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The Only Invitation Is An Actual Invitation

January 27, 2009

Part of this is inside-baseball for the BDSMers among the readership. Holly at Pervocracy posted this in comments:

Just because I sleep with a lot of people doesn’t mean I’ll sleep with you, nor does it mean that I don’t have the same boundaries as a normal human.

I’m a slut, not a household pet.


First, fucking awesome.
Second, AMEN!

I’ve been in and around various BDSM-identified scenes and communities for a while (measured in decades). I’m a big believer that BDSM communities have developed norms and tools of communication, negotiation and consent that are helpful, and that there are a lot of things about BDSM communities which can make them better than the general population. But, and it makes me a bit of a curmudgeon among other BDSMers, I have no patience for the shit that Holly describes, and that I’ve seen and heard about since Kurt Cobain was alive and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were good. As distinct from the way BDSMers deal with sex play itself, the way that sexualized social space is negotiated often partakes of the worst of gendered assumptions and entitlement. That may not be much better in other sexualized social spaces, in fact, and I certainly can’t speak to every scene. But it’s very frustrating to see folks who so “get it” on some levels so blow it on others. Like most of these things, it’s a huge problem that affects women’s lives across a broad swath of contexts: nobody has put it better than (fellow BDSMer) Stacey May Fowles in my favorite post on this blog, ever, “Up For It.”

Not every woman is a bottom. Not every bottom is a sub. Not every sub is het. Not every het sub woman plays outside a primary relationship. Not every het sub woman who plays outside a primary relationship wants to play WITH YOU. And even if she does, it’s not an invitation to grab her ass in public.

Is that too much to ask? Really?

Also, Holly’s actual post, lampooning certain socially awkward types at burgermunches*, is really funny. It’s not fair to say these folks constitute all or every BDSM community; they don’t. But for many of us, the in joke is really, really funny.

*I go back far enough to recall what I think is the origin of the term, when someone on the Usenet alt.sex.bondage group organized a bunch of Bay-area BDSMers who knew each other only online to go get some food and hang out.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2009 3:12 pm

    Oh dear lord, I know those people. And I guess I am a curmudgeon in the BDSM scene as well.

  2. Stacey May Fowles permalink
    January 31, 2009 12:53 pm

    This is an amazing post. I want to get the “Not every woman…” paragraph printed on a card to hand out at every opportunity.

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