My focus on this subject at the moment stems from personal experience through a slave I know who physically and mentally suffered at the hands of an abusive female who considered herself a so called ‘dominant’. The slave in question was extricated safely from that situation eventually, but not before suffering serious physical injury which required medical treatment.
This is a short comparison I came across online of what defines ‘SM’ as opposed to ‘Abuse’ and I hope it will help to clarify the difference in simple terms:
- SM is done for positive reasons: personal growth and erotic pleasure. It requires the knowledgeable consent of each player, and is often carefully negotiated beforehand. In SM, the situation is controlled. SM play stops immediately when someone uses a safeword, in any scene, at any time, for any reason – physical or emotional. SM players do not make an assumption of the right to control another’s behaviour. Players follow guidelines for safe, responsible, positive play, and to act out each player’s desires. After play, both parties feel fulfilled. Good SM play brings players closer together. It is done with the support and knowledge of friends and community.
- Abuse temporarily satisfies one person’s need to control or hurt. With no rules or agreed limit, abuse is an uncontrolled act, with out-of-control emotions. A victim of abuse has no rights within the relationship, has no control over when abuse ends, and feels used and hurt afterward. The abuser decides what will happen, and does not respond to the needs, desires or limits of the person they abuse. Abusers mistakenly assume their right to control another by virtue of gender, income, or other similar artificial scale. Done in isolation, a dirty secret, abuse divides relationships and fractures trust.
In the case of the slave I know, he experienced ALL of the points stated as Abuse above and it took some time for Me to convince him that it was not his fault and what he was enduring, had NOTHING to do with SM.