BDSM and D/s Relationships vs Abuse

I received this comment on my post on female supremacy.

It’s a good read, but I think that what should be spoken about is when FLR/Dominance is used as abuse. There are cases where a person who has serious abuse in his past can be placed into a submissive state by female on male abuse, rationalized as female supremacy.
These women do not know, or more accurately, do not care of the outcome when the guy finally realized what he has been made to do. This is nothing short (when talking about the supremacy mindset) of stockholm syndrome and trauma bonding.
I see nothing wrong with consensual agreements with boundaries and limits and safewords. With that being said, BDSM as abuse allows zero recourse and it is traumatic when it has been long term. Edge play can create Complex-PTSD, and that’s what we’re talking about. Slave training is part of the extremes of FLR and female supremacy.
Imagine waking up one day and realizing that you were subjected to mental and physical torture, sexual assault, non-consensual cuckolding, massive amounts of betrayal and cheating. Realizing that your free will was taken at some point, not even knowing exactly when. That you were being totally humiliated in certain circles without your knowledge. There is video recorded of you in a humiliating way that was shared publicly when you escaped.
Then, to have female supremacists continue to ruin your reputation for two years following your escape from abuse. Having a divorce lawyer continue the abuse by using the legal system to continue inflicting emotional pain and stress through unneeded depositions, subpoenas of mental health records, employment records and falsifying financial documents. That’s enough to make anyone have mental issues. Put all that on top of when that man was a child and was molested by his own family, raped while in a boy’s home and had parents who are severely emotionally disturbed.
No one will really speak out about this. When I have, I have been laughed at, humiliated, degraded and told by others that I have made all of this up.
I have not.
I am glad you are against this type of mindset, but you do not seem to understand the reality of the extremes of female supremacy mindsets and the resulting damage that I have been working for three years (and continuing) to resolve. The BDSM community as a whole seems to turn a blind eye to this. It almost seems acceptable, or possibly seen as collateral damage to the community. It is unacceptable to me.
It is torture and she should be in prison for what she has done to me and her first ex-husband. But they get away with it, and I believe until this is brought to light, they will continue to do so.

First of all, whoa….

I want to take a moment to acknowledge what you went through and the strength it took to get away.  Leaving an abusive relationship is never easy, regardless of the circumstances, and many people do not have the strength it takes to escape, particularly when there are very real repercussions for leaving.  I commend you for that, and admire you for it.

That being said, it’s not difficult to discern why you’ve been met with the attitude you’ve been met with.  I am in no way defending the people who laughed at you, humiliated and degraded you, or implied that you made it all up.  Those people obviously do not possess the emotional intelligence or emotional maturity to really register what you were saying, rather than the (misguided) way you said it.

You deserve better from the kink community, but the issues with the kink community and the close-minded intolerance that runs rampant there is a whole different post.

I’m going to explain to you why the way you’re going about spreading this awareness isn’t working.  When I do, I want you to understand that I am in no way attacking you or trivializing what you went through.  This is something you’re obviously very passionate about, and I want you to know that I respect that.  Tone can sometimes be misinterpreted through text, so I want to point out now that nothing I am going to say is meant with any degree of hostility.

But seriously, stop doing what you’re doing.

First of all, I absolutely understand the very real potential to cause permanent physical and psychological damage to a submissive (which is something I have talked about, repeatedly, on the blog).  Outright telling me that I don’t, based on one post, has the potential to put someone on the defensive and shut them down to the point that they no longer wish to hear anything you have to say about it.  Saying something like that to someone you do not know comes across as close-minded and self-righteous.  And the person you’re speaking to will care more about the feeling that you’ve insulted them and implied that they don’t understand anything than the message you’re trying to spread.

You do not know me.  You do not know what I understand about the capacity for abuse within any given dynamic expressed through D/s relationships.  That mindset needs to leave your mind forever.  It’s not helping you in any way.  In fact, by putting people on the defensive, it’s hindering you, because their irritation with you will make them immediately discount anything you have to say.

And in situations like this one, where you’re talking to a woman who was raped by a family member, and understands better than many what you went through growing up (which you would know, had you read the blog), it has the potential to do more than put them on the defensive, it has the potential to piss them the fuck off.  Especially when, if you had taken the time to read their blog before making assumptions like that one, you would have already known that.  Those people would be completely justified in being pissed at you.

That alone is enough for me to completely understand why no one has listened to you.  But that’s not the only thing you’re doing wrong.

Here’s the thing about abusive relationships.  They’re bad, through and through.  Regardless of whether you put BDSM or D/s in the mix.  Abusive people are deplorable and cruel and evil.  Regardless of whether they call themselves Dominants or not.

But you cannot lump abusive relationships in with consensual D/s ones.  This is something many people within the kink community have had to fight for years.  There are a great many people who run around shouting that all BDSM relationships are abusive, and that it’s not okay to want to hit the people you care about, or that it’s not okay to want to be hit by someone you care about.

Let’s use a specific example.  The gentleman I spoke about in that post is a submissive in a female supremacist relationship.  He very enthusiastically follows his wife, yields to her, and obeys her.  He also feels fulfilled in that relationship.  He wants it.  He enjoys it.  He enjoys it to the point that he runs a blog about it, singing the praises of the dynamic.

If you wrote this same message to him, attacking the relationship dynamic that he loves, then you become just another naysayer that tells him he shouldn’t want it.  You become background noise.  Hell no, he’s not going to pay attention to anything you have to say.

I don’t believe the same things he does, and there are a lot of things that seem “too extreme” to me, but at the end of the day, he’s happy, and if that’s the relationship both he and his wife want, then that’s the relationship they should have.

And then there’s this:

I see nothing wrong with consensual agreements with boundaries and limits and safewords. With that being said, BDSM as abuse allows zero recourse and it is traumatic when it has been long term. Edge play can create Complex-PTSD, and that’s what we’re talking about. Slave training is part of the extremes of FLR and female supremacy.

I’m sure it’s unintentional, but you’re kind of saying, “I see nothing wrong with BDSM relationships, but BDSM relationships are bad and cause harm.”

Abuse is traumatic, whether it’s short term or long term.  But you’re not making enough of a distinction between D/s relationships and abusive ones.  And when you say that to someone who is in a happy, healthy, mutually consensual BDSM relationship, they’re going to take offense, and they will care more about that than what you’re trying to say.

So I need you to say this to yourself.  Out loud.  Multiple times a day.

There is a difference between BDSM relationships and abusive relationships.

Because, fun fact: you do know that all three of my relationships are FLR relationships, with a total power exchange as the eventual goal, right?  You do know that I often engage in edge play, right?

How much of my blog have you actually read?  How much effort did you take to get to know me before lecturing me?

This is your problem.  You’re so busy trying to shout from the rooftops about the small number of abusive relationships parading as D/s ones, and trying to make people understand the (very real) dangers of such relationships, that you’re not taking the time to listen, get to know, or care about the people you’re talking to.  You’re not talking to people, you’re talking at them.

No, people are not going to respond well to that.

By lumping all FLRs in with abusive ones parading as female supremacy relationships, and making blanket statements about edge play and “slave training” typical of most FLRs, you are unintentionally, but very effectively, attacking my relationships.

For the record, I am fully aware of the damage I can cause to my subs should I lose my control.  This is something I have talked about, in great length, here on the blog (which is yet another thing you would know if you opened your mind before opening your mouth… I’m repeating this because I’m hoping it registers with you, and you realize why it’s such a big issue, and why it would cause someone to immediately discount anything you try to tell them).  I, and most people in healthy BDSM relationships, are fully aware of the difference between BDSM and abuse.

But because I get the feeling from your message that the line between them is a bit fuzzy for you, and because I’m getting the impression that you have never been in a mutually consensual BDSM relationship, and therefore do not know what that looks like, here’s a cheat sheet.

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Female-led relationships are not abusive relationships.  Female supremacist relationships are not abusive relationships.

Abusive relationships are abusive relationships.  It doesn’t matter what you call them or what an abuser uses to justify them, they are abusive relationships.

Is there potential for a BDSM relationship to become abusive?  Yes.  Is it important for people like you to share their experiences so other people are aware of the warning signs?  Yes, absolutely.

But when you need people to listen to what you’re saying, you have to make them want to listen to you.  You’ve got to talk in a way that engages them and enables them to relate to you.  None of the comment you wrote to me even remotely conveys that sentiment, or makes me think that you have any interest in me or the relationship dynamic I represent.  Even the first sentence comes across as condescending.

No one is going to listen to anything you have to say, regardless of the validity of your message, if you don’t pay attention to the way you’re coming across.  Tact and diplomacy, especially in text, is unbelievably important.

Hopefully this helps, and hopefully you’re able to get your message across more effectively.  I absolutely think you should continue to talk about the warning signs of an abusive relationship, and spread awareness to people who may find themselves questioning their relationship is healthy or abusive.  It may be enough to save someone from an abusive partner parading as a Dominant.