What BDSM couples have to teach us - and why we should be listening.

Updated: Dec 2, 2019



Recently, I have opened up my work to take writing commissions relating to love and relationships. It's certainly brought variety into my writing perspectives - as well as being a brilliant side hustle amongst full days of funding applications and life on the road!


I will admit I haven't embraced every article enquiry. When a fashion magazine got in touch requesting an article about the benefits of BDSM, I felt resistance rise up. My feeling was that of defence, with a generous dose of judgement thrown in. I wasn't comfortable and I knew it.


My only previous "knowledge" of this type of love and sex was that it's typically based on control which is predominantly male. As an advocate for emotional freedom and female empowerment, I therefore really wasn't a fan. Looking back, I had formed the majority of my assumed understanding on what I had gleaned from popular media, rather than anything deeper.


How refreshing it is to be proved wrong in life!


I had barely stepped into the world of BDSM in my research, before I discovered how far incorrect I had been in my assumptions. My initial internet searches came back with some true surprises. And after contacting a few people involved in the scene, my mind was firmly changed.


So what exactly can couples who have embraced BDSM in their love lives teach us - and how could it aide our general relationships?


For those as unknowing as I was, BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) incorporates a range of sexual activities. These range from role play and restraint to full ‘service orientated’ submission between partners. The term is often shrouded in mystery and frequently mis-termed due to film and media dressing it in exactly the wrong harness.


50 shades? Yes, exactly.



Clear communication is disturbingly absent in many love and sex scenarios. Dangerously so, in fact. Yet BDSM consistently has some of the healthiest examples of communication I can find. Where else will you find consenting adults actively using safe words and expressing their desires and limitations so clearly? And significantly, where ‘yes’ and ‘no’ draw the definite lines they always should.


Perhaps you’re someone who has been controlled or manipulated in the past leaving you feeling less than able to stand up for yourself in your current relationship. Experiences that involve you being in the driving seat could be the very liberation you need, aiding the rebuilding process of self confidence.


Furthermore, domination can be another fantastic way to ‘try out’ someone else’s confidence. In your regular daily life you may not feel empowered enough to speak up and be heard. But with a whip in hand and a service uniform fitting comfortably around your shape, you may feel rather differently.


Role play can be another form of drama therapy, as you or your partner safely explore a past experience of discipline or threat. Many couples report ability to not only aide their own healing, but that the experience of sharing this with a partner contributed to significant bonding.


During NHS advocated CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), props and sensation experiences are used to help trauma patients re-associate triggers. In comparatively parallel practice, the physical sensations shared within feather and ribbon play are an example of BDSM playing an impactful part in psychological healing processes of release in a very similar manner. The practice scenarios may differ, but the results are apparently correlative.



BDSM hasn't taught me so much about my sex life as it has my judgements and understandings of areas I have made assumptions about. The BDSM community has surprised me in ways I hadn't expected, and I am so grateful that what began as an article request I resisted has turned into such a beautiful life lesson.


So, perhaps next time you ‘swipe left’ to someone asking if you’re a dominant, or you laugh off the idea of a little role play from your partner - perhaps rethink your response. It may well be the key to the locked away intimacy you’ve been looking for. In fact, a little healthy lock and key practice might be just the thing...


Have a happy, healthy week ahead, readers.


You are greatly loved!



Helen Victoria

Writer | Relationship Expert | Coach

living-liberte.com | liberte-coach.com



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