Consent

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
people ‘in the scene’ often say this is well self policed. That’s not my experience and I’d be interested in seeing any research on preexisting trauma / ace factors in that community. This is something I really don’t have figured out. It interrelated a lot with my ongoing trauma symptoms and inability to return to normal sexual function for example so thoughts can get muddy if I linger here too long. I’ve attended bdsm functions with kink aware therapists promoting bdsm - something I feel really icky about now. I also see it promoted as a therapeutic device sometimes...... in itself this seems to feel like the risk aware and ‘safe and sane’ claims are getting pushed if it’s not a professional guiding it.
Oh for sure. BDSM can be a complicated place to linger. I'm very sorry you had difficult experiences.

Mine were the opposite. Communication was better when I was in a relationship within this community than at any other time in my life. Obtaining consent - as in, "do you want to do this?" or "is it ok if we do this?" - was continuous. It was explicitly before, often during, and there was always a follow-up to make sure it had been ok. I don't pay attention to any research (there is some out there) on whether or not there is pre-existing trauma or not. I think the incidence of trauma is so high in the population anyway, you are just as likely to see it in BDSM as you are in the vanilla world.

BDSM opened up sexuality for me - I had never been intimate with anyone before I engaged in that world (and I was pretty old). It showed me that I was a beautiful person and that there was nothing inherently wrong with me (which I thought before).

I've talked to some kink-aware therapists and I decided that, unless they had an understanding because they had been immersed in the community, I really didn't want to talk to them.

Who is to say who is sane? I believe I saw a lot of non consensual situations (mainly coercion or what I would say related to DV - though the violence was emotional not the kink) and who is to define we are risk aware ?
I think sane in a BDSM context is not necessarily equivalent to sane in the vanilla world. I personally don't believe anyone - ANYONE - is qualified to declare someone else "sane" in the vanilla world. Everything is a perception and an opinion.

And of course, BDSM has a "consensual non-consent" play that may not appear to be consensual to the onlooker. It's complicated and certainly can be abused, but it exists.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
Oh for sure. BDSM can be a complicated place to linger. I'm very sorry you had difficult experiences.

Mine were the opposite. Communication was better when I was in a relationship within this community than at any other time in my life. Obtaining consent - as in, "do you want to do this?" or "is it ok if we do this?" - was continuous. It was explicitly before, often during, and there was always a follow-up to make sure it had been ok. I don't pay attention to any research (there is some out there) on whether or not there is pre-existing trauma or not. I think the incidence of trauma is so high in the population anyway, you are just as likely to see it in BDSM as you are in the vanilla world.

BDSM opened up sexuality for me - I had never been intimate with anyone before I engaged in that world (and I was pretty old). It showed me that I was a beautiful person and that there was nothing inherently wrong with me (which I thought before).

I've talked to some kink-aware therapists and I decided that, unless they had an understanding because they had been immersed in the community, I really didn't want to talk to them.


I think sane in a BDSM context is not necessarily equivalent to sane in the vanilla world. I personally don't believe anyone - ANYONE - is qualified to declare someone else "sane" in the vanilla world. Everything is a perception and an opinion.

And of course, BDSM has a "consensual non-consent" play that may not appear to be consensual to the onlooker. It's complicated and certainly can be abused, but it exists.

And I am wholly glad your experiences were wholly positive .

While I SINCERELY accept your experience it’s something I have heard a lot yet - seen sometimes later heard differently from people who told me that - and witnessed or heard of things people said were consensual but in describing their emotions around really didn’t sound coercion free.

I think what you say about ‘sane’ is pretty much where I am too.. it’s not possible to say - so the ‘sanctity’ of SSC is in itself problematic for me- it’s set up to fail. I was not really thinkinginv so much about this while ‘in a community’ but when I had thought processes leaning this way i was pretty jumped on :).


in case I have not been clear again - I WHOLLY accept there is safe and consensual kink. While we don’t any more- the kink with DH was ‘good’. My takeaway is different however - and I even have difficulty with masturbation because I feel NOW there is something wrong with me I didn’t feel before 😂. It’s a community with many generous kind souls in it - but also a hell of a lot of rationalisation . My own arousal no longer feels safe to me partly I believe because of the issues around consent and engagement with the ‘rationalisation’ of abuse and number of ‘missing stairs’ in for example - large online groups.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
I was thinking more along the lines of, you know...if you watch someone kill someone, you are complicit in their behavior.

where I watched something horrific happen and did nothing about it. I was 4-ish the first time and in high school the other.

I think what you are talking about is the bystander effect.

I've struggled from another angle with *adult* bystanders who did not intervene to stop trauma when I was a child. Do I find them responsible for the abuse? No. Do I find them responsible for their silence? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

But the kids and teenagers who knew? It's not the same at all for me. It's not their responsibility to stop abuse. It doesn't even hit me the same. I see them as people also hurt by the trauma.

Child or adult, witnessing trauma can traumatize someone. Freezing up is more often a survival response, not a consent response. It is so common that in self defense training I was taught to yell a nonsense word so people would come closer to help, rather than "help!" which tends to trigger the opposite.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
if you watch someone kill someone, you are complicit in their behavior.

I watched something horrific happen and did nothing about it.

I wonder whether this is getting into moral injury
- which is often talked about in relation to veterans but I don’t think it has to be that.

We experience something where we act (or fail to act) in a way that goes against our own sense of what is morally right, which can often then lead to strong feelings of regret, guilt and shame.

As others have touched on, where a 4 year old fits into this compared with an adult in terms of sense of personal morality and how reasonable it is to give them such a sense of responsibility about what is ‘right’ and what they should/shouldn’t do...?

Plus, there’s the whole notion of secondary trauma. Witnessing something traumatic as a child (or adult) can be deeply traumatising.

So, an underdeveloped perception of the world and sense of right or wrong, plus the fact that you could very well have been shocked, terrified, traumatised, in fight/flight/freeze mode - I don’t think 4 year old you deserves to be given any responsibility at all for your own action/inaction at the time or for the actions of others.


I personally think that if a woman *consents* to being branded, it's ok. I don't label the actual act as wrong or evil. As has been mentioned here, context may matter. But if a woman in a D/s relationship consents to branding (or any other different, "dark" thing), then I don't see anything wrong with it.

Not sure if you are still picking up on the NXIVM thread here with the mention of branding or if you are talking about BDSM relationships.
If NXIVM - again, the wider context is so important. It’s not that it ‘may matter.’ It is absolutely crucial. As @Sideways said earlier, I think, you can’t really just take one incident/act/action out of the whole context of how the entire organisation operated. It wasn’t as simple as people signed up to be slaves or to be in a D/s relationship and they knew what was involved with that and freely consented to everything that then happened. They didn’t get into it thinking they were getting into a BDSM relationship/lifestyle.

They had been lied to, manipulated and coerced all the way through the organisation - sometimes for years - before they even got involved with DOS.

Plus, they were being blackmailed - if you don’t comply with any aspect or if you speak out about what’s happening or if you displease in any way, we will make this compromising, embarrassing and damaging content public.

From what I understand, the women didn’t know anything about the expectation that they be branded. They were not asked if they wanted it. No one asked if it was ok with them if they had a Raniere’s and Mack’s initials branded on the pelvic bones with no anaesthetic. No one gave them an option in that no one said it was fine if they didn’t want to. They just found themselves in someone’s house in a ‘branding ceremony’ where they got branded and they watched/held others down as they got branded too. And with the knowledge that, if they didn’t do this, they would be punished - including their blackmail material would go public.

So, if you were referring to the NXIVM example, simply saying, well, if she consented to getting branded - and let others hold her down while someone burnt the cult leaders’ initials into her skin - I don’t see a problem with that, because that was her choice and there’s nothing inherently bad, wrong or evil about the act of branding’ - I personally think you are missing so much critical contextual stuff.

If you weren’t talking about NXIVM and were just using the branding example more broadly - I don’t know enough about BDSM community/practise to comment much. As @Mee says, I think safe, consensual kink exists...and so does abuse, just as it exists everywhere.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
@barefoot- all of this - plus - they thought they were being branded with a symbols representing the elements - not KRs initials - so any element of consent was gained via deception
 

Chitoshi

MyPTSD Pro
I know. That's why I said:



Not sure how, from everything in my post, you took from it that I think coercion = consent??

I said 'most of the women' rather than all because I don't know enough about the women right at the top who also got arrested along with Raniere – Allie Mack and Lauren Salzberg – to know whether they were coerced/victims as well or whether they knew exactly what they were getting involved with from the get go. I wasn't suggesting that anyone who was coerced was consenting.
I was agreeing with you sorry it didnt come across that way. ☹
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Quite intense topic and also very much cultural, generational, gender, sexual orientation...so many things impact what consent and its cousin boundary mean.
I have been few situations myself where the blur was so blinding. As I get older, I feel the question should not be ONLY did you give consent but always accompanied did you receive consent especially things involving cults, criminal acts, and sexual assaults especially rape? Then compare and dissect as any investigation and see the breakdown of communication that result the consent violation.

I find the problem with consent is it is often a woman's job when in fact it should be did the man receive the consent and can he articulate what he received? Saying no to a kiss and still dancing is not receiving consent...it is still dancing and kissing is still off the table...but I can be anal about things.

One thing I find fascinating is how do gay men give consent to sex and how do they negotiate in consent or what does consent look like when there is a rape between two men? I think that area will be extremely interesting to learn and apply similarly to man vs woman...this is just my feelings about this. No hard rules. I am joining the conversation because I am curious to learn more.

I have witnessed a trial where a woman raped another one (there was a prior relationship) and it was fascinating to see the fall out. It almost looks like the person supposedly receiving the consent develops some sort of amnesia in order to justify their actions.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
very much cultural, generational, gender, sexual orientation...so many things impact what consent and its cousin boundary mean.

One thing I find fascinating is how do gay men give consent to sex and how do they negotiate in consent or what does consent look like when there is a rape between two men?

I’m curious about what difference someone’s sexuality makes to what it means to consent (or not)?
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I’m curious about what difference someone’s sexuality makes to what it means to consent (or not)?
I think I was trying to get under the gender stereotype or assumptions about women and consent. It is often the woman who has to prove she gave consent or not (or could have done this or that i.e wearing a skirt etc) so I am trying to understand how they (the public, courts, society, cultures) approach when the genders are the same especially when they are both men. How do two men see consent? personally, consent should not be gendered but in reality and especially in the criminal justice, it is very gendered. It is hard to disregard that gap in thinking. also I am not assuming the definition of consent is universal. Not that is wrong or right but it is not universal.
 
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