Shameless Woman

Pursuing an integrated life of sensuality, health, healing and rejuvenation

BDSM is the New Black (or Is It Grey?)

When a trend which has been considered a "sexual fetish or kink" invades our clothing and music - it's time to sit up and take notice. So what is BDSM? Is it really just about people who are into giving and receiving pain; or is it more? Read More

There have been numerous

There have been numerous accounts of people leaving the BDSM community traumatized and challenging the notion that this is a highly consensual practice, *in practice*. The simple fact that some of these practices can potentially send people into shock and become unable to express their consent or articulate their 'safe word' renders consent in BDSM highly dubious at best. The fact that you're dealing with sadists who by definition enjoy making and watching people suffer is another. I question how consensual such a situation could be, regardless of 'contracts' or prior boundary setting. There have also been cases of people - usually women - dying accidentally as a result of these practices. There have been accounts of already traumatized people turning to this practice to work through sexual trauma, a sure way of reinforcing and ingraining trauma further.

I think that sex educators discussing this practice should mention these factors in the interests of openness and the well being of their readers. Particularly readers who have been sexually violated and traumatized or who and may be considering this as a means to work through trauma. It's a matter of ethics as a therapist. This is not Fifty Shades of Grey. You're talking about the potential for real injury, trauma or worse.

BDSM article by Pamela Madsen

How I see it, basically the Submissive is going in for an experience in humiliation . The surrender is to degradation. I am not saying this to judge BDSM - those seeking the experience are doing it from their own free will - but they might just underestimate the psychological risk they're opening up to.

Consent & Kink

@Anonymous 12/31/13. There have been "numerous accounts" of people leaving the "vanilla" community traumatized and challenging the notion that consent matters in that community. Ask any victim of date rape or someone who has had a little too much to drink and gets "persuaded" to do sex acts with which they aren't comfortable in the light of morning.

The BDSM community is far from perfect and there are bad people in the community, as there are in any community. However, I have been struck by the emphasis the community places on consent and negotiation, far more than is the case in vanilla-land.

In addition, there are ongoing efforts to redefine what it means to be submissive. The emergent understanding is that the submissive consents to give over a negotiated portion of the submissive's power to the dominant for the duration of the scene or relationship. The notion of "strong" submissives has taken root.

In other words, submissives and dominants start in a place of equality, and negotiate, consensually, from there.

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Pamela Madsen is a fertility/sex educator, blogger, author of Shameless and founder of The American Fertility Association.

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