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Basics Of Safe, Sane And Consensual Power Exchange

Author: Molly Devon

Filed in: ssc, d/s, sm



1. TRUST AND COMMUNICATION ARE THE KEYS TO MAKING SM OR D/S WORK.

People make errors, most often out of ignorance. Trust depends on honest communication. Incomplete negotiation is an error, but dishonesty during negotiation is abusive manipulation. Errors are forgivable, manipulation or coercion are indefensible. Trust is a precious gift that once violated is hard to restore.

2. BOTH DOMINANT AND SUBMISSIVE ARE HUMAN BEINGS EQUAL IN VALUE ANDWORTH.

They are halves of a whole, yin and yang. Neither can function as dominant or submissive without the other. Before a submissive can wisely transfer power, they must impower themselves. Its a cliche but a true one, that you can't love another before you love yourself. You also can't trust another before you learn to trust yourself. And you certainly can't give devotion to another person, unless you respect yourself.

It is important to understand the difference between fantasy and reality. While in fantasy the person may be merely a lowly slave, a pet, a fucktoy or whatever makes you hot; in reality the submissive is a human being of value and worth of respect.

3. THE CONTROL ASSUMED EQUALS THE RESPONSIBILITY ACCEPTED.

A dominant must understand that a person in a submissive state of mind during a scene is operating in a state of diminished capacity and their ability to make decisions is severely compromised. This is the precisely the point of transferring control. This is why it is important to negotiate carefully before a scene. A submissive is entrusting hir body, mind and spirit to the dominant's care, which is my mind is a sacred covenant. If you aren't willing to accept responsibility for your actions, don't accept the power.

4. A DOM(ME) HAS ONLY THE POWER GIVEN TO HIM/HER BY CONSENT OF THE SUBMISSIVE.

The dom can't decided unilaterally to take more control and the sub can't unilaterally decide that they want more control than is agreed to in negotiation. However, both people have veto power, either can stop the power exchange at any time. Any changes in level, duration or circumstances of control must be agreed to when both people are in a calm rational non-scene state of mind. Whether the agreement is for one scene or for a relationship this remains so.

Sex without consent is rape
Beating without consent is assault
A safe word in a scene is withdrawal of consent!

To play without a safe word increases the responsibility of the dominant rather than lessons it!!! This is something I would strongly advise against in most cases, especially outside of a long-term committed relationship. Safe words are *more* then ever needed in "punishment" scenes, rather than less because the when immediate pleasure of the submissive is of lower priority, it is more difficult for the dom to know when enough is enough or if something has gone wrong.

5. A RELATIONSHIP THAT WORKS FOR ONE PERSON TO THE DETRIMENT OF ANOTHER IS ABUSIVE.

Again, it is important to remember the difference between fantasy and reality. While the sub may be lesser in importance in fantasy, in reality their wants and needs are of equal importance. The submissive is transferring control and decision making to the dominant to be used for BOTH their benefit.

Life doesn't come with a guarantee, when one gives trust there is always the chance of that trust being misused. With care, one can reduce the risk somewhat. But no matter how careful or not a person has been, this in no way excuses the abuse. DO NOT BLAME THE VICTIM. Frequently people fear to talk about abuse because of negative response ... it becomes as if the victim is abused twice when this occurs. People who make excuses for abusers are enablers that compound the problem.


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