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BDSM VS. ABUSE

BDSM Is A Relationship.

People enter a BDSM relationship for shared enjoyment of controlled erotic pain and/or humiliation. It is a relationship that is built on honest communication, trust and mutual respect.

On the surface, BDSM can look like abuse. It’s actually everything but. Restraints and pain implements like whips, floggers and canes may be used to inflict pain but as long as it induces or incorporated with pleasurable sensual experience.

BDSM VS. AbuseTerms like “humiliation” and “degradation” may be used, but only to push psychological limits in a controlled way with mutual sexual satisfaction. Words like “whore”, “bitch” and “slut” may be used to evoke a partner’s deeply buried and uncensored sexual side. But if you don’t feel like you’re getting a sexual thrill or feel good or liberated about taking part in activities like that, evaluate how you feel and what’s going on in your BDSM relationship in these following ways…

BDSM is based on consent. It is not consent if…

You did not expressly give consent
You were afraid to say “No”
You say, “Yes,” to avoid conflict or to avoid consequences like losing a job or being outed
You cannot withdraw consent and stop what’s happening at any time
You cannot express limits and needs without being ridiculed, criticized or being coerced into relinquishing limits

BDSM VS. ABUSE

A Dominant (a male Dom or female Domme) will take a submissive’s concerns seriously during or after a scene, even days or weeks after; an abuser will not.

A Dominant will take responsibility for any physical, emotional or mental trauma that arises during the course of play. An abuser will say abuse didn’t happen or will shift the responsibility for how a sub feels back to him or her.

A Dominant encourages a submissive to have contacts within in the BDSM community or anyone else in a submissive’s life. An abuser will limit or forbid a submissive to have contacts with others in or even out of the BDSM community.

A Dominant encourages a submissive to learn about BDSM. An abuser may forbid a submissive to learn about BDSM or even refuse to learn about BDSM him or herself.

A Dominant respects limits and pays immediate heed to safewords. An abuser may convince you not to use safewords or admonishes you for using safewords or ignores safewords.

A Dominant may take control your behavior during the course of scene. An abuser may take control of your behavior at all times because of their Dominant role in your relationship.

BDSM is enjoyed by all partners, fun, erotic, loving, and done with an understanding of trust. An abuser has no regard for enjoyment of his or her partner and feels solely entitled to obedience.

A Dominant learns what they do before they put it into action and will even talk about their learning and training. A Dominant will also show a submissive their favorite implements and talk about what they know about safety and how to handle emergencies before any kind of play ensues. An abuser gets defensive and angry when questioned about their BDSM knowledge, education, training or awareness of risks.

Dominants check on their submissives to make sure they’re okay during the course of a scene and even just after or even days afterward. Abusers have no concern for a submissive’s safety, comfort or enjoyment.

A Dominant intends to have a mutually enjoyable encounter; an abuser does not.

During bondage scenes, Dominants use safety clips and know how to release a submissive quickly. An abuser restrains victims with fear and intimidation.

BDSM is about the building of a relationship of a trusting relationship between two consenting partners. An abuser will breach of a submissive.

BDSM is about the mutual respect demonstrated between two enlightened people. Abuse is about the lack of respect that one person demonstrates toward a submissive.

BDSM is about a shared enjoyment of controlled erotic pain and/or humiliation for mutual pleasure. Abuse is out-of-control physical violence or emotional degradation that leaves a submissive feeling physically or emotionally wounded.

Negotiation occurs before a BDSM scene to determine what can and will not happen during the course of a scene. An abuser determines what will happen without input or consent from a submissive.

Each person involved in a BDSM scene is concerned about the needs and desires of others. An abuser doesn’t consider the needs of a submissive and may even insist that a submissive should like and enjoy everything inflicted upon them.

Where does your relationship stand?

If any of these situations fall into the realm of abuse, it’s time to reevaluate, renegotiate or walk away from the relationship. If you still have questions or doubt or need help getting out of an abusive relationship of any kind (the risk of abusive relationships is not limited to BDSM), call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

Some recommended reading about BDSM and how to practice it safely, sanely and consensually, check out…

Over 100 S&M Sex Tips

BDSM 101

The Sexually Dominant Woman