first encounter with porn/arousal was intense BDSM, now i don't know how to have a healthy relationship with it

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boopboopboop
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first encounter with porn/arousal was intense BDSM, now i don't know how to have a healthy relationship with it

Unread postby boopboopboop » Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:45 pm

so i'm 17 but i haven't ever really thought about sex stuff until like a year ago. when i first started thinking about sex i turned to tumblr because it was the most readily available platform for me. i already knew i was a lesbian romantically, but i'd been IDing as asexual because i hadn't felt anything. when i first started exploring my sexuality, i just looked at pretty normal stuff, boobs, fishnets, whatever. but tumblr is a very bdsm and kink heavy space, and it wasn't long until i accidentally slipped into that side of things (despite the useless content filtering for minors tumblr has). because i'd been IDing as asexual for so long, it took me a while to understand if what i was feeling was even arousal, but now i think it is. but i keep heading back to all these horrible, horrible kinks that are violent and degrading and sexist, and i hate them. i know everyone always says that kinks are fine and it's just fantasy so whatever, but i feel like my whole relationship with my own sexuality is now majorly messed up because of these things. i hate myself whenever i masturbate, but it's not the sex thing, it's just these damn horrible things that people keep saying! and i keep LOOKING for! i think because my first encounter with sex or porn or anything was with these violent horrible things, things which often stress the guilt associated with sex and hold it over the reader's head, it's absolutely tied sex and guilt and shame together for me, and i don't want this. for a while i was trying to make myself just stop masturbating altogether but that hasn't been working. and after a while it's started to seem like no porn ISN'T horrible. this is one of the few times where i wish i hadn't grown up on the internet, because it was way too easy to find all this stuff, and now it's skewed what even counts as sex for me. is there even a way for sex to be respectful, kind, feminist? is there a way for porn to be any of those things? i haven't seen any that is. if someone knows some way to look at porn that isn't horrible and violent and based in those awful power imbalances, please let me know. i hate this and i've been hating myself for this for a year and i haven't told anyone about it, because who are you supposed to talk to with this? i know i'm rambling but i really don't know what to do here, i just wish i had a method of masturbating that was healthy and made me feel good. can someone help me? i don't know what to do.

Alice M.
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Re: first encounter with porn/arousal was intense BDSM, now i don't know how to have a healthy relationship with it

Unread postby Alice M. » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:42 pm

Hi boopboopboop (awesome name!) and welcome to Scarleteen.

This is not an entirely uncommon situation to be in and you are not alone. Yes, it is possible for kinky sex and sexual identity to be respectful, kind, and feminist. This is something that we strongly believe in here at Scarleteen. For me, the most basic difference between abuse and BDSM/kink is enthusiastic consent. Consensual power imbalances and the like are entirely possible and not uncommon. I noticed that you referred to "normal stuff" and I challenge you to reconsider that label. As individuals who vary quite a bit, what's normal for me might be kinky for you. The word "normal" seems like a judgement that you're using against yourself. Does that make any sense?

There is a lot of shame to untangle here. First, I want to assure you that you have done nothing wrong and you are not a terrible person for enjoying certain types of porn content. Human sexuality is a complex thing, to put it mildly. I'm so sorry that you've been feeling like you hate yourself for so long and I'm glad you came here. I hope we can begin to help you untangle some of this. I'd like it you'd start by reading Undoing Sexual Shame. It's okay if you need to take this piece by piece -- there is a lot here! Please let me if anything in that article rings true for you, or brings up anything.

I noticed that you're beating yourself up a bit about how you came across certain types of porn. Let's start with some of the basics of the realities about how porn works. A volunteer here recently wrote Bare Bodies: Reality Checking Mainstream Porn and I encourage you to check this out. At the end of the linked article, there's a link for Part 2 which has even more relevant information that might be helpful for you. Ethical consumption of porn can be tricky with the internet, for sure.

Regarding BDSM and the like, here are two articles for you to read:
50 Shades of BS - How to Tell the Difference Between Kink and Abuse
and
Working the Kinks Out

Whew! I threw a lot of articles at you here. If there's any part of this you'd like to focus in on, please let me know. You do not need to answer all of these questions in one message. I wanted to make sure you have enough resources to begin to sort out these feelings, individually and with us.

boopboopboop
newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:26 pm
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: lesbian
Location: US

Re: first encounter with porn/arousal was intense BDSM, now i don't know how to have a healthy relationship with it

Unread postby boopboopboop » Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:40 pm

hi,
sorry it took me so long to respond to this. i've been doing a lot of thinking and i'm in a much better place now, i'm a lot more comfortable with myself and sex in general. thank you so much for being so kind and reassuring in your reply, it really made a world of difference to me to finally talk about those things i'd been feeling for a year and getting such a warm reply. i only wish i had reached out sooner, because trying to deal with it alone was really making it worse.
i think i was mixing up what was and wasn't fantasy and that was where a lot of my guilt was coming from. i knew that power imbalances in relationships were bad, but didn't quite recognize that this wasn't what was happening in bdsm spaces; that it was consensual and with the knowledge of both parties, so there wasn't a true power imbalance, just the fantasy of one. i also think i gravitated to certain kinds of sexual content that only made me feel guiltier about sex, or that let me absolve myself of responsibility for arousal at all (i.e. i have no power in the situation so therefore it's not my fault that i'm getting aroused, so i don't have to feel guilty about it) but that was really only prolonging my guilt.
i read all the articles you sent as soon as you replied and they helped a lot (especially in helping me understand what was fantasy and what was harmful), as well as just the relief from finally talking about something i'd been keeping a secret for so long and having someone tell me that there wasn't something wrong with me. thank you thank you thank you, i don't know how i can thank you enough! your reply helped me so so much, i don't really know what else to say but thank you.
.
(sorry if any of this is tmi: like i mentioned in my original message, i've never talked to anyone about my struggles with sex before, so i have to get it all off my chest here)

Alexa
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Re: first encounter with porn/arousal was intense BDSM, now i don't know how to have a healthy relationship with it

Unread postby Alexa » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:35 am

Hey boopboopboop!

First of all, *none* of this is TMI. This is what we do here, and we're happy to help!

I'm so glad that you've been able to get to a better place. Having a safe place to talk about desire, kink, etc. is so important, in part because if we learn over time that these things are okay to talk about, it can help us to feel less shame about them. So lean on those safe spaces! This one included.

In my opinion, consensual power play is one of the coolest things out there, because it gives us a chance to be empowered even when we choose to be dominated. Just like you said, it lets you access the fantasy of power imbalance without the ramifications of a true loss of power.

Did you find the resources that Alice shared helpful? Let us know if you'd like us to continue walking you through some of the porn- and BDSM-related resources we have on the site -- there are plenty. :)
Alexa K.
Scarleteen Team


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