Even in the healthiest, most supportive, wonderful environments, kinky people are eventually going to have to interact with the medical community. Some are going to need help from psychologists, psychiatrists, or life coaches. Most of us (unless you happen to be one of those incredible people who knows how to do their own taxes and make deductions for your mortgage and whatnot) will need assistance from accountants and personal finance professionals. Many will look for spiritual guidance.
Sometimes we like to think that these areas of our life remain delineated and separate from our kink lives. And in many instances, it can be true. But when your general physician asks you why you have what looks like rope burns on your arms and thighs or when you need to talk to a councilor about issues arising within your consensual D/s relationship, you realize that sometimes this very private area of your life has bled out into new territory.
There’s a lot of stigma that comes from that. One of the strongest stereotypes about kinky individuals is that they have problems with physical or emotional abuse that leads them to this kind of behavior. Of course this stereotype is unfounded, but if you find yourself meeting with a doctor of therapist who subscribes to this notion, you’re in for a lot of trouble from people who are meant to provide you support. In faith communities, stigma abounds against people for all kinds of sexual practices, and you can quickly find yourself ostracized when you may need guidance and faith the most.
For situations like this and probably a million more that I can’t even think of, the Kink-Aware Professionals (KAP) directory exists. I’m not trying to plug this directory for any kind of personal benefit. I believe it is truly crucial that others know where to turn when they need professional advice or services without fear of being judged, stigmatized, or ostracized. While I can’t vouch for their professional qualifications, the people listed in this directory are either familiar with or specialize in managing the everyday details of kinky people’s lives. If you’re ever in a situation where you need to come to someone for help, I strongly suggest you look to these professionals as a first line of recourse. Sometimes the parts of our lives we most want to keep separate can be the parts that require the most care from the rest of the world.