This behaviour is enticing because it’s taboo.
The safe place to play and explore is in the
context of sexual fantasy with a trusted partner.
Responsible adults can distinguish
between fantasy and reality.
The Joy of Taboo
Many columnists are wrong about BDSM. They ask whether, between 50 Shades of Grey and various colleges starting their own BDSM clubs, kink is going mainstream.
As if sexuality is like rap music or the Atkins diet which spreads around the country once it becomes “cool”. One columnist concludes no, BDSM won’t ever be accepted by your Great Aunt Myrtle in Iowa City, because it’s actually “dangerous” — actual quote — and actually “consensual domestic violence” — actual quote.
His viewpoint only serves to further stigmatize what’s barely even taboo anymore, promoting the Dark Ages/maybe-in-rural-Alabama idea there’s “right” and “wrong” sexuality between consenting adults.
He thinks “BDSM can be quite dangerous. Responsible practitioners insist it must be “safe, sane, and consensual.”
But it attracts people who like to push boundaries. “Some submissives are adrenaline junkies. They don’t believe in safety.” This is the part of his piece that I find it offensive: Submissives like myself don’t “believe” in safety? Who doesn’t “believe” in safety?
There’s actually an immense feeling of safety that comes from the heightened level of trust required with having BDSM sex.
One could probably even argue that BDSM sex, as an activity, is safer than a pregnancy or STI prevention because there’s a lot of outercourse activities that occur outside the body, like nipple pinching or hair pulling or spanking)to safely engage in.
“On BDSM sites, you’ll find harrowing fetishes such as immersion water bondage and breath play, which some community leaders consider inherently unsafe. Even a standard ball gag can kill the victim by triggering regurgitation.”
If we’re worrying about an object being shoved in a person’s mouth to trigger regurgitation and cause choking, I think we can find a piece of anatomy attached to his body that poses a bigger threat to more people than a ball gag.
Again, these are extreme ‘edge play’ examples which certainly don’t represent what the average kinkster likes to do. Those types of activities require advanced safety training and extreme trust for the relatively small number of people who even want to consensually engage in them.
“Everything we condemn outside the world of kink is celebrated within it.” Celebrate? No. It’s called a fantasy.
A person who likes being slapped or choked during sex (violence), or who has a rape fantasy (violation), or who wants to be locked in a dog cage and peed on (degradation), doesn’t actually want those things to happen in real life.
The reason this behaviour is enticing is because it’s taboo; the safe place to play and explore is in the context of sexual fantasy with a trusted partner. Responsible adults can distinguish between fantasy and reality.
to Repress Our
Some countries want to make it illegal to watch so-called rape porn on the web. They plan to make possession of such material punishable by up to three years in prison.
Politicians believe this explicit niche causes real-life harm to women and contributes to a culture of sexual violence. As if they know. But it makes good headlines. It rouses the rabble.
We’re not talking about actual rape or the depiction of real-life crimes. The law will reportedly apply equally to videos of actual rape and simulated rape, making it a crime to watch porn in which consenting adult performers enact a fantasy scenario of sexual assault.
This could include anything from the lightest of power play and dominance to a staged man-with-a-ski-mask “rape” performed by, again, consenting adults.
BDSM porn, which deals in power play, is smarter about consent and negotiation than the vanilla world.
There’s often a short interview between the performers discussing what they would like to do, and what they would not like to do, and how they can signal that they want the scene to stop if need be
After the scene has finished, the performers talk about the scene in a debrief. Consent, communication and boundary-setting That’s the opposite of rape.
Rape fantasies are common among women. Roughly four in 10 report having them. One study found that 52 percent of female respondents reported fantasizing about being “overpowered by a man.”
This doesn’t mean that they want to be raped. It means that they have enjoyed the thought of being overpowered within the fantasy land of their own brains.
That is the contradiction of rape fantasies. They represent a false violation, a powerlessness that’s paradoxically controlled by the fantasizer.
The force of culture puts some level of shame on women’s sexuality and a fantasy of sexual assault is a fantasy that allows for sex that is completely free of blame.
Another explanation is this idea that the feeling of being desired is a very powerful one, a very electrical one. At least at the fantasy level, that sense of being wanted, and being wanted beyond the man’s self-control, is also really powerful.
Male or female, a “rape” fantasy in and of itself does not make a person a rapist or a rape victim, or mean that he or she actually wants to rape or be raped.
This isn’t just an issue of defending sexual expression and fantasy. The connection between actual real-life violence and porn is blurry at best.
India, which bans all forms of porn, has been in the news thanks to a rash of brutal rapes. Meanwhile, in the US the incidence of rape declined 85 percent over a period of 25 years while access to porn has increased.
This assault on fantasy won’t prevent rape. It contributes to a culture in which consent is undervalued.
It matters whether a video depicts a true crime or a simulated one. Is it a violation of a person’s bodily autonomy or a consensual exploration of a socially unacceptable fantasy?
Consent matters – and not just in its absence. It matters in the negative and the affirmative. It’s a supreme irony that in allegedly trying to value freedom and self-determination, consent would be so casually and carelessly disregarded.
Don’t Call Me Slut
Sluts & Studs
I’ve been called a slut many times, like most girls. I was called a slut when my boobs grew faster than others. I was called a slut when I had a boyfriend (even though we weren’t having sex.)
I was called a slut when I didn’t have a boyfriend and kissed a random boy at a party. I was called a slut when I had the nerve to talk about sex. I was called a slut when I wore a bikini on a weekend trip with high school friends.
It seems the word slut can be applied to any activity that doesn’t include knitting, praying, or sitting perfectly still lest any sudden movements be deemed whorish.
Despite the ubiquity of “slut,” where you won’t hear it is in relation to men. Men can’t be sluts. Sure, someone will occasionally call a guy “a dog,” but men simply aren’t judged like women are when it comes to sexuality.
Men who have a lot of sexual partners are studs, Casanovas, pimps, and players. Never sluts. It makes sense when you think about what the purpose of the word “slut” is:
Controlling women through shame and humiliation. Women’s bodies are always the ones that are being vied over for control, whether it’s rape, reproductive rights, or violence against women, it’s our bodies that are the battleground.
The most recent incarnation of the sexual double standard being played out in a seriously creepy way is through Purity Balls. These prom-like events basically have fathers take their daughters to a big fancy dance where they promise their daddy their virginity.
Likewise, the father promises to be the “keeper” of his daughter’s virginity until he decides to give it to her future husband. Where are the Purity Balls for men, you ask? Oh, they’re there, but they’re about controlling women too!
Called Integrity Balls, these events focus on men not having sex because they’d be defiling someone else’s “future wife”! Not because men need to be pure or be virgins — but because they need to make sure women are virgins. Unbelievable, really.
Outside of the feminist implications of the sexual double standard, the slut/stud conundrum has always been my favorite because it just makes no sense logically.
Why is a woman less of a person, or (my favorite) “dirty,” because she has sex? (Heterosexual sex, that is; somehow lesbian sex isn’t “real.”)
Does a penis have some bizarre dirty-making power that I’m unaware of? Every time I have sex, do I lose a bit of my moral compass? “Sorry to mug you, Grandma, but I had sex twice this week!”
The slut stigma isn’t just dangerous to our “reputations” or to some weird-ass notion of purity. How many times has rape been discounted because a woman was deemed a slut?
How many times are women called whores while their partners beat them? How often are women’s sexual histories used against them in workplace harassment cases? The sexual double standard is a lot more dangerous than we’d like to think.
I’ll never forget in college overhearing a conversation that my boyfriend’s roommates were having. They’d both had slept with the same girl over the course of the year. They called her a whore and made a joke about her vagina being “loose.”
I asked them why she was the bad person in this scenario — after all, they had had casual sex with her, too. They couldn’t provide an answer, but that didn’t stop them from continuing to laugh. I always regretted not saying anything more.
Outside of calling ourselves and others out on perpetuating the double standard, it’s a hard battle. But I think if we recognize the hypocrisy of the slut/stud nonsense when we see it.