Two months ago I called for BDSM bloggers to write about vanilla tragedies. Now the blogosphere is churning with horror at the UC Santa Barbara mass shooting by Elliot Rodger.
But nobody seems to be answering the first question I asked myself: Am I part of the problem?
I’m a straight submissive woman. I was molested by a male coach as a child. I would have been raped as a teenager but for the intervention of a passing security guard. I have feared for my safety with a partner. This is the first time most of my family and friends are hearing about any of this. And few women have led a safer life than I have. #YesAllWomen.
Oh, and good luck trying to get me to sleep with you. I’m definitely part of the data.
But that’s not what I mean.
The problem is male violence born of sexual frustration with women. Do you know how many porn stories I’ve read on that theme? I call it No Rescue porn. I’ve just finished writing a whole series of posts about eroticising trauma and depression and hating yourself afterwards. So my question is this. Is rape culture part of my sexuality?
I would probably be a nervous wreck right now if Valery North hadn’t started me thinking about this two weeks ago. He asked if there was a dominant equivalent to the toxic side of my kink. And I think there is: sadism that comes from a place of anger and revenge, instead of affection and power.
It’s right there in No Rescue porn, which is after all produced for a dominant male viewership. And I think it’s even more toxic for them. I’ve talked to dommes about it. It sounds incredibly difficult to come to terms with such a destructive vision of yourself. Your conscience really does throw up every time.
What I have realised, with relief, is that I don’t wish that nauseating fulfilment on anybody. And I don’t need it from anybody either. I’ve grown away from No Rescue porn. My submission actually functions much better when operated with care and forbearance – and it leaves me ridiculously happy and walking taller.
So no. I don’t need rape culture in order to be me.
And frankly, I wouldn’t wish this culture on men either. Anger and bitterness do not emerge from a place of power, but from pain.
And that is just as true for a deluded boy with a gun as it is for my #YesAllWomen sisters.