Fetish dressing – from the styles and relationships survey

aveburysarsenTNI noticed something in the figures  for the BDSM styles and relationships survey which went against my experience, so I thought I’d share: It’s just a bit of fun really…

Fetish dressing. Whaddya know. Men appear keener than women.

In the survey:

  • 21% of women, 12% of men and 17% of Tg folk said they disliked or didn’t do Fetish dressing.
  • 45% of women, 44% of men and 17% of TG people said they could take it or leave it.
  • 33% of women, 45% of men and 67% of Tg people said it was important or essential to them.

When you look at the keenest group, 6% of women, 16% of men and 50% of Tg

RUBBER PROTECTOR
RUBBER PROTECTOR (Photo credit: post apocalyptic design)

people said it was essential.

One lives and learns: Maybe I should have asked whether the dressed party was themselves or their partner. Perhaps I will.

Other articles from this survey:

Safe word survey – dataset

aveburysarsenTNI’ve now done most of the articles I intend to write about the results of the safeword survey I did, details of which and links to articles are here.

I’ve decided to put up the dataset for anyone to download and to do any further analysis they wish. Here it is:

SAfe_1

Attribution

All I ask is that:

  • If you publish anything about this data then please credit me as the source and link aveburysarsento the homepage of this blog  – belasarius.com. If you want to publish it with this image – that’s fine too.
  • That you under no circumstances claim any scientific, academic or statistical credibility for the data. Please make it clear that the responses are a self-selecting sample of 557 respondents recruited through the websites Informed Consent, fetbookfetlife and through this blog, gathered between 19 January 2013 and 3 February 2013: The data is simply what more than 500 people active on BDSM websites said about their views on safewords.

Dataset

The dataset is completely anonymised but otherwise complete. There were peculiarities with some of the data, so in the dataset I used (not the dataset that is downloadable here) I removed 24 records, leaving me with 533 to analyse.

  • I eliminated those records where the respondent only answered the demographic questions.
  • I   took out multiple responses from the same TCP/IP address (It seemed fairer to take out ALL responses from the same address rather than leave the first one in).
  • I also did not use stranger responses, such as the person whose sexuality was “Cod”, the people who had 557,774,456, 100,000 and 9,800 play partners in the last 12 months and, among a few others, the retired 18-20 year old and the 18-20 year old who had left full-time education at 16 and had a doctorate.

Get a picture of your kink

standing stoneJust for fun, I’ve uploaded a BDSM “dashboard” that might help you analyse your own kink or that of others.

I created it a while back, using the list of kink options that the UK BDSM website “Informed Consent” used. I may update this. It’s not a BDSM checklist it’s more a look at how you feel about BDSM stuff right now.

The first thing you need to do is make some choices. In the first tab of the spreadsheet, put “1” into the column that most resembles your attitude to a particular fetish, type of play or BDSM lifestyle element.

The input screen looks like this:

Dash1

Anyway, after a minute (or less) inputting on the first tab of the spreadsheet, you are done and clicking on the second tab, this is what you get: A radargram of your kink.

Dash2

And, then, a tab that gives you two charts (example below), a table of your scores and some ideas of what they may mean (remember there is no science here, it’s just fun).

Dash3The charts above are my results by the way (though I may change – I can be a capricious fellow).

So – do you want to have a go? Here’s the download: Belasarius_BDSM_dashboard1 (it’s an .xls Excel file).

How the ratings work

You end up with percentage scores (which can be negative) for each of:

  • L – a percentage ranking of your interest in lifestyle D/s topics listed in IC profiles. The higher the score, the more these aspects interest you – max score: 100%
  • P – a percentage ranking of your interest in play practices listed in IC profiles. The higher the score, the more these things interest you – max score: 100%
  • K – A percentage ranking (max 100%) taken from all the items listed on IC profiles: It says more about how wide your interests are than the depth and strength of your deviancy
  • KQ – (Kink quotient) the average of all three scores above – (max 100%): compare this with the other scores for an idea of where your main interests lie – and just how kinky you are!

What the ratings mean

Well, not a lot really, you will have your own view. But here are a few score combinations and my interpretation:

  • 41/28/52/40 – Someone whose interests in lifestyle issues strongly outweigh play, but who has a wide range of other interests and some strong kinks (examine the radar diagram to see what)
  • 36/47/44/42 – someone with a balance of lifestyle and play interests, but not hardcore in in any area.
  • 12/55/66/44 – someone who wants scene play far more than they want a D/s life – and who plays hard.

Is it useful?

Up to you guys really – it might be a useful discussion point for people exploring a new dynamic.

It’s very limited – it says nothing about dominance and submission at all, for example.

Feel free to share it, but please link and credit me if you do.

Oh, and, anyone fancy taking part in my BDSM definitions polls?

Dominant’s and submissives – what do you call your partners?

standing stoneUPDATE: these polls are now closed. A short article on the results is here. These two polldaddy polls are inspired by this thread, on labels, from UK BDSM website StrangelyNormal.

No more than a bit of fun!

Please do only one of the polls, depending on whether you see yourself mostly as dom or sub. If you are a 50/50 switch, feel free to do both. You can tick all the options you feel apply to you. The “Dominants…” poll is for dominants and the “Submissives…” poll is for submissives.

Oh, and comment away to your heart’s content too.

If you fancy pressing a few more buttons this link will take you to the polls I am running on definitions of BDSM terms.

Happy polling, and thanks!

Safeword Survey – does a safeword make play feel more artificial?

This article looks at how strongly 499  acedc11cbeb3a2a0b4e3bca15378bec4safeword survey participants agreed or disagreed with the statement “I feel a safeword makes my play more artificial”.

The first chart, shows the extent to which all respondents (split by gender) agreed or disagreed with the statement “I feel a safeword makes my play more artificial” (the method I have used for calculating the charts is under the subheading “Data used in this article” below).

SWArtificial1

Respondents of both genders were more likely to agree than disagree with this statement. Men were slightly less likely to agree than women, but both sexes agreed,  by a substantial margin, that safewords made play more artificial.

SWArtificial2

When the data was split by BDSM orientation (above) a clear difference did emerge. Switches were roughly three times more likely to disagree that safewords make play more artificial whilst both tops/dominants and bottoms/submissives supported the statement strongly. Tops/dominants were more than four times more likely to agree that safewords make play artificial. Bottoms/submissives also agreed – but not as strongly. They were only twice as likely to agree that safewords make play artificial than to disagree.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, people from the Master (mistress) & slave BDSM component overwhelmingly agreed (roughly 12 times more likely to agree with the statement than to disagree with the statement – below). People from the largest group in the survey (Dominants/submissives were split and Sadists/masochists were a little more likely to disagree that safewords make play feel artificial than not.

SWArtificial3

Data used in this article

The article uses data from a question where people were asked whether they felt that a safeword made their play more artificial. 499 people answered the question. People were able to pick from the following responses:

  • Agree
  • Agree strongly
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
  • Disagree strongly

To produce the charts used above I manipulated the data as follows:

  • Agree (scored 1)
  • Agree strongly (scored 2)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (eliminated from responses)
  • Disagree (scored -1)
  • Disagree strongly (scored -2)

I totalled the  scores and then divided that by the total of all responses (including “Neither agree nor disagree”, in order that a high neutral response would influence the outcome by reducing both negative and positive scores). I expressed that in percentages for convenience.

The data used is in the tables below:

What is your gender? (All) I feel a safeword makes our play more artificial
What is your BDSM orientation? How would you describe the most important component of your BDSM Dynamic? Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree Grand Total
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 36 44 48 38 23 189
Master/Slave 9 33 2 4 7 55
Sadist/Masochist 9 3 9 6 4 31
Bottom/Submissive Total 54 80 59 48 34 275
Switch Dominant/Submissive 2 2 13 17 13 47
Master/Slave 2 1 1 0 2 6
Sadist/Masochist 11 1 10 4 11 37
Switch Total 15 4 24 21 26 90
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 12 23 18 20 10 83
Master/Slave 4 19 2 1 1 27
Sadist/Masochist 3 2 3 10 6 24
Top/Dominant Total 19 44 23 31 17 134
Grand Total 88 128 106 100 77 499
What is your gender? Male I feel a safeword makes our play more artificial
What is your BDSM orientation? How would you describe the most important component of your BDSM Dynamic? Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree Grand Total
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 14 7 7 3 10 41
Master/Slave 1 1 0 1 2 5
Sadist/Masochist 4 0 2 0 2 8
Bottom/Submissive Total 19 8 9 4 14 54
Switch Dominant/Submissive 1 2 9 9 8 29
Master/Slave 0 0 0 0 2 2
Sadist/Masochist 3 1 6 0 9 19
Switch Total 4 3 15 9 19 50
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 10 17 11 15 6 59
Master/Slave 3 13 2 1 1 20
Sadist/Masochist 3 1 2 5 5 16
Top/Dominant Total 16 31 15 21 12 95
Grand Total 39 42 39 34 45 199
What is your gender? Female I feel a safeword makes our play more artificial
What is your BDSM orientation? How would you describe the most important component of your BDSM Dynamic? Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree Grand Total
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 22 37 39 34 13 145
Master/Slave
Sadist/Masochist 3 3 3 3 3 3
Bottom/Submissive Total 34 34 34 34 34 34
Switch Dominant/Submissive 2 2 2 2 2 2
Master/Slave 1 1 1 1 1 1
Sadist/Masochist 4 4 4 4 4 4
Switch Total 7 7 7 7 7 7
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 4 4 4 4 4 4
Master/Slave
Sadist/Masochist 2 2 2 2 2 2
Top/Dominant Total 6 6 6 6 6 6
Grand Total 47 47 47 47 47 47

BDSM protocol – a definition

Belasarius

This, my first attempt at a BDSM definition in a while, was prompted by these originally similar threads started by @WayneKing:

Here’s what I think BDSM protocol may be:

“BDSM protocol is  an enduring, habitual, non-verbal expectation of behaviour that people in a consenting BDSM dynamic do for each other whenever it is appropriate to do so, as defined by their rules.”

The “non verbal expectation” is, I think, fundamental and that is @WayneKing’s idea: many thanks.

CurtseyPlease use the poll below to vote on whether you think this definition is right and, if you don’t, please do comment. I will try to incorporate others’ ideas into future versions of the definitions.

Further definitions (and polls) are on this page, which links to articles on each definition.

Consent Violations in BDSM

BelasariusI guess this is the flipside to some of  the attitudes revealed by my safeword survey – much of which shows a wide variety of attitudes to using safewords, from the more than 500 self-selecting people who responded.

I found this Dutch/Belgian study on consent violations in BDSM really interesting. Here is what the author said on Fetlife:

Last month KinkyMinds held a survey on consent violations in the Dutch (speaking). Not just about the prevalence of consent violations, but also about how consent violations were experienced, where they took place, if they were considered abuse, about doubts about scenes by other people, interventions in scenes, and about party safewords.

The results are, though more nuanced than the results by the NCSF , with some understatement, quite shocking. Almost 65% of all respondents have at least experienced one consent violation. And that’s just one stunning figure.

Below you can find the final conclusions in English and Dutch.

The full 30 page report and analysis is probably more interesting than just this brief summary and contains a lot more analysis and explores many relations between key concepts. The report available for download (PDF) in Dutch and English the KinkyMinds website.

I wish to thank all the respondents for their time to answer the survey questions, and Pluu, Marijke and Nichi for proof-reading the draft version. Special thanks also to Voleuse for doing the reliability analysis. Without you, the report would have read like a wet newspaper. Of course, all responsibiliity for the report is mine and mine alone.

The author, Guilty, further commented:

What is the frequency of consent violations in the Dutch (language) BDSM scene?

Often. The idea that consent is absolute in the BDSM-scene doesn’t hold. Consent is very important, but at the same time, it gets violated on a pretty large scale. Almost 65% of the respondents have experienced at least one type of consent violation. There are significant relations with gender, orientation and experience. Consent clearly is the norm, but not always actual practice.

How are these consent violations experienced by those involved?

Not always equally bad. “Just” 14,6% has experienced at least one bad consent violation and 20,6% has ever experienced a consent violation as abuse. But there are many cases that are not experienced as bad. Women experience more consent violations as abuse than men. Still, only a very small part of the respondents considered filing charges or actually did so.
In this sense too, consent is less absolute than often suggested. It is violated quite regularly, but that´s not always bad. Still, a substantial part of the respondents has experienced a bad consent violation.
Considering the frequency of consent violations and the fact that such violations aren’t always bad, it is a valid question if consent as ultimate division between BDSM and abuse holds up. Consent violations, to some extent, seem to be part of the game. Not necessarily intended, but neither something to be prevented at all costs (which might not even be possible)

How often do people doubt the consensuality of other peoples’ scenes?

Almost a third (28,9%) has doubted consent in scenes of other people, and that tends to make them feel bad. Their concerns are not entirely unjustified. Of the total population 13% has experienced an ignored limit, 5,9% an ignored safeword and 11,8% a scene gone too far at a party. The idea that parties are the ultimate safe place for a first scene is need of some reassessment too.

How often is intervening in other peoples’ scenes considered? And: How often do we actually intervene in other people’s scenes?

A large part of the people who have doubted consent in scenes of other people, has considered intervening. Only a part of them has actually done so. Notifying a DM or asking participants if they are still okay are the most prevalent interventions. Only a minority directly intervenes themselves. But even many of those that do not intervene, tend to discuss the situation first with other people or a DM before deciding not to intervene. There is no massive bystander effect regarding doubts of consensuality.

Can a party safeword contribute to preventing consent violations and doubts about consensuality

A majority of the respondents (60%) is of the opinion that a party safeword can contribute to preventing consent violations. And 7,1% of the respondents has felt the need for such a safeword for themselves. On the other hand, most consent violation do not happen at parties. The victims of ignored safewords at parties are of course the main beneficiaries of a party safeword, but even amongst them “only” 30% has felt the need for a party safeword themselves.
We may conclude that a party safeword can contribute, but certainly will not prevent all consent violations. The question remains if that would be necessary and desirable, as not all consent violation are bad. They seem to be part of the game, and perhaps other attendees should do well to keep that notion in mind as well. It might well be that they experience a possible consent violation as worse than the participants themselves. Nonetheless, there is a case for a more active and attentive DM-policy, beyond introducing a party safeword.

Recommendations

Parties who wish to retain a profile as being safe would do well to consider introducing a party safeword and to uphold an active, albeit not overdone, DM policy regarding consent. Some additional publicity to attendees about what to do when you doubt consent might also help, as a substantial part seems to do nothing.
But we should not forget that the private sphere is a much bigger source of consent violations. More attention for such violations in the private sphere would certainly be necessary.
Finally, we should ask ourselves if consent as absolute demarcation between abuse and BDSM is still valid. Sometimes, by accident or not, limits are violated and this is not always experienced as bad. Perhaps it would be better to relate BDSM to some form of meta-consent. In general, there should be consent, and if things really get out of hand it becomes abuse, but where people play, accidents do happen.

Please comment and vote on the BDSM definitions