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Dear Kiki: Will BDSM aggravate my mental health issues?


Questions about love and sex in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area can be sent to dearkiki@littlevillagemag.com (queries can also be sent anonymously using this form). Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online.

Illustration by Jav Ducker

Dear Kiki,

My wife and I have regularly engaged in BDSM throughout our relationship. I’m mostly dominant, but we switch on very rare occasion, and it’s something I’d like to explore more. However, I’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression this year and have self-harmed several times.

Is engaging in sex that could involve degrees of pain and humiliation a particularly bad idea considering my current mental health, even if we’re both enthusiastic about it? It’s not a topic I’m comfortable discussing with my doctor or therapist.

Thanks,
J

Dear J,

I am sorry about and empathize with your recent mental health struggles and masochistic tendencies, but it is important to separate BDSM from mental illness. Your marriage sounds strong and sexually healthy, which are important while experimenting with each other. She will not want to be manipulative nor tortuous in trying this switch with you, so that your play can hurt so good and be a cathartic experience.

Since you aren’t ready to discuss your concerns with your doc or therapist, I would suggest doing some reading and preparing about how to submit enthusiastically — here’s a link to a collection of articles.

Your wife might really enjoy being the dominant one to see you “Bleed Like Me” (an apropos Garbage song). This change could really liven up the relationship and bring new insights. It might even pull you out of your funk.

–Xoxo, Kiki

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 244.


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