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.
5 weeks ago