That’s the instant reaction from those that look at what we do in the lifestyle.
Folks have a tough time conceptualizing the concept of consensual abuse. No matter how much we try to explain: “no really, it’s okay, we like doing this.” their minds just shut off reason and go instantly to conviction.
Alright – I can’t blame them.
Yep – I said it.
Even within the lifestyle – we have folks that routinely administer their perspective viewpoints that decry certain behavior as abusive – so therefore, we must be in an abusive relationship.
End of story, go home, case closed….
That’s how it feels.
With such a blatant failure in the understanding department, it’s these folks that want to throw the “abuse brick” out there without the basis or foundation of what it actually means. Even in the lifestyle, some still say say: “we know it when we see it.”
Really? Can we? Do we really know it when we see it?
That’s part of the problem: what is it that we’re actually seeing? How does that single perceived event cross the threshold into “we know it when we see it abuse?”
Even trying to apply the Webster’s definition: “bad or improper treatment; maltreatment” is problematic because ….
Let’s face it folks …
…. bad or improper treatment is routinely what we do in the lifestyle…. 🙂
But the lifestyle prides itself as being an adult consenting way of life. If it only comes down to consent, then I’d argue that there’s a lot of consensual “bad or improper treatment” in the world: football, boxing, any activity or sport where the participants knowingly and willfully engage in their respective dangerous acts … are risk-aware of the consequences that can follow.
How is that any different than the lifestyle?
Evaluate the Consent: If you’re not consensually risk aware of what your dynamic is in the lifestyle – then it’s probably prudent to pause things and evaluate them. Abuse (at least how I’m choosing to define it for Myself) usually occurs when the receiver of the abuse … cannot process the actions in a way that makes it consensual. Merely saying: “I consented to this” really isn’t enough. Yes, it’s consent on the surface, but internally – how is that consent being processed?
At what point does the individual understand the risk-aware activity that’s about to transpire? Simply resting on the belief “well she said yes” doesn’t really address all of the possible tendrils about what could be involved in that dynamic. It has to stretch beyond the single act until you have a firm understanding of that dynamic and what it employs. Someone who craves to be isolated, reduced or other wise dehumanized – isn’t abused because that happens to be their kink. Someone who cannot rationally deduce what they want and are forcibly used in such a manner – then the argument of abuse can at least be raised. It still might not be abuse … but attempting to use a broad stroke to widely define it for the entire lifestyle is nearly impossible.
I’ve had the abuse label placed on Me by others within the lifestyle. Folks who apparently made up their minds by reading our blogs that danae was in an unsafe, abusive relationship. They looked at her isolation, the monitoring and constant control I have over her. That wasn’t natural in their opinion. When she was caged and locked inside … it was about how unsafe I was to her.
I get that they were overly concerned and otherwise shocked that I would do such a thing …
The thing is – I understand where they’re coming from. If this was how I personally define abuse – then I can wrap My mind around that. But by what measure is that abuse defined? The complexities of the lifestyle dull the definition of abuse – because – as I’ve blogged about so many times before, the very things we do in the lifestyle can be considered a form of abuse. From spanking, to dominance/submission, to flogging and rough sex. Without the proper context, folks would go: “hey he/she’s abusive!!” But we keep assuring folks by saying that this was a mutually sought dynamic. Does it still make it abusive?
danae, teacup and I mutually, consent to things and subscribe to a M/s dynamic. If the consent wasn’t coerced, forced or otherwise tampered – then I simply don’t believe it rises to the level of abuse.
So taking all of that into account, I’m really not sure how anyone can subscribe to the concept of abuse as being tied to the perception of a single event. There’s the consent, but there’s also a trend, a pattern – something tangible. While I won’t dismiss the possibility that the single perception maybe a snapshot of an ongoing abusive dynamic … by itself – I would find it hard pressed to say it was.
(Please note: I am not including typical fight/disagreement/argument related exchanges in this context. I do feel that such events happen – regardless if they are lifestyle based or not. I do feel fights can get out of hand – but how it’s determined on a scale of abuse largely depends on how we personally define it.)
Not everything in the lifestyle is fluffy bunny, SSC, etc. I don’t make any apologies for it either. Knowing consenting adults can engage with whatever they want as far as I’m concerned. Pushing boundaries where identifiable personal trends can be observed …. then a deeper evaluation may be needed.
It’s responsible and prudent to have these kind of philosophical and moral discussions in a calm state of mind long before engaging in something that is going to be pushing boundaries . If having this discussion and understanding doesn’t matter to you because you come from the belief that “I am dominant, hear me roar dammit” – then I’m afraid I can’t relate to you.
It has taken danae and I years of discussing and sharing to reach the point where I could grab her by the hair and lock her in the closet. Doing that from the onset was okay for us – but there was still the discussion and the processing we were both doing at the time it happened. It wasn’t automatic – and required a lot of faith and trust on both of our parts. Yes it is an incredible