My experiences with power exchange have been incredible, with moments of such sweet intensity and connection, one wonders how other people live without it. But with such beauty and light, comes darkness and ugliness.
This article is about the more dangerous side of the scene, and what to look out for when searching for a Master or Dominate.
I will admit I have hesitated about writing this article for some time. Do I end up scaring people off? But after supporting numerous people this year who have met this more ugly side of the scene, I think people should be aware of these issues so they can protect themselves.
Psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists
Only 1 % of the population is supposed to be psychopathic. Yet in my personal experience of exploring the space of Domination and submission, Master and slave, there is much more than 1%. And this leads to problems.
What do these terms mean?
Firstly I think it is essential to describe what we mean when we use these terms. There are many popular cultural portrayals of what a psychopath is, but they are not really accurate.
I believe this video describes it much better than I can:
Here is a summary
A psychopath is someone that does not have a conscience or a moral centre. So if they do something wrong, they do not feel any guilt in doing so. For example, if they were pulled over by the police and had something in the car they should not, they would not panic. In actual fact, they would probably calmly dispute the reason why the police pulled them over and whether it is lawful.
This also means they are okay with lying and feel no guilt in doing so.
Psychopaths are also incredibly good manipulators. A psychopath will look at any person to see how they can be manipulated. This can be to achieve something the psychopath wants. But it can also be to toy and play with the person. They manipulate a person, and the reaction they get provides them with a sense of power and pleasure.
They are also incredibly charismatic. People tend to like them and like being around them.
Psychopaths can be very successful in society and have learnt to blend in.
From a psychological point of view, a psychopath is someone who showed traits from a young age. Some believe (though not all) that it is genetic and something someone is born with,
A psychopath has no empathy. Empathy is that we understand and share the feelings of other people. A psychopath is incapable of this.
A sociopath is similar to a psychopath but with some differences.
While a psychopath is born, a sociopath learns the behaviour because of their environment.
For example, if you were born into a criminal family. You would be involved in illegal activities as you grow up, and learn not to feel guilty about it. Or if you are somewhere which is lawless, you learn to survive in that situation.
A sociopath tends to be on the fringes of society – operating in the less legal areas of society.
We tend to know one when we meet one. Sociopaths do not tend to blend in, and we tend to know there is something wrong with them when we meet one.
It is important to note that all psychopaths are narcissists. But not all narcissists are psychopaths.
You can think of a narcissist as it is all about me. Narcissists tend to need validation all the time. How they look, how they are. And they can often feel very insecure if they are not getting this validation.
Narcissists are very much about external validation. How they look and how they are perceived.
To validate themselves, a narcissist could have an affair with someone. But while the psychopath would feel no guilt, a narcissist would.
You can also think of people having traits. So they might not be a psychopath or narcissist, but they may have psychopath or narcissist traits.
What has this to do with Domination and submission?
Our scene attracts psychopath, sociopaths, narcissists and people with traits in them. In my experience, and those of others I know, there are many many more than the 1% found in society.
For the rest of the article for simplicity, I will refer to psychopaths, but I am talking about all three.
How do I know if I am dealing with a psychopath?
For the rest of the article, I want to go over some concepts and what to watch out for.
For some people, it will be obvious what is acceptable or not. But for others – who want a more intense form of control, the view is more subtle.
More intense control can be both good and bad, and we need to walk a tightrope. Go too far, and we drop off it into a more dangerous place.
So I will give an attempt of when that line might be that we need to be careful of.
If the first seems a little obvious, bear with me, as each concept builds on the other.
Any good Master should be trustworthy, You can check if someone is honest by making sure what they say is true.
So if they have described their home in a certain way is this true. If it is not, has the master been lying to you?
Psychopaths are very loose with the truth, and only keep it for as long as they think it is useful for them. At a certain point, they stop putting the effort in, and they think you are enthralled enough by them that the truth is not needed.
So you should keep a check on what things are said, and whether they are true now and if they remain true as time goes on.
My own experience with one psychopath was one where over time his personality started to change. At a certain point – some months later – he felt I was enthralled and eager enough to join him that he did not need to the same effort in keeping the facade he had built to gain my trust.
When I was finally allowed to visit him, I found a very different situation to what he had described.
This took place over a period of months.
I also believe in what you do should align with what you say, So if a Master described themselves in a certain way. Make sure that this is true in their behaviours.
Be aware of past behaviour. There are many cases of people being blackmailed by their top or Master – often when they have decided to break up. A psychopath will often show off about this to you.
A case I heard of this year was one where a top/master had sent a video he secretly took of himself fucking his now ex to the ex’s family. Given the ex’s family were devout Muslims, the ex was outcast from the family.
This person had shown off about the story to someone they had just started to date.
This should be a warning sign that perhaps you should not be going out with this person or serving them! This might seem obvious, but sometimes we are so excited to have found a top or master we like that we ignore some of these warning signs and stories.
Another source of information is what other people in the scene think about this person. If someone has a reputation for blackmailing people, or other destructive behaviours it will be known by other people on the scene.
If you notice someone is very good at lying and do it all the time. This is a warning sign.
This can sometimes come out as stories. Perhaps the top/master always has these fantastic outlandish stories to make themselves look amazing.
Do not get me wrong. If someone has fantastic true stories that is great. But over time you will notice that something is bit different or wrong with the stories from a psychopath. And they will always be about how great they are. As a narcissist, the stories will always be about how great they are as a person.
They are also excellent at not keeping agreements and not feeling guilty about it.
I have not noticed this in BDSM. But in other areas of my life, I have also seen a behaviour where a psychopath very carefully answers a question. They do so in a way to make it seem like they are saying one thing, but in the way the question is answered, it means they can do something else.
This is a harder one. All good Masters are good at manipulation is some form. A good Master wants to craft a slave to their liking and for the slave to fulfil its full potential. To do this, they need to understand how a slave works, and how they can create and frame experiences that transform the slave to where they want it to be.
This could also include more in-depth control which does involve an element of mind control if you dapple in the more serious side of the scene like myself.
But some people manipulate for the sake of manipulation. They do this to toy or play with you, rather than craft you into a better slave. A metaphor is like a cat playing with its prey.
If you have ever spoken to a Master online and they suddenly turn on you and make you feel like a failure – this is an example of this. They are feeling bored and decided to play with by seeing if they can destroy your confidence.
We can normally very nervous or scared about approached a Master. So a good Master is normally good and building trust and helping you to go and visit them.
But I have also seen warning signs in how a Master might try and approach these conversations in a much more manipulative fashion.
An example if a Master who will twist any question or answer you say to mean someone else.
For example, a Master asks a question, and you answer. And basically whatever you answer is twisted to mean something else.
He then might get you to agree this is what you actually meant. And then to confuse you more by giving you a choice between two options that further validates his point of view.
The Master is using a technique called contracting. By getting you to agree to something This is where he has twisted something you said to mean something else. But then getting you to choose between two options of what it means, he is creating a psychological yes in your mind.
Beware if someone is doing this to you. It might not be a sign to run away. But you should be careful.
I would also watch out for more subtle manipulation. So if a particular phrase or word or concept is being said again and again in different ways. Examples I have come across are making fun of a valid concern you have – over time they can have you believing that it was stupid. For example, being worried, they are a psychopath.
Other examples of subtle manipulation are someone making fun of you flat and saying how crap it is – building up the criticism as they want you to move in with them. Or someone who has people around them disappear, and they will say at odd points in time that it is strange that the person has left and they cannot understand why – here they are getting you to believe that the person leaving is weird and that is why they have left, as opposed it being an issue with the Master.
As this can turn into gaslighting.
Gaslighting is very serious. It is when someone gets you to doubt everything about yourself and what the truth is.
I recommend everyone watches this video.
You might find that everything you say is twisted to be wrong. Everything is reflected back to your fault, that you are the person with the issues, and that you are not remembering things correctly. In one of the videos, I include in this article, a phrase used was: If you start thinking you need to record conversations you are probably dealing with a narcissist/psychopath.
You can even start to worry that you are losing your mind.
A psychopath may ever start speaking with your friends and family saying that there is something wrong with you. So when you talk to other people about having issues you are having with the psychopath, they do not believe you.
If you are in this situation, you are in a dangerous place.
Cult mind control
As I mentioned above, mind control can be part of a healthy Master-slave relationship – depending on how deep you go.
But there are healthy versions and unhealthy versions.
But I highlight cult mind control as a severe issue. Cults – such as Scientology – use purposeful cult mind control tactics. And it is no coincidence that many cults are led by a psychopath.
One tactic used in cult mind control is that you have to jump through all these steps to be accepted. And you have to put a lot of efforts into these steps. And when you have done this, you will then be included in this beautiful “family” (which is actually a cult).
What actually happens is that you end up wanting to join so much that by the time you do enter, you are so emotionally invested you do not stop – even when you find out what was promised in the cult is not true.
A simple metaphor is that the sign of the tin, is wrong, and what you find on the inside is very different. But because you had been trying for so long to open the tin, you no longer care.
And this is why I think a Master using a cult mind-control tactic is so bad. If a Master is using cult mind control what they are saying you are joining is a lie. And what you will find on the other side of acceptance will be something different.
Why does a Master need to lie about what life would be like with them? What is so bad they cannot be truthful?
Some of the most intense and real Masters I know are very honest about what life would be like with them, both the hard bits and the good.
Be very aware of this tactic. We all like to think we do not fall for these tactics, but we can all be very susceptible to such tactics – especially when we do not realise they are being used on us. And especially if we want something so much – like a Master.
No effort to give the truth
I have also noticed that psychopaths will not go to the effort to create a massive lie – it is too much effort. So if you ask them to explain something that would require them to remember it, they will not. Instead, they will tell you that was the wrong question to ask, or you are crazy for asking that question.
Be aware of this. If a Master does not want to go to the effort to explain something, they are probably worth avoiding.
Slaves are drawn to them
I cannot say if this is scientifically true or not. But I have noticed it is true of myself and other slaves I know. People who have a great, intense need for slavery can be very drawn to psychopaths.
We notice a Mastery in them, which is quite compelling, and our slave souls can be very attracted to them.
I believe that we should avoid them. To give total control to someone requires a lot of trust. I do not think we should give that trust to a psychopath who has no conscience or moral centre.
Think about it. A psychopath could do anything to us, and will never feel any guilt. This would include throwing us out of the house naked and with no money. A true story of someone by the way!
As I also believe that the connection that exists in power exchange is one that a psychopath us unable to have. They will want you to give them everything, but you will never be able to connect to them as they are closed to the connection. Part of this is because they are incapable of empathy – which we need to connect to this energy connection.
Finally, I want to talk about empathy, I have a high degree of empathy, and now I know much more about psychopaths, I can now see that when I meet one they give off no energy at all. It is not possible to connect to them.
At first, if a psychopath is giving off a lot of charisma, you might not be able to tell. But when that facade drops, you can feel the absence of something in them. I often think hugging a psychopath is like hugging a stone.
At first, I used to find people like this a mystery as I could not read them, and because of this (and their dominance), I found them quite attractive.
But when I now come across this, either on the BDSM scene or in everyday life, I know, I should be careful about these people and protect myself from them.
What if I am in a relationship with a psychopath?
I am not an expert at this, so instead, I will give these videos, and say seek help from a therapist if you can afford to.
In my experience, I believe you should make yourself as uninteresting to the person as possible.
Your ego might want to correct them, to say they have been lying to you. But you need to let go of that, And instead, do what will make you safe – and that is to use the techniques given in these videos.
Why should we avoid them?
People who do the things I have described have caused massive damage to people. I know many people who have been very hurt by having a relationship. I have wondered at how many true slaves the scene has lost due to serving a psychopath.
People have had their trust completely broken, their confidence in themselves broken, been hurt in a way that takes years to recover. People have been blackmailed. People have found themselves systematically destroyed, including their friendships with friends and family.
For myself, I had an emotional breakdown by one Master who created an intricate web of lies to expel me from his stable. He did this so the slaves still in the stable would not see he had done anything wrong. But the end result was a break down on my part which took 2 years to heal from.
I had another case where I realised the Master was a psychopath. I extracted myself out before it was too late. He still occasionally gets in touch with me on recon pretending to be someone else to try and catch me again.
A Psychopath will hurt you for real. Not in a BDSM way. Physical pain, physical destruction. They will not care about it. A good Master looks after you, and he limits the damage he inflicts after he’s done. A psychopath doesn’t care about your physical functions and disturbs your physical wellbeing as well. So, sleep disturbance, unnecessary pain, etc. are a sign of that form of abuse too.
How can we avoid them?
Because there are so many on the scene, I think it is hard to avoid them. But you do not need to be hurt by them.
I would advise trust slowly and do not trust too quickly. Allow trust to build over many months. Observe on some of the things I have listed in this article, and from what you observe, decide whether you feel safe to trust more.
I also recommend asking for references. If you go out on the scene, ask other people what they know about him. You can also ask the Master to provide a reference.
If you do this on the web, make sure the profile of the referee has existed for some time, AND make sure it is written in a different way to the Master. If the writing is very similar – the Master and referee are probably the same person!
Once if I was talking to someone who I had a bad feeling about – they were manipulating me whenever I asked a question. I checked with someone I knew from the same city, and it turned out this person had a bad reputation.
Have an awareness of the stories and information the Master provides. If someone shows off about blackmailing, and if the stories show unpleasant and disturbing behaviour, or if the stories that keep changing, then do not give in to the charisma of the psychopath and ask yourself is this the sort of person I feel safe serving.
And remember to have fun. Although the BDSM scene has much more than 1% seen in society, most people are not like this, and you can have amazing experiences.
But be careful. Be safe.
What if it does go wrong
There are a number of resources that can help you if things have gone wrong
In the UK, I recommend golap – The support LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violent
In the USA, I recommend NCSF – they have a number of resources, including incident-supporting
Do you want to go deeper?
Are you ready to transform, go deeper and truly begin?