BDSM and Magick/Spirituallity?

http://isthisbdsm.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-science-behind-spanking.html

Found this article when looking for BDSM in magick. If you have any thoughts or other links that are related to material like this in some way regarding magick or spirituality feel free to post it.

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Sadomasochism, or sexual enjoyment from giving or receiving pain, may be a meditative experience and in some cases may lead to an altered state of consciousness, new research suggests.
Consensual sadomasochism was long considered pathological, but psychologists studying people interested in BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) have failed to find evidence that these sexual practices are harmful. One study, published in May 2013, actually found that practitioners of BDSM were better off than the general population in some ways, including having secure relationships and lower anxiety. Currently, the psychiatrists’ definitive handbook, the DSM-5, lists BDSM as a paraphilia, or unusual sexual fixation, but only classifies it as a disorder if it causes harm.

If sadomasochism is not a pathology as once believed, the question is why some people engage in these painful sexual behaviors, said James Ambler, a graduate student in psychology at Northern Illinois University.

The gain from pain

To find out, Ambler recruited “switches,” or people in the SM community who like both receiving pain and giving pain. Fourteen switches, 10 of whom were women, agreed to be assigned one of those two roles for the night by roll of the die.

Before and after their sexual experience, the volunteers completed a cognitive test called the Stroop task, in which they saw a word for a color written in a color other than what the word said (“blue” written in red, for example). It’s hard for the brain to read the word correctly when the color of the letters clashes with the meaning, making this a widely used test of cognitive abilities. The volunteers also filled out questionnaires about their feelings of “flow” during the sadomasochistic experience. Flow is a state of focus and enjoyment that people feel when fully immersed in a task.

The results showed that people playing the pain-receiving role showed poorer Stroop task scores, which are seen with short-term reductions of functions in a part of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortexAmbler said. This region is linked to executive control, working memory and other higher-level functions.

The pain that comes with sadomasochistic sex may cause the brain to shunt blood flow away from this region, causing a subjectively altered state of consciousness — and the appeal of SM, Ambler said.

“Part of the reason these SM activities may be so extreme, at some level, is that they’re particularly effective at causing the brain to change its distribution of blood flow,” he said. [51 Sultry Facts About Sex]

People on the giving end of the pain got benefits, too. Both sides of the equation reported similar levels of flow during their sexual “scene.”

BDSM in a magical context is dealt with in Carnal Alchemy by Stephen Flowers. There is also the New Palladian.

I recommend that book, especially because it works whatever your dynamic and preferences.

In these days of that godawful 50 Shades book, it needs stating that BDSM is about far more than men tying up women to fulfil some atavistic idea of the “true nature” of the sexes, but that model is how it’s currently mostly (mis-)understood.

In fact, many sex surveys identify men as the more submissive and/or masochistic sex (the two things don’t always go together) and there are variants on these as infinite as the variations of the human mind within monogamous heterosexuality alone.

Even women who have a drive to be sexually submissive needn’t worry that this means they’re supporting a load of retarded sexist twaddle - this blogger, submissive feminist writes a lot about that side of things and while I don’t always agree with what she writes, she’s doing good work deconstructing the myth that heterosexial submissives are conceding the superiority of the opposite sex.

And her guides to things like ice-branding, anal sex and behaviour modification are useful whatever your particular kink - ice-branding especially looks like something that might be magickally useful outside any kind of sex or kink situation.

BDSM is about more than just pain, as well, some people aren’t into it at all and express their kinkiness through dominance, submission, fetishism, or roleplay.

Back to the subject line of this post, I don’t see BDSM as a “tool” you can bolt onto your magickal practice, and I find the way a lot of people who aren’t into it (and some who are) write about BDSM to be as creepy and alienating as reading mundane people spilling their salacious fantasies of what black magick must be about - the two topics are equally taboo, considered warped and wrong, and yet are fascinating to many people who haven’t dived right in as a lifestyle.

Often as not, that’s just so they can imagine all the disgusting sick things you must be into, and feel superior for one brief moment, in their otherwise wretched little lives…

Personally, I believe these preferences (and BDSM is about more than just pain, in fact many BDSM people don’t use pain at all) are innate, the same way one can be innately straight, gay, or bisexual, etc., and therefore the best people to write about this are people who are already into it, for whom it’s not some weird scary thing, and is actually normal.

An important point is that not every kinky thing is right for everyone (a fact that’s often not acknowledged) and anyone who says “Oh, you’re a domme/sub/pet, you must like X then,” is trying to manipulate you whether they know it or not, because it’s perfectly okay to be into a little of something, even something quite extreme, whilst not wanting to take on board any other activity or behaviour that’s often associated with it.

You might want someone to piss in your mouth, but that doesn’t mean you want them to call you names, slap your face, or be in any other way abusive, and that’s fine - you might want to drive long pins through someone’s skin as they scream and cry, but not want them crawling round on their knees and calling themselves a slave - that’s fine too.

A lot of BDSM porn tries to cover all bases of the paying audience and so it becomes the norm that sets of activities are grouped together in hopes that will hit the spot for their target audience, but I think this is misleading and off-putting, especially to people who have one or two specific and strong fantasies, but are turned off by the stuff they always see portrayed along with them.

This is an important point if you’d like to incorporate (for example) knife-play into sex-magick, or whipping, or roleplay, but feel like everything else that’s ever portrayed with it is gross and weird - no two people are alike, and it’s perfectly okay to be choosy! :slight_smile:

Just as you can’t like everyone you meet, and can’t (for example) even like every magician just because you share an interest, there’s no guarantee of liking every kinky person you meet just because you share their interests - some of the people posting on Tumblr especially make my flesh crawl, or make me want to laugh out loud, so it’s not some clique or club IMO where you have to suspend judgement (by the feet, and give it a good thrashing! lol!!) - 99.999% of successful BDSM is about communication between the people involved, and what works for one couple or group might be a pathological headfuck for another.

Although I think the drive to be a kinky fucker is innate, I think sometimes people don’t recognise it, are either honestly unaware or suppress the kind of things they’d like to explore through fear, or moral judgement on their own desires.

When people aren’t expressing a deep-seated drive appropriately, that can lead to some very fucked-up relationships, because the person is busily trying to exercise their drive towards dominance or submission without the other party being aware of it existing as a thing in its own right, and it all goes horribly wrong… I speak from my own experience a couple of times, but also from other people I’ve talked to in-depth about this topic.

For example, a man with a deep need to be sexually submissive towards a woman will court her like crazy, doing everything in his power to make her feel honoured and respected, and then often attempt to take a passive role, even trying to annoy her in minor ways, unable to ask for the outright dominant leadership and correction he really craves, so she feels she’s gone from being his Princess to being some kind of mother-figure who’s taken for granted, gets pissed off, and leaves - and that’s just one example, using fairly broad strokes.

Getting back to incorporating kink in magick, Flowers’ book shows how to do that in LHP terms, I can’t really do it justice here - it’s not a book of “tips n’ tricks” so much as a way to use the dynamic in a magickal fashion, and it aligns with the “subjective/objective” ideas he explains in a magickal context in Lords Of The Left-Hand Path.

I doubt it would be much use to anyone who’s looked into BDSM and honestly finds it leaves them cold, but if it intrigues you, if you don’t always have great relationships and suspect that some kind of overt power exchange with a lover would turn you on more than a “normal” partnership, then buying Carnal Alchemy, and looking for some BDSM imagery and ideas online that resemble magickal archetypes might be a first step towards getting your kink on in the Temple. :slight_smile:

If that seems like a giant leap, then small steps like exploring fantasy scenarios can help you understand yourself better, IMO that kind of insight would fix most people’s neuroses as well, but then I AM very biased on this subject!

1 Like

Good points. Your right. I have my own perspectives

  • There is a difference between the Polished and the Savages (i.e. thinking BDSM is all about verbal abuse, vs those whom CAN control their animal nature whereas their Passion is also Genuine. Some do like the verbal abuse though. Not me, as I feel it makes her look Crude and not very Sexy or Feminine which I perceive as GROSS…if you really want to know what I think of such individuals… I basically think of it like me on a bad day when I have to drop a massive Logger Turd in the toilette).

  • I am a dominant and Willful individual, although I may express it in different ways and may even channel it through Submission (I see submission within the proper context as a Sign of dominant power), and at other times actual literal dominance. However, people latch onto these weird stereotypes thinking for example that taking on a submissive role makes the person weak, or that that person is JUST a submissive. I have my own dynamic… for example, (within the bedroom, and in specific situations leading up to it) I am extremely aroused by powerful women whom would try to sexually control me and bring me to a certain point… but that doesn’t necessarily mean I will “let them” do it to me… I rather prefer that they earn that privilege… which it is the process of going through that long and difficult process that actually makes it fun because it produces the Intensity of Energy that I find fulfilling.

  • in relation to what I wrote above, this really does not mean “Whips and Chains.” That is a stereotype, while it could be expressed as such to add spice, it is actually can be something as Vanilla and simple as as a Female applying FIRM Pressure in a sort of physical guidence(think perhaps a form of foreplay) and just cuddling, or grabbing me and passionately kissing me. Do I expect women to be this way? never, but then again “regular” women at that point would only interest me if they were enhanced through Beauty (and then at some point I would simply get bored of them) and had some sort of personality. Willful Physical Dominance, in a way with both force and finesse in the form of Actions (not really sure what you’d call this in the BDSM context) in the context of Loveplay is an favorite that intrigues me to no end.

  • (What I wrote above) What I wrote above essentially means is the utilization of Power to overpower me in some cases or use forms of manipulation to >>>Enhance<<< the “Physical Love Play” to where she basically just “tries” to Take it from me. I believe a many people would construe this as “Rape,” but within the context of this she only does it with the desire/will/intent to be loving and playful (there is no malice or intent to harm here), whereas in one way or another there is an actual consenting relationship…all kept within the proper Boundries of certain area of my life to keep it from messing with other aspects of my life. The only way I know how to describe this is “Being taken within the throws of Passion.”

To wrap it up a little, I actually see myself as always Dominant… the idea of being Submissive to me on a Magickal and Non-magickal level is more about experiencing the Intensity of Power of my own desires… rather than actively wielding power, I am instead giving it a Form and thus unleashing it upon myself so that I may experience and enjoy it for AN EXPERIENCE. This may be within a BDSM context, or it may be in some other form. It may be to just simply go on an Adventure or a Vacation or whatever.

I look into the Mirror of a “Mirror-World” to validate the Mirrored Desire I hold within myself where a Mirror-Desire is staring right back at me.