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Not long before Christmas came, the words of Dr Petra Boynton turned my mind to an article in Psychologies magazine. You know, the one that gives you the bad science in order to justify things that shouldn't be justified, like the UK opt-in system for online porn.
In this, quite disturbing to be honest, article, named “Erotic asphyxiation — why do people do it?” used the tragic death of the MI6 spy Gareth Williams. The moment a “revelation” came that he frequented BDSM websites, the speculations this was the cause of his death started circling.
The public thought that seeking new ways of masturbation were the reason he was found hanged.
A long time ago, I was 15 then, my father had a man to man talk with me to explain to me why BDSM is bad. He said he knew a couple, where the husband died during their game, and the widow was stricken with guilt for it.
Psychologies magazine tried to explain that the BDSM is like a drug... When you are not doing it, you are fantasizing about it. Quite a bunch of hooey. There are many things I like to think about at the time I am not actually performing them. Sex, work, creative projects, music, food, things that made me laugh, spanking dating … obviously, all the source of a dangerous addiction.
I do enjoy breathplay a lot. It is not an addiction, nor a core of the game though. In truth, fantasizing about it is really rare to me. The action itself is what is important. The deed itself stimulates my orgasm, and the threat of death by hanging or having the throat slit gives this stimulation.
But who am I to say it, when the magazine considers breathplay to be mostly performed by the male...
“ Because a woman needs to feel safe and secure to orgasm there’s a direct contradiction between the high risk of asphyxiation and pleasure.”
Sounds a bit strange when put like that, doesn't it?
1. What does a woman need? This statement can be true for the writer, but this statement can't be true for an entire gender. It is sexist, it is a generalization and it is completely based on stereotypes.
2. I do like danger. I do like to hang during sex, with my throat being choked. And I am a woman.
3. When did orgasm become the only source of pleasure, no matter the gender?
4. Breathplay can be dangerous. That is the point. You don't find a hookup and enter the breathplay right away. Yes, there are dangers and yes, you have to have mutual trust and know each other's limits. You don't just jump right into it. Take it a little by a little, and figure out the boundaries. The point of it is to be enjoyable to both.
When you take these generalizations and start with ignorance, and no personal experience, it is easy to say things like this. It even goes as far as to say:
“ It’s about a struggle with life. They could work through their issues in a normal way, of course, talking to counselors or using self-help books.” Basically, they are stating that the BDSM happens only to people who have a bad childhood trauma in the remainder of the text.
So, talk to the therapist who will make your sexuality pathological and insult your childhood? And in doing so, spend money on their own services and products in order to cure your “deviation”?
To be clear here, there is no study that can consecutively prove, nor offer any evidence that BDSM is connected to a trauma. This view is very outdated, and in saying so, you are coloring human sexuality as right and wrong. Why do all people have to think the same things are normal, when it comes to this?
These assumptions are dangerous for the psychology as it is, thanks to basing on theory without any evidence or proof. And the press is just too happy to take it and explain it as whole hard truth.
A kink in the process – Su Connan (Therapy Today, July 2010) “Sadomasochistic sex is arguably one of the least understood and most demonised forms of consensual sexuality. How able are we to offer ethical therapy to kinky clients when there is so little awareness of the kink experience?”
Kinky clients, kinky counselling? The challenges and potentials of BDSM – Meg Barker, Alessandra Iantaffi and Camel Gupta, 2007.
Health Care Without Shame: A Handbook for the Sexually Diverse and Their Caregivers – Charles Moser, 1999.
Safe, Sane and Consensual – Contemporary Perspectives on Sadomasochism. Edited by Darren Langdridge and Meg Barker, 2007.
So, look through these explanations as well, before rejecting everyone with different taste when it comes to sexuality as deviant. Yes, sex is risky, always. So, should everyone just drop it altogether? People who perform it differently live normal lives and enjoy normal things. We all love to live, and to live normally, and our sexuality doesn't make us insane, or in need of therapy.