If you are new to the world of BDSM, please DO NOT believe this dangerous premise.
Look, if we did, there would be so few consent violations it would be bloody amazing. They would have been stopped at a safe word, a communication, a look even. Less rapes, less sexual assaults etc, as again that safe word and that power would perform the magic it should. There are always predators who intend to harm; this isn't about them.
The safety in that, is respect, negotiation and consent from someone willing to listen and stop. It is dependent on the other; that does not equal power, especially if the other person is more powerful in different ways, say in status, strength, age, size, reputation, skills and when maybe you have a history of trauma, fawning etc.
If you are tied up, over-powered, if someone isn't listening as they are too lost in themselves, has mal intent, doesn't understand the concept of boundaries such as no sex while tied up, no touching etc, where is this 'power'?
It isn't so. It simply isn't. I HOPE if I say no, that the person I have negotiated with will listen. I do expect them to from a simple 'no' and stick to what we agreed, and mostly they absolutely will. I expect this, even from someone I have never met before.
And, even 'good' people get lost in their own bloody head too, and it can take a lot to get through. If you are gagged, tied and haven't thought about how to communicate your 'no', or if you are in sub space, are non-verbal etc and didn't think you would be, will you hope this relative stranger will know or guess? NO blame here, we can NOT predict the situation hence I talk about negotiations and consent so much, but even then? Hmm. Please accept the greater risk of drugs and/or alcohol (still a drug) as impacting both your capacities to say 'yes' or 'no' or to use your safe word and or listen/hear.
I once taught a consent workshop at a club and within 20 minutes someone had violated consent and hadn't listened to a bloody thing I shared.
It isn't everyone all the time, clearly not; I am not blind nor stupid. There are so many decent people on the scene, people who are respectful and who listen and care. And it isn't all men, all male dominants at all. Women can be to blame too. AND it happens differently in female-led relationships where it will be less physical/sexual assault and more financial, time, not getting needs met, promises not kept and demands having to be met; re: help and support. There are different forms of assault and violence.
In a respectful negotiated scene you have the power of stop, SO does the top and dominant. Both, all, more than two, you, them – ALL should and could use safe words and that should always happen. Also, the top/dom can be tired, stressed, not be enjoying the session, have limits and can say 'no' and 'stop' too.
Please, your 'power' is in time, not in submission, and a safe word. Take your time, negotiate, ask around, get referrals (even then some subs facilitate) talk, get to know someone. Listen to the green flags in conversations and interactions and look for the red flags too.
The KinkShrink runs FREE weekly workshops on Thursday nights 7pm and most Sundays 2pm (both UK time), on all things kinky, poly, psychology, relationships, communication and mental health. You can follow her on Fetlife: https://fetlife.com/users/75363 She has started a Patreon and a Ko-Fi page to help cover costs for her workshops: https://www.patreon.com/TheKinkShrink?fan_landing=true https://ko-fi.com/thekinkshrink