Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Riposte

Okay guys, I gotta get this out- I know I'm a little behind the times, and the American People (tm) have moved on to brand new shiny things in the news, but I ran into a feminist blog this morning that brought it up in a very... interesting light.
Essentially she said that the men who responded to this gentleman's post are horrible terrible people that would rape a woman in a second and generally unfit to live among the "enlightened". This may or may not be true, however I feel the need to defend my kinky brethren.
Now, I’m not in any way trying to make light of true abuse. To be hurt by a partner you trusted in a way that is not negotiated beforehand, looked over, analyzed and picked apart in the name of safety is a horrifying, traumatic experience. However, this is not what Jason Fortuny advertised for, whether he knew it or not. Notice the words “safe and sane” in the post? That’s two of the three commandments of the kink community: Safe, Sane and Consensual. Allow me to explain:

Safe: No true harm is done, whether physical or mental. “Harm” and “hurt” are two very different things. Hurt is what happens right before the endorphin rush and leaves cool marks to show of the next day. Harm is anything that doesn’t feel good afterwards. Boundaries regarding marks, pain levels and potential triggers are unflinching. Proper technique and the appropriate base knowledge are paramount.

Sane: Keep your head. It’s the pinnacle of stupidity to let yourself get carried away by a fantasy. Absolutely no intoxicants in scene. Ever. Always remember that this is called “play” for a reason. It’s supposed to be fun. Keep it within the parameters defined. Define those parameters to death. If it takes you 5 hours to go over your checklists and you think it’s totally anti-erotic, deal with it. Better a wounded mood than a wounded partner.

Consensual: Goes along with parameters. Make sure you know your limits, and set them in stone before a scene. Be honest with yourself and your partners about those limits. Don’t try and be a badass and say you’re cool with being lit on fire when you’re not. Better a low-key scene and happy participants than years of therapy. Your first concern is always to ensure that everyone involved is comfortable with what is happening. You have your entire life to fulfill that one hot fantasy. It is not worth the damage you might do to push someone beyond what they are ready for. That is the kink version of date rape. Very, very bad.

These guys thought this post was from a kinky sub chick who wanted a kinky dom guy. They are kinky dom guys who wanted a kinky sub chick. Of COURSE they responded. If someone presented themselves to me as a kinky sub boy, knowing that I'm a kinky dom girl, then showed up where we were supposed to meet for coffee with a news crew and some rant about Feminazis, I'd be pissed. REALLY pissed.
Here's the thing, guys- a few bad apples aside, most kinky folk are probably MORE concerned about your wellbeing while playing with you than the average asshat at a bar. After all, we know what kind of damage can be done, both physically and emotionally. That is where safewords come in. It's all about living a fantasy, baby. (A rather common one, at that- one full third of the population, according to Kinsey.)
When I am topping someone, the whole goal is to get that look of "Wow, that was amazing." after I take the down from the ceiling or whatever. I want them to walk away feeling better and stronger for the experience. I know that certain fantasies should be kept as fantasy (aficionados of snuff films, take note). I also know that some fantasies are freaking AWESOME when acted out. And I've met enough kinky people to know that whatever your tastes may run to, you can find a consenting, legal partner who would just LOVE to act that out with you. Over and over again. It might take a while to find that person. In the meantime, you keep it in fantasy.
I was surrounded by kinksters for 4 days or so just recently at DomCon. I talked to a good number of them, and the affection was evident in their relationships. And those big angry looking guys wearing the equivalent of 4 sides of leather? They recoil in horror at the thought of an unconsenting partner. If they wanted to take advantage of somebody, the girl hanging out in the hot tub by herself at 11 at night would have been it. Instead, I got a friendly wave. That's it.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the guys who were maligned by this twit on Craigslist are most likely nice people who in fact, just want to have some good ol' fashioned consensual, if slightly heterodox, fun, and were playing their roles accordingly. I’m curious as to how many polite, well worded inquiries were received but not posted due to the lack of shock value.
PS- If you’re curious, the ratio of "Here's how you hurt somebody" stuff to "Here's how you avoid doing any serious damage" is about 1:10. I probably know about as much about gross anatomy as a first year med student, all in the name of keeping things Safe, Sane and Consensual. If only my vanilla partners would take the same kind of care.

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