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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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The Ultimate Guide to BDSM – Video by Carvaka

Hello Lovelies!

The release of Fifty Shades Darker has reignited the general public’s interest in all things BDSM. However, many newbie BDSM’ers are often left a little bewildered about some of the finer details of this strange new world. While we all are pretty familiar with handcuffs and blindfolds, many would struggle to tell their armbinders from their Wartenberg Pinwheels! Thankfully the guys over at Carvaka have produced an ultimate guide that tells you all you need to know. It even covers an explanation of some of the slightly confusing lingo used as well as introducing some of the more commonly used BDSM toys. So if you are intrigued by BDSM and looking to learn a little bit more, check out the below video!

And as always, please stay safe, sane and consensual.

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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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The House Mouse Who Escaped – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


Master Ron wanted to save me. No one had ever saved me before and it sounded like a dream come true.  He made me feel safe, he gave me a security that no other man had ever given me.  I would have done almost anything for him.  I say almost because it was his final demand that completely broke my trust in our relationship and him and resulted in my escape.

Our relationship was new to me.  It was nothing like I had ever experienced before.  It was something that I felt I needed.  I had engaged in BDSM relationships before but had never been in an 24/7 TPE relationship where it was clear what my daily role was.  It gave me structure and purpose.  It made me feel wanted and loved.  He was much older than me, older than even my own father.  I called him Master or Daddy.  I was proud to have him rule and protect me.  I felt invincible while I was by his side and I didn’t care what anyone thought of our relationship.  He gave me attention that no one else had ever given me, including my family.  He seemed to care about me and it drew me in.  I felt loyal to him and did not question his actions.  I felt that surely if he were in the place he was, he must have had the authority to guide me in life.

I was his house-mouse and his number two submissive.  He had one other woman who was senior to me in the pecking order of our house and I felt happy in my place.  I had my own bedroom and rarely slept with Master Ron.  His other submissive slept with him nearly every night.  My main role in the house was to keep the house in perfect order by cooking and cleaning and to also cater to his personal needs whenever he wished.  I felt that I had purpose and that I was in a “family” who loved and looked out for me.  It was everything that my real family had never given me.  I craved this closeness and interaction with people who I felt accepted me for myself.

My daily life with Master Ron was highly structured and if I faltered I was punished.  Punishment was an important aspect of our relationship, and I craved it.  I felt I needed to be corrected and guided.  Before meeting Master Ron, I never had a man provide such guidance in my life.  Punishments varied depending on my offense.  I was punished for anything from not cleaning to Master Ron’s standards to not meeting my weight loss goals.  I felt that punishment held me accountable and that with Master Ron’s guidance I was able to hold myself to a higher standard and better myself.

Our relationship began to falter only when his number one submissive went missing.  We soon found out that she was living a double life and had a husband and children in a different part of the state.  I began to lose trust in Master Ron because I could not understand how he could bring such a lying and manipulative person into our lives.  I had exposed every part of myself to Master Ron and his number one submissive and felt betrayed by both of them on numerous levels.  I held to my word however and decided to stay loyal to him regardless of my feelings of confusion and betrayal.

And then our happy world was shattered.  He offered to abandon his number one submissive and for me to take her place.  He was frustrated with her and also felt betrayed.  But somehow this change in roles hurt and confused me deep down.  I knew that he thought I would take his offer as an honor but in reality it drove a wedge between our relationship.  I did not understand how he could so easily drop this woman from his life, regardless of the lies she had spewed at us.  We were after all a family who had been through so much together.  I felt that our family should have attempted to work out the differences and to move on.  I felt that him replacing her behind her back, regardless of her wrong doings was dishonest and honesty was of the utmost importance to me between his and my relationship.  I don’t know if this was naive of me but I did not want our family to fall apart.  I also feared that if Master Ron could so easily replace his number one, that he could also replace me with ease.  Our unique family was something that I never had before and I couldn’t believe that it was falling apart before my eyes.

I never officially accepted his offer, telling him that I would like to see if his number one submissive would return.  I not only had a relationship with him, but I had one with her and I respected her as well.  I felt loyalty to her much akin to like a sister would.  I knew that he felt that I had defied him by not accepting his offer and he began to push me in ways that he had never done so before.  At this time in our relationship I was so completely confused and perhaps distant because our family as a whole had been shattered and the family dynamic was something that I felt I needed.  He began to punish me in ways that I felt were abusive and were not in my best interest.  One such punishment was making me sleep on the floor of the gym for a week while eating nothing but weight loss drinks because I had not met my weekly weight loss goal.  This was his first punishment that truly felt wrong to me.

His final demand broke me.  He told me that if I was not to be his number one, that I would remain his house-mouse and nothing more.  I was to take care of the house and that included his guests.  When he said this I had an inkling of where his demand was going.  He told me that one of his friends would be coming to visit and that he would sleep with me in my room.  I was to “take care” of his friend while he stayed.  I was in complete shock.  Sleeping with another man was something that he knew I was not willing to do.  I felt that Master Ron was attempting to coerce me into doing something that went against everything inside of me because he wanted to see how far he could push me while still staying loyal to him and his demands.

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This was one of the first times that I truly trusted my gut.  My entire being told me to run and to get out fast.  I did not like where our relationship was headed and I was confused as well as hurt.  I was self-aware enough to listen to my inner voice and decided to escape.  By this point in our relationship, leaving Master Ron truly was escaping because I feared him in many ways that at the time I did not see as unhealthy.  We lived in a remote location where no one could help me if I ran.  I had no car of my own and relied on him in every way.  I could see bad things coming if I did not leave at once.  One day while he was out of the house on an errand I quickly packed my bags and arranged to be picked up.  I had left before he returned.

One my way out of the remote location I saw him driving towards me on the other side of the road.  My heart pounded as I felt all of the fear that I had kept at bay bubbling up inside of me.  Luckily, he did not notice me in the passenger seat of the car and he kept driving on.  It was at this time that I realized how truly scared I was of him.  I was proud of myself for listening to my inner voice and escaping a situation that seemed to be nothing but bad.

For a long time after I escaped Master Ron tried to lure me back into a relationship with him by contacting me through email.  He told me that he had wronged me and that things would be different if I were to return.  He tempted me with similar mind games that he had played on me once before, but this time I could clearly see them.  This time around I listened to my gut and did not return to him.  I was so thankful that I had stayed true to my beliefs and my personal limits and that I had not compromised who I was inside.  I realized through this relationship that if you compromise yourself for someone else, you may lose yourself completely.  I was pleased with myself that I was able to stay true to myself regardless of the situation I was in and how much fear I held inside.

And if finding that staying true to myself was the only lesson that I learned from this relationship, I am still pleased with the outcome.  This was a lesson that I had never fully understood before given my upbringing.  I had always been taught in various ways that submitting to a man and authority was the right thing to do regardless of your feelings inside.  Standing up for your own beliefs was to be put on the back burner.  I knew from this experience that holding to my beliefs was in my best interest because I never regretted leaving.  It taught me that I can stand up for myself and what I feel is important.  Before this point, I was terrified to do so with anyone I saw as an authoritarian figure.  It saddens me that I had to experience such drastic measures to understand this lesson that so many other people are taught at a much young age by their caregivers but I am thankful that I had the opportunity to learn it.  There have been times since leaving Master Ron that I have chosen to ignore this lesson out of self doubt and I have learned even more from doing so.  Life after all, is about living and learning.

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My Feet Still Hurt; The Death of My Glasses – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


About two weeks ago I fell into one of the most severe flashbacks that I can remember ever dealing with in my (C)PTSD recovery.  There were a series of events that triggered the intense flashback but I won’t get into that right now.

During the flashback I had realized that my glasses (pictured broken below) were directly linked to one of my abusers who I will call abuser “M”.  The horrific realization immediately disgusted me… and so I decided to destroy my glass.

The result of a PTSD flashback.
The result of a PTSD flashback.

How did I destroy my glasses?  I stomped on them with my bare feet.  Once I realized the connection between my glasses and abuser “M” I knew that I could never look through those lenses again.  And so I decided to therapeutically break them…at least that is how I prefer to describe the tantrum that I was going through while I was stomping on my glasses with my bare feet.

And it was worth it!  My feet still hurt from the after effects of stomping on the glasses with bare feet… but it was worth knowing that I will never look through those lenses again.  Some people may see my tantrum as destructive anger but I beg to differ.  Breaking my glasses was constructive because it has moved me one step further towards my recovery and evolution.

And besides… I have another pair of glasses anyways!  And now I have a great excuse to get contacts lenses.

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Lancing the Festering Wounds

I have been told over and over and over again that I need to “get over” and “move on” from my traumas.  It is most painful when I am told this by people who claim to be supportive of my recovery.  I agree to a certain extent and in a fantasy world I would be able to move on over night.  However, there is a difference between moving on and getting over my traumas.  I know that I will never be able to “get over” my traumas simply because I will never be able to forget them and they shaped who I am today.  I am reminded of them in almost every instance of my life.  I am entitled to be angry and grieve what has been stolen from me.  There is no proper timeline for me or any other survivor to move on from our traumas.  I believe that I am moving on at this very moment by forcing myself to process the traumas that I remember.  It is healthy yet painful.

Sometimes I akin recovering from (C)PTSD to lancing a festering wound in your stomach.  It has to be done eventually or else the wound will eventually overcome your body with sickness.  The wound might even suddenly burst open with smelly rotten discharge if it is not dealt with properly.  Once the festering wound is lanced, it will be painful, smelly and disgusting as the rotting discharge releases… but remember that this step to healing is necessary.  The wound will have a chance to heal once the discharge is cleaned away.  There is a possibility that the scars that are left from lancing the wound will be visible or not.

I am simply in the stage of my recovery where my festering wounds are being lanced… and who knows how long the wounds will take to completely heal.  Maybe they won’t.  Maybe I will have scars forever.  But at least I won’t have a festering wound anymore.  

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Ending the Silence

Today I took a very scary yet important step towards the recovery and evolution of myself.  Today is the day that I am ending the silence on domestic violence and its surprising effects on my life.  Please join me in my journey of self recovery and evolution. 

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