Child Prostitution, Abuse, and BDSM Porn

Heath Wise, LPC

Sex Trafficking

CHILD PROSTITUTION, ABUSE, AND BDSM PORN


QUESTION

As a child I was made a child prostitute, tortured regularly, and used for child porn. After a lot of therapy I am still addicted to BDSM porn. It calms me down while it is horrifying at the same time. When I try to talk to someone about it panic keeps me from speaking. How do I get out of this nightmare?

SEX THERAPIST’S ANSWER

I can’t tell you how sad I am about what has happened to you. I am glad that you have gotten therapy and that it has been helpful to you but I am wondering if your therapist is one who understands the spiritual dynamics of abuse and trauma. If not, then I would encourage you to go to someone who does, who might be able to help you with that part.

It is not uncommon for someone who has been traumatized as you have to use violent or degrading porn to calm themselves down. It actually gives them a sense of control when they feel powerless.

Years ago I met a woman who told me about coming to Christ and still going to the S&M club where she was a dominatrix. She had a history of traumatic sexual abuse from her father and the deacons in her church. When she ran away from home as a teenager, she got into a very physically abusive relationship. After that, she got into BDSM and became a dominatrix. It makes perfect sense considering her history – she was reenacting her abuse but in a position of power instead of a position of powerlessness. She didn’t really think about it, but she began to soothe herself in ways that made sense to her. So there is no shame for you there. You just have to learn how to soothe yourself in other ways.

One of my concerns about your question is that it appears that in your therapy you have not addressed the anxiety that you are feeling, giving you tools to use when you feel anxious. When we help someone who is soothing themselves in unhelpful ways, such as with substance use, porn, eating, etc you could put a myriad of things there … then we have to give them healthy, life affirming tools to use to manage and overcome feelings of anxiety before we try to change the behavior that we are wanting to get rid of. So for you, you would need to have the tools in place before trying to change using the porn to soothe yourself. If you try to change the behavior without first doing that, even though you want to change the behavior, your very sense of self will resist and try to stop you – it will feel like taking away the one thing that is keeping you together. So it makes perfect sense why you would panic when thinking about talking to someone about it – that means the behavior is going to be taken away and you do not appear to me to have anything in its place that helps you feel powerful instead of powerless.

You mention that you have an addiction to BDSM porn. That might be true. I can’t tell you whether you do or not because I don’t know you. It could be that this is anxiety from your trauma such as I mentioned above or a spiritual result of your trauma or a combination of things and it is not an addiction. But many people who have addictions have one because of trying to deal with trauma in their life. So it could have started one way and become a physical addiction. If it is an addiction, you would need to go to someone who understands about true addiction who can diagnose and help you with this. The good news is that there is help for you no matter what it is. You really can get free from this and abundantly free not just hanging on.

There can be such shame around porn and especially around BDSM. Let me just tell you about the rest of the story that I told about the woman who became a dominatrix. She actually met her husband in the S&M club and he is such a good man and loves the Lord now. So God in His amazing love, met her where she was and gave her the gift of the love of her life in a place that we would not think God would even be! But He is not bound by our rules and regulations – He constantly surprises us with His love for us. And He is absolutely ecstatic about you – lavish with His love and tender in His compassion towards you. No matter what you have done, He says there is no shame for you – He says there is double honor for you! So get to know His love for you in deeper ways – to know how much this is true because you know Him and His heart for you.

Your journey has been a difficult one and I want to honor the courage that it has taken for you to get to where you are. I am sure that there have been days that you wondered if it was worth it. But every day that you chose to fight and believe you not only made a difference in your life but you also made a difference for the kingdom. You are such an inspiration!

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