An important distinction to understand is BDSM is NOT Abuse!
It is Informed Consent. Anything outside of Informed Consent or Choice Decision should be strongly cautioned against! The author of this site (and most all similar sites related to BDSM) do not support such activities.
With that said, here are some helpful list(s) of common “Red Flags” or warning signs you may be in or about to enter a potentially harmful or abusive relationship.
Red flags are warning signs that a potential partner may not be a safe person for you to play with. What is a red flag for one person, may not be a red flag for someone else; to a certain degree what constitutes a red flag can be somewhat personal (Shadowborne, 1999). Most of the list assembled here is concerned with identifying abusive tendencies in a partner.
Does your partner :
- Try to separate you from your friends, family or BDSM community.
- Avoid talking about personal details and/or get mad when you ask or quickly end the conversation or answering questions with questions.
- Have no BDSM references or friends you can talk to.
- Get angry when you ask for references or ask around about them.
- Tell you inconsistent details about themselves.
- Avoid giving you their home and work phone number at the appropriate time.
- Only communicate with you at strange hours and get mad if you try to contact them at other times.
- Criticize the BDSM community and refuse to participate, especially if they never were part of it.
- Consistently break promises.
- Always find excuses for not meeting real time.
- Always put blame on others for things going wrong.
- Does not take personal responsibility.
- Have bad relationships with most or all of their family members.
- Pressure you into doing things you do not want to do.
- Does not respect your limits, negotiations or contracts.
- Push you into a D/s relationship too fast.
- Swear undying love before even meeting you.
- Hide behind their D/s authority and says that their authority should not be questioned.
- Try to make you feel guilty for not being good enough; tells that you are not a “True” sub.
- Lose control of their emotions in arguments and regress to yelling, name-calling and blame.
- Put you down in front of other people.
- Turn instantly on their friends, going from best friend to arch enemy at the drop of a hat.
- Treat you lovingly and respectfully one day and then harshly and accusingly the next.
- Never say “thank you”, “excuse me” or “I am sorry” to anyone.
- Lie or withhold information; cheat on you or is overly jealous.
- Will not discuss what your possible future relationship could be like.
- Try to keep you in the dark about what might happen next in the relationship.
- Does not respect your feelings, rights, or opinions.
- Belittles your ideas.
- Blame you for your hurt feelings.
- Abuse alcohol or other drugs.
- Constantly ask for large amounts of money from you or others.
- Threaten suicide or other forms of self-harm.
- Deliberately say or do things that result in getting themselves seriously hurt.
- Want control of your money or finances and you are not living together.
- ONLY interact with you in a kinky or sexual manner as if role- playing.
- Will not have normal everyday vanilla conversations.
- Never show you their human side, is emotionless, hides their vulnerability behind their D/s role.
- Have multiple online identities for interacting within the same communities.
- Disappear from communication for days or weeks at a time without explanation.
- Try to intimidate you, are you afraid of your partner in a real sense outside of a play scenario
- Threaten to leave or abandon you if you do not submit
- Routinely threaten violence for submission outside of your comfort zone
- Give you expensive gifts to gain compliance on something you do not wish to do
- Make you feel unwanted or ugly
- Ever forced intimacy on you against your wishes
- Ignore your needs, including medical treatment, clothing or food
- Question your loyalty
- Ignore or refuse the use of safe words
- Expect complete submission from a stranger
- Have nothing nice to say about previous partners
- Say they will do anything you want without even a first face-to-face meeting
- Get upset with you about wanting to make a safe call on a first meeting
- Insist on a scene on your first meeting
This list is not complete but a starting place; it is some important things to consider when looking for a new play partner.
If you find yourself in an abusive situation or know someone who is,
it is important to connect with the appropriate supports.
Here are some sites that offer to connect you with
supports and information on domestic abuse
|Domestic Violence Project:||http://www.nlaidvproject.us/|
|National Domestic Violence Hotline||http://www.ndvh.org/|
|Canadian Women’s Foundation:||http://www.cdnwomen.org/EN/section05/3_5_1_1-violence_facts.html|
|Stop Domestic Abuse:||http://www.domesticabusemuststop.org/|
|Online Support Group||http://www.safe4all.org/news/item?item_id=41211|
|Online Domestic Violence Agencies:||http://www.silcom.com/~paladin/madv/dvagencies.html|
Written September 10, 2011 | Updated September 11, 2011
Brazell, J. (1998). BDSM Safety – Warning Signs & Red Flags. Retrieved 09 10, 2011, from Twist of Wyrd: http://www.twistofwyrd.com/news/95/19/BDSM-Safety—Warning-Signs-Red-Flags/
Chicago, M. (2007). 40 BDSM Red Flags. Retrieved 09 10, 2011, from Master Chicago: http://www.masterzchicago.com/RedFlags.htm
KM, L. (2009, 02 20). 10 Red Flags of Bad or Abusive Dominants. Retrieved 09 10, 2011, from Submissive Guide: http://www.submissiveguide.com/2009/02/10-red-flags-of-bad-or-abusive-dominants/
Scotguard. (2009). What are red flags. Retrieved 09 11, 2011, from DommeSlave: http://www.dommeslave.com/forum/f-a-q/what-are-red-flags/
Shadowborne, R. (1998, 04 28). What Are Red Flags? Retrieved 09 10, 2011, from General BDSM: http://www.leathernroses.com/generalbdsm/ravenredflags.htm
Spirit, G. (1995). How to Spot an Abuser. Retrieved 09 11, 2011, from Christians & BDSM: http://www.christiansandbdsm.com/spotabuser.html
The BDSM lifestyle harbors many dangers, oddly enough most people think only about the dangers to the submissive or slave and not to those dangers present for the Dominant. Among the thousands of dedicated, hard working, honest and disciplined submissives and slaves there are those few that pose a danger. There are those that are users, manipulators, liars, gold diggers, wannabees, and scam artists. Unfortunately sometimes we do not see these individuals for what they truly are until it is too late.
Some individuals are under the impression that all it takes to be a submissive is to sit pretty and say “Yes, Master” or “Yes, Mistress”. There is a lot more to being a submissive or slave that just knowing what to say or how to look good. Being a submissive is something that is deep within you, it is the core of your very nature, the idea of service is a dream or better yet a fantasy that you hold dear to your heart. Being a slave is taking the idea of submission and living the fantasy, there are many types of slaves and submissives just as there are many types of Dominants. Here are a few that may pose a problem to a loving and trusting Dominant.
Cyber slave/sub. This is someone that has gained most of his or her experience from the Internet, he or she normally has little or no real life experience.
The Professional Victim slave/sub. This is someone that spends a great deal of time making others feel sorry for them, they are always telling others about how they were abuse or victimized by someone. One thing that I have noticed with this individual is that they never take responsibility for any thing; it is always someone else’s fault. They will knowingly put themselves in danger or in situations where there is sure to be a problem, and then blame the other party. They never learn from their mistakes, mainly because they don’t want to they love the pity parties and the attention.
The Show Piece slave/sub. This is someone that thinks the only thing they need to do is look good. They can’t scrub the floors because they might mess up their manicure; they can’t take out the trash because it smells funny and will make them smell funny too. This is an individual that will wear the most dazzling leather outfit to the club but refuse to scene because it might muss his or her hair. This person will spend hours at the gym, and tanning salon as well as spend their entire paycheck on clothes. This individual is into BDSM mainly because of the really cool outfits and he or she just looks so damn good in leather.
The Fetish-Freak slave/sub. This is someone that is just into kink, any and all kinks, if it is strange and unusual they like it. They have a tendency to try something for a while and then move onto the next new kink. These individuals are out for the thrill; they love the shock factor and will try anything once, maybe twice just to make sure they really didn’t like it. They have a tendency to find a Dominant and make a big show of commitment but leave him or her when a new freakier friend shows up.
The Gold Digger slave/sub. This is someone that will be the perfect slave or submissive as long as the Dominant is willing to pay the way. He or she will do anything the Dominant wants but if the money runs out they are out the door. This person chooses their Dominant carefully; they will come into the relationship with the full knowledge that they plan to be spoiled. The minute they enter the Dominant’s life this slave/sub will expect him or her to flip the bill for everything; new clothes, car payments, manicures, the list never stops. They will insist that they live with the Dominant. They also very seldom have an outside job, the excuse for this is quite simple, if they worked outside the home then they would not have the time to serve their Dominant.
The Excuse slave/sub. This is someone that has an excuse for everything. This person may or may not do what you ask, and if not you can bet your bottom dollar there is a good excuse for why they didn’t do what you asked them to. They border on what I would call lazy, they are artist at getting out of doing anything. If you desperately need something done then you had better find someone else to do it.
The Legal Eagle slave/sub. This is someone that will report you to the authorities at the drop of a hat. This slave/sub may agree to scene with you, talk about everything that you plan to do, and agree to it. Then the next day take themselves to the emergency room and claim you abused them, or worse that you raped them. This individual is dangerous not only to those involved with them but to the BDSM society in general, it is this individual that will go to the press or police and tell everything they know about anyone they know.
The Everyday Thief slave/sub. This is someone that will work their way into your life and then just when they have earned your trust they rob you blind. It may be slowly and subtly at first, a few dollars here or there, and if found out there is always a reasonable explanation. However if not caught soon enough this slave/sub will wipe you out, and leave a terribly bitter taste in your mouth for quite some time.
The above are just examples of the different types of undesirable slaves/subs, these examples are by no means the majority of individuals, in fact they are truly the minority.
All submissives and slaves are unique and it is this uniqueness that makes them interesting, however if you believe an individual you are involved with may fit into one of the above categories then perhaps you should look into reevaluating your relationship with him or her.
When we are in a relationship we tend to over look many warning signs, although in retrospect we can clearly see what was once oblivious to our minds. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself and remember to answer them honestly, when you have finished go back and look at the questions again, also look at the way you answered them.
* Does the slave/sub demand expensive gifts?
* Does the slave/sub get overly emotional when they don’t get his or her way?
* Does the slave/sub demand all of your time, not allowing you to spend time with friends or family?
* Does the slave/sub threaten to leave you when ever you tell them No!
* Does the slave/sub demand your attention even when you are too tired or too sick to do as they wish?
* Does the slave/sub spend an unusual amount of time preening or looking at him or her self in the mirror?
* Does the slave/sub constantly beg for new clothes, shoes, jewelry, or gifts?
* Does the slave/sub frequently compare you with other relationships that he or she has had?
* Have you caught the slave/sub in a lie?
* Has the slave/sub ever made you feel guilty about questioning his or her actions?
* Has the slave/sub ever used tears to influence your actions?
* Has the slave/sub ever told you that you are ugly or criticized you about your appearance?
* Has the slave/sub ever told you that he or she didn’t wish to be seen publicly with you?
* When you are at a group function does the slave/sub wander off the minute that he or she steps in the door?
* Has the slave/sub ever told you to shut up?
* Has the slave/sub ever cussed you out or yelled at you?
* Has the slave/sub ever refused to have physical relations with you just to get back at you for something?
* Has the slave/sub ever threatened to have you arrested?
* Has the slave/sub ever called the police on you?
* Has the slave/sub ever made you feel guilty about asking them to do minor housework?
* Has the slave/sub ever make up stories about you or told others things that should be kept within the relationship?
* Have you ever had to do without something just to be able to buy the slave/sub something they want, this does not include basic needs?
* Have you ever felt like the slave/sub is hiding something important?
* Have you ever come home unexpected and found the slave/sub missing and when he or she finally shows up they are unwilling to tell you where they were?
* Have you ever dreaded talking to the slave/sub because you honestly didn’t want to get into a fight?
* Have you ever dreaded coming home, because of the slave/sub?
* Have you been depressed or anxious since the slave/sub has become part of your life?
* Have you found things missing unexpectedly?
* Have you noticed unusual charges on your credit cards, or associated with your checking account?
* Has the slave/sub ever struck out at you or attempted any form of physical violence against you?
* Has the slave/sub ever demanded to know where you are or called to check up on you?
* Has the slave/sub ever nagged you to do something?
* Have others told you that your slave/sub has behaved in an unacceptable manner?
* Does the slave/sub frequently make excuses for not getting something done, even if they know it is important?
* Has the slave/sub ever betrayed your trust?
* Has the slave/sub ever threatened to commit suicide just to get his or her way?
* Does the slave/sub participate in illegal activities; this does include the use of illegal drugs?
* Does the slave/sub drink to excess or drink often?
* Does the slave/sub quit talking to you or ignore you as a means of punishing you?
* Does the slave/sub get jealous whenever others are around?
* Have you ever felt lonely even when you are with your slave/sub?
* Have you ever avoided asking the slave/sub to do something just because it would be easier to do it yourself?
* Has the slave/sub refused to speak about his or her past?
* When question does he or she avoid giving prompt, thorough answers?
* Does the slave/sub get upset if he or she is not the center of attention?
* Does the slave/sub seem to spend your money faster than you can make it?
* Have you ever second-guessed your decision to get into the relationship?
* Has the slave/sub ever begged or coerced you into doing something that you are not interested in doing?
* Has the slave/sub ever asked you to cross your own personal limits or boundaries?
* Does the slave/sub constantly want to know where you were or where you’re going?
* Did the slave/sub beg you to be his or her Dominant after only knowing them for a short time?
* Did the slave/sub start following you around, joining groups you belong to even getting a job at where you work, before you were in a permanent relationship?
* Does the slave/sub make you feel uneasy at times?
These questions are designed to range in a wide variety of areas and severities. Read each question carefully and remember that everything is relative. If the slave/sub has gotten upset with you and pouted for a little while it is ok: if he or she has thrown a fit and refused to talk to you for a week then you probably need to reevaluate your currant arrangement. Look at your combination of answers, did you answer yes to those involving possible control or discipline issues, perhaps all that is necessary is a reassertion of who is the Dominant in the relationship. If you answered yes to issues that involve high emotions, financial or legal issues then perhaps you need to take a step back and look at things a little closer.
Every BDSM relationship is different, just as every Dominant, Master or Mistress is different. We all expect something different from out slave/sub, however when we get into a relationship with another individual normally we take the time to examine what the role of each individual will be. Some relationships allow a great deal of independence and flexibility, others are structured and demand obedience, neither is wrong by any means they are just different. The main issue is whether or not the relationship that we find ourselves in is the same one we agreed to. As a Dominant, are you getting everything out of the relationship that you expected to have? Do you question your slave/sub’s loyalty, honesty, or integrity?
When I originally started writing this article I thought of all the Dominants that I have ever known, specifically those that have been involved in bad relationships, I must say that there were quite a few. I would like to say however there were far more that were happy, healthy relationships. There are some individuals out there that will seek out others to use, manipulate, abuse, or take advantage of, both in BDSM as well as vanilla relationships, so do not think that this is common only to the BDSM lifestyle.
Being a submissive/slave takes honor, loyalty, service, obedience, integrity, intelligence, and an open mind. There is no room for greed, laziness, egos, jealousy, dishonesty, threats, or secrets. I have found from my experience that a good submissive/slave is worth their weight in gold; at times I would not know what to do without my slave.
A few months ago I had major surgery, and I had to travel over 600 miles away from home to have this surgery, the trip took a total of 5 days. None of my family was there, not my sisters, or my daughters, no one…….no one except my slave. I must say that through the pain of coming out of surgery, thought the confusion and the fear there was never a more beautiful site than the face of my slave smiling down at me as she brushed the hair out of my eyes. Knowing she was there made it all seem a little better. Since then she has been there to make sure I took my medicine, to make sure that I didn’t exert myself and to walk me though each challenge. She patiently waited until I was able to scene with her, without ever once making me feel bad or guilty about not being able to give her the attention I knew she so desperately wanted.
I tell you this so that you do not go away after reading this article thinking that all slaves/subs are bad or dangerous. Simply look over the questions I have listed, if you answered yes to a question, look at it again. Is the action or behavior something that was done one time or were there special circumstances surrounding the event. If so then perhaps you should answer that question as no, or ignore it. If you see a trend in your answers perhaps you should sit down and talk to your submissive/slave as to those things that you feel are disturbing. If you feel the relationship is unhealthy or dangerous perhaps you should step back and reevaluate.
This article was written in hopes of educating individuals and perhaps sparing some a little pain. As Always this is merely an article, please take from it what you can use and ignore the rest.
If you have any questions or would like to contact me, my email is Norisch1@mchsi.com