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Fifty Shades of Truth and BS

Exposing abuse under the guise of BDSM & related reflections on self-recovery.

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No Still Means No When it Comes to Consensual Nonconsent & BDSM – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


I recently saw a flyer posted online that lists 4 criteria for consent. The poster spoke to me as it pointed out factors that aren’t usually pinpointed when explaining the concept of consent. Consent can easily be described by the term “no means no”. If your partner says “no” to engaging in an activity then they are not giving you their consent to engage said activity. Such an explanation however can get much more complicated and when you throw BDSM and consensual nonconsent into the mix.  In this case consent can be downright confusing.

Abuser M and I engaged in a BDSM relationship where I was his slave and he was my “Master”.  He told me that by engaging in consensual nonconsent, I was to do what he said at all times. I was not extremely experienced in BDSM when I began our relationship and I took every one of his words for truth. He was, after all my Master and I had complete trust in him. If only I had learned more about consental nonconsent from the local BDSM community, I believe that I would have been safe from a lot of the abuse that I endured while under Abuser M’s control. I now know that he used BDSM as a guise for the domestic abuse that he inflicted on me in every aspect of our relationship.

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The flyer that I speak of has been added to this post for your review below. I want to discuss each of the 4 criteria listed and how my BDSM relationship with Abuser M muddled the definition in my head to the point that I was clueless on the subject.

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The flyer states that consent is 1. Active, 2. Based on Equal Power, 3. A Choice and finally 4. A Process.

“1. Consent is Active. Just because a partner didn’t say ‘no’ doesn’t mean they have given consent. Ask because only ‘YES’ means ‘YES’.” Abuser M and I had such a relationship where “no” was not in my vocabulary when speaking to him. If I even implied that I wanted to go against his will, he would punish me in various ways. He told me that in order to be a slave I needed to completely submit to his every whim, whether I liked it or not. His concept of slavery completely blew away this first criteria of consent. First of all, he never asked for anything of me. He always simply took what he wanted especially when it came to sex. In fact, he raped me in a public outdoor location on our first date. He did not ask me for my permission to have sex, he simply forced himself on me so brutally that I was injured and even broke my shoe when I strained to pull away. I somehow rationalized this rape in my head by becoming his slave. In my mind that made his act OK. However, now knowing what I know about consent, he broke the very first rule the first time I ever met him and I should have run the other way and never looked back. This set the precedence for the remainder of our relationship. He always forced himself on me whenever he pleased and frequently forced me to engage in sexual acts that I wanted nothing to do with. He never asked… just because I didn’t verbally say no to him did not mean that I was consenting to his acts.

“2. Consent is based on equal power. If someone is underage, drunk, asleep or in another vulnerable position, they cannot consent.” Abuser M broke this principle in multiple ways. I believe that I was constantly in a vulnerable position when it came to our interactions because I was terrified of him and he made me believe that I was his slave in every way. I was not properly informed on what a slave truly is in a healthy BDSM relationship and he used the title to disguise the fact that I didn’t say no to him because I was terrified of what he would do to me. In addition there were countless times when Abuser M took advantage of me sexually when I was under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Not only did he force himself on me numerous times when I was drunk but there were other times that he forced me to overdose on cough medications (also known as Robo-tripping) because the trip would make me so high out of my mind that I couldn’t feel pain. During those times he would beat me to a pulp without so much as a whimper from me because I couldn’t feel it.  There were other times when Abuser M would engage in sexual activities with me when I was asleep.  I would wake up to him on top of me and frequently choking me while forcefully having sex with me.  I was obviously never given the opportunity to say yes or no in these situations.

“3. Consent is a choice. We must make sure our partners feel free to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without pressure. If we aren’t willing to take ‘no’ for an answer, consent cannot happen.” This criteria blew my socks off when I read it. At absolutely no point in my relationship with Abuser M did I ever feel the ability to say no to him. He made it clear that a slave never said no to their Master. Not only did I fear that I would be physically hurt if I ever refused him, I also feared that he would leave me. I had been so degraded by Abuser M that I was terrified of him leaving me. I felt that I deserved him and the treatment that he inflicted on me. There were very few times early on in our relationship that I did attempt to say “no” to Abuser M and those times resulted in severe physical, mental and emotional abuse towards me. I quickly learned that I could never say no to Abuser M if I wanted to feel safe.  Even if I did say no to Abuser M, he would not accept it as an answer.

“4. Consent is a process. Consent requires ongoing conversations with lots of trust. Just because someone says yes to making out doesn’t mean they want to do anything else. You can change your mind at any time.” Once I had accepted that I was Abuser M’s slave, I felt there was no turning back until he released me from his control. I never felt that there was an opportunity to change my mind when it came to Abuser M’s and my relationship because he had control of every aspect of my life. In addition, there was never a point in our relationship that Abuser M asked to assess our relationship to see if I was OK with what was going on. I said yes to being his slave and he made me believe that my doing so gave him the right to do whatever he wanted with me, even when I said no later on in our relationship.

The moral of this post is to state that consent should and can happen in a BDSM relationship.  BDSM should not be used as a guise to cover domestic violence. There are many people who engage in healthy BDSM relationships where communication is key to their relationship. Consent is always a key factor in these relationships. There are entire organizations within the BDSM community whose sole purpose is to promote the consent culture. I applaud these organizations and the people who work to promote consent culture in the BDSM lifestyle. I wish that I had encountered them when I was engaged in the various unhealthy BDSM relationships that I engaged in. I believe that this sort of out reach is of utmost importance in such communities where consent can be such a confusing idea.

I would like to briefly suggest ways that people looking to engage in a healthy BDSM relationship can also incorporate all four of the mentioned criteria for consent into their relationships. Once you get the hang of it, consent isn’t a difficult concept even under the influence of a BDSM relationship.

Consent is Active – while engaging in a BDSM scene, the dominant (or top) should always make sure beforehand what the submissive (or bottom) is consenting to.  If at any time during the scene the submissive feels uncomfortable, the submissive should have the right to call a safeword to promptly stop the activities that they are no longer willing to engage in. Consent is based on equal power – within a power exchange relationship power can still be equal when it comes to consent.   Never engage in a BDSM scene while under the influence of any substance and it should always be made clear the submissive has the power to revoke their submission at any time.  Consent is a choice – within a BDSM scene or relationship a dominant should always be willing to accept when a submissive does not want to engage in an activity.  Negotiate the terms of your relationship and/or scene before engaging so that it is made clear to both parties what each are willing to engage in and what is clearly off-limits.  And finally consent is a process – those engaging in a BDSM relationship (or even just a scene) should frequently check in with their partner to make sure that everything is going smoothly on both ends.  If anything feels wrong at any time, stop the scene and openly discuss what has gone wrong.  It is also helpful in general to have written terms for a BDSM relationship that clearly state what activities each party is willing to engage in.  Such a document should never be taken as a legal contract and can be revoked or revised at any time.  Creating such a document is a healthy and easy way to clearly express the desires or both parties involved.

In addition to the suggestions that I have made above, there are many websites that you can find on the subject of consensual nonconsent by searching the term in a search engine.

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His Idea of Polyamory Was One Sided – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


Over the years I have encountered so many different definitions and ways to describe polyamory.  I ran across a definition on the website www.PolyFidelity.org.au that I found to be most accurate;

In 1999, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart was asked by the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary to provide a definition of the term (which the dictionary had not previously recognised). Her definition was:

The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. This term was meant to be inclusive, and in that context, we have never intended to particularly exclude “swinging” per se, if practitioners thereof wished to adopt the term and include themselves… The two essential ingredients of the concept of polyamory are more than one; and loving. That is, it is expected that the people in such relationships have a loving emotional bond, are involved in each other’s lives multi-dimensionally, and care for each other. This term is not intended to apply to merely casual recreational sex, anonymous orgies, one-night stands, pick-ups, prostitution, “cheating,” serial monogamy, or the popular definition of swinging as “mate-swapping” parties.

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Polyamory is a hot topic amongst the BDSM community.  There are many people within the community who engage in Dom/sub relationships and also identify as polyamorous.  I have met many “poly families” who seem quite happy and fulfilled in their lives.  It can happen, but all parties must be fully on board.

However, I personally do not identify as polyamorous.  I believe that there are people who are truly polyamorous and those who are not.  I do not believe that there is an in between or gray area.  You can either accept and live in the poly lifestyle or you can’t.  People who force polyamory on themselves but who are not truly polyamorous cannot be happy in their heart of hearts.  There are countless people who have tried to engage in polyamorous relationships and found that they cannot be content living in such a lifestyle.  Usually the main factor that determines so is jealousy.  Jealousy after all, is a natural human emotion and it rears its ugly head so frequently among people who engage in polyamorous relationships.

Abuser M identified as polyamorous.  There was only one catch.  He demanded that me, his main partner stayed true to him and only him.  He would not allow me to engage in any romantic relationship outside of our own.  He wanted complete control of me in every way and it would have been a threat to him if I shared my love with anyone else.  Conveniently, I did not personally identify as polyamorous and the word “no” was something I never said to abuser M.  Me having another partner would never be an issue because it was something I was not interested in.

About a year and a half into our relationship abuser M revealed to me that he was preparing to move another girl into our home so that he could engage in a polyamorous relationship with her.  What was I to do other than agree?  I was completely submissive to him in every way and whatever he wanted was delivered to him without a fuss.

He knew that I was stressed about the new girl that was about to enter our relationship and to appease my anxiety he offered up a few ground rules that he portrayed as a way to displace my distress.  He told me that I would always be his primary partner – meaning I was his number one or sorts.  He told me he loved me more than her and that I would always be his priority.  He also said that there would be a clear pecking order in our household and that this girl would be made to do whatever I wished.  She would be on the bottom of our kinky totem pole.  I tried to accept these meager offerings but deep inside knew that nothing would make me feel better about what was about to take place.

The other girl arrived and he quickly collared her as his slave.  We both wore the same 24/7 collar only hers was heavier to signify that she was more submissive to him than I was.  I took it as a clear sign that he desired her more than me because he only wanted complete and utter submission from his women.  I now see that this tactic was just another way to put me down and keep me under his thumb.  I could never be quite good enough for him.

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I wore the 1/4 inch collar & she wore the 3/8 inch design to signify our level of submission towards our Master.

We converted our bedroom so that the other girl could sleep on the opposite side of him as me, but we were all to sleep in the same bed.  Abuser M wanted to have both of us at the same time even though her and I wanted nothing to do with each other.  We both had assigned roles within our house which became a great source of tension as I was used to fulfilling all of the roles before she had arrive.  Both of us were treated as slaves, waiting on him hand in foot.  He also physically abused the other girl yet she always asked for more.  I was selfishly thankful that he had someone else to release some of his sadistic tendencies on.  By creating such a household, abuse M set himself up to be the ultimate king of his own delusional castle.

Eventually this girl also became violent and abusive towards me.  I felt like I was literally going crazy due to my living situation and I was torn.  I was being forced to live a life that I wanted nothing to do with but if I chose otherwise, my Master would want nothing to do with me and would release me.  He told me that I had no say in the matter and that if I did not agree with his decision to engage in polyamory I could leave.  In retrospect, I wish that I had left him at that point but I now know that it was impossible for me to do so because I was completely dependent on him in every way.  He had managed to situate my life so that I could never leave and if I did ever try, it would be a horrible mess.  I eventually found this to be very true when I was able to escape his control at a later time.

There is so much more that I can say about this “polyamorous” relationship that I was forced to be on one side of but I feel those words may be better suited for other blog posts.

The reason for this post is to point out that abuser M’s behavior and treatment of me was abusive and he acted solely on his narcissism.  He wasn’t living the poly lifestyle because if he was, he would have also allowed me to do so.  Polyamory is not a one-sided street.

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 After conversing with many true self-proclaimed polyamorists, I found that they were disgusted with his behavior and also classified it as abuse, as I was not truly consenting to such behavior.   He was using the guise of polyamory to disguise the fact that he wanted to engage in a sexual relationship with another woman regardless of what I thought.  I now know that it didn’t matter what I thought, but he titled himself as polyamorous so that he could justify the extra relationship to people who knew us.  Yes, he openly displayed his polyamorous relationship to our mutual friends, family and coworkers.  How else could he possibly explain the extra relationship that he was engaging in?

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