BDSM: How Far Is Too Far?

Defining the Line Between Fetish and Abuse

As far as fetishes go, bondage can be one of the more versatile. However fun it may be for those willing to participate, there will always be someone who believes it is little more than abuse. How do you know when your bondage play has gone too far? Where is the line between BDSM and abuse?

There are vast differences between bondage and abuse. BDSM, kink, and other associated fetishes condone physically and emotionally lashing out at your partner, and is not intended to cause any emotional, mental, or harmful duress. It is not a sexual practice that encourages gas-lighting, a form of psychological abuse through intimidation where the abuser convinces the victim into doubting their perception and sanity.  

In a BDSM relationship, your submissive is not your victim. They are your partner, a consenting one at that, with whom you communicate with and have made a coherent agreement with.  

As mentioned before in previous articles, bondage play demands that both adults be on the same page at all times. There are rules by which each partner adheres to and boundaries that are never broken without the consent of your submissive.  

Domestic abuse is unwanted and unprovoked physical, emotional, and mental abuse aimed at keeping the victim under the abusers control. The abuser cares nothing for the safety of their partner, whereas BDSM is rooted in ensuring all parties are safe during play time.  

BDSM is built on the foundation of communication to ensure that at no point in time are either parties to stray from the agreed boarders, abuse offers no such agreement. An abuser's actions cause the victim to feel guilt and fear. BDSM is not about fear.

Abusers will make excuses to their victims, claiming it was their fault the abuser "lost control" or stating "You made me do this/that." They will do anything to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, which in turn makes the victim feel at fault.

Domestic abuse is notorious for what is often called the honeymoon stage. This is when the abuser will become the ideal partner, bringing them gifts and fawning over them. This is the abuser's way of tricking their victims into staying in the relationship, giving them false hope their abuser will change

After an intense round of BDSM, both parties can be drained, both physically and emotionally. The aftercare in this relationship will consist of a more gentle and caring approach, cuddling or simply laying together until the heightened adrenaline comes down. My husband and I tend to spend quiet time together, making sure the lights are low and all electronics, such as televisions, are off. He will usually provide a full body massage, nothing rough, to help loosen up my muscles and bring me to a state of relaxation.  

When abusers feel they have lost control over their victims, they plan out ways to get back at them, they purposefully seek out the most trivial of reasons to assault their victims. This is their way of attempting to regain control over their partner. BDSM participants do no such thing.

BDSM has a form of debriefing. We usually have this debriefing during our aftercare time. Each of us discusses what we enjoyed or disliked and through communication, there's that word again, we adapt and alter the "scene" to suit us and our comfort zones.  

An abuser will find any reason to hurt their partner, any reason.  For example, they had a stressful day at work or was passed over for a promotion. The abuser will find a way to spin this and make it the fault of their victim. They will also find any way possible to justify their behavior, which is usually where gas-lighting comes and forcing guilt onto the victim come into play. These are not aspects of a BDSM relationship.

BDSM is the use of bodily sensations to entice pleasure, not a way of controlling one another. In abuse cases, only the abuser holds the power, whereas BDSM couples are both in control and therefor both equally empowered.  

The most important difference of all, BDSM has boundaries which both partners have discussed at length and at no time are these boundaries crossed. The safety of your partner is the number one concern. Abuse can boast no such precautions.  

BDSM is not abuse. It is something that two grown and consenting adults have entered into for the sake of physical, emotional, and overall sexual pleasure. It is important to know and educate ourselves of the differences. 

For further information I suggest checking out the BDSM Training Academy site where Master Bishop, the founder, addresses this matter in great length. 

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BDSM: How Far Is Too Far?