Shame, Silence and Ethics in BDSM

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Shame, Silence and Ethics in BDSM

A friend of ours posted an article about her experiences on finding the kink world. It’s bravely written and very worthwhile reading so I wanted as many people as possible to see it.

I reproduce her article here with her permission

 The post I thought I’d never write; Shame, Silence and Ethics in BDSM

By _Sunday_

 Grab a coffee..this one’s going to be lengthy.

I’m sitting here today about to write a post I never thought I would have the guts to write. I’ve thought about it over the years, but for many reasons which will become clear decided against it.

Over the past couple of days my account on Fetlife has been very busy. My inbox has been flooded with messages, my previous post has had many comments (sorry for not replying to all of them) and I’ve felt quite overwhelmed with what has been going on both in public and behind the scenes.

When I wrote that post on Saturday I was pissed. I was angry and I couldn’t help but put myself into the shoes of all the women that the post that sparked all this referred to. I didn’t take any personal insult from it myself but I was fucking cross on behalf of other people.

I’ve never wanted to write up my personal story, I never intended to and even yesterday morning I felt that to do so would leave me open to accusations of having a personal axe to grind. I didn’t want that, I didn’t want my message to be written off as one from an angry bitter ex, I didn’t want to give this person that card to attempt to play with, because truly that is not how I feel.

But the last couple of day’s events have taken over to the extent where I’ve had a complete rethink and I’ve changed my mind. I’ve changed it because actually my personal experience DOES matter, it matters because so many women share similarities with me and are not only fearful of speaking up but are currently locked into a process of self-hatred and shame. And despite everything, I’ve shared that feeling of shame over the years and so have never posted publicly with my story, and have only spoken in detail about it to a few people.

I want to speak a bit about the things I’ve kept quiet, and how they have impacted me. This post is aimed at other people who have had similar experiences, either with the same person in question or from a wider point of view. I also want to speak to people beginning their travels into BDSM and hopefully share some information that could come in handy.

Ready?

In the Autumn of 2008 I had my first ever BDSM experience. I had only split recently with the father of my then 2 year old son. I was suffering from post-natal depression and was adjusting to life as a single parent, as well as beginning a Masters degree. I’d thought about BDSM for a long time before I did anything, it was actually one of the reasons I split with my ex (amongst other things) and I was enjoying my new-found freedom both from that relationship and also the grind of having a small baby.

I typed ‘BDSM Meet’ into Google one night after a few glasses of wine and a site called Alt.com popped up. I registered that night. After a few days I found a profile of someone who did orgasm denial and chastity. I found the profile to be well-written and there seemed to be plenty of women on the blog associated with it and ‘testimonial’ section who had positive, even amazing, things to say about it all so I was immediately curious. The person appeared well-established and like they knew what they were talking about. I’d never heard of orgasm denial / control before and I was curious. So I sent a message asking about it.

Within days of that message we were in contact via the phone. My first ‘task’ before I’d ever even spoken to this person was to leave a voicemail having an orgasm on his phone. I did it, thinking it was all terribly sexy and exciting. I saw a headshot which I thought looked fine (I only later discovered it was over a decade old) but other than that I had no idea what he looked like, only his voice, we never cammed in the time I knew him. We began to talk on the phone.

He asked me to orgasm deny for a few days to see if I could do it, as a sort of ‘challenge’. I am pretty up for a challenge at the best of times and didn’t actually think I would be able to do it, so I agreed..I thought it sounded really exciting and sexy. And actually it really was!!! From that moment on until we ended things I was orgasm denied. This brand of orgasm control is not just about not having orgasms. You had to do ‘edges’ and ‘ruins’ as well. An ‘edge’ is where you masturbate to the point of orgasm and then stop and a ‘ruin’ is where you go until your orgasm is starting and then stop. You never have a full orgasm so are constantly horny and sexual and also thought processes get a little messy. If you have never experienced prolonged orgasm denial and control like this it is hard to explain how quickly it can alter your thought processes, but I assure you it can. Ever had that moment when you are thinking of something crazy intense in the heat of the moment and then you cum and go..whoa wtf was THAT all about? Think of that head-state but without the ‘wake up’ after orgasm part.

After a little while of this he took to calling me up, and sending a LOT of text messages with instructions about orgasm denial stuff..was not unusual to have to do like 20 or 30 edges in a row and then ruins as well, which is quite intense. I thought all this was great fun and exciting too. I was also being told a lot about how BDSM worked and the ‘hierarchy’ (i.e. from Sunday player to slave) and what it would take to be taken seriously BDSM-wise and reach the level of ‘slave’ which meant you were at the top of the ‘hierarchy’. (I know I KNOW, but I wanted to be accepted in this new world).

So he would call and I would ‘edge’ on the phone whilst he talked to me. The first few conversations were more questions to see my reactions to different sexual and BDSM things. Some were fairly ‘tame’ like public exposure, humiliation stuff like that. And then he started in on the more extreme / taboo things. He tried out incest and bestiality, both of which I was really like ‘NO’ about and then hit on extreme torture, BDSM ‘snuff’ and ‘dolcett’. Dolcett is like art-work and stuff and a fantasy thing which involved killing and eating girls mainly and stuff like cooking women on spits things like that. Never heard of it before and was quite disturbed by this but also we spent hours on the phone with me masturbating and him talking about it and I was excited by the torture / masochistic ‘snuff’ stuff in a way I couldn’t really explain at the time, a mixture of emotions. I guess taboo stuff is like that although this has been my one and only experience with it.

So after more of this he sent me websites about dolcett and ones with written stories on them and got me to start looking up stories for him and send them to him about snuff, extreme BDSM torture and dolcett. Dolcett was not really my bag per se but I went along with it. I was much more interested in the extreme torture thing as it tapped into my masochistic fantasies in a VERY extreme way. We arranged for a meet and leading up to this meet he asked me to write him a story. I thought the task was to write a story in the style of these stories id been sending him so I wrote an extreme dolcett / snuff / torture story and sent it. Turns out he was actually after my fantasies of what I wanted to happen on our meet so I did it wrong anyway, but it is quite an extreme piece of writing. I don’t have it any longer but I have been assured (of course) that he has kept it.

So the meet got closer and he told me my instructions which were to do with clothing to bring (high heels, stockings and a short skirt), to tell no-one where I was going and turn up and be prepared for anything to happen to me, including being ‘snuffed’. I obviously did not think for a minute he would do any of these things, however I DID say yes to this when I was masturbating on the phone to him and also I turned up to the meet without having set up a safe call. I had no-one to set one up with anyway. I knew no-one outside of him in a BDSM context, he already had all of my passwords to my email and Alt.com account, I was banned from talking to other dominants and I was also banned straight away from certain submissives as well. I was busy and spending hours texting and on the phone with him as well as my work, family and uni responsibilities and I spent approximately ZERO time researching any of this BDSM stuff for myself. I just followed what he said. Really you could write this into a textbook of what NOT to do when you begin in BDSM!

When I got to this first ever meet I had to text just before I got there. Then he texted back and said I had to go inside get into my outfit and put a blindfold on. So I did. He then came up behind me and put chains on me (and this was the first time I realised he was morbidly obese..which is relevant in so far as he had told me he was an average to ‘bigger’ size. I was intimidated by his size he was at least 3 times my weight) and then blindfolded he put a pen in my hand and made me sign a piece of paper which he said gave him permission to do anything he wanted to me, including dolcett / snuff. I was scared but I signed it (I later heard it was a pizza menu, although I’ve no idea if that’s true or not, I’ve never seen it).

We went upstairs and I thought some masochistic stuff was going to happen but all that actually happened was I sucked his cock for quite some time, still blindfolded. Then he said another girl was coming, even though we had already agreed on the phone that I didn’t want to be around another girl on my first ever meet. I didn’t feel able to argue and when the girl showed up I had to let her in. This girl turned out to be X who is now one of my closest friends and so a good thing came out of that part. What I did not know at the time however was that she was only not long 18 and also had been being groomed into dolcett fantasies. From there the meet was more around me and her pleasuring him and a bit of light caning and housework. We were not allowed safe-words, no-one was. At that time he also insisted his girls wore blindfolds at ALL times. I’ve only ever looked him in the eye once or twice. The rest of the time blindfolded or if blindfold up with my back to him.

From there the meets were less extreme in terms of snuff / dolcett for me personally, although not for my friend who went solo one time and got horribly burned in a Hitachi Wand accident. Over time he lost interest in it as a fantasy I think and really a lot of what followed was a lot more tame.

A few incidents such as having my ass burnt with a hot iron without my consent and non-consensual face-slapping stick out in my mind but overall I was becoming more and more disillusioned with it all. I am not poly and he expected poly-mono. I spoke with another dominant on IM who mailed me and tried to warn me off him but I told my dominant I’d had the conversation and was accused of cheating on him.

After a couple more months I was pissed off to fuck with not orgasming and becoming more and more argumentative and bolshie as I realised just how inconsistent the whole ‘service’ was and how little info he’d allowed me to have outside of him. Having read more and got a little more info I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable and feeling ‘played’ BDSM wise and that he’d been highly manipulative. It was easy enough to forget about the dolcett stuff because I felt really weird about it anyway, or push it to the back of my mind at least.

After only four months it was over. What followed was him telling everyone I had contacted him begging him to kill me. That I wanted to die, I was a depressive and had mental health issues and cheated on him and stalked him and stuff like that. He told everyone I was a terrible mother for travelling to him without telling anyone and that he was only trying to ‘save’ me in case I contacted an actual nutter who really did want to kill me. He has repeated these rumours for YEARS, they still filter down to me now, twisting every little thing to fit this story and paint me in a way that attempts to discredit my real concerns with his actions.

I’ve been accused of stalking him , that I keyed his car, that I threatened his life and that I made numerous harassing calls to him, that I would sit outside his house and stare at him for hours…the list goes on and on and on. He wrote post after post about me, got others to do the same and bullied me non-stop for well over two years. It only stopped properly when I began modelling and all of a sudden he wanted to know me. Suddenly he felt he could get something from knowing me, i.e.  a boost to his standing by saying a fetish model is one of his exes.

I could go on and on with other incidents but these are the facts that I wanted to share, the one’s I’ve kept quiet about.

Why have I kept quiet? Because I was ashamed. Firstly I was ashamed of the story I wrote and the Dolcett stuff which I find personally pretty sickening now. I am aware others might enjoy extreme edge play (which I now know it to have been. Not that I knew it then), but in this way it was only ever really something I allowed myself to be led into and since then have never had any sort of wish to explore it. I was ashamed because it was used against me in two of my weak spots…my role as a mother and the fact I have suffered from depression over the years and am an ex self-harmer.

I was called a bad mother for going somewhere without a safe call..and for a long time I really believed that was true and it kept me quiet. But really what do I have to be ashamed of? Yes I was fucking stupid, I should NEVER have gone somewhere without a safe call. I have learnt from that and it does not make me a bad mother, it just means I was a dickhead for a short space of time.

I was also ashamed because like all good manipulations the ‘dying’ thing had a grain of truth to it. Like many depressives I have often wished not to be here anymore, I’ve even expressed that wish to others. Not that I want to kill myself or be killed ffs, just that I don’t want to live with the pain any longer. Some days I still feel that way.

But those feelings were used against me to discredit me, to shame me, to show why I was ‘crazy’ and a nutter if I tried to speak out about the poor behaviour of this person.

And I am NOT the only one this has happened to.

So I’m telling what happened to me now in the hope other people see this and get something positive out of it. I’m also writing it for me so I can finally put that shame to bed once and for all.

Dominating someone, being a party to their secret fantasies and desires, exploring their sexuality with them and their sometimes intense feelings comes with a huge responsibility. People are NOT there to be manipulated into fulfilling someone else’s fantasies and then have those used against them if things do not go well.

It is completely unethical for a person to act in this manner, to enforce scenes which are not only incredibly intense to a total novice but then use those very scenes in order to shame the person who took part in them.

Humiliation scenes for example then used as potential blackmail, not the consensual type, the real type. Videos, pictures…posted or left up without consent. No safeword even on very first meets. Violating safety by not allowing a safe-call, and then using that to bully a person for years? Setting up edge-play scenes without even informing a newbie that’s what they were?

This is NOT ethical behaviour.

I just want to say to anyone who has been through anything
similar..please..do NOT feel ashamed and blame yourself. I personally am a well-educated, sensible woman and a responsible mother. I managed to lose my head entirely and make a lot of decisions and go along with a lot of things that I look back on and think ‘bloody hell what WERE you thinking?!’. My thought processes were deeply affected by the orgasm control, I believe it to be a powerful tool and one that in the wrong hands can be extremely dangerous.

Yes it is important for all of us that we learn from these experiences, ensure we protect ourselves better the next time, and take that personal responsibility on.

But we must also not forget that we can only shoulder so much guilt and self-blame when we have been used and manipulated and shamed and scared by someone who has done this to countless women, has been doing it for years. Not every single one of course, abusers NEVER act that way ALL of the time, or even to ALL the people they are around. It is one of many reasons why they can carry on doing what they do undetected. Each person is different and each will have a different story, some more extreme than others.

I want everyone who reads this to know that I WAS ashamed for years. I never felt I would talk about this publicly and my ex fucking knew I wouldn’t. He KNEW what would get to me, my fear of being painted crazy and suicidal, my fear of being a bad mother..my SHAME at those things…and boy he used it, he used it really well. Just as he uses others fears and shame against them after being charm personified to worm his way in enough to figure out what will work on each woman.

Guess what? I’m not ashamed anymore  I made some mistake yes, but I never hurt anyone..the only one who got hurt was me. He has no power over me anymore  no way of making me feel guilty or bad or silent or ashamed. It feels fucking awesome.

I know some others who have had these experiences are not there yet, but you will be. Shame and silence are terrible bed-fellows, they make it all so much worse. Shame thrives in silence. But they can be overcome and you can move forward from experiences such as this.

I want my story to also serve as notice to people just finding their feet in the scene, to encourage them to take it slowly and to learn and question everything. Be VERY wary of anyone who tells you there is only one way to do things, or tries to isolate you from information or other forms of support.

There is usually a very good reason for this.

BDSM and kink can be so wonderful. So powerful. So enjoyable. So fun and so fucking sexy. But it can also attract dangerous people who will use it in ways that damage others.

Be careful, stay safe and ultimately…have fun!! It’s what it’s about really. Exploration, growth and fun. Not shame, not fear, not feeling bad about yourself. That’s not kink. That’s just fucked.

By | 2017-03-17T09:57:06+00:00 October 30th, 2012|Categories: Life|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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2 Comments

  1. […] Shame, Silence and Ethics in BDSM « WykD.com […]

  2. Shayna York January 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Knowledge is power and can keep you safe.

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