Question of the Day: What is the difference between BDSM & Abuse?

It’s strange how this question always comes out. The difference – Consent.

As with anything in this world there are always the bad applies that turn something amazing into something just plain wrong. True BDSM is not abuse. A person beating up their spouse and calling it BDSM, is completely 100% wrong and the injured party should get out of that relationship immediately. If Eve consents to Adam tying her down and beating her with a flogger, not abuse. Does this make it wrong? No, it doesn’t nor should one condone it as such. Adam and Eve had decided beforehand that this works for them, they enjoy it and at any time they can say one word and it stops.

However, if Adam came home from a long day at the office and punches Eve clearly in the face and even when she says stop or no, he doesn’t – that is abuse. Eve didn’t consent. I am very clear with the difference between the two. Watching a BDSM scene is not the same as watching a documentary on spousal abuse. The consenting partners in BDSM care about each other, it is not about the act itself, it is about the trust that comes with the act. I realize that if someone walked in on a BDSM scene and wasn’t aware of what was going on and they have a history of abuse it can be traumatic. However, realize it is not BDSM that caused the issue it is underlining history you have.

Abuse is straight out abuse. To abuse someone by definition is: use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse. Are there people out there that disguise abuse as BDSM? Yes, but that isn’t on BDSM nor should it be to blame. BDSM didn’t create that person’s actions. If you ever meet someone that says the are into BDSM and goes I don’t use safewords – run, do not walk to nearest exit. They aren’t. If you meet any Dominant in BDSM they will all tell you – safewords & consent.

After a while there may be a time when the two parties work something else out but there will always be a way for them to stop what is going on. For example, Eve had a really long day at work. She believes she is okay to play, however during the middle of a session with Adam she feels like she is going to pass out. She immediately yells “red” to let Adam know something is not right and she needs to stop immediately. Adam stops immediately and comforts or helps Eve. He doesn’t berate her nor make her feel poorly about using the safe word.

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