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Abuse vs. Sadomasochism

October 16th, 2003

The ever popular debate, argument, paradox…whatever you’d like to call it. I have to admit, I’m slightly confused. I’m sure I’m not the only one. This probably isn’t going to make me very popular, but they say opinions are like ass holes. Take me with a grain of salt and move on.

Basically what it comes down to is where is the line drawn? Where do we say, “Wait a minute. This isn’t sadomasochism anymore. This is abuse.”? When do we (as submissives) say, “This isn’t what I signed up for.”?

Scenario 1: “My owner gave me a safe word and insisted that I use it when something happens that I can’t handle. He promised that he would stop if I used my safe word, but last week we were playing and I called out “red light” and he kept going. I called it out a few more times but he wouldn’t stop. When he finally stopped I was hysterical. He said he didn’t hear me and apologized about a hundred times and I believed him. But last night, it happened again.”

Okay, maybe this girl’s owner has a hearing problem. Doubtful. In this case, I would say abuse. The line is drawn. He said if she used her safe word, he would stop. Period. There’s no, “Well, I thought she might be able to take just a little more.” No, “I’m in charge here. I say what goes.” Yeah, you’re in charge. And you should be in charge of a jail cell. The two of you agreed on a safe word. In your relationship, calling out your safe word means STOP. Period.

Scenario 2: “My owner and I filled out a check list at the beginning of our relationship, and we discussed limits I absolutely will not cross. Things that I would be able to walk away upon him doing them. Things that I just can’t and won’t deal with. I don’t have a safe word but before I was collared we agreed that these limits wouldn’t be crossed or even pushed, and that if they were, I could give him back his collar and the contract was terminated. A few weeks ago, we were playing, and it got kind of out of hand, and he crossed some of my limits. I freaked and he tried to console me saying he got carried away in the moment and he was sorry. But the other day, he did it again.”

Once again, abuse. Limits were set. The submissive drew firm lines that she would not cross. Hell, she even gave him another chance when he crossed them. The second time tells me that he doesn’t particularly care where the lines are drawn. That he’s going to do what he wants, when he wants, whether she likes it or not. In my relationship with Master, that would fly. I gave up all rights. Dropped all limits. Told Him, “Do with me as you please.” In the relationship described here, that isn’t the case. She drew firm lines between what she would and wouldn’t do. Which brings me to: 

Scenario 3: “In the beginning of my relationship with my owner, he and I discussed limits and what it came down to is I told him I had none and he could do with me whatever he wanted to do. He asked repeatedly what lines he could and couldn’t cross and what boundaries there were, and I told him that there were none. But he keeps pushing too far and crossing boundaries that he shouldn’t cross. He’s too abusive. I never thought he’d act this way.”

No, you just didn’t think. He’s pushing too far? He’s crossing boundaries?? What boundaries? You told him repeatedly that there were no boundaries. To do what he wants to you. Didn’t you just say that? How is this abusive? He’s doing exactly what you told him he could do. And now you’re crying abuse?

I’m a pain slut. I like to be beaten, punched, kicked, choked, pinched, slapped, spanked, clamped, and just about anything else a person can do to cause someone pain. I told Master long ago, “Do with me what you will. I am yours to torment.” Yet I claim my last relationship was abusive. Master says all the time, “You beg me for it, yet you say that when he did it, it was abuse. You say that when he did it, you didn’t enjoy it. Where do you draw the line?”

I have a hard time explaining it. But basically what it comes down to is, my definition of abuse is any sort of pain or humiliation inflicted purposely on a person without their express consent. Another dominant said the other day, “There’s a difference between good pain and bad pain.” I couldn’t agree more.

To be frank (wait, I’m Rayne!), Master could beat me within an inch of my life and not only would I not consider it abuse, I would thank him for it when I came to. Not because I’m a pain slut. I don’t know many people that would get off on waking in a hospital bed after being beaten almost to death (Dude! I lived! This rocks!). That’s not the point. The point is, I gave him my mind, body and soul. I told him there are no limits and do with me what he wishes. He took the liberty of using his girl in a way that pleases him. And that deserves my gratitude. Not me running all over the world screaming, “abuse!,” at the top of my lungs.

Although there are no guarantees in anything in life, Master probably would never do this. But nowhere, anywhere, did the mention of, “You can’t do things I think you’d never do to me,” come about. Nothing is a given. If you have a limit, mention said limit. Otherwise, you can’t accuse someone of abuse when that limit is crossed because your owner didn’t know it existed. If you say “anything” you better mean “anything,” else be prepared to suffer the consequences that may come about should a limit be broken due to you not mentioning it beforehand.

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