Recognition of abuse in BDSM relationships is essential to have healthy relationships that are safe and bring pleasure, satisfaction and fulfillment.
There is an abundance of articles, online tutorials as well as courses detailing the dividing line between BDSM and abuse. Such materials explain the difference between safe BDSM and unhealthy dynamics that can lead to psychological and physical suffering.
Unfortunately, learning and experimenting to prevent bruises and injuries that might occur during BDSM sessions are most often simpler than protecting against emotional abuse.
Learning, communicating and establishing a constant power dynamic are very important.
There is no need to be scared of BDSM; knowing your limits, soft and hard, as well as what are the emotional risks, are guarantees that BDSM play will take place safely at all times.
For many, BDSM play – especially the dynamic that involves domination and submission – can act as a manifestation of an erotic fantasy or an intense desire from within.
If fantasy becomes reality, it may be harder to distinguish when the BDSM ends and the abuse begins. For example, a Dominator can hold his submissive to an unrealistic level of absolute obedience, forgetting, in his enthusiasm, that he interacts with a real person and not with an idealized character!
Abuse in BDSM can work in both directions. A submissive may be coerced, or self-convincing, that he or she must be totally obedient, so he or she should act in accordance with any command of his Dominator, even if therefore, will suffer physical and/or emotional discomfort.
True, there are some kinksters who seek to push their limits. Recognition of abuse in BDSM is paramount to the emotional and physical well-being of all participants in BDSM relationships and sessions.
It is vital that you get to know each other very well, be aware and well communicate your limits, that each participant in a BDSM play session is constantly supervised to see how he or she feels, to avoid the play scene going too far.
How a person chooses to stay grounded is a personal choice, but a good idea is for the Dominator and their submissive, to take regular breaks on the transfer of power and control, and to communicate from positions of total equality. This will afterwards ensure a safe BDSM play and create the adequate framework to discuss what works and what doesn't, in the power exchange relationship, to find harmonization solutions.
Another recommendation would be to call on a good vanilla friend from outside the community, with whom you can speak freely. This will keep your overall view about your relationship under control.
And more, it would be better to find a therapist with knowledge on how BDSM relationships work with power dynamics and the emotional risks involved when BDSM turns into abuse, and ask for specialized support.