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What to do so Subbie doesnít go bad and get mad.
By Douglas W. Texter
So, youíre a top or a Dom or a Sir or Master or a Mistress or a Maíam. In contrast to what the vanilla world might think, you are also a kind and loving person, giving the bottom or sub or slave exactly what he or she says he or she wants. The trouble is, of course, what somebody wants may well change with time.

And, unfortunately, how one views what one asked for and received may also change. This change can be especially radical if a relationship with a BDSM element ends in argument or conflict or if the sub has a personality disorder like BPD or Bipolar Type II or is simply unsure about what he or she wants. All kinds of trouble, including legal trouble and false accusations, can occur.

Whether one likes the fact or not, the vanilla world isnít especially sympathetic to BDSM and views what those of us who have played see as a controlled and very consensual trip to a quite special place as abuse, assault, or victimization.

Given that reality, every top is as vulnerable as every bottom.
Here are some things you can do to make your experience as a top safer.

1. Be generous and kind outside of play. Make your sub breakfast in bed. Give him or her gifts. Make sure the person knows you like them for who they are, as well as for the things they let you do to them.

2. Accidents happen. People bruise and get sprains. Be honest and make sure the sub is ok. Be concerned about safety.

3. If a relationship ends, end it well. Give the sub a kiss and a hug. Wish him or her very well. Thank him or her for sharing the gift of their submissiveness with you. Remember, thatís a very special gift. Honor it. And then, if youíre really classy, if youíve bought toys together, give them to your sub as a parting gift. Yes, they may be expensive, but a gift always helps somebody think well of you. And youíve gotten something pretty special out of the relationship, so give back.

4. Cover yourself. Keep all love notes and emails from the sub. If eventually they change how they feel about their experience with you, you have a record, one that you can share with whoever needs to see it.

5. Remember that BDSM is at the farthest reaches of the sexual experience, both physically and emotionally. Especially emotionally. Both you and your partner will experience a range of feelings that most vanilla people never do. This is one of the gifts of BDSM. However, some of these emotions might be quite frightening to the sub. They can range from fear, shame, and embarrassment to ecstasy, love, and admiration. Be prepared and emotionally open to this range of feelings. And remember that you are getting to see and hear thingsósuch as facial expressions and moans of ecstasy--that most people never do. Itís part of why you play. Isnít it? Again, youíre getting a gift. Remember how special it is.

6. Donít be isolated in the relationship. Let people who are ok with BDSM know about the relationship or play. Consider going to a Kink Aware Counselor with your partner, even if things are going well. The more people who know, the safer you both are. Isolation is unsafe.

7. Be careful about who you play with and why theyíre playing. Letís be candid. If youíre anything like me, youíve noticed two things about BDSMers. And I mean people who are into play, not those who just want to be mean while wearing black leather. Theyíre generally pretty smart. The IQs of people Iíve played with have generally been well over 130, in the gifted range. And BDSMers have a great range of personalities. Some of these personalities, while creative and quirky, can also have been created through childhood abuse. Be careful. You may be swimming in the deep waters of somebodyís hidden wounds. Thereís nothing at all wrong with this. But you could push a button that you didnít know was there. And somebody may freak out on you.

8. Be careful about why you play. Never, ever play because you are angry. That is absolutely the wrong reason. And to play because of anger is unethical and immoral and does damage to both the sub and BDSM as a whole. Stop immediately! The right reasons to play are curiosity, a sense of adventure, developing control over your own emotions and body movements, a love of leading somebody (in the sense of being the leading partner in a dance), and a love of role playing. Iíve been Warden Doug myself. Too many Linda Blair prison movies when I was young. Finally, play because you want to give somebody the kind of pleasure that only BDSM can bring. That is absolutely the right reason.

Play and love well and hard. Thatís what itís all about. Isnít it?

Douglas W. Texter, Ph.D.
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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