When they first encounter DD/LG, many people’s initial reaction can be quite negative. They might wonder why someone would enjoy it, think it’s strange, or even be a little disgusted. Once you move past the initial reactions and delve into the reasoning behind DD/LG, it’s actually not as strange as you might think. It builds on some very basic human instincts and emotions.
Is DD/LG or BDSM Bad for You?
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The first thing many people often think is that both DD/LG and BDSM can be damaging to your mental health and that people who take part in either practise must be quite damaged. Surprisingly, the complete opposite is true. Many studies have been done on regular practitioners and although the results aren’t conclusive, and psychologists can’t explain everything, the results are generally quite positive.
Some of our preconceptions may be rooted in older parts of psychology that have since been disregarded. Freud, in particular, maintained that most people who engaged in more unusual sexual practises were somewhat unhealthy and have deep rooted issues that cause their fetishes and fantasies. Back then, it was common for these “issues” to be “treatable”, so anyone who continued practising and enjoying the darker side of sex would commonly be thought of as sick or confused.
More modern research produces a starkly different result. Multiple studies have shown that not only are BDSM practitioners perfectly healthy; a lot of the time, they are even healthier than those involved in a more vanilla relationship. In particular, they can exhibit higher levels of extraversion, openness to new experiences, subjective well-being, and conscientiousness, as well as lower levels of neuroticism, and rejection sensitivity.
Another interesting consideration comes from the world of twentieth-century theatre. Antonin Artaud was a leading figure who termed the phrase Theatre of Cruelty. At its core, the Theatre of Cruelty is an idea that we all have deep repressed urges and desires that we spend our entire lives suppressing. Without an outlet, these desires gradually build up and eventually explode and cause us to go on somewhat of a rampage. By giving our primal desires an outlet through performance, Artaud argues that we can stay much healthier overall. Just as we can give these desires an outlet in a performance or show, we can let them out through BDSM and sexual activity, which can have exactly the same effect.
Do People Who Enjoy DD/LG Have Daddy Issues?
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A common theory many people hold is that those who enjoy DD/LG relationships have some level of childhood trauma that they are trying to make up for. This is an interesting consideration, as for some people, it can hold very true, and for others, it will be completely wrong.
When involved in a DD/LG relationship, the Little will often crave attention and care just like a small child would. At times, they might have missed out on this care during their childhood, and simply enjoy it now that they can make up for lost time. This isn’t true for everyone though, and even people from completely happy and healthy childhoods can enjoy it just as much!
What Do People Get Out of a DD/LG relationship?
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If we accept that these relationships can be completely healthy and enjoyed by adults who are functioning just the same as everyone else, then we can start to realise why someone might come to enjoy them. As humans, we tend to have two very basic instincts that we want to fulfil. These are to be cared for, and to care for others. We each sit somewhere on a scale between the two and finding someone opposite to yourself can be incredibly rewarding in a relationship.
People who enjoy becoming a Little fall much further towards being cared for. They need a lot of attention and looking after, somewhat more than many more vanilla people. Similarly, those who enjoy fulfilling the role of the dominant in a relationship take great pleasure in being able to look after another and fulfil their every need, much more than the average person. As they fall on opposite ends of the spectrum, both the Little and the Caregiver can satisfy each other’s needs, forming somewhat of a symbiotic relationship.
When Is BDSM Bad for You?
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Although there is plenty of research to support a person being able to stay completely healthy while engaging in more unusual or extreme sexual practises, there are scenarios where it can become bad for you. Some psychologists still use diagnoses of things like Sexual Sadism Disorders with some patients. The key consideration these days is whether or not the participants are suffering distress. If they aren’t, then there’s no problem, but if they are, there may be something else at work.
It isn’t just psychological problems that can tip a relationship from good to bad. Sometimes, a BDSM relationship can slip towards abuse very easily, and it’s incredibly hard to notice. The most common symptom of this is a lack of trust and consent. When one partner starts doing things the other doesn’t agree to, the relationship is becoming unhealthy.
Overall, it will be a personal thing, so it’s important to pay attention to your own mind. At any point you find that your sexual activities are starting to interfere with your regular life, then it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate things.