advice for a nervous newbie, plz?

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by amethyst, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. amethyst

    amethyst New Member

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    I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. I am on medication, and am working with professionals to deal with my mental issues.

    However, I believe that a deep part of my self loathing comes from my inability to deal with my dark sexual fantasies. I am unable to talk with my doctor or social worker about my relationship with pain, the pleasure I derive from watching violence and my desire to be punished.

    I appreciate how open and confident people are on this site, and I was wondering if I could get some advice on how to become more open and accepting of myself. And how to get over the feeling that there is something horribly wrong with me

    Thanks :)
  2. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    First, seek out a kink-aware health professional. They can advise you about your medical and mental health issues without telling you that BDSM is the cause of your problems. Try this site:

    Second, let's clarify something. Enjoying watching violence is not the same thing as being into BDSM, and from what you've said, I'm not clear where you fit on that issue. BDSM is defined as consensual power exchange. In the real of pain play, that means that a dom enjoys inflicting pain on a willing submissive. Doms and subs may be aroused by the fantasy of non-consensuality, but BDSM play requires actual consent. If there is no consent on the sub's part, the action is rape, assault and a variety of other immoral things, depending on what's actually done. I'm a sadist; I like to inflict pain and watch a boy struggle to handle it. And I love the fantasy of raping someone or torturing them to 'teach them a lesson'. But I would NEVER do that in reality. The moment the boy makes it clear that he's not enjoying himself, I stop, and I would be deeply upset if a boy told me that he had not consented to something I did. I can enjoy some cinematic violence (like the chair torture scene in Casino Royale), but in general, I don't find the spectacle of people's terror enjoyable, so I find films like Saw and Hostel to be disgusting and immoral.

    So, if you're saying that you enjoy the fantasy of non-consent and consensual pain play, then you're not mentally ill. On the other hand, if you find the idea of actually hurting someone who doesn't consent, if you find things like Saw sexually arousing, then you may very well have a problem that needs treatment. If you're in some grey area, where you're not sure if you would require consent, you shouldn't do BDSM. It requires a pretty solid foundation in ethics and consent.

    Similarly, the desire to be punished can be a health expression of submissive tendencies, but it can also be a sign of serious mental illness and lack of self-esteem. Obviously, it's absurd to say that people with psychological illnesses cannot engage in health BDSM. For my boy, being submissive has been a route back to a sense of healthy self-esteem. And submissiveness can be a stress-release valve for this with high-pressure jobs. On the other hand, BDSM can be very unhealthy for those with profound self-esteem issues. I think one important test is why you're submitting to a dom. If you are submitting because you enjoy submitting (you find it a stress release, or you feel a lot of satisfaction at serving and making someone happy), then I think it's basically healthy. On the other hand, if you're submitting because you think you have no choice, because you think it's the only way you can find a partner, because you think you don't deserve better, or for any other reason that would be less than fully-consensual, then I think it's unhealthy. Put slightly differently, are you a battered woman (or man) or are you a joyful voluntary submissive? If your dom demanded you do something you truly didn't want to do (for example, your dom demands that you let a dog fuck you or that you rape a child), would you have the self-esteem to refuse? A submissive does, a battered spouse may not. I know subs that have a very strong sense of self-esteem but who desire punishment and humiliation.

    So I guess the question is, if you want to be punished, is it because that arouses you, or because you feel so worthless that you don't think you deserve anything better? If the answer is the former, I think you're probably ok; if it's the latter, you should probably stay away from BDSM.
  3. amethyst

    amethyst New Member

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    Thanks sebastian, you are very articulate.

    I understand that BDSM is all about being sane, safe and consensual. And that is the key to what makes it all sexy right?

    I don't know if I like the thought of being dominated because that arouses me, or because I feel so worthless that I don't think I deserve anything better. It feels like both to be perfectly honest. I really like rape fantasies, because they aren't real and no real harm is inflicted. I am afraid however of my thoughts might get out of hand, or cross that line somehow.

    I know in my heart I could never harm a child or animal. However I don't know if I really have the self-esteem to speak up against something I don't want to do, or would hurt me too much. So I should probably wait until I feel more healthy mentally before engaging in any type of relationship
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  4. Randomguy86

    Randomguy86 Member

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    Hmmm. I do find the saw movies to be quite sexually arousing : (
  5. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Amethyst, if you're not sure you could stand up to someone who was really abusing you, then I would recommend going very slow with any dom you meet and making sure you have a lot of limits. A few things I would suggest:

    Bedroom bdsm only, no 24/7 slavery. You need a dom who will treat you like an equal except when the two of you are playing.
    No humiliation or verbal abuse play. That sort of play is only healthy with subs who have a fairly strong sense of self. For those who are less healthy, it reaffirms their negative self-image.
    Sharp limits to what you will do. I'd rule out piss play, since it can easily touch on humiliation. No heavy pain, since you're not sure if you could safe word to stop it.
    Don't do any play that seems related to your issues. For example, if your father was abusive to you, don't do any 'father disciplining his daughter' play.
    Find a kink-aware therapist and seek counseling for the sources of your low self-esteem. While it's possibly that your interest in bdsm is related to your low self-esteem, it probably isn't, and a less-accepting therapist is likely to not understand that.

    Overall, you're probably best finding a vanilla guy, one who won't pressure you into doing BDSM, and then gradually explore things like spanking or tit torture with him. Look for a guy who treats you like a princess (but not in a creepy, I'm-going-to-get-you-dependant-on-me-and-then-abuse-you way) and is willing to do a little kink because it's what you want, not just because it's what he wants.

    It's ok to have rape fantasies; they're healthy ways to explore power exchange, as long as everyone involved understands that the sub is consenting to the 'rape'. And it's probably good that you realize that harm is a limit, because that means you have a sense of boundaries.

    The most important thing is that you find a kink-aware therapist, one who can help you sort out healthy submissive sexuality from your self-esteem issues. You're not worthless. I guarantee it. Here's one trick that worked with my sub: his mother is an extremely abusive woman. I eventually realized that one reason he feels worthless is that he constantly hears his mother's voice in his head telling him how worthless he is. So I gave him a protocol. Every morning and every evening, he looks in the mirror and says "Fuck you, mom. I'm worthwhile." And he says it to himself every time he hears his mother's voice in his head. He's gradually started to reduce those negative voices. So if you can identify a voice like that, someone external to you that you always hear in your head saying bad things to you, make your own mantra like that.
  6. chaoticist

    chaoticist New Member

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    I don't feel worthless at all, and have healthy self-esteem, but I still like giving and taking pain, control, 'abuse' etc. So, it's nothing to do with your feelings of worthlessness IMO, more likely it's just your intrinsic sexual nature (at least that's my theory).

    Having self-esteem issues can cause problems whether you are in a relationship or not. It all depends how good your future relationship partners are. A trustworthy person of integrity may boost your self esteem, by recognising your needs and issues, and helping you overcome them. For example, there are some 'transformational' doms/dommes who like to use control to push a sub into overcoming their fears and weaknesses, and becoming a stronger person. However, it is quite hard to find such people - just as it's hard to find quality lovers in the vanilla world.

    I wouldn't say stay away from relationships - I'd say stay away from people who don't show good character and integrity. But that's a good rule anyway, whether your self-esteem is rock bottom or sky high, whether you are vanilla or a kinky freak - and it's true even outside the bedroom.
  7. ickle_cat

    ickle_cat New Member

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    i can kinda understand your desire to receive pain. i'm in a d/s relationship at the moment and part of that is spanking, suspension, flogging, etc. so that's the sensation of a fairly understandable BDSM relationship.

    however, i remember for a long time before i was in the scene wanting to experience pain. it was the rise of the emo scene and i was about 14 talking to my emo buddies when i started thinking about the idea of pain and self-harm (i wasn't doing it and none of my friends were, it was just a big part of the image). i had confusing thoughts of wanting to get hurt to feel the pain but not wanting to inflict it on myself. it's weird but i had short fantasies walking alone that i'd get hit by a car or walk into something or fall over and get hurt. not seriously injured or as a suicidal tendency, just to have the wound and the healing. when i did get hurt, tending for the wound is part of the pleasure, seeing it heal.

    if you have these sorts of fantasies it's unusual to be sure but it's not something that can't be dealt with. one way i dealt with it (albeit subconsciously) was with piercings. aesthetically i've always liked them but for me i enjoy the entire process of getting pierced (short, intense pain) and the aftercare and cleaning that goes with it. this may or may not work for you. you might not be able to get piercings for medical reasons or aesthetically due to work constraints. if it's the latter you can get things pierced that aren't always on display (genital, belly button, tongue web) or sticking to ear piercings as they are generally more accepted.

    i hope this advice helps you, and even if it doesn't i hope that it helps you feel just a little less alone in your thoughts.


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