Things that make me sad and angry.
How do I leave when I have given all of my power away and been collared? Are there some type of formalities I need to follow, or can I just go? I’m trying to do that now, but my partner hasn’t given permission.
The above is paraphrased from a woman who posted this question to a kink forum. I’ve trimmed it way down, and left some information out, because she is currently unable to give me permission to quote her. Having to go to a shelter can do that, she’ll be out of contact for a while. Things that I can say about her generically are that she is young, but of legal age, and her partner was holding her ID hostage, as well as blackmailing her with photographs.
There are several things wrong with this situation from the beginning that should be huge warning signs to everyone.
1)He had her ID and documentation. This is a horrible thing to agree to under any circumstances. I don’t care what kind of slave/sub contract you may have with your master/mistress, under no circumstances should anyone keep your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, or other documentation. Ever. Not ever ever ever. There is absolutely no reason for it.
2) He had compromising pictures of her, and she was completely unaware of the legal restrictions binding him from circulating them.
3)She even had to ask, on a forum, if it was okay for her to just pick up and leave. Any responsible dom should have covered this in the early parts of their relationship, given her youth and inexperience.
Don’t ever give anyone your documentation. Not your passport, not your health insurance card, not your VISA or driver’s license or birth certificate and especially not ever your checkbook, bank card, or paycheck. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to keep you from these things. If, for some reason, you need to be protected from spending your own money, there are better ways than handing it to your dominant.
If you are going to allow someone to take sexually themed pictures of you – nude or otherwise – you should be fully aware of the 2257 laws. If photos of you are nude or explicitly sexual, the person publishing those pictures – on the internet or to a magazine or other form of print – must have documentation that you are over 18 and consented to the pictures (that’s BOTH, not just one!), or they can go to prison for improper recordkeeping. The penalties for improper recordkeeping in this context are basically the same as for publishing child porn. It doesn’t matter if the person in the photo is 90 years old; the publisher MUST have documentation of proof of age. While this is, in a few ways, very unreasonable and burdensome on the photographer (look up the details by Googling for 2257), it does protect you from being easily blackmailed.
No one ever needs permission to leave a relationship. If you’re a submissive or slave, and you’ve consented to being in a dom/sub relationship, that does not mean you need the dom’s permission to leave. If your dom is not respecting your hard limits, that’s abusive and you need to – and are allowed to – leave. It doesn’t matter what you agreed to in the beginning. If you become unhappy in the relationship, you are allowed to leave. It’s like a divorce, in many ways. “Until death do us part” is a great vow, but it’s also not a suicide pact. People change, circumstances change, people lie about intentions, people go back on their word. When someone violates your trust, you are allowed to leave. If you don’t feel right, you are allowed to leave. If you are frightened of your partner, you are allowed to leave.
Certainly if someone is abusing you, you should leave. Immediately. Call a shelter, call the cops, call a friend, call your family. Go to a hospital emergency room, if you absolutely must, or a fire department station, or a church. Even if you’re a man being abused by your partner. It happens more often than you’d think. Abuse can be verbal, physical, sexual, and/or emotional. If someone doesn’t stop when you safeword, that’s abuse. If someone hits you, forces you into sex, calls you names, humiliates you or belittles you – any of those things – in a way you did not consent to, or outside of scene, that is abuse.
“But we’re in a 24/7 relationship”. Bullshit. One of you has a job, and I guarantee you that neither of you engage in that kind of thing in the workplace. The parameters of day to day reality apply. You, as a person, are responsible for your own safety. Always. It’s your job to safeword, it’s your job to be sure your partner is clearly informed of your limits, and if your partner violates your limits, it’s your responsibility to GTFO and leave as soon as you safely can.
There’s a lot more awareness about kinky lifestyles when it comes to cops, women’s shelters, and other supportive hot lines and emergency help. You may catch some crap from stupid people, but you’re more likely to get the immediate help you need. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in going to the police and saying “I’m leaving my abusive partner, and I need help to collect my belongings safely.” They don’t really need to know more than that, and they will help you collect your things safely. They would much, much rather have you come to them so they can control the situation. The other option for them is to respond to a domestic violence complaint, or be filling out forms in the ER because you’re being treated for serious injuries. They know this. They’ve seen it before. Depending on the local police department policies, they may even be able to go in and collect your essential things for you if they have an explicit list. This is probably limited to things like ID and paperwork that has your name on it; they’re probably not going to be able to grab your stereo or MP3 player.
Google is your friend, and computers are available at every public library now. If you do a Google search for your city or county name and “domestic abuse help” you are likely to get a list of local numbers you can call. If you are being kept in the house and prevented from leaving, you can call 911. If you are allowed to leave the house, but don’t have access to a telephone, you can go to the police station, hospital, or fire department. The hospital may not know what to do with you off the bat, but they almost always have either security, off duty police, or social workers on call to be available to help you.
Remember, the whole point of being a submissive is to submit. Being held against your will is wrong. Always.