November 19, 2012

Abuse 101

I decided to dedicate the next few posts to the subject of abuse.  This is something that is moving to the forefront with a few cases which gained widespread exposure.  Also, BDSM is getting more publicity with the success of 50 Shades and other books which hit the mainstream.  The problem with this is that an entirely new class of people are arriving, many who have absolutely no idea what BDSM is all about.  And, in my view, opens up the door to abuse.


Any discussion of abuse starts out with the fundamental premise that this lifestyle is based upon consent.  This is something that all need to remember at all times.  Without consent, one is crossing the line into abuse.  It is that simple.  An abuser is one who has a position of power and uses that to an ill-suited end.  While the abuser might be happy with the outcome, the other person is left being in the position of victim.

A person is not victimized simply because he or she is submissive.  Ceding control over to another is a choice that one makes within the lifestyle.  It is a conscious choice.  However, we know there are many times when control is taken.  Again, here we enter into the realm of abuse.  Victims of rape or sexual abuse found themselves in this position.  They were not given a choice in the matter and the power, over the body, was taken by another.  The desires of another were forced into the situation without concerns for the victim's intentions.

Consensual Non-Consent

Another area that will certainly confuse many is the idea of consensual non-consent.  This is basically where the person's is consenting to be forced to adhere to the wishes.  While this will appear to be abuse to many outsiders, it is a logical progression within this way of life.  Let me explain.

Consensual non-consent normally takes place within the confines of a relationship.  This is far different from a scene or a "play based" activities.  It also exists are the more extreme end of the lifestyle where people opt for a structure based upon a total exchange of power.  The entry into that situation is consensual, hence the person opts for it.  However, the day-to-day interactions are established upon the foundation of no choice.  All power resides in the hands of one party.  Of course, it is up to that person not to move the scenario into the stage of abuse by being responsible.  With control comes responsibility; a point many seem to miss.

A crucial factor in this arrangement is the idea of safety.  Anyone who is given that much power needs to focus on proceeding safely at all times.  This not only includes physical safety, but also mental, emotional, psychological, and anything else which could cause undue harm.  Therefore, activities which threaten the freedom of another, i.e. illegal, are to be avoided since they have consequences.  While a Master could tell his/her slave to sell crack, that is an abuse of power.  Engaging in something like that will most likely have adverse effects on the slave's life.

These are just a few of the ideas we will touch upon over the next few articles.  I am a bit proponent of safety first and there seems like no better time than now to cover it.


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