Tag Archives: negotiation

First Contact Safety

These rules may vary, according to what you have to work with, or are able to reveal, or decide to use….but whateveryou do, don’t ignore the basic safety you will require, as a submissive meeting a new dom for the first time. There are people out there who are simply predators, and your new dom may be wonderful, online and the phone, but admit you don’t really know him, and protect yourself until you do.

1) Before you even plan a meeting, be sure you discuss your personal safety with your new dom. Tell him how you feel, and listen to what he says. If he’s really a man who cares for you, he’ll add things to protect you, and agree to anything you wish to do. If he does not, then treat it as a first clue to use caution.

2) Once you plan your meeting, find two people who know you personally: Your name, your address, your phone # and most of all, your background. Make sure they know who you are meeting: HIS name, his address, and his background, as well as any other info about him you might know. Leave them as detailed a plan of your visit as you can foresee, and arrange with them for regular telephone check-ins…and what to do if one of them is not made. Obviously you don’t want the police breaking down a hotel door, while your dom has you tied to the bed, but it might just be that you’ll be glad to see them.

3) Meet with your dom in a public place…somewhere that there are lots of people…and don’t LEAVE that public place until you feel comfortable with the person you are meeting. If you don’t get comfortable right away, be sure you have some sort of alternative plan available, in lieu of going with him. Try to have YOUR car available…or better yet, a large, muscular friend to see you off, and meet your dom with you. 🙂

4) For the first meeting, do not travel to a remote place to get acquainted. Find a comfortable, well-staffed hotel or inn, where there, again, are PEOPLE. Other people are your best defense against injury and if necessary, run to them…even naked. The old cabin in the hills, where he says you can really “be alone”, might sound wonderful, but it is not safe, and should not be considered.

5) Never, never travel away from your planned itinerary with a new dom. You planned that schedule so people could find you…if you leave it, they can’t…and your new dom ought to understand that. Stay where you said you would be, when you set up your security, and resist, to the point of running away, any attempt by your dom to take you away.

6) D/s and playing. It’s normal for you to want very much to please this man who means so much to you…to give him everything he asks for…and delight in the pleasure he enjoys. But like everything else you do, for the first time, you have to protect yourself…and as exciting as a caning might sound, while tied and gagged…once you start, remember that stopping him is going to be a problem. Use safe words…there’s nothing to be ashamed of, in doing so, and if you need them, you WILL need them. Resist any sort of neck or throat bondage. Resist any sort of oxygen deprivation play these are dangerous kinds of play, and require enormous care…and you don’t know your dom, yet. Sex itself…well, AIDS is around, but it’s silly to try and convince two people in your situation to refrain, so use a condom. Insist on it, in fact, and don’t give in.

7) This is from me, to all of you. You are submissives, and there is nothing I’ve found in my world which is more wonderful. You are all special…and we can’t afford to lose you, cause there aren’t enough to go around, now…so please, take care of yourself. When you do come back, show us your new collar, or your welts, or whatever you value most from your visit, and we’ll love you more for having done it.

But, whatever you do, come back to us.

Formal Relationship Structures

 Creating and Maintaining Formal Relationship Structures

Flagg 2002

For purposes of this discussion, I would like to offer some definitions. These ideas have been invaluable to me in the continuing evolution of a workable formal structure.

Definitions:

Structure-       A framework of systems which define the authority dynamic of a given household.

Protocol-         Rules and guidelines facilitating assigned behavior and priority: 1. A positive directive of assigned steps or goals – in the military sense, a directive or series of directive designating the proper course of action in a given situation. 2.  A construct consisting of directives (protocol in definition 1), and/ or rules and ritual in order to create an effective governing structure.

Ritual-            Assigned actions of a consistent and repetitive nature

Rules-             Assigned behavior, specifically, a designation preventing or barring an action, a negative law. “Do not drive above the speed limit”, “Never be out alone after dark”, “Never limit my options in phrasing or action”.

Trainer-          A Dominant whose primary focus is the teaching of systems, and the improvement and refinement of a servant’s skill set.

Owner-            A Dominant whose primary focus is the authority over and possession of servants and properties.

Servant-          A catch-all for submissives and properties for purposes of the conversation. (Seeing as most of the submissives being discussed here are going to be oriented towards service, it is our hope to avoid contentious discussions of terms such as “slave”.)

Dominant-       The power holder in a power imbalanced relationship.

It is my hope that these definitions will allow effective communication of the ideas and concepts I am attempting to present here, they are by no means intended to designate or redefine individual relationships.

Misconceptions:

What do most people think of when they think of “Formal Protocol”? to my experience, it is almost universally misguided and negative, fictionalized and fantasy based. The contention that such a structure is impossible is based on impossible examples- fantasy fiction and deliberately contrived arguments which prove only that the situation presented is impossible- but have nothing to do with formal training.

Most often, these are based in Ritual.

Ritual has an important place in formal structure- it serves as a reminder of place within the structure creates consistent standards of behavior to keep a servant mindful and a Dominant informed that the protocols are being observed. Some rituals have deep significance, others are simply preference, and, sadly, still others are frivolous clutter. It is most often that clutter that is cited as a reason that formality cannot be maintained, that formality is a myth best kept for bad BDSM fiction.

“No –one can do that all the time. What if you are in the mall? What if the kids are in the room? What if the vicar drops in unexpectedly?”

We will address the whys and wherefores shortly, but the core concept I wish to impart here is:  A well created protocol does not encounter these as problems; it incorporates them into the system itself.

Often, these misconceptions are based in fear and feelings about romance and intimacy…
But the basis of a Formal structure is the separation of the duties from the feelings involved.  At the root of the problem of romance and training is the fact that romance is highly subjective, while training must remain highly objective.

Some people are not suited for that dichotomy; even fewer people are capable of entering into a D/s relationship structure from either side of the leash without love being involved.
I advocate a separation; I am NOT saying that love and romance have no place… I am saying that they complicate each other when they are both present, and such matters must be treated with care and deliberation, not just glossed over, or even expected to somehow magically “balance out”. They do not, and they (to my experience) can not.

A conscious choice must be made- one facet over the other. If it is love over structure, then love is the ultimate answer to the conflicts and questions which plague every relationship. It may have many formal elements, but at heart, it is not a formal structure.

The defining element of a formal structure is structure over romance. When push comes to shove… the rules are the rules, and they are the final answer.

Lastly, the misconceptions are often voiced that maintaining that “headspace” is impossible. “Impossible! No one can live at such speed!” Such people do not really have a firm grip on what a formal structure is, and may be confusing it for elements of formality in their play or “subspace”. One has nothing to do with the other. I may not always be in the mood to live under the laws of my city or my nation- but I do, if I choose to stay here. I may not always be in the mood to manage my staff on the job… but I do, if I wish to keep working there.

Mood? Headspace? Structure is not about play. It’s about everything else.

Creation:

This is not going to be a step-by-step. It is going to be a series of suggestions, things I found helpful, illuminating, or troublesome.

Contracts.

Very often, contracts are dismissed out of hand. “They don’t mean anything. “ “They don’t stand up in court.” “They are just like marriage vows”.

These things have nothing whatever to do with the use of contracts in this situation, if they are relevant at all. A contract is quite relevant- perhaps vital- for a formal structure. The reasons are varied, but internally consistent.

A: Thought into action

The reason we take notes in school is not just to keep records. It is because listening and writing involves both sides of the brain, not the just the abstract. It means we are thinking more fully about what we are saying, agreeing to. It is capable of assisting in the creation of more concrete thought processes about what can be a confusing and abstract issue.

B. Objectivity

An essential reason to create a contract is that the contract does not change its mind. Memory and personal interpretation play tricks on us, especially when they become clouded by emotion. But a clearly worded contract can eliminate such variables to some degree;  creating an effective “third party” – an objective, consistent point of reference.

C.  Consideration

When writing a contract, it is important to avoid getting bogged down in a few traps.  A few rules might be helpful:

1. Avoid flowery language.  This is not about things being pretty or romantic, this is about things being clear.

2. Avoid abstracts, this is about responsibilities, rights, privileges and obligations.  Make every attempt to keep the document focused on those things.

3. When discussing limits, do not only consider the negatives of what a party cannot live with.  Be certain that you are aware of what the partin in question cannont live without… (Thank you, Sir C)

4. Do not base this agreement on emotional conditions – as concrete as they may feel, they are abstracts.  Love ebbs and flows, emotions run high and cool…and thus cannont be used as a solid foundation for a practical protocol.  Love is fine – but you cannot promise it in a contract.

5. Do not confuse the rituals with the rules or protocols. For example, to declare a list of offenses and assign fixed penalties to them is painting the Dominant into a corner, and creating a world of dilemmas for the servant. Temptation to play lawyer with the rules “You never said I could not do that” or “I know it said I get 5 strokes with the cane- I thought that this time, it was worth it” is just as annoying as the real world bringing forth a dilemma that you have no set answer to, and feeling undercut by your own contract. Such things are ritual- and they may have a place in your life, but not in this document. A list of rituals is a good thing- but they are enforced by the structure… they are not the structure itself.

 

The action of writing a contract forces consideration of these and other issues, rather than letting it all ride on feelings and concepts which may not be as closely shared by everyone involved as one might think. It forces levels of understanding and objectivity which simply talking may not do.

Another advantage of the contract- especially while creating and testing one’s protocol is the short term contract. One month, three months. Eliminate the “forever” and create a period of optional renewal. This is NOT just to the benefit of the servant, but the Dominant as well. Never forget that BOTH parties have the right not to renew.

Content:

One of the hardest challenges I have ever faced was asking myself the question” What do I want?” Much, much harder than it sounded- at least for me. Paring through the mythology and the misinformation, the weight of culture and the pressure of the community… digging through all the concepts to find the few jewels that really mean something to me personally. The responsibility here initially rests with the Dominant. It is an oddly vulnerable time for the Dominant, as the process of paring away the crap, outside pressures and other people’s opinions leaves one showing only what one wants- and exposing one’s wants is a vulnerable place. The more carefully and deliberately worded, the better. Again- skip the poetry, and stick to things you can create and demand- not things you would have to make a special effort to inspire. The inspiration for obedience to inspire the servant should be coming from who you are- not special favors you have to maintain. In short order, the Dominant would feel trapped and obliged to perform the service or services- and then no one is happy. The Dominant feels obliged, cannot be pleased, and the servant is unable to provide any service which would make the Dominant feel any less trapped.

Obedience you can demand, love forever you cannot. Run through protocols to create the dynamic effects you desire, then rules to eliminate things you do not. Finally, pick and choose carefully among rituals- choosing only rituals which genuinely have meaning for you, or those which are worth the effort of deliberately maintaining.

1. Create protocols (the “Do List”) Use it as a tool to allow decision making in your best interest in a given situation, stating the final end result, and what the necessary steps are to maintain it.. Varying levels of formality are often the best way to do this. Define informal, formal, and high formal situations- and write codes of behavior outlining what you expect in all of them. Informal is ideal for dealing with the complications of life, but it does not have to be the default.

2. Create rules (the “Don’t List”) Easier than the “do list”, most people have a better grasp of what they don’t want than what they do.

3. Create ritual last- if it is necessary to you at all.

A note about ritual in protocol.

The easiest thing to be confused by, the easiest thing to be misused. Apply it after the fundamental structure is complete. Remember that every ritual, no matter how small, will need to be carefully and consistently enforced. If you add superfluous ritual which you do NOT enforce, the system begins to break down from there. Again, no one is happy.

Maintenance:

Formality vs. Informality:

There is a time and a place for both, and that decision can only be made by a particular Dominant in regards to their own structure. However, as entropy is the natural state of things, order demands effort. Little things make a difference. By way of example, I’ll talk about honorifics.

I am called “Sir” in my structure. The only exception is when the situation would be inappropriate- and I have specific guidelines regarding what is appropriate, and what is not. There is a reason for that. The servant who addresses her Dominant as “Sir” at all times is that much less likely to forget their place and allow their expectations to become inappropriate. “OK and “yeah” are not acceptable acknowledgements, nor are anything but a small handful of designated answers. Why? Would a drill sergeant accept a “yeah”?

Never- because the sense of identity or names gives us and others strongly defines who they are in our lives, and who we are to them.  This is what I consider a useful application of protocol, rule and ritual, to help create a “speech protocol”. (It is far from the entirety of my speech protocol- but makes a fine example to start.)

Informality- uncontrolled, default, casual intimacy- erodes structure quickly on both sides of the leash. It has a place- but I would keep in mind that although it may be the most comfortable mode moment to moment, it can be very alluring, very comfortable, and very costly in the long run.

The Third Party:

I cannot stress enough the importance of the Third Party concept. Once a structure has been created, it should be looked at as the third person in any question or dispute. When faced with a difficult choice, the servant should not think “Would I do that for Him/ Her?” that personalizes the choice- makes it about emotion, likes, dislikes, resentments, personal issues, good and bad. The question is” Is my collar worth this? Is my word worth this? Am I living up to my commitments if I do not do this?” The Dominant, when faced with a difficult decision- especially one that hurts to make- is not asking “Will I still be loved? Will it be held against me? If I really loved… would I ask this? What kind of person am I?” The question becomes “Does my collar demand this? Am I maintaining my integrity? Is this about my collar, or is it about my feelings?”

All of these questions demand answers- but in order to maintain a formal structure, the answers must be separated between personal issues, and issues of the collar. This does not prevent the Dominant from making exceptions based on feelings… but makes that a deliberate choice, and not the default. It takes practice and dedication.

With any luck at all, these ideas will be of some use to those who wish to explore- or even understand – formal relationships. They are more work, more attention, more focus than a standard arrangement.

For some of us- they are more than worth it.

Flagg

June 18, 2002

www.foolish-house.com

www.the-estate.com

Everybody Pays

Copyright 2002.  Flagg.  All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this may be reproduced without permission of the author.

Red Flags

 What is a “Red Flag”?

Author Unknown

Cross-posted to the Albany Power eXchange message board 9/06.

A “Red Flag” is any indication that you should steer clear of a particular person, either Dom/me or sub. These can pop up at any time, though most often in the beginning of a potential relationship. They can be obvious or they can be subtle.

Some common examples might be:

1) Inappropriate questions or comments during the initial conversations, such as do you want to play? or what are you wearing? or what do you look like? or asking for your phone number immediately, etc. Such questions have nothing at all to do with D/s, but rather indicate the person is looking for cyber or phone sex.

2) Moving too quickly: if the prospective Dom/me or sub seems to be in a hurry to begin a relationship, or to advance it faster than seems reasonable or comfortable for you. Like if they want to meet you within the first 10 minutes online. Trust is the cornerstone, and cannot be rushed. Clearly, there is no arbitrary time frame, but most long-lasting relationships take several weeks if not months to build before actual contact.

3) Inappropriate attitude: “Bow down and worship me” those who act as if every submissive must obey every so-called Dom, and begin giving or obeying orders from the word go. Or those who have the idea that each and every Tom, Dick, and Harry must be addressed as Sir, whether they know them or not. Many subs in the chat rooms do this, but respect is worth little if it is so lightly given. Both of these attitudes and practices show a poor understanding of the true dynamics of Dominance and submission.

4) Safety violations: reluctance to have a safeword or other safety precautions in place, either during the first meeting or later. Run.

5) Lack of communication: if your potential partner is reluctant to discuss something with you, pay attention. Likewise, and equally serious, if you are told directly or indirectly, that you may not discuss something with others, or may not talk to someone else, or may not go to a particular area, be careful. Trying to “gag” someone is a sign that something is wrong.

6) A persistent bad reputation: or unwillingness to give references. This can be tricky if the person you are talking to is new online, but it is still a red flag. Or perhaps a yellow one.

7) Trashing ex-partners. When someone is constantly talking about their ex publicly in the chat rooms and on bb’s, i.e., trying to ruin their rep, try to keep in mind that you might be their “ex” someday and be subjected to such treatment if things do not go the way they want. This is something that both Dom/mes and subs are frequently guilty of. Warning others of potential danger from an ex-partner is obviously a different case.

8) Frequent inconsistencies. If someone often makes contradictory statements from one day to the next, like Mon. tells you s/he has no children, then on Fri., mentions his/her son’s birthday or something. If a person often seems to have a lot of trouble remembering what they have said to you from one day to the next, it could be that they are telling a lot of people a lot of different things. Just in general, I would encourage anyone to really try to get to know
someone before making a final judgment on their character. However, caution and common sense should always rule. If you have doubts, do not give out personal information. You can still talk to this person, but be careful.

And please, trust that GUT INSTINCT.

Advice to a Novice Dominant

 There are as many ways to do D/S as there are people, so you really need to know what your partner wants, doesn’t want, is comfortable with, is afraid of, and so forth. A lot of submissives will have great trouble telling you what they want. For some of them, this is because they don’t really KNOW what they want. Or, perhaps, they know how they want to feel, but they aren’t sure what it is that will make them feel that way. Other submissives do have at least some idea of what they want, but they’re too embarrassed to be able to tell you directly. And some submissives know what they want but feel as if it spoils things if they have to ask for it, they want the impetus for the scene to come from you, and if they ask for something, then it’s as if they’re controlling the scene, when what they want is for you to control it. And of course, more than one of these can occur at once. A person can know only what it is they want to feel AND be too embarrassed to talk about it AND feel as if it gives them too much control over things if they tell you.

There are a couple of ways around these problems, but they all take a bit of work on the Dom’s part. For the sub who isn’t all that sure what they want, you get them to describe how they wish to feel. You ask them what things in their past have gotten them to feel this way, even if it’s only a small and mild version of what they really want. And of course you also use your knowledge of your partner to guess at what you suspect would make them feel what they want. You get them to tell you what they fantasize about (bearing in mind that fantasies are often more intense than anything a person would like to do in real life).

And you experiment. A scene doesn’t have to last for hours. In the early stages, when you’re just figuring out what works for both of you, you can try something for five minutes. (But just because the scene is short doesn’t mean that you take it less seriously. You have to make these mini-scenes as real as your usual ones, or they won’t work as a testing ground. Put your all into them, just keep ’em short. Say you suspect that your submissive would enjoy wearing a collar, then put one on her/him, do a few things with it, then take it off and ask them how they felt about it. If you both liked it, you can always do it again for longer. But these mini-scenes let you try out things in the knowledge for BOTH of you that if you hate it, it only lasts for a short time, this takes some of the pressure off. (When an ex-lover and I seemed to be moving in the direction of no-safeword scenes, I bought an egg timer. The idea was that he would have no safeword for the length of time it tooks the sands to run down. Three minutes is not very long, objectively speaking. But it can be a very long time to someone who’s never played without a safeword before and who realizes that this time there’s no way out. I wasn’t going to do a full-length no-safeword scene until after I’d seen how she handled the egg-timer version.)

For the sub who has at least some knowledge of what they want but who is too embarrassed to tell you what it is, there are a couple of routes to go. You can ask them to write it down and give it to you, since a lot of people can write things that they cannot say. You can also try dominating it out of them, try winding your hand in hir hair, pulling their head into a position that lets you stare into their eyes, and demanding that they tell you what you want to know right now. Or you can threaten some sort of physical punishment unless they divulges the information (only with their permission, of course). The punishment isn’t really intended to be a motivator, it’s intended to be a way for the sub to save face with themselves. They can tell themselves that it’s not greedy or forward or too bold or whatever to tell you what you want to know because you’re making them tell you. Sometimes just letting them tell you in the dark, when you’re snuggled up with your arms around them will be enough.

The sub who doesn’t want to tell you anything because they think that means that they are controlling the scene or that they are forcing you into something you don’t really want tends to be a somewhat harder case, but there are a few things you can try. You can tell them that you aren’t promising to do any of the things that they ask for, you’re just asking because as the Dom, you have the right to ask any damn thing you please and to get an answer. “Since you are my property, the contents of your mind are also my property, and you will give them to me when I ask” is something I tell my submissive. You can tell them that you want the information for your own selfish pleasure, “Making you be submissive in a way that’s good for you is likely to be more fun for me than making you be submissive in a way that’s bad for you, because the second way makes me work harder for less return. So give me what I need to know to get what I want.”

Oh, yes, and a type I forgot to mention. Some submissives think that no one really wants to dominate them, that you’re just humoring them, and leaving you to your own devices is sort of a test. It’s as if they’re saying, “If you really want this, you’ll figure it out on your own.” My own submissive had a touch of this, so I just jumped in and started ordering her around, and once she was assured that I wanted it, too, her fantasies started pouring out.

Once you start getting information out of the person, there are a bunch of things you need to know:

1. You know they are interested in D/S, but what kind?

  • Do they want to do D/S for a short time in bed and be equal out of scene, or are they looking for a full-time D/S relationship?
  • Do they want to do D/S for a short time in bed and be equal out of scene, or are they looking for a full-time D/S relationship?
  • Do they want this to be you and him/her, or do they want the two of you to assume some sort of fantasy roles, like teacher/student or parent/child or jailer/prisoner?
  • Do they want to be treated as a valuable submissive, or do they crave humiliation?
  • Do they go for lots of symbols, like kneeling at your feet, wearing a collar, and so forth?

Are there things that they like to be made to say? Some subs like being made to say things like “I am yours, Master/Mistress” or “Please use me for your pleasure, Sir/Maam,” whereas others find this sort of thing too flowery and prefer sharper exchanges and still others get nonverbal when in scene and find speech annoying. (I’m reminded of a woman who told me that she could never bring herself to call a man “Master,” because the word always made her think of Igor saying “Yesss, Massster,” and she would start laughing. It wasn’t that she was disrespectful, she had no trouble with “Sir” or “My Lord,” but “Master” made her crack up.)

What sorts of things would they like you to say? Some submissives like being called names by their dominants, some like hearing that they are your sub/slave or that they are owned, others like being told about the various unspeakable things that are about to happen to them, others like hearing an explicit list of rules and expectations, others like hearing that their dominant enjoys what she/he is doing. There’s a really long list of different things that turn different people on, and I can’t cover it all. (For example, my submissive loves hearing the words “You’re my slave.” Very simple sentence, but it does something to her. She also loves hearing, when I hurt her, “I need this, and I want you to bear it as a gift to me.” To show you how different even very similar people can be, I would hate being told “You’re my slave” but I would love being told “I need this, and I want you to bear it as a gift to me.” (To make it even more complicated, I have no trouble with “You’re mine;” it’s the word “slave” that I can’t stomach.) Getting a feel for what sort of thing underlies your submissive’s submissive desires will help you get a feel for what sorts of things they like to hear.)

The above point leads in to what is the subtlest sort of distinction to make but the one that will be the most useful. Once you’ve gotten the answers to the above sorts of questions, you might be able to abstract some sort of general theme that guides your submissive’s desires and fantasy life. Some submissives have the “I’m worthless, and I deserve to be punished” mindset, some have a “I don’t want to have to take any responsibility, so I want you to control everything” mindset, some have a “I want to be so desirable that you have to take complete control of me” mindset or the “I want us to blend into one person” mindset or the “I want to prove I love you by doing difficult things” mindset or any number of others. Once you’ve talked and played for a while, you might get an intuitive feel for this. It may be something that your submissive can tell you, but it may not be, they may not have thought about it or analyzed it to this extent. But if you can figure out what sort of mindset underlies your partner’s submission, it makes doing new things and guiding your future play a lot easier. You’ll know what new things are likely to work and what won’t because you’ll understand the underlying motivations.

2. What sorts of things do they like besides D/S?

  • Is bondage okay? If so, how much and what kind?
  • Is pain okay? If so, how much and what kind?

Okay. So now you know what your submissive wants. You also have to figure out what YOU want. It’s easy, when you’re first starting out and trying to figure out how to be a Dom, to imagine some stereotypical stern, sneering dominant and try to emulate that image. But not all of us are cut out to fit that mold, and luckily for us, not all submissives like dominants who fit that mold. You need to find your personal style. The best style for you is not the one that’s the closest to the stereotype, it’s the one that makes your eyes light up and your energy rise and makes you feel that THIS is the most alive you’ve felt in a long time. Personally, I’m a pretty gentle dominant as far as manner goes, but manner can be deceiving. One of the things I like to do is to force my submissive to do things that she wants to do but is too frightened to do, the “You are so much mine that I can make you do something that terrifies you” feeling is quite a rush for me, but I know I can let myself give in to that feeling because I’m making her do something that she secretly wants. I also like mental stripping — making my sub/slave be mentally and emotionally naked with me, she must tell me anything I want to know about her. Oh, and making her scream is fun, too. 🙂

Of course, your style will be influenced by your submissive’s style. The sort of submissive who wants to be forced into submission will elicit a different response from you than the sort of submissive who wants to lay thier submission at your feet like a present. And of course, some submissives can do one thing at one time and the other thing at another time. Just to keep you on your toes. 🙂

Don’t worry if it feels sort of strange in the beginning. When I first started dominating my sub/slave, I would look at my face in the mirror and chuckle and say, “This is NOT the face of the sort of person who owns a sub/slave.” But that “WHO? Me?” feeling wore off after a while. That “I’m not cut out for this. I don’t know what I’m doing” feeling wore off after a while. If it’s TRULY not for you, don’t force yourself. But do give yourself a little while to try it on and get used to it before you decide whether or not it’s for you. I felt silly and nervous and out of place at first. But after a while, I came to feel that there were few things I’d ever done that were more satisfying.

BDSM is NOT Abuse

 BDSM is NOT Abuse!

Abuse checklist

 (Does or has) your partner…

_____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?

_____ Slowly isolated you from your family and friends?

_____ Put down your accomplishments or goals?

_____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?

_____ Threaten to hurt your children or pet if you don’t comply with their wants or desires?

_____ Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?

_____ Tell you that you are nothing without them?

_____ Treat you roughly – grab, push pinch, shove or hit you?

_____ Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?

_____ Made you totally dependent on them economically?

_____ Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?

_____ Blame you for how they feel or act?

_____ Refuse to give you or your children medical and dental care?

_____ Force you to have an abortion?

_____ Prevent you from going to church and participating in church activities?

_____ Restrict  your access to the children?

_____ Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?

_____ Make you feel like there “is no way out” of the relationship?

_____ Prevent you from doing things you want – like spending time with your friends or family?

_____ Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson”?

_____ Make you take drugs or alcohol?

And for those that are in to the B & D and S & M of BDSM:

_____ Are hard limits ignored?

_____ Is safety ignored?

_____ Is there no effort made to resolve conflict after a problematic session?

_____ Is there no aftercare given?

_____ Are you just used as a ‘object’ on which your partner takes out their anger?

_____ Has your partner tried to force you into sexual situations with others?

_____ Are your needs as a submissive/slave ignored?

_____ Has your partner ever used scenes to express or cover up anger and frustration?

The following are Indications of MAJOR Abuse. Counseling is recommended for anyone that can answer YES to any of the following questions. Immediate intervention is suggested for those who answered yes to even one of the questions that are in RED.

Do you…

_____ Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?

_____ Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?

_____ Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?

_____ Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?

_____ Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?

_____ Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?

_____ Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?

_____ Doubt your own judgment even in small decisions?

_____ Always doubt your memory of the way things happened because of what he says?

_____ Feel increasingly trapped and powerless?

_____ Have you thought of suicide?

_____ Have you thought of murdering your partner as a way out?

 

 

BDSM is NOT Abuse!

Abuse checklist

 

(Does or has) your partner…

_____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?

_____ Slowly isolated you from your family and friends?

_____ Put down your accomplishments or goals?

_____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?

_____ Threaten to hurt your children or pet if you don’t comply with their wants or desires?

_____ Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?

_____ Tell you that you are nothing without them?

_____ Treat you roughly – grab, push pinch, shove or hit you?

_____ Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?

_____ Made you totally dependent on them economically?

_____ Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?

_____ Blame you for how they feel or act?

_____ Refuse to give you or your children medical and dental care?

_____ Force you to have an abortion?

_____ Prevent you from going to church and participating in church activities?

_____ Restrict  your access to the children?

_____ Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?

_____ Make you feel like there “is no way out” of the relationship?

_____ Prevent you from doing things you want – like spending time with your friends or family?

_____ Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson”?

_____ Make you take drugs or alcohol?

And for those that are in to the B & D and S & M of BDSM:

_____ Are hard limits ignored?

_____ Is safety ignored?

_____ Is there no effort made to resolve conflict after a problematic session?

_____ Is there no aftercare given?

_____ Are you just used as a ‘object’ on which your partner takes out their anger?

_____ Has your partner tried to force you into sexual situations with others?

_____ Are your needs as a submissive/slave ignored?

_____ Has your partner ever used scenes to express or cover up anger and frustration?

The following are Indications of MAJOR Abuse. Counseling is recommended for anyone that can answer YES to any of the following questions. Immediate intervention is suggested for those who answered yes to even one of the questions that are in RED.

Do you…

_____ Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?

_____ Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?

_____ Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?

_____ Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?

_____ Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?

_____ Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?

_____ Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?

_____ Doubt your own judgment even in small decisions?

_____ Always doubt your memory of the way things happened because of what they say?

_____ Feel increasingly trapped and powerless?

_____ Have you thought of suicide?

_____ Have you thought of murdering your partner as a way out?

Note: This list is not comprehensive. Your particular situation may be somewhat different. If you still feel you are being abused, seek professional counseling. Nothing in this checklist should be considered a substitute for counseling.