How You Can Help Combat the Abuse Problem

A newbie I met the other day told a tale of being abused or having her limits violated when playing with someone she said is well known at the Citadel, our local community playspace.  She said she’d like to get involved to help combat this problem, and asked how to go about it.  Here is my response to her.

I’d also add that it’s important to bring the issue to the attention of the dungeon owners if the problem occurs in their playspace, and frankly, even if it doesn’t.  No one will know that someone in an inner circle is a problem child if no one reports it.

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At this point, it’s pretty much a free for all.  People are writing in their blogs and getting interviewed for other publications, doing various classes, etc. I’ve got links to many of them on my blog, so you might want to take a look.

And then there’s my nascent BDSM Abuse Survivors’ Network that one day I’ll set up a separate website for, which is currently housed on the front page of my blog.  It’s purely volunteer, just allowing me to post whichever contact information you prefer that people use so that others who have been through this or are going through it now can find someone to talk to on a peer level.  I have no idea if anyone thus far has actually contacted anyone on the list, and I don’t monitor it in any way.  I get pretty good SEO rankings, though, and am getting more and more hits as time goes by, so eventually something should happen.

And then there’s just speaking out, telling others about your experiences, encouraging still others to speak up.  It very well may cost you something in terms of popularity, I can’t lie, but I’ve come to realize that the people who are ready to pooh-pooh me, particularly because they don’t see my ex doing what he did themselves, or who believe his crap, are people I don’t need in my life.  As some “friends” started dropping away, I found new ones who have a lot more sense coming into my life.

I’ll tell you this, too.  If the person you had a problem with is indeed popular at the Citadel, or in any other way a “leader” in the community, it is *highly* likely that you are far from the only one with a negative experience of him.  The same is true of many others as well, but it’s a near certainty with these most visible people.

One of the hardest things to communicate to newbies is that just because someone is well known and popular around the scene, or even a well-known presenter or group leader, or member of a board of any of the kinky groups, that in no way should serve as an endorsement.  Many such community leaders are just fine – but there is a frightening number who are quite dangerous to one extent or another.

As to what you said about blaming yourself, I do think it’s important that we all look at whatever our own contribution to a problem situation may have been, if any, and there are in fact times when we need to take that sort of responsibility for what has transpired, but when you say “Stop”, and someone doesn’t, or they just flat out violate limits you’ve already set, then hon, I’m sorry, but it is often entirely on them.

This game we play of “the dom is the boss” is a game, although many people do take it seriously.  There is nothing wrong with any level of that as long as both parties are consenting, and in agreement as to the parameters of the dynamic, but at the end of the day, no means no, no matter what, and you are entirely within your rights to object and pin the blame on them if someone violates those agreements with you.

The hard part is that it *is* hard sometimes to know how far is OK to go in any given encounter, but this is one reason we have things like safewords and promote the idea of thorough negotiation.  Pay attention to your gut.  If you don’t like what’s happening, and you do not end up feeling as good or better overall when all is said and done, and especially if the top involved responds poorly to your objections and even continues what he is doing if that is not your agreed-upon dynamic, then there’s an issue that needs attention, even if it’s just finetuning the negotiations next time.

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

Sub Frenzy

This is without a doubt the best article on sub frenzy I’ve ever come across. Doms should be aware of this tendency, particularly in newbie subs, and follow the recommendations below in order to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

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Submissive Frenzies

By Mistress Steel (steelbfl@sonic.net)

Submissive Frenzies are a state or condition that many if not all submissives will experience at one time or another. Many aspects of BDSM are similar to addictions in how they play out in the mind. From that perspective the Frenzies can be considered to be the ‘withdrawal’ stage. The peculiar thing about this is that a submissive need not ever have engaged in a real life D/s BDSM experience to actually go into this state of need. Generally the very first experience a submissive will have will be prior to ever engaging in a real life D/s event. Many submissives can chronicle a ‘longing’ or unspecified ‘need’ which may have begun when they were quite little. This sensation was always present though generally unacknowledged or openly reviewed. In many cases the submissive was not able to identify the source of this sensation. It simply made them restless and on occasion subject to frustrated outbursts.

With the ‘finding’ of the D/s BDSM community many submissives feel a corresponding ‘surge’ of excitement. Suddenly they sense or feel that this is the source. The realization or identification of this can be both positive and negative. For many there is a period of denial, anger, repugnance, fear, hesitation, temerity and hope. All of these emotions seem to occur simultaneously leaving behind confusion and anxiety. All at once they begin to ‘sort’ the events and motivations that have occurred over their entire lives. Seeing the patterns, the hints, the presence of their desires in so many different ways. It explains previous unexplainable actions they may have taken and views the actions of themselves and others from an entirely different standpoint. As they begin to process all of this new information they become fully aware that the source of all those supressed needs and desires is attainable. Not only that but in a fairly accessible in a timely manner.

What occurs next is a mad dash or race toward ‘finding’ that special person who can attend to those so long unattended needs coupled to a desperate desire to gather more and more information. This often triggers or propels the initiation of a state of frenzy. This is an increasing and progressive sensation of ‘need’. Continue reading

Dominants Coming Through on Their Word

@Xinergy said on Fetlife:

The Dominant failing to come through with what they say they are going to do is devastating to the submissive. The submissive is in this lifestyle because they need that comfort and safety. They need to believe that if the Dominant says something, it will happen. Without that certainty and trust, how can he or she sink into subspace while chained to something being beaten?

It is indeed completely devastating, particularly when the promises broken are as fundamental as repeatedly violating limits, not respecting her health and safety above his own needs and desires, etc.

It doesn’t matter what else the dominant does in the rest of life, how good he is about his word in other matters both in the relationship and elsewhere, no matter how many other wonderful qualities he has. If he does not scrupulously respect his sub’s limits and boundaries, and remember and honor both the letter and the spirit of relationship-level agreements, he will lose both the trust and the respect of his submissive.

While I don’t think that “need [for] that comfort and safety” is necessarily the reason we are in this (certainly not for everyone), we do in fact absolutely need it to be present, or there’s no possibility of being able to submit to the dominant at any level, whether in play or every day life. Continue reading