This post is #11 in my 30 Days of D/s series. If you’d like to read more, please visit my 30 Days of D/s page for the complete inventory of posts. 


Consent is the basis of any relationship, especially a D/s relationship. Without it, you don’t have D/s…you potentially have abuse.

When a submissive gives permission for her mind and body to be controlled (in whatever ways have been agreed upon) by a Dominant, she is handing over this control because she trusts that He will have her best interests in mind, pushing her mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, or in whatever other way she (and He) feel she needs to be pushed to improve herself and add to His happiness.

Of course, there are safe words, in case they are necessary, and there should always be communication to discuss any conflict or negative emotions (as I’ve already discussed).

But, is consent really necessary when you are already in a loving long-term relationship, like a marriage?

Yep.

If a person hasn’t given consent to be “owned” or “punished” or “challenged,” then their partner has no right to try and own, punish, or challenge them.

With consent, people have the right to do pretty much anything to each other…and it’s nobody else’s business. If I like my husband to spank me until I bleed every night, and I give him permission to do so, assuming that I am mentally competent. It’s our business. It’s also NOT abuse. Consent and mental competency take that word off the table.

There are people out there who feel that any time one person uses physical force against another, it is abuse, assault, or domestic violence. But BDSM (of which D/s is a subset) is different from abuse in some very clear ways.

1. BDSM and D/s are pre-planned and no one is acting out of anger or fear. Both parties have agreed prior to any action that they want to be involved.

2.The best interest of the person with “less power” in the dynamic is always kept at the forefront.

3. Both parties feel good when it is over, and there is emphasis put on “after care.”

4. Abuse occurs in out-of-control situations or is an outcome of fear, anger, or hatred.

5. One or both parties feel shame or anger after an act of abuse.

Abuse can happen within the BDSM culture, so it’s important for everyone to remember that the foundation of healthy BDSM and D/s is consent. If a submissive has not given consent, a Dominant must ask before doing something.

Implied consent or consensual non-consent could be a thing within a particular relationship. For example, I might not have explicitly consented to a particular action, but my husband might try it anyway. He’s not out to abuse me, but I might not like the action. At this point, I can use a safe word or ask for a conversation to deal with the action he’s assumed is acceptable. Also, I might like it when my husband “forces” me to do things. That might be the thing that gets me off. For example, I like when my husband puts a hand around my neck during sex, holding me down, cutting off my ability to even say no…or even breathe…for moments at a time. He knows I like this, as I’ve been clear in my interests. But there might be nights I’m not into it. These nights, I would need a safe word or a non-verbal cue to let him know to stop. Then, we’d need to be able to discuss why I don’t want it. Ultimately, I’ve given my consent for him to have full control, so if he chooses to continue, I have given prior consent for him to go right past what I want or don’t want. The prior consent overrides the moment’s displeasure, unless I use a safe word. And even then, I’m in a position to explain why, and he has the final say. Because I’ve given him consent to be in this position.

It might seem complicated to an outsider. But, this is what D/s is all about.

What keeps it from ever being abuse is that my husband does not have contempt for me and isn’t acting out of anger, desperation, loss of control, or insecurity. While the power dynamic does put me in a position of less control during a particular situation, it does not take away my equality in the relationship. Abusive relationships do take away power from one partner in order to build up the power of the other. In a D/s relationship, power is not taken…it is given. Once again, we’re back to consent.

So, consent is the foundational difference between abuse and BDSM.

(Disclaimer: The opinions in these articles are simply that…opinions. These are my personal feelings on issues of D/s. It is important to note that I am and always have been in a consensual relationship, and any activities I partake of, I have done so with full consciousness and willingness. Also, on the issue of pronoun usage, I use HE/she pronouns, with the Dominant being the He and the submissive being the she. This is for ease of writing and because it is what I identify with. Pronouns are interchangeable, so feel free to fill in with those that work best for your situation. Be nice in the comments. I’m not here to be berated or argue the issues, I’m just here to explore my own feelings and opinions and share them with those that may find benefit in doing so.)

 

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