Consent and kink

I have read and seen a lot in the last year. I’ve talked before about how I didn’t even realize I was sexually submissive until a year ago, and didn’t know that my fantasies could be more than fantasies, that some people lived their lives this way. This has taken a lot of adjusting, in thinking and behavior, and I still regularly feel the challenge of integrating this aspect of myself into my life. It has also been incredibly freeing. I’m stunned by the energy and creativity that has been released by opening my whole mind to who I really am. I am so, so happy.

I am, as I would guess many previously vanilla people are, more accepting of other people’s kinks than I was of my own. I have always felt that what happens between consenting adults in privacy is their concern and no one else’s. Is anyone getting hurt? If all involved are happy, then all is good. (OK, maybe somebody got hurt, but some people LIKE to get hurt. ; ))

I used to snicker a bit when I read about, for example, spanking or role play. Now I think it’s hot.

I used to feel quizzical about e.g. submissive men. Now I feel… a kinship I guess. And I think it must be harder in our society to be them than to be me (and it’s harder on all of us kinksters than it is to be gay, in general), so I have some sympathy too.

There are some things that personally squick me – the example that always comes to mind is scat play, and diaper play/infantilism/incest play is only a little easier for me to read about.

Last weekend I saw my first plushies/furries. I was happy that Richard was there to explain about them. He is so open and non-judgmental. It’s easy to laugh about their kink, but why is theirs any odder than wanting to spank or be spanked?

To repeat: I have always felt that what happens between consenting adults in privacy is their concern and no one else’s. YKINMKBYKIOK: Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is okay, as some people put it.

So. I was reading a blog today (I’m not going to link to it, because I think she’s suffering from the negative attention already and I hate to see that). In it, a sub described her Master requiring her to put syrup on her pussy, to get the family dog to lick her. She explained that he had made her do this once before, and it had upset her so much that she cried for hours and couldn’t eat for days. That seems all kinds of wrong to me – why would a Master want to hurt his property that badly? why would you want a Master that hurt you that badly? – BUT that part of it (His and her choices) falls under the YKINMKBYKIOK rule to me.

The part that was really disturbing for me was the lack of consent from the dog. Here’s why: one of the cornerstones of responsible BDSM is consent. Otherwise you’re moving into abuse and criminal behavior, yes?

This is why the idea of “consensual non-consent” has been so carefully spelled out by the BDSM community. Basically, you can consent to give away your right to consent, either short-term for a play session or long-term as in the case of a slave. Slaves of course always have the right to take away their consent and be released from their slavery.

In my case, I have agreed that Richard has complete control over me; a “no” from me would be a “no” to the relationship. But if Richard told me to jump off a building, or to hurt my children, or to have sex with an animal, I would say “no”, recognizing the enormity of the “no” that I said.

Our morality and our laws recognize that some individuals and some creatures are not capable of consent. Animals fall into this category, children too, and brain damaged and severely mentally disabled people do too.

You may have heard of people who sexually molest infants. (Richard made me take out the details here.) Even if the child never remembers the event, most of us are horrified that someone would do this. Why? I would argue that it is because infants do not have the ability to choose to consent or not, and we therefore believe that they are off-limits for sexual play.

In a similar vein, there are occasional newspaper reports of caretakers of brain damaged or mentally disabled patients who have been caught having sexual relations with their charges. Even if the patients will never remember the event, most of us would say this is reprehensible behavior. I think it’s because we see a responsibility to those who are not able to choose to consent.

Animals are a greyer area for most people, although not for all. After all, we kill some of them for food. With dogs specifically, many people cut off their tails or parts of their ears. Other people kick or hit their dogs. Others leave them chained outside for days, even though dogs are extremely social creatures and crave interaction. Is having a dog lick your pussy really such a terrrible thing?

Oral sex is sex, in spite of what Bill Clinton might say. Having a dog lick your pussy is having sex with a dog. I actually called a (kinky) friend who is an animal control officer and asked her if this is illegal.

“Yeah it’s illegal. It’s called b*stiality.”

“So you would go get the dog?”

“Oh no. The police deal with this one. They go get the owners.”

The legality or illegality of the act is not my main concern, although I’m concerned that the blogger could run into trouble if anyone recognizes her online. My friend told me that they’ve prosecuted several cases like this over the last few years.

My main concern, the thing that upset me, is that the dog, just like an infant or a brain-damaged person, is not capable of saying yes or no. We are the caretakers of our pets, as we are of our children. It seems like a dereliction of our responsibility to involve our charges in any kind of sexual play, because they rely on us to make choices for them and to protect them.

I feel a lot better after writing about this. I actually cried when I talked to Richard about it. It seems like, when I respond very emotionally to something (versus just an “ewwww I would NEVER do that!”) it is worth exploring and discussing. In this case, it has really helped bring home to me how strongly I feel about NOT involving individuals (people or animals) in your kink that have not consented or can not consent. I’m really interested to hear what other people think about this.

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