When It’s Abuse, Not BDSM

When trying to dig up advice on various BDSM topics, I typically found that there was much more support and advice for people who wanted to explore BDSM with their vanilla partner than rather than the issue from the vanilla partner’s perspective. The most disturbing thing I found concerning this were suggestions that the vanilla partner should just do whatever they were asked, regardless of their discomfort, because they should if they ‘really’ love their partner. Quite frankly these people can go shove it. There is a huge difference between being GGG (someone who is willing to explore things they’re not completely sure about because they know it’s something you’re really into) and someone enduring painful, humiliating or otherwise damaging sex that they don’t endure purely because they feel obliged to.

No matter how much I wanted to do a certain thing I would never force it onto someone else – especially something as potentially dangerous as some aspects of BDSM can be (emotionally or physically) – how on Earth could I enjoy doing something when my partner hated it? I couldn’t. Luckily there was usually a good deal of people with common sense telling people who preach this damaging message where they could stick it. I just dread to think of someone out there putting up with emotional and physical pain that they neither enjoy nor get anything else out of, purely because they feel it’s their duty to fulfil every little whim of their partner’s.

There seems to be people out there who think that if a partner does kick up a fuss, they’re just creating drama or being a prude. I think a little empathy would go a long way here – imagine how excruciating things like flogging or clamps would be if you associated no pleasure with them. Imagine the degradation you’d feel from being called ‘whore’ or ‘slut’ or being treated like a slave when you got no thrill or satisfaction from it. Imagine the terror you’d feel the terror you’d feel at being tied-up or held down when the helplessness and restriction only made you feel truly vulnerable rather than turned-on – especially if you didn’t fully trust your partner to simply tie you up and do as they please. Imagine the disdain you’d develop for the partner who you endure these ordeals for, and feeling afraid every time sex is brought up because you’d afraid of having yet another unpleasant experience. Of course, this is all on the extreme end of the spectrum and clear abuse. I doubt that any genuinely loving partner would ever put their loved one in such a position.

The important difference here is that I’m not talking about ‘oh, I’m not really into that, I can’t really be bothered.’ I’m talking about ‘I can’t stand the idea of being dominated/dominating you, it makes me really insecure and afraid, and show a side of my partner that I feel uncomfortable with.’ How anyone can guilt-trip someone into something they seriously hate to do is simply beyond me, and probably beyond most people. It’s abuse trying to disguise itself as BDSM, which is probably where a lot of the general public’s misgivings with it arise. Anyone who had any experience with BDSM would immediately identify this kind of behaviour as abusive – it’s taking advantage of your partner’s feelings for you in a really cruel and manipulative way.

Something I’d also like to address is the use of trust to pressure people into things they don’t want to do. While trust is the base that BDSM stands on, there are also ways it can be used harmfully. A person may trust someone heart and soul but still feel uncomfortable in certain situations. It would all too easy for a manipulative and abusive partner to turn round and say ‘I thought you loved me – why don’t you trust me?’ rather than exploring the reasons why their partner feels unsafe in these situations. Said partner may then feel obligated to go through with it or made to feel guilty if they continue to refuse. This is not BDSM in any sense of the word (acronym?) – It’s abuse. I think this is important as it’s a quick way to identify if a person is really going to respect your boundaries. In this case no, at least at this time, resolutely means no. If they refuse to accept that, they are not concerned with your well-being and cannot be trusted. Trust is the defining difference between a thrilling scene and a traumatising ordeal.

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About buhocurioso

I'm someone with little experience with sex or BDSM, however I would like to explore these areas and try to overcome any negative feelings I have towards them. I want to be comfortable with my own skin and also understand what different aspects in these areas mean to others.

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