Blog Redesign!

It’s now live!  It still needs a lot of tweaking, but we now bring you a white background with black type that is so much easier on the eyes – and a readable size font.  Hopefully some other reorganizational features will happen soon, including breaking some of my epic posts into multiple pages for easier perusing.

How do you like it so far?

 

Fifty Shades of Consent

There has been a lot written in both vanilla and kinky circles about the recent phenomenon which is the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E. L. James.  People seem to either love the series or hate it, and many good arguments have been put forth for each point of view, with people in the kink world mostly coming down on the hate side. It has been decried as poorly written, and as bad education.  It has even inspired some wonderful and bitingly funny parodies such as the one penned by Laura Antoniou, author of the popular Marketplace series.  It is serving as the catalyst for a great deal of discussion in both the kink and the vanilla worlds, and that is never a bad thing.

Despite the negatives, on the whole, I actually really liked the books, and have some thoughts that I’ve not seen addressed elsewhere, specifically around the portrayal of consent.

First of all, before getting to that, what it actually is is a series written by a first time author who researched the subject of BDSM online, and makes no bones about that fact.  It is first and foremost a love story, and largely a literary first in that it is clearly pornographic, but in a format that appeals to a very broad base of mostly vanilla women who generally are not associated with reading porn of any sort beyond the bodice-ripper genre.  It is aimed at the mass market, and has succeeded wildly in exactly what it has set out to accomplish.  It is a mistake to expect a book to be what it is not and was never intended to be – and to read it and to decry it as what it never did set out to be is to entirely miss the point, when reading any book.

The story opens a door into our world that most have never seen, and as such, makes what we do more accessible to the public, and will hopefully serve as a gateway for those who are curious to seek out information and ways to dip their toes into the waters.  It also legitimizes women’s erotica and has gotten the world talking about women’s sexual fantasies and desires, not just those of men.  It was never intended to be a book about BDSM education, so why get so upset that it isn’t?

Great literature it is not, but it is far from as terribly written as many writers have made it out to be.  The much-vaunted Beauty series that is often brought up as a comparison is actually considerably worse, and ultimately deadly boring, despite being written by quite a good author.  For one thing, Fifty Shades actually has a plot line and other things going on in the story beyond the endless jackrabbit-like fucking and sucking that permeate Beauty to the exclusion of everything else, and there is character development.  Whether one actually likes the characters involved or not is a different question, and a matter of personal tastes, but we do see the evolution of both two individuals and their relationship unfold in its pages in what is actually a pretty realistic manner overall, even if the time frame is rather insanely sped up. Continue reading

Protected: To My Ex

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

“We Need to Talk” – or Is It Off the Table?

Once again, Mo has managed to articulate so much of how I feel about yet another topic – the dreaded “We need to talk“.

I’m so right there with you on the urgency of discussing issues as they come up, but sometimes still needing processing time before raising the questions, along with the abject terror and complete panic that any version of “We need to talk”, or “I want to go over X with you” brings up. Once I’m ready to deal with something, though, I really need to handle it right then and there, with no further delay.

The one thing that really is absolutely clear to me is that it is absolute death to a relationship to ever table things when issues do arise, pretty much no matter what else is going on in either person’s life or the relationship. All they do is pile up and fester, and build up a backlog and logjam until they totally drown out everything else, and reach a point where it becomes absolutely impossible to unravel the mess because you end up not even knowing where to start any more, and the resentments have built to an impossible level.

If you take too much time to process before bringing the issue up and working through it together, the moment is past. Life moves on to the next thing. It gets shoved down where it begins building up and festering, and isn’t resolved by the time the next thing comes up.

In her brilliant book Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, Mira Kirshenbaum says that she has never in her entire career seen a relationship survive when “off-the-table-itis” is in play. When people refuse to talk about an issue, and keep on not wanting to talk about it (or more than one issue), relationships die. Period. If your partner “consistently blocks your attempts to bring up topics or raise questions, particularly about things you care about”, off-the-table-itis is at play. It doesn’t matter whether the topic is, whether it relates directly to the relationship or not. Blocking discussion of any sort blocks communications altogether.

Off-the-table-itis is dismissive. It’s inherently belittling and minimizing. It is neglectful and uncaring. It is cruel and unkind. It tells your partner that you really don’t give a shit about them or what they have to say, and speaks far more loudly than anything else you might do or say to the contrary.

Off-the-table-itis is in play when your partner expects you to listen endlessly to his litany of repeated woes (especially when he does nothing to change them), yet shuts you up when you bring up issues of your own that he doesn’t want to hear. When it’s OK for him to drone on and on about the same problems day after day for years, but the second or third time you bring up one of your own, somehow you are just adding to his own load intolerably and he shuts you up. When he acts as if his troubles are more important than yours and should take priority.

And as such, off-the-table-itis is a particularly insidious form of abuse that is not well-recognized for what it is, especially since it may well be couched in such drama as the perpetrator painting himself as the victim, often of issues entirely outside the relationship such as at work or with his family, depicting himself as one who needs to be taken care of more than you do. He then turns you into the bad guy if you want to still sort things out, or protest something he does, thereby only adding to his woes.

When I get hit with that “We have to talk” thing, it sometimes sends me into a blind panic, particularly if the relationship is on shaky grounds and he’s been engaging in clear off-the-table-itis. I may start looping and freaking out, may even run away initially, maybe even screaming. That’s rare, but it has happened to me. But given half a chance, I will calm down quickly and come right back to the table, as long as the other party doesn’t end up going off looping away on his own, freaking out at my own freak out.

And I will usually come back within minutes, perhaps an hour or two at most. Given the chance. None of this days to weeks later after the rest of life and endless stresses calm down stuff.

Actually, I’ll come back pretty much immediately anyways, no matter what he does. But his reaction at that point will determine whether or not the conversation actually ends up taking place. If he’s still there, it will. If he’s flipped out and thought I was blocking things, it may not.

But I will be there, and I will discuss it.

I need to be able to come back to the table quickly to ensure that we both keep the conversation open, no matter what, and to not table things. When issues arise, I also really badly need to be able to address them right then, when they are particularly urgent, and not put them off until later.

If life events are such that a complete discussion is not possible at that moment, at minimum I need reassurance that things are OK – and that my concerns are both legitimate and being taken seriously. Attempts to dismiss my concerns will only make my need to talk about it RIGHT NOW escalate.

Because life and its stresses don’t stop just because they’re piling up, God knows, and putting off discussions until even later in the week (never mind indefinitely) can lead to a total logjam and turn weekends and other time together into things to dread when a pile of crap has built up, especially when you’re with someone who is masterfully capable of twisting everything you both say to the point that you can no longer keep your own thoughts straight on one issue, never mind a logjam that have now all collided together and become hopelessly intertwined.

My father taught me to never go to bed angry at my partner. It’s not always completely possible in busy lives, but it’s a goal I have always worked towards. It’s mostly doable if the communications are open enough, but is completely impossible if they are not, and if one person keeps blocking the discussion. Or has had a history of blocking other issues that have ended up festering, even if they are not related. It is the blocking of communication of any sort that stops it all dead in its tracks.

I’d give my eye teeth and maybe even my right arm to find someone who could handle this the way Mo’s The Dominant Guy does. Who is secure enough to contain my fears and hold me until they abate, and can carry on with the conversation when either of us needs to. Who is both willing and able to meet me at the table like an adult instead of a petulant two year old.
=====================

April 30, 2011

I Hurt…

Yes, I hurt.  I still hurt.

I’m not talking here about the emotional pain and damage that lingers, although that is certainly still there, but about the physical.

Yes, lingering physical pain.  From what he did to me.  Pain that just simply will not go the fuck away no matter what I do.

Every single god damn morning of my life, as soon as I get out of bed and set foot on the ground, and sometimes even before I stand, the pain comes screaming back and I am thrown back to every bad thing that ever happened in that relationship.  Almost every day, intermittently throughout the day, the nightmares return in this form.  It’s gotten better, but it still just won’t go away.  Thank God the actual nightmare nightmares have mostly stopped, but the days still bring the haze…

I have enough fucking pain in my life already, thank you very much, but since X-man, walking has become much more of a torture than it ever was.  Hell, even standing.

Why?

Because of shoes.  Fetish shoes.  And him forcing me to wear them, and the screaming temper tantrums he threw when I would kick them off in agony, unable to tolerate the pain any more, even flat on my back.

Now putting one’s sub in these shoes in and of itself is certainly far from a crime, and I’m a lifelong shoe whore, so I actually loved the shoes he bought for me even though I seriously doubt that he ever actually heard that.

My personal shoe collection continues to expand rapidly to fill the available space in my bedroom, not just the closet, which it overran years before he came into my life.  It has now spilled out into the hallway, and long ago took over the space under the bed, dresser, and night table.  I don’t remember life without being a shoe whore, and reveling in the sight, sound, and feel of beautiful shoes.  I remember sleeping with the first pair of heels I ever owned in my teen wrapped in my arms.  I remember the smell and feel on my cheek and in my hands of many shoes even before that, even brushing my lips over them.

The problem is I’ve had bunions for many years, along with fibromyalgia.  On doctor’s orders (and because of simple inability to tolerate them since my late 20s), I’ve rarely worn heels for some years now, and when I do, there are only a few pairs I can tolerate, and then only for so long before they simply have to come off.  And that “only so long” isn’t so long, often measured only in minutes on my feet at this point, even in the most comfortable heels I own.

I’m only able to tolerate what I can because my shoes are all extremely high quality – soft, supple, very precisely and meticulously designed and handmade, angles and details all just exactly so, no rough edges, no pressure points, etc.  Translation – expensive as hell.  Translation of the translation – I can’t afford to risk screwing them up by playing in most of them, either, or to buy ones just for play.  I just don’t have that kind of money to throw away.  So I was basically perfectly happy that he enjoyed buying me the fetish shoes.  I loved them, and that he liked buying them – I just didn’t love what they did to my feet.

One of the problems with fibromyalgia is that not only does it take vastly less stimulus to cause a really noxious bad pain than it does for normal people, but then that pain just lasts and lasts and lasts, no matter what its source…  Imagine the lingering sting of even a minor burn that just keeps on going and going and going, day after week after month and sometimes even years on, exponentially longer than it would for anyone else, vastly out of proportion to the degree of actual injury.

This is what people with fibromyalgia have to deal with – and the pain-causing stimulus for many can be as light as a gentle touch from a friend, or the feel of a soft shirt or socks on the skin.  I’m not usually quite that sensitive, but with things like bondage, for example, if the ropes are even a hair’s breadth tighter than I can take (loose enough for a couple of fingers underneath), I experience it as agony, and things have to be adjusted.  If it goes on or too long, I will sometimes have trouble for weeks or months before things start to settle back down.  It’s a pain, but it’s doable, as long as the top knows what he’s doing and is patient enough.

Much of this sort of every day pain is unavoidable for people with fibro – but we sure as hell can take steps to mitigate the stimuli that are unessential and avoidable.   And I sure as hell expect that anyone I’m playing with and in a relationship with will actually listen to me when I tell them what isn’t working and is causing me a problem like this, and then stop fucking doing that!  That is just not an unreasonable request or expectation, even in a 24/7 D/s relationship.

Once limits of this sort are violated, especially repeatedly, it becomes a question of self-preservation, and protecting the property, to refuse to go along with more of it.  It ceases to be a question of submission or lack thereof, no matter how much you want that, because all bets are then off.  And a so-called dominant that would continue to try to force his sub to do things that are clearly harmful to her is by definition an abusive asshole.

The biggest problems with fetish shoes is that despite the fun factor of them, the reality is that they are cheaply made crap, and most of them hurt my feet like all fuck.  The ones he always liked to put me in cut like knives into my feet, and several pairs bent my feet at a such a sharp angle that they were absolutely intolerable even lying down.

And the biggest problem of all was that he simply refused to listen to me, and would fly into screaming rages when I could not tolerate some of these things and refuse to keep them on.  The net result was that I’d try and try to keep them on as long as I could, just to keep the peace, which certainly didn’t help.

He refused to take me shopping with him to find the clothes and shoes he wanted to buy me so that I could try them on to be sure they’d fit, or to even consult me while shopping online.  Oh, he’d get soooo angry about my not being able to wear most of it, particularly when it was too tight and I couldn’t breathe in in it even if I did manage to get into it.  Surprises are great, but honestly, he was buying so much and spending a bloody fortune, and the psychic damage from the fallout was just so not worth it, and took away all of the fun of it.  And I can’t afford the kinds of things he liked because the way I’m built simply requires that it be custom made because so incredibly little fits off the rack – and he hated what I did find that fit me off the rack (it was too pretty and wasn’t slutty enough, dontcha know) so the beat dragged on and on.

But I digress…

So there I was on my back with the nicest (and most tormenting) fuck-me heels on once again one night, screaming in agony because of the knives of the edges of the openings of the poorly-made shoes were cutting into my feet, and feeling like my feet were being bent to the breaking point.  He’d been particularly pissy that night, so I had decided to try to tough it out for longer than usual just to try to keep the peace.  And I really did want to please him, which I also think he never got.

It was impossible to manage, of course, and I had to kick them off.

The pain was so bad there was simply no leeway to ask to remove them any more than there’s time to ask permission to remove your hand from a scalding hot object you encounter.  It simply had to happen in the instant I did it; I couldn’t take even a split second more.  He had already refused me the permission anyways and ordered me to keep them on until he told me I could take them off, after I’d already kicked them off once, so there was simply no alternative than to just outright disobey regardless of the consequences.

It is just not possible to play when being caused bad pain that hits a 12 on a 1-10 scale, when the pain of your shoes causes you to literally need to safeword or otherwise end the scene.  It just isn’t.  Even the best sex on the planet isn’t enough to distract from something this agony-inducing.

He erupted on cue, yelling and screaming at me at the top of his lungs about how he hadn’t given me permission to take them off, and then said that he wanted me to be in bad pain at that point when I phrased it that way, and not able to find my headspace.

Yes, he actually said he wanted me to be in bad pain – the damaging sort, not the erotic sort we play with in kink.

He was so mad I swear you would have thought I’d tried to kill him.  I really wondered if he was going to try to kill me.

What the fuck?

I mean, yeah, sometimes doms do things like that at times, deliberately trying to keep you out of your headspace and in discomfort you don’t enjoy, which again isn’t in and of itself necessarily a bad thing, as long as it’s consensual – but I am a person with serious chronic pain problems, and he knew what a major problem this is for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which was endless discussions on the subject of what bad pain does to me including how it drags on and on.  He’d also had decades of experience with other people who also have fibro before I ever even met him, so you would think he would have understood the issues even without my explanations.  He certainly had initially seemed to.

Bad pain is a hard fucking limit, basically, and he knew it well.

Bad pain bad, god damn it, and he did not have permission to do that to me.  Ever.  We had already been over this so many times I had long ago lost count.  (Yeah, I know, what the fuck was I still doing with him.  I am still trying to find a fully satisfactory answer to that question…)

So, that episode eventually ended, or so I thought, and we went off to sleep.  You would think that getting out of the shoes would have allowed me to eventually recover, right, even if it took a few weeks?  So did I.

Oh, how very wrong I was!

That night, I woke up to go to the bathroom as usual in the middle of the night, and upon stepping out of bed in bare feet, the foot pain was so bad I literally fell to the floor, crying out and waking him up in the process.

I cannot describe the agony.

It was like walking across sharp rocks and broken glass at the same time while someone was gripping my feet in a vice grip and twisting my foot bones, you know how kids and other tricksters will sometimes grab your hand, squeeze really hard, and then wiggle their hands like they’re wringing out a wet towel, so that your hand bones kind of all crunch together and bump and grind over one another, a maneuver that usually brings people to the floor screaming.  Only no one was touching me; my feet were doing this all by themselves.

It was like knives stabbing through my feet, through every part of my feet, from the soles straight through to the tops and back the other direction.  It was like I was somehow walking on broken glass and rocks with the tops of my feet as well, not just the bottoms.  It felt like my foot bones were fractured and sticking up through my skin.

And then they were cramping up on top of it all.

I was lying on the floor literally crying – and trying to keep quiet and minimize the noise while I tried to let the pain go down and work out the cramping so that he could sleep and wouldn’t get even more upset.  I was so very afraid of what his reaction would be…  He always took great care of me when I was sick or hurt when he seemed to be able to identify the source of the problem, but it was never the case when he himself inflicted the injury.

I ended up crawling to the bathroom and back to bed.  I don’t know to this day exactly how I got on and off the toilet or back on the bed.  The pain of trying to stand was excruciating.

And that was far, far from the last time I had to do that crawling number, which by itself causes me other problems.

He never got it.  I told him about it, of course, but I really don’t think it ever connected.

And I never fully got over the problem.

It’s never been quite as bad as it was in those initial weeks and months, but still it’s always there at some level, several years after the fact, almost always agonizing to take at least the first few steps after I’ve been off my feet for a bit, especially after sleeping, always a nightmare to walk any more than short distances.  This goes so far beyond the problems with bunions I used to have that it’s not even funny.

Now I am mostly left with cramping that has progressed into my toes as well as still in the forefoot and arches, and I am unable to ever work those cramps out for myself.  My feet sometimes start arching and twisting inwards almost by themselves and head into contractures into the ankles and lower legs from which there is no escape and I am screaming in agony and terror trying to stop it.

Even my most comfortable shoes have become torture chambers much of the time and I have finally been reduced to living mostly in tennis shoe-like shoes and ugly old lady shoes and sandals, unable to wear even most of my beautiful flats for long any more.  There is absolutely nowhere to hide.

Try scrunching up your toes and curling your feet and walking that way and you’ll have only the barest start of an idea of what it feels like to be me trying to walk much of the time, but even that doesn’t even come close.  Try to bend your feet in half lengthwise bind them tightly with duct tape, and then in half again across the width and bind again and then walk.

I often still wake up with my feet hurting as badly after a good nights’ sleep as if I’d just been on a ten mile hike in shoes not designed for walking.  Massive cramps sometimes wake me up in the middle of the night, screaming in agony, unable to work it out, leaving me to writhe and cry in terror until it passes.  And every time it happens, I am thrown back, back, back…

On top of it, I’ve got plenty of other chronic pain problems which get me down for sure.  They have caused me even more mobility and other problems, and are also mostly ever present, but they are clearly from other sources.  They certainly don’t help my mood, though.

I also still have occasional twinges of pain from some other outright injuries he inflicted on me.

But it’s the feet and how they got this way and everything that they represent that are the ever-present problem that keeps the nightmare of the hellish parts of this relationship alive and wagging its taunting fingers in my face every waking day of my life.

Somebody please, make it all fucking stop…

Please…

================================

© 2012 kinkylittlegirl.  All rights reserved.  No part of this post or any other on this site may be reproduced by any means whatsoever, whether written or electronic, manual or automated, either in part or in whole, without express written permission of the author.

No Arrest, It Didn’t Happen? What If “Everybody Loves Him”? Abuse and Pillars of the Community

Believe it or not, there are people out there who actually believe that if no arrests are made, and no one goes to jail, that that means that no abuse could possibly have occurred, no matter what any of the victims may have to say.

It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is one of the most laughable ideas and statements that could have ever come down the pike.  All it means, really, is that the prick either hasn’t been caught yet, or there’s not enough evidence to actually convict him.  We all know of stories where people we *know* committed a heinous crime got off because of a technicality, or because they somehow managed to stay *just* this side of legality and avoid arrest and/or conviction.

Don’t forget, either, about the “pillar of the community” types who manage to hide things for years, whose crimes just haven’t yet caught up with them yet for one reason or another.

Yesterday, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 out of 48 counts of abusing vulnerable boys in his care over a period of decades in a scandal that has turned the state and university upside down for months now.  You have to understand that Sandusky and head coach Joe Paterno were like God in Pennsylvania for so long that I don’t remember life without them being at the helm of Penn State football, their names synonymous with excellence, being upstanding, exceptional citizens and role models, and more.  I wasn’t even a football fan for the vast majority of the time they were at the helm, and despite paying the subject zero attention over the years, even I have always known who they were.  These are men that everyone knew and respected, on a scale well beyond that of the average abuser like my own, or the creeps that raped Mollena, Kitty Stryker, and many others, way beyond the fame of any so-called “leader” in the BDSM scene including my ex.  Absolutely everyone loved him.

We do now have a conviction, and the 68 year old Sandusky will spend the rest of his life in jail, so yes, you could say that there is now the proof that it happened.  The evidence and testimony were pretty strong, and the jury only deliberated for 20 hours.  Even the defense isn’t really arguing it never happened, just trying to backpedal out and minimize the damage, for the most part, and trying to make others look bad to draw the attention elsewhere.

What came out, among other things, however, was some of the victims saying they never spoke up because they didn’t think they’d be believed, because they were just kids – and this was the great, unshakeable Jerry Sandusky.

How familiar does this sound?  Rape and abuse victims of all stripes not speaking up for fear that they will not be believed, particularly when their abuser is a pillar of the community, a “leader”, someone prominent in their field, perhaps even internationally?

And what about that midwestern preacher a few years back who was discovered to be a serial killer, burying the bodies in 55 gallon drums, who was only found out at last because one of his potential victims escaped, thanks to having a safecall in place?

Could anyone in their right mind seriously believe that the only thing that made these heinous crimes real was the creeps finally getting caught and convicted?

Even these obvious monsters have their supporters, people who never saw this side of them and continue to disbelieve what happened, even when presented with overwhelming evidence of guilt – but that does not mean that the alleged events never took place.

By its nature, abuse, is a constellation of crimes of isolation and often opportunism, thriving on privacy and secrecy, relying on victims who are intimidated and often have low self-esteem and no one to else to turn to for help, so of course it is rarely witnessed by anyone other than the perpetrator and his victim, especially in its most virulent forms.  Why are people so surprised to hear that Joe Blow SirCocksurehesGod was abusive to his partner even though they never witnessed it themselves?  And why in fuck do they choose to disbelieve the victims?

So what about everyone else out there suffering in an abusive relationship, dealing with date rape, dominants violating limits, etc.?  If even someone like the great Jerry Sandusky can turn out to be an as-yet undetected child molester and abuser, then what makes anyone have the audacity to think that if there’s not yet been a conviction that that means that nothing happened in a zillion other situations?  What makes people in the BDSM community so damn sure they can identify the real perpetrators and the real victims vs anyone else when someone says they have been abused?

How much pain and suffering could be avoided if we a) quit blaming the victims, b) quit assuming that only the prominent or quiet ones were automatically t

Sandusky must have thought he was home free because no one reported what was going on, and the one report that did happen some years ago got blown off.  How many other Sanduskys are out there, abusing children, animals, their partners, all as yet undetected by others?

My abuser abused me, and I don’t give a shit what anyone else says.  I know what happened.  I was there, and no one else was, for better or worse, and I live to this day with the fallout, both emotional and physical, of what was done to me.  Every morning I wake up in pain from what he did to me, still.  It never goes away.  He is prominent, both in the vanilla and kink  worlds.  He is quiet and doesn’t say much, while I’m loud and noisy about what happened, and there is a whole cast of characters out there who thinks that that automatically means that he couldn’t possibly have done anything wrong to me.   There are many people who suck up to people who do what he does, and assume that they are automatically the good guys and make complaining victims wrong.  The cops wouldn’t investigate when I reported him any more than they did with Sandusky even when there was actually a witness to what Sandusky did, but that does not mean it never happened.  Sandusky’s victims knew they would not be believed against his word (or believed that, which could actually be worse if it weren’t true), so no one spoke up.  My ex has threatened me on several occasions for writing about him, even without even referring to it being my own experience, and his current/most recent sub has threatened me as well when I’ve commented on her own proclivities that she posted freely and openly on the open Internet for anyone to find.  Yes, it has slowed me down, but it will never stop me, because I want the truth out there.  I don’t want anyone of their ilk to be able to harm anyone else again.  I will continue to educate people about the types of things people like this do and how to detect it and avoid it until the day I die.

The Sandusky case is tragic, not just because of all of the children who were harmed, and whose childhood was taken away from them by a trusted mentor who should have known better, but because an entire state and country was also deluded.  We lose a certain amount of innocence when our public icons are shown to be not just fallible but terrible.  An elderly man will die in jail instead of at home with his family – a justly deserved penalty, to be sure, but still a tragic end to what had been a life previously believed to be exemplary, all by his own poor judgment and possible coverups by some, including his wife.  His whole family has to be devastated by this whole affair as well, through no fault of their own.  A great university has lost its icons and coaches.  Abuse has many victims, not just the ones who are physically or emotionally harmed directly.  We need to all realize that these are but the most visible examples, and the ones that got caught – eventually.  Many others will never be brought to justice – but that absolutely does not mean  that they have not actually and factually wreaked the havoc that they have, that they have not caused every bit of pain that someone may accuse them of, whether witnessed by others or not.

Keep this case in mind the next time you are tempted to blow off a friend or anyone else who says their partner has abused them, or a child seems uncomfortable around an adult, etc., or you get tired of hearing someone talk about the abuse in the kink community or elsewhere, etc.  You do not know who the fuck is abusive to their partners, children, or animals until someone tells you about it.  Learn that you should believe those reports when you hear them.  Just because you didn’t see it happen yourself means absolutely nothing, and the fact that the perpetrator has not (yet) found his way into a jail or courtroom near you also means nothing with respect to whether or not he did what his victim says he did or not.  Jerry Sandusky is far from the only person to get away with murder (figuratively or literally) for a long time.

But those of us who speak up about the abuse we have suffered talk about our experiences because it’s actually happening (or happened)and we want to try to spare others.  It takes a hell of a lot of guts to speak up against someone that many other people think is terrific, to risk one’s own reputation in an effort to protect others from suffering the same harm.  I speak up the way I do because I don’t want to see my abuser get away with it for decades more, to go on to do the same to others who otherwise will have no way of finding out about him (or others like him) before its too late.  I don’t want others to suffer what I went through or worse, either at his hands or the hands of anyone else.  And I’m tired of living in the shadow of fear of what he might still try to do to me for talking about what he already did, which was *fact*.

============================

© 2012, 2013 kinkylittlegirl.  All rights reserved.  No part of this post or any other on this site may be reproduced by any means whatsoever, whether written or electronic, manual or automatic, either in part or in whole, without express written permission of the author.

 

They’ll Let Anyone In

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before a known, self-admitted animal fucker (who crowed about this proclivity in a very public post in a very sexually-related location) made it onto a particular local party list – and RSVP’ed that it will be attending.

They’ll let anyone in, I suppose.  Which seriously devalues this event, which used to be a lot of fun.

With luck it will at least hopefully not show up with its abusive counterpart.

No, it wasn’t a fantasy you wrote, or a short story, erotica, or anything else.  You said specifically, “I’m into… animals… and so much more”.  A one-liner with a list of kinks does not a fantasy or short story make.  It’s a statement of what you like to do.   That’s what “into” means.  People only find out what they’re actually into by doing it and finding that they like it, by definition.

Given the rest of the list, and the photos shown, I shudder to speculate what that “more” might be, although its also publicly announced interest in a particular type of bestiality porn makes one shudder even more.  It said its friends thought it needed help because of its preferences, and I agree.  Only a complete psychopath would sexually molest an animal, regardless of which set of body parts belong to which creature, never mind the rest of the list, which is extreme even in the kink world.

It can backpedal and try to weasel out of this all it wants, but the post still exists and the content proven.

Trust Me…

Of course you can trust me. I’m a skilled top. I mean, you saw me swinging a whip around some and it looked good, didn’t it? You can surely tell I’ve been practicing for a long time, and that I was taught by the best. Safety protocols? Yeah, of course I follow those…

OMG, you have got to run, don’t walk, to read the Sex Geek’s latest post entitled “trust me” [sic], which is an hilarious rant about various ways that some of the so-called more experienced tops, particularly those who are leaders of some sort or another in the scene, get over on the naive and unsuspecting – read “newbies”.

It’s funny, all right, because it’s seriously well-written – but also because she actually nails a number of behaviors and attitudes that are virtually pathognomonic of abusers in the scene right on the head.

Other things to check, although by no means an exhaustive list – what is the ratio of sweet young submissive thangs he’s got on his profile to other friends? Watch it over time, too. Why did some of those seem to drop off and out of sight all of a sudden at some point? And maybe not just one but a handful? Who were his first submissives and longest term partners, and why are they not on his friends list if they’re not?

Make sure to ask people he refers to publicly as his “good friend” if he really is – and watch the reactions of those people very carefully. I’ll tell you right now that there’s at least one such dominant running around in my neck of the woods who is quite extraordinarily deluded as to the actual nature of his relationship with a person whom he routinely publicly addresses and refers to this way. Every arrogant prick is a name dropper, especially when he wants to get into your pants, especially if he’s not as big a name himself.

And oh, yeah, just because they’re quiet doesn’t mean they’re safe, either. Many times those are the ones with the absolute most to hide.

They are certainly highly unlikely to let it slip where the bodies are buried, and boy will they get seriously steamed if any of their previous vict^H^H^partners mention what was done to them. They may have even threatened those exes in the past behind the scenes, well out of the public eye, to try to keep them quiet, or had others do their threatening for them. If you look at a pair where one is quiet and is being accused of behaviors by the other that don’t seem to match his public persona, maintain a very high index of suspicion.

And don’t think that what reactions you see from him are the whole story. Some of these people are extraordinarily good at showing the absolute face of innocence publicly while going as far as threatening other people and even ending longstanding friendships of their own behind the scenes in an attempt to manipulate those people into disclosing private conversations with the victim.

I’ll repeat – you cannot, cannot, CANNOT, as in absolutely positively CAN NOT, be sure that someone is safe to play with just because they are highly visible or hold some kind of leadership position in the scene, or even if they say all the right things and look hot as hell.

Perhaps especially not then.

Caveat emptor to the max.

Forgetting

I’ve written some about forgetting to do things one has promised and whether or not it is abusive, and I’d like to add some thoughts to that specifically about what it means when a submissive forgets to do something she has promised her dominant, expanding a bit on my answer to The Eroticist’s excellent post on punishing a masochist and why it is likely to end a dominant up no longer having a submissive.  There are, of course, many other things a dominant can do that will have the same result, but let’s look at forgetting for the moment.

Eroticist posits, in essence, that forgetting to do something she has promised to do basically means that it has been done deliberately, and she likely no longer wants to be in the relationship.  A lot of people think in these terms in vanilla relationships, too, though, and all of it is fueled by pop psychology that tries to put all of human behavior into neat little black and white boxes.

Well, unfortunately, life is just not quite so cut and dried.

You need to remember that there are many reasons why a person might forget to do something (or decide not to do it) despite promising to do so other than deliberate disobedience and not wanting to be in the relationship any more.  I’ve outlined many of them in my prior post, which is somewhat more focused on whether or not forgetting is outright abusive.  Here we are talking explicitly about why a submissive in particular might forget and what it might mean to the relationship, particularly if the dominant calls her to task for it.  The prior post’s points about reasons for forgetfulness all still stand, but the twist of whether or not it means one wants to remain in the relationship was not mentioned there.

The notion of punishment in a BDSM relationship context is one that is very controversial.  Some love it, some hate it.  Whatever your feelings about it are, however, it is undeniable that it carries some risks – including both crossing the consent line into abuse, causing lasting psychological harm, and that of driving the submissive off entirely if it is done inartfully or inappropriately.

There is also no question that raising the issue of whether or not forgetting to do something means the submissive no longer wants to be in the relationship or not could well end up as Eroticist cautions with the end of the relationship, for many possible reasons.

A dominant is very likely indeed to lose his submissive (or at least end up with an increasingly unwilling and unhappy one), if he does things like continue to accuse of her of deliberately forgetting things despite knowing full well that she has a poor memory to start with, whether inherently or because of medical issues, and continues to argue the point, refusing to believe that there was nothing personal about her forgetting something whatsoever if she tells him that, and if he continues to hammer on themes like “If you really cared, you wouldn’t have forgotten”.

That latter idea is a landmine-in-waiting anyways.  It’s like the eternal, “If you really loved me, you’d <fill in the blank>.”  These sorts of expectations are often utterly unrealistic in any relationship, and inappropriately tie things together that frequently have zero cause/effect relationship to one another except in individual people’s minds.  Their partners may well have an entirely different set of constructs, and indeed, a lot of the strife that occurs in relationships results from such mismatched expectations.  There are few, if any, real universals about what people who really love or care about their partners will or will not do – and even those are likely to have some exceptions in certain circumstances.  There are different kinds of love languages, and even within each type, there are huge variations in how love and caring are expressed and thought about.

Once you set this kind of ship in motion, too, continuing to ascribe intent and deliberation to what is actually accident (and likely already very distressing to the forgetter), then it may very well become the herald of a greater problem where it never was to start with.

When people are browbeaten and accused of things they either have not done, or of doing something deliberately that was entirely accidental and coincidental in this kind of manner, it tends to breed both resentment and ultimately fear, neither of which tend to improve memory or performance. Contempt also tends to end up coming along for the ride, ultimately replacing both love and respect.

When people work in an environment in which they feel intimidated by their employers, for example, productivity drops, and errors skyrocket.  No one can work well in an environment of fear, and of being disbelieved, mistrusted, unjustly accused of doing things they never did, or having small infractions blown entirely out of proportion.

It is no different in personal relationships.  And when what one is accused of doing deliberately is a result of a condition over which they have little control to start with, particularly in an intimate relationship, the stress and pain will invariably eventually lead to the breakdown of trust and ultimately the whole relationship.

When you try to punish something over which a person has little control, and is already feeling distressed about, you create a no-win situation that will almost have to create a vicious circle that will destroy the relationship.

If you are in a relationship with someone who is forgetful, it would behoove you to just add this factoid to your personal databanks about their features as just another datapoint and try not to take it personally.  If they have explained to you that it has been a problem for them for a long time, you will likely also see a lot of distress.  But you should believe them, and take them at their word when they tell you it doesn’t mean anything about you, because especially earlier on, it almost undoubtedly would not.  Give them the benefit of the doubt, especially if you’re seeing a lot of distress and contrition once they realize they’ve forgotten something – and recognize that she knows herself and why it happened vastly better than you ever will.

And why would you even want to believe that a long-standing problem somehow suddenly means that they have it in for you?

Now, if a given person doesn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who is forgetful, there is nothing necessarily inherently wrong with that.  To each his own.  Some of us have more flexibility than others.

The problem comes when the dominant is aware that there are other factors contributing to or causing the problem and does not adjust his own expectations to meet the reality of what the actual person he is with is like and continues to bash her for it vs just ending the relationship if he’s that unhappy.

Furthermore, even when it’s true that the forgetfulness is the manifestation of some ambivalence or problem in the relationship, it may only be about that particular area, and may not have global application at all.  If you try to force the issue of it being all or nothing, that she either wants to be in the relationship or not, you will lose a lot of nuance – and likely the opportunity to work out and negotiate something that will get past a particular obstacle that will allow the relationship to continue and flourish.  You will never, ever get 100% of what you want in a relationship all the time.  People are just not built that way.

No matter what the “party line” in the scene is, compromise and negotiation are the cornerstones of successful D/s relationships the same way as they are in vanilla ones.  This very much includes learning about and accommodating many of your partner’s personal challenges and foibles.  If you’re a “my way or the highway” kind of dom who doesn’t get this, you are likely to burn through a hell of a lot of submissives and throw out a lot of babies with the bathwater, leaving a trail of destruction in your wake.

Leave if you must, by all means – but please don’t brand everyone who is forgetful as automatically inherently unsubmissive, not wanting the relationship, a manipulator, etc.  It just ain’t true.

============

Please do read Eroticist’s post and the excellent comments that follow it (and his comment below here), especially if you are interested in punishment dynamics.  He and I are looking at different aspects of one issue here.

Tolerating Criminal Behavior in the Scene, and Judging Others

Several things have happened over the years that have had me really starting to look at what happens in our circles when clearly and unambiguously illegal behavior comes to light.

My first encounter with this sort of thing was finding out that a former play partner of mine was a convicted pedophile. There are also numerous other reports (usually kept under wraps, but sometimes boasted of publicly) of other acts of pedophilia, bestiality, and much more, up to and including murder.

After much soul-searching on the pedophilia question, trying to sort out whether or not such people should be outted or not, I decided that I would only do so in that particular case if I were to observe this person speaking with people whom I knew had children, especially young girls, and then only to the parents involved. As for my personal encounters with him, I spent a long time trying to decide whether or not to continue to associate with the other members of his leather family, how to handle running into him in public, etc. It was much easier to decide to cut him out entirely than to decide what was appropriate with the others.

Ultimately, I decided that I had to back away from them all, because I didn’t want to be painted with the same brush by others – and because, as my ex once put it when I told him about what had happened, anyone who would stay with someone who was abusive to children or animals knowing that was happening (or had happened) is just as guilty of the crime as the person who actually committed it.

That isn’t true in a legal sense, obviously, but certainly is in a moral sense. Birds of a feather and all that. You hang with pedophiles and bestialists, or thieves and murderers, and you are implicitly condoning their behaviors. You hang with people who have numerous friends who are into these things, and you’d better also consider why they associate with such people even if they deny those proclivities themselves…

The sex with children and animals debate has been going on for a long time in the community. Generally speaking, both are widely condemned, as they should be, since both involve abuse of beings that are unable to consent, and unable to even understand what is happening enough to give informed consent – or indeed any kind of consent at all. These subjects are verboten on virtually every mainstream kink website, except to discuss intellectually, for very good reason. Such behaviors would never be tolerated in our playspaces, and not just because that could get the spaces closed down and send a lot of people off to jail. It’s because the majority of kinksters genuinely understand how very wrong these things are.

Many of the other types of abuse, rape, and assault that occur in our circles can be ambiguous to define and identify. We pride ourselves as a community on tolerance for what gets others off. Which, again, is largely how it should be, although there are certainly exceptions, and identifying what’s OK and what’s not is the central theme of this blog.

But what about other crimes? And how does our whole attitude of “your kink is OK” play into acceptance of criminal and abusive behavior that anywhere else would get people tossed into jail instantly?

Sometime last year, a submissive who appears to be quite popular publicly posted a tale on Fetlife about how she was house/petsitting for someone, apparently something she does as a business, and came across a bottle of 100 Vicodin tablets in her client’s medicine cabinet. These are powerful narcotic pain relievers, controlled prescription drugs with a high addictive potential. They also have major street value as a result. Apparently this young woman has had some major drug problems in the past (her public self report) and described how, despite knowing full well that she should not do so, she swallowed not just one or two of these pills – but literally swallowed the whole bottle.

This would kill the average person, or come pretty darn close, but again, our heroine was sitting there telling everyone about it, without hospitals and ambulances figuring into the story, so obviously she had some pretty major tolerance built up. The sure sign of an addict; they can take doses of controlled drugs that would even kill the average horse and just keep on going.

She talked about her upset at backsliding out of whatever clean period she’d had, and got dozens, if not hundreds of messages of support. To my shame, I was one of them. I do understand how people feel a pull like this, though. I do sympathize with that, and her obvious upset about it.

But here’s the thing.

First of all, she stole these pills. From a client. She didn’t just take one because she had a headache, which virtually no one would have an issue with, she stole the whole bottle – all 100 or so tablets, consuming them on the spot.

She is also a veterinary technician (which she has repeatedly mentioned publicly online) who should doubly have known better. Who still has ongoing access to other such drugs in her employer’s clinic, if she’s still working in this field, because that’s one of the things that vet techs do, is dispense and manage the stock of the medications the veterinarians they work for prescribe. She is putting both her job and her employer at risk doing this shit, not to mention her own freedom. Why she’s confessing to it publicly, I don’t claim to understand, but hey, it’s her life.

If she’s doing drugs again, particularly if she is going to work impaired or seriously hung over, she is also putting her clients’ pets’ lives at risk, because vet techs assist in surgery and doing numerous other hands-on tasks around the clinic that involve direct care of the creatures entrusted to that veterinary practice. You simply can’t have people who are drug impaired in positions like this, because mistakes can be fatal.

Somehow she managed to rationalize all of this away, however, by saying that because the expiration date on the bottle had passed that she believed her employer-the-client wouldn’t miss them. Wouldn’t even know. Wouldn’t notice. Wouldn’t care.

She committed a felony.

Was talking about it openly in public.

She knew it was wrong, and yet her entire focus was on the poor me of being upset that she’d started using again.

And apparently no one (sadly myself included) even took her to task for it in any way.

The only reaction she got was all these people patting her on the back and giving her all kinds of sympathy and encouragement.

Oddly enough, at least one of her friends is a veterinarian. Who still remained friends with her, at least on that site, long after this confessional was posted.

What is wrong with this whole picture?

If she’d have said she had robbed a bank or murdered someone, I like to hope that no one would encourage her and offer her sympathy for whatever feelings may have driven her to that, or might be feeling in the aftermath.

And even aside from the fact that associating with a bank robber could get one’s own self tossed in jail with various types of charges levied in certain circumstances, I like to hope and believe that the people of our “community” have enough integrity to “just say no”, and quit associating with people who commit felonies, not treat them like the victims. This goes quadruple for associating with known pedophiles and bestialists, especially those who see fit to advertise these tastes in fully public venues like anywhere on the Internet.

I also know of a number of other outright criminal acts like rape, murder, and embezzlement that scene members have committed that are known and openly talked about, and yet most people still seem to welcome these perpetrators in our midst.

I’d like to hope that such types would be unwelcome, but sadly, it doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

But how is it that a person feels free to discuss at a party how he served time for murdering his wife, and no one else in the room even bats an eye, and that person is still welcome at events? How is it that he’s invited back? How is it that his wildly improbable tale of how he was the one who was done wrong is believed and sympathized with when a judge and jury with all of the details of the whole story and probably expert witnesses on both sides obviously didn’t buy it?

How is it that sometimes they are still allowed to be in positions of responsibility that fly in the face of their known transgressions, like known thieves still allowed to handle the money at events? Confirmed embezzlers allowed to have access to an organization’s membership records? Known abusers of various stripes allowed to continue to present classes and demos and other events?

Now I’m not saying everyone should report people who commit felonies or other crimes and talk about them in public like this to the authorities. Far from it, although there certainly are times that should indeed happen.

It just seems like something in our social system has broken down beyond repair that such tales could even be told in public without repercussions, never mind such people continue to find safe haven in our midst and even serve among the leaders of the community. That people who say all the right things in public are allowed into positions of influence, particularly around newbies, when it can be well documented that they don’t walk their own talk and have caused numerous others terrible harm. That our culture continues to protect perpetrators in so many ways.

And it seems doubly twisted that anyone whose own occupation is related to such crimes, or whose other personal interests should make them steer far, far away from anyone engaging in these sorts of patently illegal, damaging, and immoral behaviors, or even talking about enjoying them, should still associate with these perpetrators.

I mean, why would anyone with children or who is a teacher still associate with known pedophiles? Or people with pets or animal-related jobs with known and self-confessed bestialists, or even with people who deny they are into such things even when confronted with hard evidence when it’s also obvious from just looking at the interests of those such abusers associate with as well as the comments of all that there are clearly shared predilections of this nature? It simply boggles the mind. And yet we see it every day.

Birds of a feather…

So, yeah, YKIOK – your kink is OK. Sure, but not when it crosses undeniable, unambiguous legal or moral borders like this and harms others who did not or cannot consent.

And no, confessing to robbing your employer because of a moment of weakness does not make it right, or entitle you to sympathy, whether you claim that your drug use or the thrill of the risk of getting caught is part of your kink or not.

Killing your wife by engaging in breath play is still murder, even if she was begging for it. You have the obligation to understand the risks and to not do things that will endanger your partner’s life.

Violating limits is still assault, battery, and/or rape or the like, depending on the details.

Not stopping what you’re doing when your partner safewords is also a major violation of trust if you couldn’t hear it because you have refused to wear your perfectly good and needed hearing aids while playing and have the music turned up too loud in your own home. And you also shouldn’t be excused from the injury you caused because you couldn’t see what you were doing because you refused to wear your glasses while wielding your dangerous implements on sensitive bodies, or to turn up the lights in the room to a level that would have actually allowed you to see.

Accidents happen with WIITWD, to be sure. But when they happen because a top refuses to take the precautions necessary to avoid them, particularly after the need for such has been discussed and agreed upon, then injuries and so on are no longer accidents but the predictable result of careless disregard for your partner’s safety.

Your kink is not allowed to extend to doing whatever the flying fuck you feel like in the heat of moment to your partner when it will endanger her, especially if she’s already made it clear that it’s not OK with her for you to do so.

Claiming it’s part of your kink does not excuse any harm done when you have not taken even the most basic appropriate precautions to prevent it. It does not excuse ongoing harm if you continue to repeat such behaviors, even if your sub hasn’t yet figured out what you’re actually doing or found the personal wherewithal to get away from you or even safeword.

Not calling people on doing shit like this that shows a callous disregard for the sub’s safety only encourages such behaviors to continue. Not naming it as the selfishness that it is, or pointing out the utter lack of self control that it shows, only serves to encourage it further.

And then taking a complaining sub to task for speaking up about nonconsensual things being done to her only serves to perpetuate the terribly damaging community myths that the dominant is God and can do no wrong, should not be questioned, etc.

Horsepucky.

And so we then end up where people can talk with impunity about committing unquestionable crimes and felonies against the obviously nonconsenting even in the vanilla world, and fully expect to get away with it, not only not even forfeiting friends because of it, but ending up with sympathy, and even glorified and more popular than ever!

I believe that the culture of confidentiality and “your kink is OK” as has existed in the scene for years has fostered an atmosphere where not only are there few if any repercussions for any of these kinds behaviors, but people actually go out of their way to defend the indefensible, all supposedly in the name of not judging others or their kinks. And then we vilify anyone who dares to speak up against any of it in any way, as if they are the problem.

A drug-stealing member of the community is less likely to significantly harm others in our midst than people who have a track record of violating limits and repeatedly raping and/or injuring their partners, or even engaging in consensual play that deliberately involves activities that clearly causes lasting physical or emotional damage, whether by design or because it’s a result that ought to be expected.

Still, I think we really need to rethink the degree to which our “community” goes to justify away the commission of crimes of all types, and to which we go to still associate with the perpetrators, never mind allow them into (or to remain in) positions of responsibility and leadership. So doing lends them an air of acceptability that is undeserved, and which can only serve to endanger others, particularly newbies.

We need to think about what our associations say to others. We should definitely think twice about what those interactions may be interpreted to mean when dealing with people who are known criminals or a users of any sort, how they could increase risks to the unwary who observe them.

I know someone, for example, who continues to associate publicly with a known abuser he absolutely despises, who significantly harmed one of his closest friends, all in the name of political expediency, and keeping an eye on the guy. His friend understands his thinking, but is not amused, except by knowing that her abuser thinks this person is actually a friend of his as well, even calling him that publicly to draw attention to the association, when nothing could actually be further from the truth.

But why is this necessary? Does this person not realize how his willingly conversing with his friend’s abuser even in public when there is no compelling reason to do so otherwise just encourages the guy – who knows this person knows full well everything he did?

I mean, sure, you can nod hello to anyone in passing in the name of civility, or chat in passing over the food table about the weather or the outfits others are wearing or the like, especially if no one else is around. But to actually get into conversation when there are others available to talk to? And to not extricate oneself at the first opportunity if cornered? This person is well known and respected, for good reasons, and so any such association lends the problem person an air of acceptability that is utterly undeserved and could, as a result, put someone else in jeopardy.

This person is not the only one to do such things by a long shot, though, sadly enough. We are a group that is full of such artifices. All it does, though, is continue to protect known abusers and criminals, at the expense of their victims.

When you have large groups of people not just seeing nothing wrong with abusive and overtly criminal behaviors, but actively defending them (and defending the supposed right of the offender to continue his harmful ways), and even continuing to go out of their way to associate with the perpetrators, it’s really no big surprise that all kinds of other abuse and violation of limits take place in our midst.

It’s also no surprise then that such behaviors not only go unpunished but are apparently both accepted and even openly glorified, and the victims themselves blamed and wronged instead of the responsibility put squarely on the heads of the perpetrators.

I’m sure that many people must have opinions about these things, and know of or are themselves victims of such transgressions, but all too often, they don’t speak up because they are afraid they will be shunned themselves. They don’t think they have the right to speak up, either to complain a out what was done to them, or to even voice concern about abusive practices observed and perpetuated in the community at large.

We tell them they have no right to judge others. But folks, that is BS.

You are fully entitled to your own opinions about what people are doing either directly to you or just around you – and you have just as much right to talk about your disapproval as you would in any other setting in life.

And you should.

If those of us who see injustice and wrongdoing don’t speak up, it will continue unabated, and more people will be harmed.

Wake up, people. Just because you’re in circles where there is a great deal of tolerance overall does not mean that you should tolerate or condone everything others do, even if they try to label it a kink.

Despite popular practice and community mythology to the contrary, there is nothing wrong with speaking up and voicing your disapproval.

You may not have a right to try to stop people from doing many things you disapprove of, or that are outright obviously illegal, especially if their partners and others directly involved are consenting to it, but you are not a bad person for having your own opinions, for feeling however you do about it – or for sharing those thoughts with others.

It may or may not be appropriate to try to actually stop known transgressive, damaging, or other criminal behavior (and usually you don’t have that right, although there are certainly exceptions), but you sure as hell have a right to your own opinion about it happening – and to voicing it – especially if it concerns something that was done to you. Don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

If you don’t approve of something someone else is doing, or you think they’re nuts to do it, even if it’s not legally wrong or harming anyone else, you are entitled to your own feelings about that as well. And you’re entitled to discuss it with others if you wish.

There is a big difference between saying you think that something another person is doing is wrong and trying to stop them, or outlawing the practice just because you personally don’t like it.

There’s a difference, too, between a playspace or party host disallowing high risk practices that are known to endanger people and/or property because of concerns for the safety of guests and yes, their own potential legal liabilities, and telling people they shouldn’t ever engage in such pursuits.

Don’t drop your lifelong morals at the door to the dungeon, though. Rape, murder, assault, theft, pedophilia, bestiality, other forms of animal and/or child abuse, etc. are just as wrong when committed by kinksters, either in the name of being kinks or not, as they are for everyone else.

And don’t let anyone else try to convince you otherwise, or to shut you up from openly voicing your disapproval if you want to do so.

You may receive threats for speaking out against certain behaviors or people who engage in them, as I have, but remember that one of the few tools we have to combat abuse and other criminal behavior in our circles is our voices.

Yes, I’ve been threatened and attacked for my outspokenness against abuse and what was done to me and others. In writing. On multiple occasions, by multiple people.

Document those threats if you receive any, and then speak out against them and the people who have made them as well.

Lift your voices. Stand your ground when you know you’ve been wronged, especially when you know you can fully document everything you say (as I can), but also even if you don’t think you can prove any of it. Truth is on your side, and you’d be surprised at what can actually constitute proof.

Don’t let your abusers or their friends browbeat you out of your right to speak up about what has happened to you, or about problems or other criminal behavior you observe in the scene, or try to otherwise separate you from your morals, or convince you that something you know to be wrong is somehow all right.

We are in this fix of rampant abuse, glorification of abusers and other criminals, and justification of their misdeeds precisely because scene conditions and mores have supported their being able to hide their antics without challenge.

Yes, we’re a subset of the population at large, and whether or not there is more abuse in our circles than in the vanilla population or not, we sweep it under the rug even more than the vanillas do, which is all the worse because of our stated community values of SSC, RACK, etc.

That makes us hypocrites on a colossal scale.

We have acted for years as if holding the community-wide ideals of negotiation and consent somehow mean we actually always walk our talk, are somehow automatically more caring, better communicators, etc, just because we identify as kinky and spout all the right words, but that is all patently inaccurate by any measure.

It is decidedly harder to speak out against what others have done when your pool of friends and partners is as small as ours is, no question. It takes guts to stand up and point out the problems – and the problem people.

But we are growing quickly as kink becomes more mainstream, even as our ability to effectively reach and train newbies decreases as a result, and the rot is spreading as newbies are taken in hand by and fall under the influence of those who do not walk their talk, and who no longer seem to understand that yes, Virginia, there really sometimes is right and wrong.

If those of us who see the problems, and who have been at the effect of them, do not stick to our guns and continue to try to rout out the utterly immoral rot that clearly does exist within our own midst, then we have no standing to try to preach the ideals of consensuality, etc. to others, or to put ourselves out to the vanilla world as being anything special or different, to try to portray ourselves as a group as any safer or better in any way.

The lies and myths we have perpetuated for years from within must likewise be resolved from within if we are to either help people in our midst stay safe, or have any hope of widespread acceptance for WIITWD. The vanillas are right that there’s abuse in our circles. So what? It is what it is, and no amount of denial or ostracizing people for pointing it out will solve the problem.

Naming it is the first step – owning that it is real, and likewise, looking at the many ways we continue to perpetuate it, and the additional fallout that comes from an obsessive and unhealthy focus on denying it and demonizing those who speak up about it. We must recognize that when we start letting little things slide and accepting absolutely anything that anyone wants to call a kink as inherently OK, we have opened the door to ever more severe moral and legal infringements upon others.

We simply cannot have gotten to a point as a community where people openly confess to deliberate felonious behavior and get sympathy and encouragement for their crimes without a wholesale abandonment of even the idea that some things in life are inherently wrong and should simply not be tolerated.

Everyone will have his or her own breaking point in this regard, but what we must stop doing is trying to silence anyone who speaks out about issues they see or have personally encountered.

I know from speaking to many people about the subject that there is, in fact, much more widespread discontent and concern over many things that happen than people generally talk about openly. If they aren’t willing to go on record with their concerns because of legitimate fear of censure, then the problems will be allowed to continue.

We must quit trying to tell people that they are wrong to consider behavior they consider inappropriate as wrong. We must quit trying to silence such voices, who have as much right to their points of view as anyone else.

We need to start to listen more often to complaints about people that victims of abuse have encountered, to not so often paint the squeaky wheel victim as the one in the wrong, etc. We need to find a way for it to be safer for victims to come forward without facing community-wide censure for speaking out.

We need to face the fact that just because a newbie (or anyone else) complains about a popular top or other established community figure does not inherently mean they are a problem themselves, but that in fact, quite legitimate complaints often surface about such tops – but are widely ignored or stifled until someone else who is popular finds herself negatively affected.

And we need to look at what we have created that people no longer even seem shockable when someone can openly confess to a felony on a public bulletin board and get sympathy and not even a hint of censure. Where people who express concern for the safety of others who are engaged in activities that obviously cause great bodily and/or emotional harm are vilified for even raising the issue.

What kind of monster have we created that things like this are even remotely possible? What kind of people would create such a world, where all morality seems to be chucked out the window? Where people seem to think that everyone should be allowed to do pretty much anything they want, especially if they label it a “kink”, even if it causes lasting harm to themselves and others?

Abuse and other criminal behavior are never going to go away completely, but we can certainly stop being complicit in hiding and excusing it when it happens to us or we observe it happening to others. And we can quit buying into community values that perpetuate it, and stop teaching them to newbies.

We not only can, but indeed we must.

I am very encouraged by the increase in number of strong, outspoken, articulate people like Mollena, Kitty Stryker, and others blogging about their abusive encounters and our increasing interconnectedness and reposting and interviewing and linking to us by more and more websites. I am deeply gratified by the increase in the number of classes and programs targeted at teaching people the difference between healthy BDSM and abuse. The tide seems to be starting to turn, but we still have a long ways to go.

I think we need to also tie in the issue of openly condoning other criminal and clearly immoral behavior, because we may have created a bigger monster here than we have even realized.

================

See also Your Kink Is Not OK and Just because it is “your kink” does not make it OK with me