The Making of a Whore

One of my favourite power exchange moments came without rope or toys or any damn thing that’s even vaguely reminiscent of BDSM. It was just me, H, and the power he was drawing away from me for hours on end. He made me do everything that was against my grain and stopped me from doing anything that came naturally to me. He took my sexuality, which he knew back to front and inside out, and bent it in completely the opposite direction.

I’ve always loved the subtlety of D/s so much more than the big, bold moments. I love power exchange without sadomasochism. When you strip away the tools and toys and all the elements that we naturally associate with BDSM, you’re left with the bare bones of power exchange, and your focus is entirely on that. It’s sensual and hard and strikingly carnal.

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My first dominant knew how to play with power exchange alone. He loved to tie a woman in the most accessible poses. He loved his restraints and toys, but he didn’t need them. They were the glitter on the surface of things. It was dominance and submission that guided our sexual relationship, and it was exquisite—the best sex I’ve ever had. It was so intense I thought I’d turned into a sex addict. I couldn’t go a minute without craving him, and the reason for that was that is what he wanted.

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Predator Redux

Meet The Predators, which featured a 2002 study co-authored by psychology professor David Lisak, has attracted a lot of attention and links in the last few weeks. To all those who have picked this up and discussed his findings, thank you. I think what he was able to show, and what McWhorter’s Navy study replicated, is very, very important stuff and the more exposure it gets the more difference it can make.

Lisak is not new to rape and interpersonal violence research, however. It is a major topic of his career-long body of work. Melissa McEwen at Shakesville (who linked Meet the Predators) has posted about Lisak’s work before, and I’ve been doing some more reading.

The last time I discussed Lisak’s work, I focused on the proportion of the population are the serial predators: a limited group within the population who are recidivist rapists, and who account…

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One In Three Kinksters Reports A Consent Violation

Last Spring I wrote a series about rape and abuse in BDSM communities, titles There’s A War On.  Here’s the start of the series.  One thing I couldn’t do at that time was say how many people in BDSM communities experienced consent violations.  Now I can.

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom did a survey this Fall on consent.  Results are in.  The survey got over 5000 respondents.  It was broadly focused on people’s views of what constituted consent, and not experiences of violation, but there were two questions about experiences of violation.  Here are those questions, and the responses:

“Have you ever had a pre-negotiated limit violated in a BDSM scene or relationship?” Of 4,115 respondents (1,552 missing):

No 2,878 69.9%
Yes 1,237 30.1%

“Have you ever negotiated a safeword or safesign with a partner who then ignored it during play?” Of 4,110 respondents:

No 3,498 85.1%

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Staying Safe in the Kink Community

I arrived at Fetlife an optimist. The first people I met were rampant cynics. I didn’t believe a word they told me about the assholes in the kink community. Today I’m one of those cynics. One in three subs in the BDSM community has had their consent violated at least once. I’ve lost so much faith in this world of ours that I’ve withdrawn my choice to enter a new relationship as a sub again. It will take me a lot of months to trust someone as a dominant enough to get to that point.

The real world kink community is like a Swiss Army Knife of safety tools. We have events to protect us when we meet people for the first time and vetting processes to warn us about predators. We have moots to teach us about everything from consent to safety, and bannings to keep us somewhat protected from known rapists, and yet I didn’t rely entirely on any of those things.

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The kink community also comes with a deadfall: Making no effort to connect with people ourselves maximises our risk of abuse because incoming introductions naturally come from the boldest, and often most destructive, people—those who are more likely to be predators and even sociopaths. I’ve met good people who initiated contact with me and I’ve met assholes who didn’t initiate contact, but if I’d relied solely on incoming contact, I wouldn’t have met the people who’ve kept me safe.

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Silence Means Consent

Fetlife’s been raucous with chatter over consent violations in different parts of the world this week. I’ve learned quite a lot from those comments sections; most importantly, that it’s only a consent violation if I say “no”.

I don’t know how I failed to pick up this concept before. I mean, it’s not as if I have insufficient comparators to draw from in my everyday life.  Take my home as an example. I often leave the front door open, and my neighbours love it because they know it means they can come inside without an invitation and help themselves to my pretzels and espresso.

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I always buy extra cupcakes for the days when strangers flood in from the street because it’s too hot to leave my door shut. A good 20 or 30 of them show up per hour and help themselves to everything in my cupboards. Everyone knows an open door means you’re welcome to that person’s coffee, so I should have known people at events are allowed to grope and penetrate me without my permission unless they hear a “no” from me. I’m a bit slow with stuff like this, so please excuse my ignorance. I really should know better.

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The Little Engine that Could of Romance

Today is one of those days when I want to go back to the beginning of my last relationship, sew up every seam and fix every flaw. Giving up on people is not in my makeup. I’m the Little Engine that Could of relationship problems. I think I can, I think I can, and if I ever stop thinking I can, it will only be because someone else has hijacked my body because I’ll never think I can’t. That attitude keeps me from leaving lost-cause-relationships. I’ll try until my life has lost all its sparkle. I’ll do it until every last drop of happiness has evaporated from me.

When I find people who seem precious, I want to hold onto them forever. The problem is that sometimes all that preciousness comes with sharp edges that hurt. If I learned to give up on people sooner, I’d end up with far fewer gashes on my psyche.

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I overthink, too, which helps me stay in a constant state of evolution, but I somehow think I’ll be able to achieve the same in someone else if I just think hard enough. If I’m at fault, my thinking is the beginning of change. If a lover is fucking up, nothing I can do will change that. My tendency to dig underneath others’ intentions to lift out the truth makes me excuse unacceptable behaviour.

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I’m Not a Princess. So Bite Me.

I’ll never be one of those women who swans around at events wearing corsets, stilettos, and a pedicure painted by Dali. I’ve never even had a professional mani-pedi (just typing those words made me hurl). You’ll never see me wearing a belt as a skirt at a winter party because I prefer not turning into an icicle.

I will, however, be sure to drag my coat through a puddle and get icing in my hair. I will slip in the doorway and trip over the snack table. I don’t even have to drink to achieve all that. It’s a natural talent.

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I’m not willing to pay someone perfectly good chocolate money to paint my nails. Do I want to look hot? Yes. Do I want to be comfy, too? Does answering that question in the affirmative get me kicked out of the kink community forever? Because R300 is enough to buy about a thousand jars of Nutella, so why would I spend it on nails that will be chipped before I even get through the venue doors?

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