It’s important to remember that D/S, D/Lg, bondage, S&M, other power-exchange and high-sensation kinks are cooperative kinks undertaken for mutual enjoyment.

Ugh.  I can’t emphasize that enough!  It’s the critical difference between a kink relationship and an abusive/codependent one. 

It’s so common in porn and Tumblr posts to heighten the drama, to exaggerate the power differences, and to gloss over the extensive communication of consent and boundaries.  It’s understandable, in a way, same as romantic shows and vanilla porn heightens the rose petals, slow motion, and string quartets.  Porn’s job is to feed fantasy, not to show all the underpinnings.

But failing to make the reality clear does a double disservice: first because it reinforces mainstream misunderstanding but also, maybe more important, it gives newcomers a decidedly mistaken impression that it’s all about XXXTreme PAINANDPUNISHMENT.  With the result that, way too often, people get hurt.

Non-sexual case study:  The 1984 Olympics were the first to include a women’s marathon.  One of the competitors, Gabriela Andersen-Schiess, arrived at the finish line dehydrated, cramped, and in very apparent distress.

There’s a video documentary here:  She literally collapsed at the finish line but… watch what she said in the retrospective interview at around the 8-minute mark.

Two very different but bad things came out of that moment

1) As she staggered into the stadium, taking nearly five minutes to complete the last 440 yards, the mostly-male sportscasters (were there any other kind in 1984?) were declaring that this “proved” that women can’t run long distances, shouldn’t be in sports, that this would surely be the last time the Olympics would allow women’s marathons, and goodness they hoped she survived!

When reporters inquired after her two hours later she was rehydrated and completely recovered.  She competed in another marathon 14 days later.

2) 1984 was the year marathons and ultramarathons really took off.  A lot of women, and men, decided that marathons were cool and thought they’d hop right in and try it too.

Unlike Gabby Andersend-Schiess, and everyone else who competed in the men’s and women’s Olympic marathons a lot of them bought shoes and running shorts and… blew out their knees, ankles, feet, hips, lungs, and sometimes kidneys and livers because they didn’t know what the fuck they were doing.

The point being that what people didn’t get about “lady athletes” in 1984 they don’t get about kink play now.  First that when done well it feels great and you recover quickly.  Second that if you don’t learn about it, work yourself up to it, and make sure you know what you’re doing you can hurt yourself and others.

If you’re committed to kink you need to let people know what you’re doing too!  Don’t just show off how cool you are – what a Subby-pain-slut-puppy you are, what a ruthlessly expert Domly Dom you are – evangelize too.  The fun stuff and the before- and after-care parts.