A while ago I wrote about self-acceptance and a reader left an interesting comment about how they had never heard before that it was normal for sadists to worry about whether they’re evil. Let’s talk about how thoroughly normal that fear is.
First of all, the single most common portrayal of sadists in the media is serial killers. If that’s the only place you’ve ever seen people who like the things you like (and if you haven’t been exposed to actual bad people), of course you’re going to worry that you’re evil too. On that note, if you do happen to be a perv who worries at all about whether being a sadist makes you a bad person, don’t spend a week binge reading the Sword & Scale blog when you’re sick and don’t have the energy or brain to do anything else 🙂 I even know I’m not evil and that gave me a bit of “well shit, this is what non-kinky people think of when they hear the word sadist isn’t it.”
Aside from exclusively terrible portrayals of sadists in the media, we’re also taught from earliest childhood that it’s mean to hurt other people. So what does it say about us that we want to be “mean” and that we like it? It’s undoubtedly even worse if you’re an emotional sadist (hey, there are emotional masochists, why can’t there be emotional sadists?). All of this sucks even worse for dominant women because being “mean” goes against everything we’re taught about how to be women. God forbid you enjoy chastity/orgasm denial/tease and denial/cuckolding – that obviously means you’re the most terrible woman ever to be terrible and no one will ever love you.
Liking blood play or heavy pain play can be especially scary if you’re already a little worried you might grow up to be a serial killer. It’s a lot easier to brush off a hand spanking as a bit of fun that only left someone’s butt a little bit pink, but what if you want to leave bruises or welts that last for days? Or you’re interested in consentual non-consent? There’s no shortage of stuff kinky people as a whole do that looks scary as hell even to other kinky people.
And I haven’t even mentioned relationships yet! Being controlled by your partner is listed as a warning sign on practically every domestic abuse checklist. I bet there are tons of newbie doms who are interested in social justice and are terrified that wanting to call the shots in their relationships means they’re abusive assholes. The more control you want, the scarier that gets.
If you’re worried about any or all of that, congratulations, you’re perfectly normal! And almost certainly not evil, if you were you wouldn’t be worried 🙂 That said, intent is Not Fucking Magic. More precisely, having good intentions and wanting your partner to be happy is not the same thing as checking in with them and listening carefully and making sure that the stuff you do in hopes of making them happy actually does make them happy and that you’re not accidentally or otherwise doing stuff that makes them unhappy. It’s totally okay to ask your partner (play, romantic, whatever) for a little extra reassurance and it’s also okay for you as the dom to scale things back to a level you’re more comfortable with. Doms have feelings too and all that 😉
It’s okay to like weird stuff and it’s also okay to be kind of freaked out about liking weird stuff. You’re not alone.