This is a guest post by Darkrose.
BDSM relationships make the argument on abuse much more complicated than it already is, and those in TPE relationship have an even harder time than that. For non-kinky people it's pretty easy to define abuse.
Webster's Dictionary defines abuse as "improper use or handling, misuse, physical maltreatment, insulting or coarse language; To force sexual activity on; rape or molest."
Most of us in the BDSM world would take that definition and say, “but I like that stuff”. How do you define abuse if the way the dictionary defines it just does not apply to you?
In most of our relationships some, if not all, of these things happen on a regular basis. Personally, I'm rather fond of being molested and mishandled and it's difficult for me to remember a time I didn't need some sort of "insulting or coarse language" to even get in the mood, to begin with. I absolutely love name calling and otherwise not very nice talk.
A lot of people in the lifestyle tend to define abuse by rather or not there was consent to whatever awful thing was going on at the time. Consent is vital in any type of power exchange relationship, but I think that a lot of people don't really think that through completely. How many people really want to get hit with that particular awful, terrible, horrible, frightening, painful thing that you know just about every top on the planet has at least one of? How many of us would happily break said an awful thing or at least hide it if we didn't know for a fact they'd just find something even worse to hit us with and they'd make it suck ten times worse to be us for breaking/hiding the original thing? How many of us will fight and struggle and squirm and beg and plead anytime there is even a passing mention of said hitty thing? Do we really in our heart of little slave hearts consent to be hit by it or do they have to make damn sure we are properly restrained and gagged before they can hit us with it? Do we maybe hate them just a little while they are hitting us? I'd say most of us have probably experienced this at least once or twice.
That's why I don't really think consent is the way to tell if your relationship is abusive. I might kick and scream and try my hardest to get away at times but the fact is some of us just really like the struggle. We need to be overpowered, we need to know that our partner is bigger, stronger, faster, meaner, and will keep us in our place.
I believe that acceptance is a much better way to judge especially if you're like me. If you are looking at becoming involved in this type of relationship ask yourself these things; are you as the bottom (s-type, slave, sub) willing to accept that sometimes your partner is going to do things to you that you will not want, you will not enjoy, and you will probably often hate? Are you willing to accept that his desires are going to come first and sometimes it's going to suck to be you just because he wants it that way?
Now I'm not saying the bottom doesn't have any rights, or that she should go play in traffic just because it amuses her top. Everyone involved should be mature enough and smart enough to realize that if you send your bottom out to play in traffic for your amusement she is likely to be hit by a car thus making her far less entertaining and useful.
When you choose a partner for this type of relationship you need to have a little common sense and stop for a moment and think with your head instead of your sex drive. Assessing the risks of a potential partner before you give them carte-blanche to do whatever they want could save you from a lot of heartaches.
The parties involved need to sit down before they enter into a relationship and have a long discussion about what is acceptable behavior from both sides, what limits each person has and how they will deal with things that may come up that could cause discord in the relationship. I believe that in any relationship you need to be able to have open honest communication between all parties involved but in the case of a BDSM relationship, it is even more important.
Both partners need to realize that relationships are fluid and always changing. There may be times when one or both partners, in their journey together find something that they didn't know they couldn't live without or couldn't live with and they need to be able to sit down and have an honest and sincere discussion about how they can move forward together not just at the beginning of the relationship but at any time through out the relationship as well.
In total power exchange relationships, a safe word may or may not be in place. Not everyone feels they need one. The important thing if you're going play without a safe word is to make sure that your top is competent and not a complete ass so you can feel safe not having 'a way out' There are risks involved in this type of relationship. The fact is if you give your partner the freedom to do whatever they want you need to be sure you can live with them taking the responsibility for your health and safety.
Limits and boundaries tend to evolve over time as you grow in the relationship and as an individual. It is important to always be willing to grow, change and explore new things. Consent can only be given when something is known and understood. In a total power exchange, your partner may have the right try something new without discussing it with you before hand. If you hate it ask your self if you can accept it because it is something that your partner wants.
Darkrose is a 25 year old owned 24/7 submissive who is working towards TPE with her owner. She's a stay at home slave with almost ten years experience in the lifestyle. You can find her on FetLife as
lunaKM says: Do you agree with Darkrose? What do you think about what she says about acceptance?