One Time I Used BDSM Negotiation Tactics to Prevent Myself From Getting Injured at the Gym

Random thought: if there’s anything I’ve learned from blogging, is that I don’t know how to keep blog titles short and to the point. #alreadyoverit

Besides being an entrepreneur, I love being active. I’m an avid tennis player, a newly certified scuba diver, and an amateur powerlifter. I call myself an amateur because I was actually training for my first powerlifting competition and had to last-minute…pull out.

A little back story: my love/hate relationship with powerlifting

I started lifting in 2011 to really mixed emotions. I say mixed, because me lifting was met with a lot of harsh criticism, especially from the people I had loved most. Due to how media has portrayed what the ideal woman looks like — lean, slightly toned — I was constantly told that if I continued to lift heavy, I would bulk up and look like Serena Williams or those insanely shredded women in bodybuilding competitions that looked like they were on steroids. You get the picture.

While I’m not going to go into the specifics of just how wrong and ignorant their statements were, those statements hurt. They hurt like all hell. Powerlifting holds a special place in my heart. Despite hurtful words, I persisted to lift, because it not only felt right, but I was doing it for me. My life, my rules.

Okay, back to the actual blog post at hand:

Admittedly, I’d stop going to the gym for at least five months. So, one day, I decided to get back into it, because I was tired of not having lifting in my life. When I was at my peak, my personal records (PRs) were:

  • Bench Press: 120 lbs
  • Deadlift: 315 lbs
  • Squat 250 lbs

I decided I was going to squat, because I wanted to get my butt all perky, round, and strong again. Before I even set foot in the gym, I told myself that I was not going to go any higher than squatting 185 lbs since I hadn’t been working out for so long. Best not to go from zero to sixty in four seconds.

Powerlifting holds a special place in my heart. Despite hurtful words, I persisted to lift, because it not only felt right, but I was doing it for me. My life, my rules.

As I got under the bar and started squatting, holy shit, I was feeling so damn amazing. Things felt smooth, familiar, and it didn’t feel like I hadn’t worked out in five months. Eventually, I put 185 lbs on the bar, and was doing some sweet reps.

Endorphins can be a bitch

When I racked the bar, my mind immediately went to, “Hey, just add twenty more pounds…you’ll have broken 200!” Yeah! I was feeling good and getting ready to do so when all the sudden, I remembered what I had negotiated with myself: 185 lbs MAX.

I hummed and I hawed, and after a little bit, I decided to honor my negotiation and stop there. 1) I remember what it was like to go too fast too soon and injure myself, and 2) I respect and trust myself enough to have looked out for my best interest before the workout. Ego, pride, and endorphins can do crazy things to you if you let it.

If I don’t respect myself and my wishes, how can I expect other people to?

So, how does this particular gym session mirror BDSM? Everything.

When you play or engage in a scene, your endorphins are flying. The feelings are really quite similar to working out. It just feels that good. Maybe not every moment, because pain or whatever discomfort is involved, like working out, but the net outcome is feeling unstoppable.

Hence before you play, you negotiate the ins and outs of your play session at your most rational and level-headed state: the details of the scene, what your limits and boundaries are, what happens after said scene is over…I could go on. And, that’s it. Once the parties involved have felt they’ve said everything they needed to, it’s like an invisible binding contract, unchangeable. That’s good BDSM practice.

The desire to re-negotiate mid-scene happens even to the best of us

Like what I experienced mid-workout, you start to feel good and perhaps start asking for something more. An example? Perhaps you negotiated no intimate touching or groping beforehand, but somewhere during the scene, your sexual energy starts to rise, and you’re feeling extremely aroused. You may begin to beg to be touched intimately. And, if your play partner was smart, respectful, and educated enough, that person would say no. Because it’s the ethical thing to do.

I’ve been in that situation. I had negotiated a shibari rope bondage scene with my good friend. Halfway through the scene, I wanted and asked him to touch me sexually. I’m thankful every time I think about this lesson from my friend that he was awesome enough to say no. It wasn’t what we had negotiated when we were rational. Had he gone through with what I asked, I would have felt good at the time, but would have regretted it and beat myself up over it for a long time. I’m sure he would have felt the same, too.

So, going back to the time I used BDSM negotiation tactics to prevent myself from getting injured at the gym—I walked out of the gym happy, proud, and feeling invincible still. I respected and loved myself to trust that I had my own back the entire time, even when there was 185 lbs on it.

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