Added: Leandra Weatherall - Date: 20.01.2022 03:57 - Views: 11798 - Clicks: 2292
The Fifty Shades of Grey books have unleashed a wave of mainstream interest in kinky sex since their arrival in The film version, which hit theaters on February 14, will probably trigger a second surge. But the kink community is less than enthusiastic about that. Her main concern is that newbies can put themselves in danger. All those rules—summed up by the oft-repeated community mantra "Safe, Sane, Consensual"—are vital to making risky practices like bondage and the infliction of pain safer. Also worrisome is that many dipping a toe in the waters of BDSM will start exploring through FetLife, which, with more than 3.
FetLife lets members discuss issues, explore their desires, and arrange offline events and dates. But Lokerson and others have long contended that FetLife does an inadequate job of safeguarding its users, and even creates a false sense of safety in the community—primarily, by preventing identification of abusive members. Just as the rest of society has more openly confronted the ugly reality of rape, the BDSM scene has had to acknowledge that "Safe, Sane, Consensual" is often more of an ideal than reality.
In , Kitty Stryker, a blogger and longtime member of the BDSM community, spoke out about having her negotiated boundaries repeatedly violated by people she trusted. This triggered a flood of similar s across blogs, message boards, and discussion thre.
In , these anecdotes were backed up by a survey by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, a group that works for the legal protection of alternative sexual practices. The survey found that 30 percent of people who participated in BDSM had had their pre-negotiated boundaries violated by a partner.
Revelations of abuse also frequently surface on FetLife. However, FetLife administrators quickly ed the user who started the thread, requesting that all usernames be removed. The thread can still be viewed in its anonymized version by registered Fetlife users. Many of the stories shared on FetLife are horrific. One user shared this message from a FetLife admin regarding accusations against a high-ranking community member, whose username is here replaced with [Tribe Leader]:.
Written abuse plagues much of the Internet, and attempts to deal with it are still inadequate. An additional challenge is that FetLife users rarely use their real names, or even show their faces in profile photos, due to the risk to their day-to-day lives if their still-marginalized sexual practices were exposed. But before any of their more expensive efforts, Twitter and Facebook allowed users to call out others for bullying, slurs and death threats.
That has resulted in prosecutions that are themselves complicated, but which may help make online life more civil. The inability to name abusers on FetLife, even pseudonymously, deepens the faceless distance that breeds online abuse. It also robs FetLife, and the online BDSM community more generally, of the self-policing and communication that are crucial to safety.
Exploring BDSM through a screen is attractive to less-savvy acolytes—but anonymity is also like oxygen for the bad actors likely to prey on them. Fifty Shades of Grey may also make its converts even more vulnerable because, as Emma Green recently wrote in The Atlantic , its depiction is overwhelmingly nonconsensual.
Christian Grey is far from the first dangerous fictional character who people also find attractive. The more important question is how those sort of fantasies get channeled into real-world behavior. Lokerson herself is an arresting example of the difference between the two. Her main priority in life, she says, is getting her teenage daughters off to college.
As we talk, her husband occasionally chimes in benignly from the background, not much differently than any half-interested spouse. That kind of subtle balance between fantasy and reality is hard to establish in the context of a hookup between two strangers who met online.
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