Bdsm and vanilla consent #4

 Sometimes, you might happen to be the first person to encourage a lover to try mild bondage, say, or mild pain, or a slave game where they give the orders, or they have to do as they’re told. You don’t think you’re putting them at any real risk. 

No-one is likely to come to any harm having their wrists tied to a bed, or from finding out that their lover likes to be tied up. Same with spanking or being spanked. Don’t dive straight into the deep end, and you’ll be fine. Get your asses into the shallow end, and start paddling. (Yeah, ha ha.)

But there is a risk for newcomers to bdsm, even mild bdsm. It’s not about welts; it’s about self-knowledge. Someone who finds out that he or she likes to inflict pain or to suffer it, or to bind their lover or be tied up, or to command or be commanded, or any combination, may not welcome that self-discovery.

There’s a sort of standing bdsm joke about the woman who’s always thought of herself as a feminist, but finds that she really likes being spanked.

There’s another one, which – unfairly – usually gets a more sympathetic hearing. That’s the man who thinks of himself as a decent guy, sympathetic to feminism and absolutely horrified by domestic violence. But he discovers that he not only enjoys spanking that woman; he really wants to take his belt to her ass each time she gags while she’s sucking his cock. With her hands tied behind her back. Um, so long as he does it nicely.

And it’s hard enough for women who discover submissive desires, and men who find out that they’re doms. (And yes, of course consensual bdsm is compatible with feminism, but that’s not our argument, just now.) Women who find that their desires are mostly dominant and men who discover their sexual submissiveness can have an even harder road to travel before they get to self-acceptance. 

We’ve been asking why consent is such a big issue in bdsm, compared to the vanilla world, so that bdsm consent has to be explicit, it has to be informed, and it should be prior consent, given before the lust gets into the driver’s seat?

Another possible answer is that people learn things about themselves when they first discover the desire to do things that generally labelled as bdsm. They may not always welcome that self-learning, or be able to handle what they find.

That old command, “Know thyself”, can be fucking dangerous advice. 

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