BDSM Basics – My Response

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THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Many variations of BDSM involve one partner voluntarily giving up control. The submissive partner gives control to the dominant partner in a ritualized interaction known as power exchange. The dominant partner is referred to as the “Dom”, “Dominant”, or “top” and the submissive partner is called “sub”, “submissive”, or “bottom”. BDSM actions often take place during a specific time interval, usually in the form of erotic role play, referred to as a scene. All parties involved usually derive pleasure from this, even though many of the practices that occur within BDSM, such as causing pain, humiliation or submission, would be considered unpleasant under non-sexual circumstances. Sexual intercourse, either oral, anal or vaginal, can occur within a session, but it is not essential.

The fundamental principles for the exercise of BDSM require that it should be performed by mature and responsible partners, of their own volition, and in a safe way. Since the 1980s, these basic principles have been condensed into the motto “safe, sane and consensual”, abbreviated as SSC, which means that everything is based on safe, sane and consenting behavior of all involved parties. This mutual consent makes a clear legal and ethical distinction between BDSM and crimes such as sexual assault or domestic violence.

Some BDSM practitioners prefer a code of behavior that differs from “SSC” and described as Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK), indicating a preference of a style in which the individual responsibility of the involved parties is emphasized more strongly, with each participant being responsible for his or her own well-being. RACK focuses primarily upon awareness and informed consent, rather than accepted safe practices. Consent is the most important criterion here as well.

The consent and compliance for a sadomasochistic situation can be granted only by people who are able to judge the potential results. For their consent, they must have all relevant information at hand and the necessary mental capacity to judge. The resulting consent and understanding is often summarized in a “contract”, an agreement of what can and cannot take place.

In general, it must be possible for the consenting partner to withdraw his or her consent at any given time; for example, by using a safeword that was agreed on in advance.

Failure to honor a safeword is considered the most serious misconduct that can take place in BDSM and can even change the sexual consent situation into a crime, depending on the relevant law, since the bottom has explicitly revoked his or her consent to any actions which follow the use of the safeword .

(Author Unknown)


My Response:

BDSM Basics, is pretty standard. I’ve known this for a long time. Safe, Sane, Consensual, etc. Though I only recently realized that a lot of factors go into making anything consensual. In fact I have dived more into this, the last six months, than I ever have ever since I came into his life style, thirteen years ago.

Anyone can say, yes, no, and call it a day. In fact safe words are just that. A normal reaction to something unpleasant, is often No! So that is why we use safe words. To indicate a proper No! So that both parties can be safe, and not cross over into the bad lands, of causing permanent damage whether physically or emotionally. Failure to comply to safe words, is abuse or assault.

Now lately I have been truly re-evaluating consent. It has really bothered me lately, because I learned I didn’t always get consent about certain things, or the way I went about a situation could be considered abusive. For example, your partner gets home from work. They are so tired, and all they want to do is sleep. You on the other hand, want to be intimate with them. They tell you, not right now, they are tired. You whine, complain, and tell them they are neglecting you. So out of feeling guilty, they give in.

That is abuse!

Because they felt obligated, guilty, they gave in. Emotionally they care about you, but you basically raped them, by manipulating the situation, into getting what you want, forcing them to give in. The consent there, forced, not willfully given. I know some find that scenario silly, but honestly, it really isn’t a laughing matter.

I recently went to our local BDSM hang out in town. It was my first time there. I was terrified. I was being pushed a little, consensually because I suffer from severe social anxiety. We chose a nice post to tie me too, and one of the dungeon staff came to assist in tieing me up. Before he even touched me, he asked me, if it would be alright to touch me, and tie my hands to the post.

Elated!!

It is comforting to know, I was asked, instead of a Dominant assuming I would be okay with it, since I am standing here, why not. Right? I have been looking at all things now pertaining to consent. It makes me feel respected as a person. Regardless of being a Top or Bottom. It also makes me feel safer!

Most wouldn’t even realize sharing a picture of your friend, and you together could be in a way abusive. Someone comes over to your house, you bring out the picture, and explain who the people are, what they mean to you, why the picture is special. Though it is special to you, it might hurt someone else deeply to know they have been exposed to a complete stranger.

So I always anymore stop and assess the situation. I check to see if it is consensual, without any manipulation, coercion, guilt tripping. If I at all for one moment feel they are doing these things to me, or heck, I am doing these in return, then I stop whatever it is, we are doing, or are planning to do.

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