Is there anything good about BDSM?: Arguments that cannot be used to call BDSM morally acceptable

May 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm 9 comments

I have previously argued that BDSM, whatever the participants want to say of it, is morally reprehensible. Here I will argue how my opposition could – and could not – defend their view if they disagree.

Arguments that cannot be used to call BDSM morally acceptable

1) “It is consensual”:

Consent is not enough to make something right. Many employees, for example, choose to keep their jobs even though the boss is a bully, thereby consenting to be treated the way the boss treats them. Treating your workers badly is still not morally right. (And many child molesters get the child to “consent”- but the consent do not count as the child is too young.)

However, I agree that doing something to another without consent would normally be immoral. Consent is probably part of the utter minimum of decent behavior under most circumstances. If BDSM is consensual it avoids one type of very immoral behavior, but so does “we don’t rob money during scenes.” But even with such a small yardstick, BDSM is ambigious. BDSM acts may exploit and worsen the kind of personality flaw that makes someone consent to things that is not good for him or her.

2) “But my relationship is good in other ways”:

This blog post is not about your relationship. It is about BDSM. For example, one sub could say:

He is very concerned when I have a backache … he likes to cane me during scenes.”

Concern during backaches is not BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Domination/ Submission, or Sadism/ Masochism). Caning during scenes, however, is one of the many things that counts as a BDSM practice.

If there are BDSM aspects to your relationship that are morally positive, you are welcome to describe those, so I can add to my understanding. But mentioning the non-BDSM aspects of your relationship to defend BDSM is like saying “He is opposed to stealing TVs and hi-fis” to defend someone who steals computers. What is more, I have never spoken to a BDSM participant who – if (s)he gives any evidence to study the truth of his claims by – actually speak the truth about their relationships. They will say things like “we have a mutually respectful relationship” – and when I go to their blogs, one of the most recent entries has him calling her a [crude word, semen receptacle], and her crying bitterly because she wants to be loved, not a mere [semen receptacle] – and she really believes this is his actual view of her, that she is nothing more to him. If your partner sees you as an object, you are not in a mutually respectful relationship. Or they will testify things like: “he will never hurt a fly” with the next sentence “he likes to induce pain on me, but I like it” and somewhat further in the conversation “I get punishment beatings which I do not like, and they hurt more than what I like.” If he induces pain, he hurts you. If there are pain in your relationship that you do not like, it is not wholly true that you like the pain he brings into your relationship.

3) “What you described is abuse, not BDSM:”
Here is a definition of domestic abuse:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional. Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour. Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

BDSM often include “physical and other forms of violence”. (Participants in this sexual kink may not like the word violence, but per definition it fits.) It is no surprise that it does, because sadism is part of the name of BDSM, and thus a component that may or may not be part of such a relationship/ scene. It includes many types of “acts to make a partner subordinate”, it often includes bondage which obviously “deprive”, for the time of bondage, “of the means for independence, resistance and escape”. Dominance often amounts to “regulating the sub’s everyday behaviour”. Much of BDSM include acts to “punish”, and many subs describe feeling fear (being “frightened”) during scenes.

Some warning signs of abusers include: Controlling behaviour, “playful” use of force in sex, verbal abuse; rigid sex roles (man above, woman lower); a sense of entitlement (many doms say they “deserve” the treatment the sub gives them); and hierarchical self-esteem (needing to be “better” than another to feel good about himself). Most of these warning signs of potential abuse are present in what I hear of almost every BDSM relationship.

As such, BDSM and domestic abuse are not mutually exclusive. Also note that the idea of consent and non-consent is not part of the criteria for determining if something is domestic abuse. As such, consent in BDSM does not exclude the relationship from being abusive.
I can imagine a relationship with no bondage ( no “depriving of the means needed for resistance and escape”); with discipline or punishments that cannot be called “violent” at all and does not amount to “control” by the dom because the sub has to ask to get it; no dominance that controls the behavior of a partner – but the partner in “submission”  by wanting to generally please and be loyal without there being control; no sadism (violence) or masochism (taking of violence to fulfill needs). But will such a relationship, deprived of anything that counts as domestic abuse, still be a BDSM relationship?

4) Sub: “But I do not see it as abuse”:

Many abuse victims do not know they are being abused. Their communities or the abusers tell them that it is not abuse, that they should be thankful for what they have, etc. To quote one abused woman:

Sometimes it takes time away from “normal” to see that it is indeed not normal after all. After 3 months of separation from my husband, I have new insight as to what normal is. When you are in a mentally or emotionally abusive marriage, sometimes you don’t know that your normal is not normal after all.

5) “But I (the sub) like it/ crave it”/ bottom partners like it:

1) Desiring something does not make it good. For example, selling heroin is not morally good, even though addicts crave it. It is not morally good, because it destroys the one who gives in to the craving.
2) It is often not true that the sub enjoys BDSM – for example, a punishment to discipline the sub will pain-and-humiliationbe a punishment precisely because (s)he does not enjoy it. Many subs speak of experiencing negative emotions like fear during scenes, and actually like the feeling of relief from getting out of these negative situations afterwards.
Sometimes subs are truly unhappy in BDSM.

See, for example, the photo on the left: BDSM people tend to say that nothing is wrong with this picture, if she consented. They are perfectly fine with scenarios where the bottom partner is deeply and visibly unhappy and crying, as long as, for some reason, the unhappy partner is not drawing a line and saying “no” to the unhappiness. If it is evidently true that some BDSM behaviour is rightly experienced very negatively, I cannot see how it could be morally justified without any cognitive dissonance.

3) Subs often “want” the opposite of what they want: They actually want kindness, tenderness and reassuring words of encouragement and praise like everyone else, but they feel they will be in a better position to enjoy having these needs met if they start with rough treatment and negative messages. The rough treatment – degradation, insults, etc., is what they “want” but the opposite of what they really want. A man who gives them the bad treatment could certainly make them unhappier. They take that risk, in the hope that a scene, where they live themselves into the bad, will end with the good. When the dom is not good at providing the good part, he can say he did only things the sub “allowed” and even “craved.” But he did not give her what she really enjoys, and he probably did harm her psychologically.
One dom testify that every sub he ever met was conflicted over her wants, with a part of her that finds her BDSM desires deviant. Which make sense, really: Obviously in any sane person, there will be a part that dislike these things. Between those two conflicting and opposite desires of the sub, the dom chooses to encourage, and act according to, the deviant one. I suggest that this says a lot about the character of the dominant partner.

6) “I don’t feel like this is something bad”:

I will quote CS. Lewis on this:

When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both bad and evil: bad people do not know about either.

Perhaps you do not regard these things as morally bad, because your soul has become used to the badness in BDSM. If you disagree and want me to also change my opinion, please show me what positive moral values are encouraged by BDSM.

7) But this is safe and sane!:

Safe is free from the possibility of getting harmed or hurt. If you want me to believe that BDSM is safe, you have to convince me that bondage, discipline, domination/ submission, and sadism/ masochism does no damage or pain of any kind to the self image, the body, the interpersonal relationships, the mind, or the acknowledgement of real moral values, of the submissive, or the dominant, or the reader of BDSM blogs and websites.
If you want to tell me it is sane, you have to convince me that there is nothing insane about wanting bondage instead of freedom, domination instead of you and others each getting their will, or pain (I don’t just mean physical pain, but also the mental pain of being degraded and treated as less than) -in yourself or your partner – instead wanting a healthy, non-hurting, autonomous body. mind and heart.
And sane things could still be unethical. I can think of several reasons why a sane man would want to rob a bank, but that does not make bank robbery morally right.
8) “All communities has abusers”

True, but the BDSM community is the only one …:

a) with “sadism” in the acronym;

b) where you know from the fact that someone is a member he approves of “playful” use of force in sex (using force “playfully” in sex is one of the qualities by which abusers are recognised);

c) which brings together as a feature and not a bug a) very submissive people – people who would struggle to refuse mistreatment (for example those who allow unjust punishments they dislike) – with b) people who like to treat others as slaves and objects.

9) “It is relaxing to sometimes leave decision-making to your partner”

That is indeed true. But you could also leave decision-making to someone who would never dream of tying up, hitting or objectifying, in which case it would not be BDSM.

10) “You don’t understand BDSM”

I grant that this may be true to some degree. But to make a case for the moral rightness of BDSM, you have to explain how it is morally good. Telling me I don’t understand is not needed if you explain it, and useless if you do not.

————–

So please: If you think you have evidence to suggest BDSM is morally better that I give credit for on this blog, please give it. Bring up some actual moral standard, for example kindness or justice, and explain how BDSM, or some aspect of it, is kind or just or whatever moral standard you admitted.

PS: Once again, please do not link to BDSM material in your comments, or to your BDSM blog from your name. The only comments I left unpublished so far on any thread on this topic, are when commenters filled in the comment form with name, e-mail and optional URL by including a BDSM-related URL.

Entry filed under: Man/ woman, values. Tags: , , , .

Vox Day is wrong about woman, part 5: How women rate themselves BDSM: If you see nothing ugly, let us agree to disagree

9 Comments

  • 1. AWellLovedSubmissive  |  May 19, 2013 at 6:07 am

    AWellLovedSubmissive: I read your comments about BDSM on the why consent isn’t enough post, and was typing out a lengthy reply. When I got to the part that suggested I come here and read this one first, I changed my mind.
    It is obvious to me now that you have an issue with the lifestyle that I and many others choose to live in. I will not get in an argument with you and allow you to judge my lifestyle. I see now that your blog title is misleading, you aren’t trying to understand, there is no understanding in calling the lifestyle of others immoral.

    Retha: Yes, I find something wrong with the lifestyle. And yes, I do because I try to understand things – including goodness and badness, and choosing the one over the other. You may say there is no understanding in calling a lifestyle immoral, but I see how I can call, say, drug pushing immoral – and still not hate the addict or even the pusher but want the best for both. These blog articles are not about judging you, but about believing you are not getting – by far – the best you can possibly get.
    AWellLovedSubmissive:Morality is subjective. I find it morally reprehensible for one person to judge another’s chosen lifestyle. You don’t have to partake, you don’t have to watch, so what makes you think you can judge?
    Retha: If you think morality is subjective, me and you got no point of discussion. If morality was subjective, nobody could say anything bad about murder or child molesting or embezzlement of funds. We don’t have to partake or watch other forms of domestic violence between intimate partners either, does that mean we can judge nobody who hits, kicks, strangles and verbally abuses his wife?
    My readers, I think this is evidence how the attempt to find consensual BDSM acceptable, at least sometimes – depending on how you defend that behavior – lead to not being able to care about other important matters. If the above paragraph is really what AWellLovedSubmissive thinks, she cannot stand up against any wrong for the sake of anyone, unless she is forced to partake or watch. Good people do not turn a blind eye to pain or injustice.

    AWellLovedSubmissive: Matthew 7:1-5

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

    Retha: Several other texts show you take it out of context, for example: Joh 7:24 Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Any way, if I ever cause someone pain, discomfort and humiliation on purpose, and even justify it, or ask for these things, I would hope God and other people show me the way out of such negative behaviour patterns. I do not fear being judged be that measure.

  • 2. Retha  |  May 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    By the way, if you think I have never been influenced by dom/sub relationships (“You don’t have to partake, you don’t have to watch”), think again.

  • 3. rubyrubble  |  May 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Rubyrubble: Problem number #1 The Difference between abuse and BDSM

    So what I will comment with here is a sum up of Clarisse Thorn’s article on the difference between BDSM and abuse.

    So I do need to post a link here but it’s not to a BDSM website it’s to a domestic violence model that is often used by people working with victims of abuse.

    http://www.theduluthmodel.org/pdf/PowerandControl.pdf

    So you can see from that wheel that abuse is multifaceted and on the surface it may appear to coincide with BDSM tropes. However there is a difference between BDSM and abuse. The same people that made the above wheel made this one:

    http://www.theduluthmodel.org/pdf/Equality.pdf

    You will find that in BDSM relationships the elements of the second wheel are actually present. They may not be obvious at a quick glance or from reading probably fictional accounts of BDSM on the web. They are there because boundaries and expectations are negotiated beforehand. Ways to discuss negative feelings and problems in the relationship should be (and usually are) built into the structure and dynamics of a BDSM relationship so that the potential for abusive behaviour is mitigated. In an actual abusive relationship the second wheel isn’t there at all.

    Retha: You are committing the logical fallacy of talking about 1 thing (the equality wheel) and thinking you talk of another (what abuse is.) The definition of abuse does not change because of the presence of the second wheel.
    You say: “Ways to discuss negative feelings and problems in the relationship should be (and usually are) built into the structure and dynamics of a BDSM relationship so that the potential for abusive behaviour is mitigated”
    Beating is abuse. Controlling is abuse. Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior (“she wanted it”) is abuse. Humiliation is abuse. Putting her down verbally is abuse. Making her afraid in scenes is abuse. Treating her like a lesser is abuse. Saying abuse did not happen in the relationship is abuse! The potential for abuse cannot be mitigated by “discussing feelings and problems”, when the activities themselves are defined as abuse whether consensual or not.
    Also, you use equality to defend power exchange relationships? The nature of power exchange is that one person feels powerless, compared to the other. Did you know a circus elephant can be kept in place with a thin string? You do it by tying him with it to a post as a baby, when he really cannot break it. When you then tie the adult elephant to a post with it, he don’t believe he can escape, so he does not try.
    To say the lower one in a power exchange relationship can merely choose to regain power is like saying the elephant can simply choose to escape. He don’t know he has it in him. The “structure and dynamics of a BDSM relationship” with power exchange is that one partner feel less power to protest negative things, and in fact allow negative things like discomfort, submitting to orders that cramp her (his) activities, humiliation, punishments when they objectively did no wrong, etc.

    Rubyrubble: Perhaps you ought to stop reading about BDSM on the web and actually engage in the real life community. Get some perspective.
    End Clarisse Thorn

    Retha: I should engage in the real life community, how? As a top or as a bottom? And I do not believe it will “give me perspective.” I believe that I, an outsider, can study what BDSM’ers tell me objectively, while participants are by nature subjective – and often say things that reek of cognitive dissonance. BTW, I had some very negative experiences in real life with people who are voluntarily dominant/ submissive in their relationships, although I obviously could not ask them about their bedroom activities. A true story like this one is 100% in accordance with my experiences: http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/less-important-than-a-pair-of-socks/

    Rubyrubble: Problem #2

    You’re conflating submissives with masochists. A masochist is not necessarily submissive. A submissive is not necessarily masochistic. Some submissives are also masochistic. Some masochists also submit. Some masochists are bottoms rather than submissives. Some masochists are tops. Some submissives are sadists. Some submissives also top.

    If you can’t understand the nuance in the terminology how are you able to understand the nuance of a relationship that relies on that terminology?

    Retha: The mere fact that subs may not be masochistic, or other combinations, does not invalidate any point in this article. I never said anything about how many subs are masochistic, or even used the word masochistic in this article. I only mentioned some things that may be said by those who submit, was said by those who described themselves to me as submissive, or (in 5.3) was said by a dom on a BDSM forum when speaking of subs. You are simply wrong here, I did not conflate them.

    Rubyrubble: Problem #3
    Academic journals refute your claims.

    Please read: “Differences and Similarities Between Gay and Straight Individuals Involved in the Sadomasochistic Subculture” published in the Journal of Homosexuality by Niklas Nordling MPsycha, N. Kenneth Sandnabba PhDa, Pekka Santtila PhDa & Laurence Alison PhDb pages 41-57

    Also for your edification: “Demographic and Psychosocial Features of Participants in Bondage and Discipline, “Sadomasochism” or Dominance and Submission (BDSM): Data from a National Survey” published in the Journal of Sexual Medicene by Juliet Richters, Richard O. De Visser, Chris E. Rissel, Andrew E. Grulich, Anthony M.A. Smith

    Now I can find more scholarly articles than these but I’m sure you can actually research at a university level yourself.

    Retha: You tell me that I am wrong and should go look up some scholarly work. That, in blog commenting, is often a strategy to pretend you know better than the blogger, while actually giving no evidence. You never said which particular claim is refuted, or quoted your source on that point. I will read the material you recommend and perhaps get back to you, but my preliminary reaction is to see this as a red herring tactic. Especially since the name of the topic (differences between gay and straight BDSM) is not even something I speak of.

    Rubyrubble: Problem #4
    Defining relationships and forms of expressing those relationships as immoral or moral doesn’t work. If you’ve studied philosophy at all you’ll have noticed that most of the great philosophers actually hold different ideas on morality and what it means to be moral. Morality is not set in stone, it has fluctuated wildly throughout time and culture. Try reading any basic philosophy book to improve your understanding.

    Retha: You say that defining relationships in terms of moral of immoral does not work, because not everyone agree on morality. If that was true, you would have had no leg to stand on to help anyone in any relationship, ever. A rapist father or a wife who slowly poisons her husband? Nothing immoral about that, if there is no standards of morality in relationships. I’d say there is some things which most decent people would agree is immoral (for example, hurting people on purpose), and anyone who sees no relationship as immoral has almost nothing to add to my understanding on a topic like this.
    In fact, if your opinion on expressing things as moral or immoral proves anything, it is how you, who defend BDSM, does not share the moral values of most people.

    • 4. Retha  |  May 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Also: I notice both studies you recommend depends on self-reporting. The BDSM community is still working for acceptance and may therefore be careful what they self-report. Self-reporting often leads to skewed statistics.

  • 5. Retha  |  May 22, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Perhaps I one bit of common ground between me and BDSM fans could be mentioned again:
    When A decides to tie up B, beat and insult B and have intercourse with B despite B saying no; and C and D decide together to tie up D, beat and insult D and have intercourse; then A indeed did more evil than C.
    But, here is the part on which BDSM fans have yet to convince me otherwise: C have still IMO done something that is not good. And while B did nothing wrong, D encouraged something that is not good. While the former situation has one very evil character, the latter has 2 people doing things which are not morally good by even an 8-year old’s system of morality (“hurting others is wrong”).

  • 6. rubyrubble  |  May 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

    rubyrubble:Retha I assume you’re not an 8 year old therefore you shouldn’t have the morality of someone who is for all intents and purposes immature and therefore incapable of higher rational thought.
    Retha:An 8-year old’s morality, like his mathematics, is imperfect because it is too basic. He can later learn algebra because the principles of addition and subtraction stays the same. And he can refine his morality (from “hitting people is wrong”, to “hitting or insulting people is wrong”, to “I can hit to defend someone from a bully, but that is to prevent more hurting” and “doctors could cause pain during operations that save lives.” The same way that what I learned about addition at age 6 is still relevant, what we knew of morality at 8 is a start.

    rubyrubble:My point about morality is that it actually does rely on the system that you have in place. A Kantian and a Aristotelian may both agree that the same thing is morally wrong but they’ll disagree on the reasoning. You actually don’t outline a philosophical argument on why you believe this is morally wrong (simply saying they ‘hurt’ people doesn’t cut it, why is hurting people in the context of consent and love wrong?). Without reasoning you’re making assumptions and assumptions fall down flat. Cite the philosophers and their works that inform you this is wrong.
    Retha: You are suggesting that people who cannot read Kant or Aristotle do not have valid moral instincts. I strongly disagree: Even an uneducated ditch digger can know right from wrong. And while you can see nothing wrong to a “Joe hits and insults Sue, Sue allows it and asks for more and call it love” scenario, I see how it relates to unhealthy relationship dynamics. (Co-dependency, Stockholm syndrome, narcissistic personality disorder, battered wife syndrome, etc.)

    rubyrubble: Well all of your claims are actually refuted. The claim that BDSM is abuse no matter the context is refuted. The Australian study actually samples a broad sample of the wider community, it acknowledges that the people that are in the article don’t necessarily call what they do BDSM or are involved in the BDSM community.
    Retha: Claiming you refuted something does not make it so. The article you speak of is, by the blurb available online for free, not only based on self-reporting, but on self-reporting by people who do not call what they do BDSM. To be honest, I cannot find the whole article for free from a simple online search. And the reason I won’t pay to read the rest is because I don’t see how an article with self-reporting by those who do not call what they do BDSM, which you never even said which point it addresses, could help.

    rubyrubble: Reading your responses though, and reading the responses on other parts of your blog I’m concluding that you actually don’t want to understand (as you claim you do) all you want to do is enforce your paradigm on someone else.
    Retha: The reason why I interrogate those who say they do BDSM, is because if there is goodness in their actions, I absolutely want to see it. What makes an action of, say, insisting your partner kneels before you and call you by an exalted title morally good, instead of unhealthy relationship dynamics?

    rubyrubble: Quite frankly trying to talk with you is like trying to explain colour to the (wilfully) blind.
    Retha: That is how I feel trying to talk to BDSM people. They simply insist that what they do is healthy, regardless of how many similarities I can see to things like co-dependency, Stockholm syndrome, narcissistic personality disorder or battered wife syndrome. And they are simply blind to the unhealthiness of hitting or getting hit, insulting or getting insulted, etc.

  • 7. Retha  |  June 9, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Phoenixasubbie, your comment (your name) linked to your BDSM blog from your name, as I asked not to do. That is why it was left unpublished.
    But I will quote from it:

    My Daddy, My Dom, is nothing but good to me and for me. Period. End of story. Anything else we do is semantics.

    On your blog, I scrolled down for the first interaction between you and your master that I could find. It was him punishing you for not calling him “Daddy Sir.”
    If you call everything he does “good to you and for you”, then insisting to be called by an exalted title (while you are not called by any exalted title) is good for you and to you, and being punished for not calling him one-sidedly by an exalted title is good for/to you.
    When I read of what he did, I associate it with someone egotistically throwing his weight around, and you allowing him to feed his ego. You see what he did as good, I see it as unhealthy relationship dynamics.
    Now, if I see unhealthy dynamics in this and you see only goodness, one of us miss something about it. If you can show something redeeming in this behavior, something that puts you calling him by a title more respectful than he uses for you, and him punishing you for forgetting, in a light that makes this healthy, then I will admit I misunderstood. So, explain a context by which this is doing you good, and doing the real him (not a selfish ego, but his character) good.
    You see, the point of an open mind, like an open mouth, is to close it on something solid. Right now, the negative aspect (egotism) looks more solid to me, based on my own experience of when people feel that strongly about titles, than anything good. But show to me how this is good, and goodness will feel more solid.
    That is generally the problem with BDSM people commenting on my blog: They insist it is good while not tying their behavior to anything that an objective person can see as good/ healthy. I judge (not judge as in want to condemn, but judge as in see what kind of people they are) people by their actions. Can you explain his goodness, using this action as an example?
    (I keep on asking these questions, even though nobody ever answers with a mention of any good aspect. Because I would love to feel calmer about the seeming negativity some people allow in their lives.)

  • […] to tell me it is safe and sane and consensual and your relationship is good in other ways, please first read this link, comment only if you have any argument that is not in the link, and please do not link to any BDSM […]

  • 9. Kat  |  February 27, 2014 at 12:02 am

    I would just like to say that an abusive relationship and an S&M relationship are much different. If I saw one or the other for long enough, I’d be able to tell.
    (Retha: If you need to look “for long enough” it imply they are much the same at first glance.)
    Here’s why: The abuser in an abusive relationship is motivated by selfishness, anger, and the desire to control his victim.
    (Retha: You are trying to redefine abuse. See argument 3 in blog post: “What you described is abuse, not BDSM”. Also, look in my other inserts in this comment for comments on selfishness, anger and the desire to control.)
    The victim stays with her abuser because the abuse might seem normal, she feels that she needs him, or she thinks things will get better.
    (Retha: BDSM people also feel their relationships are normal, feel they need their partners, and many of them like scenes which feel negative, but thinks she will feel better afterwards – feeling fear and release for example.)
    In an S&M relationship, the sadist (don’t mistake this term for the psychological disorder of a psychopathic sadist) is motivated by a desire to please their partner.
    (Retha: So, a BDSM sadist have utterly no sadistic desires or fantasies except when in a relationship with a masochist, as pleasing a partner is their sole motivation? Sorry, I don’t believe you. This relates to your comment “ The abuser in an abusive relationship is motivated by selfishness” Also see argument 5, sub-points 2 and 3 for how evidence shows that BDSM sadists actually continue when their partners dislike something.)
    If I saw a sadist who was hurting their submissive out of real anger, I would get worried and I’d call someone. You just don’t take out anger in scenes.
    (Retha: A sadist who hurt others even when not angry is even worse, IMO. This relates to your comment: “The abuser in an abusive relationship is motivated by … anger.”)
    That’s being a bad dominant, and it shows that you’re dangerous and untrustworthy. Sadists in a BDSM relationship care about what happens to their partner. Where the masochist draws the line, they stop. They will ask their subs often if they are ok. In an abusive relationship, the abuser won’t stop when the victim asks them to.
    (Retha: See argument 1 in blog post: “It is consensual.” And you are still redefining abuse.)
    There is no escape for the victim, and they have no control. In BDSM, it is the submissive who has the control.
    (Retha: Yeah, right. The person who is tied up/ called a slave/ getting punishments ze dislikes for trivial “transgressions”/ ordered around and pushed around is the one who controls it all. Get a dictionary. Look up the word “control”. Tell me if tieing up a partner/ calling zir a slave that exist to please you, punishing zir for trivial things/ ordering zir around/ pushing zir around, or anything else in BDSM, is related to control, by the dictionary meaning of the word? And do the sadist desire to do these things? This relates to your comment “The abuser in an abusive relationship is motivated by … the desire to control his victim.” )
    I speak from experience.
    ( Retha: People who are lost in the woods also have more experience of the woods than the pilot with the aerial view, who can see the direction out.)

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