The essential ethic of all BDSM practice is mutual consent. To discipline without consent is assault. To carry out a sexual act without consent is rape. Virginia Mistress, in line with the entire BDSM scene does not condone any act that does not have the explicit consent of the submissive partner.
There is a perception that Bondage and Discipline will result in crimes of violence and depravation. There is no doubt that unfortunately some criminals are depraved and sadistic and tie up their victims and inflict hideous acts on them. These individuals are a blight on any society. But this stands in the same relationship to the BDSM 'scene' as does rape to making love. The act may appear the same, but one is criminal and the other is loving. The Dominant seeks out a partner who will submit, the submissive seeks out a partner who will dominate. The criminal seeks out a victim, the victim has no say in the matter and certainly does not seek out the criminal.
Implied in consent is the responsibility of the dominant partner in any BDSM scene to monitor the well being of the submissive, to ensure that the submissive is stable and that the consent is still operative.
It is also the responsibility of a dominant to ensure that a submissive is not consenting to an act that is not in his or her best long term interest. Obviously nobody can be certain of the outcome of any act, but it is a responsibility to monitor the submissive as conscientiously as possible.
Neither partner should indulge in heavy drinking or drug taking as this can impair judgement resulting in serious accidents.
Safe Words. It is accepted practice to use a 'safe word' in a BDSM scene. This may be a code word, or in some cases an action. At Salon Kitty's, the standard word is "mercy", but the word varies from scene to scene, and should be established by the parties before a scene begins. In BDSM scenes, the literal word 'no' is never used as a safe word. It is a case where no rarely means no. But even so, a skilled dominant is always alert to what is going on. Submissives not infrequently reach a trance like, almost metaphysical state, and it is the responsibility of the dominant to monitor this.
Given that scenes only happen with consent, there is considerable philosophical discussion as to whether a submissive is controlling a scene by giving or withdrawing consent to particular activities. The passive partner may well withdraw consent as soon as the dominant begins an activity they don't like. Pedantically speaking, a dominant/submissive relationship does not exist unless this element of consent is removed, but this is a problem only for the purist. In the real world, judgement must be used.
If you are interested in any of the many areas of BDSM, and Domination and Submission we encourage you to carefully explore yourself in a safe, healthy, harm-free way. Never force someone into a BDSM 'scene' against their will. Criminal bondage and sadism are sometimes confused with the loving relationships which are part of our scene. In order to enjoy the possibilities that the world of BDSM offers, one must first discover respect and trust, both of oneself and of others. The development of trust and respect governs how far the dominant and submissive can explore their levels.
Many submisives will seek out a dominant whom they feel will extend them. They will look for a dominant who will enable them to submit to higher levels of pain, discomfort, or forms of humiliation, all for the purpose of giving the dominant pleasure. This request often comes from the submissive, therefore the dominant needs to know just how much further they can push their submissive into the area the submissive wishes to extend. It is a very complimentary and symbiotic form of relationship. One partner cannot work without the other.