Tuesday, June 21, 2011
A small request.
An open letter to everyone I've engaged in BDSM with:
Please do not, in social situations or even vanilla sex, just come out and whomp me.
Don't hit me because I said something "bratty" and it would be funny. Don't hit me because we're joking about what a totally kinky kinkster I am. Don't hit me to show that you're the UberDom and you don't take sass. Don't hit me because my butt is just sticking out there, like right out there, and it's just too tempting.
And for the love of God don't hit me because you think I'd like it.
There are people who are okay with this sort of thing, who really are in bottom mode all the time, and I've got no problem with that. And there are other people who aren't physically enjoying it, but are in D/s relationships where they've agreed to take it. But neither of these covers everyone in BDSM. There are a lot more people--and I'm one of them--whose reaction being casually whomped is "well, it didn't hurt that bad, and I don't want to bring everyone down by making a big deal out of it, and I don't want people to be afraid to play with me because I'm too touchy, and I guess it was kinda funny... but ugh."
Hitting's kind of a big deal, you know? We're aware of that in BDSM-land, so we talk real big about consent and negotiation--we know that consent is the difference between What It Is That We Do and kidnapping, assault, and rape. The problem is, then we get comfy with it. Once you've crossed the social boundaries and gotten used to the feeling of striking another person who does not hit back, you can get to feeling a little too casual about it.
Please don't. I like to be hit--when I'm in bottom mode, when I'm ready for it. Enjoying being hit is a psychological and physical challenge. It's not something you can just toss at me. When I get hit in the context of casual conversation or horsing around or making out, I feel exactly the same as a normal person who just got hit. Scared, pissed off, and just plain hurt.
I'm not talking here about strangers in the community; that really would be straight up assault. I'm talking about people that I like, people that I've played with or slept with, people that I did give my consent to some BDSM activities with. I've gotten in habits like sitting with my back to the wall so I can't be grabbed from behind, or not wanting to walk up stairs ahead of certain people. It's a little bit of a playful "ha ha, gotta keep 'em from gettin' to me, I'm so wily!"... and a little bit of a "I'm quite seriously trying to protect myself from unwanted pain." There are moments when I've really felt like I was in a situation where I couldn't avoid being hurt or predict when it was going to happen. Not in the fun way.
It's easy to understand why you can't do a full scene with someone without negotiating--obviously you can't tie someone to a chair or beat them bloody without a little "you're sure you're cool with this?" first. But just because a playful slap isn't Big Important Deal BDSM doesn't mean that it's not BDSM. Even a playful slap requires consent.
If you want to hit someone in a terrifying, edge-of-real-danger, intensely sensual and perverse way, negotiate it and get their consent. If you want to casually dope-slap someone for being a totally goofy little dingus.... negotiate it and get their consent.