Preying on Newbies – a New Class!

by SimplyMichael (reposted with permission)

Preying on Newbies!

Ever wonder how those masters out there nail one new hottie after another? Curious how they can get away with fucking over one after another with no repercussions? Attend this class and learn all the inside tips and tricks on how to get away with almost anything in the scene and be praised for it!

We fetishize power and authority in bdsm and so the trick is to cloak yourself with one or both. How do I do that, you ask? Since you are preying on the new, the inexperienced, or the dysfunctional, you have to go where those people congregate. Find the groups were the leaders collar and play with newbies and ingratiate yourself. Become a DM, strive to get as many badges of authority as you can. Now, here is the important part, no matter what you see others doing, follow the herd, if you catch someone in a lie and they are a leader, don’t mention it, if you see a leader cheating on a partner, say nothing. This will allow you to become an important person in the group and you can use that position to prey on newbies and when you exhibit the same behavior, they will then cover your back.

Becoming either a mentor or a trainer, or even both is a great tactic. Since the newbies you seek to nail are generally much younger and or hotter than you could ever get on your own, offering to mentor or train them masks your intentions behind the cloak of care and concern, pretty much guaranteed to knock their panties off without you having to bother having a relationship with them. Point out how bad their decisions are, undermine their self esteem, praise them when they follow your orders and make them feel like they somehow failed you when your choices turned out badly. Its literally like taking candy from a baby or in this case, a cherry from a newbie!

If this tact doesn’t work because, don’t despair, there are lots of other ways to get at the fresh meat. Form an event or a group around safety, nothing attracts the dysfunctional people like offers of quick external fixes to their own bad decisions! Another tried and true approach is to host a munch or an event that is strictly for newbies, of course you just have to be there but this allows you to exclude anyone else from participating. There is nothing like a group that is centered around helping newbies to make a happy hunting ground for your scorecard.

We will also cover advanced issues like:

How to deal with troublesome ex partners after they have seen through the games is a common issue and there are some great methods for dealing with this. First and foremost, whatever you do, don’t own up to your mistakes, just condemn them for causing drama and the rest of the dysfunctional herd will stone them out of the scene with chants of “down with drama” and no matter how egregious your wrongs are, your accusers will be driven out of the scene. This almost always works but sometimes someone more important wants the woman and so they may drum you out of the scene, just lay low for a bit and return, because pointing out that someone has a bad history is considered bad form, isn’t that just so thoughtful!

The best part of this tactic is it becomes almost automatic after a while. People who can’t keep their mouth shut and want to hold people accountable for their actions tend to up and leave, how cool is that! Newbies and others learn that if they are victimized and speak up, they will be shunned by everyone in your group.

So, now you have gotten pretty good at nailing the odd newbie but here and there a hot one still slips through and someone else gets to them first. The way to deal with that is to create a poly family. It usually works by finding someone you can barely stomach and who has low self esteem. Make her your primary partner so you always have someone to clean house and have sex with if nothing better is around at the moment. She feels so grateful that she is your primary and that you praise her in public that the fact that the second a hottie walks in you can barely remember her name won’t matter to her a bit. This allows you to chase the newbies down and use them all while pretending to bring them into your family, I mean how cool does that make it sound? Another cool trick to do with a primary is you send them to those pesky submissive only meetings so they can not only spy for you but recruite the ones that got away from you!

I wish I could say this is just sarcasm but it is sadly more true than it should be so the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

I Never Called It Rape

Fantastic article on the problem and prevalence of rape and sexual assault that goes unnamed and unpunished in the kink community by Kitty Stryker at PurrVersatility and on the Good Vibrations blog.  Both links are posted here because of the different comment streams, which are both excellent, although more extensive on the second link.

The point about victim-silencing is particularly well-taken.  It is *the* primary reason why the subject is not discussed more extensively and openly, and particularly why more people don’t speak out to wider audiences about their experiences.

This is a must read if you are even remotely concerned about the issue of abuse in the BDSM “community” – and will explain a lot about why you should be concerned if you are not already.


Experience Requirements for Mentors

I think I’ve now heard it all.

At a munch today, the new mentorship director of the major local kink organization that sponsors the munch (the Society of Janus) announced that lack of experience in the scene is *not* a disqualification for stepping up to the plate and volunteering to be a mentor through that organization.

Yes, apparently experience is no longer required for this job in the San Francisco area on the new board’s watch.  Because after all, everyone knows *something* they can share with others, right?

I swear to God, that is exactly what was said.

Yes, even if you don’t have much experience, you are still encouraged to apply to be a mentor.  Step right up to this organization, and you, too, can call yourself a mentor and be assigned a newbie-er [sic] newbie acolyte of your own, even if you’re brand new to wiitwd yourself.

So, newbies, beware that the mentor you get hooked up with through this organization very well may actually have only a few days or weeks more experience than you have.

In fact, this has always been true, and is one of the reasons I’ve always objected to such structured “mentorship” programs.  It’s always been true that you need to vet the mentors you are assigned in this sort of arrangement, because they can and do accept just about anyone who volunteers.  (Which is kind of moronic, given that part of the whole point of finding a mentor in the first place is to find someone to help guide you through new waters safely, and if you already knew where the shoals and bad eggs were, arguably you wouldn’t even need a mentor.  But I digress.)

In most such programs, however, and in the past in this one, it has been the *experienced* people who are encouraged to sign up to share their knowledge.

What is brand new, apparently, is that now people who have almost no experience are actually being *encouraged* to sign up to teach others.

So caveat emptor now applies even more than it ever did before.

And yes, it’s true that someone with a few days or weeks more experience may know a few tidbits to share, but that does *not* make someone capable of safely or effectively mentoring another.

There is a name for people who have little experience of wiitwd – and that is “newbie”.

Just like you, if you’re new.

It’s a perfectly valid place to be in your journey, but it does *not* qualify you to do anything but share amongst yourselves about your experiences.  That is called “sharing with each other about your experiences”, not “mentoring” someone.

Understand the difference, and do not be fooled by a label like “mentor” into believing that this person necessarily knows much more than you do, no matter how you come across the person who uses it.

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Report on RACK Panel

On March 22, SF Citadel hosted a RACK panel of leaders and educators from the BDSM community dedicated to discussing this question, including its relationship to abuse.

The evening’s discussion was terrific.  Panelists included Levi (who was previously employed by NCSF), Queen Cougar, Disciple, Asher Bauer (Gaystapo on Fetlife, and author of “A Field Guide to Creepy Dom”, which I reposted here), and Chey, who together represented an excellent cross section of various branches of the kink and leather communities, which tend to have some different opinions on a number of issues.  Thorne did a masterful job of moderating, and asked some very important questions.

In the first half of the program, issues such as participants’ preferences for RACK vs SSC, attitudes towards breath play, and a couple of other matters were discussed, with a pretty predictable range of thoughts and opinions, with no two people seeing any of it quite the same way.

Asher felt that RACK is an edgier concept than SSC, because it implies more edge play and Disciple sees the two as falling along a spectrum.  Queen Cougar gave a history of the evolution of both concepts, and pointed out that the entire goal is to keep people safe, which is best accomplished, in her estimation, by just using plain old common sense, and not by mindless adherence to any particular acronym.  Levi spoke eloquently about how both are about safety in overall communications, the value of safety education, etc., distinguishing WIITWD from abuse, both being a “social expression of unified purpose” – and how NCSF feels that identifying with and playing as RACK actually increases players’ legal liability vs SSC.

Someone described RACK as often being used as “a coverup and club” for abusers, which everyone else nodded in agreement with.  My personal feeling is that they are both used that way.

The second half, however, was fully devoted to the question of consent, what it means, and whether or not violations of it should be reported to the police and/or made known to the community at large.  Thorne and I have been discussing these issues together for a while, and a number of the questions she asked were born out of issues I raised and my thinking on the subject.

Levi commented that he felt that consent is a construct, and fantasy container, that responsible masters hold the container for it, and must also take legal, emotional, and physical responsibility for their actions, as well as for their limitations.  He commented about the frequent involvement of coercion in obtaining “consent”, and how consent is sometimes used as justification for abuse, which brought murmurs of agreement from all of the participants.

Queen Cougar spoke eloquently and powerfully about how you “retain your personhood” even in the most intense relationships, and have the right to step out of it and protect yourself no matter what, despite any peer pressure to retain the M/s kind of dynamic and the twisted thinking that comes out of all of that.  Thorne added that that self protection includes emotional safety, as well as physical.

Disciple said that there are many savvy predators out there for whom consent really means nothing and are able to hide behind all the right language, and when he said straight out that they need to be “brought to light”, it drew a gasp of shock from the audience – and vigorous assent from the other panelists.  It was almost like someone had finally given everyone else permission to say out loud, and in so many words, what they had all been thinking, but hadn’t quite had the guts to say in so many words, and a virtual torrent of agreement came out.  He recommended setting aside your pride for the sake of the relationship, and not to rush into anything, taking your time to learn how that prospective partner reacts and treats others when he is under duress before you get involved, because that is highly predictive of how he will treat you.

We often speak about red flags that may clue one in that a particular person is a predator and likely to be dangerous.  Chey mentioned out that it’s a red flag if they’re not willing to come out of role and speak with the sub as equals, and Asher pointed out that sometimes there really aren’t any red flags at all, and that it’s “important not to victim blame”, no matter what.

What really stood out in this portion was that without exception, every single one of these community leaders and educators all agreed as the discussion ensued, particularly once Disciple came out and stated it so clearly, was that not only are violations of consent completely unacceptable, but that they should be reported to the police, as well as publicized widely throughout the community – and with names named.

What’s more, they all agreed that this should apply to all violations, that it is no longer acceptable to sweep so much under the rug as we have been doing for so long.

When I came into the scene a decade ago, this sort of scenario would have been absolutely unimaginable. I can’t think of anyone back then who I ever heard say such a thing, and to even bring the idea up would get one looked at with all kinds of suspicion, and generate a lecture on the importance of confidentiality, policing our own ranks, not involving the police because it would only serve to prove to the vanillas that we were indeed abusers and undermine our attempts to communicate just the opposite, and more – all of which would generally ultimately serve to protect the perpetrator and further victimize the victim.

No one would have said that abuse or violations of consent were OK, but no one would have been willing to actually advocate taking this kind of action.

And a lot more protection was given to D-types who were in M/s relationships in particular, and blame heaped on the S-type, with the admonition that she had entered into this arrangement voluntarily, and that it was all about the dom so he could do no wrong and she had to obey, etc., etc.  Sadly, we still hear some of this claptrap, but on the whole, it thankfully seems to be diminishing.

I’ve written and spoken a lot about what I see as the issues with abuse of various sorts in our circles, and while virtually every individual I can think of with whom I’ve spoken privately has also expressed similar sentiments, there is something about it being said out loud by five separate people who are respected in the community, in front of an audience of probably somewhere around 50 people, that to me, really brings home what I’ve been saying all along for several years, that abuse and violations of consent are huge and growing problems in our ranks, that we absolutely must deal with very differently than we’ve been handling it in the past.

In the “old days”, when the scene was much smaller and more underground, self-policing was much more feasible, and much more essential.  Nowadays, though, attitudes are changing, the police and the rest of the vanilla world are increasingly aware of WIITWD as a fundamentally consensual activity, and as a result, it is less taboo to discuss openly, and in a number of jurisdictions, local law enforcement is actually quite enlightened, so reporting abuses to them, when indicated, is far less likely to have negative repercussions for others than it probably was in the past.  We still have a long ways to go to achieve full understanding and cooperation from law enforcement, but the road is better paved than it was before – and just by virtue of our sheer huge increase in numbers and accessibility, self-policing the way it was back then, especially as a sole solution, is truly no longer a viable solution to these problems.