Knife Play after a history of Self Cutting?

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Knife Play after a history of Self Cutting?

Happy Camper Happy Camper
One of the only limits I've set forth with my partner is no knives. But I have a rather different reason for it than most people probably do. I love knifes, I love blood, I love marks...but I've also undergone years and years of therapy for a really hard phase I was going through in high school. My reasons for cutting never seemed to stem from self-hatred, but rather I would begin to feel disembodied and the sensation helped ground me and feel like I belonged in my skin and when people look at kink as a spiritual thing they often list this as one of the cathartic benefits that play can bring about. And I've been balanced on my medication and haven't cut in years. So a part of me feels like this isn't relapsing.

I've just always had a difficult time with my limit knife play because I can't justify why it was bad for me to do it but it's okay for someone else to do it. But then again I'm sure I'd have a difficult time justifying my desire for other substitute forms of edge play to my therapists and even myself.

I think a big part of healthy BDSM is why you are engaging in the types of play you engage in. As a fan of Kant, intention matters a great deal to me. I think that my reasons for knife play are in a different enough context where it would be okay. I could really get off on knife play and my partner would be more than happy to oblige me. But a part of me is reluctant to remove this limit, purely from a cognitive standpoint. I just have a really hard time deciding on things like this but I'm leaning more and more towards at least trying it and testing the waters.

What are your thoughts?
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
I think it'd be okay if you wanted to engage in it.
Diabolical Kitty , carenautilus
2
I think you're wise to set that limit and you should keep it.
~LaUr3n~ , sweet seduction , Valentinka , Taylor , Bunnycups , Tart , Kikicrystal , pinkcupcakes , Epicurean , darthkitt3n , potstickers , LavenderSkies , BadassFatass , DCorrelle , AZNYcouple15 , sbon , Keegski , Lady Venus , P'Gell , namelesschaos , Waterfall , Ajax , AngelicaU , (Re)tired Stripper , hjtee , Kaltir , REDRUM , miss-miss , *HisMrs* , Enchantedkitty , Sohotdinosaur , Lio , slynch , LittleBird , Triple X Moma , Ghost , padmeamidala , froggiemoma , sumie , ily , Shellz31 , Kim! , Ava5 , BabyL0ve , DixieDoo , 131231e43 , pinkpottergirl , Boyqueen , Phantom2291 , Strider
50
Other (Please Explain)
Pleasure Piratess , DeliciousSurprise , RosesThorns , Haiku , k3 , Pixel , thisisadeletedaccount , KrissyNovacaine
8
Total votes: 60 (60 voters)
Poll is closed
02/17/2011
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TitsMcScandal TitsMcScandal
I think that it could go either way.

If you think you could relapse, if there is ANY possibility of it, then I'd say to shy away from it.

However, reliving some of that could be a positive experience for you.

You would need to be in an environment where the person knew what your past was, and would stop if you needed to. I think this would require a lot of communication to make sure no boundaries are crossed and nothing is done out of hand.
02/17/2011
Pleasure Piratess Pleasure Piratess
Stay far, far away!
Just reading what you wrote made me feel you are trying to justify doing something with the knowledge that it could backfire.
Its way too much like an ex-smoker saying they just want to be around someone who smokes so they can smell it second-hand.
I suggest finding something less dangerous to do, or consult your therapist for a professional opinion.
02/17/2011
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
The fact that you are even asking and questioning is a red flag in itself. It means you should follow your gut. Cutting is like any other addiction, and a trigger can delve you down that path again. The reason for it doesn't matter. It think you'd be playing with fire or opening up Pandora's box to not so good memories, feelings that may be hard to control, and dangerous situations to be having them in. Bad idea.
02/17/2011
sweet seduction sweet seduction
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
The fact that you are even asking and questioning is a red flag in itself. It means you should follow your gut. Cutting is like any other addiction, and a trigger can delve you down that path again. The reason for it doesn't matter. It think ...
I totally agree
02/17/2011
ID42 ID42
I have to agree with LaUr3n as well. You set the no knife play limit for a reason.
02/18/2011
Epicurean Epicurean
Even though it is a different context, if you feel there is any chance you will associate it with cutting and/or relapse, I don't think you should engage in it.
02/18/2011
ScottA ScottA
Stay away. The positives are minimal and the risks so great. Find some other way to play.
02/18/2011
LavenderSkies LavenderSkies
As a psych major, I completely 100% condone you staying away from this type of play, as I would imagine it's a trigger. I voted that you are wise to set this limit. Good job, you!
02/22/2011
Liz2 Liz2
I would suggest totally staying away from knives. You worked hard to overcome cutting, why go down that path again?
There are multiple types of BDSM play w/o using knives. You will also be safer and happier.
02/22/2011
RosesThorns RosesThorns
I am a former cutter who currently engages in knife play. I do worry that I will no longer be able to draw the line on where its ok. Its ok for my partner to cut me but not for myself. I do sometimes worry about relapse, but I also understand that I cut for a totally different reason. It really could go either way.
02/22/2011
sbon sbon
I would suggest sticking to your limit. The fact that you're questioning the desire shows it probably wouldn't be healthy to engage in. I also think it could be really triggering for you and could potentially tempt you to start cutting again.

If you're interested in the sensation, you might be interested in investing in a Wartenberg Pinwheel. It mimics the feeling of cutting without drawing blood or leaving a mark. However, that too could be triggering and you should be really careful if it's something you decide to try.
02/25/2011
Haiku Haiku
I chose other in your poll, and here is why.

I was also a cutter, and I now receive knife play and artistic cuttings when I play, I"m just very very choosy as to whom I let break skin.

Until you are emotionally and intellectually ok with knife play you should stick to your limits, but don't feel you HAVE to stay uncomfortable with it, allow yourself to be open to the possibility that you might enjoy that sort of play one day.

For some time when I joined the scene I didn't allow marks, simply because I knew it would speak to the part of me that was a cutter lo those many years ago. Now I still don't cut me, but I do allow others to. I can't tell you how I moved from one to the other, it was a slow process, but I know part of it was coming to see that kink as a whole was soothing that part of me that once needed to cut, and that knives were an art form like any other tool.

Don't push your own limits just to push them, but if you find yourself interested, watch some scenes (if you have such opportunity in your area) and allow yourself to consider whether you are interested in moving on to a different stage in your limits.

If there is one thing that my continued interest in bdsm has taught me it is that limits and interests will continue to change and evolve, allowing that to happen is part of the joy of the journey.
02/25/2011
Happy Camper Happy Camper
Quote:
Originally posted by Haiku
I chose other in your poll, and here is why.

I was also a cutter, and I now receive knife play and artistic cuttings when I play, I"m just very very choosy as to whom I let break skin.

Until you are emotionally and intellectually ...
I want to issue a thank you to everyone who commented. Especially those with similar experiences. I would clarify for haiku that my reluctance is purely cognitive and I only know one person who I would trust and even be remotely interested in letting do it. And on that end I am so interested but at the same time super conscious about safety and being risk aware.

Sbon, I love wurtenberg pinwheels! They are so versatile and a wonderful sensation toy but I can find them being a little bit of a tease. That might be what makes them great but I don't know that they aren't quite as heavy as a tool as I am a player. Still they're great. I also use them at work to perforate theatre light gels.
02/25/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
As a sub myself, I feel strongly that setting Hard Limits helps build trust and connection to our Doms.

I have a few Hard Limits, some I have reasons for, a few I just don't want to get into without really wanting to investigate why. My Man understands. The Limits I had years ago are sometimes different than the ones I have now, but he respects what I feel I can commit to and those that either will not be beneficial for me (and so him) and those that may change in the future.

I lost a sister to cutting related issues, cutting continued (she was never able to stop) and then lead to other ways to "ground" herself, which led to Speed Balls (heroin and coke mixed). This lead to her death. I'm not trying to scare you, just I feel if she had set hard limits, perhaps things would have been different. She said the Speed Balls felt "just like the aftermath of cutting." It scared the hell out of me. (more her feeling from the drugs, than the actual drug use itself.) Turns out there was reason for it to.

You are a strong woman to be able to stop cutting. Trust or not, the body remembers, and the release that cutting can promote is very addictive. There are many other activities which can lead to wonderful Sub Space and my suggestion is to follow those, whatever works for you and your Dom, and keep yourself knife and cut free.

As usual, mileage applies. There are some people who can go on from healing from cutting and participate with blood letting play. BUT, if you have reservations, your mind and internal systems are telling you something that is unique to YOUR mental and physical state.

Stay with your Hard Limits for now.

Blessings on your healing.
02/25/2011
AngelicaU AngelicaU
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
The fact that you are even asking and questioning is a red flag in itself. It means you should follow your gut. Cutting is like any other addiction, and a trigger can delve you down that path again. The reason for it doesn't matter. It think ...
Definitely agree with this answer.
03/11/2011
(Re)tired Stripper (Re)tired Stripper
Quote:
Originally posted by AngelicaU
Definitely agree with this answer.
Just chiming in to third this sentiment.

I'm in a similar boat as you. I really, really want to engage in it, and I like to see it as separate from self-injury, but I don't know where my feelings are coming from: the addiction or my own unique sexuality.

I've said enough, and it's late--all you other people have said marvelous, wise things. Thank you for the well thought-out posts. I've found them very, very helpful and I assume many others will too.
03/12/2011
MeliPixie MeliPixie
I think an important thing to remember is that knife play does not ever need to involve cutting the skin. The back edge of a cold blade can easily feel like the business edge, especially if you are blindfolded or using other hot temperature to counter it, like hot wax. You sound like a healthy individual who just wants to explore another part of themselves with a partner.

On the other hand, I do tend to agree with Laur3n. If you need to ask, then at least for the time being, your answer should be no. You sound like you are young, you have a lot or time ahead of you to keep healing, and opening up this bag of goodies, including knife play, could be in your future, so just give yourself some more time. I hope this is helpful
03/12/2011
Kaltir Kaltir
If you set a limit for a good reason of this sort, don't go breaking it.
03/24/2011
Collodion Collodion
Quote:
Originally posted by (Re)tired Stripper
Just chiming in to third this sentiment.

I'm in a similar boat as you. I really, really want to engage in it, and I like to see it as separate from self-injury, but I don't know where my feelings are coming from: the addiction or my ...
Same boat, basically the same comment - thanks to everyone who chimed in.


(especially the part about not being sure where the impulses are derived from...)
03/24/2011
Enchantedkitty Enchantedkitty
Limits are good ideas
04/01/2011
k3 k3
I really think that it depends on each persons personal experience and how they feel with their parter--and, most importantly in this situation, themselves!! I am a past cutter myself.....and whereas knife-play does very much intrigue me...I feel that right now I'm not comfortable and secure enough with myself to let my skin be broken again like that. But who knows, possibly in the future it could be for me, or not. As for anyone else......it is a decision made by that person only, and a discussion to be had with their Dominant or submissive or lover whatever the other part is. It's all about how safe they feel with THEMSELVES. Remember that, everyone-it's about the SELF-security, not the other-person-security. This is one of those things that can only be finally decided on based on your personal safety and feelings. Much luck to A/all who have this question/concern/etc. <3
04/28/2011
froggiemoma froggiemoma
would keep limits
08/16/2011
Jaimes Jaimes
I think above all, you know yourself, and if you on the path towards recovery, you've figured out what decisions you need to make to keep yourself happy and safe. That being said, I am the wife of a 20+ years cutter. I cannot pretend to speak from any sort of experience on my husband's (or your) end, but I've found that we stay away from mixing triggers with sex. He's been a cutter for such a long time that he not only associates negative feelings with a need to cut, but happy feelings with the euphoria he felt as he cut. Since he's in such a grey area, we knew that it wasn't fair to him to tease with triggers that are supposed to be part of sex, or for me to deal with the guilt of pushing him to a relapse with something that should have remained innocent.

I don't want to sound selfish, but as the cutter's partner, a great deal of responsibility falls on our shoulders in supporting your needs and feelings while taking care to avoid the triggering conversations or situations that most people wouldn't think about, as well as work through the times your inner demons might be screaming louder than your own logic. And mind you, we are happy to do it, and take pride in being your rock. But...

You may feel like you are comfortable with having that special someone experiment with you in this avenue, but if you are unsure about the repercussions on your own mental health, it isn't fair not to consider the consequences that a negative experience would have on a partner that supports you and your desire to be healthy and happy. They should factor in your decision.
08/16/2011
Diabolical Kitty Diabolical Kitty
All depends on how you look at it. If it's not cutting the skin and you're engaging in actual knife play, your partner knows what they are doing, you don't have to cut to enjoy it. I never draw blood when I do knife play.
08/20/2011
carenautilus carenautilus
I'd be really, really careful. I'm in a very similar situation, so I can understand many of the conflicting feelings you're having. I think incorporating knife play could be really helpful for you, but it could back-fire really spectacularly. Maybe try going really, reallllly slowly? That would be my advice.
08/20/2011
pinkpottergirl pinkpottergirl
Me and my bf have that same problem, I have a cutting problem (not currently injuring though) and it's a massive trigger to me.
03/20/2012
Boyqueen Boyqueen
Limits = yesyesyes
07/11/2012
thisisadeletedaccount thisisadeletedaccount
I feel like folks on the internet are really not the best source of info for you in making a decision like this because we can't get a full picture of your mental state through one post and the majority of us are likely not trained therapists (not to mention that many therapists aren't particularly kink-friendly and might not be too helpful either).
However, speaking as a person who has done knifeplay with a partner who had a history of self harm, if you want to try things I'd encourage you to do it in a way that doesn't directly replicate what you've done to yourself. Set clear, distinct limits and stick to them - try things that don't break your skin/leave marks and stay away from areas where you've cut. Go VERY slowly (as many folks have already suggested) and stay open to the possibility that this may just not be something you can do easily or safely.
01/08/2013
KrissyNovacaine KrissyNovacaine
I think facing fears and issues in the context of BDSM is fun and functional. I would never say that BDSM replaces therapy, but I do find that when my Dom plays with my fears and issues in our scenes it does help. Your issues with knives and cutting may be recontextualized by playing. I think a test can't hurt, and don't be afraid to stop if it goes south.
01/08/2013
Total posts: 30
Unique posters: 29