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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why do I need submission and is it good for me?

For me, BDSM is as much about the mind as about the sex. I can't have one without the other.

I've thought a lot about why I crave submission. What makes me need it, why and should I be concerned that something is wrong with me?

One theory about why one may get pleasure from sadomasochistic sex is that some how orgasm gets been paired with a painful experience. I'm not sure exactlyhow this first got paired for me but undoubtedly they are now forever intertwined. The pain actually increases the endorphins released by the brain. This is because the endorphin system is triggered during both orgasm and intense pain.

Another chemical responses involved in bdsm is the neurotransmitter dopamine. It regulates the  reward system in the brain. Like heroin and opiates, bdsm is so addictive because it mimics this endorphin release which makes you want to do it again. This repetition over time leads to increasingly intense cravings. Brain scans of people who identify as submissive or dominate should sharp spikes in adrenaline when exposed to bdsm porn. These same results were shown in brains of drug addicts. It would seem that bdsm can be as addictive as drugs. For me, I have no idea this is true, 

So, I am pretty sure my brain would show all these things when exposed to bdsm porn and even more to thought or direct contact with Sir! But why?

It's hard to say really. Sometimes submission and domination is just in ones blood. You like it because it is who you are and to change it would just bring at the very least, less pleasure and in some cases, absolute misery. It would seem your fetish is part of your who you are whether you got there due to nature or nurture does not matter. It is most likely both anyway.

BDSM was once thought to be a deviant mental disorder but is now viewed as perfectly healthy and even a type of meditation. It alters the flow in the brain which leads to an altered state of consciousness like runner's high or yoga. I knew there was a reason I got so obsessed with yoga :)

Is it a fetish something you can forget about? Maybe but probably not for long. It would be like pretending you are no longer hetero or homosexual. It may be controlled or subdued for a while but it is never erased.

I agree with the idea that bdsm is s mixture of nature and nurture but does this make me some kind of freak? An inferior human being with mental issues?

Well according to many different studies, the answer to that is no. In fact I am not only perfectly normal, I may also be happier and well adjusted than my vanilla friends. 

A recent Australian health study shows that couples who indulge in bdsm activities were actually happier than their non bdsm counterparts.

Another common misconception is that people who enjoy bdsm were abused as children. I never was but some people were. Studies show that both kinky and non kinky people have similar rates of childhood abuse. It doesn't seem to be a factor in determining ones sexual proclivities and is definitely not pathological symptom of past abuse just a kinky sexual interest attractive to about 2% of sexually active people.

Another thing Ive heard is that bdsm participants are emotionally damaged and unable to connect sexually in a normal way. A 2009 study for that CONSENUAL bdsm showed that participants actual report increased bonding and have lower cortisol levels which is a physiological indicator of stress.

The Australian study I mentioned earlier also reported that people who indulge in bdsm are actually happier than those who do not. Perhaps this is being true to yourself and not just being a sheep who follows the herd so they "fit in" as society says they should. 

Another study published in the journal of Sexual medicine found that people who practice  BDSM tend to be psychologically healthier and scored higher on certain important  indicators of mental health including:

- degree of neurosis
- security in relationships
- over all well being
- levels of extroversion
- openess to new experiences

The one thing they scored lower on is rejection sensitivity (which is a measure of how paranoid people are about others not liking them) 

We aren't sure exactly why BDSM practitioners seem to be psychologically healthier than the general public. Maybe because they are more in tune of their sexual needs which could translate to less sexual frustration. Another theory is that it takes a lot of psychological work to come to terms  with one's unusual sexual inclinations and this could translate to more positive mental health.

I was happy to find that nearly all the studies on the mental health of bdsm participants are positive or at the very least, are not negative.

It's good to know I'm not a total freak of nature :)

For once in my life, I am completely at peace with my sexuality. It is a integral part of who I am and I can't imagine ever living a satisfied life without it.

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