Getting out of Bondage

  1. Drama and Being Twisted
  2. Untwisting
  3. Untwisting through Erotic Work
  4. Getting out of Bondage

Getting out of Bondage — sometimes, the way out is the way through — you gotta figure out who you are, and go for it — without regard to “normal.”


In This Moment

We’re home! Now, if only we knew what we are doing… kidding… we’re leaving again in September!


out of bondage
A few weeks back I mentioned BDSM as an alternative to setting up “punishing” relationships. One of my good friends from The Haven dropped me the following line:

[My wife] and I have a part time residence on the Sunshine Coast, which is only accessible by ferry. Coming up here on the ferry last Sunday we were sitting in my van on the boat when we heard a disturbance. Couldn’t tell what was going on until I heard a female voice yelling, “He’s beating her, someone do something!”. I tore out of the van to see if some kind of intervention was needed.

As I got to the vehicle where the “domestic” was occurring, I ran into BC Ferries staff who were responding to the call. The woman involved in the altercation was bruised and crying, however when she was asked by a Ferries’ officer if she would step out of the vehicle and come to a safety, she said, “no, she didn’t want to”. I nearly shit. The officer stepped away and we all stood perplexed. The spousal argument recommenced and the woman said to her man, “you had no right to hit me back, you’re so much bigger.” She had initiated the fight. The officer’s then request that we disperse. However, the RCMP were called and there to receive the couple when we docked.

[My wife] and I discussed the incident at some length on the way up to our retreat home. One of the things that came up is the question, if these people need this, why the hell don’t they do it in a safe, sane and consensual context? ie. BDSM? Seems reasonable to me.

Jump to last night: there is a loud raucous party just across the bay from our place. It winds down around 11:00 pm and is followed by the sounds of an argument. The argument becomes a screaming match of intensity and duration. I think to myself, WTF is this, National Relationship Insanity Week?

I come back to my computer to shut down and see Wayne’s thoughtful newsletter — drama, twisted, pain, BDSM.

I was impressed by your insights and intrigued by your reference to BDSM. It is such a greatly misunderstood sub-culture, that few would ever consider it a healthy outlet for certain basic human needs. So I totally salute your courage in even mentioning it! And I look forward with great interest to what else you may have to say on the subject.

Keep up the good work! Take good care of each other, and all the very best from us.

Fond regards,

Brad

That’s a pretty interesting e‑mail!

As far is BDSM specifically goes, several of my clients have found their way into “the scene.” As they describe it to me, they feel a need to be controlled and to be bound, and to be struck. I have no judgement about this.

fighting

What I mean is that I’m glad they’ve figured this out. Otherwise, as in Brad’s email, the only way to deal with this need is to set up “bad relationships,” and perhaps physical abuse. This is in fact what my clients have done in the past — gotten into relationships that “made them” feel awful — punished.

People in bad relationships are sub-consciously meeting a deep need to feel hard-done-by… to feel pain. Engaging in screaming matches is the same thing as wanting to feel physical pain. Manipulation is the same kind of game. It’s a game to never quite get what you want. “Bad relating” is just a matter of degree.

I used the illustration of my mom wanting to be the sickest person in the room. This was not a hobby… this was a deep-wired part of her personality. It drove many of her choices, including her choice to be 70 pounds overweight and to continue to pack in the sugar even after ending up with diabetes. She found pleasure in her pain. Perhaps, if she had tried, she could have found another way.

Other clients do it with work or school… they love pain and feeling “nuts,” so they set themselves up for conflict / failure so as to feel normal.

They can tell me their patterns… how they can’t seem to stop doing what they say they don’t want to do… call me silly, but if they have such a burning desire to feel failure, perhaps they could find another thing to strategically fail at.

I’d rather they come up with an alternative, as opposed to repeating what doesn’t work, and then judging themselves for getting caught again

Now, some therapists might argue that this is “wrong, or not normal,” and try to get their clients to stop doing it. I have seen the futility of this, so I look for alternatives… other ways to create and play with the sensation, safely.

What I see is this: a person who needs to feel pain and who does it through BDSM no longer needs to create crappy relationships — they have their outlet.

The person who needs sexual variety, and who sets up honest, open relationships, no longer has to sneak around. The person who needs intimacy from multiple partners can stop repressing the urge, and set it up.

Repression simply leads to breakdown or explosion.

I think that where I may differ from a lot of therapists is that I’m not in the “fixing” business. While others may say that their clients “aren’t broken,” they act like they are.

I mentioned Marty Klein’s, Sexual Intelligence and he makes this same point. He calls out therapists who make themselves uncomfortable over the sexual activities of their clients. He says that often, therapists are uncomfortable about sex and their own sexuality, and fall into the trap of declaring what “normal” is.

And then, they try to move their clients toward “normal.”

special

Except there is no normal. Or better put, statistical norms exist, but are irrelevant on a case-by-case basis. A simple example: a certain cancer has a 75% mortality rate. So, if you have that form of cancer, what’s your mortality rate — what’s going to happen to you? Answer: there’s no way to predict. A statistical norm has nothing to do with an individual case.

Thus, the real thrust of Klein’s book, and of this blog, and of my work, and of my life, is this: you need to discover: who you are, what you want, then be willing to stop judging what isn’t working, while experimenting with alternative behaviours — moving in a direction you choose

Not toward a statistical norm of “adult behaviour” (yuck! spare me!) but toward finding and enacting “you.”

I’ve often said that I appear to have good “eyes” for potential… for what people might achieve, if they let go and let themselves. When I was in training, one of my supervisors wrote: “Wayne has greater expectations for his clients, than his clients do.” As if this was a bad thing.

In her final report, she wrote: “Wayne continues to have greater expectations for his clients, and he has mostly been right!”

Different from the norm, to me, is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

I see in my mind’s eye what could be. And many times clients have discovered “amazing powers.” To paint. To create. To build excellent relationships.

The sexual explorers have discovered all kinds of orgasmic delights. Polyamoury. BDSM as a tool for letting go. Sexual intimacy projects. One client calls her thing, “The joy of full release.”

Normal? By whose standard? According to whom?

Interesting? Hell, yes.

hidingI’m so good at hiding, no one will notice I’m different…

Others, the majority, stop themselves. They stay in dead relationships, or refuse to deal with the consequences of their behaviour. If they are slightly thwarted, they go running home to mommy.

They dig a hole over a decade, and then expect it to fill itself in, so they can walk our unscathed.

They cling to the past, blame others, (“Men!” “Women!”) or use substances to get through the day.

I despair a bit.

But then, I remember the ones who choose to fly, to explore, to ask for what they want, to open themselves to actually being exactly who they are. They have a slightly shell-shocked look about them — “I can do that? Wow!” Or, “Oh! I thought that was weird and wrong, and now I see it feels good and is so right… for me!”

So, of course I mention, to you through this blog, and to my clients, things that will challenge, stretch and turn you on. The world is sinking slowly in the muck of mediocrity, of rules and regulations… of normal, brittle, and boring.

I want to offer another way… and this is it.


Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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