Have you ever decided you wanted to write about something, known what you wanted to say and then not known where to start? I really wanted to write a piece about bondage and sexual abuse victims but I’ve been standing here staring at this blank word document for a good hour with nothing written. I keep thinking that this may be a weird topic to write about and some people may not like it but it’s something I really want to discuss so I guess the best place to start would be when I realized I wasn’t alone in my unique approach to dealing with being abused. I apologize for how long this probably will be.
I think I was around 18 the first time I started experimenting with bondage. I craved the idea of being abused, and bound more than I think I ever really enjoying the act. I used to fantasize about being spanked over someone’s knee while being called degrading names. I was totally into the idea of humiliation but at the same time in my day to day life I was terrified of people judging me. I’ve always been extremely insecure and unhappy with myself but yet I was willing to bare myself in my weakest moments to someone who would dominate and humiliate me. I guess that sounds pretty weird when your reading this but trust me it seemed even stranger to me in my mind.
I eventually met a Dom online that I thought I could be comfortable with and had a few play dates here and there to try out my fantasies. It was a disaster. Every time I met with him I hated him more and more, I felt so confused because my body responded to the things he did and my mind screamed for help. I didn’t know why I did it. I became addicted to being put in situations that made me feel horrible about myself, in situations that made me cry and feel like I was garbage. I degraded myself and didn’t even know why I did it. Every time I left I said I would never go back, and two weeks later off Id go in seek of something that I couldn’t put my finger on. I never let him in, I never let him connect to me in any way. I tried to force him to stay in an angry dominant mood even when we weren’t playing because some part of me refused to see him as a person; to me he was just a representation of something I hated. In hindsight I was cruel to him; I forced him to push me to points where I don’t know if either of us wanted to go to because I was desperately looking for something. One day when he was trying to touch me in a comforting way after a particularly upsetting play period I violently pulled away and he out of the blue asked me if I was a rape victim. I can remember my heart feeling like it stopped, like I was in that moment completely stripped naked of all my walls and everything made sense. I was using bondage as a way to relive the horrible things that happened to me in the past; I was taking away my own voice and reliving my own nightmares.
I never saw him again after that. I couldn’t face him after he knew my secret even though I had never voiced it out loud. I was angry that he had figured it out even before I had. I found new doms, I found new ways to torture and punish myself even though I knew how unhealthy it was. I kept going until I met a dominant who pushed me so far that it went past any of my previous horrors, I had essentially replaced my past with new nightmares. It was then that I sought help. I saw a therapist who said what I did wasn’t uncommon. I was forcing myself to relive the past so that I could use safe words and stop it. I was essentially taking control back from people who weren’t involved in the original trauma so I could mentally stop the man who damaged me. Kind of makes sense doesn’t it? You can’t always stop someone when they hurt you but if you have a BDSM partner that you trust you can always stop them with just a little word. Genius and yet truly twisted. The mind is a wondrous thing.
It took a lot of therapy, and a two year hiatus from BDSM for me to get myself in a good place sexually. I still enjoy bondage but in a much healthier way now. I’ve realized that yes, I was a victim but I don’t need to ever be one again. I never re-enact the things that the scare me, I play in a much different way and always with people who I trust and who know that the second I say my safe word everything stops. Bondage is an amazing way to explore your sexuality, your fantasies but should never be used to relive your nightmares. There are no “do-overs” in real life where we get to erase the things we don’t like as much as we wish we could. There are a lot of people out there who wonder if they enjoy bondage on their own or if they are just forcing themselves to deal with some past pain. The answer is never simple, and it’s never the same for one person as another. I’m defiantly an advocate for BDSM play but I also hope that people know what they are doing when they play. If for any reason you are unsure you should always talk to someone. There is no shame in getting sexual therapy in fact you may learn a few things about yourself you never knew.