Sex in a Minefield: Eating Disorders and Kink
Please help us welcome B. Mercy to the blog today. This is the first of two pieces she’s written about eating disorders and kink. Read the second part here.
Through tears, I told my then-boyfriend, “You shouldn’t even be with me!”
My unforgivable transgression? Gaining 5 pounds. I believed that being fat was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Fat was a sin and stain that ruined me and anyone romantically/sexually with me.
There’s being over dramatic, shallow, hard on yourself… But this was pathological. I had an eating disorder, and I was in crisis. But my partner and I didn’t recognize that at the time. Because after all, I did have issues with weight. Heavy people are pressured to be ‘attentive’ about their weight problems. The unfortunate realities about how our society treats body shape can insidiously mask the dangerous thoughts and behaviors of eating disorders.
What is an Eating Disorder (ED)?
Eating disorders are a set of diagnosable mental health disorders. But for everyday people, it can be hard to realize that there is a problem to diagnose. What a ‘disturbed eating behavior’ qualifies as can be a tricky question. It isn’t as easy to know when someone is ‘abusing’ food as it is to know when someone is abusing heroin.
A key sign is someone abusing themselves. Being overweight, even having associated health problems, doesn’t mean that someone is less of a person. It is never healthy to hate oneself or what one looks like. A person in ED crisis takes out their internal bad feelings on very controlled or anxious behaviors regarding food, exercise, or appearance. In the tragic worst cases, these thoughts and behaviors can spiral out of control. They cause permanent damage or even death. In short: this shit is serious.
If any of this sounds like you or your partner: take it seriously. You’re not going to fix this alone. Get yourself/your partner help.
Who Can Have an ED?
ED has been painted as a ‘thin white girl disease’. This isn’t true. Anyone can have the bad mix of negative thoughts and unhealthy behaviors that make up an ED. A top, bottom, sadist, masochist, slave, Master/Mistress, spanko, furry etc. can all have an ED. They can be muscular, curvaceous, skinny, obese, thin, average, whatever. What a person looks like has nothing to do with how they feel about their body or how those feelings influence unhealthy behaviors.
I have friends from all over the wonderful spectrum of sizes, genders, colors, identities, and kinks that are recovering from ED. But those who don’t match the ‘classic’ ED image tend to feel like they don’t have an opening to discuss their struggles.
It’s Not About Weight
An ED won’t be ‘solved’ if a person achieves their supposed ‘ideal’ shape. To people with ED, fat isn’t ‘fat’. It’s ‘failure’ and ‘unworthiness’. To us, a body is a manifestation of insecurities. We believe that if we exert ‘enough’ control, punish that body ‘enough’, erase physical flaws, then we’ll erase the internal flaws we fear. Naturally, it doesn’t work that way. For all the terrible effort and stress we endure, we only become more unhealthy. The pain only worsens.
Mental wellness is as important as physical health. Body shape does not determine worth. Everyone and anyone is attractive, valuable, and worthy of love. We all deserve to feel safe and happy in our own skin.
Eating Disorders and Kink
Sex and eating disorders?
Someone with ED has a complex relationship with their body. Sharing it with someone else exponentially adds to those challenges.
Kink and eating disorders?
A Mad Max post-apocalypse landscape.
EDs are rooted in anxieties about our internal selves, expressed through unhealthy control over our bodies. BDSM is rooted in pleasurable control while engaging mindfully with our bodies and internal selves. There’s a lot of potential for kink to help people with EDs heal or for things to go disastrously. Those seeking to heal from ED and those seeking to help should be mindful about the risky areas and potential aids while having an awesome kinky time.
Scening and Sex
Someone with ED may not want their body seen during sex. They might not want to see their partner’s body either. They might feel uncomfortable performing scenes in dungeons. Blindfolds can help in these situations. The first time I was bound in a dungeon full of strangers with my (curvaceous) ass exposed, a blindfold helped me feel safe.
For those with a history of binging, things involving the mouth can be problematic. Our gag reflexes are overly sensitive. I can’t do gags or give oral sex. It sucks. I love gags. I love to serve my Dominant with my mouth. But this doesn’t have to be a ‘never’ limit. It may take time, patience, and support to slowly overcome this issue. I’ve worked my way up to licking hard cock. Next step, light sucking. All while my Dominant is patient, (damn) grateful for, and very proud of my efforts. After knowing everything I’ve been through, it means so much more to him when I give his cock little kisses.
Many issues can arise when someone with an ED becomes physically or emotionally intimate. To those with ED: be honest with yourself and your partner about limits and triggers. To partners: if you have concerns about your partner, tell them.
From there, support and honesty matter most. If you are a partner, aim to compliment your partner for who they are or how they make you feel, not their appearance per se. Tell them how much their submission or dominance means to you. How wet or hard they make you. How they drive you wild. How goddamn drop-dead sexilicious they are. How smart, witty, charming they are.
You Can Get There
Patience with oneself, support from partners, and a strong dose of orgasms and play can heal much. The more I’ve immersed in my kinks, the better Dominants I’ve had, the better I have felt about myself and my body. I weigh more than ever, but I feel sexy and strong. I’m no longer afraid or in pain—except under extremely kinky and consensual circumstances.
About B. Mercy
Bittersweet Mercy is a bi and bold millennial who tries to save the world under one name by day and at night writes, performs stand up, and plays under aliases. She is greatly enjoying her new life in the DC area.