Safe/Ward Blog Carnival (trigger warning)

Photo from IB Times

I wanted to take a moment to draw attention to some other blog posts about BDSM and abuse that stood out to me. I don't want to write a lot of commentary on them, just present them for you to peruse (or not) as you wish. Why? Because mine is not the only voice, and it's hard to tell a growing number of people that they're alone in this.

One of the other reasons I’m writing about it is this: the bdsm community has no tolerance for someone voicing an ugly truth. I know that I’ll be called a liar in some circles, derided by some for “airing my dirty laundry”. That hurts. It is a community I care about, for all of the good in it, and one I feel betrayed by at the same time because I’ve seen people in my position before, also staying silent. I’ve seen people who don’t stay silent further punished for daring to speak.

Eight years to even have the courage to write this much.

-More on BDSM and Abuse, Jane Says 

In the ten years between then and now, I’ve stubbornly refused to let what happened stop me from being sexually active. I’ve pushed myself harder and harder to be loudly, visibly sex-positive. I got a job as a phone sex operator, and made plans to get even deeper into sex work. Sex was important and wonderful and I was NOT going to let some bad experiences ruin it for me forever. I took pride in being able to get through triggering sex with little outward sign.

Push harder, went my thinking. Work through the pain. Work through the flashbacks — dissociate if you have to. Remember, if you have to stop, it’s a sign the ones who hurt youwon. Be sex-positive, dammit! Show the whole fucking world just how okay you are, no matter the cost! Write a fucking sex blog!

Spoilers: I wasn’t okay. I was light-years away from okay, and I have a chain of post-Fell abusive relationships, both romantic and not, which illustrate that point rather clearly.

-Ten Years Later, Living the Stories. Flesh

No, we do not officially condone abuse, and we do certainly put out some information to help people distinguish between abuse and healthy BDSM, but the truth is that it’s still a major problem, and pretending it’s not there because we print up pretty brochures isn’t going to solve the problem.  If it weren’t a problem, we wouldn’t needthose lists and brochures and “initiatives”.  They are evidence that we try to combatthe problem, at least at some level, but until the actual practices catch up with the ideals, and the community standard becomes to simply not tolerate this kind of behavior, then it will remain with us.

As others said in the comments on Clarisse’s blog post, the community is now very quick to shun any victim who is outspoken about it and defends herself while still embracing the abuser.  Knowing that alone is a deterrent to many who might otherwise report the abuse – and I know, because I’m one of them.

It’s one of the reasons I didn’t even seek medical help myself when I really should have had it, because I knew the hospital would have had my then-dom arrested – and not only would that end the relationship I wasn’t ready to end yet, but it would have nuked me in the scene.  It’s the same reason I’m not more overtly outspoken now about what was done and who did it.

No one should have to put up with this kind of shit, and no one should have to be silent because the community will side with the abuser, especially if, as is typical, they are the sort who present a really nice guy kind of front to the public, and even at the start of new relationships, just as mine did with me, the same way he swept his new sub off of her feet and bamboozled her friends as well.

-Does the BDSM Community Enable Abuse?, Kinky Little Girl 

I blamed myself. I thought “Well, I didn’t say “No.” forcefully enough. I didn’t insist. I didn’t hit him, push him away. It must be my fault.” I sat in a narcotized place of self-blame and self-hatred for months around something for which I claimed 100% responsibility. I blamed myself for “letting” someone violate one of my strongest boundaries. And I sat on this alone and in reflexive revulsion, because clearly I was too stupid, weak and foolish to handle myself like a responsible adult. 

And because I had so much shame around this, because I was so afraid that others would look at me and think “What a fucking idiot. What kind of dummy lets something like them happen to them?” I didn’t tell anyone for months. Then it began to eat me alive, woke me up at night, freaked me out. 

-Consent[Violated], The Perverted Negress

My friend chose to let the incident where he touched her shoulders slide–it didn’t seem like a big deal. When he touched my shoulders, if he hadn’t already slid a hand up my leg, it wouldn’t have been as big of a deal either. But there was a pattern emerging of cowardice and boundary pushing–when he thought women weren’t noticing. What would he have done if he’d found someone drunk? Passed out?
What if everyone who heard me loudly state my boundaries had spoken up too? As I yelled at him, people watched, seeing what was developing. If he had tried to punch me, no doubt people would have held him back. But they just watched. What if–while I yelled at him–there had been a chorus of voices, yelling “You do not touch her without permission”? That would have felt pretty great.

 -from Halo's now-defunct blog via Yes Means Yes

This… gentleman… began by intruding upon a scene in progress. He proceeded to speak only to Dylan and Clint, completely slighting me. He said he could get them into a private party at Mr. S. He asked us where we usually hang out, and when Clint said “The Citadel” he reacted with suppressed scorn. Before any of us fully knew what was happening, he had grabbed Dylan (who was already subspaced out) and forced him onto his knees, without so much as a ‘by your leave.’ “You can always tell if someone’s submissive by doing this,” he said, digging his finger into a pressure point on Dylan’s wrist. He pointed out the involuntary twitch of one of Dylan’s fingers, then reached for my arm to do the same to me.
“I didn’t give you permission to touch me,” I hissed. 

He laughed, and said something to the effect that “she,” on the other hand, was not submissive. 

“My name is Asher, I am not she, I’m a transman, and not letting you touch me has nothing to do with whether I’m submissive,” I informed him. 
Finding no fertile ground in me, he focused his attention on Dylan. Clint sat by, not quite sure whether to interfere, but not willing, either, to leave Dylan alone with this person. To me, at the time, it looked like the two of them were both eating up all of this guy’s bullshit. I left in disgust to get some air, still shaking with endorphins from my rudely interrupted scene. 
When I returned, Jackass was done with Dylan, who was sitting around looking spaced out and lost, but not in his usual happy way. Jackass was promising extravagant Mr. S goodies to everyone, and trying to get contact info. Before he left, he apologized, condescendingly, for touching me without permission. I pointed out that he had also walked into the middle of our scene. He smirked, and repeated, “I apologize for touching you without permission.” 

-A Field Guide to Creepy Doms, Gaystapo by way of Kinky Little Girl

Be the first to comment

Post a comment