okay?” or “Does that suck in a good way?” It forced me to ground myself in my body and follow the sensations through my body to feel the things happening to me. I learned how to detach from my body to heal from the years of abuse, but relearning how to be in my body was so much harder and so much more gratifying.
BDSM taught me to surround myself with people who love me, even when I’m a hot fucking mess. Hanging out at the dungeon five or six nights a week for more than a year meant that all of my friends had seen me covered in bodily fluids, shrieking, ugly laughing, ugly crying, with makeup stains running from my eyes. My friends had all gotten to know me in a vulnerable, “ugly” state, and yet - they loved me still. They loved me when I arrived at the dungeon - neat hair, dramatic makeup, bangin’ lingerie - and when I left the dungeon, shuffling out in my footie pajamas with hair in a tangled bun and makeup down to my chin. They loved me in between too. And I deserved that. I deserve that. It’s a love I had never known, and a love I will never give up.
They say that BDSM is for deviants and perverts and people who are fifty shades of fucked up, but you know what? BDSM taught me so many valuable, important lessons. I could write for years and fill novels about what I’ve learned from kink, but I’ll leave you with these important lessons for now.
I want to say a huge thank you to every kink community out there, and I want to encourage all of you who haven’t yet to explore your kinky side, and I hope you learn as much and as beautifully as I have.
<3 <3 <3