Empathy and Trust

[W]hat good is it to be in a relationship with someone who can’t tell the difference between being really mean, and being REALLY mean. How could I trust someone like that? How good is play as a submissive if you have to keep one eye open?

Most definitely. It completely sucks to play with one eye always open.

SheIsReedS really nails it here, followed by an exceptionally good explanation of the ways in which both dominants and submissives need to be able to trust both themselves and each other – including how the dominant needs to be able to trust that the submissive is “rendering genuine responses…”

That means he needs to be both willing and able to believe that she not just actually likes what’s happening, when that is the case (which is what people are most often referring to when they speak of the dominant needing to be able to trust that it’s really what she does want), but that he is also willing to accept it as truth if she says she cannot handle something he is doing, and needs it to either stop or change.

He needs to be able to accept that the stroke he just landed was an 8 for her even if he thinks it should have only been a 3.

Unfortunately, a lot of dominants seem to think that they know better than their subs do how said subs are feeling, what they are experiencing.  It’s a dangerous notion and fantasy that the “community” has promulgated to the point that it really endangers a lot of submissives – and in turn, endangers the whole relationship.

What dominants who have gotten themselves into hot water with their submissives by failing to respect that the sub really does know what’s happening for her better than anyone else on the planet can often don’t seem to realize is that it is devastating to a submissive to have to stop play, to have to defend herself – indeed, as SheIsReedS says, to have to always keep one eye open.  Much more will be gained by taking her at her word, and patiently helping her work through whatever the difficulty is – or adjusting his own way of doing things to accommodate her needs.

There may in fact come a time in a relationship when the dominant really can read the submissive well enough – and there is a strong enough foundation – that he can then push more for her to take more than she thinks she can.  When that happens, though, it’s not a function of role name as much as it is about maturity, patience, and respect for the submissive – and a matter of having developed a track record together that allows both parties to reach that point of trust in each other.

This really does not happen overnight, or even usually in a matter of weeks or months, at least not in any informed, lasting way, and if there’s already been any breach of trust, it is likely to take a great deal longer to regain what has been lost than most people have any idea.  You can’t just expect it to happen chop-chop.

And at the end of the day, no matter how well he knows her (or thinks he does), and regardless of what D/s relationship agreements there may be, no still means no, and it needs to be respected, without question.

For a dominant to push past what his submissive says she is able to take despite her protests (or to even show displeasure that she can’t take what he wants to dish out) is likely to be the kiss of death to any trust that has already been built up, and the death knell to any further trust developing.  And with the demise of trust, so follows the end of the relationship eventually, no matter how promising it might have been otherwise, no matter how compatible the two parties overall.

Sometimes all it really does take is that empathy – the willingness to just accept the sub’s feedback without defensiveness, without taking safewords or requests to modify what is happening as a threat, to be able to recognize that it is his responsibility to help her find a way through whatever the issue is without expecting her to process on the same schedule he wants and thinks appropriate.

Collecting Newbies

Why is it that some abusers seem to make a habit of collecting all kinds of newbies as friends in places like Fetlife and elsewhere in the scene?

“All kinds” translating to “very young, hot girls”.  Lots of very young, hot girls.  More and more young, hot girls.

Virtually never guys.

And let’s not leave out the other women who maybe aren’t so young, or as inexperienced – again, either almost too young to be legal, or depraved beyond words (even by their own admission), or even ones who have committed felonies and posted about them online.

Again, virtually never men.

As in, if you look at their profiles, you’ll see mostly women.  Girls.  Women whose profiles reveal that they themselves are unsafe at any speed, that they have death wishes, that they are sicker than sick, even by their own admission?

Or they simply have no idea where they fit or what they’re doing because they’re that new – and therefore beyond vulnerable.

And they’re going to get completely fucked up if they get involved in any way with these guys who have no fucking idea how to actually control themselves in play if they aren’t getting exactly what they want.  Or, more precisely, refuse to control themselves so that they don’t injure partners who might, you know, actually have limits.

Some of those “dominants” style themselves as “father figures” to these innocent young things – a really terrifying proposition.  Nothing like an abuser having his own little harem of sweet young thangs who he can lead astray in any way he wants to because they generally leave their brains at the door at those tender ages.

Hell, because many female subs check their brains at the door, particularly when they are new.  Some of them never go back to retrieve said brains.

I think you can take much of the measure of such people by the sorts of friends they have.  Guys who have mostly vastly younger women friends are, shall we say, likely not people you’d want to trust with your daughter.  Or with your own sub.  Or with anyone you’re protecting.

So, yeah.  It’s not news that abusers tend to collect the young and innocent like this.  It’s just as shocking the 10o0th time you see it as the first, particularly if you know the guys in question well.  And it’s just as likely to be a sign that someone is up to no good as it ever was.



Cool – the Urban Dictionary published my definition of drama!  See page 6, #36.

It’s also what bystanders call it when they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, especially because they weren’t there.  Too bad I forgot to put that part in.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, which should resume soon.