Submissives Need To Take A Stand On Abuse

Author: Bob Harris ©

used with permission. This article was originally written for the section of Gloria Brame's Web Site called "Perspectives Of A Male Submissive".



It used to be that leather/SM communities were small, underground groups made up of several households. New members entered as submissives in order to learn what submission was about, meanwhile training to learn the skills needed to be a Dom. Each community monitored and policed itself. Anyone not following the rules of behavior was quickly expelled. Long before the outcry for "safe, sane, consensual," a Dominant who became known as abusive, either mentally or physically, would soon find himself without any submissives willing to go with him. Same for a submissive. Once it was determined that submissives didn't have what it takes, they too would find themselves on the outside looking in.

Today, most communities consist of a large number of players, sometimes covering a large geographical location. There is very little, if any, internal structure or established rules of behavior. There are no recognized elders or leaders who can call a member to task. Training is left up to the individual and no one is there to monitor that training.

The result is that we now have a large number of communities, composed mainly of members who have no clue as to what the lifestyle involves or is about. They often consist of "Dominants" who equate SM with a freedom to abuse, and "submissives" who think submission means being the bottom in a play scene, with no idea of what service means. Worst of all, we now face an ever-increasing incidence of physical and mental abuse within our communities.

Ask skilled submissives, from any community, what their biggest problem is, and most of the time they will respond, "finding a good top". Not only is it hard to find one who is skilled in more than one play area: it is even harder to find one who shows respect for the gift of submission, much less how to give the proper aftercare to the sub once a scene is ended. These are two areas where the lack of training and monitoring has really had a major impact.

The time has come for submissives to take a stand.

As long as we continue to submit to substandard tops--even if it's only for a single play session--we are guilty of allowing those tops to remain as they are: dangerous. If we refuse to submit, even for a single play session, until they learn the proper respect and aftercare, they will be forced to either learn or leave. For what good is it to be a top if there is no one to top?

Now don't go thinking i'm proposing some great submissive uprising. I'm not. All I'm saying is that until we, as submissives, stand up for our historical right of non-abusive behavior, we cannot complain when we are abused.

If we don't stand up and say, "No, I'm not going to let you flog me until you learn not to hit the kidneys!" chances are the top will never know that what he's doing could permanently damage someone, at least not until it happens. And, by then, it's too late.

The drawback to this is that in order for us to know what being a safe, respectful, caring top requires, we ourselves have to learn about it. Beyond just knowing what constitutes safe play, we, as submissives, have to be fully aware of what it is we need and what we are looking for. It means that we must first know, and more importantly, be comfortable with, who we are.

If you are looking at this lifestyle (and especially at being a submissive) because you want a fantasy life where someone takes care of you, or if you're looking for someone to solve your psychological problems--well, forget it. You have no business being here! Come back when you've grown up.

Sounds harsh? Maybe so, but that's the reality. This lifestyles, and particularly submission, are not mere fantasies. The Lifestyle is not about the story of "O" or about a jack-off fantasy from Drummer magazine. Mr. Benson really doesn't exist.

In reality the Lifestyle is hard work which requires complete and unselfish dedication. You can't offer such a commitment if you're not comfortable with who you are or don't know how you want to be treated. After all, how can you expect a top to respect your right not to be abused if you don't respect it yourself?






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