On Loveawake there are many articles whose aim is to alert women to the dangers involved in entering a non-equal relationship. I see so many horror stories on the internet, in real life, and even, I fear, sometimes too, that I feel a responsibility to warn single women about the narcissistic self-serving predators they are likely to attract. This is also why I stress so often that it is essential that the man in a relationship must have it quite clear in his mind that the relationship should please both persons, not just him.
But men face dangers in a relationship too, and it is helpful, if you are a single man seeking a relationship, to be aware of the dangers and more importantly, aware of how to minimize those dangers. If you are a single woman seeking a relationship, understanding what you are asking of the man might make it easier to be a bit more patient than some of us feel. You also need to take full responsibility for your actions.
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Whatever kind of relationship you have or want to have, there are dangers to be aware of. Any time one person has control or power over the other, there is a risk that the person being controlled will not in fact enjoy the fact that she lacks control. But assuming that the man is a good man who loves the woman and wants her to be happy, he will himself find it distressing if his control of the woman does not promote her happiness. The man in a relationship is not a monster or a narcissist: he really wants his woman to be happy.
If the relationship involves violence, such as spanking, whipping, or any other kind of violence or other SM activities, the dangers are all the greater. There may be some dangers for the woman, but the dangers for the man need to be kept in mind too. In many jurisdictions, any SM/violence is illegal, whether or not it is contenting, and being prosecuted might well ruin a man's life.
Women need to keep this in mind. If they want a man to risk having his life ruined with a terrible criminal prosecution, they had better be worth it. And they should bend over backwards to minimize this risk for the man.
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| 3. Responsibility for your own risk|
In a relationship involving violence (yes, obviously that is consensual or it would not be a relationship, it would be abuse) the woman must take full responsibility for her own actions. She must take responsibility for her own physical and psychological risk.
If you are a man considering whether or not to risk being violent with your woman, ask yourself whether she understands the physical and psychological risks, and whether she is prepared to take responsibility for them. Especially if there is an element of consensual non-consent involved, the chances are that no matter how well-meaning and careful the man is, at some point there will be a mistake, and the woman will have a bad experience. If she does not understand and expect this to happen, the woman has no business asking the man to engage with her in this way. And the man would be crazy to accede to her request for spanking (or whatever other SM/violent activity she wants). If the woman does not understand that occasionally, the man will do the wrong thing, and she will bear the brunt of the adverse consequences, again, she is not safe to engage with in this way.
We have to take responsibility for our own risk. If you choose to engage in physically or psychologically risky behavior, you cannot put all the responsibility on the other person. You could choose to have a non-violent conventional relationship. If you want a relationship, and especially if you want a violent relationship, you are responsible for your own risk.
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When something bad happens, what will you do? Run to the police? Throw a tantrum? Turn into a Fatal Attraction bunny boiler type? Sulk? Or will you deal with it, forgive your man, and get on with your life together?
If you are wondering why anything bad ever has to happen, then in my opinion, you are currently not realistic enough to be in a relationship. Human beings make mistakes. Human beings misjudge things. Human beings do the wrong thing – even really good people. You cannot expect a man to perfectly judge every situation. If you are in a relationship, there will be occasions in which you suffer unfortunate consequences that you really hate or that make you really distressed at the time. That is the price you pay for the intensity of a relationship: it is risky. There are dangers. If you are a man with the kind of woman who thinks that the man has all the responsibility and that he will be to blame if anything goes wrong, my advice to you is either to end the relationship and find someone who understands her responsibility for her own risk, or do not engage in anything that might possibly be deemed illegal.
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If you are a man seeking a hardcore relationship with violence and consensual non-consent, pick your woman very carefully. Your freedom depends on it. Do not rush into a relationship. Take your time. Get to know the woman very well before you start taking legal risks (i.e., engaging in any kind of violence or consensual non-consent).
Do not start engaging violently until you have got to know the woman well enough to have discovered her faults and how she behaves when she is stressed or in an argument with you. People can seem very nice and charming and sane until something bad happens. Then you find out what they are really like under the superficial gloss. Know what she is really like before you do anything that could land you in court. Do not be bulldozed into acting in haste... Women: you just have to be patient. Think about what you are asking of him! Give it time!
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| 6. Risk entering into relationship|
It is not enough for you (the man) to know that the woman really wants you to take her in hand against her will and with violence. You need to be sure that she will not suddenly turn on you when what she has asked for turns out not to be what she wants in a particular situation. You need to be sure that she deeply believes in taking responsibility for her own actions and risks. You need to be sure that she understands that you are fallible and that on occasion you will make a mistake. You need to be sure that she strongly believes that it would be wrong of her to go to the police in the event that something bad were to happen as a consequence of the relationship she wants. You need to be sure that she feels strongly protective of you.
Yes, you need to be sure that she feels strongly protective of you, and that this does not change, Jekyll and Hyde style, when the two of you have a disagreement or fight of some kind.
Is she capable of being discreet? Is she the kind of woman who will blab to all and sundry about what you are doing to her? Does she understand that careless talk costs lives? If you think that the woman you are considering entering a relationship with might be indiscreet, you would be a fool to risk entering into a relationship with this woman. Find one who is capable of discretion. Find a woman who believes in keeping the private sphere very private. Such a woman is far less likely to cause a problem down the line.
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| 7. Be honest with yourself. |
The woman needs to have considerable maturity. This does not mean she has to be chronologically older. It means that she needs to have enough psychological strength and autonomy and self-esteem and good sense and rationality not to be permanently harmed in the event that something goes wrong. As a man, you have some responsibility here to check that the woman you are thinking of having a relationship with can handle it. Be honest with yourself. Is this woman likely to be destroyed by this relationship? Or harmed in any way? Then obviously it would be wrong to have a relationship with her even if she wants you to very badly.
Both men and women beginning relationships would do well to take their time and check how the other person behaves in a crisis or fight. If the other person is unable to apologies, or if the other person has a blaming, negative, hostile personality, the alarm bells should be deafening. We must all take responsibility for our own actions and for our own risks. And we had all better be able to handle it when something bad happens. Because it most assuredly will. That is the human condition. Deal with it!
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