What is wrong with BDSM? This is how I see it affecting practitioners (Part 2)

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C) Ways in which BDSM affects mainly the practitioners

C1) It creates/ maintain/s encourages a situation where the hurting person asks to be hurt again, and often even hurt worse

A hurting person who is unambiguously against what happened will, as far as it is possible, get out of the situation and avoid unnecessary hurt in the future. But BDSM encourages victims to ask more pain and more degradation. Among others, they do this by creating a connection between pain and sexual pleasure. Their partners, if not sadists, could have chosen to emphasize the truth that orgasm can be reached by purely physical means without any pain, emotional or physical, instead.

It also pressures subs into affecting bad behavior from doms. Here is one piece of testimony from someone nicknamed Kinksterbullshit who studied the BDSM social media site Fetlife:

There is a forum for female subs to talk and one section was discussing when their dom punishes them when they aren’t supposed to. Like, if they aren’t in a 24/7 dom/sub relationship sometimes the dominant forgets and punishes the girl anyways. Most of them talk about how they did something that made their boyfriend mad and he punished her. Hitting, pepper spray, and shoving things in the girls mouth were all examples I read. And the sad thing is that these girls all said that they deserved it and shouldn’t have made him mad.

C2) The “building up” seems to be in a different direction than the “breaking down”

Studying the blogs of female BDSM subs, it seems the insults during scenes and the compliments afterward are in two different directions: The insults are mostly about sexuality (words like sl*t, b*tch, etc) and worth (words like worthless or c*mdump- only worth something as a dumping place for semen). It thus touches their personhood and sexuality in general. Subsequent praise is about sexual worth to the sadistic partner: His little girl, he is proud of her for tolerating (tellingly, not enjoying) pain, he loves her.

The message of the abuse is that s/he is worthless outside the relationship, but worth something to the sadist s/he is dating. She’d thus better keep on tolerating his treatment because that is where she gets her value.

C3) Even with their tiny definition of non-consent, consent violations are rife in BDSM

Here, I will quote Kitty Stryker, who calls herself an authority on developing a consent culture in “alternative communities”:


When I start to think of the number of times I have been cajoled, pressured, or forced into sex that I did not want when I came into the BDSM community I can’t actually count them… it happened so bloody often that it was just a fact of being a submissive female… I have yet to meet a female submissive who hasn’t had some sort of sexual assault happen to her [in BDSM]. So many sites are focused on saying how BDSM isn’t a cover for abuse that we willingly blind ourselves to the times that it can be.

C4) It causes practitioners to switch off common sense

BDSM-ers regularly tell me things like “since we don’t hurt anyone, you have nothing to say about this.” But by inflicting pain they literally hurt someone, so the argument does not work on even the most superficial level.

Or they may say, right between calling it safe and calling it consensual: “It is sane!” Why should anyone find it sane to get turned on by pain and degradation? None of them can answer that.

So many of their answers seem to be thoughtless and superficial, I come to the conclusion that kinksters switch off a part of their minds.

C5) “I like to make you happy” – “I like to make you suffer” is a horrible relational dynamic

On many a BDSM blog and in the writings of people who used to do BDSM, female subs and ex-subs say they did not like it, but they liked how pleased their doms/ “daddies” were with them afterward. Male doms often write of how they love to make [crude words for women] suffer. I cannot think of a more dangerous relational dynamic than this:
He: “I love choking you, cutting you, and whipping you. I love it when you sob and scream.” She: “I love pleasing you, daddy. If you will be pleased by hurting me, then hurt me.”

C6) Feelings often follow when you act a certain way

Psychologists tell us that acting confidently often cause us to become more confident and that acting happy makes us happier. In BDSM, participants tell us that one of them is role-playing a sadist or a rapist, while the other is pretending to be a submissive victim. If personalities are influenced by role-playing, BDSM dominants are turning themselves into monsters, and subs are turning themselves towards helplessness.

C7) Many subs do it from self-loathing

Here, I will quote someone else who did BDSM:

My first sexual relationship was a BDSM situation, because I had been groomed by a bunch of weirdos (both online by strangers and in IRL by society and my abusive family) to turn my deep emotional hurt and sorrow and self-loathing into literal, physical self-harm and abuse…

a.) lots of other women have said the same things I’ve said, so either there are a whole lot of bad doms or the whole scene is just really f***ed up, and either way somebody should probably pay attention to that,

and b.) I don’t think anyone is truly wired like that, from birth, but if you’re talking “worn down to the point that they eroticize their own abuse”, then yeah. I’m the real deal too.

… that means some dude gets off on torturing someone whose mind already tortures itself, and if you can’t see why that’s fucked up I don’t even know how to help you.


BDSM sometimes or often encourages and feeds self-loathing.

In conclusion, I think my main issue with BDSM is probably Point B8, Part 1:

It seems to me that nobody can love BDSM and simultaneously be on the side of kindness, justice, freedom, honesty, and equality. Any minute anyone spends defending bondage, dominance, and submission, slave-master relationships, sadism, one-sided punishments, etc., or willingly participating in it, is a minute spent choosing the side of evil. Any moment spent in working for equality, justice, or kindness, is a moment opposing everything BDSM stands for.

About Retha Faurie

Attempting to question everything, reject the bad and hold fast to the good.
This entry was posted in Feminism, Kink critical and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What is wrong with BDSM? This is how I see it affecting practitioners (Part 2)

  1. Maria B says:

    The thought of intimacy and pain being combined makes me sick. How could a decent person want to do that to someone? How could an emotionally whole person consent? Maybe she’s (he’s) too broken to consent. Maybe the dom isn’t a good person.

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