Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why Consent is the Keystone

Lately I've been seeing an explosion of posts on the subject of abuse within BDSM. Women who've been groped at their first public play party. Men or women submissives who've had their limits pushed in ways that left them wrecked and then angry.

But isn't BDSM about abuse? Isn't what we do abusive?


How can that be?

We beat people, torture people, use people for household services and yes, sometimes money. We make them lick our feet, treat them as dogs or servants or even ashtrays for those that smoke...

And none of this is abuse, because of consent.

Clearly communicated, negotiated consent is the most beautiful thing in the world. Consent is what makes us NOT merely criminals, NOT victims, NOT predators.

It's also the most rare, even within the BDSM community.

The unfortunate truth is that predators of the criminal kind DO hide out in our communities. It's the nice, obedient sub who makes everyone brownies, and is publicly the perfect sub, but who rapes any woman who falls for the lie and takes him home. It's the male "dumbinant" who treats every woman as if she should be his slave, including Dominant women.

Consent is about restraint. It's about being in charge of yourself as the Dominant, and being honest as the submissive. It's about care and consideration for the other person in a scene and out. It's about making it good for everyone involved even as you do things that are nasty and depraved and seemingly abusive. It's about obeying a rule of law greater than the laws of the land - do unto others with the same care for their needs as they would have you do unto them. Just, their needs are to be spanked like a naughty boy and used by a beautiful, powerful woman. I think we're discovering now just how normal that really is, because of the proliferation of communication in this century.

Some people just don't find personal restraint to be sexy. I do.

Think about it. What's most hot - someone who has the power to overcome you through raw force, or someone who has that power but uses it lightly.

Consent lifts us up from the criminal into something almost spiritual. Where the sub is on a shamanic journey of pain-into-bliss, and the Dominant is steering the broomstick with paddlewhacks. Where the sub is doing seva (self-enlightenment through service, work offered to God,) through their devotion to a person.

Not having consent, robs BOTH participants of the beauty and power available in a truly consensually "abusive" relationship. Lack of consent gives a lack of transcendence.

I want transcendence. The power to turn this horrible, negative thing into something spiritually beautiful. The ability to restrain from acting on kinky desires until full, informed, communicated consent is given, is a sign of greater power and greater self-confidence. Once the scene begins, it's a controlled, beautiful, ever-shifting journey, where I feed off the enjoyment created by what I'm making him do. And that's hot.

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