Vir Cotto's BDSM Blog

Kink is Therapeutic, Not Therapy

Kink is very therapeutic on a number of levels. There is a term "Touch hunger" that refers to the physical need for physical contact. Our Western society dictates that we only get this need met in a very narrow set of criteria, particularly for heterosexual men for whom sex is often our only outlet for physical contact.

Physical exertion is also therapeutic. Exercise has been studies extensively and shown to have a number of mental health benefits including improved mood, stress relief, and reduced depression.

Yoga has been studied as well and has been shown to have a number of benefits, many of which were found to be the same in practitioners of sadomasochistic activities.

And the benefits of meditation have also been studied, with long term benefits. These are similar mental states that we call sub-space, rope-space or hypnotic trance.

The exhilaration that people talk about, the feeling of euphoria is similar to what people experience in extreme sports, especially in association with pain, which is so often a part of our play.

And then there are the intense kinds of scenes we do that involve psychological aspects. We play with control, or the lack of choice, humiliation, degradation, the reclamation of one's self and sexuality and identity. Facing fears and breaking through mental barriers, opening up new parts of ourselves and exploring the things that have haunted us our entire lives.

We play with the basic building blocks of our humanity, knocking it down and building it back up.

All of this is wonderful and powerful and therapeutic, but it's not therapy.

Therapy has a direction and a goal. It has at its core to solve and eliminate parts of ourselves. Our play and our relationships may do some of that, but your dom should not be your therapist any more than your parent should be your therapist. Intimacy is not therapy. Pain is not therapy. Even power exchange and the kinds of deep ways a Master may mold their slave is not therapy.

This scene is expert at taking our needs and breaking them up. We separate sex from power from pain, we break our relationships up into multiple partners and multiple parts of our lives. Let's not let this very vital role in some people's lives become conflated with something else entirely.

Let's leave therapy up to our therapists.