Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Nature of Abuse

There's a very, very old thread over at Nine Deuce's on BDSM that has recently been revived. I had been studiously ignoring it, as it pretty much repeated the same claims we've already talked about many times before. And as I've mentioned here, I'm not really as invested as I once was in coming up with detailed arguments defending BDSM from its detractors. I've pretty much settled on the point of view That those who try to lump all power dynamics into the same analysis are simply lazy, and don't really warrant the kind of argument I used to try to make in reply to them.

However, one comment that arrived in my inbox struck me both as particularly illuminating and as particularly -- dare I say horrifyingly? -- unfortunate.

I really liked your post, and while I found most of the comments too triggering to read, what little I picked up is that some folks are ignoring your stance of “intertwining sex and power has never led to any good” for “stop trying to tell me what to do in my sexy times!”

Doesn’t the harm of sexual abuse come from tightly knitting together power and sex to the point where the victim can’t even tell if they are consenting or if they are enjoying what’s happening? A sexual practice that seems built on pinning power to sex just reeks of abuse. I’m not an expert by any means, but I don’t think that normalizing bondage, sadism, and or masochism helps anyone. I guess it must be addicting though, like self harm.

It's the bolded sentence that deeply alarms me. I've not spoken very much in online forums about some really creepy things I experienced in a relationship, in part because I'd rather that person not discover me talking about it.

However, I will say in the strongest language possible that the control that person tried to maintain over me had nothing to do with making me confused about whether I wanted something or not, much less convincing me that I liked being cut down. This person was very, very clear about wanting what they wanted. I was expected to provide it, like it or not. It wasn't about some nefarious plot to re-wire how I derived pleasure such that I found myself desperate for ill-treatment. My pleasure was beside the point, my lack of enthusiastic consent an impediment to someone else's wants that was annoying, not to be taken seriously. The ill-treatment was going to happen anyway.

Yes, most abusers do cycle between wooing their victims, lavishing attention (perhaps including pleasant, seemingly caring sex) and praise on them to maintain control, and cutting them down, whether verbally, physically, or sexually. But that does not mean that one comes to love being harmed, being degraded, being cut down, or being violated.

It may mean that one comes to feel one must endure those things, must "weather the storm" until one's "tempermental" or "stormy" partner "cools down," but that isn't about re-wiring how someone gets pleasure. That's about convincing her that those arguments or fights or beatings or rapes are "no big deal," are just disagreements that "get out of hand." Or that they are just punishments; if you can make a person believe she deserves to pay for her "mistakes," she will not rebel.

I will say that I have heard of situations where some people did have ambivalent reactions to sexual violence because it meant getting attention from someone they thought they "loved" (if anyone remembers Biting Beaver's anti-BDSM essay, there was some of this in that.) So I can't say it never happens. But there, it was because her partner pressured her into BDSM (unless I misremember; please correct if I do) and she was trying to be as sexually pleasing to her partner as she could. I don't think trying to please a partner with a kink is solely the province of those who identify as submissive, though these folks might not agree.

This "analysis" whereby people are made into abuse-receptacles because kinky sex exists is woeful. I can see, however, why it's appealing. It's easier to say "if only society were different" than it is to recognize the subtle cruelty of cycles of violence.

28 comments:

maymay said...

I love you, Trinity. :) Thank you for this:

That those who try to lump all power dynamics into the same analysis are simply lazy, and don't really warrant the kind of argument I used to try to make in reply to them.

And for this:

This "analysis" whereby people are made into abuse-receptacles because kinky sex exists is woeful.

Lissy said...

As usual Trinity your posts have given me thinky thoughts... one thing that continually amazes me though is that some people who call themselves feminists refuse to listen to other women and continually invalidate their lived experience... I find nothing feminist in this behaviour...

Trinity said...

Thanks, Maymay. I really appreciate that.

MasterAmazon said...

"Doesn’t the harm of sexual abuse come from tightly knitting together power and sex to the point where the victim can’t even tell if they are consenting or if they are enjoying what’s happening? A sexual practice that seems built on pinning power to sex just reeks of abuse. I’m not an expert by any means, but I don’t think that normalizing bondage, sadism, and or masochism helps anyone. I guess it must be addicting though, like self harm."

I had to quote it to respond to it. I've been out as a LeatherDyke for almost 30 years, and I'm also a Radical Dyke and strongly Feminist oriented. I don't go for the academic claptrap like I did in my ancient college days, fighting with the Andrea Dworkinites and quoting either Pat Califia(way before s/he transitioned) or "Coming to Power" which heavily influenced me, AS an S/M Lesbian Feminist book!

It's her whole assumption that women's consent doesn't mean ANYTHING and the poor lil thing is so brainwashed she doesn't know the difference! That's positively demeaning! That's what negotiation, safewords, playing in the dungeon, dungeon monitors, classes, workshops and leather organizations are for! Sure S/M/Leathersex isn't for the meek and mild(unless you wanna play that role). It IS exploring the dark side, it's NOT for everybody, but one could definitely maintain their feminist credentials and get or give a good flogging, as long as it's truly consensual, empowering and growth enhancing for the individuals involved. Nothing like a good cathartic flogging!

Power has been pinned to sex for millenia, which is why I can only speak for Dyke LeatherSex...and I do think hetero submissive/masochistic women have to go even further questioning themselves that they aren't giving in to the dominant paradigm which exists aplenty in this world of male powerover EVERYWHERE! That what you're doing is safe, sane and consensual, or whichever acronymy you use, but the essential word is CONSENSUAL.

To me, if women ONLY had consensual sex, of whatever flavor, there'd be no rape, no child molestation, no female spoils of war rape, no domestic violence or abuse, no religious shame around sexuality, whether it be homosexuality, bisexuality, or kinky heterosexuality, or leathersexuality, NONE of the ills so many modern women of ALL countries suffer under. No stone age veils and clitoridectomies and genital mutilations.

THAT'S what would it would be like if women could TRULY choose their sexacts and sexual empowerment. Some would be dominant, some would be submissive, some sadistic, some masochistic, some neither, some completely equal with their partners in every way...different strokes for different folks...but womyn could be HONEST about their desires than shamed for them, like I was during the infamous Lesbian Sex Wars, where I had to prove my loyalty to the dyke community, womens' spirituality community, feminist community, BECAUSE I was into Dyke LeatherSex.

Yes, that quote is horrifying in it's assumptions that the lil woman has no clue as to what consent is and isn't.....and there's predators in EVERY community, not just the Leather/BDSM communities.
-In Leather Sisterhood,
-MasterAmazon

Clarisse Thorn said...

But there, it was because her partner pressured her into BDSM (unless I misremember; please correct if I do) and she was trying to be as sexually pleasing to her partner as she could. I don't think trying to please a partner with a kink is solely the province of those who identify as submissive, though these folks might not agree.

I have one past long-term boyfriend who acted as a dominant sadist far beyond what he was comfortable with because he knew I'm a submissive and needed that. I don't especially care if these folks "agree" with that experience or not -- it actually, you know, happened. I was there.

I've also been thinking lately about how abusers in kink relationships will use kink stigma to keep their partners in line -- Glenn Marcus comes to mind, whose partner Jodi didn't leave him for a long time partly because he threatened to reveal her as a BDSMer. So actually, working to destigmatize BDSM would protect abused kinky women, because they'd have one less thing to fear from their partners.

Becky said...

Having just finished becoming certified in Domestic Violence Advocate as a Legal Professional I can say just how screwed up this commenter is.
One talk that DV workers have with abusers is the grandmother question-imagine you're in a moment when you went on to hit your partner. Now your grandmother walks in. What do you do? "Um, stop." So the abuse has lots to do with control and little to do with anger, drugs, booze, etc. They'll make it worse, but they don't cause it.
And lately I've been wanting to ask some of the younger and more Radical Feminists I've met "why is a feminist theory necessary? Why do we have this whole concept and what is it supposed to do for us?" Because I think it's a way to describe what happens in society and people's lives, to give us the language to identify and change problems. Not be used as a Procrustean bed, where we fit our lives to match the theory.
I too have stopped following much of the discourse because it has no room for discussion or disagreement.

quietriot_girl said...

Thank you for posting this!

I think one of the problems is that in abusive relationships, yes, consent and coercion become very confused. And this can lead to guilt so if someone realises they have in some way 'consented' to the abuse, they then admonish themselves by saying they must have 'wanted it' or 'enjoyed it' in some way. From my experience in an abusive relationship I think I did this to an extent. It has been, in part, through exploring kink that I have been able to clarify my understanding of the distinctions between consent, coercion, pleasure and pain. This is one of many reasons I get pissed off with people who react negatively to kinksters using arguments about 'abuse'. They have no empathy or understanding for how we also may have come through abusive relationships, and are striving to live healthy loving and sexually satisfying lives too.

I don't argue with people about kink much anymore either. But I do argue about issues like rape and domestic violence, and I find many of the same issues of lazy thinking and prejudice in those discussions too.

P.s. Hi Lissy! Waves.

Kristin said...

"They have no empathy or understanding for how we also may have come through abusive relationships, and are striving to live healthy loving and sexually satisfying lives too."

I think this is what makes me angriest about anti-BDSM feminists. The attitude that once we have experienced abuse or trauma we're permanently broken, unable ever again to find our way competently through life. Our place is to listen to the advice of our wiser, healthier sisters.

I'm glad to see this blog still gets activity. It's been a refreshing place to find some sanity.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

please remove the prior comment. it contains personal information and was sent accidentally.

Anonymous said...

I really liked your article. cardiovascular Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

Anonymous said...

We have a single Cheap wow goldprevious long-term guy exactly who served being a principal sadist far beyond precisely what he was at ease with when he knew I am a submissive along with desired which. I do not especially treatment when these individuals "agree" achievable practical experience or otherwise not -- it actually,Buy rs gold you recognize, transpired. I was at this time there.

auto diagnostics said...

It is real that many contemporary vehicles have up-to-date technological know-how embedded in them that may help you using a far better driving practical ps2 diagnostic tool experience. Nevertheless, it's important to know how you can utilize this new generation car systems which includes the OBD II Diagnostic Program on the fullest.

Amy said...

sac a main burberry
sac a main CH
sac a main chanel
sac a main chloe
sac a main coach
sac a main dior
sac a main dolce gabbana
sac a main ed hardy
sac a main gucci
sac a main guess
sac a main hermes
sac a main jimmy choo
sac a main juicy couture
sac a main prada
sac a main tory burch
sac a main versace
sac louis vuitton

itemrock said...

WOW Gold for Sale
Buy WOW Items
GW2 Gold For Sale

Emily said...

What you should Guild Wars 2 Gold take into consideration when you find the suitable wow g Although it is a insipid way for you to gain the wow gold, it is really the fastest one. Next you should do is to find the best place for gold grinding. Here are some tips that you can take into consideration.old guide. What’s more, you need to buy guild wars 2 understand the problem you may meet when buying the wow gold guide.Luckily, you will gain more loot to sell after killing them in some site. It will take you less time to farm the gold if you choose the suitable place. At the same time, you need to know the time of making World of Warcraft gold guide for. The longer the time is, where can i buy guild wars 2 the better the gold will be.

chinese designer brand said...

That those who try to lump all power dynamics into the same analysis are simply lazy

Anonymous said...

When you are taking a image of a thing that is smaller than you, such as a animal or even a child, get down on their levels. This way the direction won't have an effect on the look of the picture. This will likely create a much more personal and welcoming picture that men and women will love. [url=http://questcollege.com.au/old-placeholder/files.html]Nike High Tops[/url]
Because your memory space isn't exactly what it after was doesn't suggest that it can't be that once more. With any luck , employing this write-up, you can start to adopt back again the memory space expertise you once had and make even a lot of abilities you may have now. Working together with your storage is a lot like working with any other part of your thoughts. Keep it going and you may in the near future see final results.Learn How To Change Your Existence: Weight Loss Tactics And Tips To Provide You The Load Off of [url=http://penrithwhitewater.com.au/pages/admin-logout.asp]Mont Blanc Australia[/url]
Manage your discount coupons. You can aquire coupon planners and binders at a lot of bulk retail industry chains in addition to online stores. You are able to manage your coupon codes by issue, or through the expiry date. Every single inner compartment or sleeve may be branded using the information you need. Another affordable option is to place coupon codes in different envelopes. [url=http://questcollege.com.au/old-placeholder/files.html]Nike High Heels[/url]
When maintaining a healthy diet for a Diabetes diet plan, evaluate the products various stores offer and find out that has the best prices on specific things. I love to keep a spreadsheet on my own phone which shows every item I buy on a regular basis, and which store I can have it with the very best value so i could inventory up as i visit that shop. [url=http://questcollege.com.au/old-placeholder/files.html]Nike Heels[/url]
Wealthy and lively turquoise is among the most popular rocks accessible. It is among the most popular jewels for the 30 days of December which is frequently thought to ask feelings of love, good luck, and happiness. This specific gemstone can also be the traditional gifting stone to celebrate the 11th wedding ceremony anniversary. As specified previously, acne breakouts are a condition with diverse levels of severity. The greater serious situations might cause long lasting scars by causing serious pits inside the epidermis. Over the counter and prescription drugs are available. Utilizing the information in the following paragraphs and putting a skin care program actually in operation, most instances are easily curable.Cope With Your Ringing in ears Today By Using These Suggestions [url=http://altag.it/Statistiche/defines.htm]Air Jordan[/url]

Anonymous said...

When demonstrating your home into a prospective customer, consider your best never to be residence. Sticking around when your buyers are looking at your house ensures they are seem like criminals. It's also simple for you to slide up and provide away information that will not be for your benefit (i.e.: how low you're eager to be on the purchase price). Discover some spot to choose an hour and allow your Agent demonstrate your home. Determine what your desired goals are. Successful organization are created for the reason that manager is consistently thinking about their organization. They observe that multi-level marketing is a organization tradesman, and something that should be done constantly. Ensure you are undertaking every thing that you could which means that your desired goals will be reached successfully. Sign up to therapy. A health care provider can help you using the healthcare part of rheumatoid arthritis, but guidance can help you with the emotional aspect. Counselling can help you cope with your worries greater as well as perhaps despite your despression symptoms if it is the case and also allow you to manage the constant discomfort. If you are setting up new counters, or maybe performing work surface repairs with your kitchen, include a ornamental again splash. This region associated with your counters and involving the cupboards is normally just decorated a similar coloration because the walls. Introducing porcelain tile, or other ornamental details is bound to come up with a extraordinary declaration with your cooking area. To help make your social networking marketing campaign efficiently market your manufacturer, offer your self as being an sector power. As opposed to inserting your products, create engaging content material that entertains, educates as well as inspires men and women. If you happen to generate an issue that should go a bit popular due to discuss button, your company label is getting around. "Nice and clean hands and wrists" pursuits can help you lose fat. Actions that expect you to have nice and clean hands and wrists will stop you from eating and keep the mind entertained. Figure out how to knit or crochet so you can make your palms, and never the mouth area, active. Create a scrapbook of pursuits you enjoy. These and other pursuits are enjoyable and the best way to remain busy when you're lured by meals.
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435583192
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435583192
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167

Anonymous said...

Reduce your unfounded problems, by doing some study. Stats, facts, and also other pieces of information will help you feel less risky. Learning more about what is bothering you can even show you that you simply don't, the truth is, have anything to concern yourself with. If carrying out the investigation yourself may possibly aggravate your stress and anxiety, check with a friend, or family member to help. Take your calcium. A diet abundant in calcium will help you to lessen your chance of weakening of bones and straighten your your bones as inflamation rheumatoid arthritis can speed up bone fragments damage. A grownup beneath 50 must get 1000 mg of calcium mineral each day as well as an grownup 50 plus requires 1200 mg every day. Attempt to consume more whole milk items. Wine ingesting absolutely is probably the worlds finest joys. But, without having a certain amount of comprehending and knowledge, it can be hard to improve the experience of enjoying a great jar from time to time. The article that comes after delivers excellent information that will give you the basis of understanding you actually need. "Nice and clean hands and wrists" routines can help you slim down. Actions that require that you have clear fingers will prevent you from eating and maintain your mind busy. Learn how to knit or crochet so that you can keep the fingers, and never your mouth, occupied. Make a scrapbook of routines you prefer. These along with other pursuits are enjoyable and a wonderful way to remain occupied when you're lured by meals. Caffeine is similar to water gold to a lot of men and women. There are many various varieties of caffeine that you are sure to find out new things by looking at this write-up. How can you appreciate your fresh cup of joe? Please read on to learn more about your alternatives in relation to caffeine. Although understanding how to sea food, enter the habit of noticing your setting. You may begin to notice correlations involving enviromentally friendly elements, as well as the good luck you might have with catching fish. As an illustration, when you pick up frogs, there can be striped bass nearby. Try to find clues within the weather conditions patterns, points of interest, and appears to be surrounding you.
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218

Anonymous said...

You don't wish to restriction you to ultimately shelling out and placing all your dollars into a single organization. You will never know what could happen and also you don't wish to throw all of your funds aside and most likely be left with nothing at all. So price range how much you can reasonably make investments and placed that towards stocks and shares you think you may turn around once the time is proper. Select your wedding day attire prior to decide on everything else, such as precious jewelry, shoes, bag, hair or makeup design and style. Spend some time trying on gowns and look close to at different places prior to making your option. If you can determine what you like on the internet, that can save you lots of money also! Skin area tenderness and outbreaks, are usually a result of exercise routine apparel and gear. Pimples mechanica, is the method by which rubbing as well as heat can fast your skin to become inflammed. Loosen up your garments and judge 100 % cotton around less breathable fabrics. Any helmets with chin straps, headbands or any items snugly strapped on, ought to be loosened or taken away soon after use. For those who have obstructive sleep apnea, tend not to use slumbering supplements. These prescription drugs work to chill out the neck muscles, which can be not what you need to get rid of sleep apnea. They can also result in lots of other difficulties, so it is advisable to steer clear of them. If you have a problem sleeping during the night, attempt discovering some normal strategies to sleep the body. A grated potato can perform amazing things for your personal acne breakouts-vulnerable epidermis. It is going to soak up and take away fats and soil through your encounter. It also gets rid of dark groups from below your view and causes them to be significantly less swollen, and also decreases lines and wrinkles. Wrap the potato inside a sq . of natural cotton cloth and massage lightly within the encounter within a circular movements for approximately five minutes, then wash. Minimize carbs in your diet. Some studies show carbs might cause a substantial surge in acne. Even though, you must not fully eradicate carbs from your diet, you need to take in a lot less. This will help very clear your skin up faster while keeping it obvious for an extended time.
http://www.auntiestella.org/member/42492/
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435583192
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167

iPad POS said...

I was very grateful to see this website. I desired to thank you for this excellent read ! I’m definitely experiencing every little search for you and examine out new products you publish.

joe b Garza said...

Nice to be here and see your post !

automaty do gry said...

This aspect is said to be very complicated and difficult. your presentation help me to have different view.

Anonymous said...

Progressively being acquired your Diablo 3 Gold and you may optionally obtain the overall game soon after. Right now there you'll suggest no matter whether you have Cheap GW2 Gold.What is the help website?

sizzling hot said...

Fantastic post, I really look forward to updates from you..

http://flexfacligh1.deviantart.com/art/Digital-Sign-Is-a-Great-Addition-for-Your-Marketin-377808507 said...

I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and
have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!

slim line lightboxes said...

There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well