Do you feel unsure about your sexuality, specifically your kinks? Have you been concerned whether what you enjoy is “good” or if it’s “bad”? Have you asked yourself, “Is it OK that I’m doing this?” or “Is there something wrong with me?” If you have, it’s normal. People have these concerns — sometimes to the point of causing great distress — that something is just not right about the “kinky” things they enjoy, but they have difficulty considering this objectively.
When trying to get some insight, it’s important to remember that since everyone has different likes, dislikes, levels of comfort, etc., and what feels good for one person may not be for another. “Good” and “bad” can be used as a shorthand for a value judgment and these values don’t necessarily apply to everyone. Because of this, I encourage you to instead think of them as either “healthy” or “unhealthy”.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help evaluate where yours fall:
When engaging in your kink, do you…
…require that you first become intoxicated? Are you unable to engage in your interest without first needing to get drunk or do drugs?
…ignore boundaries — whether your own or someone else’s? Do you routinely allow yourself to be pressured to do things you don’t want to do? Or do you pressure or “trick” someone else into doing things? Is “consent” something you let someone else decide for you or something you believe you should decide for others? (This does not include the practice of “consensual non-consent”.)
…not know when or how to stop? Do you have a compulsive need to do your kink? Does it feel like you’re “addicted” to it? Do you want to stop but you believe you can’t?
…feel guilt or regret afterward? Do you wish you hadn’t done what you just did? Do you experience anxiety or depression afterward? Perhaps feeling bad about yourself, beating yourself up, or even go so far as to have thoughts of self-harm?
…see that it has had an overall negative impact on your life? Such as preoccupying much of your thoughts at the expense of other important things? Compelling you to recklessly spend money? Causing you be late for or miss work? Affecting your interpersonal relationships, such as with family or friends? Or generally decreasing your quality of life?
If you said yes to any of these questions, you may have an unhealthy relationship to your kink. (If you didn’t then your relationship may be healthy.)
What’s important to note with feelings of guilt or regret is that while they may indicate a problem they don’t necessarily mean that the kink itself is the problem. Sometimes people feel guilt or regret because of their own beliefs about their kink; such as that they are a defective or bad person, something which our culture may teach us but may not be true. Some people feel guilt or regret after secretly engaging in their kink because they assume the people in their lives will not understand or approve. In both these cases, the issue may not be the kink but the attitudes and circumstances surrounding the kink.
What do you do if you think you might have an unhealthy relationship to your kink?
I recommend finding a qualified professional who is trained in mental health and has competency with human sexuality, particularly kink, and experience helping people with the kinds of emotions you’re having (e.g. shame, guilt, anger, addiction).
Where can you get a kink-competent* provider?
One place I’d recommend looking is the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom’s Kink-Aware Professional database. This database does not include all providers; only those that have requested to be listed. So, if you don’t see someone in your area, that does not mean there isn’t someone out there.
Another place to look is a search engine. Try searching for “therapy” or “counseling” or even “coaching”; your city or state; and your specific kink, or just “kink”, or even “sexuality”. See who comes up. If anyone looks interesting, give them a call. You may find other directories this way as well.
What if I have/don’t have insurance?
If you have insurance and need the provider to be in-network, contact your insurer for a list of mental health professionals in your area and then do a quick web search for each of them. See if they have a website with information about their competencies. If you’re unclear, give them a quick call. Most providers will be happy to answer a few questions about their qualifications and if they think they might be able to help you.
If you can’t find someone in-network, don’t despair. Sometimes insurers will cover out-of-network providers if their rate is comparable to those in-network. Or, they will cover a certain amount and you pay the rest. Ask your insurer about this. Then ask the provider you’re interested in if they are willing to work with your insurer.
If you are able to pay out of pocket you are likely to have more options. So consider if you’re willing to go that route and how much you are able to afford. I recommend thinking about this before you make any calls so you’re prepared to discuss it if you find a provider that interests you. (Note: unlicensed providers are not able to take insurance.)
How do you know if the person is right for you?
This is usually not immediately apparent. It’s like going to a doctor or restaurant or even meeting a new friend. Sometimes you may feel like it’s a good fit from the first visit, sometimes it takes a little more time. Prepare yourself for there to be some trial and error.
Before you make an appointment with someone, know that you are completely within your right to vet the person with whom you will be sharing many personal details of your life. This means you’re allowed to ask them about their education, experience, attitudes toward and competency with your specific kink (and even kinks, in general), and how they have helped people like you in the past. If they do not welcome your questions, this is, in my view, a red flag.
Also important is to be aware that if you do find someone and they in any way try to shame and tell you that you should not be kinky and are bad for being this way, I recommend that you STOP seeing them. This is not the behavior of a kink-friendly or competent provider and is not an appropriate match for kinky people. (They are also likely to not be a good mental health practitioner in general.) Seeing someone like this would be like a gay person wanting support for being gay and the provider telling them that being gay is bad and to stop being gay. If you do not feel they are offering reasonable support, then try someone else.
Does having unhealthy thoughts or feelings make you “crazy”?
If you are worried about the possibility that because you might have an unhealthy relationship to your kink that you are in some way “crazy”, please understand that having any of the above thoughts or feelings doesn’t necessarily mean you’re “mentally ill” in the way a lot of people think of it, but that understanding unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and the processing and modification of those things, is what therapists, counselors, and even some coaches are trained to do. This is why they are a good choice to support you through these types of issues.
(*Not just kink-friendly. Anyone can be “friendly” to a situation or type of person; it doesn’t mean that have any idea of how to appropriately help and support them.)
“Many successful visionaries throughout history, from artists to scientists and even politicians, have had well-documented kinks and fetishes that affected how they operated in their daily lives.
A wave of recent research has confirmed this: If it’s something you desire in the first place, kinky sex can benefit you not just in the bedroom, but outside of it as well. “Unconventional” sexual practices and fantasies, such as BDSM, group sex, or role play, have been shown to reduce psychological stress, improve mental health and can help with satisfying and communicative relationships. Kinky people have also been found to have higher self-worth than those who are too afraid or ashamed to pursue their fantasies
People who engage in BDSM and kink have been found to be happier, more conscientious and less neurotic than people who don’t engage in so-called “deviant” sex. “
More confirmation of what many of us have known all along: kink is healthy and has tangible benefits.
Full article here: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a12231118/how-kinky-sex-leads-to-career-success/ (worth the read)
I recently vacationed for 10 days in Europe. The itinerary was: Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin, and London.
After a connection in Dublin, I landed in Amsterdam.
I spent the afternoon dealing with some jet lag, but then ventured out and walked to the Red Light District.
It’s very rude to take photos of the women while they’re working, so I’ll only give you a glimpse of a couple of windows behind Me.
I visited the Museum of Prostitution.
There were many placards throughout. Such as this one:
Sex workers don’t like trafficking either. (Don’t let anyone try to convince you that sex work is the same as sex trafficking.)
According to this museum, when women get “older”, they may choose to become ‘SM mistresses”. Obviously, many women of younger ages always preferred working in BDSM.
There was a room dedicated to the “SM Mistress”. It included a sling…
…a St. Andrew’s Cross…
…a wall of basic implements…
…and a standing cage (which I thought I took a photo of but apparently did not).
The Cross included this warning:
“The victim’s arms and legs are now spread wide and the mistress is free to do as she wishes” Music to My ears!
Here is “The Story of Kelly”:
While I’ve never provided the type of services implied here, I feel very confident that being a Dominatrix couldn’t possibly be less physically demanding. I would say it may just be differently physically demanding.
There were some quotes from workers that had been painted on the wall:
I agree with both. This and all other forms of sex work are important work and therapeutic for many. It’s also not for wimps.
On another wall were “confessions”. The museum provides blank cards on which visitors can write their erotic secrets. Then, they are posted for everyone to read. Here is one that We Dommes hear regularly:
I loved this one:
The next day, I went to Demask…
So much rubber and not enough Euros!
I did buy something, though. It will show up in a photo shoot soon.
About an hour or so after this photo was taken I began feeling very ill and rushed back to My hotel. I spent the next 24 hours dreadfully ill with food poisoning. The 24 after that I began feeling better but couldn’t eat much. As a result, I had to cancel My trip to Prague and wait it out in My hotel room.
So, I went directly to Berlin instead.
I was greeted in baggage claim with this sign:
It almost made up for the insanely slow process of getting My bags. (The plane was literally 200 feet from the claim area, but it somehow took like 45 minutes.)
I appreciated this advert for “Dildo King”:
Shortly thereafter, I saw another:
Thank you, Berlin, for so openly accepting ads for dildos — and right next to “apartments for sale”. <3
Also, the universal impulse to draw-on nipples:
I visited Peter Dominie…
They have a lovely store…
…where I would have bought a couple of things, but, sadly, they did not have My size. (The woman working was very helpful, though!)
Then, I went to Mister B. (I forgot to take a photo of the exterior, so excited I was to get inside.)
I had a fantastic experience at the Paris location, so I was looking forward to what I might find.
I had another excellent experience in Berlin and picked up a few things to add to Temenos:
A PVC flogger, a lightweight rubber flogger, and a neoprene open-jaw mask.
That evening, I went to My fourth Roger Waters show for his Us + Them tour. This time I got first row. It was incredible. My favorite of the four. The Berlin audience was friendly and radiated good energy.
There were a few changes from the US leg, one was that during the intermission there were examples of things to #Resist from:
I do enjoy rewarding torture, so, I’m sorry, Mr. Waters, but this one I will have to politely decline. 😉
The next day I headed to London.
Not much kink to report (I did have an almost erotic experience with a delicious veggie burger at Honest Burgers in Soho), but I did engage in My fetish for historical buildings and again walked around Westminster Abbey, this time stopping in the little Jewel Tower tucked behind.
This is one of the windows from this modest 14-century building:
If you’re My subject, you belong on your knees.
Looking forward to My next trip, where I’ll get to really indulge in My historical building fetish: Rome and Athens next year!
According to the researchers, ‘topping’ is linked to the state which aligned with Csikszentmihalyi’s flow, while ‘bottoming’ is associated with both Dietrich’s transient hypofrontality and some aspects of flow.
The team says these activities also reduced stress and negative affect in the participants, and increased sexual arousal.
While BDSM has long been a stigmatized practice, the authors say the finding support the idea that there are numerous factors driving these preferences that do not relate to mental disorder.
‘The results contribute to a growing body of evidence that individuals pursue BDSM for nonpathological reasons,’ the researchers conclude, ‘including the pleasant altered states of consciousness these activities are theorized to produce.’
Periodically, when someone requests a session with Me they will give Me a detailed description of exactly how they expect Me to run it. I immediately feel objectified and angry. I feel like they don’t trust My knowledge, My skills, My reputation, and the unique qualities that make Me Me. They are ostensibly seeking a puppet in the show they have written. This is what I call “scripting”.
A script is any detailed instruction about dress, thought/feeling, and/or dialogue. Much like you’d see for a play or movie. It’s purpose is to tell the person how to embody and perform their role. If someone is an actor, for example, this is useful and necessary for them to understand their character, motivation, and the words needed to tell the story. However, not everyone is an “actor” and so these types of instructions are not always appropriate or welcome and therefore may be “off limits”.
In kink culture the term we use to describe something that is off limits is “hard limit”. A hard limit is a boundary that is not to be crossed. If someone says that being whipped with a single tail is a hard limit, guess what? I never whip them with a single tail. I don’t even ask if I can.
Scripts are a hard limit for Me. This means that scripts are a boundary not to be crossed. No, it is not OK to say, “I know you don’t like scripts, Mistress, but can I send one anyway?” A hard limit is a NO. I do not have any interest in someone — usually someone I do not know — telling Me precisely how they want Me to dress, think, and speak. This approach feels like you’re trying to Dominate Me. I’m here to offer My Domination to you, not be subjected to yours.
As a Dominatrix, My role is not to merely be an actor in our scene, My role is to direct it. You do not come to Me to tell Me how to dress, feel, and behave in the same way you do not ask an interior designer to decorate your house and then you tell them — in detail — the way you want each room to look.
Why is this a problem? When you come to Dominatrix (any erotic professional, really) and try to tell Her how to BE, you are ostensibly stripping Her of what makes Her HER in order for Her to be your fantasy of what you want Her to be. This is called “objectification”.
Now, that said,”objectification” is not necessarily a heinous thing. It can be harmless and fun. People commonly objectify others in their personal fantasies. If you’re just jacking off to some fantasy in your head, hey, that’s the privacy of your own mind, but as soon as you take it out of your head and want to turn it into an interaction, it needs to be consensual.
While there are some erotic professionals who are willing to allow a certain level of objectification and take “script”-like requests, such as embodying a fantasy person of your imagination or following a story-line you’ve created, make sure that the person welcomes this before you ask. Do not make assumptions. Do NOT make the mistake of thinking: Woman + erotic play = someone who will be my dress-up doll and I can mold into my plaything. Like Our clients, We have individual personalities, likes, dislikes, and strengths. When you select someone, the point is not just because you like the way She looks, but because She seems like the kind of person you want to have an experience with.
If you’re still confused, here are some examples of scripts:
For clarity, here’s a comparison:
Sharing a script: “Come through the door with a evil look on your face and then come over to me and slap Me in the face before you shove me to the ground and tell me that I’m your worthless dog.”
Sharing interests: “I like the idea of being your pet but being humiliated by you. Maybe punished because I’m not good enough for you.”
Is the difference clear?
In the first, the person is telling Me how to perform and directing Me. In the second, they are just telling Me what they like without telling Me how to do it.
Again, you don’t tell the interior designer how to design; that’s their job.
You don’t need to tell Me how to be a Dominatrix; that’s My job.
I WELCOME people of any:
I have experience playing with people who are…
- cis men, trans men, cis women, trans women, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, gender non-confirming, etc.
- hetero men, gay men, lesbians, bisexual, pansexual, queer, etc.
- African American, Latinx, Arab, South American, African, Caucasian, Asian, etc.
- Pagan, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Jewish, Hindu, Taoist, etc
- ages 18 to 79 (and everything between)
- voluptuous, skinny, swimmer’s build, muscular, large, tall, short, depressed, anxious, personality “disordered”, autistic, bipolar, PTSD, etc.
I want everyone to feel that they’re safe to explore and express their identity and sexuality, regardless of whatever combination of the above they are!