D/s Safety and Signs of Abuse

We have reposted this article with the kind permission of ownedgalbabs

Extract from Wikepedia

In BDSM, the term power exchange is associated with a submissive exchanging his or her authority to make decisions (whether just for a scene, or for his or her entire life), for the Dominant’s agreement to take responsibility for his/her happiness and health.

On a psychological level, much BDSM “play” involves power and dominance, in particular power exchange, with one person willingly handing over personal autonomy. This can range from addressing another person as “Master” or “Mistress” for a ten-minute scene, to a witnessed, formal collaring with a lifelong agreement which micro-manages the submissive’s life.

The latter is often referred to as total power exchange or TPE or 24/7 or 24/7/365.

In safe, sane and consensual BDSM, power exchange is always negotiated. Before play, the participants would discuss their physical and psychological limitations, establish safewords and work out what will happen.

A submissive is a person who submits or potentially submits to another. Within a BDSM-only context, submissive is sometimes synonymous with bottom. Submissives can vary in how serious they take their position, training, and situation. Reasons for this include relief from responsibility, being the object of attention and affection, gaining a sense of security, showing off endurance or working through issues of shame.

A Dominant is a person who exercises the power to take control of a person or situation through usage of some means (such as physical, mental, financial, etc.) on a regular basis; the gender specific titles being Dom for a man, Domme or Dominatrix for a woman. Reasons for this include demonstrating skill and power, having ownership of another person, being the object of affection and devotion.

In most power exchange as referred to in a BDSM scene, there are limitations on the power the dominant has over the submissive, include things such as safewords, time limits, or explicitly negotiated understandings of what is allowed.

“Topping from the bottom”, or the attempt by a submissive to covertly control the top, is considered poor practice within lifestyle BDSM and power exchange. 

Are you or is someone you know in potential danger of abuse?  Here are some questions and tips that may prove helpful.

  1. Does your Master/Mistress scare you and make you feel fearful?
  2. Has your Master/Mistress threatened to kill you?
  3. Do you think you can never do anything right or please your Master/Mistress?
  4. Have you ever been hit, pushed, choked, had your hair pulled, or been slapped by your Master/Mistress while He/She is angry and that these acts were at the time non consensual?
  5. Does your Master/Mistress yell at you or tell you that you are worthless or no good, again outside of a scene and without negotiation or consent?
  6. Do you believe you have to tip-toe around your Master/Mistress to prevent an outburst of anger?
  7. Does your Master/Mistress try to limit the amount of time you spend with friends and family or on the phone or Internet?
  8. Does your Master/Mistress make you do things you don’t want to do? I.e. push beyond  your limits and demand you perform hard limits?
  9. Have family or friends expressed their concern about your relationship?
  10. Are your children afraid of your Master/Mistress?
  11. Do you believe you deserve the abusive treatment you receive?
  12. Do you realize you are abused but don’t know where to get help?
  13. Has your Master/Mistress ever ignored or refused you the right to use a safeword?


  1. If you answered yes to several of these questions, please contact your local domestic abuse shelter. They can help you determine your options and will assist you in finding a safe place to stay while you sort things out.
  2. Make an emergency kit that you can easily grab. It should have money, checkbook, credit cards, health records, school information, birth & marriage certificates, driver’s license, social security numbers, house & car keys.
  3. Do not tolerate abusive behavior from your spouse. It won’t go away by denying it. The situation will only grow worse. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
  4. Another source of help is the National Domestic Violence Hotline  (U.S.) at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TTY). (UK Freephone) 0808 2000 247. Help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

By no way is this post aimed at or meant to offend anyone.  It is simply a message I felt is long over due to help those just entering the lifestyle or perhaps in existing relationships whereby they themselves might think a problem or possibility that abuse is likely.  It is meant to help all women across the globe but with special emphasis directed at sistersubs and maintaining the integrity of our chosen lifestyle.

One Response to “D/s Safety and Signs of Abuse”

  1. I have wonder about the wisdom of having “Signs of Safety and Abuse” at the end of the article, and not at the beginning.


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