Adult Sex Ed

Knowing the Difference Between BDSM & Abuse

I’m not the first and I certainly won’t be the last person to write about the differences between BDSM and abuse as I have for Little Shop of O’s. I’m also grateful that the owner of Little Shop of O’s was very enthusiastic about running this story when I proposed it and after I submitted the story to her.

Years ago, I had actively sought out single Doms for relationships. I had a few good experiences that didn’t pan out for personal or compatibility reasons. I immediately weeded out a ton of dickheads and clueless wannabes before there was ever a hope of exchanging phone calls or meeting in person. I also chatted or met with about a half-dozen men who scared me so badly that I ended and blocked contact with them every way I knew. They just wanted to verbally and/or physically abuse women.

I don’t mean to sound melodramatic about the the men I blocked. If I had the information and contacts that I have now about what is truly, safe, sane and consensual (SSC), I would have never let things get as far as they went. There’s a lot more good credible information available about BDSM now than when I was looking for the Dom of my dreams years ago, but I still see bad information floating around. The worst offenders are usually sub-to-sub online discussion forums where the most influential posters have no idea or refuse to believe that they’re being abused. They talk about large, deep patches of bruises and welts like badges of honor. They insist that they’ll do anything their Doms tell them to without question in order to make them happy. And I don’t think I have to explain how lots of people pick up “everything they know” about BDSM from conversations, the media, erotica and porn whether they interpret it positively or negatively.

Please, share my story about BDSM vs. Abuse in Little Shop of O’s and others like it with anyone you know of who might be in an abusive BDSM relationship, is pursuing BDSM relationships with questionable intentions, or a member of the media who’s just getting it wrong in writing about the BDSM/abuse scandal of the week.