Assault and consent in the BDSM community

I had planned to spend this afternoon writing about the Long Now Project, which inspires some of the most optimistic parts of me and speaks to the parts of me that are profoundly in love with the potential of the human race.

Instead, I’m going to write about something that saddens me greatly.

A short time ago, a friend of mine was sexually assaulted during a play session with a person who’s prominent in the local Portland BDSM scene. The situation was complex, as these things often are; most rapes, whether they’re within the context of BDSM or not, usually don’t involve some perpetrator springing from a dark alley onto an unsuspecting victim. Yes, it can happen that way, but more often than not the victim knows the perpetrator, as was the case here.

This situation started out as consensual play, and turned into assault when my friend’s boundaries were overrun. And what happened next makes me especially disappointed and angry.

The purpose of this post isn’t to discuss the details of what happened. The things I’m going to say hold true regardless of the exact nature of the circumstances. Instead, what I want to do is talk specifically about the BDSM community, and how it often falls short of its own stated ideals, and often plays into cultural norms about men and women even while it supposedly enshrines values of individuality, negotiation, and consent.

It’s not my intention to go into the details of the assault. For anyone who’s interested and a member of FetLife, there’s an essay here on Fetlife written by my friend. For folks who have access to Fetlife and who haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so.

I’m a lot more concerned about the fallout after the assault. A lot of folks who I really think ought to know better have behaved in ways that suggests to me that they are blind to the value of consent and trapped in cultural paradigms of how women “ought” to behave.

I’m not saying that everyone in the BDSM community reacted badly. Quite a number of folks, both within the community and outside it, were supportive. What’s disappointing and angering to me, though, is the people–and I will admit to being surprised by how many people–were not, and the lines of reasoning I saw.



If you don’t lock your car, whatever happens is on your head

In conversations about rape and rape culture, one of the things I’ve heard feminists talk about is the idea that we as a society will often try to encourage women to avoid situations where they might be raped, but we don’t encourage men not to rape women in the first place I think this is a valid complaint, and I do agree that this does, in effect, end up making it easier to blame the victims of rape for their own victimization. (“Well, if you hadn’t been walking alone in the park/wearing that dress/whatever, this wouldn’t have happened to you!”)

But I think that blaming it solely on misogyny and patriarchy misses something important. There are women who buy into this notion as well, and it’s not entirely because of internalized oppression.

We do the same thing with other kinds of crimes; we tell people to lock their doors rather than telling people not to burgle other people’s homes; we tell people to lock their cars and hide their valuables rather than telling people not to rob cars. And this also creates an environment where victim-blaming becomes easier. I have had a car stolen before, back when I lived in Ft. Myers, and a surprising number of folks I knew told me it was my fault for parking it in a dark parking lot in a bad part of town. The impulse to blame the victim runs deep, and it isn’t just about misogyny.

Instead, I think it’s often about creating an illusion of safety. By finding some way to blame a victim of a crime, we can protect ourselves, if only a little bit, from the fear of that crime. If you are a victim because you did something wrong, then I don’t need to fear being a victim as long as I do things right. I don’t need to worry about having my car stolen, because I’m smart enough not to park it in a dark corner of a parking lot. I won’t be a rape victim, because I’m smart enough to know better than to wear that miniskirt or walk down that alley.

Reality doesn’t line up with those assumptions, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if women who dress modestly are just as likely, or more likely, as women who dress provocatively to be victims of rape. People will cling to beliefs that make them feel safer, even if those beliefs aren’t true.

I am absolutely not saying that rape culture doesn’t exist (it does) or that misogyny doesn’t play a role in people’s perception of rape (again, it does). For example, if a rape victim and a perpetrator know each other, that often makes folks more inclined to blame the victim than if the perpetrator were a stranger, yet the same is not true of robbery–whether a robber and a victim know each other or not doesn’t change how likely people are to blame the victim for the robbery.

Instead, what I’m saying that both men AND women have a psychological motivator to engage in victim-blaming, and that misogyny is just one of many factors leading to victim-blaming.


In the BDSM community, victim-blaming can be more subtle and more insidious. I’ve heard folks say “Well, everyone knows how so-and-so likes to play. She should have known what she was getting into when she agreed to play with him.” I’ve heard folks say “Well, she should have checked his references (or established a safe call or not played with him in private or any of a dozen other things) and this wouldn’t have happened.”

These “she should have” games play out after the fact, too. I’ve heard folks, including one person I know who I consider to be basically a decent guy, say “She should have done thus-and-such after the assault happened.” Usually it’s “She should have reported it” or “She should have confronted the perpetrator directly” or “She should have gone to a community leader and let him know that there was a problem”.

To me, all these “she should have” statements are a little fucked up. See, here’s the thing: Often, the folks in the BDSM community who end up assaulting someone are well-respected leaders in the community, with impeccable references and strong community support.

And I especially find it odious when folks try to say what they think an assault victim should have done after the fact. Look, here’s the scoop: I am privileged. Men in general are privileged. We don’t live with the pervasive knowledge that we can be sexually assaulted. I have never been the victim of a sexual assault, and because I am male, I am unlikely ever to be. That means I do not know what it feels like to be assaulted, or to be constantly aware that I can be assaulted. For me, or anyone who doesn’t know what that’s like, to presume to tell someone who has been assaulted how she is “supposed” to deal with the assault seems incredibly presumptive.

Confrontation has a cost. It is quite common for people, even when they have been victimized, not to be confrontational. This can be especially true if the person who’s been victimized rationalizes that some part of the victimization might be his or her own fault; it’s often easiest to say “Well, I shouldn’t have been in that situation, so I really am not in a position to make a fuss about it now.”

The “She should go to a community leader” is particularly presumptive considering how often it is that the “community leaders” are precisely the ones most likely to behave inappropriately, as was the case in my friend’s assault.

And when it is a community leader who’s involved, the community can close ranks behind him surprisingly quickly.

Again, this is not necessarily because of overt misogyny, though misogyny may play a role in it. There certainly is a streak of misogyny in some parts of the BDSM community, which you can see in the way submissive women are treated at social functions; there’s often a presumption that a person who identifies as submissive, especially a female submissive, should naturally behave submissively toward any self-described dominant who walks into the room. You can see it in the way a submissive woman may be subjected to unwanted touching, especially in a “ha ha only kidding” context; if you announce that you’re a submissive woman in a group of kinksters, one or two of them will quite likely assume that means they can swat your ass or otherwise encroach on your personal space without your permission. You see it in the way that many self-described dominants believe that submissive men are not “real men.”

So there is an element of misogyny at work. But misogyny isn’t the only thing going on. Community leaders in the BDSM community often become community leaders because they’re willing to do things for people. They may host play parties or BDSM events. They may conduct classes in rope work. They may donate money to causes that are important to BDSM. They’re community leaders because they perform some kind of service that people benefit from.

And people don’t like losing that benefit. They may feel that if a community leader is accused of inappropriate behavior, he might stop hosting play parties, or they might not have the opportunity to learn from him. That creates a powerful incentive for them to find reasons to discredit accusations of assault or other inappropriate behavior. Or, worse yet, if the perpetrator withdraws from the community, they can act like it’s the victim’s fault they’re not getting to go to those play parties or getting that education any more.

So community leaders in the BDSM community often find themselves in a position where there are fewer checks on their behavior, and where it is easy for them to be able to get away with inappropriate behavior. And that creates an environment where it is easy for a person in the role of a community leader to become a serial offender. Without checks on his behavior, he may feel free to commit assaults over and over again, with each victim believing that her assault is simply an isolated incident. The cost of coming forward means that few people are likely to come forward. The reluctance on the part of the community to acknowledge abuse means that those who do come forward may be discredited or dismissed. Together, these things become a recipe for an ongoing cycle of abuse.

In talking to people about my friend’s assault, I’ve seen this happen. The perpetrator in this particular case runs (or used to run) a studio dedicated to teaching erotic rope work. This is a resource which, for obvious reasons, people in the local community do not want to lose. It’s not hard to figure out why otherwise decent folks, folks who would act decisively against a random person accused of assault, might be willing to search for reasons to believe that what happened isn’t really that big a deal when a community leader is involved. They have something to lose.

A person–especially a submissive and most especially a submissive woman–who comes forward in the BDSM community about assault often faces considerable repercussions for it. Other submissives might say “Well, the victim isn’t really a TRUE submissive; if she were, she’d embrace what happened.” She might have difficulty finding play partners, as people think “Well, she’s just crazy; crazy people fling around wild accusations all the time. I better not go near her, or next thing you know she’ll be making shit up about me!” People who like the perpetrator, or who gain some benefit by the perpetrator’s involvement in the community, can try to minimize the assault: “Well, it wasn’t REALLY assault; the boundaries were fuzzy, and it wasn’t like he really meant to violate them.”

It’s that last one that pisses me off the most.



I like my women like I like my coffee: as a metaphor for objectification

When you encounter the BDSM community, the first thing you’ll find is people talking about consent. It’s the thing that differentiates BDSM from abuse. It’s in the slogans you’ll hear: Safe, Sane, and Consensual; Risk Aware Consensual Kink. BDSM Web sites, including mine, spend a lot of time talking about it.

And yet, for all the fact that the BDSM community talks the talk about consent, even to the point of smug self-congratulation, it’s far too common that folks in the BDSM community aren’t really serious about consent.

And I don’t just mean the way that people will non-consensually swat the ass of any self-identified submissive who walks by. I mean in the way that folks will rationalize sexual assault just because they think there might have been some fuzzy boundaries.

There are lots of situations where boundaries can be fuzzy. I get that. People might start a scene and then what they want might change midway through. People might not communicate clearly. I get that.

But here’s the thing: If you’re not quite sure what the boundaries are, don’t go sticking your dick in other people.

My sweetie joreth doesn’t like the “No Means No” anti-date-rape campaign.

It has a noble purpose; and it is certainly true that if someone you’re with says “no” to a sexual activity, you’re an asshole if you go ahead and do it anyway.

But its weakness, she argues, is that it places the burden of responsibility on the victim–usually the woman–to say “no”. If no means no, what does it mean if the answer is ambiguous? What does it mean if there’s no answer? Does that mean yes? Should we assume that the default is yes unless we hear a definite no? Women are often socialized not to say “no” directly. Does that mean they’re actually saying “yes?”

Instead, she argues in favor of a different standard: “Yes means yes.” If you don’t have direct, affirmative permission to put your dick somewhere, don’t do it. Even if you didn’t hear a “no.”

In the BDSM community, which prides itself on negotiation and consent, one would expect to find that the incidence of “assault due to fuzzy boundaries” would be lower than in the wider society at large–but honestly, I don’t know that that’s the case. I suspect it’s not. Some of the blame for that, I think, can be pinned on the “no means no” mindset; we didn’t specifically negotiate this, but she didn’t explicitly say “no” to it either, so that must mean it’s OK.

“Yes means yes” sets a higher standard for consent; if the boundaries are fuzzy, if you didn’t hear an explicit yes, if you aren’t quite sure whether or not she wants you to put your dick there…assume that it is not OK for you to do it. In a community that claims to worship consent so much, that is, quite frankly, the minimum standard I would expect to see. And I’m disappointed by how often I don’t.

There also seems to be, for some people in the BDSM community, an all-or-nothing approach to consent, even though we talk a great about limits and negotiation. Consent to one activity never implies consent to another. If she is in your house, that does not mean she has consented to get naked. If she has consented to get naked, that does not mean she has consented to be touched. If she has consented to touch, that does not mean she has consented to sex.

This should be obvious. Sadly, it appears that it is not. The perpetrator in the case here has tried to use photographs from a previous rope session with my friend, during which she had a positive experience, as evidence that the assault was consensual. It seems plain to me that consenting to be tied up is not the same thing as consenting to sex.

Overall, I’m quite disappointed by the way the BDSM community handles cases of assault, especially when the perpetrator is highly placed in the community.

I don’t want to give the impression that it’s a common problem. It’s really not; most of the folks I know involved in BDSM are upstanding people, and the abuses I’m aware of are relatively rare. But they do happen, and when they do, I think a lot of folks in the community really fall short of responding in a compassionate and appropriate way.

What I would like to see from the BDSM community:

– An acknowledgement that sexual assault can and does happen within the community, and that this assault is sometimes perpetrated by community leaders within the community

– A standard of consent that is very, very high. No means no; fuzzy boundaries means no; I’m not sure but I think she might be indicating that she wants to go further means no; I’m not quite sure how to read this situation means no; only yes means yes. No putting your dick, or anything else, anywhere you don’t have an explicit invitation to go. (Yes, I get resistance play. Yes, I get consent play. You can still negotiate that out with an explicit “yes.”) This includes small things, like swatting the ass of that subby girl who walks by. Doing that isn’t cute and it isn’t funny. It’s misogynistic, and it shows her that her consent isn’t really all that important to you.

– Better recognition of the fact that a person who has been assaulted might not react to the assault the way we think she should. If a person does not react to being assaulted the way we think she ought to, that doesn’t mean the assault didn’t happen or was less serious. C’mon, really, people, this should be obvious.

– Better policing of the behavior of community leaders. The fact that community leaders contribute so much to the BDSM community creates an incentive for people to downplay accusations of assault against them. That’s exactly why such folks ought to be held to a very high standard.

– Assignment of responsibility where it belongs: on the assaulter. Yes, we like to talk about what people can do to keep themselves safe, and there’s value to that. Safe calls, references, meeting in public–these things are the scene equivalent of locking your car’s doors. But make no mistake about it, if a person doesn’t lock their doors, or doesn’t meet in public, that person does not deserve to be violated! Regardless of what the victim did or didn’t do, the responsibility for assault rests squarely on the assaulter.

– Make it safe for people who have been assaulted to talk about it. No victim-blaming, no ostracizing the victim, no whispered “wow, she must be crazy” behind closed doors. Keep an eye on the ball. The asshole is the perpetrator, not the victim. It’s bad enough that the victim was assaulted; don’t compound it by making it unsafe for the victim to do anything about it.

– Don’t ostracize people who come forward when they’ve been abused. An explicit recognition of the fact that coming forward is difficult would go a long way toward creating that safe space.

– The roles that people play in the BDSM community are choices. They are not the whole of who someone is. It might be fun to talk about “true” dominants or “real” submissives in a scene, but at the end of the day, every single person makes choices about what role they play and what their boundaries are. If you let these roles bleed over into reality to the point where you think that all dominants should X or all submissives should Y, you’re missing the point.

I believe that my friend is likely to face reprisals or ostracism from some of the members of the local community for coming forward, and I have a lot of respect for her for doing so despite the social cost. It’s entirely possible that by writing this blog post, there are some members of the local community who won’t much like me, either. I would like to propose that instead of being something that creates enmity in the community, this should become a catalyst for change. I think this should be a wake-up call for community leaders to make the community safer for its members, to hold ourselves to a higher standard of consent, and to create an environment that does not tolerate abusers. I would like the local BDSM scene in specific and the community in general to become better educated on the subject of sexual assault and create a safety network that makes it easier for victims to come forward. We need to do better than this.

Comments? Your experiences?

192 thoughts on “Assault and consent in the BDSM community

  1. Thank you for giving such a clear voice to this topic. Things are not always as clear as people want them to be..when I was violated it took a day or two to even realize my own anger, and longer to put words to why…that was eight months ago and even now I’m understanding my anger in a better sense from reading your post than I had available to me when confronting my perpetrator. Even then I felt the need to ‘hold back’ like my anger wasn’t justified because I knew he ‘didn’t mean it’.

    It’s amazing how much we can further the violation on ourselves for the sake of society, playing to people’s discomforts about the topic and fear of shame and blame that we deny ourselves our own voice…sometimes even out of guilt/self-punishment. I’ve a friend who’s now got her perpetrator living with her because of the “karma” of putting off a guy she cared about because she felt too guilty to tell him about being date-raped, so she’s staying with the rapist.

    And others…that someone can somehow quickly work his hand down your pants, which gets physically removed and ends the date, and then still not get it enough to try contacting the next day as if nothing happened, baffles me.

  2. Thank you for giving such a clear voice to this topic. Things are not always as clear as people want them to be..when I was violated it took a day or two to even realize my own anger, and longer to put words to why…that was eight months ago and even now I’m understanding my anger in a better sense from reading your post than I had available to me when confronting my perpetrator. Even then I felt the need to ‘hold back’ like my anger wasn’t justified because I knew he ‘didn’t mean it’.

    It’s amazing how much we can further the violation on ourselves for the sake of society, playing to people’s discomforts about the topic and fear of shame and blame that we deny ourselves our own voice…sometimes even out of guilt/self-punishment. I’ve a friend who’s now got her perpetrator living with her because of the “karma” of putting off a guy she cared about because she felt too guilty to tell him about being date-raped, so she’s staying with the rapist.

    And others…that someone can somehow quickly work his hand down your pants, which gets physically removed and ends the date, and then still not get it enough to try contacting the next day as if nothing happened, baffles me.

  3. You are right once again!

    Thank you for writing and posting this. Having been physically assaulted a number of years ago by a so-called community leader, during a social in one of the main gathering places of our community here in DC, I can attest as a guy that community leaders get away with a lot of crap no one else is allowed. How much worse it it for women or others, I can only imagine. Life may be a popularity contest, but ethical behavior is not.

  4. You are right once again!

    Thank you for writing and posting this. Having been physically assaulted a number of years ago by a so-called community leader, during a social in one of the main gathering places of our community here in DC, I can attest as a guy that community leaders get away with a lot of crap no one else is allowed. How much worse it it for women or others, I can only imagine. Life may be a popularity contest, but ethical behavior is not.

  5. I like “yes means yes” a lot. Women are strongly socialized NOT to unambiguously consent to sex and are often judged harshly when they do.

    I think a rule that no-one gets any nookie without an unambiguous yes would be GREAT, as it would cut out that shit!

    • That’s one of the problems, I think–men and women both in our society are taught to surround sex with shame, and on top of that, women are also socialized to believe that consenting unambiguously to sex makes them “sluts.” So both men and women can have internalized reluctance to talk openly about sex, though I think it’s worse for women than it is for men.

      Still, the BDSM community talks the talk about open negotiation and consent, and I think it’s necessary–particularly since so much potential for abuse exists–for it to walk the walk as well. Even if talking unambiguously about sex is difficult.

  6. I like “yes means yes” a lot. Women are strongly socialized NOT to unambiguously consent to sex and are often judged harshly when they do.

    I think a rule that no-one gets any nookie without an unambiguous yes would be GREAT, as it would cut out that shit!

  7. Repeated, in whole, for depressing truth. (The whole blaming thing? Some of it’s misogyny; some is Just World Theory, which makes an observer think the victim did something to deserve the punishment. Both serve to distance the observer from the victim–“if I don’t do X, it won’t happen to me.” We all know that’s BS.)

    One of my favorite posts on sexual assault: this one from Harriet J.

    Thinking good thoughts for your friend.

    • We’d a long talk at dinner about the aspect of the just world fallacy here.. and certainly the misogyny.. but there is something I see playing here among the good people I nkow who are not being the best versions of themselves in responding to the situation and it REALLY seems to be centered on wanting to feel safe. Victim blaming to create a sense of self-safety: They want to decry the victim as having blame for getting into the situation by ignoring certain safety or communication concerns they can come up with because if THEY could avoid doing that THEMSELVES then maybe THEY would be SAFE. The other influences are there, of course, but they don’t seem to be winning.

      People seem to want to believe there is a set of rules or expectations they can rely on (without, you know having to actively negotiate them?!?) to validate they will be safe – and don’t want to accept that is merely an illusiory.

  8. Repeated, in whole, for depressing truth. (The whole blaming thing? Some of it’s misogyny; some is Just World Theory, which makes an observer think the victim did something to deserve the punishment. Both serve to distance the observer from the victim–“if I don’t do X, it won’t happen to me.” We all know that’s BS.)

    One of my favorite posts on sexual assault: this one from Harriet J.

    Thinking good thoughts for your friend.

  9. I have an example of unacceptable behavior, not at a BDSM event but at a party with people who practice. It is a minimal example of unacceptable behavior, but I did in fact report it to the host. And he did in fact go have a word with the person who overstepped a boundary she knew I had. And she did in fact think it was silly. But I confronted her directly later and made it clear for her. I don’t like spanking, not from anyone, let alone someone who was not even on my “friend” radar. It was one swat, it didn’t hurt, but that’s entirely beside the point. Our host agreed without any hesitation whatsoever. There was at least one person at that party who’d have removed her head for such a violation of boundary.

    I was raised to speak up about such things, and although I couldn’t always do it (a crotch grope many many years ago in a very crowded place went unreported), I know the value of exposing a violator. It often, alas, comes at a very high price. THAT has to change!

  10. I have an example of unacceptable behavior, not at a BDSM event but at a party with people who practice. It is a minimal example of unacceptable behavior, but I did in fact report it to the host. And he did in fact go have a word with the person who overstepped a boundary she knew I had. And she did in fact think it was silly. But I confronted her directly later and made it clear for her. I don’t like spanking, not from anyone, let alone someone who was not even on my “friend” radar. It was one swat, it didn’t hurt, but that’s entirely beside the point. Our host agreed without any hesitation whatsoever. There was at least one person at that party who’d have removed her head for such a violation of boundary.

    I was raised to speak up about such things, and although I couldn’t always do it (a crotch grope many many years ago in a very crowded place went unreported), I know the value of exposing a violator. It often, alas, comes at a very high price. THAT has to change!

  11. I read Tom Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem he talks about what people do to survive emotionally in a war zone when you or people close to you can die suddenly. They invent “rules” for survival. “He died because he only waited 10 min. after the cease fire siren. Everyone knows you wait 15 min.”
    They had to invent these rules to create an emotional zone where they could survive. Where there is no safety, you invent it.

    • Good observation, and sad. We humans crave not only safety, but a sense of order and narrative. When things don’t make sense, our brains work overtime to impose sense on the senseless. I can’t begrudge people in a life-or-death situation that crutch if it helps them keep themselves together long enough to survive it.

      The rest of the time, however, I wish more people would see victim-blaming for what it is and work harder to dismantle it. I’m tired from all the self-defense I have to do every day.

    • I definitely understand the reason that people develop these rules. It’s the fallacy of control; people want to feel a sense of control over their lives, since it promotes a sense of safety.

      The problem (other than the fact that these rules simply don’t line up with reality) is that I see no way to develop them without ALSO developing victim-blaming behavior. If oyu sincerely believe that following the rules will keep you safe, then it seems logical to also believe that folks who don’t follow the rules bring whatever Bad Things happen down on themselves.

  12. I read Tom Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem he talks about what people do to survive emotionally in a war zone when you or people close to you can die suddenly. They invent “rules” for survival. “He died because he only waited 10 min. after the cease fire siren. Everyone knows you wait 15 min.”
    They had to invent these rules to create an emotional zone where they could survive. Where there is no safety, you invent it.

  13. We’d a long talk at dinner about the aspect of the just world fallacy here.. and certainly the misogyny.. but there is something I see playing here among the good people I nkow who are not being the best versions of themselves in responding to the situation and it REALLY seems to be centered on wanting to feel safe. Victim blaming to create a sense of self-safety: They want to decry the victim as having blame for getting into the situation by ignoring certain safety or communication concerns they can come up with because if THEY could avoid doing that THEMSELVES then maybe THEY would be SAFE. The other influences are there, of course, but they don’t seem to be winning.

    People seem to want to believe there is a set of rules or expectations they can rely on (without, you know having to actively negotiate them?!?) to validate they will be safe – and don’t want to accept that is merely an illusiory.

  14. I had my car broken into over a year ago and my laptop stolen, I was told “You shouldn’t have left your laptop in your car in that part of town.”

    I was raped at 13 at a party filled with older people who were drinking and was told “You shouldn’t have been at that party because people were drunk.”

    I stayed the night in the bed of a friend a couple months ago and he started groping me. I asked him what he was doing, and his response was “I’m not hearing a ‘no…'”

    I get nervous telling people I am a submissive, because I am particular about me being touched and have been told before that because I am submissive I should “appreciate” the touching I recieve. About a year ago I had a partner that I was submissive to. He gained another partner/sub, and decided to tell me that from that point on I was submissive to the both of them. I had no choice in the matter, according to him I was supposed to answer to her the same way I answer to him. I broke up with him over this, and was told that it was a stupid reason to break up with him from other people in the community. Because I am a submissive I should have said “yes, sir” and just gone with it.

    I’m really glad for your friend for standing up. Knowing someone who has had a scene with a community leader that has gone too far has been hard to watch, especially when she tried to speak up and people immediatly rallied behind him. She quieted down because she would rather remain a part of the community than be booted out and she was aware there was no chance of people standing behind her in the numbers they were standing behind him.

    I’ll comment on this comment with two youtube links people should check out. One is from a speaker at Slutwalk Seattle, and the other is from a deaf actor.

  15. I had my car broken into over a year ago and my laptop stolen, I was told “You shouldn’t have left your laptop in your car in that part of town.”

    I was raped at 13 at a party filled with older people who were drinking and was told “You shouldn’t have been at that party because people were drunk.”

    I stayed the night in the bed of a friend a couple months ago and he started groping me. I asked him what he was doing, and his response was “I’m not hearing a ‘no…'”

    I get nervous telling people I am a submissive, because I am particular about me being touched and have been told before that because I am submissive I should “appreciate” the touching I recieve. About a year ago I had a partner that I was submissive to. He gained another partner/sub, and decided to tell me that from that point on I was submissive to the both of them. I had no choice in the matter, according to him I was supposed to answer to her the same way I answer to him. I broke up with him over this, and was told that it was a stupid reason to break up with him from other people in the community. Because I am a submissive I should have said “yes, sir” and just gone with it.

    I’m really glad for your friend for standing up. Knowing someone who has had a scene with a community leader that has gone too far has been hard to watch, especially when she tried to speak up and people immediatly rallied behind him. She quieted down because she would rather remain a part of the community than be booted out and she was aware there was no chance of people standing behind her in the numbers they were standing behind him.

    I’ll comment on this comment with two youtube links people should check out. One is from a speaker at Slutwalk Seattle, and the other is from a deaf actor.

  16. Excellent and well thought out, as usual. I do take issue with one point, however. Slapping the ass of a passing subby girl is not misogyny any more than grabbing the ass of a passing subby boy is misandry. It’s simply dismissing them as a person, as someone who has agency in their own right (even if they choose to yield that to certain other people, end enjoy doing so).

    Calling it misogyny/misandry, as Jay Smooth points out, just makes it easy to duck out of the accusation. Yes, misogyny is a pointed, painful accusation, but it’s better to call it what it undeniably is: dismissing another human being as nothing more than an object.

    • That’s a good point. It does happen to both men and women who identify as submissive; it’s about dismissing the agency of people who identify as “submissive” ore than it’s about the sex of the person whose boundaries are being disregarded.

      Having said that…

      Like I said to above, I do think there’s a difference in the way people behave toward men and women who object to that sort of behavior. I was subjected to ass-swatting behavior at a play party only once, and when I told the person who did it that it was not OK, I got an apology. On the other hand, I’ve seen several examples of women who assert a boundary being called a bitch, or worse, for doing it. So in that sense, there does seem to be an element of misogyny at work there–if not in the original behavior, then certainly in the way people respond after a boundary has been asserted.

      • Not only subs

        I agree with you that it is treating people by labels, as opposed to as people, but I would also disagree that it is limited to sub missives. I was mentioning this very subject to another male top of mine, and he pointed out several times that he has been nonconsentually topped by female dominants. For that matter, try wearing a kilt around any particular group of females and see how many comments and gropes happen. In general, I think that any individual who goes beyond boundaries can be considered rude, and orientation or identification is immaterial.

        However, I would like to suggest another term to go along with “fuzzy boundaries.” like many things in the BDSM community, while they are dangerous, some people enjoy playing with that danger. I did a grappling scene recently with three other tops, and there was no way that we could have negotiated everything that happened – but because we trusted each other to handle the unknown areas well, we were able to go “off the map.”

        I could not play that way with just anyone (and in fact I don’t think I could have played that way with anyone but those three). But I would hate to have “fuzzy boundaries” become synonymous with ” unsafe”.

        Why can’t the negotiation phase begin with “I’d like to play with explicit boundaries.” The idea would be that only the things that are already agreed upon, explicitly, will be done. Perhaps at another time, you can play with fuzzy boundaries – “here are my limits, but I don’t assume I already know everything we would enjoy together, so let’s try moving in different directions.”

        The other problem with “yes means yes” is that it presumes language as the default mode of communication. Not everyone can use words, or wants to, whether in the heat of the moment or not. I think that it is important to acknowledge that there are more than dichotomous answers and modes of communication.

      • “Only once”– per lifetime or per party — does not match the experience of the female subs I know who attend such gatherings. They are physically assaulted far more frequently than that. Shoot, that kind of attack on a passing female is far from rare at NON-BDSM events.

        I think you are vastly underestimating the occurrence of nonfelonious assaults on women both in and out of the BDSM community — which, granted, is easy to do as they are so common in our society as to be all but invisible — a frequency that is fueled by both mysogyny and sexism.

        Also, those “assholes” of whom you speak , they could also accurately be described as criminals, assailants, attackers, felons, and in many cases rapists, yes? That is what you are, what you choose to become, if you proceed without consent.

        An asshole is the driver who cut me off. The man who raped me? He exceeded the requirements for that category. “Asshole” may be a start, but it really, really doesn’t cover it.

  17. Excellent and well thought out, as usual. I do take issue with one point, however. Slapping the ass of a passing subby girl is not misogyny any more than grabbing the ass of a passing subby boy is misandry. It’s simply dismissing them as a person, as someone who has agency in their own right (even if they choose to yield that to certain other people, end enjoy doing so).

    Calling it misogyny/misandry, as Jay Smooth points out, just makes it easy to duck out of the accusation. Yes, misogyny is a pointed, painful accusation, but it’s better to call it what it undeniably is: dismissing another human being as nothing more than an object.

  18. You could have written this post about me. I’m in the process of dealing with this now. I have the benefit of the people who assaulted me (mostly non-sexually) currently being filmed for a documentary, so I know that at least some of it is on tape.

    I don’t think it will make a difference, though.

  19. You could have written this post about me. I’m in the process of dealing with this now. I have the benefit of the people who assaulted me (mostly non-sexually) currently being filmed for a documentary, so I know that at least some of it is on tape.

    I don’t think it will make a difference, though.

  20. I’m not going to read about the rape because it will trigger me.

    When I was 18, in my first experience with BDSM, with a friend I’d known since I was three years old, he raped me. It was the 5th time I’d ever had intercourse, in my life.

    At 28, I finally started experimenting with BDSM again. I still have issues with being tied down. I have only 2 partners I’ve subbed to. My bar for subbing to someone is VERY high.

    I’m now 38. I’ve healed a LOT since I was 18, but the reprocussions of that assault stay with me, and affect my current relationships and partner choices to this day.

    When I started exploring BDSM again, I mentioned my rape on a board where I was going for advice about how to enter into this scene, and I was told that I was not raped, that I consented, that I must have loved it, and how stupid I must be for not having had a safe word (even though I had never heard the term “BDSM” when I was raped, I just did what my best friend asked me to because I trusted him).

    I have a lot of dislike for the BDSM scene. It frustrates me. I don’t go to a lot of events. I hate the assumption that I’m a sub, I hate that people will talk to my white partner while he’s on a leash and not even notice that I’m there holding the end of it. I hate the assumption that because I’m female and not-white that I’m an object and a sub and that I’d love it if THEY did it.

    I hate it. And it makes me so sad because I’d love to find more kink partners – but the scene is a MORASS of misogyny and racism and I just can’t take it.

    Every once in a while I plunge back in until it’s Just Too Much again and then I flee.

    N.

  21. I’m not going to read about the rape because it will trigger me.

    When I was 18, in my first experience with BDSM, with a friend I’d known since I was three years old, he raped me. It was the 5th time I’d ever had intercourse, in my life.

    At 28, I finally started experimenting with BDSM again. I still have issues with being tied down. I have only 2 partners I’ve subbed to. My bar for subbing to someone is VERY high.

    I’m now 38. I’ve healed a LOT since I was 18, but the reprocussions of that assault stay with me, and affect my current relationships and partner choices to this day.

    When I started exploring BDSM again, I mentioned my rape on a board where I was going for advice about how to enter into this scene, and I was told that I was not raped, that I consented, that I must have loved it, and how stupid I must be for not having had a safe word (even though I had never heard the term “BDSM” when I was raped, I just did what my best friend asked me to because I trusted him).

    I have a lot of dislike for the BDSM scene. It frustrates me. I don’t go to a lot of events. I hate the assumption that I’m a sub, I hate that people will talk to my white partner while he’s on a leash and not even notice that I’m there holding the end of it. I hate the assumption that because I’m female and not-white that I’m an object and a sub and that I’d love it if THEY did it.

    I hate it. And it makes me so sad because I’d love to find more kink partners – but the scene is a MORASS of misogyny and racism and I just can’t take it.

    Every once in a while I plunge back in until it’s Just Too Much again and then I flee.

    N.

  22. Good observation, and sad. We humans crave not only safety, but a sense of order and narrative. When things don’t make sense, our brains work overtime to impose sense on the senseless. I can’t begrudge people in a life-or-death situation that crutch if it helps them keep themselves together long enough to survive it.

    The rest of the time, however, I wish more people would see victim-blaming for what it is and work harder to dismantle it. I’m tired from all the self-defense I have to do every day.

  23. Thank you for writing this, it speaks to things that I am highly invested in. I am happy that someone else mentioned the “Yes Means Yes” concept. I’ve been talking that one up for years, but it never seems to gain traction.

    • I have that same problem – I’ve been talking about “yes means yes” for a while, but has such a large audience, that I’m glad it’s finally getting seen.

  24. Thank you for writing this, it speaks to things that I am highly invested in. I am happy that someone else mentioned the “Yes Means Yes” concept. I’ve been talking that one up for years, but it never seems to gain traction.

  25. good question

    “if you are part of this group, it’s up to you to be an adult and say what you don’t want. Anything else is fair game….is this wrong?”

    Well, not necessarily, but it’s not a place I think people new to kink should go either. Because, let’s face it, negotiation is a skill that’s taught, not something that’s implicit. I’ve noticed that submissives particularly struggle to say no because they want to be pleasing and have often read tons of erotica and watched lots of media that suggests safewording is for wimps. Unfortunately, that’s reinforced by spaces that dissuade people from using safewords by warning against them being “abused”.

    I’m certainly not a safety police type person- I don’t think safewords will mean a damn thing if the person you’re playing with feels a reluctance to say it! That doesn’t mean it’s ok to do what you like until they safeword i.e. “why did Jesus die on the cross/he forgot his safeword”. I mean, ok, so someone disassociates during play, and I don’t hear a safeword, so I start doing something that we haven’t explicitly discussed- say, sex without condoms. Is that ok because they didn’t safeword? No, it isn’t, IMO. Does that make this stuff complicated? Sure does.

    You can negotiate on the go while still keeping it sexy and in-scene. I wish that was acknowledged more. I do tend to negotiate everything ahead of time when it comes to sex and kink, but I do it via dirty talk and sexting- fun foreplay and we’re on the same page.

  26. good question

    “if you are part of this group, it’s up to you to be an adult and say what you don’t want. Anything else is fair game….is this wrong?”

    Well, not necessarily, but it’s not a place I think people new to kink should go either. Because, let’s face it, negotiation is a skill that’s taught, not something that’s implicit. I’ve noticed that submissives particularly struggle to say no because they want to be pleasing and have often read tons of erotica and watched lots of media that suggests safewording is for wimps. Unfortunately, that’s reinforced by spaces that dissuade people from using safewords by warning against them being “abused”.

    I’m certainly not a safety police type person- I don’t think safewords will mean a damn thing if the person you’re playing with feels a reluctance to say it! That doesn’t mean it’s ok to do what you like until they safeword i.e. “why did Jesus die on the cross/he forgot his safeword”. I mean, ok, so someone disassociates during play, and I don’t hear a safeword, so I start doing something that we haven’t explicitly discussed- say, sex without condoms. Is that ok because they didn’t safeword? No, it isn’t, IMO. Does that make this stuff complicated? Sure does.

    You can negotiate on the go while still keeping it sexy and in-scene. I wish that was acknowledged more. I do tend to negotiate everything ahead of time when it comes to sex and kink, but I do it via dirty talk and sexting- fun foreplay and we’re on the same page.

  27. I have that same problem – I’ve been talking about “yes means yes” for a while, but has such a large audience, that I’m glad it’s finally getting seen.

  28. “For everyone in support of this, think back on every sexual experience you’ve had. Do they ALL include explicit verbal permission in BOTH directions”

    Yes.

    ” I’m willing to bet that if your honest with yourself the answer is “no”. I’m also willing to bet that most of your future experiences won’t include explicit verbal permission either.”

    Absolutely they will. In fact, mine involve an excel spreadsheet.

    “Most of us, including most of the people reading this AND most of the people that speak out in favor of this, don’t really want it to work that way”

    Are you fucking kidding me? You seriously believe that those of us who live under the constant threat of rape don’t really want people to check in with us and make sure that we’re OK, or that we’re not considerate and concerned for our partner’s feelings?

    ” If a women is lying naked on my bed spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing me a condom with the other, do I still have to ask?”

    Yes. Most considerate partners do ask.

    The “yes means yes” campaign is also intended to address the whole slut-shaming aspect of society, by requiring people (women in particular) to own their own sexuality. There is no discouragement of “no means no” as a concept, but that the concept is not enough. It is not a high enough standard.

    I’m glad for one thing at least. You have exposed yourself as someone who can’t be trusted to check in with his partner or be honest about what he wants.

    • A lot of assumptions here. Not to mention a good old fashion personal attack. The reason I love the internet.

      “Are you fucking kidding me?” No, I’m not, I’d say you are by far in the minority here. Most people (men and women) think your behavior is rather extreme.

      I also think your full of shit. After your lover asked you if you really wanted to have sex, did you ask them too? I doubt it.

      And by the way, we ALL constantly live under the threat of rape. I’ve known two men who have been rapped, one was rapped by two women. The assault left him suicidal for months afterwards.

      “I’m glad for one thing at least. You have exposed yourself as someone who can’t be trusted to check in with his partner or be honest about what he wants.”

      My wife disagrees with you, and I think I value her opinion on the subject a lot more than yours.

      • A clear and unambiguous “yes” does not have to be given as the answer to a question. A person does not need to ask when the answer has already been given.

        And yes, I do ask also.

        No, you do not live under the threat of rape. You *can* be raped, but you do not live under the threat of it. Classic male privilege.

        ” If a women is lying naked on my bed spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing me a condom with the other, do I still have to ask? Am I supposed to ask her if it’s OK if she’s on top and mounting me? If so, then this “rule” is just stupid.” You just told us in your own words that you will not ask for a clear “yes” and you think the whole process is stupid, therefore you are someone who cannot be trusted to check in with his partner or be honest about what he wants.

        Clearly, you have managed to find a woman who is as deluded as you are.

        Funny how the most stringent opponents of “yes means yes” tend to be men who can’t get laid without relying on ambiguity.

    • “Absolutely they will. In fact, mine involve an excel spreadsheet.”

      that’s totally awesome. i mean that sincerely. =] also a fun checklist of things to do in the future!

  29. “For everyone in support of this, think back on every sexual experience you’ve had. Do they ALL include explicit verbal permission in BOTH directions”

    Yes.

    ” I’m willing to bet that if your honest with yourself the answer is “no”. I’m also willing to bet that most of your future experiences won’t include explicit verbal permission either.”

    Absolutely they will. In fact, mine involve an excel spreadsheet.

    “Most of us, including most of the people reading this AND most of the people that speak out in favor of this, don’t really want it to work that way”

    Are you fucking kidding me? You seriously believe that those of us who live under the constant threat of rape don’t really want people to check in with us and make sure that we’re OK, or that we’re not considerate and concerned for our partner’s feelings?

    ” If a women is lying naked on my bed spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing me a condom with the other, do I still have to ask?”

    Yes. Most considerate partners do ask.

    The “yes means yes” campaign is also intended to address the whole slut-shaming aspect of society, by requiring people (women in particular) to own their own sexuality. There is no discouragement of “no means no” as a concept, but that the concept is not enough. It is not a high enough standard.

    I’m glad for one thing at least. You have exposed yourself as someone who can’t be trusted to check in with his partner or be honest about what he wants.

  30. A lot of assumptions here. Not to mention a good old fashion personal attack. The reason I love the internet.

    “Are you fucking kidding me?” No, I’m not, I’d say you are by far in the minority here. Most people (men and women) think your behavior is rather extreme.

    I also think your full of shit. After your lover asked you if you really wanted to have sex, did you ask them too? I doubt it.

    And by the way, we ALL constantly live under the threat of rape. I’ve known two men who have been rapped, one was rapped by two women. The assault left him suicidal for months afterwards.

    “I’m glad for one thing at least. You have exposed yourself as someone who can’t be trusted to check in with his partner or be honest about what he wants.”

    My wife disagrees with you, and I think I value her opinion on the subject a lot more than yours.

  31. “It removes the burden of responsibility for a person currently in the potential-victim role to police her own boundaries”

    “society is a much healthier place when we teach people to own their own sexuality”

    Huh? Pick one.

    And why “the potential-rapist” not “the potential-lover” or “the potential-partner”?

    Also “her own boundaries”. Can we try to keep this non-sexist?

    I’ll make it as clear as I can: If you aren’t willing to be 100% clear in your communication than you have no right to expect your partner to be willing to. Why should they have to take on that responsibility for you? Why should they have to be clear in their communications if you aren’t willing to be clear in yours?

    Take respectability for your own sexuality. If your not interested in someone make it clear with no ambiguity. If you are interested, let them know what your interested and not interested in. COMMUNICATE!! And for the love of god, if someone does something you don’t like SAY SOMETHING.

    • There is no “pick one” – there is a difference between “policing boundaries” and “owning sexuality”. In the former, one has to be a cop, making bad guys behave. In the latter, one is taking responsibility for one’s own sexuality.

      “Can we try to keep this non-sexist” Can we try not to be a misogynistic douchewad? Statistically speaking, it is more often a woman. It is also grammatically correct and linguistically simpler to choose one pronoun rather than and/or or plural.

      And I’ll make this as clear as *I* can. First of all, part of being an ethical person is to make sure you do not trample on people’s boundaries, so it is your responsibility to ask. Second, “yes means yes” DOES expect all involved to be 100% clear in their communication. “yes means yes” does not automatically require everyone to sit around asking each other – it means that you can assume it’s a no unless you are given a yes.

      There are penalties for making rejections clear, and although I, personally, have no problem saying “no” without ambiguity, not everyone can. In the case above, the person was actually in subspace where she loses the capability of speech, and her rapist performed an action that had never been discussed and never been done before. He should have asked, and without a clear “yes”, he should have not done it.

      It’s easy for you to sit there in your male body telling others to SAY SOMETHING when they don’t like it. You will never have to experience the lifetime of fear and threat that comes with saying “no”.

      Each of your posts are just dripping with ego and obtuseness. You are in no position to tell either women in general, or any individual who is a rape victim how they should feel or what they should do.

      • “Each of your posts are just dripping with ego and obtuseness.”

        Yes, I have a great deal of self confidence. I am not afraid to have or state an opinion. I’m also not sure why that’s a problem.

        “You are in no position to tell either women in general, or any individual who is a rape victim how they should feel or what they should do.”

        I haven’t told anyone what they should feel, and as to telling people what they should do: If you, Tacit, or anyone else has the right to express their opinions on what constitutes consent, than why shouldn’t I?

        “Can we try not to be a misogynistic douchewad?”

        I’ve said nothing against women in general.

        “it means that you can assume it’s a no unless you are given a yes.” So what means “yes”?

        If we’re not sitting around asking each other, when can I consider the situation to be a “yes”? If a woman has a hard time saying yes does she just have to stay a virgin?

        “In the case above, the person was actually in subspace where she loses the capability of speech, and her rapist performed an action that had never been discussed and never been done before. He should have asked, and without a clear “yes”, he should have not done it.”

        On that at least we agree.

        “It’s easy for you to sit there in your male body telling others to SAY SOMETHING when they don’t like it. You will never have to experience the lifetime of fear and threat that comes with saying “no”.”

        Wow, you really do hate men.

        Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to stand during a 15 mile bus ride simple because the only empty seat on the bus is next to a young woman and your afraid to sit down because she might think your some kind of sexual predator? I do.

        Do you have a clue of how paralyzing it is to approach a person you are sincerely interested in because you know that they are going to assume you are interested in nothing but their body? I had to get over that fear and paralysis every time I’ve approached a woman I liked.

        I don’t live under the fear of rape or of saying “no”, and most of the women I know don’t either because they choose to live their lives in spite of their fears instead of under their fears. But I do have to live with the consequences of sexual stereotypes, just as we all do.

  32. “It removes the burden of responsibility for a person currently in the potential-victim role to police her own boundaries”

    “society is a much healthier place when we teach people to own their own sexuality”

    Huh? Pick one.

    And why “the potential-rapist” not “the potential-lover” or “the potential-partner”?

    Also “her own boundaries”. Can we try to keep this non-sexist?

    I’ll make it as clear as I can: If you aren’t willing to be 100% clear in your communication than you have no right to expect your partner to be willing to. Why should they have to take on that responsibility for you? Why should they have to be clear in their communications if you aren’t willing to be clear in yours?

    Take respectability for your own sexuality. If your not interested in someone make it clear with no ambiguity. If you are interested, let them know what your interested and not interested in. COMMUNICATE!! And for the love of god, if someone does something you don’t like SAY SOMETHING.

  33. A clear and unambiguous “yes” does not have to be given as the answer to a question. A person does not need to ask when the answer has already been given.

    And yes, I do ask also.

    No, you do not live under the threat of rape. You *can* be raped, but you do not live under the threat of it. Classic male privilege.

    ” If a women is lying naked on my bed spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing me a condom with the other, do I still have to ask? Am I supposed to ask her if it’s OK if she’s on top and mounting me? If so, then this “rule” is just stupid.” You just told us in your own words that you will not ask for a clear “yes” and you think the whole process is stupid, therefore you are someone who cannot be trusted to check in with his partner or be honest about what he wants.

    Clearly, you have managed to find a woman who is as deluded as you are.

    Funny how the most stringent opponents of “yes means yes” tend to be men who can’t get laid without relying on ambiguity.

  34. There is no “pick one” – there is a difference between “policing boundaries” and “owning sexuality”. In the former, one has to be a cop, making bad guys behave. In the latter, one is taking responsibility for one’s own sexuality.

    “Can we try to keep this non-sexist” Can we try not to be a misogynistic douchewad? Statistically speaking, it is more often a woman. It is also grammatically correct and linguistically simpler to choose one pronoun rather than and/or or plural.

    And I’ll make this as clear as *I* can. First of all, part of being an ethical person is to make sure you do not trample on people’s boundaries, so it is your responsibility to ask. Second, “yes means yes” DOES expect all involved to be 100% clear in their communication. “yes means yes” does not automatically require everyone to sit around asking each other – it means that you can assume it’s a no unless you are given a yes.

    There are penalties for making rejections clear, and although I, personally, have no problem saying “no” without ambiguity, not everyone can. In the case above, the person was actually in subspace where she loses the capability of speech, and her rapist performed an action that had never been discussed and never been done before. He should have asked, and without a clear “yes”, he should have not done it.

    It’s easy for you to sit there in your male body telling others to SAY SOMETHING when they don’t like it. You will never have to experience the lifetime of fear and threat that comes with saying “no”.

    Each of your posts are just dripping with ego and obtuseness. You are in no position to tell either women in general, or any individual who is a rape victim how they should feel or what they should do.

  35. “A clear and unambiguous “yes” does not have to be given as the answer to a question. A person does not need to ask when the answer has already been given.”

    Ah, that’s my argument…

    “No, you do not live under the threat of rape. You *can* be raped, but you do not live under the threat of it.”

    In the sense that I choose not to dwell on my potential as a victim, that is true.

    No, I will not always ask a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’, none of my lovers have ever expected such a thing. That has nothing to do when whether or not I’m willing to check in with my partner. If I believe there is ANY possibility of ambiguity, I always ask. But why ask if other things my partner has done have already made their desires and intentions clear? And I have no clue how you can construe anything I said to indicate I’m not honest about what I want. My lovers ALWAYS know what I want and expect from them.

    Also, if you insult my wife (who you know nothing about) again, I will be reporting you to LiveJournal administration for inappropriate conduct. If you are incapable of having a civilized and impersonal conversation with someone you know nothing about, I suggest you refrain from commenting.

    • You go right ahead and report me. You’re being a misogynistic asshole by defending a social concept that doesn’t require clear consent, and anyone who might fall in love with a guy like you is certainly suspect too.

      No, your argument is not “A person does not need to ask when the answer has already been given.” Your argument has been in favor of ambiguity, where people do not have to say “yes”, as illustrated by the story of your girlfriend who wouldn’t say yes because that made her a slut, so that is reason enough to say that we shouldn’t insist on a clear “yes”. I am saying that everyone absolutely has to say yes, just that the yes can come on its own and not just as the response to a question. However, if the yes does NOT come on its own, then it is your responsibility to ask for it. “But she seemed into it” is a typical defense of a rapist when the victim feels she is unable to say “no”.

      “In the sense that I choose not to dwell on my potential as a victim, that is true.” You have that luxury. We do not. Which is why you are in no position to tell women that they should just say no. YOU should assume it’s a no, until it isn’t.

      • “You go right ahead and report me.” Done. If you aren’t going to behave in a civilized manner, you can accept the consequences of your actions.

        I’m not suggesting clear consent isn’t appropriate. I’m saying there are ways of expressing clear consent that doesn’t require someone saying “yes” or “I want you” at the time of the act.

        “You have that luxury. We do not.”

        Of course you do. What says the most about our society in this conversation is the fact that you don’t realize you have that option. You don’t realize that you can choose not to live your life as a victim.

  36. “A clear and unambiguous “yes” does not have to be given as the answer to a question. A person does not need to ask when the answer has already been given.”

    Ah, that’s my argument…

    “No, you do not live under the threat of rape. You *can* be raped, but you do not live under the threat of it.”

    In the sense that I choose not to dwell on my potential as a victim, that is true.

    No, I will not always ask a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’, none of my lovers have ever expected such a thing. That has nothing to do when whether or not I’m willing to check in with my partner. If I believe there is ANY possibility of ambiguity, I always ask. But why ask if other things my partner has done have already made their desires and intentions clear? And I have no clue how you can construe anything I said to indicate I’m not honest about what I want. My lovers ALWAYS know what I want and expect from them.

    Also, if you insult my wife (who you know nothing about) again, I will be reporting you to LiveJournal administration for inappropriate conduct. If you are incapable of having a civilized and impersonal conversation with someone you know nothing about, I suggest you refrain from commenting.

  37. Just thought of this, but within the context of a BDSM scene, refusing to do anything until the sub says “yes” could be incorporated into the scene. When done right, it could be particularly humiliating (in the good way) to require the subby ask for her punishment, in addition to enforcing the whole “own your sexuality” and “yes means yes” concepts.

  38. Just thought of this, but within the context of a BDSM scene, refusing to do anything until the sub says “yes” could be incorporated into the scene. When done right, it could be particularly humiliating (in the good way) to require the subby ask for her punishment, in addition to enforcing the whole “own your sexuality” and “yes means yes” concepts.

  39. You go right ahead and report me. You’re being a misogynistic asshole by defending a social concept that doesn’t require clear consent, and anyone who might fall in love with a guy like you is certainly suspect too.

    No, your argument is not “A person does not need to ask when the answer has already been given.” Your argument has been in favor of ambiguity, where people do not have to say “yes”, as illustrated by the story of your girlfriend who wouldn’t say yes because that made her a slut, so that is reason enough to say that we shouldn’t insist on a clear “yes”. I am saying that everyone absolutely has to say yes, just that the yes can come on its own and not just as the response to a question. However, if the yes does NOT come on its own, then it is your responsibility to ask for it. “But she seemed into it” is a typical defense of a rapist when the victim feels she is unable to say “no”.

    “In the sense that I choose not to dwell on my potential as a victim, that is true.” You have that luxury. We do not. Which is why you are in no position to tell women that they should just say no. YOU should assume it’s a no, until it isn’t.

  40. The fact that so many people feel it’s OK to harass women online, especially on fetish sites, is a dimension I hadn’t considered, but I definitely think it’s closely related to misogyny in the BDSM community in general. I know many women who’ve been subjected to some pretty amazing levels of online harassment. While it’s not 100% misogyny–I’ve talked to male submissives who say the same thing happens to them, suggesting that people who identify as submissive may be targeted for harassment regardless of sex or gender identity–there’s unquestionably a strong component of misogyny to it.

    I’ve been chewing on something that happened to me many years ago, when I was still living in Florida. I’d gone to a play party in Ft. Myers with one of my partners, who I was bottoming to at the party. A lot of folks at the play party behaved in what I thought was inappropriate ways toward me (ass-swatting behavior being one specific example), just like they did to female submissives. The difference, though, was that when I said “Hey, that’s not cool” to one of the people in question, I got a “Okay, sorry man” response, whereas a woman who said the same thing got a “Man, what a bitch!” response. So even when people behave inappropriately to both men and women, there does still seem to be misogyny in the way they react to boundary-setting.

  41. The fact that so many people feel it’s OK to harass women online, especially on fetish sites, is a dimension I hadn’t considered, but I definitely think it’s closely related to misogyny in the BDSM community in general. I know many women who’ve been subjected to some pretty amazing levels of online harassment. While it’s not 100% misogyny–I’ve talked to male submissives who say the same thing happens to them, suggesting that people who identify as submissive may be targeted for harassment regardless of sex or gender identity–there’s unquestionably a strong component of misogyny to it.

    I’ve been chewing on something that happened to me many years ago, when I was still living in Florida. I’d gone to a play party in Ft. Myers with one of my partners, who I was bottoming to at the party. A lot of folks at the play party behaved in what I thought was inappropriate ways toward me (ass-swatting behavior being one specific example), just like they did to female submissives. The difference, though, was that when I said “Hey, that’s not cool” to one of the people in question, I got a “Okay, sorry man” response, whereas a woman who said the same thing got a “Man, what a bitch!” response. So even when people behave inappropriately to both men and women, there does still seem to be misogyny in the way they react to boundary-setting.

  42. I definitely understand the reason that people develop these rules. It’s the fallacy of control; people want to feel a sense of control over their lives, since it promotes a sense of safety.

    The problem (other than the fact that these rules simply don’t line up with reality) is that I see no way to develop them without ALSO developing victim-blaming behavior. If oyu sincerely believe that following the rules will keep you safe, then it seems logical to also believe that folks who don’t follow the rules bring whatever Bad Things happen down on themselves.

  43. That’s a good point. It does happen to both men and women who identify as submissive; it’s about dismissing the agency of people who identify as “submissive” ore than it’s about the sex of the person whose boundaries are being disregarded.

    Having said that…

    Like I said to above, I do think there’s a difference in the way people behave toward men and women who object to that sort of behavior. I was subjected to ass-swatting behavior at a play party only once, and when I told the person who did it that it was not OK, I got an apology. On the other hand, I’ve seen several examples of women who assert a boundary being called a bitch, or worse, for doing it. So in that sense, there does seem to be an element of misogyny at work there–if not in the original behavior, then certainly in the way people respond after a boundary has been asserted.

  44. A friend of mine whom I respect greatly for starting and running a kink-oriented group in town puts things bluntly: if you are part of this group, it’s up to you to be an adult and say what you don’t want. Anything else is fair game. This is the “no means no” approach with a clear disdain for the “yes means yes” approach. Much as I argue with him about the wisdom of this policy, he has a point. This is stated very clearly to newcomers. This group has its culture and it is well understood. Is this wrong?

    Is it wrong? I’m a pragmatist. As a pragmatist, I will say that it seems likely to lead to more issues of non-consensual assault.

    The problem with “no means no” is that we live in a society where women are very, very strongly indoctrinated NOT to say no. As the essay that linked to observes, women who assert boundaries can reasonably be expected to be judged harshly for it. Women who assert boundaries are perceived as “bitches.” Women who say no are perceived as “frigid.” And so on, and so on.

    In a context where women COULD say “no” without reprisal, sure, if folks want to play that way. I think, though, that it is way too easy for men, who aren’t culturally conditioned not to say “no,” to get caught up in “Well, if she doesn’t want it, why doesn’t she just say so?” without respecting (or even being aware) that we live in a society which penalizes women for saying “no.”

    There absolutely can be ambiguous communication, even when you’re dealing with folks who have the ability and willingness to try to express themselves clearly. I’m not saying that holding to a very high standard of consent would solve all the problems in the community. I do think it’d help, though!

  45. A friend of mine whom I respect greatly for starting and running a kink-oriented group in town puts things bluntly: if you are part of this group, it’s up to you to be an adult and say what you don’t want. Anything else is fair game. This is the “no means no” approach with a clear disdain for the “yes means yes” approach. Much as I argue with him about the wisdom of this policy, he has a point. This is stated very clearly to newcomers. This group has its culture and it is well understood. Is this wrong?

    Is it wrong? I’m a pragmatist. As a pragmatist, I will say that it seems likely to lead to more issues of non-consensual assault.

    The problem with “no means no” is that we live in a society where women are very, very strongly indoctrinated NOT to say no. As the essay that linked to observes, women who assert boundaries can reasonably be expected to be judged harshly for it. Women who assert boundaries are perceived as “bitches.” Women who say no are perceived as “frigid.” And so on, and so on.

    In a context where women COULD say “no” without reprisal, sure, if folks want to play that way. I think, though, that it is way too easy for men, who aren’t culturally conditioned not to say “no,” to get caught up in “Well, if she doesn’t want it, why doesn’t she just say so?” without respecting (or even being aware) that we live in a society which penalizes women for saying “no.”

    There absolutely can be ambiguous communication, even when you’re dealing with folks who have the ability and willingness to try to express themselves clearly. I’m not saying that holding to a very high standard of consent would solve all the problems in the community. I do think it’d help, though!

  46. “Each of your posts are just dripping with ego and obtuseness.”

    Yes, I have a great deal of self confidence. I am not afraid to have or state an opinion. I’m also not sure why that’s a problem.

    “You are in no position to tell either women in general, or any individual who is a rape victim how they should feel or what they should do.”

    I haven’t told anyone what they should feel, and as to telling people what they should do: If you, Tacit, or anyone else has the right to express their opinions on what constitutes consent, than why shouldn’t I?

    “Can we try not to be a misogynistic douchewad?”

    I’ve said nothing against women in general.

    “it means that you can assume it’s a no unless you are given a yes.” So what means “yes”?

    If we’re not sitting around asking each other, when can I consider the situation to be a “yes”? If a woman has a hard time saying yes does she just have to stay a virgin?

    “In the case above, the person was actually in subspace where she loses the capability of speech, and her rapist performed an action that had never been discussed and never been done before. He should have asked, and without a clear “yes”, he should have not done it.”

    On that at least we agree.

    “It’s easy for you to sit there in your male body telling others to SAY SOMETHING when they don’t like it. You will never have to experience the lifetime of fear and threat that comes with saying “no”.”

    Wow, you really do hate men.

    Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to stand during a 15 mile bus ride simple because the only empty seat on the bus is next to a young woman and your afraid to sit down because she might think your some kind of sexual predator? I do.

    Do you have a clue of how paralyzing it is to approach a person you are sincerely interested in because you know that they are going to assume you are interested in nothing but their body? I had to get over that fear and paralysis every time I’ve approached a woman I liked.

    I don’t live under the fear of rape or of saying “no”, and most of the women I know don’t either because they choose to live their lives in spite of their fears instead of under their fears. But I do have to live with the consequences of sexual stereotypes, just as we all do.

  47. If a women is lying naked on my bed spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing me a condom with the other, do I still have to ask?

    I’m probably the wrong person to ask. If there’s a woman lying naked in my bed, spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing me a condom with the other, I guarantee that we have already talked about sex, and spelled out what is and is not on the table, and talked about our sexual expectations and limits.

    Let’s look at the question another way, though. If you had a naked woman in your bed, spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing you a condom with the other, would you automatically assume that anal was on the table, or would you ask?

    That’s a situation that’s analogous to what happened here. She consented to one thing (bondage); he assumed that meant she had consented to another thing (sexual intercourse) as well.

    If you had a naked woman in your bed, spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing you a condom with the other, and you stuck it up her ass without talking about it first, could you see why she might be upset about it if that wasn’t what she’d consented to?

    That’s why “no means no” is so strongly encouraged. It leaves absolutely no possibility of ambiguity.

    “Yes means yes” doesn’t replace “no means no.” Yes means yes, and anything else shouldn’t be assumed to be a yes; and no means no, even if she previously said “yes” before.

    As a man, it’s easy for me to forget that women are strongly conditioned NOT to say “no.” Men don’t have that conditioning. It’s easy for me to say “no;” the thing I need to be careful to remember is that my experience is not the same for everyone.

    • “Yes means yes” doesn’t replace “no means no.” Yes means yes, and anything else shouldn’t be assumed to be a yes; and no means no, even if she previously said “yes” before.

      I agree with this. It’s when you add a lack of a “yes” automatically equals a “no” that I have a problem with. Why do I have a problem with it? Because I KNOW it’s not always true.

      So I do what most people do when that have a lack of information, I use all available sources of information to find out what I need to know.

      “would you automatically assume that anal was on the table” If she was rubbing the lube inter her rear and said “I love anal sex.” Yes I would assume anal was a very strong possability, I’m pretty sure you would to. But she still hasn’t told me explicitly that she wants to have anal sex right now.

      That’s my whole point. There are ways of expressing consent without using the word “yes” or saying “I want to ____”.

  48. If a women is lying naked on my bed spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing me a condom with the other, do I still have to ask?

    I’m probably the wrong person to ask. If there’s a woman lying naked in my bed, spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing me a condom with the other, I guarantee that we have already talked about sex, and spelled out what is and is not on the table, and talked about our sexual expectations and limits.

    Let’s look at the question another way, though. If you had a naked woman in your bed, spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing you a condom with the other, would you automatically assume that anal was on the table, or would you ask?

    That’s a situation that’s analogous to what happened here. She consented to one thing (bondage); he assumed that meant she had consented to another thing (sexual intercourse) as well.

    If you had a naked woman in your bed, spreading lube on herself with one hand and handing you a condom with the other, and you stuck it up her ass without talking about it first, could you see why she might be upset about it if that wasn’t what she’d consented to?

    That’s why “no means no” is so strongly encouraged. It leaves absolutely no possibility of ambiguity.

    “Yes means yes” doesn’t replace “no means no.” Yes means yes, and anything else shouldn’t be assumed to be a yes; and no means no, even if she previously said “yes” before.

    As a man, it’s easy for me to forget that women are strongly conditioned NOT to say “no.” Men don’t have that conditioning. It’s easy for me to say “no;” the thing I need to be careful to remember is that my experience is not the same for everyone.

  49. “You go right ahead and report me.” Done. If you aren’t going to behave in a civilized manner, you can accept the consequences of your actions.

    I’m not suggesting clear consent isn’t appropriate. I’m saying there are ways of expressing clear consent that doesn’t require someone saying “yes” or “I want you” at the time of the act.

    “You have that luxury. We do not.”

    Of course you do. What says the most about our society in this conversation is the fact that you don’t realize you have that option. You don’t realize that you can choose not to live your life as a victim.

  50. “Please don’t make me pull out rape statistics that show the vast majority of rape victims are self identified women.”

    As I completely and fully believe in sexual equality, that statement is irrelevant. The fact that women are rapped more often does not mean it’s impossible for men to be victims, nor does it mean that a man being victimized is less traumatic. If you want us to treat you as equals, you have to treat us as equals as well.

    Ok, I read it. I also disagree with many of your points. You make it sound like society makes it impossible for strong willed (or even not completely subservient) women to exist. I’m pretty sure you and Joreth are both living proof that women can be strong willed.

  51. “Please don’t make me pull out rape statistics that show the vast majority of rape victims are self identified women.”

    As I completely and fully believe in sexual equality, that statement is irrelevant. The fact that women are rapped more often does not mean it’s impossible for men to be victims, nor does it mean that a man being victimized is less traumatic. If you want us to treat you as equals, you have to treat us as equals as well.

    Ok, I read it. I also disagree with many of your points. You make it sound like society makes it impossible for strong willed (or even not completely subservient) women to exist. I’m pretty sure you and Joreth are both living proof that women can be strong willed.

  52. I would disagree that it’s misogyny and say it’s more an issue of “power over” structure as related to sexuality, as women (even nominally submissive ones)will treat sub men that way at public events. It’s expressed in a sexual way, but the actual behaviors are more like the Stanford prison experiments or the behaviors of the guards at Abu Gharib. Sexuality is such a rigid & taboo subject for many that using sex AGAINST them is a powerful psychological tool, often even moreso against men than women. Check out some of the studies on trauma in male vs female rape victims if you don’t believe it.

    There’re other examples of women being given “power over” men in sexually charged situations where their behavior becomes what’d be considered “stereotypically male.” A great example is strip clubs catering to women, with male strippers. Not only are they typically allowed FAR more contact with the strippers than men are at clubs with female dancers, their behavior is marked by crudeness, abuse, etc. Read some postings from male strippers about how awful many of them feel (vs how they thought they’d feel) when they first get in to those environments and “get treated like meat.” Comments from guys who do it at private parties are even more extreme.

    Not all women do it, of course, but many of them when put in a power position with the roles reversed act that way, and as noted in the Stanford/Abu Grahib (where one of the main abusers was a woman) scenarios it happens in “power over” situations where sex isn’t a main element.

    Keep in mind most rape is essentially a crime about control & dominance, not power. Sex is one of the strongest drives humans have, and many sex offenders are those who feel weak & disempowered in their everyday lives. So they express their unhappiness by pushing their dominance on another in the most hateful and damaging way they can think of. It’s not misogyny, or confusion about gender roles, it’s self-loathing expressed on another thru a behavior society marks as hurtful.

  53. I would disagree that it’s misogyny and say it’s more an issue of “power over” structure as related to sexuality, as women (even nominally submissive ones)will treat sub men that way at public events. It’s expressed in a sexual way, but the actual behaviors are more like the Stanford prison experiments or the behaviors of the guards at Abu Gharib. Sexuality is such a rigid & taboo subject for many that using sex AGAINST them is a powerful psychological tool, often even moreso against men than women. Check out some of the studies on trauma in male vs female rape victims if you don’t believe it.

    There’re other examples of women being given “power over” men in sexually charged situations where their behavior becomes what’d be considered “stereotypically male.” A great example is strip clubs catering to women, with male strippers. Not only are they typically allowed FAR more contact with the strippers than men are at clubs with female dancers, their behavior is marked by crudeness, abuse, etc. Read some postings from male strippers about how awful many of them feel (vs how they thought they’d feel) when they first get in to those environments and “get treated like meat.” Comments from guys who do it at private parties are even more extreme.

    Not all women do it, of course, but many of them when put in a power position with the roles reversed act that way, and as noted in the Stanford/Abu Grahib (where one of the main abusers was a woman) scenarios it happens in “power over” situations where sex isn’t a main element.

    Keep in mind most rape is essentially a crime about control & dominance, not power. Sex is one of the strongest drives humans have, and many sex offenders are those who feel weak & disempowered in their everyday lives. So they express their unhappiness by pushing their dominance on another in the most hateful and damaging way they can think of. It’s not misogyny, or confusion about gender roles, it’s self-loathing expressed on another thru a behavior society marks as hurtful.

  54. Wow. The story on fetlife and your comments remind me why I’ve never gotten into the community as such. The guy who seemed to be in charge of the DC/Baltimore area scene has always given me the creeps, and didn’t listen when I said no in a club situation; it made me feel so uncomfortable I lost all interest.

    I moved to LA a number of years ago, and have been curious if things are the same here; perhaps one of these days I’ll check out an event and see for myself. But it bothers me a whole lot to think that bad behavior and victim blaming occurs within the BDSM community where you are too. In DC it was always well, look at how you’re dressed, of course he doesn’t want to hear your no.

    • Which “guy” in charge of the DC/Baltimore scene? It’s a rather LARGE scene with many subsections. Different clubs in DC than in Baltimore. Are you talking Crucible? Bound? BLP? Playhouse? Or were you talking an educational group? Get together? Someone claiming to be in charge?

      I ask as someone with a vested interest in that scene and I do NOT like hearing shit like this getting by years after the fact. Feel free to PM me.

  55. Wow. The story on fetlife and your comments remind me why I’ve never gotten into the community as such. The guy who seemed to be in charge of the DC/Baltimore area scene has always given me the creeps, and didn’t listen when I said no in a club situation; it made me feel so uncomfortable I lost all interest.

    I moved to LA a number of years ago, and have been curious if things are the same here; perhaps one of these days I’ll check out an event and see for myself. But it bothers me a whole lot to think that bad behavior and victim blaming occurs within the BDSM community where you are too. In DC it was always well, look at how you’re dressed, of course he doesn’t want to hear your no.

  56. “If a woman has a hard time saying “no”, for fear she might be ostracised or raped, is her rape her fault?”

    HELL NO it’s not her fault.

    I’m truly sorry for your expediences, and the experiences of everyone who’s been sexually assaulted or abused. But it isn’t an execute to treat every man alive as guilty until proven innocent.

  57. “If a woman has a hard time saying “no”, for fear she might be ostracised or raped, is her rape her fault?”

    HELL NO it’s not her fault.

    I’m truly sorry for your expediences, and the experiences of everyone who’s been sexually assaulted or abused. But it isn’t an execute to treat every man alive as guilty until proven innocent.

  58. “Yes means yes” doesn’t replace “no means no.” Yes means yes, and anything else shouldn’t be assumed to be a yes; and no means no, even if she previously said “yes” before.

    I agree with this. It’s when you add a lack of a “yes” automatically equals a “no” that I have a problem with. Why do I have a problem with it? Because I KNOW it’s not always true.

    So I do what most people do when that have a lack of information, I use all available sources of information to find out what I need to know.

    “would you automatically assume that anal was on the table” If she was rubbing the lube inter her rear and said “I love anal sex.” Yes I would assume anal was a very strong possability, I’m pretty sure you would to. But she still hasn’t told me explicitly that she wants to have anal sex right now.

    That’s my whole point. There are ways of expressing consent without using the word “yes” or saying “I want to ____”.

  59. The other post I was all for, but this one…

    “Then don’t argue with us when we tell you something. Don’t tell us to communicate our needs when communication is not that simple. Then LISTEN and READ about rape culture and try to understand. Then DO something about rape. SAY something about it. Stand up when you see misogyny.”

    So because I’m not a woman or a rape victim I either shouldn’t have or shouldn’t express my opinions about how to stop rape?

    Communication is NOT simple. Rejecting someone is always going to be one of the most difficult things any of us ever does. It’s not simple, it’s not easy, but it is a part of life.

    “And don’t respond to a post asking people to stop sexual assault from the position of an adversary.”

    NOTHING I said suggested I approved of the behavior of the perpetrator of the crime mentioned in the original post or suggested the victim did anything wrong.

    I disagreed with two of the idea put forward to prevent this kind of crime in the future. I disagreed with them not because I thought there was something inherently wrong with the concept, but because they would be ineffective in our current society.

    The fact that I disagree does NOT mean I don’t want my partners to be happy, that I support rape, or that I hate women (the definition of misogyny being the hatred of women).

    The simple fact is that most of society (men and women) don’t want explicit acknowledgment of sexual intention each time they have sex with someone. No matter how good an idea is, if society won’t accept it, the idea is not effective.

    As to acting against rape, I do. One of the ways I do it is by not supporting ideas I believe wont help.

    As to reading, I have one for you to look at

  60. The other post I was all for, but this one…

    “Then don’t argue with us when we tell you something. Don’t tell us to communicate our needs when communication is not that simple. Then LISTEN and READ about rape culture and try to understand. Then DO something about rape. SAY something about it. Stand up when you see misogyny.”

    So because I’m not a woman or a rape victim I either shouldn’t have or shouldn’t express my opinions about how to stop rape?

    Communication is NOT simple. Rejecting someone is always going to be one of the most difficult things any of us ever does. It’s not simple, it’s not easy, but it is a part of life.

    “And don’t respond to a post asking people to stop sexual assault from the position of an adversary.”

    NOTHING I said suggested I approved of the behavior of the perpetrator of the crime mentioned in the original post or suggested the victim did anything wrong.

    I disagreed with two of the idea put forward to prevent this kind of crime in the future. I disagreed with them not because I thought there was something inherently wrong with the concept, but because they would be ineffective in our current society.

    The fact that I disagree does NOT mean I don’t want my partners to be happy, that I support rape, or that I hate women (the definition of misogyny being the hatred of women).

    The simple fact is that most of society (men and women) don’t want explicit acknowledgment of sexual intention each time they have sex with someone. No matter how good an idea is, if society won’t accept it, the idea is not effective.

    As to acting against rape, I do. One of the ways I do it is by not supporting ideas I believe wont help.

    As to reading, I have one for you to look at

  61. Aww, think of teh menz!

    Please read SchrΓΆdinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced.

    I think the above is somewhat problematic, mind. But sorry if I’m not really crying for you. Every time I enter a sex space, or a bar, or leave my bloody house, I have to be on the alert. I know there will be no justice if I’m raped, because I’m queer, kinky, fat, and a sex worker. My rape may even be a punchline.

    So, yeah, I’m kinda touchy about consent, and getting clear consent. The people I respect feel the same way. Somehow, we manage to stay in the mood AND get clear consent- crazy, no?

  62. I need to ask, when you use the word “misogynist”, what do you mean? You almost seem to use it and “sexist” interchangeably, and it’s a little confusing for me.

    To be honest I’m not willing to argue the over all point of your comment with you because I feel that based on your background you have a completely legitimate reason to be what I would normally consider overly paranoid.

    • I don’t consider that “overly paranoid”. I’ve never been raped, had some minor harassment issues and whatnot, but that? That’s what a large portion of women (at least the ones I know) call “daily living”: assessing the situation and taking appropriate action.

      • Echo.

        Dear and , thank you wading into the mud and being articulate and brilliant. I’ve been in your position before pushing back and saying the words that keep being misunderstood and it’s always difficult, and draining. So thank you, from someone who knows what being willing to undertake that Conversation involves.

  63. I need to ask, when you use the word “misogynist”, what do you mean? You almost seem to use it and “sexist” interchangeably, and it’s a little confusing for me.

    To be honest I’m not willing to argue the over all point of your comment with you because I feel that based on your background you have a completely legitimate reason to be what I would normally consider overly paranoid.

  64. I’m NOT against clear consent!!! Why does everyone keep assuming that’s what I mean. I’m against the idea that explicitly having to say “yes” is the only way to convey clear consent.

  65. I finally read COL’s FetLife post and, moreover, PW’s long comment ( http://fetlife.com/users/19377/posts/701643#post_comment_2175558 ) that chronicled her own similar experience with the same guy. Together, they make it pretty clear that the perpetrator in this case could and should have behaved better.

    Besides chiming in here to help spark some discussion, I thought the best thing I could do was to point people in Madison’s kink-heavy polyamory community, via MAPS’ and MPC’s forums, to your blog post and their contributions.

    Thanks, again, for pushing ethical standards.

  66. I finally read COL’s FetLife post and, moreover, PW’s long comment ( http://fetlife.com/users/19377/posts/701643#post_comment_2175558 ) that chronicled her own similar experience with the same guy. Together, they make it pretty clear that the perpetrator in this case could and should have behaved better.

    Besides chiming in here to help spark some discussion, I thought the best thing I could do was to point people in Madison’s kink-heavy polyamory community, via MAPS’ and MPC’s forums, to your blog post and their contributions.

    Thanks, again, for pushing ethical standards.

  67. Which “guy” in charge of the DC/Baltimore scene? It’s a rather LARGE scene with many subsections. Different clubs in DC than in Baltimore. Are you talking Crucible? Bound? BLP? Playhouse? Or were you talking an educational group? Get together? Someone claiming to be in charge?

    I ask as someone with a vested interest in that scene and I do NOT like hearing shit like this getting by years after the fact. Feel free to PM me.

  68. I don’t consider that “overly paranoid”. I’ve never been raped, had some minor harassment issues and whatnot, but that? That’s what a large portion of women (at least the ones I know) call “daily living”: assessing the situation and taking appropriate action.

  69. Echo.

    Dear and , thank you wading into the mud and being articulate and brilliant. I’ve been in your position before pushing back and saying the words that keep being misunderstood and it’s always difficult, and draining. So thank you, from someone who knows what being willing to undertake that Conversation involves.

  70. You’re right about that sentence, I wrote “power” instead of sex. That was entirely an error in what I typed.

    Misogyny means “hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.”
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/misogyny

    “Power over” sexuality isn’t strictly gender based, tho some abuse of it falls in to stereotypical gender roles… that doesn’t make it automatically misogynistic. That’s a misappropriation & misuse of the term. One of the issues with what’s sometimes referred to as “gender feminism” or “neo feminism” is the tendency to reduce everything to or blame everything on misogyny when realistically there’re other things at play that do not fit the definition.

  71. You’re right about that sentence, I wrote “power” instead of sex. That was entirely an error in what I typed.

    Misogyny means “hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.”
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/misogyny

    “Power over” sexuality isn’t strictly gender based, tho some abuse of it falls in to stereotypical gender roles… that doesn’t make it automatically misogynistic. That’s a misappropriation & misuse of the term. One of the issues with what’s sometimes referred to as “gender feminism” or “neo feminism” is the tendency to reduce everything to or blame everything on misogyny when realistically there’re other things at play that do not fit the definition.

  72. Finally got around to reading that blog, and it ranks up as being one of the most sexist and shallow things I’ve ever read in my life.

    Seriously, the “women have to live in fear” argument holds no weight with me.

    You’ve suggested your reading to me, I’ll suggest mine to you: Beyond Fear by Bruce Schneier.

    Living in fear is choice. Living in fear of something that statistically isn’t likely to happen to any one individual is just foolish. And treating a someone like as if they are a threat just because they were born male is sexist and inherently morally wrong.

    I believe in sexual equality. I believe that women are just as capable as men. I believe they are just as capable of taking care of them selves, and just as capable of standing up for them selves. I’m sorry but I refuse to treat women as the scared, incapable creatures you are making them out to be. I would rather treat them, and be treated by them, as equals.

  73. Thank you…

    Seven years out of the Scene and celibate to avoid and recover from my perpetrator. I was a community leader, and he was not. He is still active in the Scene. I doubt I will ever go back.

  74. Thank you…

    Seven years out of the Scene and celibate to avoid and recover from my perpetrator. I was a community leader, and he was not. He is still active in the Scene. I doubt I will ever go back.

  75. I never said it was. But it is a way to stop miss-communication. Unfortunately miss-communication has nothing to do with how most rapes happen. It’s used as an excuse by the perpetrator after the fact, but we all know that’s just bull shit.

    Most rapes are perpetrated by a predator that doesn’t want their victim to give consent. So how consent is expressed is irrelevant. “only Yes mean Yes” wont stop them because they want the answer to be “No”.

  76. I never said it was. But it is a way to stop miss-communication. Unfortunately miss-communication has nothing to do with how most rapes happen. It’s used as an excuse by the perpetrator after the fact, but we all know that’s just bull shit.

    Most rapes are perpetrated by a predator that doesn’t want their victim to give consent. So how consent is expressed is irrelevant. “only Yes mean Yes” wont stop them because they want the answer to be “No”.

  77. I think the point is this: You give more meaning to the word “misogyny”, than several of us feel it encompass. Maybe if you described what you feel misogyny really entails it would help us understand you.

    The problem with going beyond the dictionary meaning of any word is that the word starts having different meanings for each of us. As important as that difference in meaning is to each of us, it does hamper our ability to communicate effectively.

  78. I think the point is this: You give more meaning to the word “misogyny”, than several of us feel it encompass. Maybe if you described what you feel misogyny really entails it would help us understand you.

    The problem with going beyond the dictionary meaning of any word is that the word starts having different meanings for each of us. As important as that difference in meaning is to each of us, it does hamper our ability to communicate effectively.

  79. a reinforcement of the dichotomy of behaviours of the stereotypical “male” and “female”.

    I think that’s where you lost most of us, because most of us would never consider that to be a part of misogyny. It’s an aspect of sexism, not misogyny.

    It’s also important to point out that most of us (I hope) don’t see sexism to be inherently anti female (that’s misogyny, not sexism). Sexism can be anti female or anti male depending on how it’s done and the motivations behind it.

    Hopefully we’ll all understand each other better now.

  80. a reinforcement of the dichotomy of behaviours of the stereotypical “male” and “female”.

    I think that’s where you lost most of us, because most of us would never consider that to be a part of misogyny. It’s an aspect of sexism, not misogyny.

    It’s also important to point out that most of us (I hope) don’t see sexism to be inherently anti female (that’s misogyny, not sexism). Sexism can be anti female or anti male depending on how it’s done and the motivations behind it.

    Hopefully we’ll all understand each other better now.

  81. Ok, you seriously need a dictionary if you think:

    “take responsibility [gotta hate auto spell correct] for your own sexuality”

    and

    “COMMUNICATING and SAYING SOMETHING is the magical key to stopping rape”

    are the same thing.

  82. Ok, you seriously need a dictionary if you think:

    “take responsibility [gotta hate auto spell correct] for your own sexuality”

    and

    “COMMUNICATING and SAYING SOMETHING is the magical key to stopping rape”

    are the same thing.

  83. Do you really believe all these rapists, many of which have raped multiple times, don’t know they victims are unwilling? Do you really believe it’s all just a misunderstanding?

    “There’s a study out somewhere that shows that our society actually uses rejections without the word “no” all the time, and everyone understands a rejection when they hear one, even if there is no “no” in it. ” — Joreth

    They know. They might not admit they know, but they know. And if they know their partner is unwilling and they keep going it’s rape. And they are the only people responsible for that rape.

    “It would indeed. It would take a lot of power from people who are so stuck in their heads that “male” and “female” is a relevant category. We’ve decided that it’s important, and that’s the only reason that it is.”

    It would take away individuality. It would take away part of what makes each of us who we are and unique. I am male, I am also tall, and Native American, and Pagan, and Caucasian, and many other things. None of those things make me inherently better than anyone else. But they are part of defining who I am as an individual.

  84. Do you really believe all these rapists, many of which have raped multiple times, don’t know they victims are unwilling? Do you really believe it’s all just a misunderstanding?

    “There’s a study out somewhere that shows that our society actually uses rejections without the word “no” all the time, and everyone understands a rejection when they hear one, even if there is no “no” in it. ” — Joreth

    They know. They might not admit they know, but they know. And if they know their partner is unwilling and they keep going it’s rape. And they are the only people responsible for that rape.

    “It would indeed. It would take a lot of power from people who are so stuck in their heads that “male” and “female” is a relevant category. We’ve decided that it’s important, and that’s the only reason that it is.”

    It would take away individuality. It would take away part of what makes each of us who we are and unique. I am male, I am also tall, and Native American, and Pagan, and Caucasian, and many other things. None of those things make me inherently better than anyone else. But they are part of defining who I am as an individual.

  85. Please point out exactly where I said “COMMUNICATING and SAYING SOMETHING is the magical key to stopping rape”.

    You have now attributed me as saying that twice, but I’ve NEVER said it.

  86. Please point out exactly where I said “COMMUNICATING and SAYING SOMETHING is the magical key to stopping rape”.

    You have now attributed me as saying that twice, but I’ve NEVER said it.

  87. Do you believe the only form of sexual discrimination that exists is anti-female discrimination?

    If not what do you call sexual discrimination that isn’t anti-female?

  88. Do you believe the only form of sexual discrimination that exists is anti-female discrimination?

    If not what do you call sexual discrimination that isn’t anti-female?

  89. I think it’s both conscious and unconscious.

    Consciously, people do tend to rally behind popular folks, or folks they like personally, or folks they perceive as being beneficial to them. Look at how Mob boss John Gotti’s neighbors absolutely loved the man. He threw elaborate parties, built playgrounds, helped his neighbors out financially (at least when he wasn’t killing them). The people from the neighborhood showed up at the courthouse to protest his life sentence and built shrines to him when he died in prison.

    That sort of thing is a conscious choice to ignore a person’s actions in favor of personal benefit. I suspect that in the BDSM community, relatively few people go to that length; more people, I suspect, will find their perceptions of the community leader (and their reluctance to give up whatever it is that he has to offer them) unconsciously coloring their perception of the allegations. I think that people might have a tendency to try to minimize or disbelieve allegations against someone who’s popular in the community and who is perceived as doing things that benefit them.

  90. I think it’s both conscious and unconscious.

    Consciously, people do tend to rally behind popular folks, or folks they like personally, or folks they perceive as being beneficial to them. Look at how Mob boss John Gotti’s neighbors absolutely loved the man. He threw elaborate parties, built playgrounds, helped his neighbors out financially (at least when he wasn’t killing them). The people from the neighborhood showed up at the courthouse to protest his life sentence and built shrines to him when he died in prison.

    That sort of thing is a conscious choice to ignore a person’s actions in favor of personal benefit. I suspect that in the BDSM community, relatively few people go to that length; more people, I suspect, will find their perceptions of the community leader (and their reluctance to give up whatever it is that he has to offer them) unconsciously coloring their perception of the allegations. I think that people might have a tendency to try to minimize or disbelieve allegations against someone who’s popular in the community and who is perceived as doing things that benefit them.

  91. “Being cautious” != “living in fear.” You probably don’t live in fear of dogs, but if you’re approached by a strange dog of unknown aggressiveness, I bet some part of your mind goes on alert, especially if it’s a large dog. ; the odds of any given woman being sexually assaulted in her lifetime are probably higher than the odds that you’ll be attacked by a dog. So suggesting that women don’t need to be aware of that, and aren’t justified in going on alert when approached by a stranger, seem disingenuous to me.

  92. My question is why you think that because it happens to male submissives, that it’s not 100% misogyny.

    Misogyny and sexism (and heterosexism, I would add) are both characterised by an understanding of gender and sex that is strict. The idea that there males and females, nothing in between, and these people must behave in certain ways.

    Sure. And misogyny can certainly manifest itself against men, if those men are perceived as occupying ‘feminine’ roles or power dynamics. You bet.

    I’m a bit cautious, though, of saying that all instances of abuse are always related to misogyny. There are a lot of other reasons for people to treat one another as well; not all of them assume a masculine/feminine split. (One example is abuse because of racial or ethnic divides, for instance.) And people will abuse a power dynamic simply because they can, without necessarily relating it to their perception of “proper” gender roles.

    I’m quite confident in people’s ability to find reasons to treat one another poorly that aren’t centered on gender roles and misogyny, even though many–perhaps most–examples are.

    • Exactly… when you put a bunch of guys in a prison situation & a bunch of guys in charge of them commit abuse of a sexual nature to say “It’s all misogyny” is ridiculous. The ONLY justification for that is to fall in to the whole “Well it’s misogyny because it’s based on false gender roles imposed by the patriarchy, which’s male driven and anti-woman, therefore it’s based on hatred against women.”

      It simply becomes dogma more than reason.

  93. My question is why you think that because it happens to male submissives, that it’s not 100% misogyny.

    Misogyny and sexism (and heterosexism, I would add) are both characterised by an understanding of gender and sex that is strict. The idea that there males and females, nothing in between, and these people must behave in certain ways.

    Sure. And misogyny can certainly manifest itself against men, if those men are perceived as occupying ‘feminine’ roles or power dynamics. You bet.

    I’m a bit cautious, though, of saying that all instances of abuse are always related to misogyny. There are a lot of other reasons for people to treat one another as well; not all of them assume a masculine/feminine split. (One example is abuse because of racial or ethnic divides, for instance.) And people will abuse a power dynamic simply because they can, without necessarily relating it to their perception of “proper” gender roles.

    I’m quite confident in people’s ability to find reasons to treat one another poorly that aren’t centered on gender roles and misogyny, even though many–perhaps most–examples are.

  94. That’s one of the problems, I think–men and women both in our society are taught to surround sex with shame, and on top of that, women are also socialized to believe that consenting unambiguously to sex makes them “sluts.” So both men and women can have internalized reluctance to talk openly about sex, though I think it’s worse for women than it is for men.

    Still, the BDSM community talks the talk about open negotiation and consent, and I think it’s necessary–particularly since so much potential for abuse exists–for it to walk the walk as well. Even if talking unambiguously about sex is difficult.

  95. No, sorry, what you’re engaging in is a false reduction of all such issues to “hatred of women” and stretching a word to fit that when neither the use of the word nor your concept of where this all comes from is ontologically accurate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_and_gender_feminism

    “In contrast to equity feminism, Sommers coined the term “Gender feminism” to describe what she contends is a gynocentric and misandric branch of feminism. Gender feminists typically criticize contemporary gender roles and aim to eliminate them altogether.[1] In current usage, “gender feminism” may also describe feminism which seeks to use legal means to give preference to women in such areas as domestic violence, child custody, sexual harassment, divorce proceedings, and pay equity.

    Sommers argues that gender feminism characterizes most of the body of modern feminist theory, and is the prevailing ideology in academia. She argues that while the feminists she designates as gender feminists advocate preferential treatment and portraying “all women as victims”, equity feminism provides a viable alternative form of feminism to those who object to elements of gender feminist ideology.

    Similarly, Nathanson and Young[3] use the term “ideological feminism” to describe a dualist school of thought rooted in Marxist theory. Marxism’s concept of perpetual conflict between working-class proletariat and capitalist Bourgeoisie has been replaced with feminist theory that posits perpetual exploitation of women by men, or by a patriarchal power structure. “In short, the names have been changed but not the ideology.” Additionally, Nathanson and Young contend that ideological feminism is “profoundly anti-intellectual” and furthermore that:

    Directly or indirectly, many ideological feminists have repeatedly argued that women are psychologically, morally, spiritually, intellectually and biologically superior to men. This was more explicitly expressed in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth than it was again in the 1980s. That mentality is now pervasive – not only in academic circles but in popular culture as well, where it will no doubt endure far longer.”

    I’d also add that there’s frequently a deep seated distrust, dislike, or outright hatred of men.
    Much of this branch of feminism came about in the early to mid 80’s. Some of its early luminaries & authors, like Andrea Dworkin who pioneered many of its blatantly misandrist ideas, later backed away from it (in Dworkin’s case because she had sons & realized her own concepts were damaging them) often because they realized they were promoting something equally as negative as what they were fighting against.

    However, from reading your posts & your bio I do not expect you to agree with me so I will politely say you’re entitled to your views but I cannot agree with them.

  96. No, sorry, what you’re engaging in is a false reduction of all such issues to “hatred of women” and stretching a word to fit that when neither the use of the word nor your concept of where this all comes from is ontologically accurate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_and_gender_feminism

    “In contrast to equity feminism, Sommers coined the term “Gender feminism” to describe what she contends is a gynocentric and misandric branch of feminism. Gender feminists typically criticize contemporary gender roles and aim to eliminate them altogether.[1] In current usage, “gender feminism” may also describe feminism which seeks to use legal means to give preference to women in such areas as domestic violence, child custody, sexual harassment, divorce proceedings, and pay equity.

    Sommers argues that gender feminism characterizes most of the body of modern feminist theory, and is the prevailing ideology in academia. She argues that while the feminists she designates as gender feminists advocate preferential treatment and portraying “all women as victims”, equity feminism provides a viable alternative form of feminism to those who object to elements of gender feminist ideology.

    Similarly, Nathanson and Young[3] use the term “ideological feminism” to describe a dualist school of thought rooted in Marxist theory. Marxism’s concept of perpetual conflict between working-class proletariat and capitalist Bourgeoisie has been replaced with feminist theory that posits perpetual exploitation of women by men, or by a patriarchal power structure. “In short, the names have been changed but not the ideology.” Additionally, Nathanson and Young contend that ideological feminism is “profoundly anti-intellectual” and furthermore that:

    Directly or indirectly, many ideological feminists have repeatedly argued that women are psychologically, morally, spiritually, intellectually and biologically superior to men. This was more explicitly expressed in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth than it was again in the 1980s. That mentality is now pervasive – not only in academic circles but in popular culture as well, where it will no doubt endure far longer.”

    I’d also add that there’s frequently a deep seated distrust, dislike, or outright hatred of men.
    Much of this branch of feminism came about in the early to mid 80’s. Some of its early luminaries & authors, like Andrea Dworkin who pioneered many of its blatantly misandrist ideas, later backed away from it (in Dworkin’s case because she had sons & realized her own concepts were damaging them) often because they realized they were promoting something equally as negative as what they were fighting against.

    However, from reading your posts & your bio I do not expect you to agree with me so I will politely say you’re entitled to your views but I cannot agree with them.

  97. Exactly… when you put a bunch of guys in a prison situation & a bunch of guys in charge of them commit abuse of a sexual nature to say “It’s all misogyny” is ridiculous. The ONLY justification for that is to fall in to the whole “Well it’s misogyny because it’s based on false gender roles imposed by the patriarchy, which’s male driven and anti-woman, therefore it’s based on hatred against women.”

    It simply becomes dogma more than reason.

  98. I’ve had likely as much, if not more, exposure to feminist theory than you, simply by virtue of being older & having grown up with it. πŸ™‚

    That paragraph says “may also” to point out the dichotomy expressed, but one of the hallmarks of gender feminism is that exact dishonest intellectual contradiction.

    You may hate Dworkin, but a lot of her ideas, and similar ones from her contemporaries, are behind much of the current “waves” of feminism. That’s WHY “most modern feminist thought is along these lines,” and that’s exactly the issue with it & why the concepts of “gender feminism” vs “equity feminism” were created. Sadly for us all, IMO, it’s become far more about the former than the later.

    As for queer theory, much of it is a RESULT of gender feminism, it was being called for as early as the 1970’s as a way to truly destroy the male power structure by destroying gender identity. Again it’s a topic with which I’m familiar, not just the theory & rhetoric but the actual history.

  99. I’ve had likely as much, if not more, exposure to feminist theory than you, simply by virtue of being older & having grown up with it. πŸ™‚

    That paragraph says “may also” to point out the dichotomy expressed, but one of the hallmarks of gender feminism is that exact dishonest intellectual contradiction.

    You may hate Dworkin, but a lot of her ideas, and similar ones from her contemporaries, are behind much of the current “waves” of feminism. That’s WHY “most modern feminist thought is along these lines,” and that’s exactly the issue with it & why the concepts of “gender feminism” vs “equity feminism” were created. Sadly for us all, IMO, it’s become far more about the former than the later.

    As for queer theory, much of it is a RESULT of gender feminism, it was being called for as early as the 1970’s as a way to truly destroy the male power structure by destroying gender identity. Again it’s a topic with which I’m familiar, not just the theory & rhetoric but the actual history.

  100. I didn’t say being older made me know more, I said I’ve been involved in seeing & researching it longer, both the earlier history & modern evolution.

    Your characterizations of many things are at odds with things I believe factual, and I do not believe it’s possible for us to have a constructive conversation about this.

    As I said, I’ll agree to disagree. πŸ™‚

    If you’re interested in trying to see some of my POV, do some googling & other research outside your textbooks & what they tell you at your university about gender feminism and the rise of queer theory. You might get some surprises.

  101. I didn’t say being older made me know more, I said I’ve been involved in seeing & researching it longer, both the earlier history & modern evolution.

    Your characterizations of many things are at odds with things I believe factual, and I do not believe it’s possible for us to have a constructive conversation about this.

    As I said, I’ll agree to disagree. πŸ™‚

    If you’re interested in trying to see some of my POV, do some googling & other research outside your textbooks & what they tell you at your university about gender feminism and the rise of queer theory. You might get some surprises.

  102. “therefore not taking responsibility for their own sexuality and are to blame for what happens to them.”

    That last part are words you are putting in my mouth. Words I NEVER said, and meaning I would NEVER express. You choose to interpreted it that way but it is absolutely not what I meant.

    In fact I’ve directly contradicted that concept several times. Of course you told me I was wrong then too…

    During the conversation on semantics between you, james_the_evil1, and myself I realized you are interested in instructing, not in discussing. As a result this conversation has lost all interest for me.

    You seem like a very intelligent and interesting person. Someday I hope we can have a real conversation about a topic that isn’t so loaded. Be well.

  103. “therefore not taking responsibility for their own sexuality and are to blame for what happens to them.”

    That last part are words you are putting in my mouth. Words I NEVER said, and meaning I would NEVER express. You choose to interpreted it that way but it is absolutely not what I meant.

    In fact I’ve directly contradicted that concept several times. Of course you told me I was wrong then too…

    During the conversation on semantics between you, james_the_evil1, and myself I realized you are interested in instructing, not in discussing. As a result this conversation has lost all interest for me.

    You seem like a very intelligent and interesting person. Someday I hope we can have a real conversation about a topic that isn’t so loaded. Be well.

  104. First: I’ve had more than one sexual assault in the kink community. Each time it happened once, per dude, who was a friend or a friend of a friend, well-respected and liked, references checked out. I did everything the community tells one to do. Hell, the guy who anally raped me without protection was a lover of mine at the time.

    So I’m wondering- should a female submissive be on guard all the time just in case something goes wrong, because otherwise she’s not seeing “the reality of the situation”? Is someone who has experienced this more than once no longer the perfect victim and therefore not relevant to the discussion?

    I actually think if victim-blaming was seen as unacceptable, these things would happen less often in the kinky community, because people would come out and the predators would, shall we say, hang themselves with their own rope.

    I give some ideas on what people can do both as community members:
    http://purrversatility.blogspot.com/2011/07/safeward-what-you-can-do-guide-for.html

    and as community leaders:
    http://purrversatility.blogspot.com/2011/07/safeward-what-you-can-do-guide-for_29.html

    to try and help combat victim-blaming and silence.

  105. First: I’ve had more than one sexual assault in the kink community. Each time it happened once, per dude, who was a friend or a friend of a friend, well-respected and liked, references checked out. I did everything the community tells one to do. Hell, the guy who anally raped me without protection was a lover of mine at the time.

    So I’m wondering- should a female submissive be on guard all the time just in case something goes wrong, because otherwise she’s not seeing “the reality of the situation”? Is someone who has experienced this more than once no longer the perfect victim and therefore not relevant to the discussion?

    I actually think if victim-blaming was seen as unacceptable, these things would happen less often in the kinky community, because people would come out and the predators would, shall we say, hang themselves with their own rope.

    I give some ideas on what people can do both as community members:
    http://purrversatility.blogspot.com/2011/07/safeward-what-you-can-do-guide-for.html

    and as community leaders:
    http://purrversatility.blogspot.com/2011/07/safeward-what-you-can-do-guide-for_29.html

    to try and help combat victim-blaming and silence.

  106. “Safe” Leaders

    I was particularly struck by this part of your essay:

    “They may feel that if a community leader is accused of inappropriate behavior, he might stop hosting play parties, or they might not have the opportunity to learn from him. That creates a powerful incentive for them to find reasons to discredit accusations of assault or other inappropriate behavior.”

    I’ve observed far too many people be accepting of someone’s cruel behavior; demeaning comments; overt racism; or plain ol’ mean-girl/boy tactics because of the reasons you point to: fear of losing a venue. Fear of having their own group or event attacked–by someone who will speak falsely but loudly. Fear of losing a presenter. Fear of, fear of fill-in-the-blank.

    Leaders don’t always have to be in official positions to be seen as leaders, or seen as pivotal people in the community.

    But, also in my experience, losing a venue isn’t the end of a group or event. There are other venues. Other presenters. Other voices. A community or group cannot operate expressly under the fear of others. And, if we run our groups afraid of what someone will do/say/take away, we’re not really running a group/event. We’re placating a dangerous person and attempting to provide a service to everyone else–emphasis on “attempting.” Placating that dangerous person, either by catering to him/her or silencing his/her critics (or both), can take an organization’s entire resource of energy. And, if leaders are placating that dangerous person, those leaders become complicit in the negative, harmful, and/or criminal behavior.

    I say “bravo” to those willing to speak out, willing to tell their truth about any one who behaves in a way that is dangerous, or toxic, or that leaves others in a state of massive turmoil. After all, does the community really benefit by having a rapist, or a flagrant racist, or an abuser providing a venue or leading a workshop? Is there really no one else in an entire community who can fulfill those needs? No community lives and dies with one person.

  107. “Safe” Leaders

    I was particularly struck by this part of your essay:

    “They may feel that if a community leader is accused of inappropriate behavior, he might stop hosting play parties, or they might not have the opportunity to learn from him. That creates a powerful incentive for them to find reasons to discredit accusations of assault or other inappropriate behavior.”

    I’ve observed far too many people be accepting of someone’s cruel behavior; demeaning comments; overt racism; or plain ol’ mean-girl/boy tactics because of the reasons you point to: fear of losing a venue. Fear of having their own group or event attacked–by someone who will speak falsely but loudly. Fear of losing a presenter. Fear of, fear of fill-in-the-blank.

    Leaders don’t always have to be in official positions to be seen as leaders, or seen as pivotal people in the community.

    But, also in my experience, losing a venue isn’t the end of a group or event. There are other venues. Other presenters. Other voices. A community or group cannot operate expressly under the fear of others. And, if we run our groups afraid of what someone will do/say/take away, we’re not really running a group/event. We’re placating a dangerous person and attempting to provide a service to everyone else–emphasis on “attempting.” Placating that dangerous person, either by catering to him/her or silencing his/her critics (or both), can take an organization’s entire resource of energy. And, if leaders are placating that dangerous person, those leaders become complicit in the negative, harmful, and/or criminal behavior.

    I say “bravo” to those willing to speak out, willing to tell their truth about any one who behaves in a way that is dangerous, or toxic, or that leaves others in a state of massive turmoil. After all, does the community really benefit by having a rapist, or a flagrant racist, or an abuser providing a venue or leading a workshop? Is there really no one else in an entire community who can fulfill those needs? No community lives and dies with one person.

  108. “Actually we do tell people not to rob cars, and not to rape people. Almost all the people involved in these crimes knows they are doing something wrong, but at the moment they are doing it they don’t care that it’s wrong.”

    Untrue. As it turns out, many rapists will admit to rape just as long as you don’t call it that:

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    In other words, in their mind what they did was not rape. I suspect that you are imagining the mental processes of rapists and thieves, as opposed to basing your opinion on actual data.

  109. “Actually we do tell people not to rob cars, and not to rape people. Almost all the people involved in these crimes knows they are doing something wrong, but at the moment they are doing it they don’t care that it’s wrong.”

    Untrue. As it turns out, many rapists will admit to rape just as long as you don’t call it that:

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    In other words, in their mind what they did was not rape. I suspect that you are imagining the mental processes of rapists and thieves, as opposed to basing your opinion on actual data.

  110. “Absolutely they will. In fact, mine involve an excel spreadsheet.”

    that’s totally awesome. i mean that sincerely. =] also a fun checklist of things to do in the future!

  111. These “she should have” games play out after the fact, too. I’ve heard folks, including one person I know who I consider to be basically a decent guy, say “She should have done thus-and-such after the assault happened.” Usually it’s “She should have reported it” or “She should have confronted the perpetrator directly” or “She should have gone to a community leader and let him know that there was a problem”.

    mixed feelings about this, and i say this as someone who has past non-consensual violent experiences.

    yes, the “you should’ve done this” is pointless and cruel, especially when applied to a person / situation you aren’t very familiar with. but i absolutely believe in pressuring victims to stand up, even if it’s weeks / months / years later. people who do this to you will do it to someone else. if i wouldn’t be okay with what happened to me happening to my lover or best friend or housemate, i feel that i have an ethical responsibility to do what i can to prevent that. even if it means a negative impact on me financially or emotionally or mentally.

  112. These “she should have” games play out after the fact, too. I’ve heard folks, including one person I know who I consider to be basically a decent guy, say “She should have done thus-and-such after the assault happened.” Usually it’s “She should have reported it” or “She should have confronted the perpetrator directly” or “She should have gone to a community leader and let him know that there was a problem”.

    mixed feelings about this, and i say this as someone who has past non-consensual violent experiences.

    yes, the “you should’ve done this” is pointless and cruel, especially when applied to a person / situation you aren’t very familiar with. but i absolutely believe in pressuring victims to stand up, even if it’s weeks / months / years later. people who do this to you will do it to someone else. if i wouldn’t be okay with what happened to me happening to my lover or best friend or housemate, i feel that i have an ethical responsibility to do what i can to prevent that. even if it means a negative impact on me financially or emotionally or mentally.

  113. I’m so sorry for what happened to your friend.

    Your analysis of the situation is spot-on, I once again as always totally <3 you when reading things you write about poly and BDSM, and if we ever get the chance to play "mad scientist and victim" together I'm so taking it. πŸ™‚

  114. I’m so sorry for what happened to your friend.

    Your analysis of the situation is spot-on, I once again as always totally <3 you when reading things you write about poly and BDSM, and if we ever get the chance to play "mad scientist and victim" together I'm so taking it. πŸ™‚

  115. Not only subs

    I agree with you that it is treating people by labels, as opposed to as people, but I would also disagree that it is limited to sub missives. I was mentioning this very subject to another male top of mine, and he pointed out several times that he has been nonconsentually topped by female dominants. For that matter, try wearing a kilt around any particular group of females and see how many comments and gropes happen. In general, I think that any individual who goes beyond boundaries can be considered rude, and orientation or identification is immaterial.

    However, I would like to suggest another term to go along with “fuzzy boundaries.” like many things in the BDSM community, while they are dangerous, some people enjoy playing with that danger. I did a grappling scene recently with three other tops, and there was no way that we could have negotiated everything that happened – but because we trusted each other to handle the unknown areas well, we were able to go “off the map.”

    I could not play that way with just anyone (and in fact I don’t think I could have played that way with anyone but those three). But I would hate to have “fuzzy boundaries” become synonymous with ” unsafe”.

    Why can’t the negotiation phase begin with “I’d like to play with explicit boundaries.” The idea would be that only the things that are already agreed upon, explicitly, will be done. Perhaps at another time, you can play with fuzzy boundaries – “here are my limits, but I don’t assume I already know everything we would enjoy together, so let’s try moving in different directions.”

    The other problem with “yes means yes” is that it presumes language as the default mode of communication. Not everyone can use words, or wants to, whether in the heat of the moment or not. I think that it is important to acknowledge that there are more than dichotomous answers and modes of communication.

  116. this is fabulous. Thank you for this article, i was linked here from fetlife and i really love how clearly and strongly you made your point. Its hard to find the word sometimes to explain these things and you did so very well.

  117. this is fabulous. Thank you for this article, i was linked here from fetlife and i really love how clearly and strongly you made your point. Its hard to find the word sometimes to explain these things and you did so very well.

  118. “Only once”– per lifetime or per party — does not match the experience of the female subs I know who attend such gatherings. They are physically assaulted far more frequently than that. Shoot, that kind of attack on a passing female is far from rare at NON-BDSM events.

    I think you are vastly underestimating the occurrence of nonfelonious assaults on women both in and out of the BDSM community — which, granted, is easy to do as they are so common in our society as to be all but invisible — a frequency that is fueled by both mysogyny and sexism.

    Also, those “assholes” of whom you speak , they could also accurately be described as criminals, assailants, attackers, felons, and in many cases rapists, yes? That is what you are, what you choose to become, if you proceed without consent.

    An asshole is the driver who cut me off. The man who raped me? He exceeded the requirements for that category. “Asshole” may be a start, but it really, really doesn’t cover it.

  119. I love how he treats “going solo” as his reductio ad absurdum, seemingly completely ignorant of the fact that there are people who do consider themselves to have that orientation. (They live somewhere under the asexual/aromantic umbrella, though I’m not sure if there’s a specific word to differentiate them from aromantics who don’t “go solo” but don’t define their close relationships as romantic.)

  120. I love how he treats “going solo” as his reductio ad absurdum, seemingly completely ignorant of the fact that there are people who do consider themselves to have that orientation. (They live somewhere under the asexual/aromantic umbrella, though I’m not sure if there’s a specific word to differentiate them from aromantics who don’t “go solo” but don’t define their close relationships as romantic.)

  121. Food for Thought

    A Case for the Possible Loss of Functional Consent.

    by Anon7

    The D/s community is replete with claims that consent is a the heart of the D/s relationship.
    This case is a study in the manner by which De Facto or functional consent may be lost while the appearance of De jour consent may be claimed.
    γ€€
    First some definitions
    De Facto –
    adj 1. Actual

    De Jure –
    noun by right; according to law (in this case agreement or contract)

    Consent –
    verb – to permit, approve, or agree; comply or yield
    noun – permission, approval, or agreement; compliance; acquiescence:

    Operant conditioning –
    noun. Psychology A process of behavior modification in which the likelihood of a specific behavior is increased or decreased through positive or negative reinforcement each time the behavior is exhibited, so that the subject comes to associate the pleasure or displeasure of the reinforcement with the behavior

    Training –
    “Training involves education and re-education, in essence the delving deeply into what the submissive/slave knows and then reformatting and instilling new thoughts, acceptance and understanding of his/her role”
    http://msirresistible.mysticalmelody.com/module5.htm

    Undo influence –
    Verb It is the pressure, coercion or influence exerted by some person on other person, with an intention to influence his presence of mind for drawing undue benefits from him.
    γ€€
    In a D/s relationship the Dominant will attempt to train a submissive, so as to change the submissive in some way either to an agreed upon goal or an open ended arrangement. There are many forms and methods both mental and physical to this end. There will often be contracts and limits agreed upon by both parties. This is the general view of the D/s relationship as per the “community”

    The 3 legs that hold up the ideals of the D/s community are “Safe Sane and Consensual ” without these the community decrees actions as abuse.
    γ€€
    Let us look at the most basic argument that the ” Consensual ” ideal undermined by the very act of “Training” or in the best light may be undermined.

    Fiat, that the initial contact and agreement by a submissive with a dominant is both De Facto and De Jure consensual. The “consensual” leg stands firm.
    γ€€
    Now as a submissive beings to be trained to fulfill what ever roll the dominant has created we may begin to have a problem.

    Let us posit the first step on training is for the submissive is to be more compliant with the dominants wishes.

    ” the whole point of being submissive is to be compliant and to follow the lead of another:” http://libbysub.blogspot.com/
    γ€€
    Thus we have an interesting situation. the dominant is trying to get the submissive to be more compliant. But only with their consent but the heart of consent is that it is made with no “undo influence”, by any standard Training contains many elements of ” undo influence.”

    Can these too be reconciled ? A person being trained to be compliant while at the same time being required to have the ability to fully consent ?

    Let us posit that in this hypothetical D/s relationship the D has started training the submissive . The methods of a D to do this are myriad. Many if not all are forms of “operant conditioning” which by definition causes ” the likelihood of a specific behavior is increased ” .

    Now given this let us argue that the D has selected either with intent or not (a distinction with out difference ) that the “behavior” to be modified is the giving of consent by the submissive.
    In short the D has begun to remove functional consent from the relationship.

    A simple logic test

    1 Can a D use Training /operant conditioning to change the thinking ,behaviors and actions of a submissive (Y/N)

    2 Can the giving of consent bee seen as thought / behavior / action (Y/N)
    γ€€
    If looked at from a logical prospective both are must be a least possible. In fact the D/s relationship is effectively based both being answered in the affirmative.
    γ€€

  122. Food for Thought

    A Case for the Possible Loss of Functional Consent.

    by Anon7

    The D/s community is replete with claims that consent is a the heart of the D/s relationship.
    This case is a study in the manner by which De Facto or functional consent may be lost while the appearance of De jour consent may be claimed.
    γ€€
    First some definitions
    De Facto –
    adj 1. Actual

    De Jure –
    noun by right; according to law (in this case agreement or contract)

    Consent –
    verb – to permit, approve, or agree; comply or yield
    noun – permission, approval, or agreement; compliance; acquiescence:

    Operant conditioning –
    noun. Psychology A process of behavior modification in which the likelihood of a specific behavior is increased or decreased through positive or negative reinforcement each time the behavior is exhibited, so that the subject comes to associate the pleasure or displeasure of the reinforcement with the behavior

    Training –
    “Training involves education and re-education, in essence the delving deeply into what the submissive/slave knows and then reformatting and instilling new thoughts, acceptance and understanding of his/her role”
    http://msirresistible.mysticalmelody.com/module5.htm

    Undo influence –
    Verb It is the pressure, coercion or influence exerted by some person on other person, with an intention to influence his presence of mind for drawing undue benefits from him.
    γ€€
    In a D/s relationship the Dominant will attempt to train a submissive, so as to change the submissive in some way either to an agreed upon goal or an open ended arrangement. There are many forms and methods both mental and physical to this end. There will often be contracts and limits agreed upon by both parties. This is the general view of the D/s relationship as per the “community”

    The 3 legs that hold up the ideals of the D/s community are “Safe Sane and Consensual ” without these the community decrees actions as abuse.
    γ€€
    Let us look at the most basic argument that the ” Consensual ” ideal undermined by the very act of “Training” or in the best light may be undermined.

    Fiat, that the initial contact and agreement by a submissive with a dominant is both De Facto and De Jure consensual. The “consensual” leg stands firm.
    γ€€
    Now as a submissive beings to be trained to fulfill what ever roll the dominant has created we may begin to have a problem.

    Let us posit the first step on training is for the submissive is to be more compliant with the dominants wishes.

    ” the whole point of being submissive is to be compliant and to follow the lead of another:” http://libbysub.blogspot.com/
    γ€€
    Thus we have an interesting situation. the dominant is trying to get the submissive to be more compliant. But only with their consent but the heart of consent is that it is made with no “undo influence”, by any standard Training contains many elements of ” undo influence.”

    Can these too be reconciled ? A person being trained to be compliant while at the same time being required to have the ability to fully consent ?

    Let us posit that in this hypothetical D/s relationship the D has started training the submissive . The methods of a D to do this are myriad. Many if not all are forms of “operant conditioning” which by definition causes ” the likelihood of a specific behavior is increased ” .

    Now given this let us argue that the D has selected either with intent or not (a distinction with out difference ) that the “behavior” to be modified is the giving of consent by the submissive.
    In short the D has begun to remove functional consent from the relationship.

    A simple logic test

    1 Can a D use Training /operant conditioning to change the thinking ,behaviors and actions of a submissive (Y/N)

    2 Can the giving of consent bee seen as thought / behavior / action (Y/N)
    γ€€
    If looked at from a logical prospective both are must be a least possible. In fact the D/s relationship is effectively based both being answered in the affirmative.
    γ€€

  123. Food for Thought

    this case successfully changing the behavior / action of giving consent will result in the submissive no longer having the ability to form true and effective consent.

    The table that holds the D/s relationship now has a broken leg, and can not stand on the other two.

    Why not one may ask.

    Safe – The D/s community stresses SAFE with things like contracts and safe words all well and good, but in this case the submissive will not avail these tools as they have been trained to consent as the default in most given situations. So leg 2 is now broken

    Sane
    “Sane Power exchange is about trust — trust that the person who has the power in a scene will use it responsibly” http://www.rcdc.org/articles/tamar-ssc.html
    Due to the now hollow consent, the submissive made by oprant conditoning and training any trust that may have existed as been broken. Thus leg 3 has been cracked and can bear no weight.
    γ€€
    In conclusion

    We can see that it is possible that De facto consent CAN be lost, even while the De jure actions that may seem to be consent continue.
    γ€€
    Given this the claims of the D/s community that “consent” is always given and can never be lost loses some of its luster and as a pillar it has cracks at its base.

  124. Food for Thought

    this case successfully changing the behavior / action of giving consent will result in the submissive no longer having the ability to form true and effective consent.

    The table that holds the D/s relationship now has a broken leg, and can not stand on the other two.

    Why not one may ask.

    Safe – The D/s community stresses SAFE with things like contracts and safe words all well and good, but in this case the submissive will not avail these tools as they have been trained to consent as the default in most given situations. So leg 2 is now broken

    Sane
    “Sane Power exchange is about trust — trust that the person who has the power in a scene will use it responsibly” http://www.rcdc.org/articles/tamar-ssc.html
    Due to the now hollow consent, the submissive made by oprant conditoning and training any trust that may have existed as been broken. Thus leg 3 has been cracked and can bear no weight.
    γ€€
    In conclusion

    We can see that it is possible that De facto consent CAN be lost, even while the De jure actions that may seem to be consent continue.
    γ€€
    Given this the claims of the D/s community that “consent” is always given and can never be lost loses some of its luster and as a pillar it has cracks at its base.

  125. I know it’s a long time since anyone has posted on this threat but here I am writing here anyway, because it is now I’m fully dealing with what happened to me three years ago and am trying to find ways to cope and prevent it from happening to other woman by the same couple without putting myself at serious risk (considering I am being blackmailed). But i was repeatedly sexually assaulted (granted not RAPED, but it was invasive and the memories almost caused me to commit suicide. Every night for months I would sit on my bed with a knife pressed to my wrist trying to decide if it was worth ending the constant transportation into their bedroom, feeling them, smelling them, hearing them, tasting her, and seeing them as if I was right there in the middle of work. They were my disciplinarians & fun spankers. We’re a small portion of BDSM but we fall into the category. A lot of vanillas consider it all to be the same thing. It took me 3 years to pursue trying to press charges. The first cop I talked to laughed at me. I was an adult at the time. I knew right from wrong. I met them on an adult website. (Spank Finder… SO adult….) He had given me consensual sexual favors before we went to bed (though not sex). Therefore it was OK for him to wake me up at 3 AM with his dick in my hand after I had specifically said “I do not so much as want to see you let alone touch you or perform sexual favors to you until, if ever, I was ready. I NEVER gave him permision. He said ok. . No. 1st night…. I wake up with him in my hand (first time I ever saw I naked man) and his wife guided me into giving a hand job, saying “He did things for you, he’s helped you all day, he made you feel good tonight, don’t you think he deserves to feel good to? That you should do something to repay him?” That was the first night. By day they were different people. They were friends, they watched over me and comforted me, I liked that feeling. But then sometimes at nights they would bring me into their bedroom…. do things for me… and then use their mind games. I would partially pull away even though (with HER) I had been talked into saying I was willing to try and do things to reciprocate for HER. The 1st night SHE happened I realized I wanted to change my mind. I pulled away gently and shook my head, but I was guided and talked into/had my hand placed in her or my mouth on her. I never really felt I could say no. It was confusing. I wasn’t sure if it was wrong or not. I just knew I didn’t like it. It wasn’t til 7 months later that they let me alone with someone else they did this to… and also raped her. I had put my foot down hard on any form of sex. If they did, I was gone. THey wanted me so they didn’t. And so they respected me, right? But when I found out they had done the same thing to her… & penetrated her AFTER she said OUT LOUD no… I KNEW what had been happening to me. We escaped. She went back to them. I din’t. When they found out I was trying to warn someone they blackmailed me with their famous blog… with name and “info.” And I KNOW they have pictures of me that I did not give them permission to take &they could use those. The only proof I have against them is 6 blog posts where theysay that MANY girls over the years have “falsely accused” them of assault . So I KNOW this has been happening over and over. I’ve called the police in two areas… the place where the first assault took place (a party one city) and the rest at their home half an hour away. Bad experience the first time, but I still called the other department and that officer was kind, but by the laws of this state unless a person says they will kill you if you don’t touch them, you can’t file a lawsuit. What crap. I want to find ways to make people aware of them, make them pay without the blackmail backfiring in my face cuz i want to prevent this from happening to another. They’ve moved states. They are looking for new girls. BDSM, and I say that because I do consider myself part of the BDSM community(spankers are on fetlife, including me and them) is in danger, especially subs male or female. And no one cares in the law departments really. And I cannot find anyone who will speak up and say “Yes, these people hurt me too.” Our community is in danger. Law doesn’t care.

  126. I know it’s a long time since anyone has posted on this threat but here I am writing here anyway, because it is now I’m fully dealing with what happened to me three years ago and am trying to find ways to cope and prevent it from happening to other woman by the same couple without putting myself at serious risk (considering I am being blackmailed). But i was repeatedly sexually assaulted (granted not RAPED, but it was invasive and the memories almost caused me to commit suicide. Every night for months I would sit on my bed with a knife pressed to my wrist trying to decide if it was worth ending the constant transportation into their bedroom, feeling them, smelling them, hearing them, tasting her, and seeing them as if I was right there in the middle of work. They were my disciplinarians & fun spankers. We’re a small portion of BDSM but we fall into the category. A lot of vanillas consider it all to be the same thing. It took me 3 years to pursue trying to press charges. The first cop I talked to laughed at me. I was an adult at the time. I knew right from wrong. I met them on an adult website. (Spank Finder… SO adult….) He had given me consensual sexual favors before we went to bed (though not sex). Therefore it was OK for him to wake me up at 3 AM with his dick in my hand after I had specifically said “I do not so much as want to see you let alone touch you or perform sexual favors to you until, if ever, I was ready. I NEVER gave him permision. He said ok. . No. 1st night…. I wake up with him in my hand (first time I ever saw I naked man) and his wife guided me into giving a hand job, saying “He did things for you, he’s helped you all day, he made you feel good tonight, don’t you think he deserves to feel good to? That you should do something to repay him?” That was the first night. By day they were different people. They were friends, they watched over me and comforted me, I liked that feeling. But then sometimes at nights they would bring me into their bedroom…. do things for me… and then use their mind games. I would partially pull away even though (with HER) I had been talked into saying I was willing to try and do things to reciprocate for HER. The 1st night SHE happened I realized I wanted to change my mind. I pulled away gently and shook my head, but I was guided and talked into/had my hand placed in her or my mouth on her. I never really felt I could say no. It was confusing. I wasn’t sure if it was wrong or not. I just knew I didn’t like it. It wasn’t til 7 months later that they let me alone with someone else they did this to… and also raped her. I had put my foot down hard on any form of sex. If they did, I was gone. THey wanted me so they didn’t. And so they respected me, right? But when I found out they had done the same thing to her… & penetrated her AFTER she said OUT LOUD no… I KNEW what had been happening to me. We escaped. She went back to them. I din’t. When they found out I was trying to warn someone they blackmailed me with their famous blog… with name and “info.” And I KNOW they have pictures of me that I did not give them permission to take &they could use those. The only proof I have against them is 6 blog posts where theysay that MANY girls over the years have “falsely accused” them of assault . So I KNOW this has been happening over and over. I’ve called the police in two areas… the place where the first assault took place (a party one city) and the rest at their home half an hour away. Bad experience the first time, but I still called the other department and that officer was kind, but by the laws of this state unless a person says they will kill you if you don’t touch them, you can’t file a lawsuit. What crap. I want to find ways to make people aware of them, make them pay without the blackmail backfiring in my face cuz i want to prevent this from happening to another. They’ve moved states. They are looking for new girls. BDSM, and I say that because I do consider myself part of the BDSM community(spankers are on fetlife, including me and them) is in danger, especially subs male or female. And no one cares in the law departments really. And I cannot find anyone who will speak up and say “Yes, these people hurt me too.” Our community is in danger. Law doesn’t care.

  127. This is a VERY important piece of writing, and not just for the BDSM community.
    I’m not part of the community at all, yet I am still aware of this kid of bad behavior, going on out and about among what you call vanillas.
    I’ve witnessed these kind of so called “innocent” assaults (ie: the ubiquitous swatting of the ass, which is subsequently laughed off as a bit of “harmless fun” when it is in fact a gratuitous sexual assault, and the victim afraid of speaking up, for fear she will be further harassed if she puts up any resistance).

    In fact, I would venture a guess that you could remove all references to BDSM from this article and it would still make just as much sense, and still be just as important.

    So thank you, for being as articulate and intelligent as you were in getting this all down in words. I will use this as a blueprint for when similar things happen and outrage me in real life. Words I could never quite get out before. Thank you πŸ™‚

  128. This is a VERY important piece of writing, and not just for the BDSM community.
    I’m not part of the community at all, yet I am still aware of this kid of bad behavior, going on out and about among what you call vanillas.
    I’ve witnessed these kind of so called “innocent” assaults (ie: the ubiquitous swatting of the ass, which is subsequently laughed off as a bit of “harmless fun” when it is in fact a gratuitous sexual assault, and the victim afraid of speaking up, for fear she will be further harassed if she puts up any resistance).

    In fact, I would venture a guess that you could remove all references to BDSM from this article and it would still make just as much sense, and still be just as important.

    So thank you, for being as articulate and intelligent as you were in getting this all down in words. I will use this as a blueprint for when similar things happen and outrage me in real life. Words I could never quite get out before. Thank you πŸ™‚

  129. we tell people to lock their doors rather than telling people not to burgle other people’s homes;

    We do, actually. It’s called the criminal code. We are told from a very young age not to steal. We see advertisements about shoplifting in store dressing rooms, illegal downloading at the start of our movies.

    Our culture is actually full of the message ‘don’t break the law’ ….except not so much on this issue.

    Funny that, eh.

  130. we tell people to lock their doors rather than telling people not to burgle other people’s homes;

    We do, actually. It’s called the criminal code. We are told from a very young age not to steal. We see advertisements about shoplifting in store dressing rooms, illegal downloading at the start of our movies.

    Our culture is actually full of the message ‘don’t break the law’ ….except not so much on this issue.

    Funny that, eh.

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