Consent is a tricky thing no matter what people say.
There have been many attempts to explain consent, mostly in a sexual context. Like the tea analogy. Simple right? You don’t force tea on people, you ask. If they say yes to tea you don’t assume forever they still want tea. If they decide that they don’t want their tea in the middle of drinking it, you don’t make them keep drinking tea.
That all sounds perfectly reasonable, but it depends on a common framework that can leave a lot of thing left out. How do you like your tea? With milk? With Lemon? With sugar? Or the choice that will make any Brit die of apoplexy, iced. The context of consent matters, establishing all the details of what consent mean within any given situation is crucial. And I am only talking about two people in this exceedingly narrow example of tea.
More is more complicated.
Add a third person to the mix and the options multiply, maybe the third person wants their tea in a completely different way? Does the tea maker have the capability to handle the different expectations of the all the tea drinkers involved? Is iced tea a deal breaker for someone?
Add more people to the consent dynamic increases the complexity geometrically, the variations quickly can become unmanageable and all we are talking about is a hot beverage.
Consent in life.
We get so focused on sexual consent (hugely important of course) that we often forget we live in a larger world of consent issues and how we interact with that world needs to be considered. For us consent is based around rules, and laws, and societal conventions that we had no part in build, that we just inherited.
Many laws and rules are good and useful. They define the way we interact with society. Others seem to be completely arbitrary and delivered by other peoples morals. Why is my chest perfectly ok to expose in public and yet a woman’s chest illegal? I didn’t consent to this imposition of the morals of others.
We are supposed to live in a world governed by consent. We are only policed because we have supposedly given consent to be policed, and yet in practice that isn’t how it actually works. We are only governed because we consent to be governed. We see injustice everyday that is done in our name. Racism, Fascism, and so much more. We have to acknowledge that by not stopping this behavior means that we condone it. I know, but what we the powerless do you might ask? It isn’t our fault, and yet it is. By not using every means at our disposal to stop we are as culpable as those who act in our name.
What is your fucking point Michael?
What brought this endless chain of thought was a picture on Twitter which prompted the following thread
I have been thinking a lot about a picture that I saw on twitter the other day of a domme with her human pup on a leash in a store. I saw many opinions with the majority settling around the idea of bringing the public into your kink without consent.
And I agree that involving the public in those situations probably isn’t the best idea and I, while finding the notion that people have to hide their sexuality because of public shame terrible, agree that no matter your kink, you shouldn’t do it in public.
It did make me think though about other far worse behavior that we tolerate in public every day. I could list them all, but I really want to focus on just one. What I see as the Xtian fetish and the complete willingness of the people who choose to practice that lifestyle.
No one stops them when they come to your door to try to convince you to join their kink club. They can walk down the street with their kink symbols of pain and suffering and no one bats an eye.
They have buildings dedicated to their kink and their leaders pay no taxes on the money they raise to support it. They claim that they are “The One True Way” and world leaders court them.
They want their kink taught in schools and many events start with a open message to the public about their fetish.
Of course I have stretched this example a bit, but really, have I?
I am not saying that kinksters should walk around in full BDSM regalia trying to display who we are to everyone we meet.
But I am saying that what we practice is a hell of a lot more palatable that Xtianity, and has cause far less pain and nowhere near the number of deaths than Xtians have.
And yet we are the ones that should be ashamed?
For clarity sake
I think that involving the general public in your kink probably isn’t the best idea. That being said I think we need to take a harder look as to what we accept from other people in public and why we do that. I think that perhaps it is time to ask those people why they don’t need our consent. Why should we be ashamed of what we are while they are acclaimed and held up as role models for their beliefs that I don’t share?
The use of shame has long been used by people to control the public behaviors of others and I find it fascinating that so often that the very people who call us perverted and deviants are the worst offenders of all. I don’t care that they are kinky so long as they don’t spend their time calling out people for what they are themselves. I don’t want everyone to have to be closeted. I want people to be able to show who they are and be accepted.
I am not advocating kink and sexual anarchy in public, there are plenty of things that should be illegal and doubly so if they are done without fully informed consent. You don’t get to be open about a kink that harm others. But I think it is worth spending some time extend our thoughts on consent to the wider world.
I don’t agree with you Michael
Yeah, many people don’t and that is ok, I am just trying to express my thoughts and I am sure I will take some flack for them from many directions. I have given up on trying to change the world, or even one persons perspective on these things. But this is where I get to tell my very few readers what I think and so ill advised as this might be I am going to do it anyway.
The picture I chose for this post is of a public kiss that not very long ago (and in some places still) would have been seen as showing you kink in public.
If we make it so that shame isn’t the tool of oppression, we can no longer be oppressed by it.
I wish people would stop taking their kinks public!