I’ll answer the question in case you’re wondering!
Many kinky people report feeling most comfortable with a therapist who knows that when CBT is mentioned, they’re not referencing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, it’s cock and ball torture. I am a kink-aware therapist who provides a safe space for kinksters.
Let’s back up and discuss what BDSM and Kink is. BDSM is a wide and varying set of erotic practices, role play, or kinks; sometimes called play, related to bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism. Kink refers to the varying range of sexual practices and fetishes that are carried out in different settings. Those who engage in BDSM might interact through different activities employing a combination of roles, dynamics, and communities.
Almost 40% of Americans practice some form of kink. Being a kink-aware therapist is comforting to clients who practice BDSM even if their issues are not related to kink. Knowing that your therapist understands your lifestyle, and likely won’t impose negative preconceptions about it, feels safe for those who practice BDSM. There are so many ways that I help kinksters. I will discuss three of the most common ways I help those who practice BDSM/Kink.
1. I help clients who practice BDSM/Kink to talk to their partner(s) about their kinky interests!
Since the 50 Shades movies, more and more people are interested in BDSM. Although that movie shows some interesting concepts, it goes against the main principle of what BDSM stands for; Safe, Sane, and Consensual (which I discuss further in number 2). The movie showed BDSM as abusive. Many people report some form of kinky sexual play, such as spanking, but do not consider themselves “kinky” or part of the BDSM community. For those who need help navigating their kink meter, they come to me. It can be embarrassing and hard to explain to your partner that you would like to explore golden showers or electric play. I help clients deal with the feels surrounding their interests. I also provide clients with the necessary tools (no pun intended) needed to discuss any new sexual interest with their partner(s). What happens next is described in number 2.
2. I help clients who practice BDSM/Kink negotiate or re-negotiate sexual agreements and contracts.
NOPE!!!!! I am NOT an attorney, nor do I provide any legal advice. Nor should anyone expect any of this to protect them in court. Know the laws specific to your state regarding this type of play. The purpose of my assistance in this area is to help clients effectively communicate how they will carry out the role(s). This is a very individualistic process. There are no agreements that are the same. This is the part of the process where we re-iterate the Safe, Sane, Consensual practice principle, communicate boundaries, express hard limits, establish safe words, discuss aftercare, etc. Informed consent is the most important part of any dynamic. So effective communication skills are needed in order to be a positive participant in the community. Knowing that you can always add or remove boundaries, and that you can always say no is also critical. Here is a breakdown of what the safe, safe, consensual, principle looks like:
• SAFE– being educated in order to reduce the risks of unintentional harm including STI’s, STD’s and unwanted pregnancy.
• SANE-being able to make informed decisions using great communication and being able to exercise good judgement. This also means not playing while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• CONSENSUAL-discussion of boundaries, limits, and safe words. This helps to set a clear understanding of expectations. Without this it’s abuse like 50 shades.
3. Another way I help clients who practice BDSM/Kink is
I help them process negative emotions or bad experiences. There might be times when one is unable to move past specifics of a scene, dynamic, or specific role. Unfortunately, there are some people who have not experienced the bliss and amazing experiences as others. For those persons, I offer a safe place #OnTheGreenCouch, to overcome the pain, hurt and/or trauma associated with those experiences. And we explore new possibilities.
These three examples are not an exhaustive list of how I help those who practice BDSM/Kink. These are some of the most common concerns I receive from clients. A kink-aware therapist is not necessarily needed for some of the examples listed, but is definitely helpful considering the nature of the lifestyle. A sex educator, or other kink-aware entity can be beneficial throughout your journey. Good research is always the recommended starting point for kinksters.