Many of us respond to trauma by developing coping strategies that help a little in the short term and are terribly unhealthy in the long term. It’s normal and common and it’s easiest to do when your unhealthy coping strategies are rewarded by our culture.
Sometimes, you might make your peace with the fact that eating a little more ice cream than is exactly healthy, or wanting your boyfriend to tie you up is not really that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. That’s cool.
But people present any criticism of rape play as “shaming” and unilaterally insist that it must never, ever be criticized as a coping strategy for survivors it is wrong and dangerous. It censors the idea that survivors might heal enough to not have their trauma looming over their sexuality. It endangers survivors! In many cases, it takes women who have been groomed by sexual predators to the point where they struggle to untangle the abusers’ narrative of what love and sex should be from their own desires…and encourages them to have sexual partners who get off on abusing women.
And then, of course, washes its collective hands of the whole thing under the veil of “don’t kink shame” and “consent” and “agency” or whatever the popular buzz word is. And therefore creates endless pressure for people to ignore their own gut feelings that something is wrong; that they don’t feel empowered; that popular dominants are actually scary people and that something isn’t right here.