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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sexual Bondage and Sexual Healing


"Well it beats being in an MRI machine ..." Image source: DeviceBondage.com.

I have encountered posts on various message boards by a number of women who have claimed to have been rape victims and/or sexual abuse victims in the past, who participate in BDSM. (Some in fact on Second Life Gor related message boards, by women who play slavegirls.) It has made me wonder why women who have been abused participate in BDSM. It seems counter-intuitive: one imagines that women who have been raped/abused would want to avoid any sexual encounters that remind them of what they suffered.

Feminists who dislike BDSM have an explanation: they believe that the victims are neurotically reliving their abuse. Kind of the psychological equivalent of a tongue repeatedly probing the cavity where a pulled tooth once was. It's a very appealing meme for them, because it makes female BDSM participants hapless victims(prudo-feminists tend to assume that this is the sole reason that women participate in BDSM, other than coercion by men, which is of course just another form of victimhood).

I'm suspicious of the instant, wholesale adoption of the BDSM-play-as-neurotic-reliving-of-trauma meme by the prudo-feminists and the social conservatives. It fits their agenda so beautifully. Even women who openly, consensually enjoy BDSM sex aren't REALLY doing it consensually, see, they're just acting out abuse. Which enables controlling and suppressing BDSM.

So when I found this post by a woman explaining that she had experienced a maledom/femsub relationship as a healing experience after a history of rape and sexual abuse, I was great encouraged. She said, in essence, that the experience of giving herself over to a dom who respected her limits, responded to her safewords, and generally behaved in a caring manner toward her, taught her that there WERE men she could trust, that sex DIDN'T have to be a horrible experience, that it could be a really rewarding experience, one that helped heal the psychic wounds inflicted on her by her abuser.

Now THAT is what I would like to think is going on for women who have been abused who participate in BDSM. I don't KNOW, but it seems to me to be a more hopeful idea for human healing than the prudo-feminist meme of suppressing women's BDSM impulses to prevent them from healing. Sexual repression, the presecription of the prudo-feminists, never seems to work for the repressed.

I have always felt that decent non-abusive men are the natural enemies of rapists and abusers, particularly decent men who do BDSM sex play. Rapists and absuers hurt the women that decent guys care about, decent guys should be mongooses to rapists and abusers' cobras. This is instance showing how we can, by helping women heal, by helping them regain their trust in humanity and their natural pleasure in sex.

There's also tracking down and jailing abusers, of course, and I'm all for that. If you can't abide by the consensual, you can park your ass in jail.

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