BDSM and Conflict Resolution – A Theoretical Model — Training the Trainer

One of the more interesting conflicts I deal with has to do with sexuality.  On the one hand, I eat, live and breathe slavery.  On the other..  I do have something approximating a social life.  You’d be remarkably surprised how far you go in life when you serve a cause higher than yourself, really.

I am not going to tell you a damned thing about my personal sex life, and any assumptions you make are unwelcome and you can go to hell if you want to ask.

However.  Since I am going by the moniker Doctrine Dominatrix, I have done some research into it and the subject of healing from traumatic experiences, particularly of the kind that lead to severe sexual and sensual repression.

50 Shades of Grey is a terrible work of fiction which promotes physical and emotional abuse.  It is NOT a fair representation of the BDSM lifestyle at all, and any thoughts that it is should immediately be done away with.

In order for a healthy BDSM relationship to work, the D/s have to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.  And talk some more.

BDSM has many interesting aspects and one of them is the nature of the fact that it is essentially dramatic sexual play for the purpose of catharsis for many.  Because it has things in common with Cosplay, it allows partners to explore each other’s psychology in a very intimate way.

Any healthy BDSM relationship has these things in common:

  1.  Hard and soft limits.  Hard limits are how far you are willing to go in play and are completely non negotiable.  Any breaking of a hard limit results in a RED status and play ends immediately.  Soft limits are “well…  I’ve always kind of wanted to but it scares me and I don’t think I can do that yet.”  Soft limits require a lot of discussion and negotiation and reading of your partner’s responses.
  2. Because BDSM is theatrical, it allows people to work through traumatic experiences by re-interpreting them in a consensual and safe manner.  For many people this in particular is a draw to BDSM, as it forces partners to become sensitive to needs and wants and fears and challenges people emotionally.  In this manner, BDSM can actually be a healthy way for a couple with marriage problems to work things out.

There are several reasons why the theory behind the relationship model in BDSM is effective for emotional management, theory of mind, and conflict resolution, particularly in intimate relationships. One of the more fascinating to me is the hormone oxytocin, which is largely released during orgasm, labour, gasping, and crying particularly in women and is responsible for the “sheen” or “glow” of young girls in love and pregnant women and infants. This hormone is responsible for bonding and it serves several important functions in a healthy system, including quieting the noise of crosschatter dialogue in the mind and improving social connection and functioning. Another aspect is that oxytocin actually reduces testosterone and vasopressin in men, reducing blood pressure, anxiety, frustration, etc — though an excess of oxytocin in a normally virile male can lead to severe and profound depression as the hormone literally does depress the male arousal mechanisms.

For BDSM to work properly, the participants need constant dialogue and emotional intimacy, to be prepared to escalate and descalate the scene; the ability to deconstruct a scene and find emotional issues and work them out; and the system used to relay challenge and comfort level is helpful for those who are dealing with theory of mind issues and expressing their emotions in a healthy way.

Similar to the Hot Seat theory of therapeutic models, BDSM relies on the ability to put all of the focus on an individual and challenge their limits in a safe setting and descalate the scenario accordingly.

I actually posit that if couple set out a plan where if they have a terrible day at work, a particular scene is set up ASAP as couple therapy which is routine, safe, preplanned, and the type of love needed for coping at that moment would likely negate many fights and possibly prevent divorce.

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