Here is the first piece of many more to come on relationships, sexuality and mental health.
NOTE: Topics discussed throughout this post may be triggering and you should utilize your best judgment as to what you can and can NOT handle. Be well and practice self care by knowing your limits.
Megan is a participant in the BDSM community and utilizes the structure it gives to help her work through her mental health struggles. BDSM is a consent based culture and community that holds consent
Tanya recognized her muse in Megan. Through her own goals and soon finding their shared aspirations they began creating a life that suited each of their needs and continued growing the blog and podcast.
We had an insightful conversation, one that I myself found very intriguing and informative. As you may have come to realize, I hold information and knowledge in the utmost importance. Giving oneself the gift of knowledge can be invaluable.
Learn, people. Learn.
Tanya doesn't see herself as a BDSM community member, "I wouldn't claim to be in the lifestyle..." As an artist Tanya was seeking a muse and did indeed find that in Megan via her strength. They use many BDSM structures but an important note, there is not a sexual dynamic to their relationship. They value open communication but have now negotiated sex out of their relationship. Which is something that is not as uncommon as you may assume.
Megan was experiencing sex in a negative way before leaving her toxic relationship. She explained she was experiencing dissociation to the extent of not feeling connected to her body. Sex never felt good at this time. She realized she needed more from life and craved the feeling of safety. She wanted someone to bring out the sexual parts of her in a safe way.
Megan has been on a journey of finding herself and that includes her sexual experiences. From one extreme to the other, she has now begun to realize that it is ok to say no. Which can be a massively beneficial thing. Anyone who experiences addictions, guilt or shame can tell you that. With so many toxic things going on for her she slept with what she defined as many people, in an attempts to feel something but still was not connecting to her body. She was in a sense, in a dissociated auto pilot. Seeking what so many who deal with trauma attempt to find...connection. After witnessing her mother's murder and the added traumas of this experience she numbed and became hyper vigilant in many things. BDSM has been an assisting factor in giving up some of that obsession for control.
Tanya is growing and becoming more selective of whom she places her trust. Furthermore, saying "yes" does not make you sex positive. Which is another one of those unfortunate misconceptions. Choosing who and how you allow people into your life is just as positive as wanting to enjoy sex. Touch is so important and by removing sex from many things in life there has been some serious benefits to her well being.
Man-whore? Shame. If you fall somewhere in-between and express your dislike for any specific activity you're then labeled a prude, but the opposite is also true as well, when you express your enjoyment of sex or sexual exploration that then somehow makes you a whore. Well, which is it? If I were to ask the answers would differ greatly. My stance on this is simple...Live your life. Live it in a safe and consensual manner, with open communication about what your expectations and needs are and don't forget about your partners either. Otherwise what the hell are we doing anyway?