I am a scaredy-cat in many ways. I write a good write (or, at least, I think I do – and I hope I am a severe self critic). But, I am not one of those who dares to get up in public and defend the right for us to be who we are.
In my utopia the relationship I have would be seen as just another lifestyle choice, no better and no worse than any mainstream lifestyle.
Just another lifestyle choice?
Deciding to live in a poly family, or sharing, or living in a relationship where the partners agree to be equal but opposite – that would be seen as ‘OK’ or ‘not for me – but OK’.
Consenting to parts of your relationship being non-consensual would be ‘OK”: Dispute resolution with the hand, between consenting adults, would be OK too.
I don’t expect any of this to meet universal approval. I don’t need applause: I just want to live the life I live discreetly and not secretly.
My experience is that this is not possible today. I have been outed in the workplace twice over the years. The first time it led to me becoming a behind-my-back figure of fun and the second time I faced an informal internal enquiry into whether I was bringing the firm into disrepute (I wasn’t – phew).
I have had my sexuality used to attempt to restrict access to my children (it failed – but it was worrisome) and I have had it used to attempt to scandalise other members of my family (very hurtful and partially effective).
I just don’t want future generations of people who need to live a D/s life to go through anything like this (or the much,much worse experiences others have had).
There are signs that the public mood is changing, that people like us are a little less feared,
despised or laughed at than formerly. Recent legal decisions seem to show that this liberality is creeping into law too.
But, the very nature of D/s relationships seems to rub against the zeitgeist of tolerance and equality. For me there is an answer to that – public understanding that an F/m relationship isn’t about a man not ‘being a man’ and that a M/f relationship is not about the oppression of women because it is all based on informed consent.
I am a big fan of the informed consent principle:
The Informed Consent Principle is that BDSM requires the freely given informed consent of all participants; that participants should make genuine efforts to reach a shared awareness of risks and consequences; that if consent is given under duress or is invalidated by mental incapacity or intoxication then it is not legitimate; and that BDSM with this informed consent should not be criminalised or lead to discrimination.
I think if the wider world became aware that we have each other’s informed consent for everything we do, then prejudice would begin, slowly, to melt away.
But, I’m here to praise those who show their faces and stand up for people like me, who fear they can’t.
Thank you. All of you.
I do worry though, that we don’t always help ourselves. There are people like me, who fear the consequences of outing, and there are those who actively want BDSM to stay beneath the surface of public awareness: ‘it’s kinkier if it’s secret’ – its more fun and exciting because it is taboo.
- BDSM WEEK – GUEST POST: Jack L. Pyke (boysinourbooks.com)
- BDSM WEEK – GUEST POST: Heidi Cullinan (boysinourbooks.com)