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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Thursday, 17 July 2008


Speaking to Ethical Hedonist yesterday about the Max Mosely case and the potential impact on the BDSM community. It's interesting to see the variety of viewpoints that are coming out of the woodwork, including the idea that BDSM is fundamentally English, which tallies in nicely with American Dom in London's assumption that we "invented" it. I wasn't sure, but felt jingoistically obliged to accept credit on behalf of the nation. At any rate, there was a certain amusement in noting that most of the coverage that wasn't right-wing condemnation or leftist handwringing seemed to revolve around it being a matter of cultural heritage which is certainly a new positive spin on the scene.

I've always been of the opinion that private lives are exactly that: private. Being an adult is about understanding your needs and those of others and to be able to act in a considerate and realistic fashion in relation to them. My sexuality is a lot like my faith, it's a lifestyle choice that affects my behaviour and decisions in certain situations. I would always balk at using it to require others to do certain things against their will. And I expect the same from others, and from society as a whole. Which is, of course, currently not the case.

I do not actually have an issue with the opposing viewpoints of, for example, CARE or similar organisations. They are entitled to their opinion and lifestyle choices, just as I am to mine. My difficulty lies with the law, and the assumptions that underline the legal process, including the issue of consent not being an acceptable defence, and the nebulous language involved - how transient is a transient mark, for example? The discrepancy between how I behave and what how the law thinks I behave is unfortunate, to say the least. I certainly understand what it means to give consent, even if the law does not.

What is the likely outcome of all of this? Well, getting news coverage is always a double edged sword, particularly for a sector that relies on anonymity as part of its charm, but the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. If there is an increased discussion of BDSM in the general media that may have the potential to lead to legal and social change, then all to the good.

1 comment:

The Ethical Hedonist said...

I think what gets me is that there is always two points of view and yet it's always the reactionary point of view that's made into law...

Now, one can see that as cautious behaviour, but when your own experts in the fields of law and psychology (god help us with that one!) are basically being forced to change their opinions in the light of overwhelming evidence, it gets very difficult to maintain your position; yet seemingly it becomes easier to legislate to the contrary!

As a rational 21st century person I find it hard to accept some of the notions involved in the construction and framing of current laws as anything better than the methods and ideas involved in the statutes used in the Salem witch trials.

For example, (scroll down their page for specifics) 'Lucy' is a porn star who was arrested for filming acts which she freely engaged in and charged with producing material:

"Anything which is LIKELY to Corrupt & Deprave a SIGNIFICANT proportion of people having paid regard to all relevant information"

To me, no one is going to watch a scat film and suddenly mentally collapse within to become locked into a life of 'brown love!' Again, I understand amongst even the BDSMers and readers here it is a monumentally unpopular fetish - but the same could be said for BDSM vs Vanilla: it is then about ignorance and numbers. Logically you would not be charged if you release liquid waste onto someone, but solid waste lands you a criminal record...?! There is no rationality behind that difference...