Anonymous said: do you consider john and Mary's relationship as well as john and Sherlock's relationship abusive ones when considering his addiction to dangerous situations, how he keeps running back to it, and how they treated him in HLV? I really want to know your opinion on the topic
OH MAN YOU ASKED THE RIGHT QUESTION.
And you totally pinpointed it: this is largely predicated on that nasty word ‘addiction.’
If you buy into my reading of Sherlock and John’s relationship as a kind of BDSM power game, then the big issue here is consent. Because consent can often be the only dividing line between abuse and BDSM. If a person asks for it (really asks for it, not in the “she was wearing a short skirt” kind of sense), then it is not abuse.
(And in fact “You asked for it!” is a common justification for abuse and violence, both physical and emotional.)
Consent requires two things: for the consenter to have possession of their faculties, and to have a sufficiently full understanding of what they’re consenting to.
In the very first episode, John is invited by Sherlock (“Could be dangerous”) and warned by Mycroft (“When you walk with Sherlock Holmes, you see the battlefield”). John is in possession of the information and he makes his decision to go with Sherlock anyway.
In The Great Game, he sees past the gloss of Sherlock’s awesomeness and Sherlock fails to give him information that led to John being strapped into a bomb vest. And yet, with one glance, Sherlock queries John’s consent, and John gives it.
(Spoilers down in there somewhere.)