I have a hard-on for the NCSF. If you don’t know about the national Coalition for Sexual Freedom, educate yourself. If you’re kinky, you REALLY have no business not knowing and supporting them. As the only organization dedicated to helping protect us pervs, an at-risk sexual minority, from prosecution, from discrimination, shit…from OURSELVES? We need them.
I suddenly found myself with a mad hair up my butt about them, and about their Consent Counts movement : read about it. In a nutshell? You can go to jail even if you and your partner(s) love to do BDSM shit if you get busted. See, you can’t consent to certain types of stuff, and the cops and courts don’t care if you have emails and letters and friends and photos to prove it was consensual. It doesn’t matter to them if you want it. What matters is the behavior, not the consent.
I found myself recently kinda obsessed with spreading the word about consent, and what it means, because the shit is complicated. Because I care about my community, Because I don’t want to see friends lose custody of kids and lose their jobs because someone thinks kink is fucked up…
And because, recently? I had someone push through my consent boundary and it fucked me up. But good.
And maybe you are thinking
Oh but how could that happen?! You’re an expert! You TEACH other perverts how to do the perverted shit? How could ANYONE take advantage of you without your consent?
I asked myself that after this encounter.
I blamed myself.
I thought “Well, I didn’t say “No.” forcefully enough. I didn’t insist. I didn’t hit him, push him away. It must be my fault.”
I sat in a narcotized place of self-blame and self-hatred for months around something for which I claimed100% responsibility.
I blamed myself for “letting” someone violate one of my strongest boundaries. And I sat on this alone and in reflexive revulsion, because clearly I was too stupid, weak and foolish to handle myself like a responsible adult.
And because I had so much shame around this, because I was so afraid that others would look at me and think “What a fucking idiot. What kind of dummy lets something like them happen to them?” I didn’t tell anyone for months. Then it began to eat me alive, woke me up at night, freaked me out.
I finally told several people close to me, And then a few more. And no one told me I was stupid. In fact, to my dismay, my story was common. Standard. Typical.
And that is horrifying. THAT is shameful.
So I am taking a deep breath and telling you today. Because? Consent COUNTS. And anyone can be taken advantage of. Anyone. And you aren’t stupid, you aren’t helpless, if someone pushes through your boundaries.
So, what happened?
I’m going to tell this in a factual manner. I’m leaving off my usual curlicues and fancy words. I am doing this because it is the only way I think I can get through this without crying and falling into yet another toilet of self-abuse.
And I am telling this so that other people who have had their consent violated will know they aren’t alone. So that you know that it happens to FAR TOO MANY OF US. And in the hopes that maybe someone who has pushed through someone’s “No.” sees this and gets that it is not OK. That it is abusive. And it has nothing to do with consensual kink.
Last year I traveled a lot. Some of that travel was overseas, and while I was abroad I met a self-identified dominant. He and I clicked, and had quite a connection. I do not often have that connection with people, and so I was quite taken. We spent several days together. I even wrote about how awesome he was at one point. We played, I did some service stuff with him, and it was fantastic. We got on well, talking for hours, fooling around, playing. The third day we were together, we’d spent all evening and into the night playing and some of the play was quite sexual. I was in a very deep submissive headspace, and enjoying letting go, since this is so rare for me.
The play became more sexual, and many hours into the play he was insisting on sexual intercourse. Which, actually, I wanted. However when I realized he was NOT wearing a condom I pulled away and said “I need for you to wear a condom, I don’t fuck without them.” He insisted it was OK, he just wanted a little “…in and out a few strokes, you know…” and I said “That’s not safe and you know it, just wear a condom, I have some…” He became more insistent, continuing the physical play and genital contact. After this back and forth exchange, him insisting more aggressively and my saying “No, don’t do that.” at some point I just stopped saying no and he penetrated me without protection. After a few strokes, he pulled out and said “See, no big deal.” and continued the play.
I wish I could say I jumped up and kicked his ass but I didn’t. I wish I could say I freaked out immediately, but I didn’t. In fact it wasn’t until a week or so later that it began to sink in. I made an appointment for a full STD panel so that, when I got back to the US, I could be tested. I still never said anything to him.
I came home, got tested. By that point,it was the 3 months mark and the tests came back clear. “Now!” I thought “Another 9 months of this and I can relax. Maybe. Kinda.”
I still was in some strange denial. It took me 2 months before I rather hesitantly asked him about why he’d done that. He didn’t apologize. Just gave me a “Yeah, I don’t usually do that but don’t worry, I’m clean.” thing. I felt sickened. I asked him specifically to get tested and give me the results. I clarified that he had violated not only my trust, and consent, but I felt he’d taken advantage of someone in an altered mental state and that it Was Not Cool. He broke off communication at that point and never contacted me back.
Them’s the facts.
Why am I telling you this, months later? Because my slow response baffled me. Because I know how shameful and awful I felt in part of my heart for months. Because I don’t want people to have this happen to them and maybe my story will make a difference to one person. Because I want responsible dominants to decry this abhorrent behaviour. Because I want you to know that, of the women I spoke to about this, all of them….ALL OF THEM…had similar experiences.
Let me repeat that. Of 20 or so women….experienced adult women who “Should know better” ALL OF THEM HAD EXPERIENCED PRESSURE TO PUSH THEIR OWN PERSONAL BOUNDARIES IN A BDSM / KINK CONTEXT.
I am sure there are some people who have NOT experienced this. But sadly? I believe them to be the minority.
I have gotten past much the shame and grief part of this. I’m coming down off of the rage at myself, and the rage at this individual. But my anger has galvanized me to talk about consent. About not being ashamed. About being Really. Fucking. Careful. Who you trust with your life.
I wish I did not have this story to tell, but I do.
I wish we didn’t have to run around explaining to people that consent needs to be sacrosanct.
I wish part of me still didn’t writhe in shame and couch this incident in terms of what I “Let happen” to me.
I’ll get better about that. I’ll get tested again. I will try to let go of the shame and anger. And I sure as fuck will be more guarded about who I let get into my head, because once they are there? They can hurt me. And I do not deserve to be hurt.
Please. Take care of yourselves.
Please, respect people when they say no.
Please, forgive yourself if you make a mistake.
Take care of one another.