Bruises, welts, marks and tears are just a few things I can induce from a good scene. These are physical tokens that I can leave to mark the moment and to display a reminder, that even days later will attest to my presence of where my hands have been.
But there are marks we leave behind with every encounter that will not register on the skin. These marks can be beautiful, but they can also be horrific.
A responsible Dom/top will understand the basic working of the human anatomy in order to minimize risk of injury, but he also needs to have a basic understanding of human psychology and more importantly, take time to get to know someone he's going to play with, in order to provide an experience that is not only physically safe, but psychologically beneficial as well.
When a submissive is in subspace, the chemicals in her brain are functioning differently than normal and because of her altered state, she is more exposed to being emotionally abused and therefore scared.
I'm a Sadist, but definitely a sensual Sadist in every way, and mentally, I don't need to degrade in order to assert my dominance. I'm not opposed to degradation play between two consenting adults even though it doesn't speak to my personal taste, I am opposed to someone engaging in that form of play casually without having a basic understanding of the mental marks they'll leave behind.
Even the most stoic, toughest son of a bitch can be broken down mentally, no mind is infallible. So, when you're playing with someone, don't get so lost in the moment that you forget to think about how this scene will effect her days, weeks or even months later.
Because even after the physical marks and bruises have healed and resided. The marks on her mind that you brutally placed there, might not be so quick to heal and can hurt and cause more damage than any whipping ever could.
We all want to be remembered, just be mindful of the marks you'll leave behind.