In part 2 of a new series on rape culture and abuse in BDSM communities, M. Lunas highlights some of new FetLife Community Manager Susan Wright’s two-faced misdirections:
In January 2013, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), a legal advocacy organization for kinky and/or ethically non-monogamous people, released a survey about consent in BDSM communities. At the very end of they summary of findings, NCSF writes:
Additionally, 30.1% of respondents indicated that they had a pre-negotiated limit violated and 14.9% had experienced having a safe word or safe sign ignored. The aggregate total is 33%: 1 in 3 kinky people have experienced a consent violation, further emphasizing the need for greater education.
33%. That’s dramatically higher than the already-way-too-high rate of sexual assault in America (20%).
Susan Wright from NCSF says the results indicate “there is still confusion between consensual BDSM and assault.”
Let me get this straight. ONE-THIRD of people that NCSF surveyed had their consent violated, and the best NCSF can say is that there is “confusion” and a “need for greater education?” Really? This isn’t an “additional” interesting finding. This is evidence of a crisis. And we should be suspicious of the motives of anyone who pretends otherwise.
I will grant that the NCSF does a lot of good work on spreading an understanding of how consent is supposed to work, and trying to improve the legal status of BDSM activities. They get it in theory, clearly, since they have a good summary of consent principles from a legal perspective up on their page. […T]hey have a fundamentally assimilationist agenda, and that’s dangerous. In short, NCSF often seems to care more about making BDSM seem safe to outsiders than making the scene be safe. And no matter what good legal work they do, the honest truth is that none of their work is of any use if we let abuse fester inside the community.
While long, this whole series is shaping up to be worth a read, starting at Part 1, especially for people not already familiar with sexuality subcultures. It’s doing a great job so far of distinguishing the individualistic BDSM experience from the horrific facts of what BDSM as a culture is really like.
I’m particularly looking forward to reading Part 3, which M. Lunas says will focus on rape culture in online communities.