Can BDSM Really Help Depression?

With Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, mental health is a greater issue than ever. Can BDSM practices help those with depression? Miss Matthews of website stripyscarf.com argues that it can.




A client of mine who suffers from depression described the relief he gets after a spanking as akin to being released from a black hole into the light. Corporal punishment, as affecianados will happily explain, can make you extraordinarily happy. Elated, freed from sadness and fear. Pain floods the brain with endorphins. Monks practised flagellation in the 12th and 13th centuries, understanding how it might allow the recipient to relinquish painful memories and trauma. When you’re being beaten you can’t be sad,  ruminate on past miseries, worry about the misery that may well be on its way. You can’t check your phone, try not to forget aunt Maud’s birthday, try not to remember that embarrassing moment last weekend. Spanking is gaffer tape for the voices in your head. Suddenly, there is only the pain. You enter a state of flow, forge a spiritual encounter with the self, in which you cease to do and start to be.

“Caning has also been used successfully as a means to cure drug and alcohol addiction”

Pain is always totally absorbing. It needs to be: it’s an evolutionary tool, a self-preservation instinct, designed to warn you your body is under assault and you need to do something. Deal with it. Of course, if you’re being thrashed by a professional, you can’t do anything but surrender to it: the long build up to this moment, the email correspondence you’ve undertaken, the fantasies you’ve exchanged, the memories you’ve shared, have led you both to agree this is something you need, deserve, and to which you must submit. You are forced to be overwhelmed by the sensations, breathe through them, feel your mind swiftly empty, your flesh flood with hormones. Caning has also been used successfully as a means to cure drug and alcohol addiction: you get the high you crave, while the physical damage is superficial and speedily healed: a chance to experience the endorphin rush without the catastrophic side-effects.


When the general tendency is to avoid pain, seeking it out, occasionally even paying for it, seems surprising to the noncognoscenti, the poor saps. Instead of pain signifying horror, to the spanko pain is the gateway to joy, to emotional and sexual wellbeing. Those who have never understood the appeal of pain fail to grasp how we can turn something so profoundly undesirable into something satisfying, a necessity, often the very mainstay of our existence.  It takes intelligence and imagination to perform this peculiar alchemy. Spankos wallow in their suffering, let it take over their every sense, every nerve ending; they choose to be invaded and engulfed by it, every inch of their body overwhelmed and displaying its symptoms, from the curled toes to the whitened knuckles. And they love it. Enduring any kind of ordeal gives the individual an opportunity to taste the bitter unpalatable side of existence and to return refreshed to their usual life of luxury. When I find myself petulant, sated, bored, weary, indifferent, tetchy, I know exactly what I need seek out to give life fresh piquancy. Thank goodness I have a willing partner who understands that need and is delighted to fulfil it. Human beings do not thrive when they exist unchallenged. They become bored, sulky, irritable, they lose their sense of humour and perspective. They start to whimper when they lose a sock or can’t get their preferred parking space. A taste of true agony will help you put minor annoyances into perspective, become calmer and easier to be near. And it’s fun.


The Covid-19 lockdown has made many spankos profoundly unhappy and succumb to other endorphin-boosting activities, drinking, eating junk, poor substitutes for the loss of regular physical chastisement. I propose an online course to assist willing spouses to provide discipline as a means to stave off misery and other, more harmful efforts to rediscover happiness. It will cover all the necessary elements of supplying proper, efficient chastisement, from dressing appropriately, building anticipation, appropriate choice of language, how to apply each implement firmly and accurately, knowing when the recipient has had enough - or indeed, craves more - and aftercare, both of fiery buttocks and feelings. You get a rush of elation like no other after a thrashing. Beware: it’s utterly addictive, and seeking out your next hit, as it were, may well become an obsession. 


But there are worse paths to find through the darkness.


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