When Master Goes Bad

Over the holidays you may have seen on my Twitter stream where an ex-sub of mine was in trouble. I woke up New Year’s Day about 9 o’clock to see a message on my phone from an unknown number sent at 6 am saying, “Call me when you get up. It’s Betty.” “Betty” was an ex-sub from when I lived in a different state, and I had long since released her to find another Master.

I had been her first Master and she kept in touch over time, finally letting me know that she had found another to serve. This guy, “Jim” lives in central and is part of a poly relationship. Jim is also into some obscenely intense blood play. Some of the pictures on his profile page reminded me more of a slaughterhouse floor than a BDSM scene. I told her he looked a little sick and to be careful. Betty only giggled at my concern and told me weeks later she was moving there to be a part of the household 24/7 in early November.

So I responded to the text when I got up and the conversation went like this.

Me: “Hi.”
Betty: “Hey.”
Betty: “Can you call?”
Me: “Not at the moment. Are you OK?”
Betty: “No.”
Me: “Why not?”
Betty: “Face is black and blue.”
Me: “Ouch. You leaving?”
Betty: “Driving since 4am”
Betty: “Collar still locked around my neck.”
Me: “You’re completely naked?”
Betty: “No.”
Me: “Is it a metal collar?”
Betty: “Yes.”
Me: “Are you dressed? You need to go now to the police.”
Betty: “I plan on it.”
Me: “Has this been going on the whole time?”
Betty: “Yes.”

Happy fucking New Year! She also said that a blood vessel in her eye looked broken because one eye was red everywhere it should be white. She was very upset and scared. She had agreed to a no limits relationship with someone she had known for a very short time who was obviously into exactly that. She had left family and all she had known, and the only way to leave Jim she said, was to say her safe word three days in a row.

She told me where she was and I proceeded to look up the numbers to some battered women’s centers in her area and told her to call them. I did not hear from her until the next day when she told me she was staying with another Dom about 500 miles away. That same day I had a voice mail in a man’s voice from another unknown number that said only “I wanted to tell her bye.” Weird.

I text back a couple of days later asking if she was OK and got no response. A week later I looked on her profile page and all appears normal and she is back with Jim. Is she really that stupid? Perhaps she is caught in the cycle of abuse as Brit has talked about and cannot break free. I really don’t know.

Another possibility is that this was all an elaborate set of orders he had given her to fuck with a previous Master. Didn’t sound that way and to cry wolf like that is beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior in my book.

When entering into a 24/7 slave type relationship I support the opinion that the sub should be given access to a sum of money and resources to leave if necessary. They should also not have to survive 3 days of saying NO to use it. I think it is impossible to have NO limits. Does removing the ability to say no mean you are willing to die? There is obviously still a limit there. In this case it appears to me that he went beyond what she found acceptable. When was this discussion of limits and if they had it what was the agreed recourse if he exceeded it?

I don’t know what is going on there but it can’t be good and the fact the scene became so out of hand it involved other people, possibly the authorities, marks this as not a BDSM relationship but an abusive one.

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  1. ignorantarmies
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that all serious 24/7 relationships are abusive. Nobody can be in the careful mindset required to act as a responsible dominant at all times. And if 24/7 is taken to include times when the dom is angry, pissed, high, very careless or otherwise unfit to bear this responsibility, than by this aspect it becomes abusive.
    Why should BDSM play be considered non-abusive if it resembles abusive behaviour so much? Because the relationship is different. This can best be characterized with certain counterfactuals:
    In a BDSM relationship, if the sub would say the safeword, the dom would stop. This is not true of abuse. And there are probably a number of such counterfactuals that serve to differentiate between even superficially identical situations.
    But for those counterfactuals to be true requires the dom to be observant, clearminded and able to step beyond his current mode, when neccessary. And I do not believe that anyone is able to be this 24/7.
    Even if the dom means well, there will be times when his judgement is off.

  2. Another Suburban Mom
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I do hope that your friend will be ok. I think that it is horrible when someone appears to take advantage of the trust of another person.

  3. eva
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I hope it's a sick joke, but it does sound like the same old story of abuse.. It's normal for people in abusive relationships to go back to their abuser after they've managed to escape. The abuser has such a tight grip on their victim, it's kind of like being brain washed, and it's hard for people who haven't experienced it first hand to understand just how hard it is to get away. It sounds to me like he uses the term bdsm to cover up the fact that he's a sadist, but what do I know, I obviously don't know these people. I think you should check up on her, or if you don't want to get personally involved, get in touch with her friends and express your concern, make them check up on her and make her less isolated.

  4. sarahbear
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    That's so scary. I hope that she's okay.

    I was thinking the same thing as eva, that perhaps he's using BDSM as an excuse to be abusive and controlling. I would continue to check up on her.

  5. Librarian Babe
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Wow. I think it's good that you could put this up as a cautionary tale. I do hope your friend is ok. I've had a couple of friends in abusive relationships (not even D/s ones), and neither of them disclosed to me what was going on until they were totally free of the guy. It's frightening. Some of what one friend went through was truly horrific. Your friend is in my thoughts.


  6. tygerbaby
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Related to what eva and sarahbear said, my first thought on reaading this was, " Oh my God, the second coming of John Robinson, aka Slave_Master!". That my brain even went there makes me physically ill, but the similarities are there, except for the fact that as far as anyone knows, this girl is still alive.

    Robinson was known to have killed 8 women, and was suspected of at least 3 other killings.

    She needs to LEAVE and not look back.

  7. southerngirl
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    This is sick indeed and turned my stomach. I truly hope she is ok baby…


  8. Hubman
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Reading this story, I was reminded of this piece I bookmarked on The Daily Beast a while back, maybe for a future post. Maybe you and/or Brit can use it as fodder for a post, I'm curious what you think


    I hope your friend is OK.

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