Consent 101 #BDSM #ConsentMatters

stitchfrustrated

In light of the Michael Makai / Charles Michael Segaloff arrest, I’m going to reiterate the basics of consent when it comes to BDSM. This really is not a difficult topic to grok for most people, but apparently some self-appointed BDSM “gurus” like Mr. Makai/Segaloff  and others need a reminder.

For starters, watch this:

Consent is a very easy, very basic concept, and it is at the CORE of what it is that we do (WIITWD).

  1. They must be HUMAN. (I know that’s ew to contemplate, but hey, there are people out there who need that reminder.)
  2. They must be an ADULT. We are NOT talking age of consent in terms of sex. This is DIFFERENT. So in the US, that means 18. (Why do you seriously want to quibble about a year or two? SERIOUSLY? Especially if you are OVER 18? Do you NOT realize how fucking EWWW that is??) EIGHTEEN. If they cannot vote and cannot legally sign a contract before they are 18, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO PUT YOURSELF IN LEGAL JEOPARDY DOING ANYTHING WITH THEM???? Because it’s not just about the sex, it’s about ALLLLL the other stuff, too, and let me tell you what. Age of consent laws DO NOT PROTECT YOU from assault, battery, false imprisonment, etc. charges. They do NOT. So DO NOT DO IT.
  3. They must be conscious, and in full possession of their faculties, mentally and physically.
  4. They must not be drunk, or under the influence of drugs or medication that could impair their judgment.
  5. They must not have a physical or mental condition that prohibits them from being able to completely comprehend what they are consenting to.
  6. They must NOT be coerced to say yes. (And just because YOU don’t think they’re being coerced doesn’t mean they don’t feel like they’re being coerced.)
  7. Assume EVERYTHING is a NO unless there is an EXPLICIT yes.
  8. Get used to saying, “No is a perfectly acceptable answer.” AND FUCKING MEAN IT. People LIKE it when they don’t feel pressured. They want to trust someone MORE when they don’t feel pressured.
  9. Don’t be a dick and pitch a temper tantrum or get snarky or passive-aggressive if someone says NO, or withdraws consent.

So here’s how this works, in a few examples:

  • She’s drunk and said she’s horny and–NO!
  • She is kind of out of it now but earlier she said she wanted to–NO!
  • She said I could spank her ass, so that means I can finger her even though I didn’t–NO!
  • It should be okay to hit her with this paddle because she said I could hit her with this riding crop–NO!
  • But she looks so adorable all tied up, I’m sure she’d be okay if I just–NO!

One more time…

Assume EVERYTHING is a NO unless there is an EXPLICIT YES.

This is NOT a difficult concept.

They must be over 18. They must explicitly consent.

I tell newbies when they start, especially submissive women, do NOT give blanket “yes” answers to stuff. Do NOT say, “Oh, let’s try some stuff and I’ll tell you when to stop.” NO. DO NOT DO THAT. Say, “Okay, you can spank me bare-handed over my panties and you can lightly use a riding crop on me.” (That’s an example. Be specific to what you will allow, because you have NO clue what the other person might be thinking of loopholing into your blanket yes.)

If you give a blanket yes to someone and you don’t know them very well, and you don’t trust them, then you are setting yourself (and the Top) up for a potentially bad situation. And maybe not even an intentionally bad one on the Top’s part. But you cannot be un-hit. You cannot be un-groped or un-fingered. And if you’re a Top, you cannot un-do whatever it is that you did that pushed it from fun to a consent violation.

As a Top, if you are STUPID enough to get a blanket yes from a partner without having played with them for a while first and knowing their hard and soft limits in excruciating detail, especially a new partner, then you are an IDIOT. Help the bottom define things. Do NOT try stuff without a yes.

Obviously, before y’all go batshit on me, I’m NOT talking people who’ve been together for a while and have ALREADY negotiated through hard and soft limits and already KNOW the basics.

BUT…HOWEVER.. NEVER forget that, LEGALLY, just because you have a 24/7 “no limits” Master/slave agreement, if the slave at ANY time says, NO, and you don’t stop? I don’t give a shit if your slave contract is written on 24k gold, the government will prosecute your ass for assault (or whatever charge) because you didn’t stop. So keep that in mind. You could be together for 20 years, and if your partner sits up and says, STOP, and you don’t stop? You are legally crossing the threshold from consent to non-consent.

LEGALLY, if someone says NO, STOP, DON’T, then you HAVE TO STOP.

So…one more time…

Assume EVERYTHING is a NO unless there is an EXPLICIT YES.