BDSM and Body Image


Body image.


It is something that we rarely talk about in the scene and yet, so many of us struggle with it. Are you someone who hesitates to strip down to nothing at that play party because you are plagued with a negative body image? Do you hold back in a scene because you are consumed with thoughts of how you look in a scene instead of being able to find joy and pleasure in your play? Or are you a Top who has a submissive who is having difficulty connecting with you because she is more of a slave to food and body obsession than to you?


It seems like there is a whole generation of us that grew up with body-hatred, feeling imperfect and not-beautiful, no matter what we looked like. Too thin, too fat, to busty, too flat, too tall, too short, wide hips, no hips, too much ass, not enough. A never-ending litany of what is wrong with us physically, reinforced by images on television, in movies and in print that we could never hope to live up to; growing up understanding that how we look is the most important thing about us. And that it was never good enough.


The scene offers some wonderful things that the vanilla world does not. While we come from all walks of life, BDSMers all have a love for the alternative. We are not people who spend every Wednesday night engaged in military-style intercourse. We love passion, the power exchange, and the magic of sexual self-expression. This attitude translates, generally speaking, into a more open-minded attitude toward size, not to mention age, gender, race, and orientation.


Unlike our vanilla friends who rarely see large naked bodies, we have many opportunities through play parties and demos to look at, get used to, and eventually admire the soft curves of fat people. It is at first astounding, and then liberating to see a large man or woman walk around a play party stark naked, proud of their body, fully loved. It's hard not to like someone who likes herself so much.


I discovered with time and support from my Padrone that my body, with its ability to do all these things we do, to transform pleasure into pain, to bend and twist and tolerate being bound, to find pleasure in all this, was an asset. He always looks at me appreciatively, and, suddenly, I wasn’t invisible. I was fulfilling one of the most fundamental cores that I had been raised to believe was the most important thing in being female—being attractive to men—and I reveled in it. From the time He took me on as his slave, I have not looked back. Sure, I have times I think or verbalize I wish this was different, this was smaller, or that not so saggy. He gives me 'the look' and I snap out of it really quick!


The thing about body issues is that everyone has them, women and men, thin and fat, you and me. If you want to get over self-criticism, here are some things you can try. Start by communicating with your body, using affirmations to find the beautiful parts about yourself, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Listen to what your body has to say, and respect your own path. This is the foundation of self-love. If you love yourself, loving your body will follow.


On the practical side, go to some play parties or other public situations where you will be able to observe people of all sizes and shapes enjoying themselves. Replace any critical thoughts in your head with positive ones about the beauty of their bodies, whether it be good skin, soft curves, great butt to spank, strong muscles, or wonderful handfuls of breasts. Talk to your friends about what beautiful thing you saw in this larger person. If it's not a physical attribute, notice their courage for playing in public, their love of their own body, or their unself-consciousness. For the female Dominant, size can be an advantage, projecting a powerful physical presence which attracts Submissives. If you have this advantage, use it.


Developing a Healthy Body Image

  1. Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry.

  2. Be realistic about the size you are likely to be based on your genetic and environmental history.

  3. Exercise regularly in an enjoyable way, regardless of size.

  4. Expect normal weekly and monthly changes in weight and shape.

  5. Work towards self acceptance and self forgiveness- be gentle with yourself.

  6. Ask for support and encouragement from friends and family when life is stressful.

  7. Decide how you wish to spend your energy -- pursuing the "perfect body image" or enjoying family, friends, school and, most importantly, life.


Think of the three A's

  • Attention: Refers to listening for and responding to internal cues (i.e., hunger, satiety, fatigue).

  • Appreciation: Refers to appreciating the pleasures your body can provide.

  • Acceptance: Refers to accepting what is -- instead of longing for what is not.


With time, support, and a lot of self reflection, you too can become comfortable with and learn to love your body, no matter the shape.

© 2018 by Michelle Fegatofi