July/August 2003
Coerced Consensuality

by dark whisper

The other day, a submissive posted a question in a forum, and it started me thinking about the issue of coerced consensuality - an awareness that the submissive is doing something she/he really doesn’t want to do, struggles with, cannot do for whatever reason, but is being “ordered” or coerced into something that truly isn’t consensual.

It’s very similar to a mugging victim finding themselves at the business end of a knife or at gunpoint and being told: “Your money or your life.” Either alternative is not exactly sought, but while the exchange of money becomes consensual - the victim willingly handing over their money - it’s definitely not something done out of joy, pleasure, or choice.

Now to bring that into the world of BDSM and power exchange, let’s take a look at a few examples, hmm?

      • “You will accept two other slaves/subs into our relationship, or it is over.”
      • “You either find a way to get here to see me in the next month (or week, or day) or two, or I will need to reevaluate whether or not this relationship will continue.”
      • “It’s time to sign the slave contract I’ve written up, or I will release you because it’s obvious you’re not serious about this.”
      • “Well, it’s apparent that your claims of trust in me are all false, maybe you should take another look at this relationship.”

See the trend here? In all these scenarios, there is an ultimatum. Either you do what the dominant wants you to regardless of your thoughts, feelings, and abilities - or something truly horrible happens. Erm… is THAT how BDSM operates? Is that how trust and growth flourishes between two who have decided to grow together and walk along on a safe path?

I’ve got to tell you, folks… it’s completely opposite of my own feelings of how this lifestyle works. Submission cannot be taken or forced. And any dominant worth his/her salt would never use manipulation to take control over a submissive. That’s just plain… sneaky and underhanded, and I would take a WIDE detour around such a “Dominant”.

Submission needs to be earned and cherished by the dominant just as their dominance is earned and cherished by the submissive. That is exchange… that is equal. Now, is there equality in a BDSM relationship? Real equality? Hmm… that’s a very tough question. There is not necessarily a balance of power, but there is, and should be, an equal exchange of what the dominant receives and gives… and what the submissive does.

That can’t happen if the submissive feels a figurative knife to the throat. What that breeds is not respect and growth, but resentment and fear. Neither of the last two follow the credo of the BDSM lifestyle, nor offer anything positive no matter the lifechoice.

Take my body, my soul, my mind and my heart; but ONLY after I willingly offer it with joy and trust. Dominance simply is, and doesn’t need to be forced onto someone. The submissive/slave will feel it, understand it, and with love and devotion - embrace it… trust me. Let me feed the submissive inside… let me understand and embrace her… and you will be my god.

Dark Whisper of Sound