What kink is NOT. (Or: Yes, Rhianna getting beaten IS our business.)

I don’t do all that much in the celebrity gossip arena save for occasionally snarking.

But a recent high-profile abuse case is straddling several areas of thought in my brains today.

I know you may know this, but let me reiterate: simply because someone is masochistic, one cannot assume that they would also tolerate abuse.

A recent discussion on Twitter underscored this issue. It was an intense debate, but I think it underscored a difference in opinion that I’ve been pondering.


I know that not everyone feels that there is a bright clear line demarking abuse.

And I know that some people who are survivors of abuse are among the people who believe that it is solely the business of the abuser and the abusee to decide how it goes.

And I am well aware that there are two fucking sides to every goddamned story.

But I also know that I am so not a fan of the idea that it isn’t our business when someone is in the grip an abusive relationship.

It is kinda everyone’s damned business.

Abuse impacts children in the home, therefore impacting them AND the next generation.

Abuse impacts the friends of both parties, who may feel helpless in the face of a person stuck in that cycle.

Abuse impacts the workplace, as the abuser probably isn’t just abusive at home and the victim may lose work time, and is not going to be bringing their “A” game to the table.

I could go on and on…

Abuse impacts other people, period.


YES, only the person involved can take the steps to walk away. But sometimes they need help, a positive example.

I know that, when I was killing myself with alcohol, and knew it, the fact that I had people to turn to when I finally reached my tipping point (I don’t believe in the concept of “Bottom”) saved my life. Yes, I had to make that decision. But the people who had cautiously and softly stood by wringing their hands and occasionally making some cautious, caring comment were among the people to whom I turned when it was time.

What does this have to do with kink?

Yeah Romin Thicke can spank my butt ANY day.

Yeah Robin Thicke can spank my butt ANY day.

A lot.

See, BDSM isn’t legal, really. And I cannot legally consent to being whipped and slapped. But when I play,  I DO consent. Explicitly, over and over and over.

People who are abused do not.

Even if Rihanna was the most profoundly masochistic painslut bondage bottom on the planet   (stop drooling you fucking perverts. Srsly. I’m being serious here.) the MOMENT her fucking chickenshit douchebag partner struck her in anger and threatened her safety, it violated consent.

Can a husband rape his wife?

Used to be no, he couldn’t. She was his property to do with as he wished.

But that is not the case, and spousal rape is prosecutable.

What kinky people do is about consent.

It isn’t about “asking for it” and it isn’t about anger and retaliation.


And the fact that she is reconciling with this fuckholio DOES impact girls who look up to her.  THEY may not have the resources to get therapy and counseling and all of the support that these people do, and it may well set an abysmally shitty example for impressionable women.

And do not step to me with this “They have a right to her private life.”  Bullshit, because they gave that up the vast majority of that in exchange for fame.  That is part of what being famous is. Stepping from obscurity into a glass box on a pedestal. You have to know that is part of your job as a Modern Day God: radical scrutiny. I’m not even one thousandth as famous a person as she is, but even I have some level of authority and responsibility as an educator in the BDSM community. I take that seriously.  I would not be true to what I teach if I, for example, were in an abusive relationship, if I sold myself short.   It matters to me that other kinky people listen to what I have to say. It therefore matters to me that I live my life in a way that tracks what I yammer on about in classes and articles and documentaries and blog posts.

Having choices, money, fame, glamour, all of those things, cannot protect you. The only than that can, is yourself. The mental and emotional state of a person who is the victim of domestic violence has nothing…NOTHING…to do with status, money, wealth or power.

If you are in an abusive relationship, get help. If you are in an abusive BDSM relationship, get help.

Don’t be afraid that your kinkiness means that you can’t be hurt. Because you can.

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  1. Nadia West on March 5, 2009 at 4:51 PM

    Thank you for writing about this. It’s an important topic. (I was once sexually assaulted at a play party – I went into therapy feeling like I’d be told it was all my fault for being a slut at a sex party. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.)

    • mollena on March 9, 2009 at 10:34 AM

      First, thank you for sharing that. I can’t imagine what a double betrayal like tat mus be: when someone in the “Tribe” hurts us, I think, it is that much more painful.

      Awesome for you for overcoming that fear and getting help.



  2. Shannon on March 5, 2009 at 4:51 PM

    Yes. That’s all I can say.

    • mollena on March 9, 2009 at 10:34 AM

      *fist bump* !! ;-)

  3. Joie Rey on March 8, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    Wow, I’ve been looking for something in print that has been written recently to reflect these thoughts. thank you so much.
    I enjoyed meeting you last night, and watching you perform.
    I have to admit I am a bit inspired at the moment.
    I may start updating my blog on a regular basis.

    Joie Rey

    • mollena on March 9, 2009 at 10:35 AM

      Do it!!

      And thank you so much for coming to the show! I’m not really a spoken word performer kind of person, and it is somewhat intimidating to be in a line-up with poets and published authors and shit…but I think it was fun!

      Welcome to my blog, and I’m-a check yours out so you’d better spiff it up with some new shit, Missy!



  4. pweasels on March 8, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    Correct. The real issue, however, is not whether these two should or should not be interfered with, judged, or allowed their privacy, but why we do not interfere with, judge, or allow privacy to every other couple, this happens to, celebrities or not.

    • mollena on March 9, 2009 at 10:42 AM

      I hope that, as I believe, this underscores that larger issue. The fact that there is so much dialogue about that issue of domestic violence among younger people as a result as this sad situation may mean that someone who is in an abusive relation sees themselves and gets help rather than winding up repeatedly battered, or dead.



  5. Raymond on October 9, 2009 at 10:38 PM

    Helped me out a bunch, great post!

  6. Jill on October 10, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    I think I went to school with that girl.