Healthy vs abusive and manipulative BDSM relationships (advice you need to hear)

Abusive relationships vs healthy BDSM relationships (advice you need to hear)

Learn the art of submission: An online training program designed for beginner subs curious about BDSM and power play. Discover more.

In the KE community and via the comments on my guides, I get the sense that people are mistaking abusive relationships for D/s ones.

Here’s a typical message I receive:

“I’ve just read your article and wanted to get your opinion on my relationship. I’m a new sub in a D/s dynamic with a guy who claims to be a master Dom. He gives me instructions, and I must obey them without question, otherwise, I get punished. He insists on keeping our relationship a secret so his wife doesn’t find out. We’ve never met in person and only started chatting a few months ago, but I’m devoted and will do anything for him because I want to be a good sub. Sometimes he asks me to do things I don’t like, things I haven’t agreed to, but I do them anyway. Sometimes he ignores my texts for days. When I bring it up, he gets angry, saying he’s the Dom and knows what he’s doing. I’m always nervous or walking on eggshells, not knowing how he’ll react. We’ve never talked about likes and dislikes – he dismisses the things I’d like to try. So, what do you think?”

I admit I’ve exaggerated this example for effect, but it still reflects the types of comments I see.

You should recognise by reading it that this is not a description of a healthy Dom/sub dynamic.

Yet the people asking these types of questions aren’t able to recognise this for themselves.

I don’t blame them.

When you’re in the relationship it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees.

There’s an element of denial I suspect.

They want me to tell them that everything is okay and their relationship is healthy in order not to have to deal with the actions and consequences they will have to take if it does turn out to be a terrible relationship.

If you like this article, you’ll love…

Sensational Scenes

How to heighten arousal, induce Subspace, and have mind-blowing sexual experiences.

I’m also intrigued by how people end up in these situations.

Maybe it’s a mix of wanting to serve and please, being naturally submissive, and not wanting to make a fuss. Or perhaps it’s being drawn to unsuitable people due to certain attachment styles or a repeating pattern in their lives.

Please understand that I’m not making light of the situation, or saying everyone who comments is in such a relationship or has something wrong with them.

I’m just inviting them to become a little more introspective and sceptical, perhaps taking a little more time to consider if the relationship they are in right now is benefiting them.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:  The One Question Beginner Submissives Ask Me Over and Over
The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives

And I’m doing this because I want to help.

My mission is to enlighten people about what authentic, healthy, consensual BDSM relationships look like.

How to know if your BDSM relationship is healthy?

When people share these kinds of stories with me, I first refer them to my articles about red flags in D/s dynamics.

I have them read my article 7 Ways to Spot a Fake Dom (and Why You Should Avoid Them), as well as My Dominant Asked Me to Do Something But I Don’t Want to. Am I a Bad Sub?

I also ask them to reflect on the following questions:

  • Are you happy?
  • Are your needs being met?
  • Do you feel listened to and respected?
  • Do you enjoy the rules or restrictions your partner has put on you? What value do they bring?
  • Are you benefiting from the relationship?
  • Can you say no?
  • Can you discuss your relationship ‘outside’ the power play dynamic without your partner shutting you down or getting angry?

If you can’t say ‘Yes!’ emphatically to all these, you might need to seriously reconsider the nature of your relationship.

It’s possible you’re not in a healthy, consensual Dom/sub relationship but instead with a narcissist or someone emotionally or physically abusive.

In any healthy relationship, not just BDSM or D/s ones, you should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to those questions.

What to do next

If you’ve come to realise that your D/s relationship isn’t healthy, here’s what you can do:

  • Get yourself to a safe place if you’re in danger.
  • Think about cutting contact or telling your partner you need to rethink the relationship.
  • Talk to a professional, ideally someone kink-aware.
  • If therapy isn’t an option, do some online research to understand your patterns in choosing partners.
  • Educate yourself about healthy BDSM relationships and what they involve. Consider taking my course The Art of Submission to learn the fundamentals.
  • Vet future partners thoroughly. Ensure they understand consensual BDSM, respect you, and listen to your opinions. If they are new to the word of BDSM that’s ok, as long as they are willing to put in the work to learn.

Wrapping up

This advice can be hard to hear and even harder to act on.

But for your mental and physical health, it’s crucial.

Recognize the signs of exploitation and break free from patterns that no longer serve you.

You deserve an incredible relationship with someone who respects and cares about you. That’s what a genuine D/s relationship should be about. Go out there and find it.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:  An Example of How I Structure My BDSM Scenes

Wishing you all the best.

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Laura

Thank you for this article, domestic abuse is a lot more common than people think and should be something everyone educates themselves about as once in a relationship it can be far too easy for it to morph so gradually into something abusive that you may not realise.
There is a great book I read by Jane Monckton Smith which I thoroughly recommend:
“In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder”