The intersection of kink and trauma, especially sexual trauma, is all to often a source of stigma, both within and outside of kink communities. And yet, many kinky people have trauma histories to reckon with. In fact, many survivors look to BDSM as a source of trauma healing, a practice that garners even more controversy within kink communities.
While it is true that, in some cases, is that kinky play can sometimes be an unhealthy rehashing of abusive dynamics, it is not unusual for some survivors to find trauma healing through kink. This phenomenon isn’t as strange as one might think. While kink isn’t necessarily a replacement for trauma informed therapy, the frameworks of BDSM play can actually replicate mechanisms of evidence based trauma work, given the right circumstances.
Drawing from research on effective trauma work and evidence based practices, this workshop dispels harmful myths about the intersections of kink and trauma, and examines not only how survivors can have a healthy relationship to BDSM, but also can find profound healing through kink.
By end of class, participants will gain understanding of:
- At least three ways in which trauma survivors experience stigma in the scene or about kink
- How the structure of a BDSM scene can mimic the mechanisms of evidence based trauma work
- At least three risks or contraindications for using BDSM as part of trauma healing
Samantha Manewitz is an educator and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. She has given presentations to mental health professionals, sex educators, and alt-sex communities on healthy communication, abuse prevention, and mental health in BDSM.
She has been a speaker at CatalystCon West, AASECT’s annual conference, the CARAS conference in Chicago, and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. Among her specialties are trauma (complex PTSD), sex therapy, Couples therapy (level 2 Gottman trained), and gender affirming care for trans/non binary clients.You can learn more on her blog: http://www.beyondsafewords.com/