April 18, 2011

Abuse - Define abuse and relate it to this lifestyle. Whether physical, psychological, or emotional, how does abuse differ from lifestyle recreation and discipline? Is it possible for a submissive/slave to become abusive toward her Dominant/Master? In what ways?

First I want to apologize for taking so long to post a new entry, I have been dealing with a few medical issues which have prevented me from being able to focus my mind long enough to do so, as a result I have fallen a several weeks behind and have some catching up to do. Please bear with me and I will get my posts completed.

That said, this is a topic I feel passionately about, not because I have experienced it, but because I have many friends whom have, in one way or another, been abused in and out of the lifestyle and sometimes because of the nature of this lifestyle, that line can become blurred. It is my desire to help make that line more clear.

Merriam-Webster Online defines abuse as:

1: a corrupt practice or custom

2: improper or excessive use or treatment : misuse abuse>

3: obsolete : a deceitful act : deception

4: language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily

5: physical maltreatment

Examples of ABUSE

  1. He subjected his wife to physical and emotional abuse.

  2. the buying of votes and other election abuses

  3. She was subjected to every term of abuse her boss could think of.

  4. a torrent of verbal abuse

  5. The prisoner hurled abuse at the judge.

The issue of abuse within this lifestyle must be clearly defined because that line can be very fine.

In the vanilla world, when you see a person whom is extremely controlling and who monitors his/her partners every action, we call it emotional abuse, but in the lifestyle, it may be something that two people have agreed upon and are very happy with.

In the vanilla world, if we have a friend whom is consistently covered in bruises, often in places that are easily covered and hidden, we can become appalled and fearful for our friend's life. We likely would do everything within our power to convince our friend to remove him/herself from that situation, whereas in this lifestyle, we may often rejoice with a person at the bruises they have allowed themselves to accumulate, as a result of “playtime”.

There are several different types of abuse that can occur within a relationship.

  • Physical: slapping, pushing, hitting, kicking, biting, etc.

  • Emotional: name-calling, putting down, insults, etc.

  • Sexual: being forced into sexual contact

  • Threats: "If you...I'll kill you!"

  • Intimidation: gestures, looks, smashing things

  • Isolation: being kept from seeing or talking to others, not allowed to go out.

  • Economic: being given an allowance, not allowed to have a job, etc.

Depending upon the dynamic, all of these types of abuse are subjective, meaning that just because they occur within a D/s dynamic, it doesn't necessarily reflect actual abuse.

So... how do we make this line much more clear?

How do we know when that line has been crossed from consensual behavior/play to abuse?

We need to consider the person's state of mind... their emotional well being.

Are they afraid of their partner? Is it fear that motivates them to be obedient to their dominant partner or do they truly enjoy serving Him or Her?

Is the person a strong, self-aware, self confident person, or do they have a tendency to hide themselves within their dominant partners identity?

Do they answer your questions about their lives with their dominant partner directly or do they have a tendency to avoid those questions and quickly change the subject or make excuses, explanations for why their partner behaves as he/she does?

Are they generally happy and content with their lives or do they complain a lot about feeling neglected?

Are they often angry with their partner, but refuse to confront him/her or make excuses as to why they can't really talk to him/her?

Does the person behave differently, become a different person entirely, when their partner is present?

These are much better indicators of abuse both in and out of the lifestyle. If you pay close attention to these things, it will be much easier to determine whether or not abuse is a factor within someones relationship.

Editing to add....

Here is another listing of RED FLAGS when it comes to abuse:

Unhealthy Control - Warning Signs of the Non Dominant

By Cerina X (all rights reserved)

1) Controlling behavior due to fear of losing their partner.

A) Isolating the submissive from family and friends
B) Discouraging self sufficient behavior
C) Not allowing any social interaction which does not include the dominant
D) Out of control jealousy

2) Explosive temper

3) Behaves like a spoiled child when not getting his/her way

4) Abuses drugs/alcohol

5) Does not take responsibility for mistakes

6) Uses unhealthy behavior to gain control over the submissive

A) Emotional blackmail
example: Keeping the submissive in a constant state of fear that the relationship will end if they don't get their way.

B) Emotional Withdrawal
example: Using the "silent treatment" or physically withdrawing and cutting off all contact rather than communicating and taking responsibility for the situation.

C) Withdrawal of affection

Refusing any/all intimacy as a punishment which can be quite damaging and reinforces the fear that the submissive will lose the relationship unless he/she gives into this type of blackmail.

Cerina X

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Apr. 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM Thank you for this article Crim...

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Apr. 18, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Not a problem... I believe that it's a very important issue and while we need to be fully aware of abuse in any relationship, it's one that people need to REALLY pay attention to within the BDSM lifestyle, because it can often be brushed to the side and ignored when you don't know what to look for.

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Apr. 24, 2011 at 12:18 AM

I recently left an abusive relationship and all I want to add is regarding the sexual abuse part.  It must be noted that it isn't always "forced" sex or advaces, but also the use of sex in ..umm...how shall I word this..?  Making you want it so bad you could scream, or making you orgasm to the point of pain, tears and begging for it to stop(which is forced but still not talked about , right lol?)-just had to add that. Because that was a huge power tool for my abuser...

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