Saturday, March 10, 2018

Consent Violations -- Part 2

Yesterday I received a comment on Consent Violations Part 1 that moved me deeply.

 In my research on Consent Violations -- I read a study on Human Sexuality that said '3% of all BDSM players suffer a consent violation' .  I am wondering how many of those 3% reported it to police -- to anyone?  I know some have tried and have been ignored -- or patted on the head and placated.  That is NOT acceptable!

All this research got me thinking about my past in the BDSM community - all nearly 30 years of it.  I couldn't believe that not once had my consent been violated. BUT - dragging up memories of long past parties I remembered one incident where I was stretched out on the rack -- arms and legs spread wide and taut... my Top was standing over me 'guarding' me.  Suddenly a stranger appeared and announced it was not nearly taut enough and turned the crank one more time............ 

I did not safe word -- I was unable to safe word -- the pain was horrific....... I did however scream bloody murder.  The entire dungeon heard me -- the entire dungeon was aware.  The Top in question quietly disappeared into the dark....... and I was released from the equipment and my arm was immediately evaluated.  There have been a couple of other times -- but minor and always handled immediately -- by myself.

I think the main problem is how is one to protect oneself against consent violations -- when yes you can be under the influence of endorphins -- or hit by triggers or PTSD.  

Let me share what has worked for me......... 

* Never assume because someone is a "leader" or a "teacher" or has years of experience that they are 'safe' to play with.  Ask them for 'references' - for people they have played with - ask the local organisers for their thoughts on this person.  listen to what you are told !!  AND go with your gut... remember ultimately YOU are responsible for your safety.

*  Negotiate -- not just online emails that border on flirting..... but asking hard questions -- setting hard limits face to face over coffee.  This is not a job that should be taken lightly.  It is difficult in the beginning to ask for what you want -- and to be clear what you don't want/won't tolerate.  But it gets easier as time goes on.  And it is advisable after negotiating that you write down what you heard/understood and send it off in an email for clarification.

* Never play privately -- there is less chance of consent violation if it is at a public party where you can and should yell bloody murder if your consent is violated.  Another suggestion is have a play party buddy -- I had one.  Someone to go to parties with -- someone to watch over you and your partner while playing. Someone to take you home afterwards.

* Ever heard of 'safe calls' -- yeah I know they're old fashioned but they have worked a time or two in the past.

Back at least 20 years (if not more) it truly felt like a 'community' this BDSM community we love to belong to.... sort of like a small town.  I remember Tops and Doms alike keeping an eye open for indiscretions -- and submissives supporting and protecting each other.  There was open talk about Dominants (and submissives too - cause they can be a danger just as easily) who were a threat to consent -- to the philosophy of consensual partnerships.  I also remember - back then - BDSM play did NOT involve sex in any way shape or form...and therefore there was much less chance of mixed messages.

The hard truth is the BDSM community has changed.......not necessarily for the better.  There is often open sex at play parties.  The art of negotiation is being lost.  We want to try everything yesterday! and are short on patience.  We are not educating ourselves on the risks of BDSM play -- we accept labels like "teacher" and equate safe with supposed years of experience.  We are not listening to our inner voices -- our gut reactions -- we are not even listening to advise.

Consent is all we have people!  It is our word!  It is our bond! We should be cherishing consent and respecting it. Always. 

It is time for change and the change begins with you.

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