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I’m so grateful that I entrusted Dorothy with the elimination of the shame and confusion about the dark side of my sexuality. With Dorothy’s help, I gained insight and understanding about myself and my past so that I simply no longer needed to act out sexuality.

Gary S.

I started seeing Dr. Hayden about two years ago. At the time, I had a habit of going to see dominatrixes that was getting out of control. I found I was going even when I didn’t want to, that my back account was dwindling, and my sex life with my wife was non-existent.

When I started treatment, I was filled with a sense of hopelessness and confusion. I had been having masochistic fantasies since I can remember. I used to fantasize that the teacher would paddle me in front of the class. As I got older, I would fantasize about kissing the feet of a strong, beautiful woman dressed in leather and sporting a whip.

When I was old enough, I was able to actually live out my fantasies by going to a “dungeon” where the ladies would call me names, make me crawl on all fours like a dog and whip me until they drew blood.

Sooner or later, I met the “dom” of my dreams – raven black hair, beautiful body, dark intriguing eyes, and very, very cruel.

I stayed with her for a number of years. As time went by, the beatings and the humiliation grew worse. I wanted nothing more from life that to have the privilege of pleasing her through my suffering.

Also over the years, she had begun to demand more money besides the cash I gave her for my “scene” She wanted “gifts” – jewelry, coats, expensive boots, and the like.

I was going broke. I was spending money that should have been spent on my family. My kids were reaching college age and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to flip the bill for their education.

I had been married for 15 years to a wonderful woman. She’s been supportive and kind, and a great mother to the kids. Once in a while, I thought about introducing my “kink” into our lovemaking – bondage, or paddling or whipping. But I never had the nerve to ask her. I thought she’s think I was a pervert. Also, my sexuality was split in two – one kind of tender lovemaking for my wife, and another one, completely different, for my “mistress”.

Sometimes I would think about what would happen if my wife found out. If I slipped somehow and she discovered my shameful “secret”. For that matter, how would I feel if anyone found out? What would people think of me? I perished the thought.

I don’t really know why I decided to speak to a professional therapist. I began to get tired of juggling my two worlds. I felt like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – the public self and the private self. I was starting to feel depressed and terribly guilty that I was cyphering my erotic life away from my wife and into this fantasy woman, the “dom”.

I had been in therapy many years ago for problems with depression and low self-esteem, but I never felt I could talk about my precious other life. I was positive the therapist would be shocked and confused about how to do therapy with me. I was afraid of the shame I’d feel if I ever really talked to anyone about my secret.

When I started therapy with Dorothy, I only gradually would leak out the particulars about my “kink”. She told me I could take it slow and that she wouldn’t press me to talk about anything that I was uncomfortable about.

As part of Dorothy’s non-judgmental support and understanding, I was able to shed the horrible shame I’d been carrying for most of my life. I was surprised and comforted to see how much she understood about me and what’s been going on in my head.

At the beginning, most of what we worked on was getting some mastery over the “compulsion” of the behavior. When I would get the urge to see my dom. I would go, regardless of how ill-timed or at the expense of what other commitments I may have had, including job and family. And I hated the idea that I was engaged with a behavior I couldn’t control. I had always thought I was the “master of my own ship”, except when it came to the dom.

After I learned to gain some control over my behavior, we started talking about things about my childhood and how I was enacting feelings from the past into the present.

I’d like to say that, after two years of work the whole dom/sub question has disappeared, but the truth is I still am haunted by fantasies and daydreams about being dominated. But I’m finding that it’s not really necessary to act on those fantasies. I’ve learned the difference between a thought and an action.

Upon Dorothy’s recommendation, my wife and I have started couples counseling to try to work out problems in our relationship and our sex life. I’m able to save money, and I’m free from that horrible guilt and shame.

Dorothy helped me to understand myself in such a way that I was able to make sense of my sexual acting out. With that understanding came a better sense of control and mastery over myself. I have higher self-esteem and my relationship with my family has greatly improved.

I no longer have that paranoid fear about being found out. I’m finding that the amount of shame I feel is connected to how many secrets I have. The fewer the secrets, the higher the self-esteem and sense of comfort I have.

I’m still planning of continuing treatment because there are other issues I want to work on and I would still like to be freer from the fantasies.

Dorothy has been an indispensable aid on my journey to sexual sanity and peace of mind.

Robert P.