I got this article in an online (yahoo) group today that got me to thinking a bit about safety in the scene.
The immediate reaction to the article was that safety was being disregarded. That people need to put aside their “know it all” attitudes and focus on safety whenever they play.
And a large part of me agrees with that. We need to educate ourselves on the things we’re going to be doing – and we need to educate ourselves BEFORE we attempt to do them. We need to know the risks, our bodies limitations, the fundamentals of how to use equipment, etc. And I’ve often been the first one to stand up and point a finger when I see someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing committing an unsafe act.
But therein lies the crux of the matter.
Education is a key part of the BDSM lifestyle. One must know what they are doing and be doing it intentionally. Accidents happen and the best of intentions aren’t going to stop them – but education is going to go a long way toward ensuring that they’re few and far between. When you’ve not bothered to educate yourself before doing something you are far more likely to have an “accident”. Except it isn’t even an accident. It’s just a stupid move by someone too stupid to have learned HOW to do something before trying it.
There is a huge difference between choking someone until they pass out because you wanted to and doing it because you didn’t know they would/didn’t know when to stop.
There is a large difference between leaving marks and scars because you meant to and leaving them because you didn’t know what the fuck you were doing when you picked up that whip, flogger, cane, knife or rope.
I’m all for safety. Safety is important. And people who are unsafe because they are foolish really get my back up. Those who unintentionally cause harm, damage or undesired consequences by their actions make me want to boot them right out of the lifestyle, never to be allowed to return. (Isn’t it a shame we can’t actually do that? “Look, Roger, you’re too stupid to be allowed to do this. Go home, fuck yer vanilla wife and don’t EVER entertain thoughts of participating in BDSM again – even in your fantasies. Your memory is wiped of all desire. Flee now or we shall kill you.”)
But there’s a flip side to that. And that’s the real key to my opinion.
What about those of us who know the risks, have the info and education we need, have enough experience to be BORED with the basics… and actually ENJOY playing in ways that are vaguely (or even blatantly) unsafe?
Most of what Taylor and I do is relatively unsafe.
We do knife play to the point of cutting/drawn blood/scarring. We do breath play to the point of unconsciousness. We use whips in a way that draws blood and often scars me. We use floggers and canes to get bloody marks and deep bruises. We do face slapping. We do punching. He generally scares the living shit out of me in some way or another no matter what we do.
Cuz he’s a sadist, damn it! And I like to be scared. I like the intense emotion of pain that actually hurts, pain that is unpleasant. I like to be taken, conquered, forced to surrender to whatever he wants to put me thru.
And yanno what? That isn’t always safe. In fact, the safety police hate us. (Y’all know who you are) But it’s what we do. We know the risks and we’re willing to take them. We’re not stupidly doing things we don’t know the effects of. We KNOW what we’re doing, we understand the risks, we’re doing it INTENTIONALLY.
That didn’t used to be so uncommon. The people I initially met when I got involved in the lifestyle weren’t a bunch of vanilla folk trying to put some kink in their lives who got into a little bit of spanking and a little bit of rope and a pinch of foot fetish tossed in. They were dominant sadists. Heavy ones. And masochistic bottoms/submissives who were there to get what they needed – be it a chance to serve one of the dominants or the beating of their lives. We all understood that it was about mutual needs. We understood that S & m meant Sadism and masochism not froofroo, role playing, whipped cream and fur lined cuff bullshit. We understood that B & d meant bondage and discipline not running around a munch or party with some rope to play with or “bondage sheets” to pull out on occasion. It was “oh, I strung you up a bit too tightly? Your arms ache? Sorry, baby, but your fingers aren’t purple or cold and you’re breathing just fine. Suffer. You’re supposed to, you whining bitch.” We understood that D/s meant domination and submission and, yanno what? The submissives actually SUBMITTED to the dominants!
(As a side note – I do not find bondage sheets or fur lined cuffs offensive. I don’t mind folks who are into a bit of kink as part of their sex lives. I don’t feel superior to them or look down on them for their part time kinks. Some of my best friends are vanilla with a bit of chocolate drizzled over them on occasion. That’s all good. I just don’t need folks like that telling ME when I’m being unsafe, yanno?)
So what are a sadist and masochist to do in the lifestyle today?
Get chased by the safety police and looked down on for “knowing it all” and being too extreme, that’s what.
And yet these same idiots don’t make a peep when some newbie top mixes lighter fluid with his alcohol to do fire play. (No, they obviously CAN”T read the can where it says lighter fluid is dangerous to the skin)
Nor do they say a word when some moronic wannabe gives a girl a kidney shot with a flogger. (Cuz, chances are they don’t even know where the kidneys are)
Not only can people not tell the difference between intentionally unsafe and stupidly unsafe but they don’t even SEE the stupid mistakes people make. Cuz unless it’s something obvious – like Taylor punching my thighs for twenty minutes which seems HORRIBLE to them, or blood running down my back – they don’t even fucking know it’s unsafe.
You’ve got the barely educated, conservative, inexperienced, soft kinksters running the safety police and the folks who actually know what they’re doing being ostracized for being too rough, extreme or “know it all” for their tastes.
Is it any wonder we reminisce about the good old days or laugh at those who tout SSC?
take your safety and shove it up your tight, dry ass until yo
u can recognize what IS safe or unsafe and understand the difference between disregarded safety/mistakes and intentional risk.
Then, maybe we’ll talk.
Unless, of course, I’m too busy bleeding.