Is BDSM Really All That Bad?

Posted by Bob and Dannah Gresh
Last week I (Dannah) wrote a blog entitled I’m Not Reading Fifty Shades Of Grey. The applause and outcry were mingled with questions. And tough questions they are! I would really not prefer to be the one to answer them, but someone has to. Especially when those asking are teenagers who are forming their value system concerning their sexual future. The question that’s rising to the surface of the Fifty Shades debate is this: “Is BDSM really all that bad? Can’t it be experienced in a marriage if both partners are in agreement?” As a married couple, we’d like to try to answer this question.

In several of the comments to the original blog on the book, Christian women defended BDSM. We’re grateful for their transparency and the gentle way in which at least one of the women presented her opinion. We took time to receive much counsel before presenting these thoughts.

To those teens who defended or questioned what is wrong with BDSM, I’m sad you even have to trudge through this topic.

To those married women that rose up to defend BDSM, we can only guess that your marriage beds are loving in all ways and at all times, and that there are never bruises, blood, or injury of any kind in any way. And that you are both equally interested in what we’d prefer to call some aggressive play. The tone of your messages tells us that this is so. If you have moments of playfulness that include pushing each other around without harm, holding one another up against the wall, or ripping off each other’s clothes…who are we to judge?

But be careful what you call it! Please, be careful what you call it.

(Dannah has counseled women who have taken naked photos for their husbands that no other eye has ever seen and it has never been of concern to her. She would never let them call this pornography.)

BDSM stands for Bondage. Dominance. Sadism. Masochism.

Sadism? Masochism? In psychiatry, the terms sadism and masochism describe a personality type characterized by the actor or actrix deriving pleasure and gratification from inflicting physical pain and humiliation. The terms specifically refer to one who either enjoys giving pain (sadist), or one who enjoys receiving pain (masochist). These are words that are direct counterfeits of God’s attributes.

Bondage? Jesus came to set the captives free. (See Isaiah.)

Dominance? He emptied himself. (See Phil 2. Esteem one another.)

God never desires us to seek pain or to give pain to others. On the contrary, he created marriage to be a picture of his love. (See Ephesians 5:31,32) If that’s so, the marriage bed must be a tender reflection of deep knowing and respect. Why, he even uses the word yada to describe what should happen in that place. Yada means “to know, to be known, to be deeply respected.” No mention of the physical act happening, it is to transcend the physical to be an act of knowing and respect. In the marriage bed, we can experience this knowing.

Is the marriage bed always undefiled?

Some have argued that it is, no matter what happens in it. This is not true. To use that verse out of context is to imply that whatever goes on in the marriage bed is by definition “undefiled.” That is a perversion of the verse. It is the exact opposite of what that verse is trying to say. Marriage is honorable and the bed is TO BE undefiled. “Honorable”or “honoring” is the opposite of sadism, masochism, bondage and dominance. It is the ultimate oxymoron—the term “honorable sadist” may have never before been uttered.

The fact is we shouldn’t let the world abbreviate these words. Never shorten it to BDSM. Use the words. It’s a lot easier to “defend” the letters BDSM than it is to extol the virtues of bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism.

We challenge you to think of a worst word than sadism. Rape? No. That is just one characteristic of sadism. Torture? Just another tool of the sadist.

Even Satan must have a hard time believing he could get feminists to give up all their campaign for equality, rights, and power to promote bondage, powerlessness, and the rights of men to derive sexual satisfaction from chaining women and inflicting pain and humiliation. Can you imagine his surprise that he not only won over some feminists… But Christians as well. The only reasoning I can think of for feminists to capitulate and accept the utter perversion of everything they’ve worked for is the truth of the old adage that ” the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” So many Feminists consider biblical authority such an enemy that it becomes palatable to join in league with our enemy, Satan—even if it means giving up their cause. In reality, it shows what their true cause really is—emnity with God.

While it is OK to experience something rough and playful in the bedroom…nothing about BONDAGE, DOMINANCE, SADISM, OR MASOCHISM is undefiling or honorable.

 

Note: This post is based upon a comment I posted in response to a comment in the conversation regarding I’m Not Reading Fifty Shades Of Grey. Several readers asked if I could make it an entire blog post so that it could be shared. Here it is!

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93 Comments

  • Let me begin by thanking you Dannah for the courage you showed by posting about this book.I mean after all, it is topping the bestseller list and it was necessary that someone evaluate the book in light of Scripture. I agree with your thoughts 101% and have prayed that the harsh responses of some may not downcast your heart and that the Holy Spirit will continue giving you boldness to speak truth in a world of so many shades of grey. Christ has and is using you to get the message of purity as far as where I am across the oceans. In deed, I have been blessed by all the books you’ve written that I have been fortunate to get my hands on.

    My thoughts on Bondage, Dominance, Sadism & Masochism is that it is dominated by lust and where lust is there is no room for love because they are mutually exclusive. Lust chokes & kills true love. And where love does not exist, all kinds of disorder follow. Where lust is love checks out the window because lust is selfish and all about our pleasure and never about what you can give wholly. As christians we are called to put everything to test and keep that which is good and reject what is evil (1 Thes. 5:21 GNB). So before we rush to the defence of something we should ask God to test our hearts and help us walk in the way of truth (Ps. 26:2-3). This will help prevent us from being corrupted by the thinking of the world. We cannot afford to have our thinking mangled by the world because then we lose sight of God. We might argue that we are free to choose and no one has the right to impose their opinions on others. That’s true but let us remember that freedom is a gift (thank God for that) and like any gift, we ought not to abuse it. In this case by choosing sin no matter how sugar coated it is. All that frosting on a poisonous cake does not change it from being poisonous. All am saying is if anything could potentially harm our relationship with God and others, no matter how trivial, isn’t that reason enough to let it go? That’s what dying to self entails. Point is, let us seek God’s guidance in anything before we adopt it.

    • If reading 50 shades is the worst thing you do in your entire life then you are doing well.
      We talk and talk about is good and what is bad about sex and BDSM,etc.

      Yet we never talk about things that are much bigger sins.
      Idolatry…to have no other gods before me.
      Yet there is one god that is more powerful than any other.
      And we never talk about it as being what it is a true sin.
      The worship of the almighty “FOOTBALL”

      Football is worshiped here in this country.
      People will travel miles and miles spending money they can ill afford to spend on the almighty football.
      I don’t see Christians traveling miles and miles to special services to praise GOD.
      However I have seen and heard them sit in church and talk about noting but football.
      It angers me to hear anyone talk of the god football. But in the Lords House it is even worse.

      So I would say if you really want to talk about sins and the things we should not be doing you are barking up the wrong tree.

      It is time we begin to see past those things we think are ok and maybe not a sin. And see them for what they really are.

      • Simon, this is classic logical fallacy. You are trying to say that because some sins exist, the one I’m point out does not. Doesn’t fly, dude! Try again.

  • Thank you for making this its own post. I stand with your views oncerning this topic, and that you addressed it with wisdom and love.

  • Thank you so much for presenting this in a thoughtful gentle way. I kept seeing the cover pop up as a bestseller on all the book sites I visit and when I read the synopsis I was horrified. I have no desire to read about these things. I agree 100% that erotica is dangerous in that it creates that rut in your brain and soon you can only get excited from the erotica (whether you read, see, or imagine it). I also think that erotica, like porn is a progressive addiction and therefore what is exciting today won’t be so exciting in a month or two. It will be old hat and you’ll need something to further titillate. Eventually one could cross the line. I have so many friends reading this and they’re all gushing about how wonderful it is. I’m saddened because this is porn for women and many women have no idea what they’re stepping into until it’s too late. Much like men who start by looking at sexy photos in Maxim then they end up hooked on porn. I’m not saying everyone who looks at Maxim or reads these books is going to end up totally depraved. However, we all have addictive personalities and it’s so easy to be seduced by this stuff. Ladies please just be careful and pray about it first.

  • Thanks. Very true. Having lived the lifestyle before being saved, I can say it’s dangerous and NOT for the marriage bed. Pain and humiliation is not part of love. Ever.

    • With respect Theresa… your version of the lifestyle may not be what someone else has experienced. Someone playing a practical joke on on someone else can be a mean act or in good fun… and it is technically “sadism”. Would you call self-deprecating humor “masochism” as well?

      Please don’t say “but that is different…” simply because you don’t think of such things as being unpleasant because “they are all in good fun”. That is precisely how many BDSM practitioners feel about what they do. I know people in the lifestyle who are some of the most healthy communicative relationships I know. Your experience of the lifestyle may have been bad but that does not give you the right to pass judgement or generalize regarding others.

  • Hi Dannah. First of all, I just want to say that I have read this book. I read it months ago after hearing a very vague story on the news. I haven’t told many people I read it or that I was reading it even though everyone around me seems to be talking about it now. I am embarrassed and I know it is because I feel convicted by my choice to read the book. I am single 27 year old that is no longer a virgin. I feel like I fall into a category that people don’t discuss because I am a Christian that unfortunately did not save her body for her husband. I haven’t had sex in several years, but I haven’t been in a relationship in that long as well. How can I live a life that is pleasing to God and respect this body that he gave me when I have damaged it so much? I also struggle with food addiction/binge eating and very low self esteem. In other words, I torture myself because of the mistakes I have made. Do you have any biblical insight as to what I should do now? Is it too late to honor God and my future husband? Can I expect a man to wait until marriage when I didn’t wait before him? These are questions that I have had in recent years and are brought to light even more because of this discussion and this book. Thank you for answering my questions.

    • Hey Mel,
      I don’t know all the details of your life and I’m not going to pretend to, but I know that our God is an amazing redeemer and he loves you no matter what you have done. I also know that if you are meant to be in a relationship (and not all of us are, I’m single) that God will send a man your way who will love you in spite of your past. If you don’t believe God can love anyone, look up the story of Mike Haley and his wife. He is an ex-gay and she was post abortive twice before they got married, and now they are serving God together with two adorable kids! Just remember you are God’s precious baby girl.

    • Yes, Mel there is room for you at the cross. The Word says that “now there is no longer any condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) and that means you. I did not save my body either, but my sins and yours were taken on the cross. God has thrown them as far as the east is from the west. You are forgiven, you are restored! Titus 3:5 [God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” the world also exhorts us to “renew our minds” in Romans 22; in the end it comes down to spending time with God and reading the Bible. God does want you, He is the One knows all…he already knows our mistakes and He takes us back anyway…..If you have stopped going to church, please return to a God-filled body, and if you are still going, keep going. I went through a very hard phase in life and these were the things that brought me through it., along with counseling. Do not fear to seek (especially a Christian) professional counseling for your eating and esteem issues. After all, we go to the doctor when the body is sick, and the same Creator-Father God gave both the physical and the mental doctor their talents. Just remember to compare it all to the Word. You are precious in the sight of Christ, remember the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15…..remember how the father ran to his son, full of his desperate love for his son, that is how God loves you now and forever. I am praying for you.nn1

  • Thank you!! I am always telling my husband and children that they should guard themselves against things they can’t “unsee” or “unhear.” Though I never considered whether or not I would read the book, the title says it all…shades of grey. The Bible is very clear, very black and white, about what we are to pursue and from what we should flee. Grey issues in life should always be filtered through His Word. Thanks for bringing that to light.

  • Thank you for your post!! I don’t plan on reading this book! I don’t need to. If someone feels like they lack intimacy I would suggest The Bible !! God wants us married couples to enjoy each other. Also Life way christian book store has many books on the subject. I say all this with love and no judgment.

  • Thank you for your insightful article responding to this book, Fifty Shades of Grey! I will tell others about your website and books after reading about your ministry!

    I was shocked to see this book highlighted on the Dr. Oz show! I had not heard of it until then. I turned the show off after maybe four minutes so to be honest I don’t know that he “jumped on the bandwagon” but even bringing it to mass attention through his show to me was unacceptable! I hope his purpose was to make women aware of the physical and emotional danger of this type of behavior!

    • Am I the only person who saw the interview of the actual 50 shades author in which she admitted she has never actually been into BDSM?

      • Dear N. May I just say you are loved, wholly, respected and appreciated, the apple of someone’s eye, precious and wholly desired. You were never an accident or an unforseen circumstance. You were planned by the Creator to be that unique and special, amazing person who you are. Down inside, the truly you in the middle of all the many you’s, you are beautiful and accepted in the cross. Jesus loves you. He knows every secret that you heart could ever hold. He has a magnificent destiny for you. He longs for you.There is a place in His heart that is just for you, and a hole in your heart that noone else can fill. I thought that I was one Noone, too, but my relationship with Him has shown me that in God’s eyes, I am Someone Beloved! There is room for you, too! He is waiting! He is calling! Come to Jesus! it is not about what someone else is doing. All people do some things wrong sometimes. This is about the relationship between you and Christ. Come and see what a Treasure you are to Christ and He can be to you! Read the books of John. http://www.blueletterbible.org

  • Beautifully said, friends! Thank you.

    The world wants us to believe this sort of lifestyle is harmless–my hubby and I have counseled too many hurting people because of sexual sins.

    Protect your marriage and honor God with what HE has entrusted you.

  • @Mel
    Hi Mel. My heart goes out to you and I have prayed that God will wrap you and overwhelm you with His extravagant love. Let me encourage you that there is absolutely no sin that God cannot forgive. There is no wound that His stripes (that He endured on our behalf) cannot heal. I know, perhaps you have heard this over and over and the challenge is believing it, but really, you can take Him at His word.He makes all things new and the old is gone (2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 2:14-15). I believe that you can trust God to provide a man who honours Him (and you) enough not to hold your past against you. Meanwhile, as you wait for him, let God be your first love, your prince & knight in shining armor. God has and will supply all that is necessary to live a Godly life, body and soul (2 Peter 1:3-4) and is able to present you as pure and blameless before God (Jude 1:24). Could I also suggest that you get a copy of Dannah’s What are you waiting For: The one thing no one tells you about sex. It addresses what you are going through and will prove helpful. Another great resource for your struggle with food addiction and sexual woundedness is settingcaptivesfree.com, it’s got great stuff that helped me a lot as well. God loves you, He does and He is waiting to give you a crown of beauty for ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)

  • @Mel
    “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,he condemned sin in the flesh,in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:1-11. Mel, I join with africanprincess in praying that God will remind you of his love and forgiveness, and I encourage you to take hope in that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ.

  • @Mel
    To Mel, I read your comment on here earlier today and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I really felt I needed to come back and leave you a word of encouragement. You sound like you are at a place where I was when I was your age.

    I am 41 now, married almost 11 years & I have four young boys. But, before that, I lived a life that went against everything I’d been taught. I grew up in a Christian home. I accepted Christ at an early age. I lived the ‘right’ life and sought God’s will until I was in my early 20’s. Then, when I moved out of my parent’s house, I suddenly was confronted with life & decisions and I failed miserably.

    I was a late bloomer (I also have struggled with food issues & low self esteem also). I didn’t date during high school & only slightly during college….not because I didn’t want to, but because no-one asked! I started to change the way I dressed & carried myself and while I felt ‘pretty’ for the first time in my life, it wasn’t a true sense of worth. And, that’s what got me into trouble.

    I began dating more after I graduated from college & made poor choices in men. Sexual activity became a slippery slope. As I allowed more and more advances to be made, I thought they’d like me more, but, in truth, it only made me feel worse about myself. Once I committed the ‘ultimate act of rebellion’ against God (this is how I saw it) & lost my virginity, I felt like there was no turning back.

    I entered a vicious cycle of promiscuity & self destructive behaviors. And, all along I felt God calling me back to Him. But, my shame was too great. I didn’t see how God could ever forgive me. And, I certainly didn’t see how a Christian man would ever consider me for a Godly wife.

    Then, I met the man who was to become my husband, a Christian man. I was 28. He was 24. I thought he was far too young & innocent to become a serious relationship. But, he pursued me. And, even though I told him about my past…which I was SURE would scare him off…he said that it didn’t matter to him. He saw me for who I really was inside and who I could become.

    In other words, he showed me boundless Grace….Grace that reflected that of the Father’s. And, although it took time, healing began. There’s so much more to this story. But I wanted to say this to you – Do not let shame consume you! It is a lie of the enemy that you aren’t worthy… or that a Christian man could love you.

    There is unconditional love for you! Love from God & ,someday, love from a Godly man!

  • Thank you for posting this. This comes from a 23 year old woman who was abused through childhood and early teens. I know what bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism is. I experienced it. And you teens and young people reading this- it’s NOT harmless. Dannah, thank you for speaking the truth boldly in love. I had never heard of you until a friend posted this on FB. I will be checking in more often, for sure! You are right on. Blessings!

  • I had posted a comment on the original review of the book, but feel that I would like to post here in a little more detail on this particular topic. Prior to coming to the walk of a believer, my husband and I were deeply involved in the world of BDSM (which I had always referred to as Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism, b/c B/D by itself is Bondage and Discipline) I agree totally with the sentiment of your words, Dannah, and only want to voice an agreement with a slightly different perspective. I was never actually physically or sexually abused as a child, but I was exposed to fantasy literature and graphic imagery at a very young age. Before I ever had a sexual encounter, my ideas of sexuality and intimacy were wrapped up in fictional images, lust, and depravity. This translated into the sexual encounters I later sought, and I viewed sex as a game or a power struggle. Before committing to my husband, this meant it was a game I was trying to manipulate and win. After getting married, it turned into a role reversal where I desperately sought to feel “mastered”… which led us to BDSM. In my opinion…
    Bondage: What is the actual difference in being restrained against your will, and simulating being restrained against your will? Why is being restrained exciting? It is a simulation of being forced to give physical love or pleasure. Whether or not you are acting consentually, you must admit to yourself that the “idea” of having this taken from you by force sexually arouses you… and examine within yourself if the origin of this arousal is godly.
    Discipline/Dominance: The Scriptural nature of a relationship between a man and woman is that of dominance and submission. But it is a submission of honour and love, and a dominance of headship and responsibility. A submission that is forced, simulating being forced, or humiliating is a twisting of this natural order.
    Sadism: Cruelty, violence, and the desire to inflict pain are never godly. Torture is evil… and the simulation of torture for sexual pleasure is the simulation of something evil. That said, enjoying “rough play” or an intense sexual experience which borders on or even includes pain is not in my opinion the same thing as simulating torture.
    Masochism: Self-harm or the desire to be harmed are identified in Scripture with a demonic presence repeatedly. The desire to be harmed or humiliated comes from a place of shame and pain, and is never godly or god-given.
    I believe that all of these tendencies and expressions of sexual desire come out of searching for the true and blessed relationship between husband and wife, which is itself a picture of our correct relationship with our Heavenly Father. A wife walking in fulfilled submission to a husband in masterful and righteous headship. If you have to simulate force, I think it is your fleshly nature battling your true role while your being truly longs for it, and so seeking to be “subdued” into it. I am not addressing the flip side of this which is female Dom/male sub… but I think the implications of that role reversal are Scripturally obvious. Now, with all that said… I do believe there is a righteous and healthy way to be passionate, creative, even wild. There is nothing wrong with passionate love in marriage…. read Song of Solomon! Your husband IS your master, and willingly submitting to his desires is a blessing. Your body DOES belong to him, you don’t have to pretend. I have found that having the REAL thing and realizing it far surpasses any play you could imagine.

    • Wow .. I am a baptised Christian after living the Bdsm lifestyle for over 10 years
      I have never read anything that made as much sense to me as this article has
      So ..amen and thank you

  • Let me attempt to redefine BDSM for you.

    Bondage: Christ freed us from a oppressive, evil bondage of sin. This is not at all comparable to my husband binding me for pleasure.

    Dominance: The dominance (and submission) that happen within a BDSM relationship are illusions. Power is exchanged for a specific amount of time, but ultimately, anything the submissive DOESN’T want to happen simply won’t. There are safe words, limits, and communication established before hand.

    Sadism/Masochism: Go hand in hand. Pain and pleasure are two side of the same coin. For many, many people they are intimately related. Can I find pleasure in the bedroom with my husband without pain? Absolutely, and I often do. But if it is something I desire, and it is something he is willing to give, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is consensual and bound by strict, safe limits. Pain that I did not consent to would of course NEVER be pleasurable for me, nor would my husband ever consider it.

    If BDSM is not for you, then please, never attempt it. But it is NOT rape, assault, or sinful. The FACT is that the Bible does not speak about the subject, and the verses you quoted are far from addressing it. My initial attraction to the man I married was that he strove to be Christ-like daily. That has not changed over the years.

    Don’t subscribe to the common misconceptions about BDSM. Can it be done wrong? Yes. Is it? Absolutely. But saying that there is a limit to how two consenting married Christians can monogamously enjoy each other is really not that far off from early missionaries telling converts that certain sexual positions are not pleasing to God, and that sex is purely for the conception of children.

    Just because it is far from your tastes does not make it wrong.

    Lissa

    • I agree Lissa about avoiding stereotypes here— BDSM relationships are established on a huge amount of trust, trust which might be absent in many “vanilla” (to borrow from 50 Shades of Grey”) sex encounters due to the simple fact some married couples don’t talk openly about sex, limitations, and fantasy. BDSM by nature involves one person being able to trust another person to have complete control, and before they enter into any type of BDSM relationship, boundaries have to be established. There is something that “vanilla” sex practitioners could learn from this type of relationship: transparency, honesty, and listening. Furthermore, there are scholars who put a spin on the whole notion of the submissive being powerless. Interestingly enough, they argue that the submissive in fact holds all the power because the dominant partner operates according to their taste, desires, and ultimately fulfills the submissive’s fantasy; the submissive pulls the strings.

    • Agree with lissa here but won’t to add a few things as u can tell looking at my name I am a part of the lifestyle but at the same time I am a Christian and this is what I would like to add bdsm is not all about sex and pain it’s about helping each other that is my first job as a dom I put my subs before myself and protect them and help them become a better form of them and besides the bible tells us not to judge and all sins r equal and far as the book goes I wish it was not made there r more ppl think they know what they r doing instead they are hurting ppl

    • Just because the Bible doesn’t say that there is a limit, doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be discernment involved. The Bible calls us to have discernment over every area of our lives.

  • Okay, I realize that I’m talking to people who have very black and white views about the particular topic, but here we go:

    BDSM is different for every person in it. Many people have these submissive desires, and growing up in a Christian home as someone who naturally feels submissive, I grew up thinking that there was a whole part of me that was “wrong”.

    Now, for some people involved in BDSM, you are very very right, it’s about dominance and proving control and pain and humiliation. However, the people involved in these types of BDSM relationships rarely last. There is no basis of trust or mutual understanding.

    As much as I tried to suppress it, submission is a part of me, and the part most people don’t understand is that it’s not about someone TAKING from me, it’s about GIVING to another person. This is the key difference between any kind of destructive or successful relationship, but especially with BDSM relationships.

    As a submissive, I am not there for people to take from. I do not submit to any and every man who expresses interest. I save myself for someone I can trust and I am comfortable with. I give of myself. When he ties me up, it shows how much I trust him. When I do silly or odd things because he tells me to, it shows that I respect him. I am not one to get turned on by pain, though those people are out there and I have tried it. But if I do something physically demanding for him, it’s because I know he’ll take care of me after.

    The large majority of healthy BDSM relationships are based on submission, not dominance. In fact, most men who are able to maintain healthy BDSM relationships and identify as ‘dominant’ started as submissives, and realized that they enjoy caring for the submissive as well. Many couples often switch these roles.

    Submissive urges and desires for BDSM relationships, or at least experiments, are scientifically proven to be real. Many of you would argue that this lifestyle is based in lust, however personally, it’s not the sex I’m looking for, it’s the opportunity to submit. I want to give him full control of me, knowing full well that he won’t use it. It’s the ultimate display of trust.

    I don’t expect to win over anyone with this post, but I have done the best I can to describe what healthy BDSM relationships really are, and I can only hope that you will be a bit more hesitant next time you want to condemn something you don’t understand. It’s one thing to look into a situation, especially a sexual one, and write it off as impure and lustful without understanding why the people involved are attracted to it in the first place.

    • I wanted to applaud you for opening up, and have to say as a dominant, married man who was raised in a very traditional Christian household, it was extremely difficult for me to open up to my wife about my desires and trust her with that knowledge. And I am blessed to have a wife willing to give the gift of submission. We talked and talked and planned and planned and I found after our first scene that I loved her even more than I can say because of what she was willing to do for me. I found our relationship deepened by miles, and for all I have always verbally condemned pornography and strongly attempted to abstain, there has always been that pull to satisfy my desires through porn, and when my wife allowed that stage of our relationship, those pulls disappeared. The next time I had that habitual thought, I could click that button and be there, satisfying that desire, I realized it was just that, habit. The drive, the pull wasn’t there anymore. My wife helped keep that constant temptation away. I shall love her forever for the active gift, and the behind the scenes gift that she has given me.

  • I apologize, reading through your comments on “I’m not reading 50 shades of grey” I didn’t see you comment saying you wouldn’t publish anything with BDSM. You have permission to replace the letters for what they stand for, however please keep in mind that the letters mean different things to different people. Bondage/Domination/Sadism/Masochism is the most common, and it is most frequently used just because of the familiarity. I would like to point out that those four words do not describe everyone involved. Especially the last two. There are actually many many people who oppose people identifying themselves as Sadists or Masochists, as Safe, Sane, and Consensual can be found on any BDSM based website.

    That being said, I apologize again, however please keep in mind that SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual) is the biggest acronym in the ‘lifestyle’ after BDSM, and the meaning, identities and connotations of the meaning of those letters are much debated.

  • ayra :
    Bondage/Domination/Sadism/Masochism is the most common, and it is most frequently used just because of the familiarity. I would like to point out that those four words do not describe everyone involved. Especially the last two. There are actually many many people who oppose people identifying themselves as Sadists or Masochists, as Safe, Sane, and Consensual can be found on any BDSM based website.

    Thank you so much for this comment @ayra. I’m rather late to the topic because I just came across it via a single friend of mine. I have no interest in reading the book, but I do strongly oppose a blanket opposition to BDSM that is based on misinformation.

    When my rather innocent Christian husband came to me and asked about using blindfolds and such in our bedroom, I was rather confused at first because he blushes when someone says “That’s what she said.” But over the years, I’ve come to cherish this side of him that is secret only between the two of us. I ended up buying a well-respected and not graphic non-fiction guide book on the subject to learn more about being a submissive, and what we practice is Dominant/submissive or servant/Master (which is what I always think the S/M stands for).

    In my opinion, when I am being submissive in the bedroom, it is a picture of how I probably should be all the time as a Christian wife. My husband, as my master, would never ask me to do anything that would cause real harm to me. He knows his limits and mine, as a loving dominant always should. I trust him completely with every aspect of my life. He is in his everyday life a quiet man, and I am naturally loud and bossy. In these private moments, the balance is tipped a little more in his favor, but for us it gives great pleasure.

    I have no doubt that the lifestyle among singles is very sinful. But I could not imagine asking my good, kind, hardworking husband to give it up just because it is sometimes misused by others.

  • @MrsM

    THANK YOU!

    “He is in his everyday life a quiet man, and I am naturally loud and bossy. In these private moments, the balance is tipped a little more in his favor, but for us it gives great pleasure.”

    This has helped my own marriage so much – I am the same, I am kind of bossy and overbearing, my husband is much kinder and gentler and patient than I am. I look up to him for that and try to be more like that, so this “power exchange” experience in the bedroom has been so great, “play acting” this scenario out has helped me explore being more submissive, and its also helped HIM find a voice, this kind of play acting can be helpful for couples, this creates a safe space to try that, sometimes a “fantasy” situation is a good place to create a dialogue. Its a amazing thing…its nothing like what has been presented here.

    I just hope that those of us who have had positive experiences can have a voice in this dialogue, I just feel like this topic has been turned into some scary fiction, and as much as I love so much of what the author of these articles has brought to light, this really hit a nerve.

  • I would challenge you to dig deep and even read the prior posts. All I can say is I would never want you around my kids or having ANY sort of leadership role in the church. @Lissa

  • Remind me again why you get to exact judgement on what people choose to do with their lives? Just wondering. Jesus reclaimed all sinners in his death, so that whoever beliefs in him will be saved right? So if the man or women I love thinks it would be fun to engage in a little roll playing, would that be okay? How about oral sex? In my opinion: BDSM isn’t good. or bad. I really just couldn’t care less about what anyone else does with their lives. The bible reiterates one thing above all else: LOVE. And If you can find love in something I say more power to ya. It is the saddest of things when mainstream christianity becomes an outward moral police rather than a community seeking enlightenment.

  • Thank you for standing for women everywhere. I have felt like I’m a prude among many women I know, but continue to follow my convictions. Now I know I’m not the only one!!

  • Just dropping a comment here as well to let you know that I did, indeed, read this post as well… and you still haven’t done the proper research into what BDSM actually is. You take what you think it is and then look at what the Bible says about that.

    Unfortuantely for you, what you THINK it is and what it REALLY is are two completely different things.

    I’m sorry that you appear to be so close-minded about the subject, even when this blog post is supposedly done so “graciously” to respond to a couple of comments you received.

  • Hi Dannah. Hope you don’t mind a post coming into the discussion so late on. When I was searching online last night for the words “Jesus heals BDSM” I found scarcely anything that was sensible and good except the debate on this site, and that’s with searching the world wide web. 50 Shades has brought the issue right into the public domain and there will be an increasing concern among Christians about how to respond. Debates online soon turn into for and against.

    I haven’t read the prevous discussion right thru but I’m interested to read that Dr Drew has major concerns about the book. He probably understand what’s happening deep inside like sexualised depression. My concern is about the addictive element. What appears to be expressive can easily have far too much influence on a person’s life without the person noticing it sufficiently.

    The problem in Christian circles is that it’s not something a person can very easily share about and ask for support with. There needs to be easily findable sources of Christian support for people to move on from BDSM. It seems to be a common enough fantasy in men but they must be strong and resist their feelings and go for sexual wholeness. Women and girls are not for hitting, ever, OK.

    Some people have said that “it” is OK for married couples so long as it’s consensual, well what does “it” consist of ? Although there’s a humungous difference between mild hand smacks to a safe area and heavy beating, one thing can lead to another. At least keep it mild, but hugs and gentle touch have gotta be better.

    It’s possible that as BDSM activity reduces in a person the yearning for and sense of the need for God increases and replaces the yearning for BDSM and whole spaces inside start to feel better. God’s healing is gentler than BDSM.

    Phillipians 4:8 says think of the things that are good and true.
    Gradually or quickly, whichever, Jesus heals BDSM. Let’s say so ! Glory be to the Holy Trinity !

  • And as I sit and read more, just who says you get to say what is and is not appropriate to say about a Lifestyle you don’t even lead? Sorry, but the acronym that you’ve said you won’t publish IS the appropriate way to refer to this Lifestyle.

    It can also be referred to D/s, M/s, or many other ways, but these are only small portions of the all-encompassed Lifestyle that the original acronym covers.

    And as @ayra and others have stated, YOUR definition of what the acronym means may be completely different than what someone else has been taught. There’s Bondage/Dominance/Sado-Masochism, Bondage/Dominance/Submission/Masochism, Bondage/Discipline/Sadism/Masochism, Bondage/Dominance/Sadism/Masochism… and many more. This Lifestyle is different for each who participates in it, as others have said, and as much as you seem to think it is, it’s not up for you to decide what is and is not appropriate. It’s not your Lifestyle to dictate.

    And as far as your judgments of those of us that participate in this Lifestyle, allow me to remind you of Romans 2:1:
    “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else. F or at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”

  • @Mel
    Mel,

    The very first step you must take is in the understanding that God loves you where you are right now. You are carrying a burdens that are no longer yours to carry. That was the gift you received with salvation. Bring it to God and then leave it there. The person you are right now is the one that God wants to work with and it is clear from your post that you want to walk with Him. Put your faith and trust in God and allow Him to light the path under your feet. You are already the person He wants you to be. Allow Him to be your shield.

    Blessings and love,

    Don

  • @Mel

    God loves you where you are now. You have to learn to leave the burdens you are carrying at the cross, they were paid for by the blood of Christ. They are not meant for you to carry any longer. We all make blunders that we wish we had not, that is the nature of sin. There is forgiveness available but you have to learn to leave it. Trust in God and He will light your path.

    Blessings and love,

    Don

  • @Lissa

    Lissa,

    Wishing for something does not make it so.

    I believe you are attempting to use the ‘Eve in the Garden’ argument. Eve is out for a stroll when she finds herself stnding in front of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. After a brief exchange of words, the serpent says, “God did not REALLY say you would actually die if you ate this fruit did he?” It was in this brief moment of doubt that mankind was lost.

    Your argument that the Word has no mention of specific relevance to BDSM runs the same course. We have become legalist; people that look at how far we can push the limits of God’s will before we actually cross the line. When we look at anything that comes from God, we have to seek the holy nature in it. Sex, in its purest form, is a gift from God and pleases God. It is a holy union between one man and one woman. When we allow ourselves to listen to the serpent’s whispers and perverse this holy act by adding physical pain or other perversions, we are no longer acting as God intended but following other paths of hedonism.

    I will not place judgment on what anyone does in the sanctity of their own bedroom, however it would be irresponsible of me to allow someone to continue to run blindly toward the edge of a cliff without at least trying to stop them. If you still feel you are doing nothing wrong under the eyes of God, then the burden rests on you now if you are mistaken.

    Peace and love,

    Don

  • @ayra

    “Submissive urges and desires for BDSM relationships, or at least experiments, are scientifically proven to be real.”

    These urges are also considered an issue in the psycholgical world. They are not considered to be healthy associations.

    Trust is built on knowing that someone will NEVER hurt you or expect you to do something that will cause you discomfort. Trust is something that invloves knowing that your absolute BEST interests are at heart not selfish acts of fulfillment. When you submit in such a fashion, you make your partner less connected to your needs and more focused on their own pleasures. You become a thing, an object. A non person. This is NOT the way God envisioned two people to be in unison.

  • This is an interesting article. I am a Christian woman and have read 50 Shades. I hadn’t plan on doing so until someone at work invited me to read it, because in real life I am author of four other romance novels. To my surprise, I was deeply affected by the book because of one reason alone, that as a child I was sexually abused. I totally related to the character of Christian Grey, who was abused as a child too. Why he was into BDSM was because of his inward demons and struggles and his propensities toward sadistic behavior.

    There is one line in the book that frankly tells it like it is for those who have been abused: “I don’t know any other way. This is who I am.”

    My childhood sexual abuse gave me masochist tendencies which I have struggled with my entire life. To no fault of my own, a pedophile in my neighborhood lured me to his bedroom repeatedly, pinned me underneath him, and masturbated upon my body. I prostituted myself for a Hershey candy bar to let him use me. When I should have been playing with dolls, I was aroused at five and six years old learning about sex. I grew up as a child hurting myself sexually, masturbating myself at an early age, and that behavior continued for many years.

    I was saved when I was 26 at a Billy Graham Crusade. Do you think I was suddenly freed from what had been ingrained in me since childhood because my sins were forgiven? No, I wasn’t. I am 62 years old now and still get aroused at that thought of being bound sexually, given pain, and used by another man. Shocking isn’t it.

    No amount of bible reading, praying for deliverance, or regeneration of my mind has changed that within my brain. It’s a medical fact that a child’s brain can be physically affected by childhood abuse that is irreversible.

    It’s very easy to spout off scriptures and thoughts about how God has created sex to be a loving wonderful relationship. It may shock you, but millions have never experienced a loving wonderful relationship. It’s another thing to have that ripped from you as a child when you are five years old and to struggle with thoughts and desires that never leave you.

    Whether you call it demonic activity or think I’m a sinner that never really got saved, is your choice. I can only say that not everything is cut in dry. It’s not my fault that I am this way.If salvation of my spirit occurred, my body will rot in the grave any my propensities toward bondage with rot with it. That shouldn’t be the focus.

    It bothers me when everything is so black and white in the Christian community. You talk of TRUST. What about those who don’t know how to trust because of abuse? Do you think God envisioned me being abused at five years of age? Was that His perfect plan? Am I to be thrown away because my body still desires to be bound and hurt, whether or not I carry out that behavior or not? Sex in its purest form will NEVER exist for me, because that innocence was taken from me by force.

    Please don’t preach about being set free. There are some things like childhood sexual abuse that you can overcome, but the scars are forever there.

    It’s not always that cut and dry, folks. It’s not always about sin. It’s not always about the law. It sometimes needs to be about understanding of the suffering and unconditional love and acceptance for those who suffer from the desire to be bound and hurt to no fault of their own. Some are born with those propensities. Some, like me, learn those desires. Don’t condemn. Don’t preach about deliverance. Especially, if you haven’t walked in the shoes of others.

    • Hello Anonymous, Just read your sad beginnings as an innocent child. I am so sorry you had to go through such hardship and that no one was there to protect you from this horrible trauma that directed you into a life of needing to keep the pattern of abuse. I too was abused in many ways and I remember having sexually perverted dreams at age 6. I did not like having these dreams and was embarrassed when I would wake up. I felt they were not good dreams. As time went on I too fell into promiscuous sexually behavior of just allowing boys to take advantage of me when they wanted to. I couldn’t understand why back then but I know I just needed to feel some of acceptance. I wasn’t accepted by my own mother or sisters. Because I did not like my lifestyle I did go on a search to find out how to help myself to love myself and accept myself as a beautiful loving person. It has been a long journey but I really believe that I have reached that place finally. It was all about surrendering my own logic for a pure logic. I started practicing replacing my own negative logic about myself for positive ones.I started memorizing Bible verses that say how God looks at us. I also went through several deliverance group sessions too. I do know who we wrestle against because I saw it as a child that we are not alone in this world. Just because we don’t see things doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I have found that we as Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit to stop any kind of evil lie that tries to dominate our mind. We just have to want to change before it will begin to happen. The word of God is more powerful than any two edged sword and it can separate the joints from the marrow and the soul from the spirit and it can judge the attitudes of our hearts. Gods word is the only way to stop evil from destroying our lives. We just have to make the decision to believe in what God’s words say they can do. Our will is ours to use. Once we submit our will over to God to allow him to show us how to step out of our fear and bondage then we can slowly begin to become free enough to start to see clearer His desires for our lives. To live a life of peace that transcends all understanding. We can’t underestimate the power of God’s words. They are life and not just in the human sense but in the spiritual sense. Why do you think the devil has done everything he can to wipe God’s words out of schools. The words of God are the only thing that keeps us safe from the enemy completely destroying us. I hope this reply will be of some help to you. I have finally found my peace but it took awhile to find it and it wasn’t an easy journey but I always knew God was there with me. I just had to be willing to allow him to show me the right way to freedom.

    • Your story resonates so closely with mine . I was physically abused my entire childhood and entered the bdsm lifestyle for years. .,since becoming a Christian I’ve just stayed single as I can’t find a way to reconcile who I am with who I feel I should be , it’s incredibly lonely after 7 yesrs but I’m
      Still no closer to finding a middle ground

      • Hi Wendy. I’d love to recommend a great website for you. It’s called authentic intimacy. Dr Juli Slattery specializes in helping us move past our sexual wounds and into God’s wholeness. The answer isn’t staying single to avoid sex. The answer is full healing. And you can find it. I know you can. https://www.authenticintimacy.com/

  • A whole lotta judgement goin’ on. It seems SO you-centric to dismiss Others because their kink is different from yours. Maybe it rocks your world to read Song of Songs and pray before sex, maybe it rocks your world to look into your spouse’s eyes while you make love, maybe it rocks your world to see your spouse go utterly senseless while you put the motion in the ocean. How on earth did you get so pretentious to tell someone that what a CONSENTING husband and wife do behind closed doors is wrong because it doesn’t fit your white bread mold?

    Please tell me how it is shameful for me to take great joy in serving my husband with my body in mutually agreed upon ways? How is this different than me serving him by raising our children in mutually agreed upon methods? Or by spending money in mutually agreed upon ways? It’s wrong because its more intense? Because YOU define it as rough and harmful? We don’t. We define your closed minds and holier-than-those-kinky-godless-sinners attitude as harmful.

    Marrieds: enjoy each other, wholly and to the fullest. Explore your spouse & their body to whatever extent pleases you both.

    • Your thinking is faulty! You are leaving the door open for ANYTHING in the marriage bed. That’s dangerous territory. Hebrews 13:4 says “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” What a power-packed verse. The fact that marriage bed is to be kept pure is significant! You see, we are not just told to be pure before our wedding night but also after. The marriage bed is holy! Without some integration of other scriptural principals into your marriage relationship, where do you draw the line? Is it OK for one spouse to demand sex if that is what he/she finds arousing? Is it OK to bring other people into the marriage bed? If you take the approach you are offering above, you leave these questions and others on the table. While I wholeheartedly agree that you can and should enjoy each other to the fullest, there are obvious guidelines to be applied…with or without a Christian worldview.

      • Dannah,

        You blog post was refreshing in that you talked about an issue most people would avoid. You also made some great points. However, I think the issue of “how much is too much” for sexual encounters in terms of BDSM within a marriage should be left up to the couple, but I also think that couple has a responsibility to themselves and God to filter their practices based on scripture. This is however, their job, and not necessarily the job of other Christians to write a manual on what types of sex are ok or not. While BDSM can be abused and be less than honoring, so can plain old sex (again considering your pressuring your spouse example), but I don’t see people rushing to tell us to be cautious of “vanilla” sex. Furthermore, this issue of what is proper for the marriage bed should refrain from using one particular style of sexual lifestyle, such as BDSM, to launch as discussion of what is ok and what is not. This singles out a sexual lifestyle and ends up demonizing people who might already have a hard enough time explaining to others the appeal of their particular sexual appetites. Instead, the discussion would be more productive centered around general principles/scriptures ANYONE can use to evaluate their sexual choices, regardless of any fetish or lack of fetish a husband and wife mutually consent to. Also, one of the biggest aspects of BDSM relationships are transparency, a clear discussion of boundaries, and transparency these are aspects sex therapist are constantly pushing in “vanilla” sex. Perhaps, Christian couples completely adverse to these type of sexual appetites could take away and employ these healthy communication practices in their own sex lives to honor one another even more, even if they don’t think BDSM is for them. There’s always something to be learned from everyone and everything, even if it ends up being what not to do.

  • Hi, my name is Jessica. I loved a 24/7 BDSM relationship for three years, the five years before that I played in it. Ok I am getting to get personal here. Since I first started having sexual thoughts it was tailored to pain and ppl men controlling me. I did not even know there was a such lifestyle out there I was just a young preteen. At 18 I googled it and found such freedom in the fact that I was not the only one who craved these things. My first year or so in it I denied there was any sexual side of it for me. I just want a discplrian, someone to guide me and punish me when I did wrong. He pushed me to get honest and admit that there was a sexual side. 65% of my interactions in the lifestyle was not sexual. I had to have someone to control me at first it was just a mentor by the time I got out of it I could not leave the house without my Dom knowing exactly where I was at, I could not eat certain things, I could not work certain places. I know this makes some of you cringe but at that point I took comfort in it. I was trained well to be submissive. This lifestyle is very evil but most people on it believed they where made that way because the desire has been there for so long. In 2010 my Dom told me I had to get help I was cutting so deep that I had to super glue my leg back together. He was a ‘Christian’ man and pushed for it to Christ based. Little did I know my life really would be changed. The Holy Spirit put such pressure on me I felt like I was going to die if I did not tell the councilor of the facility I was at. I did not plan on coming out of it when I told her!!! It was who I was, it was my identy and I was good at it. Over the next few weeks I got saved and realized how much damage the lifestyle had done to me. It was pure heck, I missed these relationships. I did not know how to live without it. I cried myself to sleep every night. God did allot of healing over the next few months. I no longer want the lifestyle BUT the sexual desire are still there. This breaks my heart, I want to be pure!! I want God to take it away. I have begged, I have been prayed for, I have fasted and it is still there. I went a year without feeding it and then allowed my mind go back there. I am single and have not been with anybody in two and half years. If anybody has walked through this personally I would love some advice. To the people who thinks the lifestyle is all fun and games please considering what it can become. I started out light, playing around before it was over I was in so deep I have permanent marks from the beatings I CONSENTED to. I could not get enough of it. I will not judge anybody who reads the book or is playing in things of the lifestyle. I sit here crying over it bc I know the danger and I know what satan does with it. I have yet found anybody who has come out of it. It is also in the santic bible. I am sorry if this was too exploit if it needs to be removed I understand and respect your blog. I did not find out about the book till four months ago, everybody kept telling me I needed to read it so thank God I googled it and I sat there with tears running down my face. The enemy had managed to main stream the lifestyle. God bless and thanks for tackling this subject.

    • Sweet one, I just found your comment tonight. I’m going to pray and connect with you privately about what steps may be taken to encourage you and help in your journey. I don’t want you to walk alone.

    • Jessica, I hope and pray that you’re not still feeling alone
      with this issue. There are others who have come out of the
      activity, see Theresa’s and L’s posts. There needs to be some
      kind of group about moving on, with a website, maybe also a
      blog. People could write about their journeys as you have done.

      The feelings may remain, they can be managed and may
      reduce. You need years of good Christian community and support,
      exploring other activity, as well as times of quiet. I need
      these things as well, and so does everyone else in the world.
      This issue is not so unusual. Life is alot more than feelings.
      There is the rest of life to discover.

      I cry to think what would produce permanent marks.It is horrible
      even as a thought. I’ve never heard of that happening. [For
      example, subs can’t even work if they are permanently marked.]
      Your situation was extreme and horrific. Much activity is far
      less than what you experienced, as you say “light”, but it tends
      to be habitual, such as monthly activity, and as a bad habit it
      can lead to worse things, or it can go in the other direction,
      with managing it and then moving on away from it.

      It can have the characteristics of addiction. Some of the
      testimonies in the green book of Sex Addicts Anonymous talk
      about our topic, but something more than the 12 Steps is needed
      , i.e. Christian insight into the issue. My experiences were
      triggered by grief, isolation, pride and anger, and are being
      resolved by prayer, counselling, time with people outside the
      scene, and ongoing conversion.

      BDSM groups can seem the only places where there are people
      who understand these feelings, and the feelings can seem to
      go back to the start of a person’s life. It can even seem to
      have a “born that way” feel to it. Activity may seem inevitable.
      Feelings can have alot of affect. BDSM groups don’t explore
      how to move on and our identity in Christ, and they don’t say
      we should go to God first. BDSM and BDSM Christian blogs need
      to accept moving on as an option. There may be people on the
      verge of moving on.

      Two articles that really have helped me are What Causes
      Spanking Fetishes by Chris Dugan http://www.nospank.net/dugan2.htm
      That article is the most helpful thing I have ever read on this
      topic in the whole of my life. The other article is on the
      sexualisation of depression on http://www.4therapy.com Neither are
      from a Christian perspective, so it’s time for Christian
      perspective articles to be written.

      Good potentialities: Finding Christian therapists who have experience
      in working with clients with this background, having them
      write articles, including on a website, and a ministry about
      moving on. There needs to be patience and moderation in how
      things are done. Moving on is something that needs to be
      talked about more. Thanks to Pure Freedom for talking about it
      here. May Christ our God bless you.

    • I hope that you do not carry a spirit of shame. All of us struggle with temptations. Whether you are coming out of drug abuse, pornography, homosexuality, the sin is not in the temptation, you have a victory everytime you submit yourself to God and release every evil thing that tempts you over to the authority of God. No matter what you have done, see yourself how God sees you, covered by the blood of his Son, beautiful and worth dying for. God doesn’t see you as some unpure person covered by your past mistakes, and you shouldn’t either! God loved and used so many people with awful pasts, we hear their stories but it can be so hard to remember that the same God who loved and forgave them is the one loving and having new grace for us everyday. I agree, the world is mainstreaming these evils and we buy into it. While I agree couples experience intimacy differently, just like with anything else, you can begin something innocently and satan can use your curiosity to lead you into something you never would have done otherwise. Thank you for being brave and candid enough to share your story! The christian family is made up of imperfect people. As someone who has experienced abuse and its lifelong consequences, I know that we ALL need Gods daily grace. I still carry shame and intimacy issues into my relationship with my husband, it can feel impossible to ever see yourself without seeing the trauma and the mistakes. Ask God to help you see yourself the way He sees you, and to love yourself as much as He does. I will do the same! Thanks again for your testimony!

    • Just because YOU got into the lifestyle for the WRONG reason, and got with an abusive person doesn’t mean that happens to everyone.

      Get help and stop speaking for BDSM, your experience was an example of things going wrong, not of how things normally are.

    • Jessica, I want to thank you for your post. My son is heavily into the lifestyle, and I have no clue how to reason with him. I am praying a great deal because truthfully I think only God can convince him that he is in danger. I am no saint, not by any measure, but I always avoided the BDSM practices because my dad was completely taken over by it and it greatly affected my life as a teenager. My mom tried to kill herself because of some of the things he forced upon her. My son knows about it and my dad is finally in prison for the rest of his life because of where the desires took him. I know my son is probably weary of hearing me say that this stuff will take you places you never thought you would go. Am I wrong in making that statement? I am not going to tell him that I spoke to someone else about it. I just want to know if I am making a faulty statement. I am very concerned about what he is doing. He is 18 and about to graduate. Currently he is dating a 16 year old who wants to engage in cutting him during sex. What the heck!?! He was molested at 7 years old by two 13 year old girls. I think that plays a huge and significant part in his desires. I don’t know how to end this. I came here to read, not engage in the discussion, but I couldn’t resist talking to you. You sound very understanding and informed. Believe me that saving my son from harm eats up my thoughts. I want to tie him up and lock him in my closet since he likes bondage so much. My mind goes crazy places. Little girlfriend also wants to be chained to a cross and beat during sex, and I am terrified of it. It makes me want to find her parents and tell them, but I would never do that to my child…..I would not hurt him to save some girl who doesn’t want to be rescued.

      • Jennifer. I’m sure Jessica will comment, but I’d like to add to you my thoughts and tell you I’m sending my prayers. It seems logical that your sons obsession with BDSM is related to his childhood sexual abuse. Kids who are abused tend to go one of two ways: repression or acting out. He has likely chosen the later. How is it that you know his girlfriend wants to do these things? Is he that open with you in conversation? If so, I would say it is a cry for help. Help him! Get him some counseling. Trained counselors really can help in ways lay persons cannot. Be careful who you choose and select someone who is trained for this and who blends with his personality. I’m praying for you.

    • Why would God wire you to be turned on by kink if that was not the way he wanted you to live? Perhaps the problem is not that you are into kink, but rather that you werent honest with your real limits and you didnt find someone who was caring enough to respect them. Dont want scars or pain? Then make it a hard limit and never do it again, plain and simple. If someone cannot respect your hard limits or pushes you to change them when you dont want to, THAT is abuse. The difference is does your partner respect your boundries and are you strong enough and honest enough to set them in the first place? Perhaps you were never meant to do a 24/7 and that is also part of the problem.

      God did not make us to be a certain way just so we could repress who we are and our true emotions. The fact that you have tried so hard to pray away or get rid of your desire and interest in bdsm, all without success, is Gods way of trying to tell you to accept the person you are, as he made you.

      • Anonymous, we live in a fallen, sin-filled world where people have many desires that are not healthy or helpful or whole. These include pedophilia, alcoholism, drug addiction, and even BDSM. God didn’t wire us for these things. Our brokenness leads us to drink of them and fall prey to the consequences.

  • I was in a rather serious BDSM relationship for a few years, and having recently finding Christ (read: after He successfully and dramatically hunted me down) I feel like I might have a few unique insights on the topic.

    First, to the people who use the blanket statement that all aspects of BDSM are wrong, I would challenge you. Bondage, for example, can have some more innocent sides to it. For me personally, for example, I do enjoy being tied up, but that’s more because I stop worrying about what I’m supposed to be doing with my hands. When I am bound and give that kind of control to by husband, it let’s me stop overthinking what I should be doing and let’s me focus on what I’m feeling. I think you’d be hard pressed to tell me that’s wrong, Scripturally speaking. I achieve orgasm easier when I’m gagged, as another example, because I’m not thinking about how dumb the sounds I’m making are, or worrying that I sound like a cheap porno, and I’m not self conscious that the neighbours can hear me.

    As for sadism and masochism, I think there is often a blanket dropped on them for being out and outright wrong. But consider this: after going for a long run, my legs burn and hurt. Would you then say it is wrong for me to go for a long run? And if it hurts, why do I do it? Because even though there is some pain involved there is a greater good feeling that comes with it. While I can get into feelings of accomplishment and the like, ultimately it comes down to endorphins. Ever heard of a runners high? There’s a similar high that can come from a little pain mixed in with your pleasure, and as best as I’ve been able to research, many of the body chemicals are actually the same.

    People have different pain tolerances too. I see this in kids especially. One kid can run full tilt head first into the table and pout for a moment, while another child cries for mommy at the slightest bump. This doesn’t change as adults. So with that in mind, think about how nice you think a gentle back scratch feels. Now realize that what you might consider a not so gentle back scratch, that may even leave marks, may simply feel nice to the next, more naturally rugged, person. To the other side of it, if I’m enjoying it, there’s nothing wrong with my husband enjoying me enjoying it, and it may actually be an act of love for him to be a little harsher on me physically than he would naturally want to. Admittedly, this isn’t true sadism/masochism, since it’s actually based on pleasure, not pain. It only becomes murky because most would see a lot of what I think feels nice as something that is painful.

    That does not at all mean I believe BDSM is good on a whole. Quite the opposite!! It is dangerous and really quite spiritual to it’s core. Just like Yoga seems innocent on the surface, the deeper levels of BDSM are ways that will connect you to the spiritual world and not in a good way, or a way that you will enjoy. Trust me on this one!

    There is an aspect of BDSM that revolves around being taken to what’s called a subspace. It is like a drug, with the greatest high I have ever experienced. It’s like orgasming for hours and you reach a point where you no longer feel pain at all. It takes you to an altered state, which is something to always always always be weary of! (I was a pot head for years, but now feel the same about drugs. Many religions burn herbs to contact the spirit world, so consider that next time you burn a joint.) In my personal experience I had even had out of body experiences during some more intense BDSM scenes. Again, it was amazing!! One of the most incredible things I have ever experienced, but Satan isn’t going to tempt you with something that sucks now is he?

    Remember how I mentioned the mental part about a runners high as well as the chemistry that was going on? I believe this is where the break down happens with BDSM as well. It’s not all just physical brain chemistry. There’s a mental game that goes on with BDSM. You start to enjoy the pain more because you want to please your Dom, to make them proud, and you begin to take more enjoyment out of pleasing them than in the pleasure itself. This will trick your brain into thinking things that really honestly do hurt are pleasurable. It’s called Training or Programming or, if we’re going to call a spade a spade, brainwashing. It’s the path that leads to subspace, which will lead to spiritual bondage. It’s a slippery slope, and it’s playing with fire. So be careful.

    I don’t honestly know when being a good submissive Christian wife, who simply doesn’t flinch at something that might leave a hand print, turns into something more sinister. That’s part of how I ended up at this website, I’m still searching. But I do know both sides to be true. It’s not all bad, but some of it is definitely bad.

    I have read many of the posts, and my heart breaks for many people, and I find myself rather annoyed at others. I do not come from a history of abuse, and therefore cannot comment on certain aspects of this topic. I have had my own struggles with different issues, and the best I can do is give hope to those who feel like they are in bondage, even after receiving the Holy Spirit. And that is simply this: He has promised to complete the good work which He has started in us. (Phillipians 1:6) We will not be perfect by the time we leave this world, but it’s a constant uphill battle to become Christ-like that isn’t going to stop, sometime even in spite of us.

    While the Bible holds the ultimate answers for all of life’s questions, I did find Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis both helpful and hopeful with the things I struggled with the most

    • Mandi…your story touched me so much. I’m going to have someone contact you via email to send you a free copy of my book. After you’ve read it, I’d love your perspective. Praying for you. God can use you, my friend. You’ve come out of this and he can use you to bring others out.

      • I feel for her as well, that is a hard thing to work through, but I seriously think you are missing the point of what she is writing, either purposefully only reading what you want to hear or subconsciously. If intentional, SHAME ON YOU! How dare you exploit someone else for your own ends! That is not a Christian, trust filled relationship that you are trying to build. If subconsciously, I apologize for my outburst.

  • Forgive my butting in, I found this while searching another item.
    After reading every post, every reply, I really do feel I need to speak up.
    I am not Christian, I use to be, but that’s a long drawn out story for another time. I am also a Dominant in a D/s relationship. My submissive is also my wife of 11 years.
    Now I would like to point out, I am not having a shot at anyone in any way. Simply addressing some comments and issues in themselves, not at the people who made those comments.
    The creed of BDSM is Safe, Sane, Consensual. Nothing is or should be done without the full consent and want of both parties. The love and trust between a Dominant and his submissive is absolute. There is nothing we don’t talk about, nothing that is hidden. In all honesty, how many in a Christian relationship can say the same? I guarantee if your honest with yourself at least, not many.
    My role as a Dominant, is to take responsibility for my submissive, to love her, cherish her, fulfil her needs, be it sexually or otherwise, to help and guide her to grow into the person she wishes to be.
    Since the main topic seems to be BDSM in the bedroom, I will address that as well. Yes, at times my wife will have bruises, rope burns etc, keep in mind its Consensual. And there is ALWAYS aftercare, seeing to her wounds as needed, holding her tight to me, bringing her mind back to the present with love and care.
    1 Corinthians 7:5
    5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
    And again,
    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
    Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
    Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
    Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
    Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
    Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

    Please take time to actually look at, read and understand that.
    Wives obey your husbands has to be the most widely used abuse reason ever. BUT. Right below it is the reference Husbands love your wives. In a D/s relationship, even to BDSM. I love and respect my wife, and will always give her what she wants and needs. Am I taking to her bare backside with a cane, yes. Does it mean im angry, or don’t love her, not a chance. My love is absolute.
    Please, now look further down, bondservants. A bondservant is an unpaid slave. Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh. There are a few cases in the bible where a bondservant, and also full on slaves were used, given as gifts, and as in the case of Sarah and Abram.
    Genesis 16,
    Sarah and Abram were infertile. Sarah owned Hagar, a female slave who apparently had been purchased earlier in Egypt. Because Hagar was Sarah’s property, she could dispose of her as she wished. Sarah gave Hagar to Abram as a type of wife, so that Abram would have an heir. Presumably, the arrangement to marry and engage in sexual activity was done without the consent of Hagar, who had such a low status in the society of the day that she was required to submit to what she probably felt were serial rapes by Abram. Hagar conceived and bore a son, Ishmael.

    Mandie, you made a good comment, and I did enjoy reading it, however I really don’t see your reference to subspace as being from satan. You knew enough about endorphins to know subspace is brought on by such, it’s an overload on your body of NATURAL chemicals. Forgive me, but that’s science, not demonic.
    Hebrews 13:4 says “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Was quoted and reasoned that the marriage bed should be kept loving and romantic. All very well and good, and if your marriage bed is that way then my hat goes off to you. However, having said that, to me that statement more refers to bringing another into the marriage bed. Hence the use of the term adulterer, meaning sexual relations OUTSIDE of the marriage. Again, not applicable when its husband and wife.
    I do feel I need to add, Jessica, the young lady that was cutting. Forgive me, but your Dominant neglected his duties in your case. He should have been aware of the problem, and took steps to gain you both medical and psychological aid.
    Essentially what im saying is
    A: its not demonic or a sin if its within the realm of marriage.
    B: its totally 100% CONSENSUAL and never done in anger.
    C: There are numerous statements in the bible that refer to a D/s relationship, even BDSM, in a positive way, if you actually care to open your eyes and look. And not ONE statement to the negative.

    As Christians, your belief is to not judge a person, lest you be judged. Yet, as I read through these pages and comments, I see nothing BUT judgement, scorn and condemnation for something many of you have little knowledge about.

    Thankyou for listening, I look forward to your comments and daggers.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Robert. I’ll address just a few things since you’re kind of all over the place here and we could write a book together! 😉 First of all, Christian are never told not to judge. On the contrary, I Corinthians 2:15 says that the “spiritual man makes judgements about all things.” A biblical approach to life is discernment at all times about things. And this may even include people. Let me explain. What I think you may be confusing this with is Matthew 7:1-3 which warns us to judge other people but not ourselves. Out of context, you might think this means we can’t be discerning even about people, but the context is more about us failing to judge ourselves. That brings me to this point, the reasons that I wrote anything about BDSM and Fifty Shades of Grey was to declare a decision I’d made for myself. I was judging and discerning these two things for me and my marriage. Out of that came a lot of questions from other women wanting to make informed discernments for themselves. I hope that brings some clarity at least to my position on this.

      Here’s another thing I’ll address…you write: “There is nothing we don’t talk about, nothing that is hidden. In all honesty, how many in a Christian relationship can say the same?” Let me be honest that this is full of circular reasoning that is built on faulty logical fallacy. If it were true that no one could point to harmful human behavior if there were even so much as an inkling of harmful human behavior in the person making a constructive argument, then no humans anywhere could ever comment on human behavior because all are imperfect, fallen, flawed and make misjudgments at some point in their lives. And usually we are blind to the misjudgments at the time we are making them.

      Both of these are really common arguments people use when they don’t want to defend things logically.

      Now that said, you may be right that some Christians aren’t transparent in their marriages. This is a big pet peeve of mine. As a Christian, my soap box is transparency in the family of God. There’s not enough of it. There’s a painful lot of it in my own marriage.

      As far as comparing the husband/wife relationship with the master/bond-servant, you can’t. That’s not logical either. They are two entirely different relationships. This passage deals with the Christian act of humility and preferring another person and acknoweledging the hierarchy of authority. And here’s where the hierarchy in marriage leads. Jesus was whipped, beaten and bloodied so his Bride (the church) would never have to be. The Church submits to his love knowing he takes the blows and is protected. Your vision of submission is quite different and many of us find it hard to understand. But I do respect you for being so bold as to help us see your point of view.

      The stats tell me that this form of sex can be very harmful. The women I’ve worked with who were once in BDSM and are now out of it, were deeply emotionally wounded.

      • Dannah. I just came across this site. Let me just say that, if two people want to do BDSM acts in the bedroom they are completely and undeniably capable of doing so without you or anyone else passing judgement. You made a reference to Corinthians, but have you forgotten what Jesus himself said about judging “7 “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. 2 [relevant]For the way you judge others is how you will be judged — the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you[/relevant]!” Mark 7: 1-2. I mean you say that you can make a judgement because you have made such a judgement for yourself. That’s not what it says from the quote. It clearly says that the same way you judge so will you be judged – if you see a consensual activity as wrong, those people who participate in said consensual activity are going to call you out for your lack of knowledge of prejudice. It’s very simple.

        As for your comment about human flaws yes, people can make opinions about human flaws. However, just as much right you have to criticize something you feel wrong, so are there others who can tell you what reality is. There’s no “right” answer when it comes to this issue.

        As for the other comment you have made that “The stats tell me that this form of sex can be very harmful. The women I’ve worked with who were once in BDSM and are now out of it, were deeply emotionally wounded.”; just because something like BDSM (which is supposed to be consensual) is statistically harmful doesn’t mean everyone is. Anecdotal evidence is important to let us see that there’s a minority of people who are not affected by it.

        • You are correct that the Bible says “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For the way you judge others is how you will be judged — the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you.” But it also says this in I Corinthians 2:15: “The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments.”

          I’m not judging people, I’m judging erotica. The same way we might judge other harmful activities that pull people into spiritual and emotional bondage. Drug addiction, for example, would be something I would be comfortable with you judging.

          It is true that not all people become addicted to bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism but many do and it ruins their lives. Therefore, I sound the alarm.

          To be honest, I didn’t want to, but felt I had to.

          • Matthew 7 King James Version (KJV)

            7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

            2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

            3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

            4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

            5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

            There is, yes a component of judging others in vs 4 and 5, however it is very important to consider vs 1 as a entreaty from God that you be careful in doing so, because He may Judge you for your judgements of others.

            No, Christians are not being told to never judge, because without judgement we would not know that we live in sin. But, just because we don’t think something is right doesn’t mean that God thinks it isn’t right. It is better to judge oneself because then we can have an examined life and one filled with attempting to have a more fulfilling life in Christ, rather than one where we look down our noses at someone else’s life and think of ourself as so much better than they are:
            9And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

            There is an old Psychology phrase: correlation does not equal causation. Just because those people were in an abusive BDSM relationship does not mean BDSM relationships are abusive. If life were that simple, I would be eating apple pie in Hawaii with my wife living the good life, not having to work all day, work to eat, eat to work, work to have a place to sleep, sleep to work. Black and white, front and back, if everything were a two dimensional coin, life would be simple. It isn’t. Even a coin isn’t two sided. It is three, and sometimes not even only that when you consider each ridge on a quarter could have five potential sides. Flipping a coin isn’t fifty-fifty. It’s 49.9-49.9-.2. And that is only when you take friction out of the equation. And the possibility the coin won’t land heads, tails, or side, and instead it lands and stays on the rim between the heads/tails and side. Do you really want to try to simplify something as complex as the human mind and the relationship between God and man/woman? We can’t even truly simplify stating how a coin will land, much less the complexities that God gave us.

  • I found this while researching bondage and Christianity. I am a christian and so is my husband. I appreciate the distinction you made for what bdsm stands for. We are into the “B” meaning mostly restraint. When taken care of by my husband, I feel loved and respected and cherished, I also feel safe, secure and at peace. For some reason, with my husband, being restrained helps facilitate that for me. but I completely agree with your blog. And I think it was wisely and gently written. I have met women who wanted to be strung up and beaten. I wasn’t even a christian at the time and was a bit horrified. What happened that they equated intimacy and love with that type of abuse? The sturdy ground my husband and I have found is this: does it devalue, humiliate, or damage either of us spiritually, physically or emotionally? If the answer is not an easy no, we steer clear. Thank you. I hope my comments make sense.

  • Most of you are just closed-minded idiots. It’s sad, really.

    You don’t care about truth, you just want to pat each othe’s backs over how “good” you are and how much “better” you are than others.

    You are not better. You are weak.

    • It takes a lot of strength to maintain sexual self control. I do not think those of us who advocate for finding sexual pleasure in more controlled methods are week. But I also don’t think we are better. We are all equal in value in God’s eyes not matter how we live our lives. In fact, often times those who stray farthest get the most attention. There is a story in the bible of a Shepherd (representing God) and his 100 sheep. One was lost. He left the 99 to find that precious one. I’d say in terms of value, all are equal.

  • We would all like to know. However there are so many different answers to every question people have about the Bible and how it pertains to our every day life.

    Does God really care if you tie each other up and role play?
    I’m sure he does not.
    However he may well care about what the out comes of those games may become.
    What will happen if a woman reads the 50 shades of grey and is introduced to things she has never thought of before.
    Will it cause her to want to do things with others.Or will it stay within the marriage and between the two of them.(her and her husband)
    I know of those that have a Christian BDSM/Master/slave relationship that are very deeply in love with each other in ways that I have never seen a vanilla couple experience.(much less a christian couple.)

    So what really is the answer.
    Are we hearing and reading the interpretations of religious speak and each religion has its own answers to God’s words. And most are very far off from the real truth.That is the reason we have so many different religions, no one can agree, so they start a new religion)

    We know it was the conservative religious leaders of the time that wanted Jesus killed.

    SO,what is the true answer. I think it depends on each couple and how they feel about.
    God made all of us different. Yet we are told our life as a Christian should be a certain way and it had better be like everyone else s or it is not real.

    Each person must walk their own path with God.God may have for you a plan no one else you know has.
    Which may make you seem like a freak or the black sheep of the family.

    We do judge way to much as Christians…”WAY TO MUCH”
    We should stop judging and love more.
    Pray for those you do not agree with.( Putting them down only makes them want to do the very thing you are putting them down for.)
    Pray for them and let God deal with their hearts. It does us nt good to judge them. As a matter of fact it does us a lot of harm to judge.

    Matthew 7:4
    How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

    Don’t judge others and put them down because they “SIN” differently than you.

    We all… myself included, have plenty to work on in our own life.

    So as to the answer about BDSM/ Master/slave pray about it.

    • Simon, no one is judging you. But we are called to judge THINGS. And actions are some of the things we are called to judge.

      As for God having a plan for you that is not like anyone else, that is true. And yet all of us have plans from him that agree with what is written in the Bible.

      The real question isn’t about someone elses sin being worst or less than yours. It’s this: does my life line up with God’s best plan for me? And does that plan conform to his written directives in the Bible.

      It’s that easy.

      And that hard!

  • Hello. I am a deeply committed, devout Christian married woman who has been practicing extreme BDSM with her husband *alone* for the better part of two decades. Yes, we are both sexually aroused by the giving and receiving of pain, which we process as pure pleasure within a sexual context. Yes, I realize that most people do not understand this. But in fact, it is the only way I can achieve orgasm through intercourse alone. We “switch” roles”- I do not always play the submissive role, nor does my husband always hold the dominant position, although this is our mutual preference and thus our most common m.o.

    S/m has enriched our sex lives immeasurably! It keeps our sex life interesting, experimental and spicy, and holds temptation at bay. We do things that would no doubt shock and horrify most Christians- but these acts form the basis of a unique “language” that only the two of us share- one that allows us to communicate with a level of intimacy that most Christian couples can only dream of. The sadomasochistic elements in our sex life do not bleed into other areas of our marriage. Everything we do is by mutual consent. The fact that we engage in sadomasochism helps us to be sensitive to each other’s deepest desires. It also provides us with a safe means through which to explore and express our mutual fantasies. We do not advocate watching pornography, or condone premarital sex. After almost 20 years if marriage, I still get the butterflies when I contemplate being intimate with my husband. Boredom does not exist in our bedroom! I wish that you, Dana Gresh, would cease condemning something that you clearly do not understand at all, especially within the context of a deeply committed and faithful marriage.

    • I find it unfortunate but laughable that you say s/m and Christianity cannot co-exist. How judgmental. My husband and I are living proof that strong, healthy, committed *KINKY* Christian marriages can and DO exist! We have a fantastic marriage. Btw, I don’t advocate that anyone should read 50 Shades, simply because it is erotica. The couple are not married. But out of curiosity, I perused the book. What that couple does is *tame* compared to what we often do in the bedroom, by mutual consent, in an exclusively monogamous, married context. Who are you, Mr. Simon Gresh, to tell me that my husband and I “cannot be Christian” by virtue of our sexual practices within the marriage bed, which we express consensually and which bring us both great satisfaction and mutual pleasure?

      Why should what other people do within their marriage beds threaten you SO much that you would dare state, unequivocally, that a person who engages in such practices cannot be Christian? I am sorry, but that is pure ignorance on your behalf. Stop condemning what you don’t understand. There are no Scriptural prohibitions regarding sex apart from a condemnation of adultery, fornication and homosexuality. Some of us like it rough! Who are you to tell me that I “cannot be Christian” because I like rough sex? LOL.

      In all seriousness, Christian married couples are already burdened with irrational guilt regarding sex and pleasure. Thankfully, I am secure enough in my faith and marriage to know that what we do in the privacy of our bedroom is our business, and that God does not condemn us for it. But you are dong more damage than you realize to the minority for whom sadomasochism is a preferred way of obtaining sexual satisfaction within the marriage bed. Again, stop condemning what you don’t understand, and be willing to consider that perhaps, you don’t know what you’re missing. 😉

      • I am sorry… I should have stated Mr. BOB Gresh, not “Simon”.

        Please accept my apologies, and understand that I did not wish to sound accusatory in my previous posts. I am simply exasperated by all the Christians who are stating lately that “depraved” people like my husband and I “belong in jail”- that what we do in the bedroom ought to be illegal, that no “real” Christians could ever enjoy the things we do, etc. etc., due to their collective outrage over “50 Shades”. I understand that most Christians do not “get” what we do- and we do not expect them to. But I do not think that these Christians realize how vitriolic and judgmental they sound in their condemnation of sadomasochism- a practice for which there are absolutely no Scriptural prohibitions! For this reason, we never discuss this private matter with other Christians. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to remain quiet on this topic, as it is a matter beleaguered by many misconceptions, and a great deal of ignorance, which I at times feel compelled to address.

        Thank you for taking the time to read my comments.

  • Hello,
    I appreciate your opinion on this topic but do not agree with it. The reason for this is that I do not believe you completely understand the meaning of sadism and masochism in this context. BDSM is not about abuse or extreme injusry it is a consensual and often loving act. BDSM scenes are usually planned in advance and never occur without the willing participation of both members. While sadists do, in fact, desire to inflict temporary pain on masochists this is done in a way that brings pleasure to the masochist. This is not about rape and violence but about love and acceptance of your partners desires. I hope you will consider all aspects of situations like this before you lay judgement.
    Sincerly, Julie

  • Just to take a new angle… have you ever watched children playfighting? This often involves a lot of pushing, shoving, thumping each other with pillows, maybe the occasional slap in a non-harmful place, restraining each other and so forth. It sometimes gets choreographed. It’s normal and healthy, and isn’t the same as “mean” bullying and teasing. We can all see the difference.

    A bit of mild pain from a non-harmful source does indeed stimulate the production of endorphins. This is why people like spicy foods like Tabasco sauce. An element of “safe danger” that stimulates adrenaline is also stimulating – hence the popularity of certain sports like skiing. Nobody condemns the chili sauce or the sport.

    We need a term that describes “bedroom playfighting” between a married couple – the same sort of roughhousing but with a sexual element added in. The sort of thing that distinguishes between practices that just involve a few endorphins and adrenaline, and those that involve actual physical harm (bruising, blood, etc.). The old phrase “a bit of slap and tickle” comes to mind. Or “Tabasco sex” . A good cook uses vanilla and Tabasco!

    You will also find this topic discussed, believe it or not, in C.S. Lewis’s “The Four Loves” in the chapter on Eros. Nothing new under the sun…

    • Hi Meg: Good perspective. I would suggest that you’re not describing bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism.Bedroom playfighting can be much safer.

      • No pride here. No naivety. I’m well researched. You’re not really being rational in your exchanges, “Kinky Christian Wife.” (Is there are reason you don’t use your real name?) You and I can have an intelligent dialogue without you casting accusations laden with logical fallacy. There is a difference between rough-housing or aggressive sexual play and sadomasochism.

  • As a feminist, highly capable, and career driven woman who practices BDSM as a submissive, I can honestly attest to the fact that 50 Shades of Grey fails to represent my community. DO NOT GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

    The Overview:

    The reality is that BDSM is a variegated category, encompassing all sorts of fetishes. It all operates on safe, sane, and consensual; while this seemingly violates the normalcy of vanilla sex (missionary and marital), when done correctly, it serves to strengthen an already intense bond between partners– especially husbands and wives. If a relationship violates safe, sane, and consensual, which 50 Shades of Pathetic does, it is not BDSM and is abuse.

    Anastasia is a textbook case of a beginning submissive who is taken in by a bad Dominate who cares for his own needs rather than his submissive’s, which is unacceptable. If Christian Grey were real, he would be banned in our community, reported, and most likely– facing jail time for sexual assault. We advise beginners to never go into a scene without previously screening a candidate in a vanilla/normal setting, or having an older, esteemed member of the community introduce them to a potential candidate.

    The issue:

    I also want to address an issue I’ve observed; I see a lot of Christians confusing a Master and slave relationship with abusive relationships like Grey’s where the “slave” has no power. That’s inaccurate as long as the relationship is SAFE. In a safe relationship, some can even argue that a “slave” has more power than the “master” as if he/she is not okay with something, the scene ends when a safe-word is spoken; a good Master always, always, always respects this act, otherwise he/she has violated the BDSM community rules and will be blacklisted. There are no repercussions for ending a session, nor should there ever be any. The greatest link in an M/s relationship is trust. If broken, the relationship dies and the community will stand by the wronged party and attempt to blacklist the violator from ever participating again. (If the violator moves out of the area or creates a new account, we can no longer blacklist; our network is not always foolproof, sadly)

    A safe, sane, and consensual BDSM relationship has the potential to strengthen a marriage; this is evidenced in the wide blogging spheres of the BDSM community. Yet, 50 Shades has made it accessible to the public in a misinformed way that has only increased the condemnation and judgment.

    Also, I encourage those who do find those practices in the book appealing to think long and hard before joining the community. It’s not like you can walk into a club and order a submissive or dominant; too many inexperienced players have entered and have no idea what they’re doing. Please do your research BEFORE you declare yourself a member. Fans of 50 Shades should not enter our community looking for Christian Grey; that is NOT what we are about.

    My qualification on the subject:

    Again, I’m a submissive, not a slave. Terminology is important in BDSM. My partner and I practice D/s (Dominance/submission). BDSM’s D stands for both dominance and discipline as you have three (sometimes) distinct groups in the title. Bondage/Dominance; Dominance/Submission; Sadism/Masochism. Not all participants belong to all the groups, which is an important distinction to make. As a submissive, I listen to my partner’s instructions if we’re in the scene and then I obey him; if I brat, I’m reprimanded (bratting is actually done on purpose by the person on the “bottom” to elicit an appropriate, corrective response from the “top”) Slaves usually practice a greater degree of submission, sometimes outside the bedroom depending on their contract.

    A safe-word– regardless of the degree of submission– is always used. Stop is never a safe-word. No is never a safe-word. Red is a common safe-word.

    Why we choose to do it:

    I’m awful at communication skills and have great amounts of stress. I need him in control, so I can calm down. I’m not a doormat; I’m actually in a high exec position that involves juggling several projects and several teams, and I’m known for my decisiveness, stubbornness, and assertiveness. I’m strong-willed and a die-hard feminist (it’s possible to be both a sub and a feminist!) Our sessions allow me to relinquish my coveted control and open myself up. He does this for me because I want it and I ask him. Yes, he enjoys it, but we serve each other. He gives 100% and I give 100%; there is no inequality.

    Religious beliefs:

    secular; We were raised Catholic.

  • See, this is the kind of exchange that is just not helpful. You’re comparing violence sex with spicy food and extreme sports? Hmmmm? As for your comment about a well-respected author, I’m not approving it. Your accusation about his sexual behavior has no documentation or grounding as far as I can tell.

    • I Love Lucy…Here’s the problem with your argument. Getting a high from extreme sports would be a healthy way to use the God-created chemicals and would be in line with God’s plan for us to experience adventure and thrills. (He created adrenaline, so must want us to use it.) Porn and erotica are not good plans.

      I’m not offended by Christian Kinky Wife. Everyone has room for her opinion, even E.L. James who has stated that her goal is to help people understand that morality is not black and white. I don’t agree with that, but maybe you do.

      Also, can’t help but wonder why you girls don’t use your real names.

  • Uh, hi people. I stumbled onto the concept of BDMS in one of the most random ways possible. I was looking at an online jewelry shop that sold chokers to look for a present for a friend who’s into those, and I found a link to a different store. I didn’t know what it was, but I stupidly clicked on it anyway. What I found horrified me. The equipment I found there made me certain that this was a store for psychopathic kidnapper. (no offence to those who practice BDMS, this stuff was super hardcore) This store had it all: Cages, whips, leather harnesses, legit torture devices that were actually labeled as such, crosses, suspension devices and humiliation devices. All with bright bubbly descriptions. Trying to be open minded, I did some research on the subject, and quite frankly wasn’t too impressed with what I found. That’s why I’m here, I needed to find the truth about BDMS, and I’m pretty sure I’ve found it. Still, I’m afraid that by the time I’m twenty, my faith in humanity will be gone. The first major blow to it was a different website I found a couple of years ago, that encouraged people to commit suicide, complete with advice, walk-throughs, suicide notes, and a shop so that you could “buy something before you die!” complete with smiley faces. I suppose the point I’m trying to get across with this long and rambling speech is simply to be careful about what you expose yourself to. I can’t forget either of these websites as long as I live. I can’t “unsee” them, so let me share a quote from a friend on the subject, and take my leave. Thanks to all those who shared personal stories on this post’s comments, they helped me, and I wanted to let you know that I’ll pray for all of you, and ask the Lord to shower you all with His grace. God Bless!
    “Be certain then, my friend, to guard yourself against the things that you cannot forget. While you can see something, you cannot unsee it, and while you can hear something, you cannot unhear. Be mindful then, of what you allow into your mind, but if you do let something slip in, do not allow it to control you. Never forget that you are stronger than you think. While you may not be able to cast it out, you can make it sit in the corner, and fill your mind with better things.”

    • Maria, thanks so much for sharing this. What a story you have to tell and you tell it well. I see open-mindedness, conviction, wisdom, and character in your post. Keep it up, girl.

  • My life has recently been rocked hard by BDSM. The on the Thursday of the week of Mother’s Day, I picked my 18 year old daughter up from her freshman year of college. She left our home on Friday morning and we didn’t hear from her for 2 days. She did not answer calls or texts. We were so worried. I went into her room to search for clues as to where she might be. Imagine my horror when I found pics of her participating in BDSM with a married couple. These were the most vile and disgusting photographs I’ve ever seen. I quickly found out who these people were and went to their house to get my daughter. The couple involved are 30 and 31 years old and they have an 8 year old daughter. After getting my daughter home, we told them and her there was to be no further contact. They would not let her go. We told her that if she wanted to live that lifestyle and be a true adult that she would do it without any financial help from us. No car, no phone, no school. She stayed home for a few days but I came home 2 weeks later and she had left a note saying she was going with them. They supposedly make her happy, they understand her and the beatings help with her depression. I have reported them to DHS because there is no way that poor little 8 year old should live with another person sleeping in Mommy’s and Daddy’s bed. There is just no telling what she hears or sees. These people don’t care about the child’s well-being. I have taken the photos and photos that show they do drugs and have provided someone underage with drugs and alcohol but the police are not terribly concerned although, my daughter did have to meet with a detective in the SVU. The husband sent nasty texts and pictures to my daughter from his work phone. He’s not very smart. In his texts to my daughter, he admits to having severe, uncontrolled PTSD and says that beating my daughter helps his issues. He has said he wants to choke her and punch her in the face and spit on her. I am at my wits end worrying about my child even if she is 18. The messages between these people show that they caught my daughter after a break-up and they have systematically broken her down. She has no friends and has now alienated her family. I don’t know how BDSM isn’t illegal. I am so worried that when this monster loses his job, he will go crazy and injure or kill my child. Oh, he tells her she has been abused by her parents(us) because we won’t pay for everything in her life while she participates in this nastiness. When he picked her up from our home, the first place they went was to her bank to empty her account.
    Any advice on getting my daughter back where she is safe and can received proper treatment? I love her so much.

    • Dear Worried Mom. I want to recommend a book for you. Prodigal God by Tim Keller. I think it will bring much insight and healing to your prodigal daughter’s search for God. Make no mistake. That’s who she is looking for. She just doesn’t know it. “Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is seeking God,” said GK Chesterton. I’m so sorry for your deep pain. This is one of the saddest accounts I’ve had to answer on my blog. Be assured that I’ll share this with my staff today and pray for you and your daughter.

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