I’ve said before that I believe informed consent is the absolute bedrock of what we do. Not only does it underpin safe, sane, consensual play and relationships/dynamics (or risk-aware consensual kink – or even personal responsibility informed consensual kink), but the wider world’s understanding that BDSM isn’t intrinsically abusive but is based on consenting to something where risk is understood and accepted is key to our future acceptance as a normal, non-scary part of the continuum of human sexual activity.
I’ve written before about the Informed Consent Principle – which originated here. I think it’s damn fine. But I’ve tinkered. I think it can be made slightly simpler. So, with respect to the original author, @Tanos, here’s my effort:
BDSM activities must have the informed consent of everyone taking part. All participants should strive to reach a shared awareness of risks and consequences. Consent cannot be given under duress or if any party has mental incapacity or is intoxicated.
The original is:
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’ve just tried to shorten it and I’ve removed the phrase in red because I think that isn’t part of a principle itself, rather it’s an objective that we should be seeking to achieve for our community, with the help of the non-BDSM world.
Do you agree or disagree? Please leave a comment or do the poll:
- KeepingKinky.net on SSC vs R.A.C.K
- BDSM Consent on Wikipedia
- Consent as a felt sense
- Consent culture
One thought on “Informed consent – a definition”
A number of people have said to me that they feel the final statement (” and that BDSM with this informed consent should not be criminalised or lead to discrimination”) should NOT be excluded as it gives the principle a purpose. I see the point, but I don’t believe it’s part of the principle. However I absolutely agree its a key goal that the principle could help achieve.