Friday, November 25, 2011

Is It BDSM or Abuse?

The other night I was approached by a very confused and frightened girl. She had recently met a Master on an online site and made the decision to give up everything to go live with him in Real Life. Her friends had become alarmed at some of the things she was telling them about this new acquaintance and the girl had begun to wonder if she was making a mistake. I learned later on in the conversation that some of the friends were actually involved in the D/s community which gave their concerns even more weight in her eyes.

She took her concerns to her new Master and he seemed less than sympathetic, instead making it seem like she wasn't committed enough for him. And her questions about some of the things he had proposed doing to her unworthy of his comment. Some of the things she described were alarming, but, who can tell whether they were the posturings of a newbie Master or someone seriously unhinged.

Following some recent events, I had looked into the BDSM vs. Abuse question myself and was able to give her some suggestions on reading material. One of the things was the table I've reproduced below, it was on a website with one of those annoying jiggly "you've just won an ipad, click here" ads that make me want to leave right away before someone gets my info and spams me into next Tuesday. Here's the address, there is more info there...the table is just too good not to pass on. 

Another site that I've found thought provoking and helpful can be found here. Kinkylittlegirl, the author, indicates that the site has morphed from being just about BDSM into one that looks at all types of abuse. The sections on BDSM are full of links to informed and on point commentary on the subject, tables like the one below are not uncommon. Visit her site and read her interesting articles and give the links a close look...
One of her recent posts might give you pause, When is abuse not abuse?

You'll find lots of places to get advice and fetish friendly help on the net. Have a critical eye, but, Read, Read, Read...If you like print, one of the most helpful books out there about all things BDSM and an excellent starting point is Jay Wiseman's SM101, it's available from many booksellers, his publisher's siteGreenery Press even as an e-book from Amazon. His isn't the only book, but, it opens with some great advice about D/s relationships and emphasizes communication and consent then continues on with some practical advice.

Help with this issue is available in a number of Discussion Groups inside of Fetlife. You will need to sign up for Fetlife to participate, but, it's free and an excellent source of all things fetish FetLife

Finally, What has this got to do with Second Life? People visit the BDSM community in Second Life hoping to find something that either enhances their real life or to explore something they feel they are missing or something they are anxious to try. Granted some of the people we meet are strictly here for roleplay, but, if they take their role seriously, we hope that they have some real life experience or at the very least pledge to do no harm.
We cannot take a cavalier approach to what we do. The avatar opposite has a real live person at the other end. At the very least you might ruin their experience and at the worst you could cause some real psychological harm to an already fragile psyche.

If you are a submissive in Second Life and you see these things happening to you, protest, ask the abuser to stop. It's your responsibility to yourself. Don't argue with them, they aren't worth the trouble and upset. Unfortunate as it is, in a way you're can log off, get out of there and avoid that person in future. Don't feel that you have to put up with abuse, it's not your fault, no matter how much the abuser may want you to think it is.

A BDSM relationship starts with a friendship, love and concern. You care for each other's happiness. All involved will feel good and will be happy, no one is sorry.
In an abusive relationship someone is always sorry, someone is always hurt. The only happiness is that of the abuser - the abuser cares about their own happiness, and the victim is most concerned with keeping the abuser happy to avoid more / worse abuse.
BDSM is Consensual
The abuser isn't concerned with having permission they just do whatever they desire.
Submission is a gift that is given to the Dominant. The submissive chooses to obey, to give up control and keep choosing from moment to moment; day to day. The choice can be taken back at any time.
When the submission is taken / forced it becomes abuse. It is no longer submission and the individual becomes a victim. In an abusive situation there is no choice, you obey to keep peace and in the hope not to get hurt worst.
The Dominant creates a desire to serve out of love - they don't want the submissive to fear them. They are respectful, polite, caring, giving and kind.
An abuser forces the submission though fear and degrading an individual so they can feel strong and important. Demanding the submission one becomes a victim not a sub.
You are partners working as a team caring very much about the other's happiness and well being
The abuser isn't concerned about how the other feels or their well being.
BDSM is controlled - Negotiations are done to assure all involved are comfortable with what will be happening and there are no fears.
Abuse is out of control no one knows what will happen. There is no shared plan the abuser makes the decisions without any negotiations.
Limits are set to assure that it doesn't go any futher than is safe.
No limits are set to take into consideration what the victim wants or values.
The Dominant is very careful to make sure the sub feels safe and happy, and keeps them feeling that way. The Dominant takes the responsibility to assure the happiness and safety of a sub.
An abuser is neither.
Safe words/colors are chosen to stop the scene or let the individual know it is getting close to being too much.
No safety net at all, the abuser is feeding on fear to control the victim - they don't care if it pushes too far. The abuser is the only one that chooses when it is enough; the victim has no choice.
Precautions are taken so there are no injury physically or mentally.
In an Abusive situation the victim is left hurt either physically or mentally.
Most individuals involved in BDSM will be careful enter a scene without alcohol/drugs or emotional upset impairing their judgment.
An abuser isn't concerned if judgement is impaired by drugs or alcohol or emotional upset.
The submissive is responsible for her own happiness in life, but during a scene, the responsibility is the Dominant's. The Dominant teaches the sub to be strong.

If humiliation is involved in a BDSM relationship it is done out of pride - they are proud to show the sub off in public, proud they are their slut. The sub won't feel bad about the words and/or actions they will make the sub blush but they are excited and pleased.
In an abusive relationship the humiliation is done in a degrading manner to make someone feel worthless so the Abuser can be the number One in the relationship - they will insult the looks, the way things are performed or do something in public not for pleasure but to show they are in control. The words or actions hurt.

I hope this gets you thinking.

See you in Second Life, a place for completely safe and consensual relationships. If only abuse in Real Life was so easy to stop.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Marine Kelley's Restrained Love Viewer

I recently did a post on setting up RLV in Firestorm. Now, for Marine Kelley's original version.

One of the most respected viewers in Second Life is Marine Kelley's RLV. Once used almost exclusively by the D/s community, residents have found lots of ways to use it.
Want to know more about RLV? See my post here...
What is Restrained Love?

Marine's follows the Linden viewer platform. This version includes the very latest user interface changes.
I've included the links to the pages used below the video.
Go ahead, don't be shy, give it a try.
Click the video and watch in full screen and 720p HD for the best experience
See you soon in Second Life!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Protect Yourself in Second Life

If you're in business in Second Life, especially, my kind of business, it's always wise to protect yourself by saving your Chat and IM logs to your computer.
I've posted a video showing how to do it in Firestorm, Restrained Love, the Linden Viewer and Phoenix.
Be careful how you use the logs, they're for your protection and enjoyment. Sharing them with others without their permission is viewed by some as a violation of the Terms of Service.
Why get into the whole debate, be safe rather than sorry...keep them private.
Click on the video and view it full screen and in HD (720p)

See you in Second Life

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Restrained Love in Firestorm

I've created a new video about RLV, Restrained Love, for Firestorm.
If you are used to using the Linden viewer 2 / 3 platform, the Phoenix team and their V3 Default setting for the viewer makes Firestorm an attractive option. 
If you are unsure what Restrained Love means, see my blog post here
What is Restrained Love (RLV)?

Watch the video for information on where to find Firestorm and then how to activate RLV.
For the best results, open the video and watch in in full screen and HD