Argh. I’ve had it.
It’s time for some definitions.
Power = Ability to get what we want from others.
Wants: Most obvious ≠ most important.
Consent = The outcome of internal politics among our wants.
That’s how dominant bottoms and masochistic doms can exist. Our wants may not line up tidily with the stereotypes, but in a good scene we are all getting fulfilled. It’s just that your wants ≠ my wants.
And that’s what D/s is all about. I want ten different things before breakfast, and I want you to deny me some of them! Please don’t hurt me, please beat me, thank you [gasp] thank you. Consent isn’t just about any one of my wants. Otherwise, good grief, I’d be violating my own consent every time I obeyed my alarm clock.
Kink is a lot harder than getting up in the morning. And I think that’s why kinksters test saner than average. We are experts at conflict resolution between pain and pleasure, joy and fear, lust and taboo. I want to kiss your feet, I want to thank you for the privilege, and I don’t want regrets.
But stable politics takes work. When a nation is split down the middle like our heads, that’s when you get bloody civil war, e.g. Yugoslavia, Rwanda. Even America suffers from flip-flops between parties that don’t really want to honour each other’s international treaties – or can’t. In a kink consent context, this is traumatic for everybody, including ethical doms.
One solution, of course, is not to think too hard. But internal censorship is not the best means of achieving stability.
I like to think of all my wants sitting at a nice big round table listening to one another with transparency and compassion. They’re trying to give the Get Out Now and Regrets activists a real hearing, because sometimes they’re right.
But mostly they’re working on growing the Yes Please coalition. Because saying yes to the right person is what I want to do with whatever power I’ve got.