I do not agree with everything Master James writes in his post, but I think it is an important read. My response to his opinion piece will be posted tomorrow.
On the 9th of March 2001 Armin Meiwes slaughtered and then consumed Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin.
They had met via the website The Cannibal Cafe (a blog site for people with cannibal fetishes). Meiwes's had posted an advertisement stating that he was "looking for a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed. The two met, made a video detailing the informed consent of both parties. The video went on to record the butchering, eventual death, and consumption of Brandes by Meiwes.
You see ladies and gentlemen. Consent didn't mean jack-fucking-shit. Not to society, not to the surrounding community, not to the families, and certainly not to the court of law.
Now I know this example is a rather extreme case. But I use it intentionally to illustrate an important (yet an increasingly forgotten) point. That on this site, consent has become seen as the sole magical elixir or kinky holy water turning what we do from abuse into something ok like fucking alchemy.... But it isn't.
The longest standing, universally accepted standard, that has served to bring BDSM away from the perception of abuse is SSC. For those slow kids on the short bus, this stands for Safe, Sane, Consensual. And for those of you who can't count to potato, Consent is only one third of that equation.
Think of non-abuse like a triangle. Safe, Sane, and Consensual make up it's three sides. If you are missing a side, then the triangle doesn't exist, and what you are doing is abuse.
Doing something without safety or sanity, but thinking telling me that you had consent makes it cool, just doesn't cut it. It's like raping a mentally handicapped person, and thinking that assuring me that you did it safely, somehow makes it ok.
Let me give you some hypothetical examples.
If you find a person who is suffers from severe mental illnesses, and exploit that vulnerability in order to fulfil your fucked up fantasies. Then it doesn't matter if what you did was arguably safe and consensual. Then the side of your triangle that says 'Sane' is missing, and you are abusing someone.
If you decide to do some heavy edge play like drowning, heavy facial punching, or a variety of other type high risk activities. And you cause serious and unexpected damage, because you didn't have reasonable safety protocols in place to avoid causing injury, or emergency training to respond to incidences if they do occur. Then the side of your triangle that says 'Safe' is missing, and what you are doing is abuse.
If you decide to do some run of the mild tame bedroom kink. But you decide to film it without the other person knowing. Or introduce extra sexual partners in without warning half way through. Then the side of you triangle that says 'Consent' is missing, and what you are doing is abuse.
Abuse is not a question of whether or not you can scrape together some people who have been at the nasty end of your abuse to defend you. It's that your triangle is clearly missing a side to it. And it remains abuse no matter how well you sensationalise it. No matter how well you sexualise it. No matter how well you managed to target people who are so new they don't know enough about this stuff to know they don't have to blindly accept whatever you tell them. Or no matter how well you managed to target people who had become so accustomed to abuse in their past, that they were willing to accept your abuse as normal.
If you boast about this, people are going to rightly see it as abuse, and call you out on it. This doesn't make them haters. It doesn't make them trolls. It makes them normal, ethical, caring, concerned people. People concerned about the people who have been abused, concerned about it sending the BDSM community backwards into the dark ages, and most importantly; concerned about possible future victims of abuse.
If you get called out on this shit. Don't go on a rampage attacking those who did the right thing by voicing concerns. Instead, just stop and think about it. Then look for ways to improve your actions in the future. If you need advice, ask and you shall receive.
If you don't, then you are an abusive asshole and you are no friend of mine.
Note: RACK (risk aware consensual kink) is a great acronym to remind tops that consent doesn't mean shit, if it isn't well informed consent with all potential dangers and consequences thoroughly explained.
PRICK (person responsibility in consensual kink) is a great acronym to remind bottoms that they are equally responsible for their consent status, and they own personage and the choices they make.
Both of the above acronyms are intended as fantastic tools to augment and further improve SSC, not replace it.
Again, my response to Master_James_'s post will be posted tomorrow.