What This Site Is Really About: Play vs. Abuse

by Ms. Margaret Davis

I try to help people avoid walking into abusive relationships.  Those of us who acknowledge a certain amount of pleasure with submission long to be “taken” or “dealt with.” When you’re young or inexperienced, a “take charge” partner is hot. However, a few years into the relationship you realize something isn’t right and then it’s too late. Abuse and consensual play are two different things.

In a perfect world the dominance would occur naturally without negotiating boundaries, limits or safety.  The fact is this is not a perfect world, and certain things have to be discussed. There has to be consent, either within the scene or within the context of the total relationship.

The difference between Dominance/Submission Play &Abuse

D&S: A D&S scene is a controlled situation.
A: Abuse is an out-of-control situation.

D&S: Negotiation occurs before a D/S scene to determine what will and will not happen in that scene.
A: One person determines what will happen.

D&S: Knowledgeable consent is given to the scene by all parties.
A: No consent is asked for or given.

D&S: The bottom has a safe word that allows him/her to stop the scene at any time for physical or emotional reasons.
A: The person being abused cannot stop what is happening.

D&S: Everyone involved in the D/S scene is concerned about the needs, desires and limits of the others.
A: No concern is given to the needs, desires and limits of the abused person.

D&S: The people in the D/S scene are careful to be sure they are not impaired by alcohol or drug use during the scene.
A: Alcohol and drugs are often used before an episode of abuse.

D&S: After a D/S scene the people involved feel good.
A: After an episode of abuse the people involved feel bad.