Answer from Dr. Locker
Deciding to move from fantasy into reality when it comes to an alternative sexual lifestyle or behavior is a very personal decision. There are some people who believe that S&M will harm your life by getting you involved in a type of sexuality that is not accepted by other people, and that many believe can affect your psyche in unhealthy ways. There are others who believe that it is just an alternative way to express sexual variations with like-minded people, when it is “safe, sane and consensual” (the biggest buzz words in the S&M community). What you believe is strictly up to you. If there are people in your life who you are very close to you (including a therapist), then you may choose to talk this over with them. If you want to venture more into the world of S/M, in order to determine if it is right for you, gather as much knowledge about it as you can. Most major cities have SM organizations that hold discussion groups or classes to educate those who are interested in learning more. For example, in New York City, there is a BDSM (Bondage Disciple Sadism Masochism) group called the The Eulenspiegel Society and on their web site you will find information plus a calendar of meetings for “newbies”. This group may or may not be for you --I am not endorsing it, just mentioning it as somewhere that has more info. Remember, even if you start it, you will be able to stop if you change your mind and do not want to get involved with it more.
For more information, you can also read my answer to this questions: *My new girlfriend is into S & M, and I know nothing. Please tell me the basics!
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