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Monday, September 27, 2010

I just discovered your blog - it's brilliant. I'm a completely brand new sub, and my question is - what do you think are the main differences between a healthy Dom/sub relationship, and an abusive relationship?

Thank you for the wonderful compliment on my blog. I appreciate it greatly.

There's no simple answer to this. I even asked Omega on how to reply. Basically, it boils down to that this lifestyle should bring you up, not make you feel beaten down. It should bring out happiness, beyond what you thought was possible. It should make you feel sexy, loved, secure and very safe. In a healthy dynamic you should always feel comfortable to ask questions of your Dom. They should also encourage you to ask questions about things you might read or come upon.

Since you're new I'd also add that anything that doesn't sound right, probably isn't. If you feel like you must walk on eggshells all the time with him/her and more focus is put on punishment than building your character and self worth then it could be abusive.

Omega is very fond of telling me that this lifestyle is supposed to lift you up, not bring you down.

Now of course this doesn't mean that it isn't hard sometimes, or difficult to learn what you need to know for your Dom, some are more protocol related, while others are more laid back. But in the overall, those times should amount to only moments in the relationship, not days or weeks....

There are so some red flags to watch out for as the relationship progresses such as a Dom that feels jealous that you spend time with friends or family (tries to keep you sequestered) or demands that you not see any family or friends.

A Dom that tries to take control of your money, demanding access or pin numbers is a huge red flag. A good dom/domme might help you formulate a budget you can stick with, without asking for your social security number or access to bank accounts. It's just not smart.

Alcohol or substance abuse. I'm sorry but I don't care how experienced a dom might be, drinks or drugs (even some prescription) do not belong with any kind of play. Alcohol dulls the senses, and the dom might not be aware of how much pain they are inflicting (if pain is part of your dynamic). Or if a playful game has gone too far. Also medications should never be taken by the submissive to help her "relax" or make her more accepting. Some dom's say a glass of wine before a sexual scene is ok...I think it depends on the scene.

Emotional abuse in a D/s dynamic might be more tricky if the Dom is into humiliation, and you find it's not for you. Basically if your Dom/me makes you feel bad all the time, like you're just not good enough, and never will be that's a good indication that there's emotional abuse going on. If the problem is always you and never them, it could be signal too.  A good Dom is first to admit they don't have all the answers and sometimes make mistakes.  Also a good Dom/me will take his/her time bringing you along slowly to preserve your mental balance, which is so important. They won't try to push you in hard limits, but make you comfortable with them. Of course if a Dom/me requires you to do anything illegal, participate in a felony, then run away quickly.  If you find yourself constantly making excuses for their bad behavior, then you might be in an abusive situation.

Physical abuse is another tough one to sometimes spot in a D/s style relationship, especially if pain is part of the dynamic. But I guess the big difference is a Dom/me won't beat you so that you require a doctor (of course accidents do happen), or makes you afraid for your life.  Trust your inner voice, if it feels wrong it probably is.  Also if there is a lack of aftercare, or caring on the part of Dom/me after an intense scene or play or punishment can be a sign of either a very inexperienced Dom/me or abuse.

If a dom/me uses punishment as an excuse to abuse you, then the signs are fairly clear. Because often there's not any reason behind the punishment. A dom/me should explain what you did wrong before and after and help you to understand why punishment was needed. Also the punishments need not be corporal all the time to be effective. Using terms like, "why did you make me so angry?" are signals.

The same are true for women (and men) involved in any kind of domestic abuse situations.  I will say that some abusers try to hide behind BDSM as a way to keep abusing.

I would suggest that you check out your local BDSM community, munches and other activities.  Most players will avoid real-world activities.  Munches are a great place to come together and share ideas.  You can also learn a lot from different blogs, so keep reading!

I really hope that this helps you, and others in the same situation.

Thank you so much for a wonderful question.



  1. These are great answers mouse! I think you have drawn some difficult lines in just about the right places.

  2. Thank you, mouse. This was one of the clearest, most concise , decriptions of what TTWD should and should not be, that I have read.

  3. amazing answer mouse

  4. I think you've answered the question perfectly Mouse.


  5. an excellent answer from a wise mouse


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