How BDSM Helped a Rape Survivor Recover

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Jane Devin

Jane Devin is an author and essayist. Her memoir, Elephant Girl, is available in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon.com. You can Tweet her on @JaneDevin or follow her on Facebook. Her next book, a novel, is scheduled for release in March, 2013.

Comments

  1. Ashiantiiinlove says:

    Congrats, I’m very happy for you. You made some very good points that I have come to recognize myself. It was nice to see that there are other people who agree

  2. Thank you, Jane, for writing this…so weird and honest!

    I took up karate a few years ago to learn self-defense and to get over my panic attacks (induced by a stalker)….and it helped me so much to get over the past….so true what you say about doing something tangible or physical that helps you move through so many feelings (i.e., fear, trust, betrayal, anger, and, eventually, joy and friendship)….words are sometimes so false when people interact….sometimes just facing someone eye to eye and sparring together and learning how to fight back is so indescribably healing….doing karate takes so much concentration and effort that it becomes so easy to forget what was bothering you in the first place…being in the flow of some intense activity (even if you don’t always like it) is like a meditation….and then you come out invigorated….bruised but okay…

    The physical and emotional aspects of abuse are so hard to describe in words since so many victims were forced to be silent….doing something so physically tiring is very healing….

  3. Thank-you for sharing your story, I learned a lot.

  4. Everybody finds the thing that helps them cope with their Crazy and I am using crazy as a cached term for trauma and other issues … It can be something positive and enjoyable like sports, sex or music or can be something destructive like drug, drinking, cutting etc….

    Thanks for sharing and you’re a very talented writer ..

  5. DIY sex therapy not recommended for safety. What if your “Master” was another abuser, taking advantage of situation? Craigslist, and online dating prove vulnerability is magnet for risk. Victims need rights supported, and social advocacy. Kids, please don’t try this at home.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      She was NOT “recommending” this way. She was just telling her story.
      Besides, she obviosly took her time to know that man and to be sure she could trust him.
      Remember, reality is no black OR white, it’s made of shades of grey.

      Your comment is pretty shallow and rooted in fear/panic, instead that in knowledge and understanding.

    • As my article pointed out, I didn’t seek this particular sexual experience in order to heal, or as a SIY therapy. I sought it out due to my own curiosity. Rape victims, like others, have sex drives and an interest in exploring them. The healing side effects of BDSM came as a surprise to me, and were likely had because of my own, unique set of issues & the wonderful partner I had.

      Also, my partner and I knew each other well. There was no Craigslist or online dating involved. Again, as the article states, the healing mechanism was an enormous amount of trust, not merely sex. Sex was only the path there — and there are many paths. This is one that I took, and I don’t seek anyone’s approval for or of it. I am merely relaying my own journey.

      • Jane,

        In light of the recent events @ Amherst and the Trey Project, I’d like to share how very grateful I am that you are ok. That you are writing, and sharing.

        50% Women in society report a similar experience to your painful past, and 25% Men. Every restaurant, every park, every department store, ice cream shop. 50% of the women in that public place, and 25% Men intimately know your pain inside their pain. And we can’t talk about it, nor support each other openly.

        Trey changed that. He asked us to care. He asked us to try.

        Admittedly, your story is not light reading. Strong in content, and in context with your past, challenging to process. Conflicting feelings ensue.

        Romance is hard to come by with buried pain in society, and denial.
        Not the best karma for our children. Trey would agree.

        Best from a Survivor.

  6. Kudos to Jane for her honest and thoughtful story.

    I’ve been writing about BDSM and abuse for a while. Anyone interested in the topic might check out my book The S&M Feminist, and also some of the articles I’ve written about the topic, such as:

    The Psychology of S&M

    Sex Communication Case Studies

    Thinking Clearly About BDSM versus Abuse

    S&M Aftercare … or Brainwashing?

  7. If given any power, men will cause great suffering.
    I cannot trust people. Trust will lead to pain.
    If I let someone in too deeply, they will hurt me.
    If I am vulnerable, I will be victimized.
    My sex is a curse.
    My body is a curse.
    I must always be vigilant and on-guard.

    This,,,so much this, thank you for sharing and I understand so much where you are coming from.

  8. What can I say? Sometimes it is easier to see the light when you are standing in the dark.

  9. Thank you, Jane. This resonates and is a quote that, in faith, I’m likely to treasure for the rest of my life and relationships. “Trust is the sexiest thing one can bring to the bedroom. It far eclipses any of the usual accoutrements. Whatever else might turn someone on is secondary to this life-affirming, sex-positive element.”

    Best,
    -A

  10. Valter Viglietti says:

    Thank you Jane.
    Yours is an enlightening story, and beautifully written.

    Since I’m into BDSM and my girlfriend has abuse trauma, this sounds very personal to me. It’s revealing and good food for thoughts.

  11. Bradford says:

    Wow. Just wow. I would NOT have understood this, 20 or 30 years ago…it has only been through my OWN long, slow, painful journey of recovery and learning and healing that I can fully understand the message here… Buty, sadly, at root, is men who were abused in various ways, then turning and abusing others, including raping girls…Michael the DOM I can understand completely…But, the sicko perv who would anally rape a young girl, is really beyond my full understanding…so many victims, so many victims… And, speaking as a GOOD MAN, too many of us good men get the blame for too many bad men…What more can we good men do to help our whole sick society create fewer abusers in the first place?…My self-imposed celibacy is getting nauseating!…Am I really depriving some woman of a good man, by being a Buddhist monk???…Is my (imagined?) “chivalry” really an excuse for a fear of women whom I actually do enjoy?…Thank-you for your brave honesty, Jane….

  12. Thank you. I thought I was crazy. At 15, I was raped by a 21 yo US marine which I never knew how to get over. Instead I became permiscuous. I couldn’t explain why, and most of my longer relationships after failed… Usually on account of trust. Real trust… Not that I was being cheated on but that this person loved or cared for me as much or far more than they wanted my body. Like I couldn’t reconcile the separation and/or connection between my body and my internal emotional needs. I read 50 shades, and for the first time began exploring my needs. I couldn’t understand why… While at times I preferred to be Dom… Almost abusive… I desired extreme control… I also felt odd shame for desperately wanting to relive the sub role… In a similarly aggressive situation to my rape but where I was the one to say “yes, this is what I want… Because I trust you… And I need to understand better… That somehow this will help me.” So I did… With a close friend. We tried things I never tried before and there was this understanding that when I wanted to stop we would stop. But he was most caring and sweet outside of this to me. It was liberating. Your experience helps me not to feel as alone. Thank you.

Speak Your Mind