From PeterMastersWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Fear plays a role in many aspects of BDSM. It can be a powerful and exciting tool to effect our partners in some types of scene, it can signal to us when situations may be harmful or dangerous, and it is---sadly---also a tool used by abusers to selfishly manipulate others, such as their submissive or dominant.

Fear and mind fucks

One common scene involving fear is the mind fuck. This is where a submissive or bottom is tricked into thinking that something frightening is happening, or about to happen, when they are actually quite safe.

Inducing fear doesn't require trickery or blindfolds as is frequently the case with mind fucks. Simply creating a situation or exploring activities which have the potential to go wrong, combined with a bit of acting or drama can go a long way towards creating a lot of fear. For example, doing cutting on a bottom or submissive while they are watching can be enough to trigger a great amount of fear or apprehension.

Fear in these sorts of activities is what we can call a healthy fear. It is perhaps comparable to the sort of fear you experience on a roller coaster ride. You are completely safe, but it can be highly exhiliarating and can also be a powerful bonding experience when shared with a trusted partner, and perhaps even more when the trusted partner is the one causing the fear in the first place! The key word here, of course, is trust. Without trust the experience may instead become terror.

What we're tapping into with fear in BDSM scenes is the powerful, primal and overwhelming type of fear which supersedes all other emotions. Fear of pain and fear of heights or falling are probably the easiest to trigger in BDSM.  

Fear and self-protection

Quite reasonably we might be afraid of what might happen with a new partner and this fear can help motivate us to put safeguards in place before we play, such as safe calls, soft limits and hard limits.

Engaging in BDSM with a new partner with simple blind faith (i.e., no fear) is just asking for trouble. Until you know someone well, even if their intentions are good, things may still go wrong or go in undesirable directions.

Fear and abuse

Fear is also a tool of abusers. Abuse is often the use of fear by one person to get their way over another. This is a selfish use of abuse and can appear in a number of ways, some of which are not obvious, including:

  • Threats of violence or punishment if you don't behave a certain way. It's important to recognize the difference between punishment in an abusive context and punishment in a D&s context. The key is the fear involved.
  • Fear of appearing inadequate if you don't achieve the standard or behave the way your partner says you should behave. This applies equally to dominants, submissive, tops, bottoms, etc.
  • Threats to leave or abandon you if you don't behave the way your partner wants. 

See also