Healing vs. Traumatizing BDSM

I'm seeing more and more practitioners approach BDSM from the healing vantage point and here is my warning to you: make sure you can verify that they either understand the psychological fine lines or are practiced/schooled in the intricacies of BDSM edge play.

It's easy enough for someone to perform a classic scenario- i.e. corporal, humiliation and claim that it's healing- it probably is in some senses, as BDSM can be incredibly cathartic in its most basic forms. HOWEVER, even people who have been a domme for years longer than me don't know when they're crossing over to totally inappropriate (and traumatizing) and I've seen some sessions where people claim it is "cathartic" but really, they caused a negative breakdown by attacking someone's core or by causing irreparable damage to the physical body.

Even something like humiliation has MANY layers of where people can, and cannot hit when humiliating. Most people do not know this. Nor do they know which layers to hit that would be most effective for YOUR psychology.

When choosing a practitioner, make sure you 

1. go with your gut instinct- if something feels off, trust it

2. see how they're approaching BDSM- do they understand the nuances or are they making bold/unfounded/empty claims?

When in session, make sure that their "confidence" whether it is a veneer or if it's just a radical confidence they have all the time, is not the type that obscures their mistakes. Pretending something is ok and convincing you that it is is very dangerous (so is claiming that you can take the place of an another professional if unlicensed- doctor, therapist, etc- but I'm even dubious of licensed professionals as I've had experiences with the most educated prestigious professionals who were traumatizing and didn't do their job- so vet them just as much. Never just trust a fancy piece of paper)

I just took a flogging class with Simone Justice- when my flogger accidentally hit an area that it shouldn't- I apologized to the sub and inquired if things were okay without breaking the scene. She said this is good because I am admitting to my mistakes and demonstrating that I know what is wrong and what is right, which builds and enforces trust. Many carry on hoping you do not notice, or pretend they meant to do that- this is NOT okay in my book. Admitting to mistakes even in the position of dominance is strength. Putting on a veneer of confidence and denying your mistakes is weakness.

It is in your best interest to not submit to someone who does not have a refined skill set nor a refined psychological grasp. This is not a personal attack against anyone new, it is a reminder out of concern for you- even when I first started out I was not taught any of the deeper layers//techniques and in fact, some of my learning now is unlearning what I had thought was my "foundation" in BDSM. It took much learning (and following an obsession- I live and breathe this every single moment I'm conscious through practice, classes, books, meetings!) to understand how deep and nuanced it actually is. 

Never trust bold, unfounded claims. Authenticity reads differently and it feels different too. Choose authenticity always.