I realize that to most of the world the way Mrs. Lion and I carry on our relationship can look pretty extreme. What I find interesting is the level of judgment other people apply to what we do. For example, if you happen to believe in adult spanking, you probably would have no trouble accepting the level of beating I receive if Mrs. Lion found me drinking excessively. Many believers have trouble accepting that I receive a bruising spanking for spilling food on my shirt.
This comes out of a sense of proportionality or, if you will, fairness. Most people have an internal fairness meter. When something seems unfair or out of proportion it triggers a reaction of outrage or indignity. In most cases, this is a very positive thing. It keeps us from executing shoplifters. The trouble comes in when the same sense of fairness is applied to adult consensual behavior. It’s easy to forget that I am not defenseless. I choose to be defenseless as part of my power exchange with Mrs. Lion.
If instead of referring to my spankings as discipline for breaking a rule, I identified them as BDSM scenes, nary an eyebrow would be lifted when I reveal that my bottom has some new bruises. Yet, when I get some salsa on my shirt and as a result I receive the same beating, invariably some people react with outrage.
I think this is because many people misunderstand consensuality. Pretty much everyone knows that if I agreed to be spanked as part of a BDSM scene, I deserve whatever I get. I asked for it and I got it. How is that different from me giving consent to Mrs. Lion to punish me as she sees fit when I break a rule? The only difference I can detect is that my consent is displaced by one level. I agreed to let her punish me. However, I didn’t agree with her to punish me this time. That’s the difference between a scene in BDSM and domestic discipline.
Simply put, both situations are absolutely consensual and they’re truly identical in terms of my agreement to receive a spanking. Whether or not you think spilling food warrants me having a painful bottom for a few days is irrelevant. Mrs. Lion and I think it is appropriate.
There is another situation that is substantially more difficult to justify. It has nothing to do with domestic discipline at all. It comes up with people who are in longer-term BDSM relationships. Sometimes the top (dominant partner) enjoys inflicting pain and degradation too much. I will admit this is pretty rare, but when it occurs it disturbs me.
For example, there is a couple who have been together for more than a decade. He is definitely a bottom. He likes, even needs, humiliation and pain. It turns out that his wife gets very aroused by inflicting it. Over the years, she has become more and more extreme. She hasn’t caused him any permanent injury, but she makes his life with her a living hell. On occasion, he’s mentioned this to her. He’s indicated that things may have gone too far. Her response is that she can stop if he wants. He has two choices: he can continue to endure the ever worse torture, or he can return to a completely vanilla life.
She knows very well that he will never choose for her to stop. She also knows that he hates what she is doing. She likes that he hates it. In one sense he is getting what he needs, if not what he wants. In another, she is exploiting his weakness to feed an increasingly toxic relationship. This is something that I find disturbing.
While most of us who like to bottom also like to believe our consent is unlimited, the fact is that the deep needs that drive much of what we want can be exploited to feed a very sick partner. It’s way too easy to say that this can be avoided by setting limits. Limits are only useful if they represent the outer boundaries of activities. Limits are useless if the top takes the position that if the limit is less than she wants, she will quit any activity entirely. In the world of enforced male chastity, this is the same as saying that if the male cheats and removes a device, his keyholder will unlock him and never lock him up again. I’m not claiming that this is an unreasonable punishment. In the case of a chastity situation, it makes sense. However, any time it’s all or nothing there is a potential for abuse.
I’m very lucky that none of this applies to me. Mrs. Lion is perhaps too willing to reduce severity if she thinks she is making me unhappy. In fact, it’s taken years to get to the point that she is reasonably comfortable punishing me in a meaningful way.
There are a number of blogs purported to be written by dominant women that clearly demonstrate how abusive a BDSM relationship can become if the submissive partner will do anything to avoid his partner stopping their play. Every so often I check in to see what’s going on. I have no way of knowing whether it’s fiction or reality. I dearly hope it is fiction. There’s nothing wrong with a man who wants very strong domination. There is something very wrong about imposing it on someone who has no choice but to accept it. That’s abuse.
I’m not abused. I’m absolutely not defenseless. I am punished fairly, sometimes to leniently by my loving wife and lioness. Thank you, sweetie.