"I'm shocked that anyone involved in bdsm would not explicitly follow their mantra of SSC"
I woke up this morning to another round of emails, fetlife threads and blog comments. Now that I’ve opened this can of worms and invited everyone in, I guess I really should be more prepared to deal with people that only get part of the problem. It’s easy to hear platitudes like “no means no” “consent counts” or “yes means yes” and think that this is the easy way to “deal with our shit”.
People like easy. It makes it feel like they’re “doing something” about the problem, without hurting feelings, making enemies, or putting too much of their valuable time into something that “would never happen to them, because they’re so careful”.
I’m really tired of platitudes and quaint marketing phrases.
We’ve got a ton of them in BDSM- Risk Aware Consensual Kink, Safe Sane and Consensual are two of them. But while we’re listening to those phrases, do we ever really think about what they mean?
Safe, Sane and Consensual has been around for decades. SSC was THE standard that bdsm ascribed to. We all strove to play safely, sanely and consensually. But then people figured out that there were a lot of things that we did that weren’t exactly always “safe” and even sometimes, things that we probably didn’t even consider “sane”. We changed SSC to Risk-Aware Consensual Kink because, although we sometimes did thing safely, they were inherently risky things. Putting a corkscrew in someone’s cock seems pretty insane to me. So RACK became the newest platitude.
But what SSC and RACK boil down to is that neither of those things protect you.
SSC and RACK protect the people you play with **only if you are someone who adheres to either of those principle**. If you don’t, the fact that your bottom adheres to them doesn’t mean diddly shit. You can’t rely on those principles to protect you. And you can’t rely on the hope that every single person you meet practices them.
We avoid definitions like the plague because words have different meanings to different people. If you’ve ever had a “submissive v. slave” discussion or a chat about shibari, collars, service, or protocol, you know what I’m talking about. If these words create such chaos and differing opinions, such that few people agree on a single definition, why do we think words like “consent” are able to actually PROTECT anyone?
What the heck am I missing?