Friday, 2 October 2015

bdsm and depression

In my last post I gave an example of someone who had problems of depression as part of her bipolar disorder. She found bdsm activity helpful not least in channeling her desire for self harm in more positive directions. This was a fictional example but I wrote it as I have known and known of  real people who have found bdsm activity could help them divert their needs to self harm.

I have also known a number of submissive women who have experienced depression in various degrees who found bdsm activity and D/s helpful in significant and different ways. I have written about it on the blog before several times - most recently (I think, though exactly fiver years ago!) here. On an even older post I also raised possible connections with low self-esteem.

I was reminded of the issue not just from last weeks post but also because a reader found an earlier post through Googling "can bdsm help with depression"

So what do readers think? Can bdsm help with depression?

Thursday, 24 September 2015


In the BDSM 101 examination paper I mentioned in my last post I wrote a question about consent. It proposed an imaginary scenario in which consent was given but later withdrawn. The submissive in the example suffered from bi-polar disorder, though I could have equally have used other depressive mental conditions.

I will copy the question here:

Sarah and James were in a close BDSM relationship for 5 years. Sarah suffered from bipolar disorder which was mostly controlled through medication. Before meeting James, Sarah used to self-harm, often through cutting herself. Whilst in the BDSM relationship with James she no longer felt a need to do this. Their BDSM play was somewhat extreme. It involved needle play, stress bondage positions and heavy beatings including use of a whip. Eventually the relationship broke down. Some months later Sarah went to a police station with her lawyer. She claimed she had been restrained, whipped and beaten by James and although she acquiesced at the time, that because of her mental condition she was unable to give informed consent. She showed photographs of scars on her back and breasts. How should the police respond?

I suppose the question was ultimately about the ability to give consent in such cases and the responsibilities of a Dom in understanding the needs of a sub and not taking advantage.

Lea wrote,
The police should look for evidence of consent and her mental state at the time. With any case kink-related or not, it should be determined if the person truly was in a sane state of mind. I don't think James should arrested immediately, but that a discreet investigation should take place. It would be my hope that if Sarah was receiving medication, she also had a psychiatrist that she spoke of her issues openly to - this professional could be consulted as to her state of mind and her ability to consent to James.

Sofia Hisservant wrote,
Fascinating question! Legally, I have no idea what they “should” do, but I don’t think they should arrest and charge him. If she’s admitting, at the time she goes to them, that she consented at the time, but that the consent is not valid because of her mental illness, I don’t think she has a case. In order for her to not be able to consent, she would have to have already been found incompetent and be under the care of a guardian. Even if she’s on disability and has a payee, that’s not the same as being found incompetent in a court of law to make personal decisions. If she were stating that he had coerced her into consenting, that might be reason to charge him, but even then it’s going to be a super weak case. As much as I like the idea of RACK, I don’t think there’s a legal obligation for informed consent for beatings. I think the police might have to arrest him or notify him that charges have been filed, but I don’t think she has a leg to stand on.

There were a few comments in response to sofia's answer.
mckitten pointed out that the law in the UK and the US states that you cannot consent to abuse so any BDSM contract would not be enforceable.
Soume Stalked (Fury) noted that this was also the case in Canada.

little monkey wrote,
I am bipolar. This is deep water here. There have been times in my life when I probably shouldn't have had the keys to my own life. The compulsions to behave in certain ways can be impossible to resist, literally impossible, without medication, support, and training. But while I was unable to stop myself sometimes, I always knew when behavior was a bad idea, I just didn't care. So, consent, hmm, that's a tough one. I think in today's world , if she admits to consent, then he shouldn't be prosecuted. Ultimately it comes down to the character of the person you interact with. A person can have a mental illness and still take responsibility for their actions. If you were not coerced or manipulated into consent, then it is less than honorable to accuse someone else of wrongdoing because you regret something you did.

Thank you again to each of them for their thoughts on this tricky issue. I think the legal position is clear that in many countries consent might not be a defense to an accusation of assault following bdsm activities. Whether it should be is another question and the answer to it perhaps partly depends on answers to my main theme. That is all about the complex issues of consent in relation to BDSM activities, the responsibilities of a Dom - and in particular where a sub may be seen to be vulnerable, perhaps especially if she is having psychological problems at the time.

Many of us have suffered from periods of depression and have not always been fully stable. We have perhaps all made decisions we later regretted. What has to be the criteria for someone NOT to be held responsible for their decisions? Are there perhaps occasions where a sub may consent to certain extreme activities - in fact may invite them - but where the Dom should take responsibility for refusing to undertake the activity or perhaps tone it down? How is a Dom expected to be fully aware of all necessary issues?

In the example I concocted, I deliberately chose an example where the BDSM activities might be argued to have been beneficial for the sub - where self harm activities had been diverted into controlled and comparatively safe BDSM activities where another person was taking responsibility for safety issues.

Although it is a "made up" story - a fiction, I believe it highlights some very real issues for submissives and for dominants.

I would be pleased to hear further views about this.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

bdsm 101 - the results

On New Years Eve I posted an examination paper (BDSM 101) for readers to try out if they were getting bored with the festive season.

I received three fully completed papers, all of excellent quality. To engage in such a way with the exam will have taken a lot of time and effort. To have done it so well is truly amazing. Thank you very, very much to those who tried it and sent their work to me. I read and marked it all with comments back to each contributor. They all received very good grades - which is a shame in a way as it would have been fun to hand out some punishments!!!!

Lea published her paper here.

Sofia Hisservant published her result here.

Little Monkey's response is no longer available on her blog. I have written to her to check if she is happy for me to post it here. (UPDATE: She has now kindly allowed me to publish her excellent contribution here.)

They are really worth reading so do visit their pages and read the completed papers.

A couple of other readers wrote on their blogs or on Fetlife that they might have a go but I do not think I have heard back from them. If you did complete the exam and I have not found your response on dredging my memory and checking so long after the event please accept my apologies and write to me. I will then add a link.

If their efforts inspire any more of you to have a go please send me the results and I will publish them here.

Once again - many thanks to those who took part.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

a fresh start ...

If you read Graham's query to Uncle Agony here about whether an online relationship can work ... well, there have been developments!

You can read all about it here.


I have been thinking about self-image in the context of bdsm and D/s.

It relates perhaps to strength. I have written often before that I believe a submissive needs to be strong rather than weak. Submissiveness in a bdsm context is not the sign of weakness it may appear to be in other contexts.

I wonder how moving into the world of bdsm may affect people's self-image. If my thoughts are correct then it should have a positive effect. To be able to control another person and have them submit to your will surely helps give a feeling of self confidence which then enhances the ability to be controlling. Similarly the ability to submit and accept difficult challenges presented by one's partner should also enhance ones self confidence. The praise that may often accompany this - "good girl", for instance - will also enhance this feeling.

So if being part of the bdsm world can enhance one's self-image then may people delve into bdsm with this in mind? Are there those will low self esteem who seek out bdsm experience with the aim of improving their self-esteem? Would you advise someone with low self-esteem to try out bdsm or might that be dangerous advice?

Thursday, 3 September 2015

unfaithful - 3. Is polyamory a solution?

In the comments to the first post in this series, Unfaithful, His slut wrote,
I read something that has always stuck with me. One person cannot fulfill all the needs of their mate. How true it is? I'm not sure. I think in order to understand it does take a lot of communication.

If His slut is right and one person cannot fulfill all those needs then perhaps polyamory is what is needed. As Anonymous says in a comment to the same post,
I also think that partners may seek out other relationships for a variety of reasons. It may not always be sexual but often times, our roles in society are so defined that we find ourselves gravitating towards the old standby, when in actuality it could be the connection, joy, release or energy we enjoy from another.
In which case the needs His slut describes are not just about sex or bdsm issues but are much more wide ranging.

So can it be made to work? Does it need to be made to work? Is it even more the case in a fetish or bdsm or D/s context where the desires and needs might be broader or more specialist or just more unusual. Might some of them be much more difficult to be met by one person?

So do you have one person who can meet all your needs or do you hanker for another to help fulfill them or perhaps you already make a poly situation work well for you?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

unfaithful - 2

While I was back in the UK during December I started corresponding with a submissive American woman who lived in Shanghai. She was happily married with two kids, except ...

Well, you probably know the story, she was submissive but her husband wasn't dominant. He was unable to meet her submissive and possibly masochistic needs. She'd had a relationship with a European, dominant, married man who was also working in Shanghai. It had worked well and met both their needs, apparently without any strong feelings of guilt. However, he had been sent elsewhere by his business. A meet up with another Dom had not gone well.

On my return to Shanghai Inès encouraged me to meet her. I hoped it might be possible to develop a friendship and possible relationship involving the three of us. So we met and it went great. There was an obvious attraction and eagerness to take it further. Some online play ensued while we tried to set up further meetings. Then she had a major family crisis that involved her returning to the US and I have heard little from her since.

I tell this story though as an example of something I have heard from many online submissive female friends. I am sure it will also have been covered in Uncle Agony. I know of many submissive women whose husbands have been unable to meet their needs. This has often been after they have discussed the issues and the husbands have sometimes tried to be the dominant their wives crave but have found themselves unable to carry it off successfully. Some of those subs have gained some solace in online play and others through real meet ups or relationships - through being unfaithful.

I wonder what readers think of this. Is it better for a woman to have a secret relationship to keep their marriage going? Alternatively should they break up with all the additional hurt and damage if they have children? Or should they just put up with it? Perhaps some of you are in this situation and have found your own solution? Do share your thoughts and experiences.

Thursday, 20 August 2015


I had a very friendly comment recently from Ruby Little and followed the links to her blog Bound by Him. There I found a very moving post titled Unfaithful. I do hope some of the issues are resolving themselves for Ruby.

Reading it stimulated a number of thoughts. Firstly I was struck by the fact that Ruby felt guilty that her husband had been cheating on her. It was as if in some way she felt it was her fault, that she had not given him enough so he had to look elsewhere. Though clearly she is also hurt and angry because the trust and mutual respect so essential in a D/s relationship have been destroyed. I wondered if this was a common response in such circumstances - to reflect the guilt back on oneself?

I started to wonder again about the nature of monogamous relationships and wondered if in the pressures of today's society that such exclusivity is almost bound to give rise to such problems. I know it did for me in a previous relationship when I was the guilty party. My current relationship with Inès is an open relationship though we have not pushed this aspect hard. I hope that as long as we each know when the other has desires and needs that they want to be met elsewhere then if we are open about it then such encounters can be accommodated by our relationship. As long as we are open and honest then the trust and respect is maintained. Moving towards this in a conventional marriage is very hard. I wonder though in starting new relationships whether that is something that could be discussed and agreed from the start and whether that would allow un all to be happier with fewer break ups.

I think also that when a partner does go elsewhere for sex it is not necessarily because sex with the current partner is unsatisfactory. It can be that perhaps we are led into looking for variety and change. Perhaps if that is accepted it can help sustain a relationship.

Or then again I may just be talking nonsense! What do others think?

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Can online ever be a substitute for a face to face relationship?

I am sure I have written about online D/s and bdsm relationships before. I have had some very intense, real and lasting online relationships that have been very powerful and have stirred strong emotions.

So I was interested in an email while I was away from a reader who had fallen in love and wanted a real D/s relationship. However his girl was married and was only prepared to accept an online relationship. Could it be made to work?

I have reprinted his email (with permission) onto the Uncle Agony blog. You can read it here.

You can also read my very unsatisfactory response. It was written very hurriedly. If you can come up with further thoughts that would be great.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Home from Shaghai


 Yes, I'm back home. However I am up to my neck with moving into a new apartment, having relatives staying from abroad, helping Inès sorting out her apartment, getting used to being back in the UK, catching up on lots of creative and business ventures, getting in touch with old friends and ...

 well you know.

 So I am sorry if you are feeling neglected. There are a couple of people who I have promised to write about on here an Uncle Agony so a special apology to them. I do plan to be writing regularly here again soon so please watch this space and let everyone know that I am back!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Casting call ...

I received an email last week from a TV production company called Magilla Entertainment. They are located in NYC and specialize in non scripted programming. Some of their shows include Long Island Medium on TLC, Moonshiners on Discovery, and Beachfront Bargain Hunt on HGTV. As I am in the UK I don't know anything much about their programming as they are a NY based company but there is more about them and their shows on their website.

They wondered if some of my followers, newer to BDSM or curious about it, might be interested in an opportunity to take part in a new docu-series about people who want to change their lives in 21 days. One episode will feature couples who are bored with their vanilla sex life, and are looking to spice it up with kink and BDSM.

They have asked if I might be interested in being one of their BDSM experts to coach the couples through their transition. So who knows, I may even be involved. The full details are below. If you are interested please contact them directly. Do let us know if any of you do get in touch with them.


Is your sex life too vanilla? Do you want something different? Inspired by the 50 Shades of Grey craze, Magilla Entertainment and a major cable network are looking for couples who want to add a little more spice to their relationship for 21 days. This series will document the couple as they go on this transformative journey of finding ways to improve their sex life with the help of an expert. Following the “21 Day Myth” in which people can mentally and physically make changes after this certain time period, this docu-series will capture the excitement and the fears of the couple as they test out this new lifestyle change. If you are interested, contact us ASAP at with “SEX LIFE” in the subject along with your names, ages, location, occupation, contact numbers, recent photos and a brief paragraph about why you want to change your sex life.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

BDSM 101

If you would like to have a go at this perhaps you might like to copy it into the comments section or onto your own blog. I would be very pleased to have responses emailed to me (at please.) I will try to reply to any that I receive (with assessment and grading of course!)

Good luck

BDSM 101
End of Semester examination paper
Answer all questions

Time allowed: 90 minutes

Section A

1. RACK or SSC?
a) What do these acronyms mean? Explain in detail.
b) Why are they important?
c) What are the advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses of each?
d) Which do you adhere to? Justify your decision.

2. Trust is key to any BDSM relationship. Give an example from your own experience of where trust has broken down and describe the consequences.

3. Overheard at a munch. "In the end it is all about sex isn't it?" What do you think he meant? Was he right?

4. Sarah and James were in a close BDSM relationship for 5 years. Sarah suffered from bipolar disorder which was mostly controlled through medication. Before meeting James, Sarah used to self-harm, often through cutting herself. Whilst in the BDSM relationship with James she no longer felt a need to do this. Their BDSM play was somewhat extreme. It involved needle play, stress bondage positions and heavy beatings including use of a whip. Eventually the relationship broke down. Some months later Sarah went to a police station with her lawyer. She claimed she had been restrained, whipped and beaten by James and although she acquiesced at the time, that because of her mental condition she was unable to give informed consent. She showed photographs of scars on her back and breasts. How should the police respond?

Section B

1. Write a haiku about pain.

2. Complete this paragraph, "I am a submissive/switch/dominant (delete as appropriate) because ... The final paragraph should contain EXACTLY 100 words.

3. Write a short story or poem that illustrates the sensuality of submission.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Festive Reading

If the festivities all get too much for you ...

... then why not find a quiet corner and browse through some of the "Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2014".

There are many that I know but also lots that I don't. It looks like fun reading.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Festive Greetings

Wishing all of my readers the compliments of the season. I hope you find some peace and tranquility as well as lots of fun. Beau has posted slightly more scurrilous festive greetings here.

I will not have time to write much more before I return to Shanghai straight after Christmas.

I have however drafted and scheduled one more post. It is in the way of being a New Years quiz which many UK newspapers often set at this time of year. However I have done it in the style of a college examination paper. It is intended as a bit of fun but has a serious element to it. If you would like to have a go then you could write your response in the comments or on your own blog if you have one. If you would prefer to email it then send it direct to me at (my gmail accounts work less well in China but should now divert to the yahoo account anyway.)

I have scheduled the post to appear on New Years Eve.

If you write your response on your blog I would be very grateful if you were able to send me a copy as Blogger and Wordpress are difficult to access in China.

Good luck


Thursday, 18 December 2014

back from Shanghai

Not had time to discover much of kink in Shanghai though I am sure it exists. There is a group on Fetlife. I haven't mastered the software yet though to get through the new Great Wall of China - of Internet control and censorship.

Since I got home I have exchanged a few online words with some Shanghai kinksters so maybe I will get up to some more fun there soon. I also started a discussion with a Shanghai blogger. Do check out her very interesting blog Consensual Roughness with lots of good discussions. (You can find the discussion section by clicking on Rough House.) I think you might like it ...