Monday, December 30, 2013

Results of the Anal Sex Poll

The question posed was thus:
Before anal sex, does the dick get lubed, or the asshole?
A whopping 75% of you voted "both".
Of those who picked one, the asshole got double the number of votes as the dick.
A handful of you voted "neither." To which I say…OW.

The reason why I asked is because Husband never lubes up his dick. I don't know why. Periodically over the years, I've asked him to, and he never does it. I think it has something to do with him not wanting to go to the trouble of rubbing his own dick when an available hole is right there, warm and inviting. But I might be wrong.

It definitely has something to do with the fact that lubing my ass can be a hit-or-miss thing, and in Husband's mind, this adds to the sadistic fun. Oftentimes, Husband's not too careful about it. He'll tip the bottle over my ass crack, let some lube slide out…and if it lands on my cringing sphincter, great! If not, I'm out of luck. He might be kind enough rub the lube around if he missed his target completely, but if the slippery stuff manages to get on one side of my ass, but not the other, Husband's mentality is usually something to the effect of Oh, well. This is gonna pinch her a little. 
Tee hee.

If he's feeling magnanimous, he'll spread the lube around the sphincter area…with his dick. This is also a hit-or-miss thing. Sometimes it feels like he's spreading the goop all over my butt cheeks, everywhere but on the asshole itself. Sometimes he'll tease me with it, rubbing his dick along my crack until it feels like the lube is starting to dry, and I'm filling up with fear.
More often times he's just assuming his pumping will managed to smear the lube everywhere it needs to go—eventually, anyway—and there's no reason to hold back.
Yes, the lube gets everywhere it needs to go…eventually…usually around the time I'm trying to crawl away from him to escape the agony and he's pinning me down and ramming into me and the tears are pooling in my eyes and I'm crying and he's pulling the hair away from my face so he can see my expression of torment as he laughs in my ear.
But he knows I enjoy the pain. More importantly, he enjoys my pain—and my subjugation.
That is why he does it.

And yes, sometimes he'll use his fingers in me, sometimes he'll use a butt plug first, sometimes the anal vibrator comes out…and in those cases, I get lubed up nice and deep before his dick comes anywhere near me. But I never know when that's going to happen. I never know what kind of foreplay he has planned in his head unless he tells me, which is not very often.
And the thing is, he's not using his fingers or plug or toy to help get me lubed and relaxed. He's using them because it's fun and he feels like it.
If he doesn't feel like it? Oh well. This is gonna pinch a little. Suck it up, anal slut.

I think I might bring this poll to his attention. Look! I'll say. Most people lube both! Not just the asshole! You can lube your dick you know! 
Then again, he may just choose to become one of those people who uses no lube at all.
OW. And OH. And…I'm totally getting turned on right now.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jewish Christmas

Yesterday, Husband and I followed the long-standing Jewish tradition of going out for Chinese food on Christmas.
We had planned on going to a nice Chinese restaurant; what we hadn't counted on were their jacked-up prices. So we took a walk to Panda express, which was only a short distance away.

As we walked side by side, Husband took my hand, and entwined his fingers with mine.
"I'm so lucky," he said, looking at me.
I looked away and grumbled, "I'm not wearing enough makeup."
"You're wearing too much clothes," he quipped back.
My eyes went wide, my cheeks blushed, and my mouth opened in a wide O—which, by the expression on Husband's face, was exactly the reaction he was hoping for. He smiled and squeezed my hand.

Unlike the nice Chinese restaurant next door, Panda Express was comfortably empty. We ordered our food, took the containers to a corner table, and sat. We talked about our kids, our parents, our work, and the mundane going-ons of our week in review.
We talked the way best friends do.

I opened up my fortune cookie first. Kindness makes for happiness, it said. "It's true," I had to admit. "When I'm kind to you, you make me happy."
"I thought I always make you happy."
"You do, but…you're nicer about it when I'm kind."
"If 'being kind' is your euphemism for blow jobs, then yes, I agree, I'm nicer. I let you come, too."
"Shh!" I said, glancing to the right. "There are children at the next table."
Husband smiled devilishly.

Then he opened his fortune cookie. You take criticism as an opportunity to grow, it said. "It's surprisingly accurate," Husband said. "You criticize me, I punish you…and I grow. You can literally watch me grow." His eyes danced with lecherous glee. "I guess they skipped the middle part."
"You are awful," he hissed at him, trying to stifle my smile.
"Are you criticizing me?" He asked with raised brows.
I couldn't hold back my laughter.

We walked back to the car, hand in hand again, and started the drive home.
"This was nice," he said.
"Yes, it was," I replied.
The rest of the drive was passed in cozy silence.
Someday—if we're lucky—we'll live long enough to see our parents gone, our kids away, our work forgotten…but we'll still have each other.
And, for that, I am blessed.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Conversations with My Mother

(I posted this yesterday on Fetlife, and it's #1 on Kinky&Popular right now, so I thought I'd post it here, too.)

Conversation with my Mother
Mom: Shelby-leh, you write sexy stories, right?
Me: Yes, Mother. I write sexy stories.
Mom: Can you answer a question for me?
Me: I guess….
Mom: Why do all these writers, when they're writing sexy scenes, all use the same words?
Me: What do you mean?
Mom:…
Me: Can you give me an example what you're talking about?
Mom (quietly): Like "he put his finger in her sweet wetness." Why would they write it like that?
Me: It's called purple prose, Mother. The writer doesn't want to get too graphic, but they still want to get the image across, so they use this flowery kind of writing.
Mom: I see it all the time now. It's weird.
Me: Well, writers are putting more sex in their books, but they don't want to make them too graphic.
Mom (after a long pause): Why would he even want to put his finger in her 'sweet wetness,' anyway? And why would she want him to put his finger in her 'sweet wetness'?
Me: Mother…you've been married over forty years. If you don't know, I can't explain it to you.
Mom: Well, it's better than that 50 Shades of Grey book. I mean, that thing was just unrealistic. A girl goes on one date with a man, has sex with him, and has three orgasms?
Me: …..
Later, after telling Husband of my conversation with my Mom
Husband: I don't understand how you came into the world. Were you fucking adopted?
Me (grumbling) I wish I was.
Husband: She really doesn't know a woman can come more than once a night? Why didn't you tell her?
Me: I wasn't going to say anything. What was I going to say, 'Your son-in-law makes me have multiple orgasms on a regular basis'?
Husband: That would have been interesting. How many times did you come last night, anyway?
Me: I don't know, you tell me. You were the one with your fist in my cunt.
Husband: I'd say more than three.
Me: Well, there you go.
Husband: When I had my fingers in your sweet wetness.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Book is OUT

As of now, the book is out in ebook format.
It's available on Kindle here, and on Nook here. Please go check it out!
(It should soon be available on Kobo, Apple, and in print. It's a-comin'.)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

News, and A Poll

First of all:
My next book is coming out in the next few days! And here is the cover!
I am loving the fuck out of this cover. Best of all, it's all mine. Nobody else owns this image. It's not from photo stock; it's from a photoshoot, and the only person who will ever own this photo for use is me. 

Second of all, I've added a poll on the right, about lubing before anal sex. Take a minute to click on an answer, yeah?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Motivation is everything, I guess

Husband came home yesterday in a good mood. Thursdays are generally slow days, but yesterday was particularly sedate.

"R's girlfriend was in the office today," he told me. "She hung around for a few hours. She borrowed a desk to get some work done."
"That's nice," I said.
He looked away and smiled. "R and she kept making smoochie-smoochie with each other," he said.
"What?" I said, shocked. "They were kissing in the office?"
"No, not really kissing," he said. "But you know, telling each other 'I love you,' kissing each other on the cheek, that kind of thing. Sweet smoochie-smoochie stuff."
"Aw, that's cute."
He shrugged.
"If I visited your office, would you make sweet smoochie with me?" I asked.
"No," he said.
"Why not?" I asked, upset.
"Because I'd fuck you in the bathroom!" He said, smiling devilishly. "It's why I don't want you visiting my office at all."

Um…thank you?

Monday, December 9, 2013

The State of Porn Today

A couple days ago, as I mentioned in my previous post, I attended a kinky winter Holiday Ball. It was very festive, great fun, and wonderful to see all my kinky friends in a more elegant setting. The hosts of the ball set up a "drawing"—for legal reasons, they couldn't call it a raffle, so I won't either—for the attendees to buy tickets and win prizes. The prizes were gift wrapped, so nobody knew exactly they were trying to win, but everyone had fun guessing.

I bought extra tickets, and I won three prizes. (I give all the credit to the "lucky cuffs" I was wearing at the time. My Lady Vicki had bound my wrists together in beautiful and stylish metal cuffs, you see. I think some people got a kick out of watching me claim the prizes with my wrists bound.)

One of the prizes I won was a collection of porn magazines.
I can't remember all the names of them…I remember there was at least one Playboy, a Hustler, a Pethouse, and a Swedish porn magazine. The Swedish one was the worst of the bunch.

I brought the magazines home together with the rest of my loot, laid it all out on the kitchen table, and showed it to Husband.
"Wow, you got Godiva hot cocoa? And Macadamia Nuts?…What's this?"
"I got porn magazines."
"I can see that. Um…they smell weird."
"They're used."
"What?" His lips curled in disgust. "They're used porn magazines? Oh my god. Look at this one, there are pictures cut out of it."
"I guess the person couldn't bear to part with a few of his favorite photos?"
"Oh my god, ew." He dropped the magazine he was holding on the table. "I'm washing my hands."
"That might be a good idea."
"You should wash your hands, too. But first, put those magazines in a bag."
I put the magazines in a shopping bag and washed my hands. Husband finished washing his hands, and scrubbed down the kitchen table.
We eyed the shopping bag of magazines.
"What do we do with them?" He asked.
"Maybe the kids want 'em?"
"You'd give this to our kids? Used porn magazines?"
"They might not care."
"Ask them, then."

I called them both upstairs. Son2 came up; Son1 was in the bathroom.
"Do you want some porn magazines?" I asked.
Son2 sighed. "Let me see them," he said, in a tone that made it sound like he was doing me a favor.
"They're in the bag," I said.
He took one out and started flipping through it. "It smells weird," he said.
"It's used," I said.
He dropped the magazine. "Ew," he cried. "Why would I want this?"
"Because it's PORN?" I said. "Don't you guys WANT porn?"
"Mom, we can get all the porn we want on the internet," he said.
"So you're telling me you DON'T want it?"
"I'm saying, I don't need it. But if want me to have it…fine."
"Well, you have to be normal about this. Hide it under your mattress and pretend I don't know. And don't tell your friends! I don't want to get into trouble for giving my kids porn!"
"Oh I am totally telling my friends about this."
"THEN NO PORN FOR YOU."
"Fine. I didn't really want it anyway."
"Go ask your brother if he wants it."

Son2 went downstairs, holding a magazine in his hands. A moment later, I hear through the bathroom door:
"Wait. What? WHAT? WHAT THE WHAT?"
Son2 trotted back upstairs, laughing. "I slipped it under the bathroom door," he said with glee.
A moment later, Son1 came upstairs, the magazine in hand. "What the hell is this?" He asked.
"Porn," I said. "I won it in a ra—drawing. You want it?"
"It smells, and there are pictures cut out."
"It's used."
"EW OH MY GOD NO."
"So you don't want it, either?"
He gave me the same incredulous look Son2 had given me and said: "Mom, we have the internet now. THE IN-TER-NET. With TUM-BLER. I don't need this."
He slapped the magazine back on the kitchen table.
"God damn it, I just washed there!" Husband yelled.

So there you have it. Neither one of my older boys wants a collection of porn magazines. They can get their porn safe and sound on their smartphones and computers, hassle-free, mess-free, evidence-free. I don't know what this means for the state of porn today. All I know is, things are a lot different from when I was a kid, hiding magazines in my closet.

Anyone want some used porn magazines?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

NEWS! NEWS! (Read: Some Major Self Promotion Going On)

Two things!

First of all: I was named in Rori's famed list of Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2013. Yes, I am pleased. Yes, I am grateful. Yes, I am horny…and I'd like to think, with this insane blog of mine, I make a few of you horny, too.

Second of all: My next book is coming out soon! Its title is Blood and Desire, Seduction and Murder: A Hotel Bentmoore Romance. I've added it to the list of my books, right at the top. It should be out in the next few weeks; I hope you like it.

That's all for now. I'm off to a kinky Winter Ball. My life is good.

Edited to add: I put in the link for Rori's list, because, duh, you want to see it! Also, there's a button on the right, if you want to get to it by clicking over that way. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thank You for Walking Away

You guys know I can be a brat, right? (Okay, stupid question, you can stop rolling your eyes now at me now, STOP LAUGHING.) Here's the thing: for me, bratty behavior is not the same thing as prey behavior. Husband responds very differently from my bratty vibe to the way he does my prey vibe. Bratty behavior is insolent, saucy, a little bit defiant…but it's all done in the name of fun. Prey behavior is on a different level of consciousness: it's a primal challenge of an animalistic sort.
Maybe this issue deserves its own post.
But what I want to bring up now is this: Husband's reaction to my behavior depends (at least somewhat) on whether my behavior stems from my bratty attitude, or my need to be taken down like prey.

The other night, we were in bed, and I was being a brat. He was wrestling me across the bed, and it was all fun and games…until I bit him.
Now, I have bitten Husband before. When I'm in prey mode, I bite, scratch, kick, pull…but I have my limits, of course; even on that level of consciousness, I don't want to really hurt someone.
(I guess I'm really not a sadist.)
But Husband is prepared for my tricks and (futile) attempts to fight him when I'm prey. He's into it just as much as I am.
The other night, when I was being a brat, and I bit him? Not so much.
I bit him a leetle beet too hard. Hard enough to break skin; hard enough to make him bleed. He yelled in surprise.

He bounded off the bed, swearing loudly. For a moment, I was in shock: I had no idea I'd hurt him so badly. But it was soon made clear to me how badly I had bit him, because he was not getting back into bed.
Husband went into the bathroom, washed off his finger…and then he came back in the bedroom, got dressed, and left the room. Didn't say another word to me.
Didn't even look at me.
Left. The. Room.

I lay there wanting to cry.

He came back about five minutes later.
"You bit me really hard," he said.
"I'm sorry," I whined.
"Never do that again. Understand?"
"I understand."
"Lean over the bed."

The punishment was harsh. His disappointment was worse.
But you know what would have been worst of all? If he hadn't left the room to calm down. If he had hit me in anger, instead of calm, deliberate punishment. If he had acted in a moment of fury, instead of regaining his composure first.
If he had tried to lash out at me without consideration for me.

I often act recklessly, on impulse. It's a problem. Husband has tried to train me to do better, and believe it or not, he's had a lot of success. (I know, I know, stop rolling your eyes, SHUT UP.) But I still have my moments.

A Master who has control over a sub/slave, who can manipulate his/her emotions, his/her sense of self-worth, who can strike him/her physically when necessary, can never strike out of anger. It is not fair to the sub/slave, it is not fair to their relationship, and it proves the Master still has a lot to learn.

Those five minutes Husband spent out of the room to cool down were horrible; in my mind, they were worse than the punishment itself. But Husband knew staying in that room with me would have been worse for both of us, so he walked away.
For that, I thanked him.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Sexual Assault, Things We Do, and Who We Are — A Guest Post

This is not an article written by me. This article was written by Cos, on his live journal account. However, I think it is so well written, and says what I want to say so articulately, I thought I'd share the original post here. Cos wants people to share it. That being said, if you have any comments on it, please do share them with him, as this is his article. 

*****


I considered locking this to friends-only, but I think it's important and I want people to link to it and re-share it and that's not going to happen unless it's public. Please read it, and share it?

I'll start with a story, something that really happened though I changed the names and some details for anonymity. Ella was good friends with a couple, Bob and Cate, and they flirted and kissed. Sometimes they attended the same sex and BDSM parties and scened with each other. One time, years ago, at such a party, Ella was having sex with someone and Bob came over. While she was giving the other guy head, Bob went down on her after what he thought was a nonverbal okay from her to join in. Ella actually would've rather he didn't, but she didn't think she minded much and she was having too much fun to interrupt what she was doing and tell him to stop, so she just enjoyed herself and let it go. Later, however, she realized that it was more of a problem for her than she knew at the time, and it made her feel icky and a little bit violated. Wanting to keep her friendship with Bob healthy, she told him about it. Not only did Bob get defensive, but Cate really freaked out. She seemed to interpret this as an attack, an accusation that Bob was a bad person, and she knew he wasn't! They weren't able to reconcile this and the friendship fizzled.

It's been on my mind lately, partly due to attending the "Addressing Sexual Harassment in Our Communities" panel at Arisia and the hours of fascinating post-panel conversation with a few people. Not long after Arisia, a friend told me about finding out from someone close to her that, a long time ago, she'd had sex with the person thinking it was consensual when actually this person did not want to and wasn't able to tell her so and just went along with it. I've long known that it's possible that I've done something like that sometime in my past, despite trying to be very careful never to do so, and I might've really hurt someone, and if it has happened, I may never know. In fact, after that post-panel discussion, I told one of the people I'd been talking about one instance where I worried, after the fact, that I might've made a mistake and crossed someone's boundaries even though the interaction seemed good while it was happening. It's on my mind because I know that any of us - including most of you who read this - may possibly have done this to someone, and may never know for sure.

My reason for writing this post is my belief that our very efforts to combat harassment and assault and rape are exacerbating this aspect of the problem, and I want to explain why, and what we can change to stop doing this. Here's another anecdote to help me illustrate what I'm about to say...

A guy I know, Ian (again a pseudonym), is thoughtful and gregarious and well liked in his group of friends. Once, someone new in that social circle told someone else in that social circle about getting into a conversation with Ian at a party, where due to his body language and mannerisms, he effectively backed her into a corner where she felt she could not easily get away, and it made her feel uncomfortable and a bit scared. Although he responded well upon finding out, and apologized, and said he didn't intend that and would pay more attention in the future to try to avoid making someone feel trapped at a party like that, getting the message from her to him was challenging. In the ensuing discussion, I noticed and pointed out an element that I thought was problematic: the use of the term predator, and the idea of identifying someone who did something bad as "someone who does bad things". I made the analogy to the way conservatives like to label "someone who crossed a border without authorization or who overstayed their visa" with "an illegal" - it's not about a thing they did, it's about who they are.

Now I want to be clear: there are sexual predators. They exist, and talking about them is important. We have studies and surveys that begin to help us understand some things about them, and one piece of the emerging picture is that while predators are a relatively small subset of the population, they repeat what they do so often, and are able to get away with it so easily, that they account for a very large proportion of assaults and rapes. So we do need to pay attention to them and figure out ways to disarm them.

However, another piece of the emerging picture is that the large majority of people who assault - not necessarily the majority of incidents, but the majority of people who do it - are not repeat predators. Many of them, and possibly even most, are clueless, or naive, or even good thoughtful people who made a mistake that one time. It's them who I'm writing this post about. By which I mean, it's us who I'm writing this post about.

While some people avoid the issue or don't think about it much, some of us want to make an active effort to prevent this from happening - and we can. We can learn, and pay attention, and adjust how we act, and greatly reduce the probability of hurting someone in this way in a sexual or intimate interaction, or violating their boundaries. We can't reduce it all the way to 0, though. And worse: there's an obstacle that many of us put in our own path towards preventing: Our dichotomy of predators vs. good people.

In this dichotomy, those who rape or assault or harass are the bad ones, the predators, the creeps; those who are good, who are working to prevent rape and assault and harassment, they don't do it. Ergo, if someone does it, they're in that first set - it's not something they did, it's how we identify them. chaiya rather powerfully presented at the Arisia panel the dissonance and conflict caused when one of our friends is revealed to have done something like that, and we feel like we have to mentally reclassify them into the bad set in order to deal with it. That is why it was so hard to tell Ian about the relatively minor mistake he made at that party, and why the discussion around it was so fraught.

Bob and Cate got caught in this trap. They didn't hear Ella telling them about a mistake Bob made, so that he'd know and correct for it; they heard Ella accusing Bob of being a creep and a rapist, and they recoiled. They strove to redefine what happened rather than redefine Bob. Since Bob and Ella had a pattern of sexy play together, and she seemed inviting at the time, and she could easily have objected and he certainly would've heeded her objection, it couldn't have been a serious transgression, right? Lost on them was the fact that Ella actually wasn'tclaiming it was a serious transgression; she accepted it as an honest mistake by a well meaning person who she wanted to remain friends with, but they didn't seem able to see that. Our dichotomy of goodguys and predators doesn't leave any room for something being both "unwanted sexual contact" and "honest mistake by well meaning person". Since those two things cannot overlap, Ella's insistence that this was in fact unwanted sexual contact was a horrifying accusation they rejected wholly.

Which is a common and understandable reaction, and possibly the biggest reason why Ella was the exception; most people in her situation don't tell. Whether they understand this reason for it directly or not, they know on some level that telling isn't likely to lead to anything good, most of the time. It'll be awkward, possibly scary; they'll offend people, and they'll lose friends, and they won't be easily believed. Someone who hears this kind of thing needs to be skeptical of the complaint in order to avoid being forced to think of themselves or their accused friend as a creep or a predator. The way we talk about these issues forces that choice on them, one or the other: either your friend (or you) are a monster, or the complaint has to be minimized and dismissed.

You can see how this makes it harder for us to improve. Harder for us to learn how to better prevent making mistakes that hurt other people. When we're not ready to hear about what we've done wrong, and about what our friends and colleagues have done wrong, we coerce those who know - those who've been hurt - into not telling people about it. Then we don't learn from it, and we're more likely to do it again, and still not realize it.

Another anecdote. Recently in a group discussion, a friend commended me in everyone's hearing for the time that she and I were in bed together, turned on and both wanting each other, and I told her that I would not have sex with her because her consent seemed ambiguous to me, and I was not convinced that she knew how to say no. It's something I've done a number of times with a number of potential partners, actually. In telling people about it she was sending a few messages to the group. Among those messages, intentionally, she was letting them know that I take extra care about consent and that I'm safe. [Edit: another overt message is "here's something you too could do", a way of both praising and describing good practices.] Unintentionally, she was making it even harder for anyone to whom this message spread to ever tell me, or any of my friends, about any occasion in which I didn't take enough care and got it wrong. Because they know that other people may perceive me as safe and good to a greater than normal extent, they also know that it's even less safe to make accusations about me to people who have that impression. People who will go further to protect their idea of me, by attacking someone who says something that would redefine me. In other words, I'm in a position of power - part of it unsought and mine by default, and part of it legitimately earned through actions and effort over time - and that position of power stands as an obstacle that can prevent me from finding out the very things that would help me improve.

I certainly didn't always know that when someone initiates sexual activity and says "yes", and I really want to have sex, it's possible that she is conflicted and following through would hurt her. It's something I learned, as an adult, after I'd already had sex many times with several people. I'm glad I learned it, and I know it has helped me prevent harm, but learning it also lets me understand how I might have caused harm in the past in situations where I would not have understood that it was even possible. What's more, I'm still learning. I'm still getting better at this. Which means, I'm quite sure, that there are things I don't yet know.

Going on this learning journey requires understanding that we all have some power, to varying degrees, to harm people, and that our responsibility isn't to be innocent. What we actually want to do is connect with people, and have sex, and have powerful and positive sexual and intimate interactions, and at the same time prevent to the best of our ability the harm that we risk when pursuing those things; harm both to ourselves and to others. We need to learn what our power is, and what it can cause, and strategies for mitigating risk and preventing harm. We can't do that if being innocent of wrongdoing is our goal, because the only way to be sure to be innocent is to be ignorant.

For the past few paragraphs I've been talking about people who actively want to learn, and the obstacles that this predator/goodguy dichotomy causes for such people. But it's the people who aren't actively trying who are at much higher risk of harming their partners and others, and the obstacles we're creating are much higher when it comes to getting through to them. Innocence through ignorance is the common defense against being a creep, predator, or rapist, when it comes to people's personal identity. If they don't know their power and they don't understand what mistakes they might make, they can keep their self-image on the good side of that hard line, the side where they've never done "it", where the monsters are other people.

People go to great lengths to protect this innocence through ignorance, and I believe that's the main reason why there's so much resistance to education about sexual assault and rape, and to many related parts of feminism as well. Particularly when it comes to gender relations (though not just when it comes to gender relations), a lot of this is about the power men have and how it hurts women. In order to accept this, men have to accept the idea that they do have this power - even though they didn't consciously seek it - and the possibility that through this power, they have in fact hurt women, though they may not have intended it. Going down that path leads to the thoughts I talked about above, and they're not comfortable. If you're steeped in a predator/goodguy dichotomoy, going down that path is not possible, because you'd have to re-classify yourself as the predator. Most people will never do that. So they have to defend themselves, just as Bob and Cate did, and as Ian's friend's struggled with, and for a lot of people, that defense means rejecting the whole cluster of associated ideas.

To put it another way, if my goal is to be innocent, and someone tells me I violated someone's boundary when I didn't think I'd done that, my priority is to dismiss that claim, because I know I meant well and I know I'm good. Hearing what I did wrong will threaten that image of myself. It's only when I know that I can mean well and be good and still fuck up and that doesn't create a new identity for me, and when my goal is not to be innocent but to learn how to do better, that I can hear what they're telling me and learn from it and adjust accordingly for the future.

If we want to move forward, I believe we must reorient how we talk about these issues, not only to accept that someone who does a bad thing isn't automatically a predator, but to actively encourage the thought that most people who do these bad things are good people who need to hear constructively about what they did and how to avoid repeating it. At the same time, we need to still be clear that some people are predators, and they repeat these actions without changing, but that it takes more than an occasional mistake to cross that line of identity - it takes a pattern. We need to create space, both in ourselves and in our communities, to welcome hearing about these mistakes, apologize for them, learn from them, and change what we do to avoid repeating the same ones... without that preventing us from calling out actual predatory behavior. We've been focusing a lot on the latter, and it's understandable, because it's been a hard thing to do; predators have a lot of social support. But while working hard on improving one side of the problem, I think we're making the other side worse, so let's think about how to integrate our approach and move forward on both.


Edit: Several commenters are getting from my post ideas about there being a range rather than black/white, and that's part of it, but my real emphasis is the distinction between talking about actions and how to change them, vs. labeling people and treating actions as identity.


*****
Powerful article, no? Debates about consent, consent violators, and predators have been all over Fetlife lately. And they ARE debates; some people have very different opinions, and believe strongly they are right. 
The thing is, a lot of the time, both people can be right. It depends on the circumstances. 
I will probably touch upon this issue again soon…after my next book is out.