I know a bit about addiction, why is not relevant. As I get drawn deeper into BDSM I have started to recognise some of the acknowledged characteristics of addictive behaviour; the way it dominates my thoughts, the craving for a fix, the lengths I go to to achieve a high. So I looked up some “am I an addict?” questionnaires. There isn’t one for BDSM so I adapted questions about drugs, alcohol, gambling and, bizarrely, chocolate to make my own score sheet.
BIBULOUS ONE’S BDSM ADDICTION QUESTIONNAIRE
- Do you find that your addiction dominates your thoughts for large parts of the day?
- Do you have sudden cravings at inappropriate times?
- Do you find that, as time goes on, it takes a larger dose to satisfy you?
- Do you plan your next fix as soon as you have had the last one?
- Do you feel you spend more than you should on your addiction?
- Does your addiction interfere with your performance at work?
- Have you ever lied about your addiction to friends and/or family members?
- Do you worry you might be in a cycle of increasing use?
- Do you become bad tempered and irritable if you haven’t recently indulged your addiction?
- Do you worry that your addiction is causing you physical harm?
I answer ‘Yes’ to pretty much all these.
Should I worry? Is this a ‘problem’ that needs to be ‘fixed’? Well Yes and No.
I believe that, unlike a craving for drugs or alcohol, my kinks are an inherent part of my make up and to deny them would be to deny a fundamental part of myself. I know from past experience that such denial creates a whole new set of stresses and issues. However, what may also be a fundamental part of my makeup is a tendency towards addictive behaviour and that may be reflected in my current drives and urges towards more and harder BDSM sessions. This wouldn’t matter so much were I a single man with only himself to support. But I am not. BDSM and kink is only a part of my make up, only part of my life. Other parts of my life such as my family, my friends, my work, are also important to me. And in order to make sure they are not damaged by my need to indulge my kinks I have to try to maintain a balance so that both sides of me can flourish and be happy.
And that isn’t always easy.
It isn’t always easy because the sensations that flow from a challenging BDSM session: the visceral feelings of fear and pain and the ancient responses of the body to them; the all embracing intensity of sensation and emotion; the euphoric high that comes from having been tested and survived: these are not easy sensations to find in the everyday world of work, family and friends.