Today I want to tackle a serious subject.
Recently I read a curious blog sent round Facebook involving a UKIP MEP Roger Helmer.
In it he backs up Ken Clarke's claim that rape can be defensible in certain circumstances.
This is important to us as this is all about consent.
As we know anyone wishing to involve themselves in kink, fetish and BDSM activity needs to abide by the common code of safety, sanity and consensuality.
Perhaps if you have a shoe fetish, you may not need to ask the actual shoe if you can sniff it. But you know what I mean, I'm talking about not hurting others permanently, either emotionally, physically or mentally.
Consensuality is a kind of made up word, it's not really in most dictionaries, it's a kink scene word, but you get the idea. It sounds more romantic than 'consensus'. (See Consensuality in Safety First in The Book of Kinky Sex Games.)
With regards to kink then, consent is about giving each other permission to play.
It's about caring coupling and respecting our partner and ourselves within a realm of trust and security. Now that is the same as all love and sex really, isn't it?
Except the using and abusing one another for agreed mutual happiness bit of course.
Any form of intimate good times with someone else all comes down to the simple idea that we WANT it to happen. It is something BOTH desire to take place.
And within a BDSM session the focus is intense and the concentration is heightened as both partners are looking out for each other in the now.
Why? Because both want adult fun without hate and dire consequences.
If together you both don't have the mutual desire one can't force the other against their will, this is undoubtedly wrong.
This goes against everybody's moral code. Why?
Because no one would like it happening to them.
I'm sure if our Roger Helmer met a friendly UKIP voter in a bar in Brussels who then took him sexually against his will in his hotel room he wouldn't like it. Especially if the perpetrator said they did it because he was getting all the right signals from Roger, or didn't get any negative ones. Or even said: "Roger led me on, the way he was dressed like that, or I read his blog and I think we can both agree some rapes are defensible."
This hypothetical situation is, of course, absurd.
As absurd the argument that purports to stand for justice by saying that any woman or anyone asks to be taken against their will.
Is the doubt in defensible rape perpetuated by the idea that 'men are men' and past a certain point, aren't culpable?
Because I would offer that genuine masculine toughness or 'manning up' is about taking any kind of knock-back or rejection on the chin. Regardless, at all times a man or active partner of any gender, has a responsibility of a duty of care to watch for positive or negative reactions to their solicitations. Not from some kind of legal obligation or sliding scale of how far animal behaviour equals sexiness, but from the knowledge that this is how all great love, sex and adult play blossoms in the first place!
Failed suitors are well aware:
It doesn't matter how the courtship goes – drinks, dinner, money, weeks on end, every effort under the sun – whatever the trade-off, if the 'object of desire' says no, there is nothing to be done. In essence the problem – if a relationship hasn't been consummated – is most likely the belief in the concept of 'trade off' itself, like sex is a debt. It also reveals that 'not getting it' is a problem. As is 'object of desire'. The 'failed' part of failed suitor is not seeing past this cynicism. As Madonna sang: "Poor is the man whose pleasures are dependent on another."
The same goes double for kink practices: You can't make someone else suddenly appreciate your idiosyncratic pursuits or put the onus of your future happiness on them.
So what to do? Here are four simple guidelines to help clarify mutual consent.
COMMUNICATE YOUR DESIRES
1. All potential partners need to communicate what they want and what they don't want. No matter how difficult it is, learn to speak it out. Don't ever assume texting, signals, emails and a 'good time out drinking' means a promise of anything.
BE STRONG ENOUGH TO WALK AWAY
2. Active partners finding it difficult to control their passion need to learn to be able to shut down, walk away and be more contrite if there is a feeling of discomfort from their partner. The pursuance of getting your rocks off or getting your kinks is not lovemaking: It's one-sided, it's unrequited. It's only a self-interested, singular desire.
GIVE ATTENTION BECAUSE YOU WANT TO
3. Be attentive, at all times, one hundred per cent.
Well, try your best to be. You'll find you'll want to be with the right person. Der!
BE IN THE MOMENT WITH YOUR PARTNER
4. Listen to and read your lover's desires. Do unto others and spiral up your joy.
When making any love-making, sex or adult play work or happen we find that nature shows us these mirroring rules
...Thankfully this stuff is obvious to most people.
And what is remarkable about our kindness and willingness to create love and exciting kink is because most of aren't actually with our perfect partner. As Willie Nelson said: “Ninety-nine percent of the world's lovers are not with their first choice. That's what makes the jukebox play.”
But what about these selfish perpetrators of forced sex?
Of course, they are out there, and many can be avoided. If they are an active pig then their decided, primal manner may excite you: just never assume they are your pet. Luckily, such sex-psychos are rare.
On the flipside, and an even smaller minority, what about the passive wrongdoers who cry wolf? Yes, unfortunately they exist. And their undecided, oversensitive natures can also be accounted for and avoided should we wish to avoid complications.
But in my opinion to repeal the law to make rape defensible simply because of the risk of wrongful prosecution is reckless.
It just promotes a society where consent is relegated to a cloudy issue that only gets debated when it finally goes down to court.
What we actually need to do is promote consensuality not only as a compulsory common tenet, but as a perpetual curator of intuition we can all keep learning from. We need to encourage boys becoming men to respect women better, because by hatefully crossing it male perpetrators reveal themselves as poor or incomplete. We need to show them that manliness is about building and protecting, not taking.
Conversely, by withholding consent purely to control for it's own sake, one reveals not only an insecure need for attention and care, but a personal paradigm where some become sellers that can't be generative by natural means.
We are all better than this, because if we watch and listen, the guiding spirit of consensuality instinctively raises us to be more attentive and in the moment, always.
Keep on being safe, sane and consensual,
Jackson ; )
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