This is our truth, tell us yours
Be aware this post discusses consent violations, and there are graphic accounts on the links.
There has been a lot written about abuse in porn, and particularly how the actions of James Deen seem to have been turned a blind eye to by employers and producers. I would really recommend this post by Kitty Striker in tits and sass.
I know very little about porn, I dont generally find it arousing, however if there is any visual representation which does float my boat, its BDSM porn. I particularly like some of the public humiliation scenes Kink. Com did a few years back. I suppose its the old truth that something is sexually exciting if we can see ourselves in the picture, its why readers wives were so popular and why amateur porn predominates on sites like rude tube (although of course many of those amateur videos are actually professional but made to look amateur, a complex series of smoke and mirrors where inauthentic authenticity sells)
There is a good post here in the Daily Dot on how the “job” of straight male sex workers is to be the lens through which straight male viewers engage with the performance, less sex worker, more handmaiden of the viewers desires. It speaks to the issues with performative versus performance, within much of porn.
I do wonder how many of the female watchers of porn are seeking out more niche productions, how many like me can see themselves in a kink scene, but not in something so ostensibly produced for the straight male gaze. There is however a problem when the difference between performance and performativity has not it seems been established within kink porn.
Reading the harrowing accounts of Deen’s consented violations, up to and including rape, the idea of “being pushed” seems to come out over and over again. Its certainly a feature of BDSM, I have phrased it before as the Dominants role being to turn a no into a willing and enthusiastic yes. Within the context of porn I struggle to see why this cannot be scripted, step by step, with all boundaries set before hand. We do not expect our deaths on film to be real,(whatever real means) why should the sex be? By which I mean why should not every act, move, word be set down before hand?
My real life sex involves BDSM, and it is one without safewords, where my fellow traveller delights in pushing me and taking me to the edges of where it is possible to go. Those edges are dangerous places, even for those of us who do not have to earn a living traversing them, forever hovering on the edge of consent. I have always believed that one of the myths of patriarchy that is pushed in order to perpetuate rape culture is the idea there are “danger strangers”, identifiable people to avoid, rather than accepting and acknowledging that consent violations can happen in any situation, and its how that is dealt with which matters.
Which brings me to something that happened to me recently, and which I think sums up so many of my beliefs about people, BDSM, and this thing that Carter and I do.
I chose my words with care, aware of the prejudice that exists against sadists, those who do BDSM, and Dominant men. Recently there were crossed communications between us. I bent for the cane, unwillingly, but stubbornly, angry but unwilling to voice my anger. As I swallowed my anger I pushed the pain away. Which is where the issue with being pushed comes in. As I pushed away the pain, determined to remain in the pose of the perfect sub I was hit harder, and reminded that the beating would stop the moment I stood up straight.
There are many roads this could have gone down. I am all too aware that one road was being hurt to a degree I would not wish to kneel again. That’s a road of darkness I barely dare contemplate, but it opened, briefly.
I am not saying consent violations happen because of a lack of communication. I am saying that consent violations happen. In this situation a sane part of my brain took over, overriding my stubbornness and made it clear things had to stop immediately.
I still as a sub feel shame at that, but as a person am glad I was able to prevent something happening which may have damaged something beautiful and important to me.
Again, I feel I must make clear, there is never any onus on someone to say stop, I was simply in a situation where I felt able to.
What happened next is perhaps the the core of what i am writing, the core if you believe like me that whenever people get naked consent violations are always just a moment away. My fellow traveller did not deny, or even worse do as some Dominants do, blame the sub for what has happened. He asked how he could help me in that moment, what I needed to feel safe. He accepted responsibility, totally and without conditions.
Too many are invested in the idea they could never be anything but the “nice guy” and with this lack of self awareness become that most dangerous of things, the nice guy who abuses. We can never know how Deen thinks of himself, but I cannot help wondering if his image, his presentation as the feminist porn star, the nice guy, allowed him, and those around him, to convince themselves that what he did was acceptable. Not because they did not know it was wrong, but because being them doing it made it acceptable.
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