What would you do if you weren’t kinky?

Cunning Minx of Polyamory weekly has a clever piece of advice for polyamorous people that I’m going to borrow and rework a little for kinky people. What Minx says is “What would you do if you were monogamous?” the point being that non-monogamous relationships aren’t magical beasts with nothing in common with monogamous relationships. I think a similar idea would be useful for kinky people.

For example, it’s sad how common it is to see submissive people asking if it’s normal for dominant people they don’t know and have no agreements with to order them to address the dom a certain way. What the fuck? How is that even a question? If you were a vanilla guy on a vanilla site who messaged someone and got ordered to call her Mistress, you’re write her off as a complete psycho, but somehow on Fetlife that shit is okay?

Being kinky is not some bizarre alternate universe where doms get to order around any sub they come across. You don’t suddenly become a second class citizen when you start calling yourself submissive. Anyone who treats you like you are has spent far, far too much time jerking off to Gor novels. When we run into people like that I think we should ask ourselves “What would I do if I wasn’t kinky?” If a certain behavior is unreasonable in a vanilla context, what makes it reasonable in a kinky context? Sometimes there are good answers to that question, such as “we knew this was a high protocol party and read the house rules before we bought our tickets”, but far too often I believe the answer is “I think I can get away with treating you any way I want.” That’s not kink, that’s blatant douchecanoery.

Another particularly irritating example is the ever popular “You have to ask my permission to talk to my submissive”. That one’s a huge pet peeve of mine because the people who say that really don’t seem to understand who they get to give orders to and who they don’t. Pro tip: you only get to order people around if you have a specific agreement with them. If you want to forbid your submissive to talk to other people without your express permission, go nuts! If you want to forbid me (or anyone else who has not clearly agreed to submit to you) to talk to your submissive, go fuck yourself. I’m quite happy not to talk to either one of you if you insist on being a pompous dickbag, but I am most certainly not going to take orders from J. Random Asshole. If it’s not okay in the vanilla world to assume your personal relationship agreements apply to everyone, why the fuck would that be okay in kink-land?

I completely understand why people (particularly submissive people) would be afraid of accidentally offending someone and getting a reputation for being a jerk, but I think asking yourself “What would I do if I wasn’t kinky?” is a good way to figure out which one of you is being an asshole. And if the idea of submissives calling you on your shit scares you then congratulations, you’re the asshole!

False Accusations

One of the most common objections I see to ideas like being able to name abusers on Fetlife and the Fetlife predator alert tool is “false accusations!!!11! what about all the false accusations?!!1!” What about them, you stupid fucks?

For starters, while the data on false sexual assault accusations is terrible, what little there is simply does not show that false accusers run rampant, merrily destroying men’s lives. To quote the linked article:

So if the percentage of reported cases with false accusations is measured at 4%, how does this egregious harm compare to the big picture?

Just under 1.5%. For the record, 2% is the average false criminal accusation rate per the FBI. This is certainly not scientific, and it can’t be. Too much of this analysis rests on the unknowable – that which is never calculated or tabbed. The point of the exercise is to show the potential impact of conservative impact expectations. The point is to show that the data used to justify these positions doesn’t do what you want it to do.

Or have a look at this Huffington Post article which says that:

The “trailblazing” research, the first of its kind, has discovered that false allegations of rape and domestic violence are “very rare”, with only a very small number of cases where there was enough evidence and it was considered in the public interest to prosecute.

Given how rare false sexual assault accusations actually are, why does every goddamn discussion about sexual assault or any attempt to prevent it get derailed by misogynistic shitbags whining and crying about false accusations?

Shockingly enough, it’s because they’re misogynistic shitbags (and let’s not forget how closely intertwined sexism and domism are). It’s the only logical explanation.

If false accusations in general were important to those wastes of space, every discussion of non-sexual crimes like murder, assault, theft, and vandalism would be equally choked with pointless whining about how important it is not to just believe the victim, and reminders that people’s lives get ruined by false accusations of murder.

If racially biased false accusations were important to the “false accusations!!111!” whiners, we’d all hear a lot more about how Arkansas police beat Barry Lee Fairchild until he confessed to a murder he didn’t commitIllinois police coerced 10 black teens into confessing to crimes they didn’t commitChicago Police Detective Jon Burge  and his officers tortured hundreds of people until they confessed, and NYPD’s stop and frisk policy is used to harass disproportionate numbers of black and Hispanic men.

If justice was important to those little shits, they’d be delighted to hear about strong cases and good policework putting rapists behind bars.

But sadly, none of those things happen. What does happen is pathetic manchildren dealing with their fear and hatred of women by derailing every discussion about women being victimized and trying to discredit every survivor who dares to so much as tell anyone she was raped.

I honestly don’t know what’s so terrifying about a discussion not revolving around men, but it’s not unique to discussions of sexual assault. It’s basically impossible to talk about the incredibly misogynistic portrayals of women in video games without some asshat jumping in to say that the men are objectified in games the exact same way women are (they’re not), game producers are just doing what sells (bullshit), and women don’t play games so it doesn’t matter anyway (lie). I’m not sure how these people make it through the day if they’re so fragile that they can’t bear to read an article about ridiculous bullshit in video games without having to make it all about them.

That’s pretty sad, but what’s worse is the horror these men seem to feel at the (ludicrously overstated) idea that any woman might ever, in any circumstances, have the tiniest bit of power over any man. It’s no coincidence that the crime they’re most eager to discredit all accusations of is the one seen as something men do to women. The victims of that crime don’t matter to them at all, all they seem to care about is the purely ridiculous idea that with one word from a woman the police will whisk them away to prison, never to be seen or heard from again. As an aside, that’s not how it works. If you’re going to be afraid of someone falsely accusing you, be afraid of the cops. If you read any of those links up there, you might’ve noticed that they, not female victims, are the ones who decide who to accuse and then beat a confession out of.

Also, all of those links up there are about people going to the police with their accusations. As stated in my last post, kinky people have a multitude of very good reasons not to bother taking sexual assault accusations to the police. Given that, the worst people in the scene really have to worry about is their reputations being damaged, which could make it harder to find play partners. Oh noes! Clearly the sky will fall in and the Earth will crash into the sun if it takes more work for you to get your perv on.

Derail and whine and cry as much as you want to, just remember that if you’re going to do that you might as well wear a sign that says “I’m a misogynistic/domist shitbag who cares more about my reputation in the scene and my continued access to pussy than I do about your safety”.

Just call the cops

“Just call the cops.” This is what unspeakably stupid people say when confronted with the terribly inconvenient fact of abuse in the kink community. Are you fucking kidding me? Have you spent your entire life with your eyes tight shut, your fingers in your ears, in a cave, on fucking Mars? That question is absolutely serious. I honestly do not understand how someone can live to adulthood without ever seeing a sexual assault victim’s name dragged through the mud and every decision she ever made torn apart in the news. And that’s if anyone even reports on it – if a man get assaulted, it doesn’t even make it into the news because nobody believes it’s even possible for men to be victims of assault. And transwomen don’t make it into the news until they’re murdered, which is [sarcasm] clearly their own fault [/sarcasm]. Obviously it’s too much to ask that men react reasonably when they discover something they don’t like about their sex partners.

It would be great if we as a community could dump this whole mess on the cops and wash our hands of it. In a perfect world, we’d be able to. In a perfect world, every single person involved in law enforcement would spend months if not years learning the details of every unusual subculture they might run into in the course of their duties. They’d learn how to tell marks left by consensual kinky play or martial arts practice or sports or theatre from marks left by abusers. They’d learn how to tell a consensual d/s relationship from an abusive one, a responsible dom from a domineering asshole, confinement for fun and power exchange from kidnapping/unlawful imprisonment. And that’s just the kink community. What about activists, particularly the angry ones? Punks? Streetkids? Members of non-Christian religions? People from non-Western cultures?

It would be awesome if all law enforcement officers took all those years of schooling, and that’s certainly a worthy cause to lobby for, but what are we supposed to do in the meantime? Put our fingers in our ears and shout “La la la I can’t hear you” when people in the kink community report abuse?

As badly as the so-called justice system failed Rehteah Parsons (if you don’t have time to read the link, she was gang-raped, publicly humiliated using pictures her rapists took, and even with those photos the worthless sacks of shit who “investigated” her case somehow couldn’t find enough evidence to lay charges. She killed herself), it would only have been worse if she was kinky. When a woman is raped, every decision she has ever made is now wrong. She should’ve worn a different outfit, not had so much to drink, kept a closer eye on her drink, not gone to that bar, not hung out with those people, not gone home with that guy, screamed louder, fought harder, run faster, been more suspicious, carried mace with her every moment whether she was awake or asleep, devoted her entire life to mastering a martial art. Not to mention, she should obviously have gone to church every Sunday, and been a virgin who was waiting for marriage and had never so much as had an unsupervised date with a boy, because everyone knows if a woman has ever had sex willingly before, she’s now used goods and has no right to decide whether or not she wants to have sex again.

Now, imagine that woman is kinky. Imagine trying to explain negotiations and hard limits to the kind of ignorant trolls who think that being willing to have a frank discussion about sex means you’re a filthy whore who deserves whatever she gets. Imagine your parents, your siblings, your schoolmates, your teachers, and those church friends you obviously have if you want a hope in hell of your rapist getting convicted, all knowing that you’re a sick freak who probably enjoyed what happened to you. Imagine losing your job, your kids, your housing for being a filthy pervert. Imagine the kind of harassment (I refuse to call it bullying, that’s a pathetic attempt to pretend harassment and assault magically become cute and harmless when they’re committed by minors) you’d get when everyone found out that not only did you “have sex” (rape is not sex, at best it’s masturbating with another person’s body), but you “had kinky sex”.

If after all that you can still say “just call the cops” then congratulations, you’re a lost cause. Kindly fuck off, the best thing you can do for victims of sexual assault is to keep your worthless mouth shut.

Tunnel vision

First, the backstory. Maymay created a tool to help people who use OKCupid to keep themselves safer. For those who may not know, OKCupid is a dating site where you can answer all kinds of questions (and add new ones), which allows the site to compare your answers to other user’s answers and give you a match score. What maymay’s predator alert tool does is flags (here’s an example) people who’ve answered certain questions in potentially concerning ways. Sadly, those questions don’t even have to be subtle. It turns out that rapists will straight out tell you they’re rapists if you just avoid using the word “rape”. The predator alert tool is a super awesome idea and if you use OKCupid you should absolutely install it (there’s a slightly different version for Fetlife, too).

You wouldn’t think there’d be much to complain about there. It’s your choice to answer a question like “Do you feel there are any circumstances in which a person is obligated to have sex with you?” with “Yes”, so there’s not a lot of room for whining about false accusations or having your answers taken out of context.

Sadly, some people have such terrible tunnel vision that they’ve been whining and crying about some of the questions the predator alert tool will warn you about, specifically this one “Have you ever choked someone who you were in some kind of intimate relationship with (e.g., you wrapped your hands or some object around their throat)?“. Apparently it’s a terrible injustice to flag consensual and non-consensual chokers the same way. Unquietpirate has already posted a response to that pointless fucking whining, but I think the whole conversation needs more rage.

First of all, as I understand it the tool doesn’t block red-flagged users, all it does is display a list of the questions and answers you may want to be concerned about. Kinky people who want to be choked aren’t going to skip red-flagged profiles entirely. They’re going to have a look, see the explanation the user gave for answering yes to the choking question (if you didn’t add an explanation about how you would never ever choke a person without their enthusiastic consent, stop fucking whining and fix that shit), and go “sweet, nothing to worry about”. People who are freaked out by the idea of even perfectly consensual choking are going to be a bad match for you, so why would you even bother whining about those people skipping over your profile? This is a non-issue, you stupid fucks.

Second, by saying that not flagging a consensual kinkster as a potential predator matters more than getting as much information as possible into the hands of people who need it, you’re really saying that your poor, delicate ego is more important than other people’s physical safety. Their physical fucking safety! If you really believe that, you haven’t been mis-flagged. You are dangerously self-absorbed, if not outright predatory, and people are absolutely right to fear and avoid you.

Finally, it is in no way unjust to flag kinky people as potential abusers. According to a survey the NCSF did, 30% of respondents had their consent violated in some way. 30 fucking percent! That’s actually worse than the already dismal statistic of nearly 1 in 5 women experiencing rape at some point in their lives. When people stop getting abused in the kink scene, you can complain about how it’s not fair to lump us in with vanilla abusers. Until then, shut the fuck up.