Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The impossibilty of full consent in femdom

My friend Fur Sissy has an interesting post on consent in femdom.

I've written about the paradox of consent before - that strange way in which, even though this is your fantasy, you're not actually in control. Not only are the roles real as long as you stick to them, in voluntary slavery, just like in real slavery, there is a cost to withdrawing consent.

It's this last that possibly raises moral issues.

We are truly enslaved, not by our ostensible slave status, but by the consequences of using a safe word: we are afraid of losing the kinky relationship.

In a vanilla relationship, kink probably means more to us than to her. In a lifestyle relationship, there are far more available bottoms than tops. Supply and demand puts us in a very poor negotiating position. So, just because we are kinky, it's inevitable we'll do things we'd rather not do; things that are non-consensual.

And, of course, there's meta-kink where having our consent violated turns us on, so it's not always clear to us whether we're consenting or not!

I've come to think of this real power imbalance as a good thing. I like being a slave.

However, I can see that a dom might have qualms at never knowing whether a sub is actually consenting to something, or will give his retrospective consent once he's come down.

I think the answer is just to accept that you're playing with evil. The only limits consistent with such are came are...
  • To ensure you can keep playing at evil: A very short laundry list of things that would boost you out of slave role - in my case, cross-dressing, and human waste would simply switch me off.
  • To limit the impact of the evil: Firm boundaries to do with real life consequences, for example, "No harm done to health or body, social or professional identity, no risky games"
Beyond that, if you have a bad time, or the play goes places that you don't like or leave you feeling icky; Tough.

That's the nature of the game you're playing. Just like sportsmen, sometimes things won't go your way. You can always amend the laundry list after the event.

2 comments:

fur sissy said...

Great summary, Giles.

An interesting observation I have made over the years is that regular experiences within our evil force us to delve into deeper evil to continually escalate the level of subspace.

My original list of hard limits (an assignment from my first Mistress) consisted of things that were illegal, gross/unhealthy (e.g. beastiality, scat play, water sports), would affect my livelihood/reputation, or would leave deep emotional scars/trauma.

It's been almost a decade since then and honestly, my list is almost identical now but I have slowly dropped all of the items that fell into the emotional scars category off of the list with the exception of my refusal to do anything sexual with men.

I tend to view hard limit lists as more of a check mechanism... usually it's more of a formality that verifies "oh good, you're not a psycho. I'm not a psycho either."

In some of my interviews with Mistresses they've found it rather entertaining that my hard limits include that I must be given regular access to bathing and tooth brushing (but they have all agreed with this).

I also like the real power imbalance.

The reason I wrote this post is because of the recent number of nay-sayers I have found out there rejecting the ideas of Dommes punishing exerting any real power over their subs.

Giles English said...

I suspect two things are at work here: a discomfort with the evil nature of the "game"; and a sort of geeky urge to create a world of plug-in-and-play BDSM.

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