Panic Attacks in BDSM Scenes

by Hermes Solenzol Among the many problems that can happen in a scene, panic attacks can be a serious one, especially if the Top doesn’t know how to handle them. They are more common than you may think. Last month, during a talk I gave at Threshold (the BDSM organization of Los Angeles), I asked…

Anticipation, Anxiety and the Butterflies

We all experiences anxiety, stress and the butterflies start fluttering in our stomach at different times in our life. Because what we do is transgressive and sometimes edgy, there’s a chance that it does happen more frequently or with higher intensity in our BDSM exploration. It might be when we hook up with people we…

It’s All Smoke and Mirrors

In my checkered career I’ve studied business, design and journalism, worked in PR, been a graphic designer and a magazine editor, and I now run my second design and advertising company. I’m what they call in Singapore, where I live, a “creative”. I’ve only recently started using that as a noun… I always thought it…

Mental Health and the Issue of Consent

If you have read previous articles on this site, you will probably have noticed that we emphasise the importance of consent — basic understanding of consent, different models of consent (e.g. SSC and RACK), the complications and legality of consent in BDSM settings, and more. Consent is the important red line that exists between BDSM…

Decisions in Your D/s Relationship – Head vs Heart

Decisions, decisions. Every day we make thousands of them, from the small stuff like “coffee or tea?” to the big stuff like career, finance, health and relationships. There’s a fantasy that some subs and slaves who are just starting out have, that they will meet a wise, intelligent and caring Dom who will make all…

The Complex Relationship Between BDSM and Mental Illness

The relationship between BDSM and mental health is complex, and can be confusing. Take, for example, depression. For those in the BDSM community who suffer from depression, is there any relationship? And if there is, was there an attraction to BDSM because of (diagnosed or undiagnosed) depression? Does the BDSM make it better or worse?…

The Scene and the Spotlight Effect

by MagnusGrey Understanding the Spotlight Effect has helped me become much less anxious in group settings. The core of the idea is simple. We, as human beings, tend to naturally care about how the people around us see us, including strangers and people we don’t know well. This desire to be liked and accepted by…

If BDSM Makes You Anxious, Dance To The Music

I was listening to an interview on the radio this morning with two orchestra conductors. Answering a question about whether they felt anxious before going on stage, both admitted that they did and described it as being like a “cocktail party in the head”. At this cocktail party, everyone is out to judge you. You…

What Is Social Anxiety?

WHAT IS SOCIAL ANXIETY? Wikipedia defines it like this: Social anxiety is a discomfort or a fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves a concern of being judged or evaluated by others. It is typically characterised by an intense fear of what others are thinking about them (specifically fear of embarrassment,…

Healthy Alternatives to Self-Harm and Self-Injury

I picked these images up randomly from Tumblr, so I apologise for not crediting them properly. There are some great suggestions for alternatives to self-harm in them and I wanted to share. FURTHER READING • Cornell University – The Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery • Self-Injury.net – FAQ • A Kind Dom –…