Violence as Therapy

I have just finished reading ‘s excellent article, “How Violent Sex helped ease my PTSD” and some of the unfortunately unrelenting after effects.   (“Offensive.”, “Shockingly-narcissistic.”, “Intellectually dishonest.”, “a racist and a f**ked up whore.”)  I found her descriptions of the after effects of rape and insights into PTSD and her personal choice of a structured event as a path for healing rang true to me.

In a related article Elana Newman, research director for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and a professor of psychology at the University of Tulsa was quoted as saying, McClelland was “brave” as a journalist to address her struggle so openly, but she does not recommend that those with post-traumatic stress “put themselves at risk without controls.”   I believe the BDSM lifestyle is not a place to go for Therapy, nor are the activities therein to be undertaken as such without professional guidance.  But it is the subject of the controls that I wish to address.

So many look at the world of BDSM as a chaotic world of un-caring violence and dehumanization.  One can find examples labeled as such with even a casual perusal of the internet.  But in my experience I have found it primarily a caring community where one can experience intense human interaction within conscientiously chosen and negotiated limits and where each participant has the ability to change or stop the interaction at any moment, where the events are taken on with care and emotional support.  What struck me most about Ms. McClelland’s personal choice of a therapeutic event were the last moments, moments I have seen expressed over and over within my community, where her violent lover repeated “…over and over and over something that he probably believed but that I had to relearn. ‘You are so strong,’ he said. ‘You are so strong. You are so strong.'”

The Eroticist


  1. submissivemollie

    As one who suffers from PTSD from long term child abuse of all kinds on many levels…..i like many others, often but always use BDSM as a way to work through issues to have a different outcome…. if only in my mind…..when i am submissive…. i am the one who is really in control of the situation……while i may give up control consciously to whomever i choose to submit to….i do so willingly for so many reasons i cannot name them all here… is truly a psychological trip for me every time i submit to those few that i choose to submit to… must be very special to me at that moment in time before i choose to submit…..and i never make the decision to submit until right before i submit…….i listen to my gut and intuition every time….as that is how i get through my life……listening to my intuitive self………it is so sad to hear someone say ” you are so strong” after I have submitted fully. If i hear those words then i know that the other person has no idea of what my experience has been or what the word submission really means…… vulnerable one has to be to allow themselves to open on the level of real submission.

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