You’ll be shocked to find out how ignorant some of the counselors and psychologists may be, despite being considered “professionals” in the field of mental health. It seems that once a person receives a title of a medical professional, they believe that their education is finished and any new data can be ignored.
In this article, we would like to unveil some myths that are perpetuated not just by the general public, but also by the medical practitioners who are supposed to “help” people improve their mental well-being.
“People who are open to BDSM are also mentally unstable, disturbed, and might have personality disorders.”
In very resent past, people’s BDSM fetishes were used as grounds for denying child custody in the event of divorce. This seems preposterous, but it’s true. Due to the fact that BDSM practices were listed in DSM-IV as a paraphilia, people with any sort of fetish would be deemed mentally ill by the court; thus, making them “unfit” to raise a child. Thankfully, this has been changed in the latest revision of the DSM (DSM-V), which has put a stop to these kinds of court cases.
A 2013 study done by Dr. Andreas Wismeijer in Netherlands has shown that BDSM-friendly people actually had better mental health than people who were not open to BDSM practices! Kinky people in general had lower levels of neuroticism, which is one of the Big Five personality traits that is strongly associated with anxiety and depression.
This study has also revealed that aside from better psychological well-being, BDSM aficionados were more adventurous, socially engaging, and conscientious, as well as less paranoid, less closed-off, and less neurotic than non-kinky people.
BDSM is based on abuse and promotes and unhealthy interpersonal relationships
This myth is completely bogus. BDSM is built around safety and consent. Before engaging into scene-play people will communicate, agree on all the terms, establish safe words, and only then proceed. In “normal” relationships there is usually no communication and no safe words. People believe that the other person should understand them intuitively, but it’s almost impossible to guess the likes and dislikes of another person without communicating.
In BDSM you straight up tell the other person if you have a foot fetish, would love some spanking, or want to get some ropes and participate in shibari. If the other person is into it — great! If not, you compromise. In a normal relationship one person wants one thing, the other want another thing, but no one talks about, so everyone is left frustrated and unhappy.
There are many more myths surrounding BDSM and people who love it, but we’ll talk about them in later articles.