“D/s dynamic” is BDSM code for “be grateful when I rape you”

Stripped of its cultural dressage, identifying as a sadomasochistic “Dominant” (a “Dom”) is, at its core, a claim that you expect others to be grateful to you for violating their consent. While there are certainly some situations in which gratitude may be a legit reaction someone has to experiencing a consent violation, presupposing that this is how they should feel towards you is even worse than being indifferent to how they actually feel. It’s this callous entitlement over a person’s process of consenting that underpins the “D/s dynamics” in BDSM relationships.

And given that domination isn’t even needed to have hot, kinky sex, it saddens me that BDSM’ers repeatedly tell certain people (Submissives, specifically) that the only way they can have hot, kinky sex is by preemptively agreeing to feel grateful to someone who doesn’t really care how they’ll leave feeling when the act is over, anyway.

maymay, who has definitely never had a decade’s worth of experience in D/s relationships, and who totally doesn’t have an insider’s critique of BDSM subculture, nope, definitely not, nuh-uh, *sticks fingers in ears* lalalalala.

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“Submission lies at the heart of what makes sex good. It’s possible to have sex without domination.”

If Alice uses Bob for her sexual gratification, there is nothing she can do to make that objectification right. Bob and Bob alone has that power. In my mind, submission isn’t just some kink that some people have. Submission is the voluntary use of one’s own power to become the means to someone else’s end.

Submission lies at the heart of what makes sex good. It exercises one’s own autonomy, recognizes the autonomy of one’s partner, and places trust in their sensitivity and good judgement. It’s possible to have sex without domination. Putting the two under the same umbrella is another huge logical misstep. But without submission – mutual submission – there is only coercion.

glasswings (via unquietpirate)

In the third post in my “Dominants are rapists” series, I asserted “Submission’s where the magic happens.” This is a much expounded (and beautiful) description of what that actually means. The bumper-sticker slogan that straight people need to get this point through their skulls is “Submissives need dominants like lesbians need men. Think about it,” but is more precisely stated, “Telling submissive people they need dominants for sexual fulfillment is like telling women they need men for sexual fulfillment.” Arguably its earliest articulation in my writing was in the post, “Submissive people don’t need Dominants. Period.

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The creep checking out your dating profile is a cop who used DMV records to see your home address

Dating on Duty: Officers Accused Of Screening Dates Using Police System:

This seems like a useful time to remind people that both Predator Alert Tool and Cop Block Tool (which is based on Predator Alert Tool) exist.

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This is what the difference between BDSM’ers and anti-rape kinksters looks like

Shortly after I published my last post, “What happens when a healthcare company’s employee takes down a rape survivor support site?” I received permission to publish an email from yet another PAT-FetLife user. It’s particularly relevant because it directly counters one of the most frequently cited justifications for why the healthcare company employee, Caroline Tyler, attacked Predator Alert Tool for FetLife and made it unavailable. That justification being that “it was set up for use in USA to identify people with a criminal record in our society, it has no use whatsoever in the UK.” (Definitely follow the link to FetLife and chime in, yourself, if you want.)

Of course, that is itself at best a grave misunderstanding of the purpose of the Predator Alert Tools and at worst yet another intentional lie from the Bitter BDSM’er Brigade about the tool. The truth is I intended Predator Alert Tool to be used wherever ethical people want to act in resistance of rape culture. National boundaries are not a sensible demarcation for such a demographic. (And it’s also why not having any moderator is a necessary, intentional design feature.)

So, without further ado, here’s the email:

Hi :)

I’m in the UK so I don’t know how good it will be to you, but if you ever turn up in Surrey my sofa is available for a kip. […]

I don’t know, your inbox is probably flooded with these kinds of messages so you probably don’t want to hear but I just wanted to thankyou for helping spread the anti-sexual-violence message and the whole thing with FAADE. I’m just incredibly grateful. It enabled me to warn people about Jack, also known as Fox_Vanweasel amongst other things, when the criminal justice system failed me. I think he and his honeytrap girlfriend Renegade-Hearts have deleted their accounts now, but it gave me a voice when I felt like I had none.

Jack restrained, raped, tortured and humiliated me for 6 hours but more than that he lied and betrayed my trust as well as physically overpowering me when I was a naive barely-18 year old, and he was a fully grown man. I was naive, but teenagers should be allowed to be naive without predators taking advantage of this.

He groomed me before executing a deeply violent attack, switching between sweet and caring and gift-giving to anally-raping and humiliating, then back to play video games and run me a bath. I was trapped in his house for 8 hours, too afraid to even speak. Yet the police told me I should have ‘fought back more’ when the blindfold slipped because his piss had dampened it. They told me it was a ‘he said, she said’ situation even though I later found his accounts on other sites expressing a desire to rape someone prior to my assault. They dismissed the case entirely and there was a report some time later on crime statistics in Croydon, where this was carried out, saying that a lot of people are dissuaded from taking the individual to court, or the police won’t do so, in order to make the official crime statistics (based on court cases) look lower.

So this unbiased, user-owned PAT tool is ideal in such situations of corruption, bureaucracy and pencil-pushing taking over from protecting real persons from real attacks. It’s a shame their accounts are gone so people can’t be warned, but maybe the interview with the police scared them off- made them realise they can face consequences.

Anyway. The real message is that you’re doing a good thing and you’re welcome to a drink or the couch if you’re ever in the UK.

-[Mia] :)

The takeaway here is that there is a very big difference between BDSM’ers and ethical kinksters. The overwhelming majority of information about kinky-sexy-things on the Internet isn’t useful. It’s rape apologist propaganda.

There’s no better demonstration of this than the fact that Predator Alert Tool’s most vocal and insistent attackers come from the supposedly “safe, sane, and consensual” BDSM community.

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What happens when a healthcare company’s employee takes down a rape survivor support site?

No, really. What does happen when an employee of a healthcare company attacks a website used by rape survivors to support one another? It’s not a hypothetical question. That actually happened. As I wrote earlier:

Due to a deliberate and sustained denial-of-service attack by a FetLife user, the Predator Alert Tool for FetLife reporting mechanism is unavailable. […] The attacker is not shy. She boasts about her actions on the BDSM/leather/kink dating website FetLife.com, where she goes by the username CarolyneTiler. Her legal identity is Caroline Tyler, a resident of Bradford, West Yorkshire in the UK.

[…]

The people whom Caroline Tyler is harming with her denial-of-service attack against Predator Alert Tool for FetLife are the people relying on PAT-FetLife as a way of communicating about dangerous people inside the kink/BDSM community.

Caroline Tyler’s motivations to attack PAT-Fetlife seem, at least in part, to be personally directed at me. However, attacking PAT-FetLife doesn’t harm me in any way. (I don’t use FetLife.) It harms people who want to remain involved in FetLife but who also want to have access to uncensored information about potential play partners. This kind of peer-to-peer reputation system (like “Yelp for BDSMers”), is something FetLife users have been requesting for years and that FetLife still refuses to provide.

If you’re worried about these attacks against PAT-FetLife hurting someone, it’s not me; it’s ethical kinksters on FetLife you should be worried about.

So, what happened? Well, in short order, several determined PAT-FetLife users collated information about Caroline Tyler and learned that she is employed by Egton Medical Information Systems, Ltd. (EMIS), a healthcare technology services provider, of all things. It’s certainly more than a little disturbing that a healthcare industry employee would actively attack a tool that rape survivors use to help keep themselves and others safe from sexual assaults. That’s a bit like calling 9-1-1 only to get shot by the cop who shows up “to help.” (True story.)

So, these PAT-FetLife users took it upon themselves to do something about the situation. The rest of this post is a statement these PAT-FetLife users shared with me, asking for your help in dissuading Caroline Tyler’s continued attacks against PAT-FetLife:

Caroline Tyler’s attacks on PAT-Fetlife are a direct attack on ethical kinksters on Fetlife and on survivors of sexual violence in general.

Context from maymay’s earlier posting:

When will the PAT-FetLife reporting mechanism be available again?

After Caroline Tyler’s first attack, I re-enabled PAT-FetLife. The next day, she again attacked the reporting form. This shows a deliberate intent to keep sexual violence survivors from accessing tools they use to communicate.

Unfortunately, also as discussed in my prior post, there is currently no technological way to prevent Caroline Tyler from continuing to make the PAT-FetLife reporting service unavailable. […] Adding new information to PAT-FetLife will therefore only be possible when at least one of the following happens:

  • Google Forms updates the PAT-FetLife back-end to their “new” Google Spreadsheets system. The timeline they provided for this is “in 2014,” so that could be a few months yet.
  • Caroline Tyler stops launching her denial-of-service attack on PAT-FetLife, either by her own choice or by being compelled to stop through social, legal, or other pressure.
  • A new version of Predator Alert Tool for FetLife based on the DAO technology I am currently exploring (mentioned above) is ready.

The last two bullet points – stopping Caroline Tyler’s denial-of-service attacks on PAT-Fetlife, and creating a new version of PAT-Fetlife – are how you can help. Coders with technical skills who want to help create a new Predator Alert Tool version should start by looking at the various PAT code repository websites. But even without new code, we can also help by speaking out against these attacks as follows.

Stop Caroline Tyler’s denial-of-service attacks on Fetlife

First, it’s worth noting that Caroline Tyler has been completely public about her actions and her identity. All the information in the Pastie page doxxing her is information she put online herself. She used her own name as her Fetlife username: She ain’t in the closet.

Second, the goal is not to get anybody fired, if only because then they’ll be even angrier and have more time to sit at home and continuing to launch DOS attacks. The goal is to stop the DOS attacks.

With that in mind, here’s specific ways you can help do that.

  1. Offering legal help: If you are or know a lawyer who takes on sexual violence cases, internet crimes cases, or both, contact maymay directly. If you are or know a programmer, talk to MM about how you can use those skills to help out.
  2. Contacting Caroline Tyler directly: If you’re on Twitter or Google Plus and can send a message to Caroline’s @-mentions or notifications (by following the previous links), remind her that her actions in taking down PAT-Fetlife are harming other people. Notably, after MM’s earlier updates, it appears Caroline Tyler removed her FetLife, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles (despite archives of each existing)—but if you see her appear in those places again, drop her a note there, too. In the mean time, you can chime in on the threads of her FetLife friends, such as this one.
  3. Contacting Caroline’s employer: We wrote and sent several emails to Caroline’s employer, EMIS, and encourage you to do the same. Templates are provided here. Click the “Send this email to EMIS HR personnel” link below the email you want to send to pre-fill your email program with the template:
    • Dear sir or madam:

      It has come to our attention that one of your employees, one Caroline Tyler, has been performing a Denial-Of-Service attack upon a rape reporting tool. Pursuant to Part 5, item 36 of the Police and Justice Act 2006, such attacks are illegal with penalties for those found guilty of such an attack being up to 10 years of imprisonment. As such, we are informing you that we are in the process of seeking legal advisement for pressing criminal charges. As you should already be aware, should such activity have been done using equipment belonging to your company, charges may extend to your business as well.

      Regards,
      YOUR_NAME

      Send this email to EMIS HR personnel

    • Dear Sue Mosley, Katy Standish, and Matt Murphy:

      I am a user of a program called PAT-fetlife, a volunteer-created anti-rape database for the social networking website Fetlife. An employee of EMIS, Caroline Tyler, an IT systems support consultant, has identified herself as engaging in “hacking” activities, specifically launching an ongoing denial-of-service attack on PAT-Fetlife and then boasting on Fetlife about doing so. The creator of PAT-Fetlife is currently seeking a lawyer.

      EMIS may wish to launch its own investigation into the matter, as a DOS attack on a volunteer-created database intended to address the public health issue of rape is directly counter to the mission of EMIS to create databases to improve public health and does not improve the reputation of EMIS as a whole.

      A brief outline of the ongoing incident can be found here:

      http://days.maybemaimed.com/post/92305706015/why-attacking-predator-alert-tools-backfire-on-attackers

      More details, including screen-shots of Caroline Tyler publicly boasting on Fetlife about the DOS attack can be found here:

      http://maybemaimed.com/2014/07/19/why-attacking-predator-alert-tools-backfire-on-attackers/

      Sincerely,

      YOUR_NAME

      Send this email to EMIS HR personnel

    It is reasonable to contact EMIS HR personnel, Caroline Tyler’s employer (as is easily gathered from her LinkedIn profile), in this case because as the originating computer(s) are not known, Caroline Tyler MAY be using work computers to carry out the DOS attack, which is undoubtedly against company policy.

    EMIS describes itself as “The UK’s leading supplier of healthcare software to GPs and a major software supplier to high street pharmacies.” In a nutshell, they make remotely accessible databases for health care. Hence, as PAT-Fetlife is a database to address the public health issue of rape, Caroline Tyler is acting to destroy something of the exact nature as the things she spends her work life building. According to GlassDoor, EMIS usually hires unskilled people and trains them in IT work, so there’s a good chance that Caroline Tyler acquired the skills and knowledge she’s using to attack PAT-Fetlife from working at EMIS.

    EMIS may have policies against their programmers engaging in illegal “hacking” in their free time. Even if they don’t, this will be embarrassing if it’s smeared across the papers (“EMIS Worker Attacks Anti-Rape Program”).

    If you’re in the medical/pharmaceutical or programing industry, particularly in England or otherwise in their hiring/selling region, please mention this to EMIS; these are the specific industries they are in and you are better positioned to exert social pressure on EMIS to curb the behavior of their employee.

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Believe it or not, Predator Alert Tool isn’t more widely used because, on some level, you think rape is okay.

So here’s an interesting thing. This article about Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid written by a woman in New York City (certainly a progressive city by most feminist standards) discusses rape culture without naming the term, but also contains a bunch of rape apologia of its own. Check out this telling excerpt:

Perhaps more importantly, I wonder whether it would have red flagged my now live-in boyfriend, who I met on OkCupid. He’s a great guy, but we’ve on several occasions discussed just how vague some of those match questions really are. For instance, the Predator Alert Tool looks at the OkCupid match question:

“Do you feel there are any circumstances in which a person is obligated to have sex with you?”

A “yes” answer is deemed problematic, obviously. However, some of the people answering “yes” might be men (and women) who, for instance, think that spouses are in some sense “obligated” to have sex with each other, but that that obligation does not extend to any particular night or cover extenuating circumstances like illness. Those individuals are not necessarily rapists waiting to happen (but they maybe could have thought twice before putting a red flaggy answer like that on a dating site without further explanation).

Spouses who think marriage is an obligation to have sex sometimes but not other times are “not necessarily rapists waiting to happen”? Really? What, exactly, are they, then? Opportunistic (coercive-)contract-leveraging sex-havers? You married them, so “on some level,” you owe them sex? Is an obligation to fuck (unless you have a headache) really still in the fine print of your marriage vows? REALLY?

Sometimes people ask me why the various Predator Alert Tools (especially the Predator Alert Tool for Facebook, which aims to create a support network of sexual assault survivors who share an abuser in common) aren’t more widely used. This is your answer, my friends: because even women living in a feminist progressive city like New York who actively promote the Predator Alert Tools still have a metric shit-ton of internalized rape apologia that they don’t even recognize as such.

Discuss.

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