The Game of 51 series has started out as a study in Dominance and Submission and whether or not it is a loving relationship or an abusive one. At first glance it is very easy to see how it is abusive because of it's unequal power structure and reliance on BDSM.
There are so many questions and different opinions, many of them extremely emotionally charged.
I was talking with one dominant man about abuse and BDSM. He asked me some poignant questions before saying he could never do what he does if his partner felt she was being abused. That begs the question, will a submissive woman whose only desire is to please her dominant tell him the truth? Or will she lie about how she feels to continue to please him? Or does she even really know if she is abused or not?
Every time I get an answer from one of these men I end up with more questions.
Keep in mind that I am only talking with them, I have never been in a D/S arrangement even though I believe I am a submissive woman. So I am not talking from experience and am not an expert on the subject, far from it. That said I still can form opinions, ask questions, and come up with ideas on the topic.
I believe that abuse in a D/S dynamic arrangement is a very fine line that a Dominant man must always be aware of, more so than non-Dominant men in vanilla relationships. Any relationship can become abusive where one person has more power than the other one, the intrinsic power play of a D/S relationship can make it an easy line to cross if the submissive is not given any chance to voice her feelings honestly without fear of punishment.
From what I've learned from talking to these men, they do not view their partner as an equal, some even view them as I would a child in terms of power and treatment. These men admit they are extremely selfish and need a woman who will please them with no expectation of any reciprocation. So the question becomes what does the woman in this situation get from the arrangement?
In a regular relationship a man and woman come together out of love and a desire to give to and care for each other. The D/S relationship is no different, except the expectations, wants, and desires are agreed to up front after a long Q & A process and one person is the giver while the other one is the caretaker. One makes all the decisions, while the other expedites those decisions. It's like a boss and a worker arrangement without the exchange of wages. A Dominant is kind of like an employer who looks out for his employee and ensures she has what she needs to get the job done.
For some Submissives the fact that they can arouse their Dominant and please him in the bedroom gives them a feeling of power and satisfaction. Whether or not they ever receive a physical release is mute to them because their motivation is to please and they find power in that. For others its the structure and the boundaries that give them security because they are unable to create boundaries for themselves.
I trained my dog to go for walks without a leash and the other day I noticed something. When I don't use a leash he is constantly checking where I am in relation to himself. He stays next to me and is constantly looking up at me to make sure he's doing 'good.' When I put him on a leash he pulls, explores, stops to smell things, is freer to take in his environment because he knows the leash will only let him go so far and he is safe to just 'be.' That's how some Submissives feel when it comes to the rules and boundaries, i.e. the leash, that their Dominants have established for them. I'm not saying they are dogs, just using my dog's walking habits to explain the point.
Abuse comes into the arrangement when the needs of the Submissive are not met. When beating her down to make her feel worse, so he can feel better, is the main objective of the Dominant man. When a Submissive does not have the power to leave because she is without funds, support, or opportunity. Emotions and feelings could lead a Submissive to stay in an abusive relationship in hopes she will receive what she needs to be happy. Conditioning could lead a Submissive to stop caring for herself as a person and become abused. So a Dominant man must always be aware of his Submissive's needs, feelings, and happiness. In a D/S relationship responsibility is on the Dominant, even ensuring he doesn't abuse his charge and she is well cared for.
Dominant and Submission is a complex arrangement based on trust and honesty more than any other type of relationship. I still have a million questions, but they won't all be answered because like all relationships, each one is unique. Each Dominant is motivated for different reasons, each Submissive is motivated for different reasons. Some are happy loving relationships, some are sex only arrangements, some are abusive. The hardest hurdle I had in understanding this world was seeing a D/S relationship as first and foremost a relationship, just like any other.