Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No Means No.

I was in a BDSM forum the other day a sub asked a question that should have surprised me, sadly it didn't. Does a Dom need to ask a subs permission to play with them? The question rang true for me after a recent incident I experienced where a Dom assumed I would be his play partner because I'm now a single submissive. The conversation I was engaged in ended like this.
Him: "As a submissive you should do what I, as the Dom, tells you to do."
Me:   "You are not my Dom, therefore I don't have to do anything you tell me." 
The fact is there are idiots and morons in all lifestyles. It doesn't matter if you live and socialise in the vanilla world, the BDSM lifestyle, the gay community, wherever. It's courtesy to ask someones permission to do anything with them, whether it's going out on a date or getting involved in BDSM play. Simply because someone is submissive, or single doesn't give a Dom/me power over them or the right to assume they are free to play with. Wearing the title of Dom/me doesn't give a person the right to demand anything of a submissive they aren't in a relationship with or have a specific agreement with.
I worry about new people entering the BDSM lifestyle. As an experienced sub, I'm quite capable of telling a Dom to piss off and leave me alone if they overstep the boundaries of decency. And, if standing up for myself gives them the impression I'm not a submissive then so be it, it's not something that bothers me. However, someone entering the lifestyle may not have the strength or belief that they can or should be able to say no.
So, for those new to the BDSM community I just thought I'd give you a few tips.
  • You can say No to a Dom/me.
  • If you tell someone 'no I don't want to play with you' then they should respect that decision. They shouldn't keep pestering you in the hope or belief that they can change your mind.
  • Saying no to a Dom/me doesn't mean you are not submissive, it just means you know your own mind and you know who you feel safe to play with.
  • Other members of the community will usually help you if you are being harassed by someone. If you're at a party/club/munch then find the organisers or the dungeon master and ask for help. If it's online then block the person and let other people on the site and the site owners know that you've been harassed and who by.
As in any community, common courtesy, listening to and respecting boundaries laid down by individuals is part of the social requirements in the BDSM lifestyle. Also, as in any community, there are people who don't respect others and who will overstep the social boundary. Mercifully, as I've said before, most members of the kink community will assist someone if they are being hassled, which makes me feel safer as a single person in a BDSM social setting. What we all need to remember is that in any community, including the BDSM one...No always means No.


  1. Excellent post, Jan. It's scary that not only are people mixing up BDSM with abuse, but they're also confusing interest in the lifestyle as open consent to any Dom who shows interest. That's not how it works and the more info out there, the better.

  2. Beautifully put. I can not say how many times I have seen new submissives with wide eyes when I tell them they don't have to obey every Dom/me that comes on to them. We are not doormats. We have a say in who we can let in. We are not a surprise you can get from a Cracker Jack box. Sorry been listening to Pink's new album.

  3. Great post and very necessary information. I think too many subs think exactly as that Dom said- that if the Dom says they're going to play, they have to obey.
    Don't ever forget SSC, people - Safe Sane Consensual. Consensual means you need to say "Yes" explicitly. And it's always your right to say no, IMO.

  4. brilliant plan, my sister and I were talking about this and the concept that real sadist won't take no for an answer and i kept getting frustrated in pointing out that in the community it's not really an option to not listen to the sub, because she/he can pass that along to others and they won't want to play with you. Thanks for this I'm going to share

  5. Absolutely fantastic post! Thank you so much for writing this because alot of people who are learning about the lifestyle are very naive and as a result may be taken advantage of because of it. Making subs realize that they are giving a gift to a Dom and it is their choice as to which Dom they want to share their submission with is very important. Just as important to distinguish that a real Dom would understand this and never force himself on someone.

  6. Yes, common sense should prevail in the BDSM community. But when young or naive it's easy to think you're the one who is wrong.
    Submissive does not mean doormat.

    I shuddered the other day when I heard of some submissives maintaining that as a submissive you must submit to anal play if a Dom wants it, and telling someone who dissented that they were wrong. Ugh. No. You decide your hard limits, not the Dom.