BDSM and Anxiety

Anxiety.

A few people in my Fetlife circles have been talking about it lately, and being the flip side of the coin in a paring that deals with anxiety, I thought I should weigh in on BDSM and anxiety.

For myself, I have a mild form of social anxiety…but one that largely doesn’t effect me, I get very nervous meeting new people, but for the most part I can deal with it and doesn’t effect my day to day life. The introvert in me just needs time to recharge after.

Dot, however suffers from a more severe form. She has issues meeting people, and experiencing new social situations. We do however use our D/s relationship to our advantage in this situation.

We address her anxiety through the use of ritual and protocol, structure and ritual by nature breeds familiarity. Most people who suffer from anxiety fear change or deviation from the familiar, so as a couple if we can incorporate protocols and ritual we can take with us, then a dose of the familiar is not far behind, and it will ease her anxiety.

As an example, part of our protocols we use in day to day life, is that Dot is always to be on my left. Rarely does she stay on my right unless there are circumstances beyond our control. When we enter a new social situation Dot will always know I will be within reach of her to her right. We combine this with other protocols depending on both the situation/event and how bad her anxiety is likely to be. As far as ritual, we largely don’t have publicly obvious ritual – where a Master/slave dynamic may require the slave to present her Masters coffee with a small ritual, we may incorporate something more subtle: when we enter a new room and remove our shoes Dot will ensure they are lined up and pointing north to south. I should point out this particular ritual is something Dot did prior to us meeting, but I have embraced it as another ritual for Dot to feel more comfortable because she can control this part of the environment.

All in all anxiety can be a crippling issue if you let it, but if you work at it properly and use D/s and BDSM as a tool, then you can enhance and ease a delicate situation that can both effect you and your partner. D/s life, Vanilla it doesn’t matter – small rituals, protocols, and things that will make anxiety easier to manage are important.

So, do any of you, or your partners suffer from anxiety ? and if so, do you use anything from your BDSM toolbox to help ease it ?

Regards,

 

Syn

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5 responses to “BDSM and Anxiety

  1. How funny.. I have anxiety too and wrote about my struggle with it tonight. I get more relief from rules, protocol, structure etc.. than any other method of treatment

    It’s amazing the comfort found in BDSM.

    Thank you for this post.
    xx

  2. A girl I was with had an anxiety about eye contact due to all her previous doms disallowing it.

    I decided that it should the basis for our relationship, partly so she could overcome her anxiety but also to use the anxiety as you explain.

    It turned in to a powerful tool, I would get her to meet my gaze for as long as she could. To start with it was a genuine struggle, then as she got better I would push her tolerance by asking her to admit to things while holding eye contact.

    As a kid I was very shy so I understood how awkward it made her, but it brought us together and built a strong trust between us.

    • Thats awesome ! I was in a similar situation with My little fae, but I got lucky in that all it took was a bit of training to correct, and was not part of an anxiety issue. it is amazing though, how working through anxiety together can strengthen the D/s bond. 🙂

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