Have you ever wondered if BDSM might be hurting your self esteem?

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Have you ever wondered if BDSM might be hurting your self esteem?

prideandprejudiceanddildos prideandprejudiceanddildos
I'm into BDSM, but sometimes I wonder if I actually do begin to internalize it when I'm called a "slut" even though it turns me on to hear it and was in a consensual situation. Anyone ever felt this way?
08/15/2012
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prideandprejudiceanddildos prideandprejudiceanddildos
Or for that matter, has anyone here or anyone you know ever suffered from psychological repercussions? It seems that people in the BDSM lifestyle get very defensive (and understandable so) when these sorts of things are brought up, since BDSM is often stigmatized... So I think some important conversations like this end up not happening as a result.
08/15/2012
MissMori MissMori
I think conversations like this are important! I also get bothered when people get defensive. It's one thing when you're talking to someone (like a certain relative of mine) outside of the BDSM world who has negative views and refuses to listen with an open mind. It's another thing entirely when it's a discussion among people already in it who are just looking for opinions and stories.

But to get back to your question, I can personally see it going both ways. For myself, I have a very clear (and long) list of things that can or cannot be said to/about me, and some of them do depend very much on context. I am a huge fan of negotiations these days, since when I was younger and less experienced I wasn't so careful with them. I've had time to think a lot about what various things mean *to me* and go from there. For some people "slut" is a term to be reclaimed (like "queer") and turned into a declaration of pride. For others, it's an insult.

One time I did feel bad after play was with a partner I hadn't vetted carefully enough. He ignored a lot of what I'd written during negotiations and started pushing into verbal humiliation territory (which is NOT cool with me). Then he got whiny when I called an end to the scene. That one was really his fault, since stated limits should always be respected, but it did make me feel bad for quite a while.

Otherwise, I feel like having the freedom to express myself is good for my general self-esteem. I have a good partner now, and when we do run into problems He's very good at listening to me and learning from what went wrong.
08/15/2012
- Kira - - Kira -
I get called a slut all the time. Or "[his] slut." I've always found it sexy and empowering. In fact, I think our power exchange is good for my self esteem. He pushes me, I get through it, and I'm reminded that I can do lots of things I might think are impossible if I set my mind to it.

That said, I generally have high self esteem to start with. Back when my self esteem was lower I might have internalized things more. Then, yeah, I can see where it would have made my low self esteem even worse. So I think it depends on the person and where their self esteem is beforehand.

I also think it depends on how you feel about the terms. For example, if you hate the word "cunt," then being called that might set you off regardless of self esteem. That's why communication is so important. If you have trigger words they should be made known. Otherwise you're running the high risk of internalizing and having issues when said trigger word is used.
08/15/2012
itismedi itismedi
I think that it is all about respect. My husband loves me dearly so when he calls me his slut or his whore it is not his literal thoughts. He also doesn't call me names like that in front of others. I am not sure I could do the things I do or be called the things I am called by a casual acquaintance, but that is just me. It is more of a trust and respect thing. I also agree with the other posters, we all have our limits. For example, I will NEVER call him *Daddy*, it just freaks me out lol, but I will Sir until the cows come home.
08/15/2012
solitudinarian solitudinarian
I could see how it could happen. This doesn't occur when my boyfriend calls me a slut, but I don't find that word particularly insulting anyway. I would probably take words like fat, worthless or stupid on board.
08/16/2012
gsfanatic gsfanatic
Nope for both my sub and I, we make sure to talk it out, and make it clear that what she likes doesn't diminish her. Being a slut turns her on, it's not something to be ashamed of
08/16/2012
Gdom Gdom
I've found quite the opposite to be the case; BDSM noticeably boosts my self esteem. Of course, if there's something that's bothering you, you should talk it out with your partner(s), therapist, or whomever else you'd feel might give you some guidance and reassurance.
08/16/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
While I can understand how it could hurt someones self esteem, I actually find that it makes me feel more confident.
08/17/2012
Billie Bones Billie Bones
I've found that subbing has been very empowering. I have my yes/no/maybe list and can use my safe word whenever I want something to stop. Being able to tell someone what they can and cannot do to my body and what they can and cannot call me feels great. But, as other people have said, it can be disempowering if your boundaries are violated. Its also important to remember that your boundaries and your partners boundaries can change over time and while you were okay with them calling you a slut when you first met that might not always be the case.
08/17/2012
Supervixen Supervixen
Quote:
Originally posted by prideandprejudiceanddildos
I'm into BDSM, but sometimes I wonder if I actually do begin to internalize it when I'm called a "slut" even though it turns me on to hear it and was in a consensual situation. Anyone ever felt this way?
It's been the opposite with me, at least with the guy I am currently with. I was with a guy who, when I was first discovering my kinkiness, was not an ethical dom. He liked to fuck with me, and outside of the bedroom, he'd be a total jerk, then on the drop of a dime, he'd be all sweet and loving. So when he'd call me names in the bedroom, in the moment it would turn me on, and then later on, I would feel immensely hurt by it, because I could sense that he had no respect for me, and his intentions were sincerely meant to hurt me. His need for power in the bedroom was not the kind of power that I like giving to someone when I give myself over to him--it was the kind of power that he needed in order to stroke his pathetically fragile ego, and he didn't give a damn about my pleasure, my needs, my desires. Thankfully, I moved abroad, found a wonderful man, and the other guy had a meltdown over it. It made me realize how much power I had during our interactions together, and as soon as I took it away from him, it was obvious that he was the weak one.

Now that I am with this new guy (it's been almost a year of blissful fun, now), I've come to discover what I really want from a lover in the bedroom. When I give myself to him, he respects that. He considers me strong and powerful, and he's not afraid to push my limits. I find it liberating and empowering. I don't feel like I should be guilty for my sexuality. I think we are told that we should be hurt by names like, "slut," because that means...well, what does it mean? That I'm a woman who enjoys sex without apologies? That I'm a woman who is open about my sexuality without apologies? That I'm a woman who doesn't deny herself pleasure and fulfillment based on social and cultural double standards? Okay, then. I can certainly live with that. Guess I'm a slut!

But beyond that, it does come down to intent, context and the person you are with. Ultimately, I see BDSM as a big middle finger to the psychological repercussions of society telling us that being called a slut is the worst thing you can be called because it implies that we should be ashamed of and resistant to our sexuality and desires. It's taboo, for better or worse, but would it be as enticing if it wasn't taboo?

I want to be pushed, I want to be challenged, I want to keep things interesting and compelling. Since I've embraced such a sexual style, I've found that being called a slut in a negative context doesn't hurt me anymore. It's given me a different view of sexuality, and I am happier because of it. I understand and respect that it's not for everyone and not everybody is going to view it the same way that I do--and that's perfectly understandable too.

And most importantly, open communication between doms and subs is ESSENTIAL. The dom needs to be clear that he/she is not really trying to hurt and degrade their sub with malicious intent, and the sub needs to be clear about limits that can't be pushed. Mutual understanding and respect is important, precisely so people don't become confused and hurt, and also so subs can identify those unethical doms that need to be avoided like the plague.
08/20/2012
smlove smlove
I haven't ventured into any kind of verbal play. I've been curious about what it would feel like to be yelled at. But my thought is to just have general degradation instead of specifics yelled at me. However, my wife is worried about crossing that line with me. I'm still curious whether or not it would make me feel better in my day to day life. I feel like I have a little voice in my head that constantly berates me verbally, and I have no idea where it comes from. I may be able to negotiate with someone someday about having verbal abuse.

As for the pain aspect, since I started asking for regular floggings, I feel better about myself. They're a nice endorphin rush and a release of pent up emotions. I really enjoy the after feeling of them, and I think they help with the day-to-day pain I deal with.
08/20/2012
Frankie Frankie
Whenever I'm called a slut, or anything else, the after care involves being told what a good girl I've been and how proud my daddy is. If he wasn't telling me how much he cares for me in between calling me his little slut and whore then I wouldn't enjoy it as much.

It was a long time before I ever thought I would be okay with verbal humiliation, but I've found that being with the right partner is huge.
08/30/2012
subtyrant subtyrant
Quote:
Originally posted by Supervixen
It's been the opposite with me, at least with the guy I am currently with. I was with a guy who, when I was first discovering my kinkiness, was not an ethical dom. He liked to fuck with me, and outside of the bedroom, he'd be a total jerk, ...
, Supervixen!

I've always been very careful about who I engage with sexually for fear that I might find myself in a relationship where I'm not respected. I'm still relatively new to BDSM, but I'm pretty sure that I'd be able to endure terrible verbal abuse as long as I was assured that ultimately I am respected.

I am extremely sexual and so far, my Dom is helping me accept some sexual fantasies I couldn't act on, or felt ashamed to admit before.

All in good, healthy, dirty fun!
09/15/2012
Mitzuki Mitzuki
I've always made sure that my partner respects me before diving into the lifestyle. So, for me, my self esteem has never gone down. After a session, my partner (of 4 years now :3) always reassures me and comforts me if I ever have any hint of low self esteem.
09/16/2012
hyacinthgirl hyacinthgirl
From a Dom with a sub into verbal humiliation's POV: it really depends. When I'm berating my sub, I am doing it because I know that it turns him on incredibly. I don't know exactly why, because I don't enjoy it myself, but he says it helps him working through a lot of issues. He knows I respect and value him, and that I've never judged him throughout all the years we've known each other. My complete lack of judging was probably why he felt he could ask me to indulge his fantasies, and we've both been enriched by the experience.

If after a scene you decide that a line was crossed, talk to your Dom. If they're worth their whip, then they will want to know. Sometimes lines can be crossed where they didn't exist before, and a good Dom will always have their sub's health and pleasure at the forefront of their mind. If you internalize any words that your Dom calls you and feel hurt, maybe verbal humiliation play isn't right at the moment, and s/he would want to know rather than risk hurting you.

My sub has said that he usually feels calm and at peace after we do a scene, like he had just spent time meditating instead of being humiliated and having some levels of pain inflicted. I do my best to make sure he feels valued, happy, and loved when we're done.
09/16/2012
BrittaniMaree BrittaniMaree
Quote:
Originally posted by prideandprejudiceanddildos
I'm into BDSM, but sometimes I wonder if I actually do begin to internalize it when I'm called a "slut" even though it turns me on to hear it and was in a consensual situation. Anyone ever felt this way?
No I think that it tends to turn me on more i'll even say it back to him. I tell him all the time that I am his lil bedroom slut
09/20/2012
.::SweetTemptaion::. .::SweetTemptaion::.
the only thing importent for me in a BDSM Rp is that both know what the other want and that we talk about it so ther are no conflicts

otherwise jsut have fun
09/20/2012
MJ7 MJ7
For me, I know I would take most of the names to heart...
09/21/2012
AlleyKitten AlleyKitten
This is a difficult topic, but I think it's super important to have the conversation. Personally, I have felt hurt sometimes or genuinly scared and felt like it gave me some bad thoughts and self-esteem. It really is something one should not do unless you're really ready for it.
09/21/2012
smlove smlove
I think when done with the wrong person, it definitely can hurt you. But if you and your partner(s) are considerate and respectful and communicate everyone's needs and feelings, then it's perfectly okay, and I don't think damaging.
09/21/2012
Supervixen Supervixen
Quote:
Originally posted by smlove
I think when done with the wrong person, it definitely can hurt you. But if you and your partner(s) are considerate and respectful and communicate everyone's needs and feelings, then it's perfectly okay, and I don't think damaging.
Definitely. Clear communication is huge, as is trust.
09/21/2012
Supervixen Supervixen
Quote:
Originally posted by smlove
I think when done with the wrong person, it definitely can hurt you. But if you and your partner(s) are considerate and respectful and communicate everyone's needs and feelings, then it's perfectly okay, and I don't think damaging.
Definitely. Clear communication is huge, as is trust.
09/21/2012
lovesexandmarriage lovesexandmarriage
I am His "cum slut" and that is exactly what I am. And while I wouldn't really say that BDSM has boosted my self-esteem, but it has taken away many of my insecurities...
09/22/2012
ohsnaprawr ohsnaprawr
With my current Dom, being called a slut doesn't bother me in the slightest. But when I tried being with someone different, his name calling made me extremely self conscious and it really made me want to hide under a blanket in a corner forever. I think it really depends on the person doing the talking: if you have the right kind of relationship, it won't bring you down.
10/01/2012
mastersonv mastersonv
I can't say that it has a negative affect on me. I know that when my Dom calls me that he's strictly saying it in a playful manner. When he calls me a dirty little slut I know I'm doing what he likes. So it is actually more of a compliment to me rather than something I dwell on and harbor. I know he would never call me a slut in the derogatory way (meaning that I am really loose and would give it up to anyone) He simply is saying I'm doing an awesome job pleasing him the way he wants to be pleased.
10/23/2012
Geogeo Geogeo
Quote:
Originally posted by prideandprejudiceanddildos
I'm into BDSM, but sometimes I wonder if I actually do begin to internalize it when I'm called a "slut" even though it turns me on to hear it and was in a consensual situation. Anyone ever felt this way?
I have never felt this way, I almost feel more powerful for letting someone hit me etc for some weird reason
10/23/2012
Dixiemomma Dixiemomma
Not at all! if anyone else tried to call me ANYTHING especially a slut/whore/whatever or tried to lay a hand on me in anyway Mad would destroy them... he's also not into degrading me but i would consider it more a form of possession like i'm His slut,i cant see that hurting your self esteem unless your man is calling you that in public and allowing others to act accordingly.and if he is doing that then his goal was probably to lower your self esteem in the first place
10/23/2012
Total posts: 28
Unique posters: 24