Polyerosy/amory

poly2This is my reply to this question on Suffer for Me on FetLife. I just use the shortened word of poly as I do have issues with the word love because as someone who is poly not all my relationships have included love. They may include caring, affection, intimacy, sex, but not always love as in “in love.”

As a little girl I would draw these fantasy house plans up and I always had multiple bedrooms for all the wives. I was not raised poly. My parents are vanilla & monogamous. I had no knowledge of any relationships that included more than one wife. So where that came from, I have no idea, but I had this image in my head of multiple wives cooking and doing household chores together and laughing. The scenes in my head are just as vivid today as they were when I was 10. Lots of love and joy.

Fast forward to 1994 when I found words for who I was and what I did. Many of the online bdsm type usenet groups talked about poly too.

After leaving my husband, I entered into a “harem” poly family. The dominant had many female submissives. Some lived with us and some didn’t. The submissives weren’t allowed outside relationships. Intimately and sexually we could be with him and the other submissives, but not other males.

When I left that relationship, I explored a more open type of poly. I was submissive to a married man (wife was vanilla and gave blessing for him to explore D/s with me), I had few play partners. I was part of long distance relationship that was a triad with a D/s dynamic. I would visit once them every 3 months. I had 2 girlfriends – 1 was a long distant relationship. I also had a daddy/little girl relationship with my former dominant.

When those ended, I was just trying to figure out what exactly I wanted in a relationship. I did explore and “date.” Eventually I figured out what exactly I wanted and Master contacted me just about that time.

We have been together for 12 years. When we first got together, he knew of my poly background, but honestly I was bitter and broken from it. He had been monogamous so was fine not exploring poly.

One day I came to him and said, “hey what do you think of trying to find someone and have a closed triad.” He said that sounded good. Really it wasn’t that short of conversation. We talked about it for months looking at every angle, discussing issues that might come about and all that.

In October, the triad we were apart of ended. We are still grieving and processing.

Like @OP I am not jealous either. I get happy and my heart explodes with love when I see my love with someone he loves. It turns me on and makes me happy.

I do get envious at times and I do make the distinction between jealousy and envy. Envy happens at times when I see Master doing something to her that he hasn’t done on me for a long time and I think “oh I wish we would do that.” I don’t want him to stop and not do it with her which would be jealousy to me if I did. I want her to experience everything and have fun and enjoy his sadism, but I sometimes do go oh I hope he does me next.

Lesson #2078: nothing is mine

Master injured his shoulder. He has been going to the chiropractor, doing exercises for it, and he told me yesterday morning he needs to do more things like unloading the dishwasher as those movements are like physical therapy. He wants me to tell him when the dishwasher needs unloaded to help him in healing his shoulder.

I am service oriented and my main focus of service is domestic servitude. I totally get the fact of why unloading the dishwasher will help his shoulder and that telling him the dishwasher is ready to unload is a service.

“So just to clarify, Master, you want me to tell you to unload the dishwasher?”

“Yes.”

“Yes, Master.”

Cut to that afternoon, when breakfast and lunch dishes are piling up on the counter, because the dishes in the dishwasher are clean and haven’t been unloaded yet. I stood there probably a good 10 seconds looking at the dishes and said, “Master, the dishwasher needs unloading.”

He came back smiling with a big grin and saying, “yes Ma’am.” He laughed and got a kick out of seeing me squirm with the “yes Ma’am.” Sadist.

Lesson for me that has come up before – nothing is mine. See sometimes I claim ownership on the service I provide. Meaning cleaning the kitchen is MINE. It is what I do and I claim it as in having control or authority over it.

But that really isn’t the case. He has the authority to take away that service or alter it. In fact, he has at times. I think the first time he cleaned the kitchen, many years ago, I crumbled into tears and through hysterical sobbing told him to stop in a loud…umm possibly yelling voice…telling him “you can’t do that it is MINE!” Now granted I was sick so my brain was clouded by fever, but I can tell you that yelling doesn’t create the image of a slave in this household. Yeah, I know not one of my finer moments.

So I do better when I look at the service I provide as a privilege. He has commanded that I am responsible for cleaning and it is a service he demands of me. But that doesn’t mean he can’t order me to sit in a chair and watch him clean. Yes he has done that too. Yeah it went over only slightly better than that first time and this time I didn’t have a fever induced judgement as an excuse.

Master can certainly clean the house himself, but he would prefer to give that to me so he can do other things. So it is a service he requires of me and I like serving. Sometimes though I do get caught up with that image I have in my head of what a service oriented slave “should” look like. I have had that trip me up many times in my years of serving Master. When I allow that image to guide me, I am serving my own agenda and not being of service.

Today was a milestone for me, because although I asked for clarification because I wanted to be clear in what I heard – I didn’t pout, cry , or think I must be a horrible submissive if he doesn’t want me to unload the dishwasher. I didn’t go through the long list of emotional vomit that my feelings can conjure in a matter of moments. 12 years here and finally I was able to say, “yes Master” without adding all sorts of stuff into it. No “it’s mine” or worrying that I wasn’t serving him by “letting” him unload the dishwasher. It was just, “yes Master.”

So as I got ready to go to bed last night, I said, “Master the dishwasher will be ready to unload in the morning.” He of course said, “yes Ma’am” again to make me squirm. I love that sadistic man who owns me and feel absolutely honored to serve him in anyway he commands.

Understanding punishments

Another day, another head scratching moment.

On FL, I came across a post by which an s-type admitting to having done something against her d-type’s wishes.  The punishment administered was to masturbate in public at multiple locations.

*sighs*

I know we all approach the lifestyle differently and there’s no one way to do the things we do …. but really?

How is masturbating a punishment?

I completely get that this might be how some folks see punishments as being, but I just don’t agree with it for my relationships.  What’s the lesson to be learned in the final analysis?

* Do something against the d-type wishes (break a rule, command, whatever)
* Be told to masturbate as punishment

Lesson learned … is …. break more rules and commands so that masturbational activity can continue?

It’s okay if your dynamic swarms around fun-ishments … and if in the colloquial analysis you want to call them punishments – then I suppose that’s up to you.  Personally, I don’t like it when my s-types do something against my wishes.  It’s more important to me to find out why things didn’t happen and to fix those things – rather than giving them some masturbation exercise that really doesn’t teach them anything.

I’m not sure how the fun-ishers deal with things they want changed … if they are dangling masturbation and other acts as “punishments.”  It makes things complicated and inconsistent.  Does the rationale rest in trying to keep the dynamic from going too deep?  How does fun-ishments reinforce the things those d-types want their s-types to do?

I’m logically trying to figure out how those dynamic sustain themselves over the long haul.

Consensual issues (part 3): Separating facts from projections

Bob is a bad man.
Bob did very cruel and inhuman things.
Bob is dangerous.
Bob pushes lines and does mean things.

We don’t like Bob.

Bob has been banished from our land.

Except…

Did we really glean anything about Bob?  Do we know what Bob did?  No.  But someone out there made an accusation … and all things we knew about Bob are immediately slanted to whatever the accusation is.  “Bob is bad.”

There’s a climate in local communities at the moment that are approaching abuse and consensual non-consent (CNC) issues with a very zealous blinding attack cycle.  I appreciate and support the awareness lessons that are currently being advocated.  However I’m a bit concerned that some folks are projecting more of their own issues towards this crusade and not keeping a balanced check of their emotions and past.

Being blinded by such projections do not allow us to objectively look at the problem and make sound, rational and sane decisions about Bob.  Yet there are those that instinctively have figured out Bob without gathering any other facts beyond that which was said up above.  “Oh I knew he was a bad person.  I heard … I heard … then I heard ….”

I’m not very intrigued at the what and how Bob did things … I’m more interested in the why things happened the way they did.

I am very much opposed of the overzealous nature by which Bob gets skewered for whatever Bob apparently did.  Communities instinctively have knee-jerk reactions as they seek to ban, flog, and stone Bob to death for whatever atrocities he is believed to have done.  I know you may be reading this going: “yeah, he’s going to blame the victim,” when simply I’m imploring people to reflect on the totality of what happened instead of making erroneous rashes to judgment.

If Bob did bad bad things, then Bob deserves to be punished for those things.

It’s plain and simple.

But if Bob engaged into a situation with Sally – then in the interest of fairness, we need to examine the totality of what happened and why it happened.  That’s not a lobbied support to accept Bob as an innocent as much as it’s important to examine Sally’s role in what happened.  That’s because when folks partake in a consensual environment, in a consensual kink dynamic, there’s a mutual engagement between people. Someone becomes the dominant, someone becomes the submissive.  A scene, play weekend or dynamic then evolves from that.  Hence the reason that there’s a shared responsibility between Bob and Sally that most advocates seem to casually omit when banging their war drums loudly.

By examining what Sally did on her part also enables us to learn how to better teach s-types to avoid the peril Sally faced.  If at the very least, offering a fair warning, educating her more extensively in the negotiation phase or better yet – how to teach her to better listen to her instincts.  We stand to gain a lot of information as to why things happened as they did.

Yes, we can put all the onus and burden on Bob since he’s the d-type.  I can understand that perspective.  But the majority of the situations out there come from an agreement being reached between two like minded people to engage in … something.  If Bob kidnapped Sally.  If he broke into her house.  If he did anything where Sally could not negotiate and be in agreement with, then that’s wrong.  Bob deserves the criticism.  Bob deserves the punishment.  Bob deserves the scrutiny.

If Sally agrees and consents, then that little play on words is how we try to explain to vanillas that makes it okay when Bob spanks, whips, binds, bites and otherwise has his way with her.  Consent is at the heart of our dynamics and interactions no matter how intense or vicious the scene might become.

The integral part of consent is that it’s reached by both parties to engaged in … this or that or the other.  If Sally agreed to engage with Bob to do … things … then we need to take that into consideration.  It’s not an automatic thing, more information is needed.

Onward.

“But Sally had that one scene with him where he beat her with a dog toy and touched her inappropriately.”

Do we know what was negotiated?
Have they played together before?
Do we know what Sally and Bob talked about prior to the scene?
Do we know how much Sally knew about Bob?
Do we know how much Bob knew about Sally?
Did Sally check out Bob’s other play partners to see what kind of play he engages in?
Do we know how much she tried to know what Bob’s style was like?
Do we know if Sally knew that Bob was a dark sadist?  Is he?
Do we know if Bob knew that Sally is quite a masochist?  Is she?
Do we know what kind of masochist Sally is?
Do we know what kind of play Sally enjoys?
Do we know how much Bob conveyed to Sally?
Has Sally ever safe worded to anyone before?
Has Bob ever had anyone safe word during a scene?
Has Sally conveyed what she’s like when she goes into floaty space?
Has Sally conveyed what she’s like what she drops out of floaty space?
Does Bob really understand Sally’s floaty space and does he know what to do when the space happens?
Did they ever discuss their previous experiences so as to get a basis of what happened before?
Do we know if Bob thoroughly outlined what he planned on doing to her?
Do we know if Bob was completely honest and forthright with Sally?
Do we know if Sally was completely honest and forthright with Bob?
Did Bob outlines places he was NOT going to go with Sally?
Do we know if Sally outlined places she did NOT want to go with Bob?
Did Sally ever tell him “do what you want to do” at any point they were together?
Did Sally say anything that Bob could have possibly misconstrued as a green light into the wrong place?
Did Sally convey what triggers she has? Did she say where they come from?
Did Bob know that the play he wanted to do with Sally were going to trip triggers?
Did Bob ask Sally if she wanted to be touched sexually as the scene was going on?
Does Sally remember Bob asking her? Does Bob remember her answer?
Did Sally ever convey to him that sexual touching was a hard limit?
Did Bob ever convey to her that sexual touching was something he was going to do?
If Bob nor Sally didn’t discuss sexual touching – why didn’t they?
During their scene, did Sally safe word?
Did they discuss what safe words were going to be employed?
If Sally safe worded, did Bob know?  What did Bob do?
If he didn’t stop – why didn’t he?
If he knew it was a limit and didn’t stop, why didn’t he?
If she didn’t safe word, why didn’t she?
If she couldn’t safe word because she was frozen and unresponsive, then why didn’t Bob or Sally end the scene before she entered that state?
Did Bob know that Sally has a tendency of freezing up and becoming unresponsive?
What exactly do we know and why aren’t we then brutally honest with what we don’t know?

(The above list of questions are only good if everyone is blatantly honest and forthcoming with the information they’re providing. Folks that deceive their way to the “truth” – are an entirely different matter and it’s pointless attempting to get information out of them.)

I’m not blaming Sally, nor am I blaming Bob either.

“Why aren’t you blaming Bob?”

Because we lack context. We lack information. We lack perspective that can objectively review things.  We don’t know what transpired between Bob and Sally beforehand, during and after.  We don’t know what steps Sally took to protect herself nor do we know how much Bob communicated exactly what he was going to do.

“But Sally fully negotiated out what was to happen.”

I doubt it very seriously she followed the line of questioning up above.

We don’t know how clearly things were conveyed or not. We don’t know if it was a misinterpretation or a deliberate plot to cross any line that Sally puts up.  We don’t know if Bob just took advantage of the situation or if he believed he had the right to do things because of what he interpreted from Sally.  We don’t know a lot of information – and we haven’t even begun to look at the scene yet.

We don’t know if she safe worded.  We don’t know if Sally was triggered nor do we know if Bob knew about the triggers in advance.  We don’t know if she went into subspace or subdrop or what her capacity was like during the scene.  We don’t know what was conveyed during the scene or what transpired after the scene.  We don’t know what the agreed upon expectation for the scene was going to be.  Was she going to get floaty?  Was that the agreed plan and idea?  Did they walk through every step of floaty and aftercare?  We can all go blame Bob for what he’s being accused of, but as you can see much investigation still needs to be done.  Instead of instinctively picking up our pitchforks, torches and shovels we need some patience to understand what happened.

This isn’t to say that Bob did bad things, he very well could’ve and did.  It’s also equally important to look at what Sally did too.

“Aha!  Here he’s finally blaming the victim.”  No.  I’m not.

At the core of our scenes and dynamics, they are generally fostered in two (or more) folks seeking something from one another.  There’s consent, a shared responsibility, a shared level of “hey, things are going to be done to you.”  “Ok, I want things done to me.”   There’s also a shared responsibility to make sure that there’s an understanding of what’s to be expected.  If it’s going to be a no-sex scene, then changing it mid-stream is a PRETTY BIG F***** DEAL.  D-types that brush that off as something minimal truly doesn’t understand what kind of game changer something like that can be.  Conversely, if an s-type teasingly says she wants to be fucked while she’s already spacing out in their own little universe – then d-types might take that to be an invitation or a game changing deal that they are interpreting. Whether or not the s-type wanted the game changing event to happen, D-types should always stay within the agreed upon terms UNLESS the dynamic has evolved in a way that ALLOWS for those terms to change.

Even when there’s shared responsibility, it doesn’t mean d-type is automatically innocent.  If Sally did everything she could to find out about Bob’s history, she negotiated things to the T, she ensured that there was definite boundaries involved – then she’s done her part.  It’s up to Bob to ensure that he lives up to all the things that was agreed to.

If there’s dangling threads and if Sally didn’t go through all of the things she should’ve when playing with Bob – then that doesn’t excuse what Bob did either.  But it doesn’t mean that Sally’s responsibility in her part shouldn’t go unnoticed either. Not unlike any potentially harmful situations, if we don’t educate ourselves and practice some diligence in our processes we run the risk of a lot of things that could go very badly.  That’s why we have to fill out waivers about implied responsibilities when we sky dive, or take a rock climbing course, or even going to the gym.

We ultimately accept the responsibility of what happens to us.

That’s no different here – except we do enter into an agreement, arrangement, or an understanding of what can, will, potentially could happen in a scene or dynamic.

Yes, Bob needs to do what he can to uphold what is expected of him.
Yes, Sally needs to do what she can to uphold what is expected of her.

It’s entirely possible that Sally herself violated the established consent with Bob.

GULPS – WHAT THE FUCK?

If an s-type was physically, mentally and emotionally able to articulate a line or limit and they do not … then the s-type has violated consent in that situation.  It’s not “mental” to hold s-types responsible for being able to be as communicative as they can be.

To clarify: an s-type who can’t articulate a line or limit because they are experiencing mental trauma in the form of a trigger or landmine is not included in that statement.  One cannot expect an s-type to effectively communicate when their emotional and mental state are chaotically attacking everything internally.

However.

Responsible s-types will articulate their triggers and landmines well in advance so that they can be best avoided.  D-types are not mind readers. Some of us can’t read a book much less read someone’s body language.  The best way to avoid a potentially traumatic scene is to communicate everything out in the open so that things can be steered around or avoided.  s-types that don’t seek to inform d-types of the lines, limits and triggers have failed in providing a consensual situation from forming because they have held back critical information from the onset.

“Wait, so can an s-type change their mind in the middle of a scene if they need the D-type to change things up?  Or do they just have to suffer through it because ‘that’s what was agreed upon?'”

Yes.  Situations change all the time – even within the confines of a scene.  Parties should negotiate and more importantly, have the ability to rationally process and negotiate so as to avoid the “in the heat of the moment” mistakes that can happen.  If a s-type promises sex and later says they don’t want to, then the D-type has to respect that change.  Let downs happen bub – sorry.

The important thing is to find the best way to communicate all sides before, during and after the situation.  It’s not just a matter of “red, yellow, green, purple alligator, or brussel sprouts” as your safeword.  It’s about being completely open and honest through every step of the process.  It’s about establishing and maintaining that respect through every part of the situation.  If communication isn’t happening, then there’s going to be a whole lot of problems.

Communication problems are not a D-only issue.  s-types are also very good at miscommunicating or confusing things because it’s not completely clear when things are going on.  All sides need to stop and ensure that everyone knows what’s to be expected and where the comfort level lies.

“Gee, that’s a lot of stuff to do if I just want my ass flogged.”

Yes.  That’s true.  But what’s the alternative?  Having traps and triggers sprung up because all this negotiation work is seriously affecting your hard on or insatiable need to orgasm? If you’re not willing to stave off your loin lust for 30 minutes so that you can talk to Bob about the flogging scene, then I question the sanity of the situation.

What is completely lost in the entire abuse debate is that the d and s form a close mutualistic dynamic – whether it’s just for a scene or longer.  They both seek something from the other.  Hence they ultimately share in the responsibility before, during and after.

Both Bob and Sally could’ve used some outreach, education, communication and respect before they started talking about meeting up at the Motel 6 for a beat and greet.  They both get red marks for not getting to know each other when they should’ve.  They should’ve been more communicative. However, If Bob is a serial perpetrator then there should be consequences for him.  Society, not just our lifestyle, can do away with the likes of the serial abusers … but in your average situation where things can and likely can become miscommunicated, misinterpreted or misunderstood – the “blame” is mitigated and distributed accordingly.  There has to be a willingness to share the responsibility in most cases.

While I openly admit that there are predators out there – the reality is that the real world is full of them.  If there’s the perception that the lifestyle can somehow protect and guard against such horrific conduct …  then I do have some swamp land for you to see that guarantees gold.  Predators are going to find their way wherever they can.  No amount of policing or pitch-forking is going to stop that.  The best what we can do to counter that is to educate, improving our outreach and be there for those that find themselves in such situations.

As community, we need to apply some patience when fact gathering so that we don’t admonish someone out of the gates when there was a misunderstanding.  Sally’s plight is very serious and needs to be heard.  Bob is going to have some explaining to do, but both entered into a situation where outside the line behavior did not happen.  How things got awry becomes a two-person operation unless it can be well established that Bob is a serial abuser and bad person.  Before that conclusion can be reached, we all need to exercise a bit of patience and absorb the factual components of what’s known about the situation before making the leap across the dangerous abyss.

We need to accept the reality that misinterpretations can happen just as much as we have to accept the reality that there will be those that push past lines and limits to achieve whatever they wanted.

—————————————————————-

Consensual Issues (part 1): Rape culture & the lifestyle
Consensual Issues (part 2): The Problem is in the Definition
Consensual Issues (part 3): Separating facts from projections
Consensual Issues (part 4): The Unfortunate Death of Communication
Consensual Issues (part 5): Scolding the Dominant
Consensual Issues (part 6): Personal Responsibility
Consensual Issues (part 7): Community Responsibility


Half Anniversary

Six moIMG_9557nths! Tomorrow marks 6 months with Sir and Danae. Whoot! Where did the time go? So much has occurred. So much has changed. In such a short space of time. I can’t even begin to imagine what 6 years might bring!

As I sat at my desk, this morning, the door to the office hesitantly cracked open. I looked up to tell whomever is most likely lost, “Come in” in my friendly receptionist voice. Sir’s face peeks around the corner of the door just as I finish my invitation. I excitedly get up to usher him in when I see Danae is behind him! This was an unexpected and very welcome visit.

As he fully appears around the door, I can see he is holding flowers! I wonder what the occasion is, but am too excited to see them to worry about the flowers. I reach for the two of them as he hands me the flowers and I realize Danae is holding flowers, too. I ask what they are for and if Danae had gotten some as well. They both shake their heads while telling me that they are for our anniversary and both vases are for me. I blankly look at the two of them, long enough, that Danae explains tomorrow is the 10th – our 6 month anniversary! I unsuccessfully attempt to catch the squeal as it spills from my ear-to-ear grin…..and hold the flowers…..and hug them…..all at the same time! They laugh and we all hug, as the warmth of our love surrounds us there in my normal, everyday office space. What a wonderful surprise!

What a wonderful life! I am blessed beyond words to have Sir and Danae in my life and honored to have the opportunity to be in theirs. To share experiences, both good and not-so-good. To hold and be held. To do common household chores together. To sit in each others’ company. To do art and write poetry together. To just be. Together. It is such a wonder!

Tonight, we returned to the place it slowly began between us. We sat at the same table in a local pizza place and enjoyed dinner. We laughed and marveled at the changes. We giggled and chuckled at the heady emotion that surrounded us. We celebrated the moments that had been and were currently passing. The food was lovely. The memories were a lot of fun. (Surprisingly, there are quite a few in only 6 months!) The love was almost visible.

Hey, world! Guess what?? I’m in love! I’m loved! I could stand on a mountain top, dancing and twirling, while singing of it to all of you. I am bursting with joy and excitement. The smile won’t leave my face. Concentration to type is difficult, but this is an occasion to be earmarked. One of many more to come, I’m sure.

Happy six months, Sir! Happy six months, Danae! May blessings rain down upon you both. I love you. I treasure you.

Consensual Issues (part 2): The Problem is in the Definition

It’s amazing how so much of what we do in the lifestyle turns on a single word:

CONSENT

It seems simple.

I consent to a surgical procedure.
I consent to you preparing a meal as I selected from the menu.
I consent to kiss you.
I consent to giving you a hug.
I consent to you leaving my ass to be a bloody mess.

Ah, consent.

It’s an extremely powerful, seven-letter word.  In lifestyle terms, it is the most sacred word we use. It establishes an agreement – an understanding – and gives permission for us to move forward in doing something.  It’s the green light and the antithesis to “Red!,” “Stop!” and “Quit using that &#$@% thing, dammit!”

Consent is at the heart of the things we do to one another.

In the outside world, we keep assuring the vanillas that, because there’s consent, there’s nothing else to worry about.  “I know what I’m doing; it’s okay.”  Even if it seems to them that we’re completely insane for doing something, if we’re consenting to it, it’s okay.  We sometimes compare ourselves to the likes of those that partake in extreme sports (e.g., skydiving, climbing tall buildings or radio towers, motorcycle jumping and other daredevil antics).  “We are doing the same thing. We know what we’re getting into, therefore, my vanilla worriers, it’s okay.  I know what I’m doing.  I’m a trained professional.”  🙂

Definition problems:  I’m not a boxing or ultimate fighter championship fan.  I don’t see how the goal of beating your opponent into submission (or death) is an adequate sport, and this would be why I wouldn’t last very long in a gladiator ring.  The opponents agree to, and consent to, engage each other to the brink of brutality.  No problem, right?  As long as boxer A and boxer B consent, we should get our rumble on and let them duke it out, right?

That’s when some folks start to question the sanity of the decision to consent.  That’s where folks start questioning whether or not we’re capable of deciding – if we’re sane enough to consent.  It goes back to “no self-respecting person would allow themselves to be beaten by another.”  Yet, here we are – here the community is.  That’s also usually when they start commenting how “crazy” that is and quickly pigeon-holing us into the “special needs” folder.

That’s the problem with consent: others are trying to make the determination for us.

Folks tend to invoke their own thoughts and prejudices, without considering that it is not their place to judge, scorn, or shun.  If folks say they consent, then we need to take them at their word that they rationally arrived at that decision, even if we have severe misgivings, suspicions, or hunches to the contrary.  In another words:

It’s not their place.
It’s our decision.
It’s our consent.

Normally, once consent is agreed upon and the scene played out, there are no issues.  Folks consenting to an established parameter of things, who then play within that established sandbox, reach its conclusion amicably.

But the predators and dangerous folks out there use the lifestyle’s consent paradigm against us.  They use consent like toilet paper – before discarding and flushing it away.  They misuse consent, disrespect it, and ultimately damage those around them, who come away wounded, hurt, and otherwise scarred.  That’s the origin for the the discussions happening out there.

Folks who habitually violate consent, whether in the lifestyle or not, have no place in society.  It’s really straight forward.  Either they get help and see why they did what they did or they face the ramifications for not owning up to it.  If someone repeatedly violates the consent derived between two people, it becomes a non-consensual situation.  Period.

Know what you’re consenting to:  If we went into a restaurant and ordered steak, we would be pretty upset if what we got was a veggie omelet.

“But I ordered steak?”

“I know, but veggie omelet was also on the menu and that’s what the cook decided to make you.”

We would leave in a huff and probably wouldn’t be back.

If that happened in a scene, it would be pretty easy to see that what was anticipated to occur, didn’t happen at all.  “All I wanted was a flogging; I didn’t expect to hug, kiss, and cuddle afterwards!”

Here enters the problem with consensual negotiations:  Know what you’re consenting to.

How does the d-type you’re considering having a scene with, handle their menu selection of things to do?  Are they going to expect you to endure a veggie omelet or are they going to give you what was consented to?  If you can’t answer either question, then you’re going into that situation knowingly blind.  You’re risking that things might fall outside the parameters that were negotiated.

Don’t assume:  One thing that drives me crazy at restaurants is when the server automatically assumes that I want lemon in my water.  Even if everyone else around me orders lemon and I say no, there are times the assumption (i.e., mistake) is made that I, too, wanted lemon.

It may seem like a small and trivial bit, but it’s also the exact same reason why some folks believe that it’s perfectly okay for “touchy-feely, huggy groping and kisses on the cheek” are acceptable.  Ask before doing that.  Get the other person’s consent and don’t assume  that just because you got permission to spank, flog, or whatever, that it’s opening the door for other things to happen.  Going back to the restaurant analogy:  just because you ordered the steak doesn’t automatically mean you wanted the appetizer, dessert, and happy hour drinks added to your bill without your authorization or consent.

Ask, don’t assume.

Consensual expiration dates:  Believe it or not, consent can expire.  Just because we had a great time doing that intense scene last month does not automatically mean I have received permission, or consent, today to do anything.  Look above:  don’t assume; ask before doing anything.  We are organic folks that change constantly.  How we react to a hug, spank, or grope may also change.  What conduct was okay before, may not be okay today or tomorrow.

Consensual relationships: If you partake in a relationship which may involve an ongoing dynamic, your consent is going to be radically different.  Yes, you’re going to agree on stuff “happening,” but, how the parties arrange it and forge it from the smelter, ultimately determines the scope of what happens, when, and how.  It’s much more complicated, as we tend to think of consensual relationships as being the sandbox of doing whatever we want.

It’s complicated because it’s not scene-dependent.
It’s ongoing.
It’s evolving.

Your relationship might just be that menu selection or your relationship can be any shade therein.  There’s no right way or wrong way for relationships except whatever works best in your situation and/or dynamic.

To summarize the core principles of consent:

* It always begins between two or more people
* It is negotiated
* It is discussed
* It defines the things we do
* It can be finite
* It can expire
* It should be absolute
* It is not an automatic hug, kiss, grope, fondle or touch card
* It can be revoked
* It must be respected
* It mustn’t be assumed
* It is at the core of how most of us define the thing we do
* Is mutual
* Is not a one-way street
* It can be scary
* It can be freeing
* It can be damaging
* It could be “awesome! Out of this world!”
* It could go down in smoldering flames of defeat

Consent is not abuse when the parties involved maintain their conduct within the parameters that they agreed to.  When either side (yes, either side) violates the conditions they agreed to.  Consent has been violated  (More on this in later chapters.)

Consensual non-consent: The other raging debate is the concept of CNC or  affectionately (sarcasm) referred to as: “the acceptance of abuse or abusive relationships because the d-type has taken the s-type’s right to say “no.”

That just sounds harsh.

Reality:  consensual non-consent starts with consent.  It’s the agreement to come into the restaurant and watch the doors lock behind you.  It’s the agreement that you’re going to accept anything, everything, and nothing that happens to you after the doors slam shut.  It’s the agreement that such an arrangement was sought out and rationally arrived at.  It’s the agreement that you choose to be there.

Consensual non-consent is not for everyone.
Consensual non-consent can be freeing.
Consensual non-consent can be horrifying.
Consensual non-consent can be empowering.
Consensual non-consent is not founded on the principles of abuse.
Consensual non-consent does not dismiss responsibilities from the parties involved.
Consensual non-consent can remove choices from the menu selection.
Consensual non-consent can activate internal triggers and other landmines.
Consensual non-consent should not be looked upon as something one aspires to become.
Consensual non-consent does not come with guarantees, waivers, or warranties.  Consensual non-consent is largely linked to those that believe in the concept of a surrendering dynamic. 
While consensual non-consent can be a horrifying prospect to most anyone, there’s also a foundation of trust and respect that is always there .(At least, that’s how it works for us.)  I’m not about to ink out a blueprint for everyone to follow, because I don’t have any idea how something like that would work in YOUR situation, YOUR scene, or YOUR dynamic. 
Also, there’s nothing that says trust or respect must be a component for a consensual non-consensual dynamic to work – there are some CNC dynamics where it was agreed from the onset of the conditions that were going to happen.  Parties agree and the dynamic was filled out without trust or respect.  It may not be the cup of tea I want, but it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with CNC with the absent trust and respect … it just means that in those dynamics, it works by not having those components installed.
Consensual Issues (part 1): Rape culture & the Lifestyle
Consensual Issues (part 2): The Problem is in the Definition
Consensual Issues (part 3): Separating Facts from Projections

Consensual Issues (part 4): The Unfortunate Death of Communication

Consensual Issues (part 5): Scolding the Dominant
Consensual Issues (part 6): Personal Responsibility
Consensual Issues (part 7): Community Responsibility