The past few days have been rather wearing on me. With dozens of emails discussing classes on consent, presentations on consent, policies on consent, and a few “did you see....” on consent.
Up until now, I’ve been generally pretty nice about my responses and it’s usually: “Thank you for the information, but I’m not interested. I am no longer speaking about this issue”. My friends- (you know those people- my really, honest to goddess, true and real friends)- the people who know me, who can talk to me and with me without either of us feeling like we’re assholes, who understand my own personal (dare I say it?) boundaries, limits, and newly discovered triggers with this issue, the ones who understand that I am not interested in getting into any online discussion about this issue. The ones who are perfectly happy spending time with me doing things and talking about things that have absolutely nothing to do with kink -with a few of them- I will have a quiet in-person discussions about some peripheral issues relating to “The Big Picture”, but they know that I have had enough of, and will not partake in, online rhetoric or semantics any longer.
So, it's rarely my friends I'm having issues with. I'm friends with them mostly because they understand about personal space. But I've had to take some measures with other people to maintain that personal space.
I’ve told people that I now filter my email into trash and which words are included (there’s a few). I have removed myself from Fetlife (it really does get easier after a month). I have locked my twitter account, removed some people here and there, and generally found my place again, doing what I love, saying what I want, and trying like hell to just stay away from this entire issue. That others wish to “carry on” with this argument is their choice.
Mine is to just stay the fuck out of it.
And yet, despite my being quite honest about my desires to not talk about this online, to not read about this online, to not have this intrude on my every waking moment of online interactions with people, there isn’t a day when I’ve been able to open my email or my twitter DM’s when someone wasn’t sending me something that I just “had to know/read/understand/hear”.
When I mentioned this to Septimus, saying how completely frustrated I was by people continuously, and with obvious disregard for my own personal boundaries, who kept sending this shit to me, he said that I needed to get a “stock reply” that people would hopefully understand.
So here it is:
“When I can't get my own colleagues and friends to respect my boundaries and not discuss this issue with me, is it any wonder that it's an issue in the scene? I agree that it's something that needs to be talked about. But it's not going to be talked about by me. Seriously. Back off. Red. Red. Do you need this in any other language?"
I’m really confused why so many people, who purport to abide by consent, who agree to respect boundaries...don’t understand that boundaries and consent are not concepts just for the kink world. Respect goes both ways. I respect your opinions.
I just don’t want them in my email.