Accountability applies to everyone.

In a recent debate with a London community leader on the subject of personal accountability, I wrote the following. My friend A, whom I had asked to proof-read the message to help me eliminate any hostile language, suggested that this part of it should be made public. Here it is.

The majority of abuse happens between people who have been known to each other for some time. The most successful abusers are not people who are new on the scene and no-one knows anything about them – they are pillars of the community who know exactly how to act and what to say to keep people on their side. This statement applies to all instances of the word “community” – I have seen it happen in choirs, and in the context of live roleplaying groups. We all hear about it happening in religious groups. And it’s when people who have been abused by them come out and tell others around them what has happened that we start hearing the chorus of “but they couldn’t! They’re a nice person! You must be lying.”

 

And can you accuse anyone in this situation of failing to carry out due diligence? Everyone around the abuser is singing their praises. They would have no way of knowing, particularly if this is a repeat occurrence and other victims have been similarly silenced and ostracised. THIS is the most dangerous thing in any community, and no amount of due diligence is going to make the problem go away.

 

So by all means, carry on encouraging people to keep their own safety in mind. But please allow for the fact that relatively few people who make the accusation are lying. Encourage due diligence for community leaders and event planners, so that they check if people are known abusers. I often hear the argument that known abusers should not be banned from events. I respectfully disagree, and would counter that known abusers should not only be banned from events, but their pictures and usernames should be passed around all local events organisers so that they know who to watch out for. There could be a happy medium in asking DMs to keep a close eye on particular people at events, or in encouraging widespread use of things like Kinky Salon’s PAL system.

 

The only way to eliminate all facets of the abuse problem, from repeat offences to false accusations, is to put all of this stuff together.

Playing Rough

“Am I in trouble?”

Stupid question, really. My arms are in a box tie behind my back, which is smarting from a few lightning-fast pullthroughs that struck it like a whip. My chest harness is taut and heavy against my clavicle, and D and I both know that it will leave a mark. I’m lying with my head in his lap, my legs stretched out in front of me as he brandishes a fresh length of rope, contemplating his next move. And I’ve just bitten his arm.

“Maybe.” He half-smiles. “But not now. If I do anything now, you’ll be expecting it.”

He bends my left leg at the knee and begins to tie a futomomo.

He can be gentle. Moments ago, he was unwrapping me from a much kinder tie. He crossed my arms in front of me so that I was embracing myself, and fastened the rope around my fingers. I kissed his hands as the bindings came off. But I’ve had a difficult week, and I’m not in a mood to be handled with kid gloves today, so when he offered some rougher play I enthusiastically agreed.

As he wraps the rope around my bent leg, a part of my brain – the part that hasn’t yet succumbed entirely to sensation – wonders what he would do if I began to resist. I would get violent, if he let me. I would thrash and kick and bite. He would overpower me easily, of course – me with my slight frame, and him with his athlete’s arms – but I imagine it being a worthwhile struggle. The thought swirls around in a fog of submission before it is discarded. Not here. Not now. Too many people. Not enough space.

A jolt of pain brings me sharply back to the present moment. D has yanked hard on the rope as he secures it. My eyes fly open, and I see heads turn as I cry out. He catches my eye, grins, locks the tie off. Then he wraps again, the already tense rope gnawing further into my flesh. Pulls, hard, and I cry out. Again. And a third time – slowly, now, and deliberately, almost as if he’s about to change his mind and slacken off…but no. Another flash of pain leaves me breathless.

“You see,” he murmurs, whilst I struggle to get my breathing back under control, “I can bite, too.”

The only answer I can think of is to bite him again.

My personal and political

I am passionate about politics, and this passion more than occasionally finds its way into my kink life. I’m trying to be as active as I can, for example, in promoting Consent Culture. I believe in making kink accessible to people of all ethnicities, and would like to see as many events as possible become disability friendly. I believe in safe spaces; I campaign for queer acceptance.

My political beliefs will inevitably find their way into my writing on this blog, because they’re inextricably linked with my sense of self. Because the personal is always political. Because sometimes things happen, to me and to others around me, that aren’t OK. Because sometimes things happen, to me and to others around me, that are glorious and life-affirming at least partly because they’re rooted in acceptance.

It’s possible – likely, even – that people will find some of that content difficult to swallow. I may post things that are triggering (though I will do my best to issue trigger warnings where necessary). I may post things that confront you with an uncomfortable truth. I may simply post things that you disagree with. A comment moderation policy will be put in place; whilst I am open to criticism, I will not tolerate hateful, abusive comments in this space. Because this is my little corner of the Net, see, and I make the rules.

I don’t intend to keep all this content political – hell, I doubt it will even be all that serious – but it’s worth putting this out there early on, I think.

The obligatory introductory post

I’ve set aside this little corner of the Internet where I can talk, frankly and relatively anonymously, about sex. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to do so regularly, or even at all, but it’s nice to have the option. I like writing about sex. I think it’s interesting. I like to have all my memories accessible to me in one place. I’d like to hope that, if any of my experiences could be helpful to other people, they’ll be able to find them here.

The kind of sex I like is… I’d say it’s unconventional, but in the circles in which I move it’s so common as to be mundane. It’s the kind of sex where the line dividing pain and pleasure is blurry at best; where love and respect can take the form of insults (screamed or hissed); where “no” can mean “yes” and “flugelhorn” can mean “no”. I refer, in my own pretentious and obscure way, to BDSM.

Please to meet you, Internet. You can call me Quin.