Jun. 6th, 2014

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Red Flags in BDSM

In order to maintain a healthy relationship, especially within the BDSM community, we need to be aware of signs of unhealthy behaviour. Of course, these red flag can appear in any kind of relationship—but it’s extra important when you’re in a relationship with a power-dynamic or a heightened risk of injury. Submissives, especially, often find themselves in unhealthy dynamics with no idea how to spot the problems. Dominants, too, are able to experience this. For this reason, I’ve developed an outline of some of the most common red flags I hear from followers and some resources to help you deal with them. (Images are products of the Red Flag Campaign).

The following are common things a partner might be doing if you’re in an unhealthy relationship:

Insists you do not need a safeword.

While some people prefer to play without a safeword, I will always speak against this practice. Safewords are crucial to a healthy D/s because without them, there is no way to revoke consent and that means you or your partner may not want to continue, but has no way of communicating this.

If your partner insists that you not use a safeword, you need to be firm in saying that will not be the case. I would take extreme caution with playing with someone who has suggested this, as it shows a lack of responsibility for you or your partner’s safety and mental health. Safewords should always be required of everyone in order to play safely. If you don’t want to use them, don’t use them—but always have them in place.

Claims to have no hard or soft limits.

This one is more common with submissives, but Dominants do it, as well. Claiming one has no limits shows a) a lack of experience and/or b) dishonesty. Though some people have more limits than others, everyone has limits. If your partner is insisting they have no limits, ask about something you consider extreme and see if they would agree to it. Communicate the importance of having limits so that everyone is aware of boundaries. No one should go into a scene blind of where the boundaries are.

Pressures you into playing in ways that violate your personal limits.

If you have established limits and your partner wants you to push them, there are two ways to go about this. 

1) You express a desire to want to get past a certain limit and your partner discusses ways they can help you with this in a safe and controlled manner as to help you explore your sexuality.

2) Your partner hounds you to do something outside your limits and you feel really uncomfortable about this.

If your situation sounds like #2, you need to either have a strict conversation with your partner about limits or you need to leave the relationship.

A healthy dynamic does not involve true force of any kind. Remember that everything within a D/s is consensual and if your partner is pushing you to do something you don’t consent to, this is unhealthy. Technically, it is abuse or sexual assault. Don’t tolerate this behaviour, and seek help if you need it.

Plays when they are angry or upset.

This is another sign of an abusive relationship. A good partner will not play when they are angry or upset. This can lead to safety concerns, emotional problems, and abuse. 

Dominants who are angry and wish to punish their submissives need to take time to think about an appropriate punishment instead of lashing out. Physical violence is never a way to solve underlying problems. The submissive should know why they are being punished, agree that it is fair, and feel forgiven after the punishment.

Submissives who play when they are upset are often covering up mental health problems. While healthy people can play after a bad day and feel much better—unhealthy folks will play to “hurt themselves,” so to speak, and will still feel badly after a scene. If this is the case, the submissive should seek counseling to work out their mental health problems instead of using D/s as a means to self-harm. Playing the sadist to an unstable masochist can end very, very badly. It is dangerous and shouldn’t ever be considered. Put your partner’s mental health above play at all times.

Insists that you address them as a specific title (Sir, Master, slut, fuck-toy) upon first meeting them.

This is a problem a lot of people face with potential partners. Fact of the matter is, you are no one’s slut or Master until you have formed a relationship of some kind with that person and you both agree to these titles. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you have to address them in a way you don’t like or be addressed in a disrespectful manner.

Does not provide aftercare. 

Aftercare is absolutely crucial to a healthy D/s relationship, especially ones involving sadism and masochism. In fact, aftercare is often a defining difference between kink and abuse. Aftercare should be done automatically. If you are in need of aftercare and your partner doesn’t realize it—speak up! Both Dominants and submissive who need aftercare are entitled to it after a scene. 

If your partner ignores your needs and does not provide aftercare, you need to leave the relationship. This is an abuse of power and shows a lack of responsibility. You should never leave a scene feeling badly. Aftercare is key to maintaining a healthy relationship. A guide to aftercare can be found here.

Does not respect your safeword.

Safewords, again, are required. If your partner ignores or refuses to respect your safeword, this is assault. The scene needs to end with your safeword, always. Anything past that is no different than continuing after a “no” for relationships without a specific safeword. This is a revoke of consent and anything further without explicit consent is assault.

Never, ever play with someone who doesn’t respect your needs to stop or pause the scene. This is dangerous and highly abusive.

Insists you stop using birth control or barriers during sex. 

Some people like birth control restriction with their partner, and that’s fine for stable relationships with intent to care for any child resulting from that pregnancy. However, if you are not intending on getting pregnant and your partner insists you stop using birth control, this is a major red flag. This is abusive and highly dangerous. 

Same goes for couples who cannot get pregnant and use barriers like condoms to prevent the spread of STDs. Never be forced into not using these methods. If one person in a relationship wants to use them, they will be used. No further questions.

Initiates play when you or your partner is intoxicated.

Couples can and will make their own decisions on this, and I am not here to tell you anything but the facts. Playing with an intoxicated person is assault. Even if you’re in a committed relationship. A person who is drunk or high cannot consent to sex legally in the US and you or your partner may end up with rape charges, even if the person says “yes.” Contracts and consent prior to intoxication do not hold up in court, either.

To be safe, always wait to play until the person is sober. For your safety and theirs, do not play with an intoxicated person.

Makes you feel guilty for using your safeword.

Never, ever feel guilty for needed to stop. It doesn’t matter if you need to stop because you were triggered or because your leg cramped—never let your partner tell you it’s not okay.

Any partner that makes you feel badly for safewording is a horrible person and doesn’t deserve your trust. It’s emotionally abusive to make someone feel bad for needing to stop play/sex. Don’t tolerate it—you have every right to decide if you need to stop.

Refuses to have conversations about consent/limits/desires.

Communication is so important. If your partner can’t communicate important things like limits, safewords, consent, or their desires, it’s going to be tricky. This is a red flag because it can lead to problems down the road. Relationships are difficult without proper communication—there simply isn’t a way around it. Insist on communicating these important topics or find a new partner who will.

Does not treat you as an equal or disrespects you out of scenes.

Unless you’ve discussed and agreed upon a 24/7 relationship, the scene ends with a safeword or natural progression. This means humiliation and painful physical contact stops there. Submissives who find themselves being put down by their partners out of scenes or at inappropriate times need to evaluate their relationship. Your self-worth will never depend on your partner and no one deserves to be with someone who makes them feel badly without their consent.

If any of the previous red flags apply to you or someone you love, please urge them to seek help. The following resources can be used in cases of sexual or physical violence:

National Sexual Assault Hotline (US): 1.800.656.HOPE

Domestic Violence Hotline (US): 1-800-799-SAFE

Rape Crisis Network (UK): 44 (0)141 331 4180

Sexual Assault Resources (International)

xx SF

I know I just reblogged something else like this, but there can never be enough information like that. BDSM can be amazing, fulfilling, intimate, sexy, loving, romantic, and so worthwhile! But there are a few scumbags who try to call abuse “BDSM” and we need to make sure everybody knows how to tell the difference.

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Step Right Up to See the World’s First Elephant Selfie

Elephants + Selfie = Elfie.

psst persephonesidekick

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i cant wait to get a boyfriend, im all prepared. i punched some holes in the lid of this jar and i put some grass and a twig in it

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"watch this" they said

"it’ll be fun" they said

"i’m going to watch it" i said

“this was not fun" i said

“i’m emotionally ruined" i said

"hey watch this" i later said

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some people were born today. hello babies welcome to the earth. you missed a bunch of stuff while you were busy not existing. jbiebs did some things you would not believe

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I have had quite a few request for cool down, I wanted to hit this subject and revisit aftercare because I feel they go hand in hand, There are of course many ways to cool-down and administer aftercare, these are just the most common, I would suggest also communicating before hand and during which works best for you, for me I found quiet with my Dom near was comforting with no words exchanged as I lay down or stood in the corner, but everyone has their own preference as to what is most comforting.

I am working on Sub and Dom Space next but felt this needed to addressed first.

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DIY How to Dress Your Shape Infographic from IGIGI.

this is so awesome because usually the model for the type is super skinny but this I can actually use God bless.

This is also super great because the three main body types focused on in stuff like this are triangle, hourglass, and figure 8. It’s nice to see examples of my body type for a change.

reblogging for the type of language they use


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asexual sirens getting real fuckin pissed about all these sailors interrupting choir rehearsal

sirens are already asexual they dont have sex with the men they kill them

well no wonder they kill them they keep interrupting choir rehearsal

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exciting discovery #1: taco bell sells motherfucking vanilla doctor pepper

exciting discovery #2: if you buy one between 3 and 5 PM, their slurpees
are only a dollar

do you see where I’m going with this?

because it is a place of icy cold deliciousness.

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some really serious focused-at-you-the-listener ‘you’re not real’ kind of
talk. like, creepy for me, and possibly really triggering and dangerous for
those prone to extreme disassociation.

warning warning warning even though it’s six days late!

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First of all, I am proud to announce I only had two meltdowns the whole of
camp and achieved 3 of my 4 goals, which I will hopefully manage to write
about later but not now because they are not relevant to this post.

[[read more]]

My first meltdown was the very first day of camp, which. I kind of was
expecting, in that unconsciously dreading sort of way.

I was so anxious about packing and getting there on time that I. uh. ended
up loading my car after I got off work at 1 AM and driving straight there
so I kind of arrived like 4 or 5 hours early. (That wasn’t so bad, I just
took a non-sleeping-kind-of-nap in the back of my car where all my bedding

Unfortunately, I kind of hadn’t slept in going on 36 hours? after a good
night’s sleep following a 48 hour not-sleeping-episode. So although I felt
fine, awesome even, I kind of worried myself when driving because I kind of
felt like I was driving a little erratically.

All’s well that ends well, I suppose. But the lack of sleep almost
certainly contributed to the later meltdown.

I was initially really hesitant about going to camp because I am what you
might call a gold star introvert and am prone to meltdowns when overwhelmed
(I can see @persephonesidekick’s actuallyautistic face from here) so nine
days of being surrounded by people and away from my nice safe and comfy
bedroom was pretty scary.

People reassured me that I’d be able to find a quiet place to be alone when
I needed one, but I was still worried. I decided in the end to bring a tent
to sleep in and pay for a cabin bed just in case.

(I was also really worried about being comfortable enough to sleep as I
*hate* sleeping away from home, oh my god, just *hate* it, but
serendiptously my parents just replaced their mattress pad and gave me
their old pillowtop one, which is fucking amazing, jfc, even though
apparently my bed is a full and not a queen, oops, so I took basically my
bed with me and stuck it inside the tent, which turned out great for me in
terms of comfort but not so great for the pad itself in terms of ‘staying
clean and dry’ although it seems to have survived intact.)

(side note: apparently a tarp-beneath-the-tent in-case-of-rain is kind of
the opposite of helpful if you have the edges sticking out from under your
tent. on the plus side, mattress pad was so thick I never noticed the wet
until I took it out of the tent!)

(I put it on top of my car to dry, which worked pretty well, actually.)

People were really great about my needing to go hide (I disappeared fairly
regularly for a few hours in the afternoon or midday to take a nap) and
actually, all of my weird things, which was really cool.

There’s a lot of stuff I usually don’t do that I felt okay doing at camp -
carrying around a stuffed animal, rubbing it on my face when I wanted
distraction, chewing on my sleeve, coloring really really intently when I
felt out-of-my-depth oh-god-i-don’t-know-anyone, etc.

I hadn’t really realized how much those things helped me feel better,
whether I was in a stressful situation or not, so that was kind of cool.

(Carrying around the stuffed animal and the coloring book did sometimes
incited annoying (to me) comments about my ‘littleness’ but mostly people
just complimented my coloring or admired my stuffed dog and asked what his
name was, which was really nice.)

(People also just totally took it in stride if I talked about my stuffed
animals like they had feelings and stuff. Apparently a lot of kink scenes
are really sucktastic for Littles/Middles/Bigs, and apparently this one
wasn’t that great even not so long ago, so it’s kind of impressive a) how
many littles there were, all over the place, and b) how people just rolled
with it and generally treated them en masse as sort of camp mascots and
adorable terrors that were fun to tease.)

(I still don’t feel comfortable IDing as a Little because I just don’t feel
like the kind of experiences other people describe fit me at all. Sometimes
I do feel ‘littler’, in a way, but I never feel like I regress at all. I’m
pretty much always just me, just sometimes sillier or clingier than other

(People were also pretty good about accepting that, although I got some
teasing from Littles about my refusing to admit my littleness.)

(It was nice teasing, don’t worry.)

I originally was assigned to one of the farther away cabins along with some
staff I knew, but I really knew pretty much nobody in my cabin, which was
really anxiety-inducing, especially as I was cabin’ed with the sissies,
which. would have been a lot more comfortable for me if I had a) known any
of them and/or b) was certain at least some of them currently identified as
not-male. (I’m cool with cabin’ing with guys, don’t get me wrong, but not
*just* guys. I didn’t want to assume they ID’d as male in sissie-mode, but
I also was pretty sure they did ID as male a majority of the time, which
made me just a tad uncomfortable sharing a cabin with them, especially such
a CROWDED one, oh my god, no space at all so claustrophobic bad bad bad.)

(I really hope that’s not transphobic; it puts me slightly on edge when I
don’t know how someone identifies because what if I misgender them? how do
I categorize them mentally?? WHAT DO???)

(ugh maybe I’m a jerk. I hope not. I don’t know if it makes it better than
I’m pretty sure I would’ve just been anxious about the complete-strangers
thing if I knew for certain they ID’d as female.)

(although I also think the whole going by ‘sissy’ and ‘sissy slave’ titles
and service stuff would’ve made me a little uncomfortable. ykinmk?)

ANYWAY. so there was that, and then I could not for the life of me set up
my tent (it turns out it was big enough you needed more than one person)
and it was just way too much and I didn’t know who to ask for help and
didn’t want to bother anyone anyway and uh. ended up taking my grass
blanket and a stuffed animal behind a cabin and crying hysterically for an

There was then staring into space for another few hours as I tried to keep
the distant feeling which was keeping more meltdown at bay, and then
@persephonesidekick arrived at camp and I found her and she was amazing
because I was feeling so fragile and I couldn’t think and she helped me
talk to the lady in charge of the Littles’ cabin about switching to their
cabin since they still had space and all of a sudden like five people were
helping me move all of my stuff and set up my tent and it couldn’t have
taken more than twenty to thirty minutes all told before I was all moved in
into my little fortress of solitude.

(Bless every single person that helped. Seriously. And especially bless
@persephonesidekick for letting me follow her around like a shy little
shadow, not just that night but a few other nights too.)

Being up at the Littles’ cabin was great, because there were always people
around to talk to (or just listen to as they talked) but it never felt like
I *had* to socialize, just that I could if I wanted to.

(Also we watched Frozen, which was amazing and actually made me cry just a
little because motherfucking mentally ill disney princess, oh my god&;)

And that. kind of summarizes what I think the best part of camp was,
really. Not the specific experiences, although those were pretty awesome,
or at least really interesting, but just the *feel* of the place.

It didn’t feel like home, exactly, as others sometimes describe it, but it
felt *comfortable*, which is impressive for a place I’d never been before
with a lot of people I’ve never met. I felt *safe* and, I don’t know, cared

A few times when I was upset, complete strangers would stop to ask if I was
okay and if there was anything they could do to help, and although I never
really took them up on it I’m pretty sure they would’ve tried to help me in
whatever way I needed. And when I was ‘driving Taxi’ (a camp chore where
you drive a golf cart from one end of camp to the other over and over again
to give people rides along the way) and realized halfway through that I was
starting to feel dizzy-headsick-bad and should probably switch out my other
Taxi shift for a different chore, the guy I mentioned it to in conversation
immediately flagged down a staff member and they took me off Taxi right
then and there, although I had fully intended to finish out my shift.
(considering how long it took me to get un-dizzy I think they might have
been right to do so. regardless, I appreciated it because I wouldn’t have
asked myself unless it had gotten a whole lot worse.)

Wow, this whole thing is getting kind of incoherent and unorganized; sorry
about that. Unfortunately, the read more I’m putting on this may or may not
work because posting-by-email is the &;worst&; jfc, so I’m sorry if it spams
your dash.

hashtag camp camp camp
hashtag kink for kate’s bls i guess?
hashtag mkp in real life

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boys who can pull off facial hair are hot

i think you’re supposed to use a razor

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