Pain has long been used in religious rituals. Endorphins are released into the body when pain is induced, creating a clarity of mind and an inner-peace. Some even refer to it as feeling “high.” In the BDSM community, this is known as “subspace.” Shamans and many other non-Christian religious practitioners have used flagellation and other methods of suffering as a way to “scourge the soul” and as a way to achieve peace and a higher level of consciousness. Is it so strange, then, that BDSM and spirituality would merge?
Sex creates powerful energy between two people. Pain creates a powerful energy within the self and between two people. Domination and submission create powerful energies. To combine these things together into one event is to create a very powerful force indeed. Sex has long been distinguished as a force to be reckoned with in the magickal communities; “sex magick” has been used for centuries as a way to generate the energy needed to fulfill a magickal working, or “spell.” It can lend great amounts of energy to any magickal endeavor, and to take it even farther there is something known as “kink magick,” which specifically targets the energy created in Domination/submission connections to aid in magickal events.
But what about spirituality that isn’t related to magick or religion? Does the D/s relationship still have an impact on people who don’t hold any specific secular beliefs? If spirituality is defined as an awakening, as becoming more in touch with yourself and the primitive essence that is you, then yes, it does.
For some, the first experience with BDSM can be akin to a spiritual awakening. They have gotten in touch with a part of themselves that yearned for recognition. Their eyes are suddenly open and seeing so many new things. They are fulfilled in a way they never could have been previously. They have found a new way of life, a new path to walk upon. Their soul seems to have expanded and they feel complete.
BDSM is also often used as a way to confront inner demons. It is a means to self-discovery and enlightenment, both highly spiritual processes. We cannot be great until we have been humbled. We cannot create until we have deconstructed. We cannot be rebuilt until we have been destroyed. These things are all necessary for self-discovery, improvement and renewal.
Submissives and slaves who discover BDSM (who were subs/slaves well before their first scene) have found a new purpose in life. A new reason for being. A total mind, body and spiritual fulfillment. They have, quite literally, found something to worship. Someone to worship. This is an extremely powerful feeling. It is an awakening.
Dominants and Dominas who discover BDSM may initially start out as submissives. They evolve through the same profusion of emotions and self-discoveries as the eternal subs do. And then they achieve more; they go from worshipping to being worshipped. And there is nothing more powerful than that. It is an evolution of power.
BDSM provides an outlet through which many may submit to and explore the personal primitive nature of human beings. It is a way of finding liberation from inhibition and constraint, both imposed by society and internally. People can then feel more grounded, more in touch with themselves and therefore more spiritually aware. It isn’t just the pain. It is the trust. It is the intense emotional response. It is the feeling of being part of something larger than themselves.
It is the spirituality of BDSM.
Wrench Wench from Seattle on February 20, 2018:
Wonderful article! Love it!
Lasya Anahita Beaufort from NYC/Chelsea on December 02, 2017:
Very good read, Thank you for Sharing.