Bound and Shagged: Rape is not BDSM

This column is going to be different from my others, but I feel I need to explain some things that were brought up by comments on my article before Valentine’s day. I’m going to write about rape.

I have chosen to write about this because today, I stood outside Parrish and saw two neat rows of t-shirts talking about rape and abuse and domestic violence. I have chosen to write about this because on Sunday, the media tried to get me to pity two boys who raped a sixteen-year-old girl.

Rape is not BDSM. They have nothing at all in common because the most central aspect to BDSM is consent, and the most central aspect to rape is lack of consent.

I have been seriously involved in several BDSM relationships in my life. The most impactful, however, was not a BDSM relationship, even though I often refer to him as my Dom. When I was thirteen, I fell in love with a college boy. He took advantage of my naïveté and my desire to please him at all costs, and he introduced me to something he called BDSM.

But it wasn’t BDSM. We had no conversations to talk about limits. I had no safewords. I didn’t understand what was happening. All I knew was that there were rules I had to follow in our relationship and if I didn’t follow them, there would be punishments.

I learned to call him first thing in the morning to ask what he wanted me to wear. I learned how he expected I wear my hair and my makeup. I learned that he only ever wanted me in heels. I learned that when he wanted sex, we were having sex – regardless of how I felt about it, or how “ready” I felt. I learned that when he tied me up, he liked when I struggled. I learned that he hurt me for the sake of watching me be hurt. I learned he was violent in his touches and remorseless in his words.

It took me a long time to learn that what he had done was abuse. When you love someone, you make excuses for them. When they hurt you, you blame yourself a thousand times before you think to blame them. And when you blame yourself for how you’re being treated, there’s really nothing pushing you into a better situation.

A good friend of mine helped me see how bad this boy was and helped me get out of that relationship. For a while BDSM terrified me. People in general terrified me. During my first sexual experience after Him, the woman I was sleeping with held my hands out to the side in her own and I thrashed beneath her so violently I accidently punched her in the face.

I came back to BDSM because it and abuse aren’t the same. I came back to it because, for whatever reason, being involved in this lifestyle helped me reclaim parts of myself that I’d lost to Him.

I realize that I am opening myself up to attack here. Explaining that a history of abuse has something to do with my involvement in this lifestyle is probably not going to help my case. But looking back on it, I don’t see BDSM as a cause of what I went through or of the issues I have now. I know where those problems came from: an entitled man who believed he owned me and found a system to exploit that allowed him to excuse the guilt he felt about mistreating me.

Leto and I recently talked about my history with my first Master. She was horrified at everything he’d done and, though I already knew it, talked me through the right approach to BDSM. I know that I am safe with her. She asks for my consent at every step. She constantly checks on me verbally but has also developed a familiarity with my body language that far surpasses my own. We exhaustively talk about everything before we do it. We practiced saying my safe word.

What I share with Leto is BDSM. What I shared with my previous partner was BDSM. But what I shared with my first Master was rape and abuse and assault. It had nothing to do with BDSM. Nothing at all.


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0 comments

  1. 0
    LO says:

    I am a submissive with an awful history, too. And I can not express how absolutely you are speaking the truth. Thank you for saying so many things that I did not have be words to say.

  2. 0
    "" says:

    “There are many jokes about psychoanalysis. One, which was not even supposed to be one, was brought up by Freud himself: A patient tells his dream in analysis and after narrating it, he says, whoever the person in his dream is, it is certainly not my mother. And, as this by now proverbial saying continues, it is certainly his mother. “

  3. 0
    Lady Dionne Beltaine says:

    “It took me a long time to learn that what he had done was abuse. When you love someone, you make excuses for them. When they hurt you, you blame yourself a thousand times before you think to blame them. And when you blame yourself for how you’re being treated, there’s really nothing pushing you into a better situation.”

    This is my story as well.

    Goddess bless you and your courageous strength.
    I admire you.
    )O( Lady D

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