How to avoid potential abuse in BDSM communities

The communities that are built around BDSM are generally safe places with sensible members who show respect to each other, enabling payers to explore the limits of their kinks and fetishes. Whilst many enjoy being pushed to and possibly above their barriers, it can be a fine line between enjoyable punishment and abuse.

To the uninitiated it may seem obscure to comprehend how one partner wants to be humiliated, to be dominated, and to have pain inflicted upon them, whilst the other partner is happy to provide this! When you meet with true specialists in BDSM they are generally intelligent and respectful people who can, if you wish, take you to your limits, but not beyond.

There can be a fine line between having your fantasies and kinks fulfilled and being abused. Spontaneity is not prized in the BDSM world, but consent is.

Beware of in-experienced and obsessive players

Generally, the two major segments to take extra care with are the inexperienced beginners and the other end of the spectrum, the ‘addicts’ that will go over the top to satisfy their own perversions rather than respect or give a thought to their sub. It is also necessary to clarify that a Dom can be of either sex, likewise subs. Some Dominants will be able to supply their subs with memorable and satisfying experiences that are based either on their fetishes or on the suggestions of the Dom. 

In BDSM, consent is not the passive acceptance of a proposition, it is common for the dominant players to only perform acts with their submissive partners when that person asks for it. Dominants who push submissives or start play without explicit agreement can be considered to be abusive or potentially abusive within the BDSM community.

Micromanagement outside BDSM play

People who claim to be into BDSM, who are inexperienced and are not really all that interested in learning and developing, are often just abusive. You may observe the insecure, abusive partner who just wants to control their submissive partner in ways that are completely abusive. They may start micromanaging their life, cutting them off from their friends, and abusing them when they don’t follow the rules. In effect, this is just an abusive, domestic relationship, but when confronted, they will claim that they are in a “Dom/sub relationship” and that everything is therefore approved and consented to. A new sub may meet an interesting Dom/Domme and be excited to explore their BDSM fantasies together, but as time goes on, their Dom becomes more and more abusive, and the Sub is being told that this is ‘normal’ and that a “Real Sub” would be okay with this. Unfortunately, this happens a lot and even experienced people can fall victim to this form of abuse.

Take care of BDSM ‘peers’

Then there are people who are of the “old guard”, pillars of the community, leaders, party and event organizers, etc. They have built a stature within the community that is all about their reputation. Some even teach classes on consent and safe practice in BDSM. Within the local community and the BDSM lifestyle, they are well known, enjoying almost celebrity status. Some of these people then abuse their reputation to violate consent. Their reputation, unfortunately, protects them, after all, who is going to believe some newbie claiming that their consent had been violated? Whilst word may get round and some of the more genuine members may try to warn you discretely, always listen and take note. Should you be invited to play with such a character, it might be worth putting your limits on paper!

Nudity & sexuality

Practicing BDSM is sexual. The dress style is sexually explicit and generally, there is a lot of nudity, however, this is not a license to touch or push fingers inside body cavities. The lifestyle does, unfortunately, attract some perverts. Mostly male, they can be seen circulating and using every opportunity to touch and sometimes finger. Typically, a stern look of a small slap will deter this form of mild abuse.

Leave the role after a play

Some Dominants can be extremely abusive. For many, this is just a role that they play to pleasure their subs, however, some can forget to remove their facade for a normal life. One of the strongest ethics of the BSM community is respect in the outside vanilla world. An extremely vindictive Dominant can try to continue his/her control outside the privacy of a BDSM meeting. This is the abuse of your private sphere and life, which should be immediately avoided.

The Dom/Sub accord

The Dom/Sub relationship can be one of incredible understanding. And even intimacy. After all, a Sub genuinely desires to be dominated and abused. The professional Dom will discuss limits and what experience is wanted from a play. This may well include penetration both orally, vaginal, and anal. If not discussed before, this cannot happen. Some may insist on a condom, and this must also be respected. Bound or restricted sub is in an extremely vulnerable position, especially to an abusive Dom. To avoid abuse, possibly retain some clothing in the first plays until a level of respect has been attained.

Do you really want slavery 24/7?

A submissive can also be vulnerable to abuse outside of BDSM meetings. Some will accept the role of slaves and give up their independence to service their Dom in the home 24/7. Some choose and desire this lifestyle, obeying every whim of their master, or mistress. Some extremely insecure subs pick this lifestyle as they take the steady downward spiral of struggling to survive in the real/outside world, some however find themselves forced into real slavery with minimal opportunity to escape. If this is the kink that you wish to follow, just take sensible precautions with a written agreement and a regular call to a trusted friend to ensure your safety and that you are not being held or abused against your will.

Beware of the Prowler

BDSM is unfortunately the perfect place for abusers to lurk. There is a desire for status that is coupled with a desire to please. There is also a desire to dominate and a strong wish to be dominated. There is a desire to abuse and to be abused. This can create the perfect hunting ground for abusers! We must be honest about BDSM, there are multitudes of genuine aficionados around the world who meet others to engage in their kinks and fetishes. There is a need from both sides to give and to take. In the majority, there is great respect, but care must always be taken and always listen to your inner feelings.

Be Proud, be Experimental and be Safe

The internet provides a wealth of information, and the potential to meet like-minded people to enjoy your fetishes is vast. Use common sense when making initial contact, join clubs and internet groups like Fetlife. In every segment of humanity, there are good and bad. The BDSM community is unfortunately just the same. Be cautious but also be experimental. Be proud of who you are and of the fact that you want to act out your kinks and not just hide behind a computer screen. Team up with friends and have an agreement to communicate with each other if they see abuse. Look after each other and live out those fantasies whilst maintaining respect for others.

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