March/April 2003
Taking advantage of one's submission
by erotic emotion/dark whisper

(note: This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site’s management)

What is abuse? Is it limited to flying hands and bruised flesh? Hell, if that were the case, consensual interaction within the scope of BDSM would be considered abuse by any yard stick.

Is it abuse when one holds power over another? Again... that definition simply doesn't fit within the life that we CHOOSE to live. Those who seek Dominance and submission do everything they can to attain just such an imbalance of personal power.

What I’m talking about here, though, is when the very person that a submissive relies on as a source of security and strength (their Dominant)… lies or manipulates the very submission of another in an attempt to gain a sense of personal power.

When a dominant leads a submissive on, knowing full well that the submissive believes the interest of the dominant is honest and real, when the reality is something far less than believed, then that is a form of abuse. Mental and emotional abuse. When the Dominant is asking for more and more submission, yet is aware that they simply don't want to get "too involved" with the submissive -- that is also a form of mental and emotional abuse.

The question then becomes why is there this deliberate desire on the part of the Top/Dominant to direct the submissive to give everything they can possibly give -- believing that they are working toward a goal -- when there is no goal, only the fleeting pleasure of the Dominant?

This is going to require some deeper thinking by anyone who reads this, as the immediate thought pops into the mind of: “It’s the Dominant’s decision as to how to deal with their submissive.” And that, my dear friends… is claptrap. That is NOT honest, nor does it foster growth on the part of the submissive or for the Dominant, to be honest. It does just the opposite in fact.

When someone (no matter the orientation or even the lifestyle) finds that they have been used and lied to in this way, it has the tendency to affect the self esteem and personal strength of the person on a fundamental level. Questions arise about themselves, which isn’t where the questions belong. Yes, each person allows themselves to be led down a path that’s not positive or growth oriented, but here’s where the responsibility splits.

As submissives, we are taught that to really “submit” means that we accept the directions that the dominant takes us - kind of what submission means; doing what is directed despite personal desires and feelings of control.

Getting past those conditioned responses can be very, very difficult; particularly if there is not a solid system of support. Talking about how one needs to be “strong within” sounds pretty good, but doesn’t address just how to make that happen. (again, this isn’t the focus of THIS article, and could take hours to properly explain)

Getting to the point where a person feels cornered and reverts back to a childlike state in some aspects… doesn’t happen overnight - it is a steady progression that builds upon what is learned from previous interactions. And like the child whose hand has been burned from touching a hot surface, there is an impression of “hey, I’ve been burned before by trying to stand up for myself, I’m not going THERE again.”

And like that child, the submissive becomes so afraid to say or do much of anything “in case” the Dominant doesn’t like it, that more and more of the concept of submission through strength becomes difficult, if not impossible, to attain.

I find that I can’t see anything healthy in that type of relationship - at all.

Is it abusive of a Dominant to take advantage of an emotionally crippled submissive? I think it is.

But in this world of immediate gratification, the prospect of working with these emotional issues just takes too long for many “Dominants/Tops” to deal with. So the cycle continues with the submissive trying to “hide” their issues. This is another aspect that needs to be looked at from a much deeper than surface level.

Doing things right can result in some very powerful connections and emotions; if both really ARE looking out for the well being of the other. Isn’t that the point?