Now Playing: Holy Ground by Taylor Swift (and darling, it was good never looking down, and right there were we stood was holy ground)
I think we would all benefit from adding a little BDSM to our lives.
I'm not saying you have to dive head first into the sensory overload that is breath play and dom/sub dynamics and physical restraint, although that's what I did and I loved it. I just like how it works. Obviously, the BDSM community is far from problem free, but BDSM in isolation can be a really healthy way to structure a sexual relationship, because it's mostly talking.
There's this enduring weirdness in our culture that dictates that talking about sex is weird, or gross, or at the very least unsexy. But I'm a nerd, and I'm a sex nerd. I love talking about sex. It's fascinating. It's also super sexy and also...super important, for a healthy, consensual encounter or relationship.
So BDSM is about talking. It's about talking about consent; and also talking about desire. You have to set up a scene together, playing with fantasy and boundaries. And then you do the scene. And then, afterwards, there's aftercare, where you talk about what you liked, what you didn't like, how you felt. BDSM is sort of dangerous - you're trusting someone with a lot of your bodily autonomy and giving people access to psychological rabbit holes - but I've never felt safer or more intimate than cuddling and practicing aftercare.
This process has also been really important in recovering from experiences of sexual assault and emotional abuse; you re-enact trauma in a kind of charade, asserting control and power over situations you were once powerless in. And then, cathartically, you talk about it with someone you love and trust.
A mutual, planned breakup, when you both plan to shift your relationship to a platonic friendship...is trauma. And trauma needs aftercare. And I think failing to show isn't healthy, or respectful, or acceptable. It seems to me just a gross failure in aftercare; and it's a hard thing to accept, after weeks of respect. And without that aftercare, I worry about people, how they're doing; it feels disjointed and disorienting and very irresponsible of me - even though it's outside of my control - to not know how someone is doing. And as for me...I've been left to bleed out. There are many things that I do that I think other people wouldn't be okay with...but I'm not okay with this.