Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in
with a focus on woman’s issues.
Todays post is an open letter regarding one of her blogs: Seattle, Washington
I was not sure if Valerie wished my response on her blog, so I left her the option to post it or not. As I think her and mine ideas can be valuable for my readers, I do herewith post my response to Valerie as an open letter that is showing both my comments and my appraisal regarding her decision to share her rape story. Any sound person and particularly any sound BDSM-theorist will be against rape, abuse and all other forms of non-consensual intimacy. Yet it plays a role in our community, as elsewhere Please read Valerie's blog entry first..
Valerie, thank you so much for sharing your story with us and for pointing out that body language and the impression you make towards a man or other potential rapists is not unimportant. Yet, even when we send particular signals to others, this is still not the same as consent, even not saying no, does not count as consent for me. Agreement is a clear yes from both sides.
As a former bible scholar and now sex-positive feminist, I endorse the empowerment of the feminine, in all genders, but see this only works properly when we have clear and good ethics that are aimed at enjoying sexuality for the privilege it is, or should be. Nevertheless for the BDSM community rape remains a difficult topic. As a sadist and slaveholder, I regularly find myself is situations where rape or abuse is on our minds; unfortunately this does not only happen in the dungeon. It takes a lot of control sometimes, but luckily I do have the required self control and I wish never to loose it, as this would force me to qualify myself as sick.
It is my clear conviction, that seeing a victim in the need of rape is a false image. The points you make in your blog, regarding sending signals by flirting, looking or being dressed in a certain way or to be on particular places that might be dangerous all make sense and will be of importance, but can not function to justify any hostile sexual act. It is my firm believe, that this is not what woman, men or children want.
However, since the 50 shades of 'whatever' hit the market, people and particularly women tend to be a bit more curious regarding ‘naughty things’ and I happen to have something they respond to. It might be that they notice, that I do not falter when faced with their fantasies. Nonetheless, as I have no interest following up on hormonal arousal only, I let them know that I noticed and understood the signals and then let it be. I regard acknowledging interest as polite, but not as a reason to act on instincts, because the consent is lacking, obviously.
Most of the times, you just smile, are flattered with a little attention and move on. But sadly, feeling seen through and then put on hold is not bringing out the gratitude in some females; instead of trusting me for knowing – and respecting - the rules, I am either challenged beyond what ever can be regarded as ‘accidental’ or they feel rejected and grow cold as ice.
Of course, I understand how tough it can be, to admit one’s desires - it is not different with my submissives - but at the end, knowledge leads to understanding and acceptance and give you the keys to decide how you wish to live and love.
In fact, it is likely that most individuals have a clear boundary between what happens inside of their head and on the outside. For those that can read between the lines this is not always easy. Yet, my rule of consent is easy to follow, and it is therefore safe.
Of course, it is okay to feel attracted to someone, it is okay to have a hot scene about it in your mind and it is okay if you try it out if it feels as good in reality as it does in your imagination – it likely won’t, at least not at first. Yet, being clear about your wishes, your motives and the consequences of your attitude and actions is paramount when it comes to actions. Knowing the position of the other is equally important.
Whatever we wish to do, we should consider and respect the other persons needs and wishes. To play with being attractive is certainly fun, but if you are not into playing it to the end, better do not play at all and wait until you have build enough trust to take the next step. A step by step approach can be as nice and satisfactory as being overwhelmed by Mr. or Mrs. Right. We are not there to perform, but to enjoy.
Take good care of yourself!
PS this is one of the post, when I wonder why I write them at all. But hey, I did it and I hope it will be of help to someone.