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Kinky Sex = Better Mental Health?

A new study by the Journal of Sexual Medicine surveyed 902 people who practice “kinky sex”, i.e.,  BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism) and 432 people who practice “vanilla sex” (no kink involved) and discovered that the BDSM group scored higher on indicators of mental health!

Which made me wonder if my husband Henry and I should revisit the dungeon of Mike Boner, the man with a tiny, flaccid male member, who hosted the one and only BDSM party we ever attended (as anthropologists, of course).

Apparently Mike Boner may be more mentally healthy than Henry and me.

I was relieved to discover there’s a potential flaw in the study, because Andreas Wismeijer, a psychologist at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands and the lead author on the study, admitted that people practicing BDSM might have scored better on these surveys because they’ve been forced to be more psychologically aware in order to live with “sexual needs that are beyond the scope of what is often considered socially acceptable to discuss in the mainstream.”

Even so, the study does support the argument for removing BDSM from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as “paraphilia.” Paraphilia is considered a mental health condition where the patient’s sexual behavior is considered atypical.

I was startled to discover that as recently as 2012 Homosexuality was considered one of the paraphilias, right alongside having sex with animals. It seems the medical community has some catching up to do.

But when it comes to BDSM there’s no denying E.L. James’s ghastly Fifty Shades of Grey hit a sex nerve in the zeitgeist that may do fetishists more favors with the DSM than any study could possibly achieve.

So I leave you with a small snatch of conversation between Henry and me, wherein I try to broaden our sexual repertoire (and also, apparently, our mental health) by trying to get him to dominate me by dominating him, which makes perfect sense.

Henry: Is it okay if I dominate you now?

Me: I want you to dominate me now, but I don’t want you to ask for permission.

Henry: I’m not asking for permission, I am dominating you now.

He attempts to lift me into his steel-hewn arms, with his arthritic fingers. He’s so hot! Whoa!

He carries my left leg, while I hop on my right foot, to the bed and pushes me on it with enough force to leave me breathless, but with a slight pinch in my neck.

As he leans manfully over me I say: Please be gentle, but not too gentle, forceful enough to frighten me, but not so forceful that I have to shower and brush my teeth again.

Henry: I’m going to take you now, on top of this bed in the missionary position quietly so we don’t wake the kids.

Me: You’ve got 15 minutes.

Henry: I’m taking 20.

Wow! Fade to black.

midlife boulevard, columnist, midlife women, middle-age, midlife crisis

Shannon Bradley-Colleary

Shannon Bradley-Colleary blogs at <a href="http://thewomanformerlyknownasbeautiful.com">The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful</a>. She's also a contributing blogger on <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-colleary/">The Huffington Post</a>. Her posts have landed her on The Today Show, NPR, CNN, Raising America with Kyra Phillips, Fox11News and more. She's been published in The DailyMail Online, Babble, Blogher and MomsLA. Her book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Into-Child-Weeks-Gestational-Wilderness-ebook/dp/B006AZEQAO">Into The Child: 40 Weeks in the Gestational Wilderness</a> was named one of the Top 100 Indie Books of 2012 by the Kirkus Review. Her book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Smash-Crash-Burn-Tales-Celebrity-ebook/dp/B00BZA67RO">Smash, Crash and Burn: Tales From The Edge Of Celebrity</a>, details her life as an L.A. Wacktress (waiter/actress) in the early 90s; including her relationship with Brandon Bruce Lee and a her tête-à-tête with David Schwimmer. She kisses and tells. Shannon is thrilled to be a monthly columnist on Midlife Boulevard.

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