Tolerance/Violence in BDSM
I would like us to go down a journey together. Let us be mindful of how our body responds as we read. The exercise will be revealing, I have no doubt.
At a private play party, 15 close friends are gathered together to enjoy a special evening. All of them have been waiting for this with eager anticipation. A very unique scene has been planned for the end of the evening, with ALL present playing a role. As the time drew near, people became hushed, somber and focused. Out of the blue, a submissive was grabbed by 3 men. As she wrestled, screamed, kicked, writhed about, each man laughed and appeared to be intoxicated. Several ‘onlookers’ played their roles as directed. Some turned their backs to the commotion, pretending not to notice. Some whispered amongst themselves with mock disgust on their faces. Some pointed and jeered, laughed, poked fun of the dilemma unfolding before them. The three men took turns shoving their penis into every hole of the submissive while she became catatonic and finally gave up her fight. Mercifully, the scene ended. The three men suddenly disappeared, and the submissive was left in a heap on the floor. Everyone present picked the submissive up and laid her gently on a couch. Someone grabbed a cloth from a warm water basin and began wiping the submissive from head to toe. Another person began singing a specific lullaby. Someone else reached for the submissive's hair and began to brush it. Another simply knelt next to the couch and held her hand. Someone began dressing her. Another helped. Someone sat her up and held her. Someone dried her tears. Someone brought a glass of water. Another brought peanut butter crackers. All stayed very close by and waited on the submissive. The three men slowly came back into the group. The submissive yelled at them, derided them, accused them, cried at them while they stood there in total silence. The three men were stripped naked by everyone in the room. A flogger was handed to the submissive while the group restrained each man by hand. The submissive began flogging each of them. Tears flowed down many cheeks, none more than the submissive who was attacked. When the submissive was exhausted, when no more tears came, when she had enough of flogging, she slumped to the floor. No one helped her. They all just stood around her, with love, peace and encouragement in their hearts and eyes. The evening ended with a promise from all to meet again soon.
An adult puppy by role was walking on all fours, playing like dogs do. Sniffing, scratching, biting many whom the puppy knew. The puppy liked to play. Liked to see so many scratch behind its ears. Loved to be petted. A very rare few got to stroke the puppy’s belly. The puppy was excitable and peed on the floor. The puppy’s handler scolded the puppy loudly and began to rub its nose in the liquid and chide the dog for not asking to go outside. The puppy, sad, hurt and scared now hid in a corner afraid to move. The puppy only wanted to be friends with everyone. It was so excited! What is wrong with being excited the puppy wondered? Many that were present and saw the puppy scolded left immediately afterwards. The puppy felt very alone.
A submissive of ethnic heritage was playing in a scene where the all white top was using many and repeated racial slurs. The dungeon monitor watched closely at the crowd and the scene to make sure all were safe. The submissive began to sob as the top brought a single tail whip across her buttocks with more verbal assault. Repeatedly the top would assail the submissive verbally, then physically. The submissive began to check out. She entered sub space and the words no longer hurt. Her sobbing ceased, replaced by stillness. The top continued, over and over the verbal onslaught increased. The submissive ended the scene with a raise of her finger. The top removed the submissive's restraints, and they both walked over to an air mattress in the corner where a blanket and snacks were waiting.
A female bottom negotiated pick up play at a local dungeon with a male top she had played with previously on many occasions. The dungeon monitor dressed in an orange safety vest to indicate they were watching the scene closely stood between the scene and onlookers.
As the bottom was hand cuffed bent over a horse, the top began slapping the bottom. SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! Louder and louder the slaps were heard. He was increasing in intensity until suddenly he closed his fist and punched her on the shoulder blade. Then he punched her on the buttocks. Then he punched her on the arm. Then he punched her on her side. Punch after punch after punch. Each punch took wind out of the bottom. She would sigh or wince each time. At one point she screamed. The dungeon monitor stood static as they watched on.
A cross-dressing male was led by a leash onto a St. Andrews cross by his handler. She was dressed in stiletto heals and a topless corset to match his own. Once on the cross, the handler proceeded to place a CBT device on the male and squeeze, punch, bite his balls. She flogged his genitals. Kicked his genitals. Punched his genitals. This cross-dresser was made to thank his handler after every touch to his genitals. The scene lasted maybe half an hour after which removal from the cross and walking away to after care was a very gingerly walk.
How did your body respond while reading each of the scenes?
Did you tense up?
Did anger rise up in you?
Were you afraid at any point?
Did you feel anxious?
Did you feel disgust?
Did you have this overwhelming sense of, “OH HELL NO!!!!”
Did your fight-or-flight response become active?
Did you judge any aspect of the scenes as they were described?
Scenes are meant to evoke an emotional response from the players. Not all, in fact not many are meant to evoke a response from the onlookers (voyeurs, exhibitionists are some exceptions).
Every dungeon or private play party I have ever been a part of or known reads the rules prior to any play taking place for the evening. Part of those rules go something like this, “You WILL see something here in scene you will not like. Do NOT stop the scene. Each scene is negotiated and given permission or denied by the attending dungeon monitor and staff. If you do not like what you see, it is YOUR responsibility to walk away. It is YOUR trigger. Be mindful of what will affect you.”
So often people say or do things that get under our skin. Press our buttons. Trigger us into this fight-or-flight mode. Why is it we allow other people’s expression have any control over us? Why do we react instead of respond to these scenarios? When these buttons are pressed within us over how another person chooses to live their life or express themselves the way we view their expression and the resulting reaction/response speaks of our lack of tolerance and how we view an “attack” from an outside source as a personal thing when it is simply them being them. Another persons’ choice of behavior or actions in their life are not violence towards you that need defended against unless they are an outright deliberate choice to assault you. Assault as defined by the law is: An assault is the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person or, in some specific legal definitions, a threat or attempt to commit such an action.
In other words, people being themselves is NOT an assault on you. Why do we take it as such? Because it triggers us. Which is NOT the other persons’ doing. It is ours.
Each of the scenarios above I have personally witnessed or been a part of. Each of them were negotiated and consented in full for all parties. In each of them several people commented afterwards how uncomfortable and difficult it was to witness the scene. Some people walked away because they were triggered. Scared. Mortified. Hurt. Whatever. They are allowed to feel how they do, no doubt. They do not get to respond negatively with intolerance because they had a trigger. We each get to learn more patience. More grace. More understanding. More tolerance. Including how we respond to those who press our buttons. Because that shows who we are. If we lash out in violence, anger, hatred, venom, or the like, we are allowed....that is true....but it also shows our weakness or where we are perpetuating a cycle of intolerance or tit-for-tat between others. We are handing over our control to those who we would NEVER hand control over to......others whom we do not even know or trust.
Your-Kink-Is-Not-My-Kink-But-Your-Kink-Is-OK is more than just an acronym. It is a willing choice to decide how we will deal with one another in this community. More over, it is a reflection of a heart that is willing to allow another person to be themselves. Even if we disagree or do not like how they show up. It is a way of saying, “I will not be violent and allow my insecurities or my triggers lash out at you. I will own what is mine and work to heal it while validating your right to choose what works for you in your life.” It is more than just a simple statement. It is a belief system. A shift of mindset. A matter of tolerance or the lack thereof.
Too many have suffered under the indignation of being judged for their expression simply because their expression was different from others. Unique. Special. We do not get the right to lash out in our pain simply because we have it. We are responsible for our actions. I will not even mention the political and societal spaces that this ideal affects in our everyday world.
We ALL get the opportunity to allow this mantra to make us better.
Tolerance or violence? The choice of how we respond is in our hands. No matter how difficult it may be.......we deserve to grow here.........and the world needs it as well.
May you all continue to find the joy and peace that you seek.
Drago and Amethyst