How BDSM is making me a happier, healthier person

When I met my partner a little more than seven years ago, I was a newly single mother of a nine year old, who had just left my decade-long disaster of a marriage, I managed a salon that was making a profit and growing and I was in the process of moving into my own place. I was struggling to be in control of everything. All of the time. So, experiencing a mental freedom and surrender I never even knew I was capable of was nothing short of life changing for me.

I found that in BDSM.

We naturally kind of fell into this beautiful D/s dynamic. Like we had found a new passion to explore depths of our personalities that we had never given ourselves the opportunity to in the past.

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We joke now, because in one of our first exchanges, my partner mentioned he wasn’t looking for some bullshit like a soulmate (I am paraphrasing, I’m sure). I agreed and replied that I didn’t really believe in such hokum either. After meeting, it was immediately clear to me what the fairy tales were talking about when they said soulmate. I finally got it. He was my fucking soulmate and we both knew it. I am not sold on the idea of a spiritual “soul” but I do believe someones core values make up who they are as a human, and finding that compatibility is better than magic, in my opinion.

We were comfortable in the immediate sexual tension, we had instant palpable chemistry. Our first night together was spectacular. Like, your-first-time-together-shouldn’t-be-that-good spectacular.

In the beginning everything felt like a challenge, somewhere between an intense game of truth or dare and Russian roulette. There were a lot of “Here are all the ways I feel like I am fucked up, are you sure you’re down for that??” conversations. There was also a lot of whiskey back then. Like, a lot a lot. We drank, shared and exposed our demons to a soundtrack of mostly Deftones and Marilyn Manson, finding comfort in a similar human for the first time in our lives. We ripped and sorted through layers of darkness, filth and shame that we had been collecting for lifetimes.

Having such an immediate connection with someone so fast after a major life change was fucking terrifying. We both wanted to lay everything out on the table before we moved forward.

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Our sharing and early sexual exploration allowed us this intimacy that was more healing than anything I had ever experienced. We nudged boundaries and explored the edges of our limits in a space that we carved out for ourselves with booze, music and completely uninhibited carnal expression.

Within these explorations we agreed to complete and utter honesty and transparency. We almost began crafting an unwritten relationship contract right from the beginning. We cited specific examples of things we required and behaviors that we refused to tolerate again. Our needs and desires lined up so complimentary that we defaulted to D/s dynamic outside of the bedroom without intent.

I felt safe for the first time in a way I never knew possible. Submitting myself fully to another human being was an abandon that felt like a switch clicked somewhere. I am an anxious, hyper-aware person with some pretty severe control issues. I can’t even wear headphones in public with the music playing loud enough to muffle my surroundings. I don’t trust people. I am working on it. But finally feeling safe and taken care of, I was able to let myself go and experience a release that was profound. In this space I was able to find fragments of myself that I had never even dared to dream of. I felt pretty and delicate and feminine and protected for the first time in my twenty-some years.

A lot of people associate being a submissive with giving up control and while that might be true for some, it couldn’t be further from the truth for me. In the past six years I have felt more powerful and in control than I ever had previously. My control lies in my consent. I choose to put myself at his command, because I enjoy it for a myriad of reasons. I made these decisions of my own free will and deliberation. I didn’t enter into this lightly. It was like a marriage, really, we are atheists so we certainly aren’t dedicating ourselves to a god, but making a solid, conscious commitment to each other.

Every dynamic is different, every relationship is different, every person is different. Ours is specifically tailored to what works for us. The reasons it works so well for me may be completely different for someone else. I know my partner gets different things out of our agreement than I do and I find that beautiful and healthy.

It forces a communication that goes beyond anyย traditional relationship I have ever been in. Our situation requires open, honest and prompt communication.

Our D/s dynamic gives me accountability. I like to be good. I have always aspired to be the teacher’s pet. Even through college. I always did the work, I always tried my best – but only if it was appreciated or noticed. If it wasn’t? Then I stopped trying. I know this is still seeking approval, but it puts it in a different perspective for me.

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Rules are important for my anxiety. I need to know what is expected of me. I struggle without structure. It is a practice in consistency for me and an exercise in trust that my partner is going to hold up his end up the deal.ย  Having protocols that I am expected to follow and abide by gives me a sense of purpose that can result in the immediate gratification that I crave.

It means vowing that we will never stop bettering ourselves and trying our hardest. We made that promise to each other. It is a wonderful combatant to my depression. When I feel so low and depressed that I just don’t give a fuck about myself, it is an extra layer of motivation to get back up and keep forging forward. I have to take care of myself because I promised him I would and I’m not a liar. Having someone encourage my growth and insist I don’t give up is a support I never knew existed.

In our case there is certainly a delicious sexual side to our dynamic, but I think it is important to also share the side that is the 24/7 aspect. While I consider us in a 24/7 D/s relationship, that doesn’t mean I am cuffed to the desk during the day.. although I might get more work done that way… I digress. That’s a story for another time.

At the end of the day, we are a loving, affectionate caring couple who are supportive and fiercely loyal to one another. We made the decision to live together as a 24/7 D/s couple over six years ago and it improves every single year. The combination of my CBT and my BDSM relationship has helped me grow so much as a person and learn so much about myself that I am able to really work on my mental health with support and guidance and love.

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9 thoughts on “How BDSM is making me a happier, healthier person

  1. It is interesting once again, that the churches claim to have the monopoly on happiness within the bounds of their sexual rules and regulations, but the opposite is true. Finding yourself in the core of humanities chemistry, what would be considered debasement by the churches, is the one area we can experience the most freedom and growth as a person. Very nicely done Nicole. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But, like you said it has to be honest blasphemy. No secrets. Another one-up on faith based marriage. They all (nearly) have their closets full of secrets. Google clicks don’t lie, and while heirs of piety shine on the outside, the inside is frustrated in secrecy.

        Liked by 1 person

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