Is BDSM Okay for Christians?

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Last week, I got a tremendous response for my post on how Christian couples can spice it up in the bedroom.  People that never usually read the blog opened it up!

In response someone asked me a question about BDSM, and if it’s okay for Christian couples to engage in it. So I thought it would be good to write a whole article about it because ever since 50 Shades of Grey, there’s been a huge interest awakened in BDSM, and what kinds of things are okay to do in bed.

I think the most important thing to keep in mind when asking questions like “Is this good or bad?” is that God created marriage and sex to reflect His own character. The unity and intimacy shared between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is supposed to be mirrored in the families that make up society.

So let’s see how BDSM works.

BDSM stands for Bondage-Discipline/Sadism-Masochism. It’s a VERY broad word that includes a bunch of different types of “play” that can vary in intensity from simple role-playing to typing up one’s partner and whipping them to the point of bruising or other more intense types of torture. It’s a really broad spectrum.

The basic idea behind BDSM is that one partner becomes the “dominant” and the other becomes the “submissive.” In other words, one person becomes the master, and the other is the servant. The dominant controls the submissive and tells them what to do during the session.

For example, the dominant may tie up the submissive, or chain them to the bed. The dominant might order the submissive to give them a massage, or whip them. The dominant might publicly humiliate or shame the submissive.

Whatever the scenario is, it all boils down to one person having control or power over the other, which some people find very appealing.

 

When I think about BDSM, the thing that stands out to me the most is that in most countries, the only difference between assault or domestic violence, and BDSM is the matter of informed consent. The ONLY reason why BDSM is legal in most countries is because the acts are done with the informed consent of the people participating in it.

Think about that.

Shaming, humiliating, torturing-those all sound despicable and grotesque when you think about it, but if the person on the receiving end is okay with it, then it’s perfectly fine according to the law.

I read an article in TIME magazine where a sex therapist said she actually prescribes BDSM for couples who struggle in the bedroom. When she counsels couples and sees that one partner dominates the other partner, or is too controlling, she has the controlling partner play the role of the submissive during BDSM in order to help empower the other spouse. If there’s a couple where one partner has been raped or sexually abused, she prescribes BDSM to help them overcome their feelings of helplessness.

Here’s the thing. I think God wants better for us.  Even though something may feel erotic and give us feelings of pleasure, doesn’t mean that it is godly. It’s one thing for a couple to play-act with one another, it’s another thing to do things to each other that deface God’s image in ourselves-and our spouse.

God wants us to do things that lift each other up, and make each other better. He wants us to do everything we can to contribute to our spouse’s growth. BDSM says that anything goes as long as both people are okay with it.

God says our hearts are deceitful, and need to be renewed through His Word transforming our minds.  

Just because something feels pleasurable, or becomes normalized by our society, doesn't mean it's beneficial. Boundaries protect us, and to me BDSM crosses a lot of boundaries-physically and psychologically. 

God doesn't want ANYONE having control over anyone else. He Himself doesn't want that type of relationship with us. He's given us free will and a conscience. So why would we want to violate that-even in play?

Hope this helps!