BDSM vs abuse  

DragonWycke 64M
91 posts
8/29/2006 8:34 am
BDSM vs abuse

BDSM vs abuse


Hi, i’m subjane, and i want discuss BDSM verses abuse. Although i have not been in a BDSM relationship that was abusive, i was in an abusive ‘vanilla’ marriage. And since my premise is that abuse is abuse, and BDSM is not abuse, i feel qualified to express my views on the subject. So, i’ll first discuss BDSM, or Consensual Power Exchange, and why BDSM is not abusive, and then, the signs of abuse. There will also be some links to find out more about abuse, and how to get help if you need it.

Let’s take a look at the negative stereotypes of people in BDSM.


Say "BDSM", and many people conjure up an image of a spineless, submissive female, dominated by an overbearing, cruel and insensitive male.

I’ve seen many D/s couples where the woman is the Domme, and the man is subbie. But more to the point, BDSM relationships are based on respect, communication, and trust. The Dom listens to and respects the limits of the sub. The goal of their relationship is not to ‘break’ anyone, but to build it into something that they both desire and enjoy. So they have a very clear need for communication, and when there are problems, the sub may step ‘out of role’ and say how he/she honestly feels, and they speak as equals. This is what characterizes true BDSM relationships.

* We must be perverts who think we don’t deserve to be treated better.

People with self-esteem issues, should realize that BDSM is potentially risky for them. Most people in the lifestyle of consensual BDSM, are comfortable within themselves. Their involvement strengthens them, as they grow in their spirituality. They’ve explored their ‘dark side’ and are at ease with it.

* We must have been abused as children.

* There’s very little scientific study, but people in the lifestyle, who have responded to polls, have not indicated any particular patterns of abuse. No one actually knows why some people enjoy BDSM activities or fantasies, while others do not. Just as we really don’t know what determines sexual orientation.

If you are not comfortable with your own sexuality, if the concepts of negotiation and trust are foreign to you, you will never ‘get’ BDSM. We are rebels with a cause: we openly discuss our sexual needs, we’re not afraid to set limits, we are not afraid of submission because it is our choice. We get what we want out of our sex lives, which boosts our self-esteem and increases our psychological well-being. Those people who can’t even discuss anything related to sex, will never understand us.
~ subjane


Dominants should be aware of the following:

[* A person in subspace does not have the presence of mind to stop a scene. You are responsible for your submissive’s well being.

* Know thy sub. Don't make her flip out. Use humiliation in play carefully.

There is something known as "Recalling," or "Flashbacks." Example of this can be, a sub who was years ago, and then during a humiliation scene, has a recall of that traumatic moment, causing extreme distress..

* Always keep your sex toys clean. Use a condom, and put a new one on each time you use a sex toy, even if it’s later in the same scene. Wash and thoroughly clean toys after each use. Do not use same sex toys on different partners during multiple partner scenes, without changing condoms.

* Always use common sense. You are playing with a human being, who has given you the gift of trust.
Don't abuse that trust.

* A reputation takes a lifetime to earn, yet a few seconds to lose. For a moment of gratification, don't chance ruining someone's life.


BDSM vs. Abuse


The key difference between S&M and Abuse, is "consent".

* Consent = is an agreed approval of what is done and/or proposed by another.

* Abuse = to use so as to injure or damage: MALTREAT


S&M


* Is based on the safe, sane, consensual theory

* S&M is a controlled environment

* S&M has safe words to stop the scene

* In an S&M scene the dominant looks out for the well being of the submissive

* S&M can be an erotic sexual encounter

* In S&M both partners are enjoying themselves

* in S&M the dominant respects limits

* In S&M there is mutual respect

* In S&M the relationship is fulfilling

* In S&M both parties feel they contribute towards the relationships

* In S&M one can ask their partner to "play"

* In S&M relationship there is trust

* In S&M a submissive voluntarily serves the dominant

* S&M is about building trust

* S&M builds self esteem

* S&M builds the spirit of a submissive


Abuse


* Abuse is not negotiated

* Abuse is an out of control environment

* Abuse does not have safe words

* An abuser does not give a damn about the victim

* Abuse is always one sided

* Abuse is never negotiated.

* In abuse, no one is enjoying the results

* The abuser is into non consensual violence

* The victim has no respect towards the abuser

* In abuse the victim is harmed

* In abuse both parties are left unfulfilled

* The abuser always feel they are superior

* A person does not ask for abuse

* In an abusive relationship there is no trust

* The abuser does not care for consent

* Abuse has no trust

* Abuse destroys self esteem

* An abuser destroys the spirit of the victim

The section below is from the National Leather Association's Statement on Domestic Violence:


The Celebration Wants You to Know About...
Domestic Violence in the S/M Community


Domestic violence is not the same as consensual S/M. Yet, abusive relationships do exist within the leather-s/m community, as with all groups. Unfortunately, due to our sexual orientation, abused persons who are into s/m may suffer additional isolation and may hesitate to turn to available resources for fear of rejection or of giving credence to stereotypes.

No group is free of domestic battering; but fear, denial, and lack of knowledge have slowed public response to this serious social problem.

Domestic violence is not restricted to one particular group within the s/m community.

A person's size, gender, or particular sex role (top-bottom, butch-femme) is irrelevant; anyone can be subject to abuse.

Abuse tends to be cyclical in nature and escalates over time.

It is a pattern of intentional intimidation for the purpose of dominating, coercing, or isolating another without her or his consent. Because of the intimidation factor, where there is abuse in any part of the relationship, there can be no consent.


Defining the Problem:

The following questions can help a person to define the problem, which can have characteristics that are physical, sexual, economic, and psychological.

* Does your partner ever hit, choke, or otherwise physically hurt you outside of a scene?

* Has she or he ever restrained you against your will, locked you in a room, or used a weapon of any kind?

* Are you afraid of your partner?

* Are you confused about when a scene begins and ends?

* and forced sexual acts are not part of consensual s/m. Battering is not something that can be "agreed" upon; there is an absence of safe words or understandings.

* Has she or he ever violated your limits?

* Do you feel trapped in a specific role as either the top or bottom?

* Does your partner constantly criticize your performance, withhold sex as a means of control, or ridicule you for the limits you set?

* Do you feel obligated to have sex?

* Does your partner use sex to make up after a violent incident?

* Does your partner isolate you from friends, family, or groups?

* Has your partner ever destroyed objects or threatened pets? Has your partner abused or threatened your children?

* Does your partner limit access to work or material resources?

* Has he or she ever stolen from you or run up debts?

* Are you or your partner emotionally dependent on one another?

* Does your relationship swing back and forth between a lot of emotional distance and being very close?

* Is your partner constantly criticizing you, humiliating you, and generally undermining your self-esteem?

* Does your partner use scenes to express/cover up anger and frustration?

* Do you feel that you can't discuss with your partner what is bothering you?

No one has the right to abuse you. You are not responsible for the violence. You are not alone; connect with other survivors.

There are reasons for staying in abusive relations: fear of (or feelings for) the abuser, and lack of economic or emotional resources.

If you stay, help is still available.

1. Find out about shelters, support groups, counselors, anti-violence programs, and crisis lines in your area; ask a friend to help you make these calls.

2. Plan a strategy if you have to leave quickly.

3. Line up friends and family in case of an emergency.

4. Battering is a crime. Find out about your legal rights and options.

5. You can get the court to order the person to stop hurting you through an Order for Protection or Harassment Restraining Order.

6. You do not need a lawyer.

We Can Reduce Domestic Violence: Domestic violence does exist in the s/m-leather-fetish community.

1. We can make it clear that we will listen to those who have the courage to speak out.

2. Understand that leaving is difficult.

3. Let the person make his or her own choices.

4. Keep all information confidential.

5. Encourage survivors to take legal action and seek support.

6. Help find safe housing and legal advocacy.

7. Hold batterers accountable and urge them to seek treatment.

8. Deny that drug or alcohol use can excuse battering.

9. Support changes in that person's behavior.

Leather groups in our community are crucial to reducing domestic violence.

Invite knowledgeable speakers; lead discussions; print up a list for members of what resources in your area are s/m-supportive.

Educate your local legal and social service system about our lifestyle; encourage their appropriate intervention.

Safe Link is a clearinghouse for materials and questions about domestic violence, specifically for persons who are into leather, s/m, or fetish sexuality.

It offers a list of readings and is currently compiling a roster of supportive speakers, shelters, and therapists, and information on understanding and using the law.

Write to: Safe Link c/o the Domestic Violence Education Project,
National Leather Association
548 Castro Street #444
San Francisco, CA 9411
or call the NLA at 415/863-2444

Posted from the program of the International S/M-Leather-Fetish Celebration. The Celebration specifically authorizes and encourages the reproduction and redistribution of this information.



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