Dealing With Anger While Playing, and By Playing

How do you deal with anger when it comes up in a scene?  Or when wanting to find a way to release it to start with?

My friend DaddyDarin weighed in the subject in a thread entitled How to release anger? It started as a question about how a sub can release that anger, perhaps in  a cathartic scene, but it also raises the questions of how a dominant should deal with his own anger, and indeed the fundamental importance of his ability to control his own self.

This is a relatively long post, with my comments interspersed, but the most important questions of how the dominant should address his own anger are towards the very end. Continue reading

Threatening to Leave

The only time a threat to leave is valid, IMO, is when there is a serious problem that is or will become a deal-breaker if not dealt with.

There are threats, and then there are threats.

It’s one thing to just threaten to leave in order to fuck with someone’s head, or to threaten to leave over petty disagreements.

It’s a whole ‘nuther ball of wax when critical issues are at stake, to then tell someone specifically that if X doesn’t happen, or if Y happens again, then you will leave, that that would become a deal-breaker, and that you wouldn’t be able to stay in the relationship at that point. That’s a warning that something is seriously wrong that you haven’t been able to resolve, and an alert that if resolution is not found, you will not be able to stay.

That’s called setting boundaries – and healthy boundaries are essential things to have in life and in relationships.

It’s then just a statement of fact, of what is true for you.

It may mean you’ve got one foot already out the door, but it may also mean that you don’t really want to leave at all, but you’ll have to if whatever the problem is continues.  It’s a warning in that case, and a partner who values the relationship would do well to take it as a wake-up call that they are seriously fucking things up and attend to the issues in question if they want to keep their relationship.

Some things are just dealbreakers, and a threat to leave in the face of such is actually still offering the offender an opportunity to save things.

Woman/Domestic Abuse vs Marital Conflict

From Little Eyes, Little Ears: How Violence Against a Woman Shapes Children As They Grow, p. 32

by Alison Cunningham and Linda Baker, Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System

The need for differential response2

Interventions should ensure safety and respect individual needs and differences

In devising an intervention strategy, service deliverers consider the severity and frequency of violence,  look for power and control tactics, and ask about any other adverse experiences affecting the children.

Woman abuse is different than marital conflict

While woman abuse can occur without physical assaults, relatively minor incidents such as slapping and pushing can occur once or twice in relationships not otherwise characterized by coercive control tactics.19 Continue reading

Incompatibility vs Uncaring/Abusive?

Dominants, how would you handle a sub/slave who acts this way or in a way you don’t like when you play with him/her but is someone you want to keep on your chain?

@redcheeks, I’d start by making sure I fully understood what was driving it, both in himself and my own self.  A savvy dominant will start to assess behavior he doesn’t like by first looking inside himself to see what he himself may be doing to cause it.

Then you go from there.

I’m not sure why I get so angry at him.

Anger at someone who is not respecting your needs and desires like this is perfectly normal, especially when it happens repeatedly.

Why do you have to figure out who’s at fault? How about just figuring out what’s wrong at the core? Blaming people isn’t productive. It’s actually very damaging.

@_Aine_, if you don’t identify what part of the problem is in your own hands vs what is not, then it’s much harder to address issues effectively – or to do anything about whatever your own role may be.

While it is usually true that it takes two to tango, the reality is that sometimes problems are much more clearly the fault of one party or the other.

I’m not saying that’s the case here, but it’s true in general.

Even when it is clearly two-sided, it’s still important to know who owns what part of the problem – and for both parties to recognize this.

Blame in the sense of locating the responsibility where it rightly belongs and not taking on someone else’s bad behaviors as one’s own responsibility is important to maintaining good boundaries, in BDSM as well as in the rest of life.

You are not less submissive if you can’t give him what he needs; you’re just not a pain slut and unable to take the level at which he’s able to give.

I could not have said that better myself, @MistressOrlando.  And objecting when a dominant continues to try to administer a level of pain which one cannot take, particularly after communicating that to him repeatedly, is an entirely reasonable response.

It may also be a compatibility issue as others have already mentioned, but it’s definitely a violation of limits for that particular sub if that same behavior and level of pain administration continues after the submissive has made it clear that she cannot take it, and particularly if she also makes it a new hard limit.  At that point, and particularly if it continues, then it’s just abusive.

If it really is a compatibility issue, and it’s something that the dominant cannot live without, he should end the relationship if a mutually acceptable solution cannot be worked out.  If he continues in the relationship, though, he has an absolute obligation to respect those limits.

Continue reading

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I Miss… I Don’t Miss

12/22/09

Every morning I still awaken with the thought of how much I miss you, how much I want to be with you again, how much I miss being in your arms.

And then my mind changes course, and I correct it with the new thought what I miss is the good parts, not the bad. And I try to remember what they all were… Continue reading

On the Use of Labels in the BDSM World

This has become more and more of a pet peeve for me over the past several years.

No one fits neatly into any of these little boxes, in my experience. Even those who most seem to always have elements that don’t fit what someone else sees as “the definition”, once you get right down to it.

The older I get, the more I realize this – and the crankier it makes me to see everyone else and their cousin still wanting to stuff everyone into the same little boxes, and to make those boxes and labels mean the same thing to everyone – or more precisely, the same as it means to them. I’ve ranted about this publically for years in a variety of locations, but I’m crankier than ever about it.

We are much too complex to be reduced to one or two word definitions as labels to fully describe who we are, whatever those labels may be – at least any of us with more than a few functioning neurons who aren’t so completely damaged that we let anyone kick us around any way they want. The more neurons, the more complex, and the less well these labels generally function as definitions or descriptions.

Even doormats have limits and issues that may often belie whatever simple label anyone might hang on them. And God knows that even the most fully M/s-identified people certainly do. It’s never, ever as simple or clear-cut as it may look from the outside.

These labels are, at best, starting points for a discussion. Shorthand, if you will. Continue reading

Abuse vs BDSM – an uncomfortable subject

I’ve noticed that most lifestylers do not address that topic, they rather talk about Master vs Dom or slave vs submissive (just my observation)

Why is that? Does this subject hit too close to home? uncomfortable to talk about?

I think people should speak up and talk about it. Awareness is the key to solve or reduce it. Silence is not the solution.

Thank you for bringing this up, @quietstormdom.  I agree that abuse is a *huge* problem in the BDSM community, and not discussed nearly enough – the elephant in the living room that everyone sees but no one wants to be the one to mention.

It is a shame that those who bring it up are ostracized and worse, because the problem is there on a huge scale, and ignoring it and sweeping it under the rug isn’t going to solve anything, whether we stick our heads in the sand as an entire “community” or we do so only about specific cases.

Just in the past 6-8 months or so, I’ve been stunned at the number of personal stories I’ve heard from my own friends, and read about here on Fetlife and elsewhere, not to mention my own experiences with two different abusive doms, one of them far worse than the other, and far and away worse than the one vanilla abuser I’d considered the worst for 20+ years.

Despite the studies that supposedly show that we have no higher incidence of abuse (or mental illness) in this “community” than exists in the vanilla world, it is becoming increasingly more clear to me that if that ever was true before, then it certainly does not appear to be the case any more.  Several of my friends who have been around a lot longer than I have estimate that 80-90% of the dominants have some kind of issue along these lines – at least of the “available” ones.  I completely agree with your summations, Dragonfly, at least until you and Domina went head to head here over the difference between consent and coercion, and whether or not abusers separate their victims from their support systems.  And Domina – and others – you are all also right on.

This “lifestyle” is a haven for these people, because it allows them a cover that is not only socially acceptable within this community for both D/s and SM, but actually applauded.  All too many of these people think that being a “heartless bastard” is what it means to be a dom – and they get away with it for all of the reasons Dragonfly and others have already mentioned.  This crap is *institutionalized* in the BDSM community – and once you get some of the most dysfunctional people “leading” the community, then those issues only get perpetuated further and further. Continue reading

Some Sobering Abuse Statistics

Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. Source: Commonwealth Fund survey, 1998

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002:

* Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
* 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
* Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers
* 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.

Matthew R. Durose et al., U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 207846, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances, at 31-32 (2005), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/fvs.pdf

So it does seem like a much bigger problem than we generally think.

And it’s true that very often, a victim of domestic violence will choose the same type of partner in a subsequent relationship. So it can be a recurring problem.