Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Michael Bettinger (mcpsycle) Thu 4 Apr 02 13:52
Some people are born kinky, some people achieve kinkiness, others have kinkiness thrust upon them. Kinkiness is not as uncommon as people would believe. People look at the stereotypical kinky person, with whips, chains, black leather and think to themselves, that is not me . But many of those same people who do not identify as being kinky actually engage in kinky sexual practices. If you use a broad definition that fits many kinky situations, kinkiness is about the exchange of power in a sexual situation. This can be a mild fantasy that two or more people are engaging in. An example of that is when one or both of the people is fantasizing about being forced to do certain acts, etc. Or it can be much more dramatic. An example of that might be one person being tied up by another. It can go from mild to wild. And there are other kinds of kinkiness that dont involve power exchanges. Examples here might be fetishes, where some body part or inanimate object is eroticized. When is it self destructive? One model used by some members of the kink community is to ask are the acts safe, sane and consensual? Safe means no transmission of diseases. Sane means no unintended physical or emotional harm. And consensual means anyone can stop what is happening at any time. If it is not safe, sane and consensual then it would be considered destructive in some way. Please remember, sex, including kinky sex, is about play. Adults are playing sexual games and that can include many forms of expression. Normal sex (whatever you want to believe that is) is only one form of sex play. Let me expand this to a rant on the way we look at mental functioning. Mostly we are into a medical model. If you have certain symptoms (such as depression), you are sick and get a diagnosis. If those symptoms disappear, you are healthy. This is an all or nothing approach. Certain kinky acts are listed as indicative of a mental disorder under the medical model. I prefer a growth model that looks at the level of a person functioning, high, middle, low. A person who is low functioning will have a lot of symptoms that explain that level of functioning. Remove some of those symptoms and the person functions higher. It is a relative system that looks at the person as a whole and gets an assessment of overall functioning. The mental health profession, guided by the American Psychiatric Association is entrenched in the medical model. There are many clinicians who, like myself, use a growth model and only use the medical model when we need to communicate with insurance companies or others who use the medical model. I usually suggest to people that they look for a psychotherapist who uses a growth model. A growth model therapist would look at kinkiness as one aspect in a persons life and see what place that has and, most importantly, how well or not well in general is the person functioning.
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Thu 4 Apr 02 14:28
i dig on the growth model, michael.
It matters who your daddy is. (debbie) Thu 4 Apr 02 14:49
in general if I ask a therapist if they operate on a growth model, will they know what I'm talking about? because I like that distiction from the medical model.
Michael Bettinger (mcpsycle) Thu 4 Apr 02 16:24
Maybe. If they are into a growth model, they will understand. If they are into a medical model, they may be so entrenched in it that they can't imagine anything else. So, if they don't understand your question, they probably are not into a growth model.
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Fri 5 Apr 02 02:15
picturing what that exchange might look like.
Michael Bettinger (mcpsycle) Fri 5 Apr 02 06:56
One thing the book is about is empowering the consumer of mental health services. So, I would recommend for a client to go for it; to ask whatever questions are important, and see how a therapist reacts. It is not merely the content of his or her reaction that is important, but how they handle the questions.
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Fri 5 Apr 02 12:56
i think a good question to ask a therapist-to-be is "who is the healer? you or me?"
Michael Bettinger (mcpsycle) Fri 5 Apr 02 14:46
I would expand on that to encourage people if they so desire to ask the therapist how they see healing, or anything else that is of interest or importance to the perspective client. Your comment is brings up a lot of interesting thoughts; what actually is the role of the psychotherapist? We have some words to describe the role, but there is much more that is transpersonal and cannot be put into words. Healing is multifaceted. We all need to do some and perhaps a lot of personal self healing. But there is something we get from others that we cannot get from ourselves. I would have some difficulty calling myself a "healer", yet I know that I am sometimes part of a healing process that involves my presence and interaction with another person.
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 5 Apr 02 15:14
Michael, let me take this opportunity to say thank you for joining us these last two weeks. I know that I have learned a lot, and I think our readers have, too. Cindy, thank you for doing such a masterful job of leading the discussion in such interesting directions. You are welcome to continue for as long as you like.
C.L.Myers (clmyers) Fri 5 Apr 02 15:23
My pleasure, Linda! Michael, it's been a real treat to meet and get to know you. I'm happy to hang in here for as long as the conversation continues.
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Fri 5 Apr 02 21:15
good luck to michael with this wonderful book. i look forward to hearing how it goes over with others in the healing community.
b7 (bookworm7) Sat 6 Apr 02 07:12
Michael, thanks for your time here and much good luck with the book! Excellent exchanges, all.
Michael Bettinger (mcpsycle) Sat 6 Apr 02 07:13
Thank you all, too. I have enjoyed this. I'll keep checking in to see if there is any more disucssion or questions.
QueerMeister (maya) Mon 8 Apr 02 08:31
Thanks here as well, Michael. These past two weeks have just flown by!!
bitch slapped by the universe (sd) Tue 9 Apr 02 20:23
yes thanks, and thanks very much for writing such a fine book.
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