Article about BDSM scene not being any more egalitarian than anywhere else.

(112 Posts)
FastidiaBlueberry Sat 26-Jan-13 19:58:46

I suppose I'm not surprised by this. I don't have anything against BDSM sex per se, but I do think it's absurd to pretend that it's somehow less likely to involve abuse and coercion than any other kind of sex.

article here

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 19:09:40

Abigail I think questioning everything is valid.

I don't understand why she didn't use the safe word and that is concerning to me, because it seems like she has low self-esteem or didn't actually have any trust in him or the relationship.

I do think, however, that it is ok for a man to whip a woman with her consent.

Branleuse Sun 27-Jan-13 19:38:14

ill have a proper look. I only read the metro one

Branleuse Sun 27-Jan-13 19:48:08

sad

I dont know what to think now

Charlizee Sun 27-Jan-13 20:27:14

"StewieGriffinsMom Sun 27-Jan-13 16:45:47
Fastidia These are the links yes means yes blog "

In the article in the OP, the women said yes.

"And you have to question what kind of man wants to do that to a woman."

BDSM goes both ways. Either gender can be the dom and either gender can be the sub. Do you think BDSM is ok if it is a female whipping a male?

Charlizee Sun 27-Jan-13 20:30:42

""Consent" as a term is extremely problematic."

Is it? Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought yes means yes and no means no? Please tell me what's so problematic about that.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 27-Jan-13 20:50:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Charlizee Sun 27-Jan-13 20:55:35

Bruises can be painful, but do they justify calling an ambulance?

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 27-Jan-13 22:43:13

Did you not read the comment I wrote about consent being defined by men charlizee?

I can't argue this properly atm as am on phone, will try and return tomorrow.

GothAnneGeddes Sun 27-Jan-13 23:42:51

Charlizee is yet another one of our "visitors", I wouldn't necessarily waste much time engaging with them.

On topic - I think a real problem is that the stigma/taboo around BDSM can lead to participants being very defensive of the scene and this is when issues can get swept under the carpet.
I have to add here, I was really concerned to read a recent woman's mag sex tips which featured "mild" stuff inspired by 50 shades, all of which featured a man in the dominant role and no mention of consent or safewords whatsoever. Very worrying.

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 07:48:34

I dont think consent is problematic, nor is it defined by men. If its defined by anyone other than the person giving the consent, then its not actually consent at all.
I hated the whole 50SOG thing and it was dangerous IMO precicesly because it wasnt about consent. The woman in it was pressurised, groomed and coerced and it made me feel sick. Nothing erotic about that IMO. If people are using that as their guidebook for kinky fun, then theyre going to be in for a big shock AND are going to run into assault charges pretty quickly

AbigailAdams Mon 28-Jan-13 09:17:30

No they won't Branleuse. That is one of the problems. Men don't get prosecuted or convicted for sexual assault in anything like the numbers of sexual assaults women are subjected to. As illustrated by the metro article.

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 11:17:18

do you think women cant consent to stuff then. Kind of like children?

Maybe its the extra X chromosome that makes them unable to consent?

I know women who specifically seek this stuff out and who have rejected men who they didnt think were dominant enough, or didnt have enough of a sadistic streak for their liking.
It takes all sorts

JustAHolyFool Mon 28-Jan-13 12:02:20

Yes 50 Shades is really problematic. I really hope people are not using it as a guidebook. I think you have to be very sure in a relationship and yourself to do BDSM and very confident that you and your partners understand the importance of safe words. Basically, I think you have to be an adult about things and that a lot of people don't have the emotional maturity to deal with it (particularly if they are entertained by shite like 50 Shades.)

Abigail, there is a big difference between BDSM in the context of a trusting relationship and sexual assault.

I don't know what to think about that Metro article. I don't know what injuries like a "mistimed football tackle" might be because that could be anything from a bruise to a broken leg. It's very vague and quite sloppy reporting.

snowshapes Mon 28-Jan-13 13:12:12

I don't think it is that women can't consent to stuff, like children, it is that men may abuse that consent, or that consent is negotiated in an unequal context, or that, in the context of a controlling and otherwise manipulative relationship, the boundaries of what constitutes consent may be blurred.

AbigailAdams Mon 28-Jan-13 14:09:57

Don't be ridiculous Branleuse.

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 14:14:55

Of course consent is a highly problematic concept when you live in a patriarchy.

We had a long thread on it a while back.

AbigailAdams Mon 28-Jan-13 14:19:55

My reply was to Branleuse JustaHolyFool who was basically saying that if you follow 50 Shades you would be done for assault. I haven't likened BDSM to sexual assault, unless it is of course.

Andro Mon 28-Jan-13 14:23:52

snowshapes - when BDSM is done right, the ultimate control is with the submissive. There can be no domination if the sub has not chosen to give their submission. Consent is clear, unforced and can be withdrawn at any time - the only difference is in the word(s) used to withdraw that consent. Failure to adhere to the agreed safeword is abuse, just as failing to stop when your partners asks you to (within a none BDSM relationship) is abuse. An abusive, manipulative relationship is an abusive manipulative relationship...whether or not whips and handcuffs are involved!
Unfortunately, there are as many bullies in the BDSM world (male and female) as in the 'vanilla' world.

snowshapes Mon 28-Jan-13 15:07:23

Andro, I think the key is in the first part of the sentence 'when BDSM is done right' - replace the 'when' with 'if', and that is a big 'if'. If BDSM is done right.

There is massive potential for it not to be done right, and at its heart, it seems to me to be about violence and pain, about humiliation and domination of another person. I don't get the bit about the submissive having all the power, because you can't divorce the encounter from wider power structures in society, and I'd be really curious to know the gender breakdown of encounters.

I guess I am just questioning what makes a person gets their kicks out of inflicting pain on someone else, in the name of sexual gratification. I can't for the life of me see how that is about equality.

Maybe I'm struggling to separate BDSM 'done right' from the wider degradation and objectification of women in mainstream porn/erotic writing, of which I only have a fleeting acquaintance (which was more than enough).

snowshapes Mon 28-Jan-13 15:08:56

>>Of course consent is a highly problematic concept when you live in a patriarchy.

We had a long thread on it a while back. <<

I'm not sure I see a problem with it being revisited. Some of us weren't here a while back.

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 16:29:43

oops, sorry - didn't meant that to say that it can't be revisited. I meant that it isn't a simple and unproblematic concept to the point that when discussed it lead to a long thread with lots of analysis and thought provoking stuff.

Absolutely don't mean it shouldn't be discussed again - quite the contrary!

JustAHolyFool Mon 28-Jan-13 16:43:54

snowshapes I don't really know how you separate it. In fact, I don't think you can. Everything is shaped by our surroundings.

Andro Mon 28-Jan-13 16:57:24

snowshapes - you raise a lot of the points that many people outside the BDSM scene raise, I'll try and explain some of them for you.

Consent/the power being with the sub:
This is very much analogous to sex in a 'traditional' relationship where no means no, except it is more likely to be red/trainspotter/almond for example that means stop. The bottom line is that a Dom(me) who doesn't stop at this point is assaulting their partner just as much as a person who ignores no/stop etc in a none BDSM relationship and is considered by their peers to be just as reprehensible.

BDSM seems to be about violence and pain, about humiliation and domination of another person:
Domination yes, the rest? Not necessarily. A popular misconception about BDSM is that it's about pain/always involves pain, this is far from true. Some practitioners are very much into the bondage side, be that handing control of their body to their Dom(me) or taking that control. For many, being bound gives them a release - a sense of freedom if you like - they trust their partner not to hurt them. Others are into pain - giving or receiving - and enjoy the sensations. The key is safe, sane and consensual. For a lot of Dom(me)s it's not about getting off on causing pain, it's about being able to control with absolute precision what their sub is experiencing. A good Dom(me) is generally incredibly protective of their sub, extremely considerate of their welfare and keen to encourage their sub to develop as a person. A healthy D/s relationship brings the best out of both parties. Where the major problems come is when you have a pure sadist pretending to be (or who has convinced him/herself that they are) a Dom(me)...that never ends well.

Gender breakdown of encounters:
I have no idea what the stats are, I do know that I've seen every combination possible...many times. I'd say I've probably seen more male/male pairings than any other, but it would be close.

Equality:
Some people are naturally dominant, some are naturally submissive. A common mistake is to think that submissive automatically equals weak, it doesn't. Everyone is different, people have different needs and desires and that should be accepted. There are many BDSM practitioners who are in high powered roles professionally, but seek an escape from decisions at home. Not everyone WANTS a 50:50 relationship, surely they should be able to seek the relationship they want/need as long as their partner is freely consenting? What there does need to be - especially where cases come to court - is a greater understanding of the BDSM world. Unfortunately, much like rape within marriage/a long standing relationship or dv, you're often in the realm of he said/she said.

Maybe I'm struggling to separate BDSM 'done right' from the wider degradation and objectification of women in mainstream porn/erotic writing,

You wouldn't be the first (or the last).

I hope my ramble has helped a bit.

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 16:57:32

so women in this society cant consent because we live in a patriarchy??

Therefore we dont know what we like??

Im going to bow out of the discussion because I can totally see why the idea of BDSM is problematic for people who are not into it, but am offended by the idea that I and/or other women couldnt possibly consent to things like that, because the consent didnt happen in a void.
If I enjoy having something done to me and have sought out a partner who is totally up for doing those things to me and we play, and we love each other and respect each others limits, then its no business of anyone elses. Theres nothing problematic about my consent, and im really not thinking too much about the patriarchy at those times thankfully.
As long as people arent thinking that they SHOULD be doing those things (which is the main problem i see with the ahem mainstreamification ;) of it all, then I dont seeee a big problem.
I DO see a big problem with abusive bastards who treat women like this without consent and objectify them and abuse them, but I dont think there is any real connection with BDSM

JustAHolyFool Mon 28-Jan-13 17:07:07

Andro really helpful, articulate post, thanks.

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