Maddie, consent and roller coasters

In the last episode of Maddie’s story, she expects and is keen to give a blow-job, and finds herself throat-fucked hard instead.

I had my doubts about writing it that way, because our Headmaster character hadn’t given warning, let alone asked for consent: “Now, girl, are you up for a nice hard throat-fucking?”

And leaving the action waiting while she considers her right to say, “No way, buster! I’m a fictional girl and I absolutely do not do that sort of thing.” Or, “Yes, please!”

But I decided not to include discussion between them on those lines because:

(1) it’s erotica. It’s meant to be sexy, and not necessarily to provide sensible, followable role models; 

(2) it’s understood by both of them that Maddie wants to learn and experience bdsm things, and in that sense she’s already shown her enthusiastic consent to anything short of damage/harm he does; and

(3) both characters, as well as most readers, would find it hotter with the consent conversation left out. 

 

The story itself is utterly implausible, in the sense that it couldn’t happen. No teacher could do that, even to willing age-of-consent girls, without getting caught. He’d be in court and in the front pages of newspapers in no time, and then he’d be in prison. Also, the only part of the world I know of where girls of 18 are subject to corporal punishment, which can be delivered by a male, is Texas.

And probably Alabama, come to think of it, though I’m not going to look it up in case I see a photo of Roy Moore. He brings me out in technicolour yawns, that hagfish. (Look them up.) Not even the Islamic states are as fucked up as some States in the good old US of A, y’all. 

Anyway, the way I see it is that the story takes place in a sort of alternate universe, one more ruled by sexual desire than ours is. Think of it as science fiction. 

 

That said, I think Maddie is perfectly psychologically plausible in our universe. She’s based on women I know, and things they’ve told me about their early bdsm experience. And shown me. (Those experiences didn’t involve headmasters, I should say.)

Maddie is excited by her submissive experiences because they’re coming at her like the loop the loops and hairpin turns of a roller coaster.

She hasn’t consented to each individual turn and loop, but she consented to getting on the roller coaster (she bought a ticket, even), and she’s on for the ride, letting it go where it wants: wheeeee!

Maddie’s a person, though she’s just a fictional one, and she is making choices.

Defending the politics of bdsm 2: Bdsm and the state

The puritan feminist argument against bdsm includes the claim that bdsm works as part of the support for patriarchy, or male control of institutions and, of course, women.

Patriarchy in action? It doesn’t really look like it

The puritan case is partly based on the claim that bdsm is men dominating women. To make this claim you have to ignore the existence of lesbians and gays, and women dominants and male submissives. You also have to ignore the fact that we now know that the majority of both men and women involved in bdsm are switches, and will take either the dominant or submissive role according to mood and desire.

Some in the puritanical faction are aware of this, and try to wish it away by waving a sort of verbal wand at it: any “eroticising of power differences” supports patriarchy because, well, because.

One way of testing this is to look at what actually happens in most Western states.

We see that the institutions that do most to promote patriarchy and the subordination of women get encouragement from the state in every English-language-speaking country in the world, as well as most of the non-English-speaking Western states.

The Catholic and Baptist churches in particular, with their long-standing and still current opposition to having women in leadership roles, and opposition to women having control of their own bodies, particularly in relation to reproduction, get extensive funding from the state. That funding comes in the form of direct grants, in the form of tax-free status, in the form of (usually historical) gifts of land, and in the form of favored status when it comes to bidding to provide Government services. 

Church naming rights and livery; 100% tax-payer funding

Something that’s not understood by most people is that when Catholic spokespeople talk about providing hospitals the Catholic Church doesn’t provide those services with its own money. Those institutions are 100% funded from government health spending, even though they don’t offer all the services (eg abortion, and contraceptive information) that a publicly funded hospital should be offering.

In many countries the churches have special dispensation overriding laws relating to discriminating against people based on their religious belief or sexual orientation, particularly in employment. 

The point is that this is an example of how governments in the West endorse and support organisations that promote patriarchal power. That’s nothing like how governments treat bdsm, and people who take part in bdsm.

Bdsm erotica, the stories we tell and the media we tell them in, is banned in many jurisdictions. Bdsm clubs and premises are frequently raided. Consenting bdsm is still a crime in many countries, most notoriously the UK. People have gone to jail for practising consensual bdsm, and others have lost custody of their children. 

A bdsm master or mistress’s authority is never backed by the power of the state. I’m not arguing that it should be (of course it shouldn’t); I’m making the point that governments support and endorse institutions that help uphold male power and control, and they don’t support bdsm that way.

If bdsm really were a part of the ideological support for patriarchy, it’s puzzling that institutions upholding patriarchy, like police services and other law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, the mainstream media, the churches and so on, all seem to be unaware of the fact.

Instead bdsm practitioners, media and organisations (eg clubs) come under surveillance, police harassment, mainstream media shaming, and direct legal bans. 

Bdsm does not promote male dominance (generally, though a few Goreans and domestic-discipline Christians may), and it is certainly not an ally of patriarchy. We like our dominance consensual and our dominants to be sexy. 

Defending the politics of bdsm: power at the mercy of pleasure

Inequality in bdsm works very differently from the real power imbalances imposed by patriarchy. In bdsm, people choose their roles according to their own sexual desires, not their gender. A woman or man doing bdsm may choose a dominant or submissive role, or switch from one to the other, purely according to what pleases them. In bdsm “power” is erotic and fluid.

We are powerful guys, and we are Serious

The arbitrariness of “power” in bdsm contrasts with the seriousness with which power is held in patriarchy. By turning the symbols and even the idea of power into sexual playthings that may be taken seriously but may also be picked up, swapped or put down at whim, there’s a sense in which bdsm mocks and undermines real power.

Bdsm’s mild subversiveness is reinforced by the paradox of how power relationships work in bdsm.

The person who holds the outward signs of power, in bdsm, is not so powerful in reality.

The submissive holds the chain

A dominant may wear lots of black, carry a riding crop and snap out orders, but he or she is still subject to the submissive’s power. In the orders they give, the bonds they arrange and the services they demand, dominants must remain within a range defined and consented to by the submissive.

If the dominant goes far or repeatedly outside that circle of consent, the submissive is likely to end the dominant’s illusory power without notice.

People sometimes use the term “power exchange” to describe bdsm relationships, but not as much power really changes hands as may appear on the surface. Whether they are male or female, submissives retain more power than they and their dominants pretend.

Similarly, the economics of bdsm relationships differ from those of traditional marriage. In traditional relationships the person with the higher income holds more power, and that person is still likely to be a man. In bdsm the dominant partner is not necessarily a man, nor the person with the higher income. In bdsm, “power” is never what it seems on the surface. It does not follow gender. Nor does it follow money.

It follows desire. It follows love and lust.

Sexual authoritarians and bdsm: Consenting inequality

Much of the puritan feminist case against bdsm involves contempt for consent. People from that faction may recognise through gritted teeth that women may consent to taking part in bdsm, but that consent isn’t really either genuine or important. These women are doing something that that feminist faction disapproves of, and that is what counts. 

But there’s something extremely dangerous about any kind of politics or “analysis” that ignores or disparages consent.

Caring about consent, rigorously enforcing it in law, and so on, is something that keeps people, especially women, safe in sex.

That includes consent to inequality. To take a non-bdsm example, when a man and woman are sitting side-by-side, maybe looking at a park, or the sea, or whatever, the man might put an arm over a woman’s shoulder and draw her to him. They sit a little closer as lovers, side-by-side.

His action emphasised their physical inequality. Being larger (probably), he can put an arm over her shoulder without discomfort, which she may not be able to do with him.

He can pull her mass towards him with relatively little effort, while she might need to haul quite hard to get him to move closer.

But assuming they’re both feeling loving and affectionate, that action will make them both feel loved, loving and comfortable, although it is founded in sexual inequality.

Consenting inequality is common, and it’s a different thing from inequality that reduces people’s choices and is imposed on them without their consent.

To conflate the two kinds of inequality, ignoring agreement, pleasure and affection, shows little concern for human emotions or human rights.

It’s also true that inequality in bdsm is different from most forms of inequality, but that will be for future posts.

(I’ve got my girl with me, and I’m not doing much writing at the moment. Sorry.) 

 

Sexual authoritarians and bdsm 2: The false consciousness argument

There is a more complex case against bdsm than conservative authoritarians have ever argued, promoted by the feminist faction that allied itself with conservative authoritarians on erotic words and images, and bdsm.

Anti-bdsm feminists often speak as if there is a feminist position on bdsm and theirs is it, but this has never been the case. There are feminists on both sides of the debate.

This anti-bdsm case rests on the assumption is that bdsm is inherently an expression of patriarchy, of male dominance, so woman only have bdsm desires if their sexuality is distorted by patriarchy. Women who engage in bdsm have simply internalised patriarchal values, even if they delude themselves by thinking they are feminist.

By this theory they may think that they consent to bdsm activity, but this consent is not “real”.

This is because the power imbalance between men and women in our culture is so great and pervasive that women who consent to bdsm have been coerced into doing so by cultural factors beyond their control. This argument is also made of all women who consent to heterosexual intercourse, but that version of the argument is less often made within the hearing of allies on the religious right.

This readiness to diminish and dismiss the moral and political significance of women’s choices and consents is commonly justified by the claim that women who have and (what’s worse) act on bdsm desires are victims of “false consciousness”.

False consciousness is a term derived from Marxist theory, to mean the tendency of oppressed people to accept the ideology of their oppressors and therefore to fail to perceive that they are oppressed. The term was used to explain the awkward fact that in developed countries working people on low incomes tend not to support Marxist political parties or campaigns.

False consciousness can refer to something real. It may be useful to use the term in relation to African American slaves who had accepted the idea that slavery was a just institution. But the term is best used humbly and tentatively.

For example, the reluctance of working people to support Marxism might be a sign of false consciousness, but it might derive from realistic evaluation of what happened in the countries where Marxists got into power. In practice “false consciousness” is a rhetorical device for dismissing the views of the people on whose behalf one claims to speak, because if those people were allowed to speak or vote or act on their own behalf they would say and choose the wrong things.

In this perspective only some choices arise from false consciousness. Consenting to heterosexual intercourse, taking part in the writing or filming of pornography, or engaging in bdsm: these things can be ascribed to false consciousness. Engaging in non-penetrative lesbian sex, going to an anti-pornography rally, or taking part in hours of doctrinal discussion may not.

Moreover only some women are subject to false consciousness. Others are immune. Anti-bdsm feminists are confident enough in the authenticity of their own consciousnesses to make their own sexual decisions and to feel qualified to force sexual decisions (for example on the availability and therefore use of pornography) onto other women.

Feminist women who suffer from bdsm’s false consciousness are, surely, fortunate that other feminist women know better and are prepared to edit their sexual desires for them.

Or they may wish to tell them to take a running jump.

(To be continued)

Sexual authoritarians and bdsm 1

When people discriminate against people who take part in bdsm, or support the harassment of bdsm clubs, publications and so on, by police and other authorities, they usually believe that they are reasonable people acting virtuously. People ply themselves with reasons when they treat other people badly.

If you enjoy bdsm, Robin Morgan, feminist-except-for-women-who-make-choices-she-disapproves-of, says you’re a traitor to all women.

Harassment and discrimination happen because of political, religious, ideological and other frameworks that define certain people as outsiders, generate dislike for them and provide reasons for messing with them as individuals and suppressing their meeting places, books, videos and so on. Discrimination is hardly ever mindless, though it can appear so. Nor is it “natural”.

People make up reasons for hatred, and those reasons are generally rationalisations, intellectualized and argued, to keep the emotional dislike behind them out of sight.

But discrimination against and harassment of bdsm people comes from other, more emotional partskinds of thinking.

Conservative authoritarianism

One framework that drives legal and other activities directed against bdsm people can be called conservative authoritarianism, which is often religious in inspiration. The conservative authoritarian case against bdsm consists essentially of the premises that deviant sex is evil and that bdsm is deviant sex.

Bdsm is therefore, syllogistically, evil. If more arguments were needed, then there are the considerations that bdsm looks strange, often involves non-procreative sex, may involve people who are not married to each other, or are people of the same gender, and so on.

What’s more, bdsm is part of a category that includes oral sex, homosexuality, lesbianism, bdsm, fetishism, paedophilia, window-peeping and flashing, Satanism, group sex, polygamy and many other things. Tolerating any one of them will only encourage the others.

The Reverend James Dobson strongly supports the beating and whipping of terrified, non-consenting children, but if an adult spanks another adult for pleasure, that is, of course, the devil’s work

The distaste felt by conservative authoritarians for bdsm isn’t so different from their distaste for homosexuality, oral sex, and so on.

The impulse that drove a Massachusetts police officer to force his way into a private party in 2000 and arrest a woman who was spanking another woman with a wooden spoon is the same as the impulse that in 2004 led a Virginia policeman to arrest a 21-year old woman for getting oral sex from her boyfriend (the penalty for oral sex in Virginia is up to five years’ imprisonment), and in 2006 led Republican Ralph Davenport to put up a bill to prohibit the sale of vibrators in South Carolina.

No-one who promotes such laws, and no police officer who selectively upholds them, can possibly believe that these laws prevent any harm or protect any person. The laws simply reflect the reality that other people’s sexual expression can rouse emotions in some other people that can range from discomfort to terror, from dislike to hate.

Q: Who gets to speak, politically? A: Everyone!

I’m white, het and such. I’m sometimes mildly embarrassed by my complete failure to fancy men, but only in the sense that it’s a limitation and no one should have one of those. But I like what I like, sexually, and I’m not going to change it. In fact I can’t. If the Christian Right has made one contribution to the World of Knowledge, it’s that sexual orientation “therapies” don’t work. 

I also sometimes think that there’s a significant number of people who I agree with on most things, who are likely to discount, or at least be suspicious of, any opinion I express on sexual orientation, race, etc. Because it comes from a position of het white male privilege.

It’s absolutely the case that I get privileged status from being born straight, white and male. I’m also lucky to be physically … well, not disabled. I mean, I need glasses and my hearing’s pretty shit, but basically I can get around and get by. There are people of colour who have more power and money than me, and there are women of any colour who also have that. But I’ve always had the freedom to know I’ll be ok.

It’s not the most fun you can have while naked…

I won’t lose my home. I’ll always be able to afford food and water. At the moment I can even afford to fly round the world, drink champagne, and if I liked the stuff (I don’t) snort cocaine.

I can walk into a room full of rich, powerful white men, and pass. Not just by looking like them; I know how to act. I can make a deal. That’s very privileged, and it has a lot to do with being straight, white and male.

I don’t believe I’m being silenced by the presence of other voices. What’s changed is that I’m more likely to be called out for talking bullshit than my equivalent was, 100 years ago. There are more voices. Rupert Murdoch hates that reality, but I like it a lot. 

Anyway, I was thinking about this because I read someone straight and white, like me, said they wanted to speak out and support Bi-Sexual Awareness Week, and they did, but they felt embarrassed about speaking out at all. I understand that feeling. But if we want to live in a better world, it’s wrong. 

I don’t care if someone saying nasty things about bisexual people is het, exclusively gay or lesbian, asexual, or bisexual with a dash of self-hate. It’s the nasty that matters, not who they are.

Similarly, it doesn’t matter what someone’s privilege check points are, if they express support for bi-sexual awareness, and bi-sexual people.

…sex and politics have always mixed. This is a demonstration in support of same-sex marriage in Australia. This male sex blogger, sadly, isn’t quite this photogenic

No movement, or group of people, has too many allies. Justice issues even need allies to the extent of including het white male sex-bloggers like me.

The same applies to supporting Rose McGowan and other women speaking out about sex predators in Hollywood, which is just another workplace. If something’s unacceptable in a Distribution Manager at a kitchen appliances firm, then it’s also unacceptable in a senior Hollywood bureaucrat.

So I joined the Friday 13 protest against Twitter for silencing Rose McGowan’s account. (She’s been reinstated, so good.) You can even be an ally by shutting the fuck up, sometimes. Life is full of ironies. 

Vinceremos! And wankeremos! We can always do both.

Laci Green shout-out

Eight years ago (i.e. 2009), when she was 18  Laci Green was making valuable, educational and funny youtube videos on sex issues, and occasionally on why she thinks religion is (a) nonsense, and (b) not so terribly good to and for women. 

She’s largely dropped making references to her atheism, which I think is a pity, but understandable if your main concern is issues affecting young women and sex-positivity. 

Laci Green. Her smile takes up a bigger proportion of her face than with normal human beings.

Anyway, one day in 2009 Laci Green made a video saying that people should be accepting of and nice towards transgender people. They shouldn’t be haters: in fact, “haters” was the name for that video episode. Unluckily for her, she had a transgender person as her guest, and he used the word “tranny” of himself and others.

Not knowing that other transgender persons hate the word, she copied him and used the word too.

I have a bit of a “there but for the grace of god go I” feeling about this, because at the time I would have given the very same offence while trying to say something supportive. That’s because a girlfriend of mine worked as a cleaner at the Gender Centre in Sydney, and I’d often help her clean because I wanted to play squash with her when she was done. (“Play squash” sounds like a euphemism, but it isn’t.)

That meant I knew about a dozen politically aware transgender people at the time, and they all used the word “tranny” of themselves and others. So, when I was in conversation with them and it was relevant, I did too. I’m sure I’ve used it in other contexts, thinking I was being supportive. If I’d made videos, they’d still be preserved, of course.  

There’s also the fact that she and apparently other family members have had death threats. I relate to that, because I was once an organiser and media spokesperson for a tenants’ union, and some people didn’t like me getting in the way of certain landlords. Initially I was genuinely flattered and amused when I started to get death threats on the landline. Problem was, my roommates sometimes answered the phone too, and they’d cop the threats intended for me. So I learned that when this shit is directed at one person, it also affects a lot of other people around them. 

Anyway, this began in 2012, when someone saw Laci Green’s “haters” video, which was then three years old, and wrote to her asking why she’d used the word “tranny”. 

She replied: “You are totally right and I sincerely apologize for my mistake. Before I educated myself about trans issues I had not the slightest inkling of how the word is used to dehumanize nor its place in the cycle of violence against transfolk. Now I have seen people hurt by it and seen it used as a nasty slur. Words have power, and “tranny” is not a word for anybody but transfolk themselves to use because only they can reclaim it.”

As a result of the apology, a whole lot of people went berserk. They decided Laci Green was an anti-transgender person activist, who was leading the charge against rights and acceptance. This would have been news to the various Christian right activists who really were running an anti-transgender persons agenda, an agenda now being put into place in several US States. 

Anyway, she got a torrent of hate mail, demanding that she kill herself, along with threats of violence, and, to show they meant it, they posted pictures of Ms Green’s home on-line.

The police took the threats seriously, and suggested to Ms Green that for her own safety she should move. She disappeared off-line for a while. When she came back it was with Planned Parenthood and a MTV spot, which organizations are better at security than just one person. 

Anyway, she recently started arguing on her videos with anti-feminists, to see if communication can be helpful. This angered people who feel that giving anti-feminists a platform is wrong, even in a a dialogue intended to open them to feminist ideas. So that has offended many offended people.

My impression is that it is probably a bad idea, because some of the people she’s spoken to really have been assholes on the internet, and it may not be a good idea to give them yet another platform, even if the intent is to argue with them. On the other hand, it’s the kind of thing that sometimes works to change minds, and that’s always a good thing.

[Update:

Ms Green and Mr Ray-gun (artist’s impression)

Ms Green recently started shagging some guy called Chris Ray-gun. I know very little about him, but apparently he takes the piss out of people who called themselves SJW, or social justice warriors. I’m sure he’s said many dodgy things in his career, but I don’t know what they are. Some people calling themselves feminists have said this is why she’s less keen to be associated with “social justice warriors. As though your politics is determined by where you put your genitals. Me, I’ve sometimes agreed with a girlfriend’s politics, and sometimes not. Some people are like that.

Ms Green took pains to point out that she is still absolutely a feminist.]

Her other recent crime appears to be that she’s mentioned that she’d been accosted by a group of feminists who’d been heckling her at some event, who then made threats of violence against her. 

If you want to read a column saying that Laci Green was the problem there, and she should have apologised again to the people who were threatening her, you can read it here.

(I don’t know the columnist and I’m unlikely to read anything else they ever write, but that specific column offered an interesting use of the passive-aggressive voice used sanctimoniously. This is only a personal reaction, but I found it oddly creepy.)

As a result, there are signs that the Community of the Terminally Self-Righteous are building up for another bash at her for having, while still a minor, made a video that was supportive of trans-gender persons but used the word “tranny”.

My impression is that she’s a good thing, incredibly decent, harmless and well-meaning, who has done an enormous amount of work on issues like abortion, contraception, sex information, kink acceptance and so on.

I should point out that I’m a dom, so I’m a filthy sexual pervert, who has the goddam gall to call himself a feminist supporter. So what I say will ipso facto have no value for some people, but for what bugger-all it’s worth I salute and support Laci Green.

Safewords: is “stop, I’m not enjoying this” a safeword?

In my time as a dom, I’ve accidentally caused emotional distress or excessive pain because:

  • I spanked a girl with my hand instead of a hairbrush, and she thought that meant I was genuinely angry with her and not just playing. That made her emotionally desolate, and triggered some bad stuff that had happened between her and her mother, which she’d never told me about before; 
  • I used a riding crop on another girl’s inner thighs, because the week before she’d loved it when I used my belt there. But this time she was having her period and for her that meant her pain threshold was much lower. The intensity was the same, but this time she experienced it as excessive and a complete sexual turn-off;
  • I had my cock in a girl’s throat, and she started to panic because she couldn’t breathe.

None of those submissive women used a safe word to communicate their distress. The first girl had floated into a bad psychological space, and couldn’t speak. The second couldn’t remember her safe word, and anyway the pain meant she stepped completely out of her submissive headspace. She didn’t care about safe words: she just wanted this to stop. The third girl couldn’t speak, but fortunately she was still keeping her eyes on mine, as I’d ordered, and so I saw submission change to panic.

I stopped, and didn’t start again till I’d found out the problem and dealt with it, the submissive was ok, and was ready to go on. 

Each of those events was unpredictable. The girl who spun into a bad mental state because I’d hand spanked her hadn’t known that was going to be her reaction. There was no way I could reasonably have expected it either. It’s the mildest impact play that there is.

Only up to a point, Lord Copper

Each situation turned out ok and happy because I didn’t wait for a safeword. If I had insisted on the safeword, the first girl would have had a psychologically damaging experience, and lost her trust in me. The second girl would never have continued, or played with me again. The third girl could have have been asphyxiated. 

One more safeword story. I valued the first girl’s trust, because it gave her a safe place to do bdsm. Never mind altruism, she was hot. One reason why she trusted me was that she’d last been with a dom who got a lot of his rules and practices from the internet rather than reality. He tended to dole out physical punishments that were tenuously justified and extremely severe, because he liked to give very severe pain. He’d tied her to a cross, and was whipping her when she broke up with him.

She told him to stop. He kept on whipping her. She told him they were through and she wasn’t taking any more. He kept on whipping her. She was bleeding. She started screaming, by now half angry and half terrified, for him to fucking well stop. But you haven’t safeworded me, he said. He’d sounded smug: that meant he was winning. All you have to do is safe word me. He kept on whipping her.

Um, Rumpelstiltskin? Armidillo? Let me loose NOW, or I’m going to the cops? Mercy? Um, red?…

She couldn’t remember what her safeword was. He’d given it to her, which made it harder. It was Armadillo or Rumpelstilskin or something. She’d blanked on it. She was in an angry, fearful state and she couldn’t calmly ransack through her mind to find it.

Eventually he untied her and said her punishment was over, and to get on her knees and suck his cock.

She left without a word and never went back. I made her tell the story, with the guy’s name, to other submissives. Strictly speaking and technically, he could argue that he’d followed the rules. But he was a dangerous idiot, and a criminal from the instant she’d said they were through. 

So in general I treat, “No”, “Stop” and “This isn’t working for me”, also certain kinds of non-responsiveness, as safewords even though they’re not the agreed safeword. Yes, there are rules in bdsm, but they should never get in the way of a submissive’s health and safety. 

Sometimes, though, I will ignore “No, please stop” because it isn’t the safeword. But that’s only where the submissive and I are in a relationship that includes consensual non-consent, and where she (this applies to male and female submissives, but I’m saying “she” because my experience involves women submissives) has explicitly told me that sometimes she wants to be able to beg and shout and protest, and have me ignore that and continue.

Stop! Ha ha, just kidding!

I enjoy that, but that’s for when you know someone well, and you know you can read between the lines, and tell pleasure from real distress in her body language or her voice, or her silence. So that you know she’s safe and in a good mental state, even as you gleefully ignore her pleas for you to stop.   

Even then, truth be told, if I believed that I detected real harm or distress I’d stop even without the safeword.

You can think you’ve worked out everything in advance, and that the rules you’ve agreed to will cover everything. But humans are unpredictable creatures, and emotionally driven and changeable, whether they acknowledge that or not.

Both parties have to be flexible enough to take that into account, and to respond to the person’s needs (and their own needs) in the moment, and not just stick to a set of rules. 

Except one rule: the dom’s duty of care, to do no harm to a submissive, comes before everything else, including “I’ll stop if you safeword me but not otherwise”. Even when they’re not, “no” and “stop!” are still safewords, if the submissive really means it. Whatever the agreed protocol might be.

Klick on the kiss for more Kink of the Week posts!

Some bdsm-related reasons why hitting children is a bad idea 13: Summing up and concluding

So 1 in 20 teachers and children are likely to respond sexually to child-beating in schools: what’s wrong with that?

We managed to get rid of this shit...

We managed to get rid of this shit…

That may seem an obvious question, but it’s worth taking it seriously. 

As we know from the Irish and Australian Commissions of Inquiry into child abuse in schools and other institutions, in very authoritarian schools the child-beating scenario too often leads to child rape. 

Why would a ritual which includes removing some of the child’s clothing and always involves forcing the child to present his or her buttocks submissively lead to rape?

It’s because those teachers and other officials experienced it as sexual: beating the child turned them on, and the “corporal punishment” rules put them in a position of enormous power over the child.

One in 20 teachers, assuming that teachers are the same as the rest of us, is sexually attracted to bdsm, and turned on by bdsm situations. This is true whether or not the teacher is aware of their sexual response, and is doing his or her best to suppress it.

Mostly, the one in 20 teachers who interpret and respond to school “spankings” sexually don’t actually rape the child.

Well, it’s always a compulsory sexual act forced on a child by an adult who is likely to find the scenario arousing, even if they try not to. It’s just not rape if you define rape as involving penetration.

It’s still … extremely undesirable.

It’s odd that many parents who would be fearful and irate if a gay sports teacher gave their son a back massage seem to take genuine mistreatment of their children with complete calm.

Awakenings 

When Charles Moser studied a California-based bdsm community he found that about 5% of people currently engaged in the bdsm community had had their interest in bdsm awakened by a physical punishment received in childhood.

That may lead some people to conclude that child-beating is not okay because it increases the number of “perverts” undermining society and having weird street parties. But that’s not my point at all. First, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being into bdsm. Second, those children will, if they’re not beaten in schools or at home, almost certainly become aware of their sexual interest in some other way.

The real problem is that it’s psychologically harmful for children to be forced to discover an important part of their sexuality, when they’re too young to assimilate it, in a non-consensual setting of guilt, pain and fear.

happyWe all believe that children should not have sexual experiences forced on them by an adult. Sex is something they should discover for themselves, in their own time, as they become able to handle it. It’s time to put that belief into practice, and put an end to child-beating.

In the meantime, in the immortal words of Roger Waters, “Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone!”

 

Note

This is the end of a series. The earlier posts, including the statistics behind the conclusion that about 1 in 20 people respond to bdsm scenarios, sets and settings, can be found here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12