Author Topic: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please  (Read 1402 times)

Offline Meryl Streep Fan Club

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BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« on: Mar 12, 2015, 08:51:01 AM »
I have a question and hope you might be able to help.

A friend of mine has a male partner who wants to engage in BDSM activity. She is reluctant and feels it is only because he has unresolved issued thought childhood. Her view is that BDSM is abuse and an excuse for him to play out his inner frustrations on her.

Hmm, we had a long chat. I explained that BDSM was not about abuse at all (though in this case it is complicated as he does have some unresolved issues). But I felt it difficult to really articulate why. Though I did say she needed to separate his desires from his childhood, etc.  We also discussed the possibility of him engaging in BDSM activity outside their relationship.  I explained the concept that BDSM did not have to be linked to sex, not sure she understood that one.

So, can anyone provide me with either a really good and basic source of information about this that will not freak her out, or, post some comments here that I can use to talk through with her.

Many thanks, MSFC. 
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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #1 on: Mar 12, 2015, 10:46:01 AM »
I'm sure someone far more knowledgeable will come along and offer up a much better analysis of kink but abuse is about a lack of freely given consent.

I appreciate that's a reductive generalisation btw.

So for instance, if your partner wants to control when you eat or sleep and you don't feel able to refuse because you're scared or think you deserve to be treated like that or you are fearful of the consequences, that's coercive control and abusive. If you consent because you get off on being submissive, there's been a discussion about what that will mean and look like and you have the power to stop that behaviour at any time then that's consent and not abusive.

I'm using a non physical example because i think a lot of people have a notion that both abuse and kink are about physical pain and they aren't, but the above theory is the same.

Offline pure evil

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #2 on: Mar 12, 2015, 10:46:32 AM »
Hi MSFC, it seems there are a lot of layers to this so I'm going to go section by section.

'A friend of mine has a male partner who wants to engage in BDSM activity. She is reluctant ....'
First things first: If she doesn't want to do it, well END OF STORY.

If alternately this means 'she is interested but reluctant (because of the other issues) then maybe there's something to work with, but 'Her view is that BDSM is abuse and an excuse for him to play out his inner frustrations on her.' Would say pretty loud and clear to me that SHE'S NOT INTO IT.

I'll give my two pence worth on why BDSM isn't abuse in a sec as I feel this is a bit of a secondary issue because IF in their relationship BDSM WAS a way for him to play his frustrations out on her via what ever activity then it would be abuse.

The other point seems to be how are they dealing with these 'unresolved issues' that seem to be such a cause of concern to your friend?

In my experience taking up BDSM, or adding poly partners, doesn't resolve existing issues in a relationship.
I have NFI idea what 'his issues' are (I'm not asking you to tell me) but how do they deal with this stuff in their relationship generally?

On the BDSM is not abuse topic, very simply I would say: people have all manner of kinks, the line between 'vanilla' and kink is not that clearly defined, as long as FULL CONSENT is present from all involved then it can be path to intimacy, fun, sexual enjoyment.

'So, can anyone provide me with either a really good and basic source of information':
If she is up for buying books then I recommend Dossie Easton, the language is a bit California speak at times but accordingly her approach is about as fluffy and unscary as it gets. I notice there is a publication on her site 'When some one you love is kinky'. http://www.dossieeaston.com/books.html

xx


Offline fetishkitty

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #3 on: Mar 12, 2015, 10:50:22 AM »
There is a whole load of stuff here around consent and autonomy:
1. If she doesn't want to engage in BDSM activities with him, she shouldn't and nobody should try and convince her to. She has not consented and has made clear her lack of consent. BDSM is based on a foundation of consent...without it, it's abuse.
2. His reasons for wanting to engage in BDSM activities are nobody's business but his. He has autonomy over his own body and his own sexuality. As long as he is engaging in consensual activities then the reasons behind it are irrelevant.
3. BDSM is usually linked to sex, or at least to eroticism. There may not be sex involved, or there might be. It depends on the people involved and what they consent to. If your friends are monogamous then saying 'BDSM isn't sex' would seem to be trying to sugar coat something in order to make someone consent to something they don't really want to do (in this case, open up their relationship).

Honestly? I think your friends need to think long and hard about whether they are compatible enough to continue their relationship, rather than trying to limit each other's autonomy and chip away at their consent.

kitty

Offline Grey

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #4 on: Mar 12, 2015, 05:09:53 PM »
red flag!
her first reaction is his unresolved anger issues

Offline pure evil

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #5 on: Mar 12, 2015, 05:22:58 PM »
red flag!
her first reaction is his unresolved anger issues

Grey to be fair the OP doesn't actually mention anger, 'inner frustrations' could mean a great many things.

Offline Amphelise

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #6 on: Mar 12, 2015, 07:39:27 PM »
A question I'd ask to clarify matters:

Is it "I don't want to because I'm concerned about how his past is involved with this" or is it "I don't want to and I'm concerned about how his past is involved with this"?

If it's the former - the thought turns her on but she's worried about his motivations - perhaps suggest BDSM-positive relationship counselling so that she can be certain that he's got what he's doing clear in his mind.

If it's the latter, it's a non-starter and she should just say no.
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Offline horse

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #7 on: Mar 12, 2015, 07:51:25 PM »
I think your friends need to think long and hard about whether they are compatible enough to continue their relationship, rather than trying to limit each other's autonomy and chip away at their consent.

This I guess.

I don't see why he would even be interested in such a thing if she is not going to respond in a compatible way, and in that it fulfils something in her too.
He might as well dominate a loaf of bread ???

If she isn't interested in playing along just for the experience (and is getting off on pleasing him), then that's a non starter.

Offline MzB

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #8 on: Mar 12, 2015, 10:39:18 PM »
Does MSFC's post say that she would be the sub/bottom? I'm not sure it's clear.

And what difference would it make?

Offline Meryl Streep Fan Club

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #9 on: Mar 13, 2015, 10:26:17 AM »
Dear all, many thanks for the replies. Good source of conversation for us to discuss next time I see her.  And I will send her the book link.

To confirm, he is not trying to coerce her and anything would consensual. They are going through some issues which they are working on and this has come up as being something he is interested in. Whether or not it is a deal breaker is only for them to decide.

She knows little on this topic and has always thought that BDSM = abuse. So, part of this is just helping her to understand that is not necessarily the case, but could be if it is non-consensual.



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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #10 on: Mar 13, 2015, 11:00:07 AM »
Quite, or lines are crossed I would imagine, good luck anyway M.S. F.C. it's good of you to do that for your friend. :)

Offline Meryl Streep Fan Club

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Re: BDSM and abuse in relationships - Advice please
« Reply #11 on: Mar 14, 2015, 04:45:42 PM »
:-*

I walk a long mile for my friends.  8)
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