I recently received a one-star review on Amazon for my first book Betrothed entitled “disturbing BDSM” (feel free to click over and give it an “unhelpful” click for me). In it, the offended reviewer said the heroine’s love for the hero was related to the “Stockholm Syndrome”. I’ve seen “Stockholm Syndrome” thrown out by trolls on quite a few DD blogs lately, so I thought it was worth a post.
According to Wikipedia, Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they no longer become a threat.[5
As you know, words have power. They can be used as weapons. Throwing out a term like Stockholm Syndrome in blog comments or reviews creates an instant emotional response, which is why trolls are choosing it.
So I’m going to go ahead and re-claim this powerful term and say YES, dear trolls– you’re right. Stockholm Syndrome is part of the appeal of DD/TTWD.
There’s so much that goes into a spanking kink, it’s hard for me to tease it all out. But one of the attractions is the intimacy forged between spanker and spankee. It goes way beyond sex because it involves personal risk, requiring a deep level of trust and probably also because it activates this bonding response that the Freudian put forth when explaining Stockholm Syndrome.
So there you have it. Stockholm Syndrome has been owned.
Does this mean I believe DD relationships involve abuse? No, we’re talking about a relationship entered into by two consenting adults. No one has the right to judge that. But does Stockholm Syndrome explain why even “spank-nos” enter willingly into DD relationships? Sure. They’re not getting off on the spanking, like those of us who, erm, get wet just reading the word, they’re using it as a tool to improve their relationship– and they love the closeness they achieve. Spanking breaks down walls, exposes vulnerabilities and forges stronger bonds between partners. That is a beautiful thing, even if you want to call it stockholm syndrome.