The last chapter of Ægir’s Bride is causing quite a controversy. Because I am slaughtering some sacred cows of Western civilization and BDSM. Three of them at once in fact: 1) Madonna/Whore Complex 2) Silver Sexuality and 3) SSC (Safe/Sane/Consensual).
So today is the final of those…
SSC…Safe. Sane. Consensual. Is the biggest lie in BDSM. Not because it is not good practice BUT because it does not go nearly far enough to protect the sub. It is like the insert which comes in my daughter’s seizure medicine. Nothing more than a feeble attempt to protect the company or in this case the Dom from liability. And like all too many prescription drug users it is tossed in the garbage.
What? How can you possibly say that? That is sacrilegious. It is a corner stone of BDSM. How dare you call yourself a sub?
But that is just it…I am a sub. It is not something that I play at in clubs. It is not something that I do in the bedroom to liven things up. It is who and what I am. Even before I knew what the fuck it was, I was a submissive.
I was a good little girl sitting in Sunday school in my white dress and Mary Janes. I could sit there the whole time, barely moving. For a Hershey’s kiss and more importantly the words… “Good girl.”
I never got in trouble at school and always made the honor roll, not because I was the smartest, but because I wanted to please.
And when I grew up…I stayed in my marriages when I should not have…because I did not want to fail them.
But none of that compares to what I have done…or perhaps should say…have had done to me…when I came to BDSM. I lived for those words. I would do anything for them. And I have.
One of the Dommes, whom I played with…before I discovered that I do not know how to simply play, I think she saw this in me. She was determined to teach me the word, “red.”
Do I regret any of that? Do I blame the Dom/mes? No, they went as far as they could to respect those rules…safe, sane and consensual. As did I. I gave as much consent as there was inside of me to give. And I take it for what it was…Play. Casual. In clubs. And that is where SSC belongs…in clubs, with casual play partners, when BDSM is role play to liven things up in the bedroom.
Relationships are where I branch off the accepted path. Dom/sub…Master/Slave…Daddy/little…it does not matter. By their very nature none of them are equal. Power exchange itself precludes any meaningful consent. How can I truly consent if you hold the upper hand? And let me tell you…what Doms in a relationship can do inside their subs’ minds and hearts is way nastier than most anything that can happen in clubs or casual play. The worst scars are the ones you never see.
Now I am about to step on some toes…GOOD! We need to get the junk out in the open sometimes…
Can a fifteen year old girl ‘truly consent’ to her seventeen year old boyfriend when he says…you’re being such a baby, everyone else is, I could get it somewhere else?
Can a twenty-something up and coming male attorney (just so we don’t think this is a gender thing), who has worked his ass off for his career… …’truly consent’ to the female senior partner who hints at a promotion if he just….?
Can the college student working on her dissertation ‘truly consent’ to her mentor, who heads the committee that will decide her fate?
Our society as a rule recognizes the inequities in these situations and we have laws such as statutory rape and sexual harassment as well as many institutional policies in the work place and education to protect the ‘weaker’ party from abuse.
That is not to say that any of these individuals (well maybe the fifteen year old) is not intelligent enough or strong enough to make decisions for himself or herself. They are…but not when one person holds more power over them.
But that is the very nature of the Dom/sub dynamic, folks? Why then is this fictionalized ‘consent’ the measure we use when something goes wrong? Let’s be honest here…when something does go wrong as with that drug company…the Dom walks away…most often blamelessly. It becomes…blame the sub…she should have known better. Bull shit!
Am I saying that it should be reversed? That she should have the ‘get out of jail free’ card? No, not at all. What I am saying is that…consent is proportional to the power exchange. So in that club, with casual, hell, yes, SSC applies…and it should be 50/50. But if we are talking a committed, long-term relationship as we have in Ægir’s Bride…the responsibility shifts to the Dom.
If it is no longer 50/50, what then? Doesn’t the sub have any limits…any rights…any responsibility? Always. ALWAYS. But here is the truth…the deeper you take me into my truly submissive nature, the more you demand of me, the more you push my limits…the MORE responsibility you take on your shoulders.
And if you ain’t ready to face that truth about what Dom/sub truly is, if you are not ready to take on that degree of responsibility for not just your actions…but my reactions…then stay in the clubs. Keep it casual. Role play at being a Dom until you grow into one.
Because let me tell you what else I know…I am one of the strongest women I know. My life would break most of you…Doms included. I am also an Alpha…a shieldmaiden…a leader in my own right. And I am sick and tired of picking up the pieces of my sisters and brothers, fellow subs, who have been caught in this lie of ‘consent.’
That is why this community is hurting…why there are so many subs in pain. And why consent is the biggest and most dangerous lie there is in BDSM.
Go ahead…measure Sven, Bjorn, Olaf…even Mikael against that measure…see if while they may not seem heavy handed they have not also been the one assuming responsibility for their actions…oh, they make mistakes. Even Doms are human (Dom Rule Number One…by the way). That is why Dom Rule Number Two is the most important words you will ever use with your sub is…I am sorry.