I originally wrote and posted this as a note on Fetlife several years ago. At the time, I still wanted to believe that the person in question did not have a history of predatory behaviour, and that this was more of a one-off event, so I was very careful about concealing their identity out of respect for them. However, recent events in my local community have proven that belief wrong.
This incident happened locally during my first few years in the kink community, by someone I thought was trustworthy and knowledgeable. And while I realize that I’m probably putting myself at more risk of harm by posting this than anyone, it needs to be said again.
Below is the original post, minus a few edits for typos and clarity.
By now, a lot of you have probably read about the consent violating incident that happened between Gorgone, a well-known professional rope model, and P. S., a well-known professional rigger, during one of their performances together. If you haven’t, you can read about it here.
While I’ve read about many consent violations & alleged consent violations in the scene over the years, this one really hit home. Five or six years ago, I found myself in an eerily similar situation. I was bottoming in a demoing (but non-professional) capacity for someone with the purpose of creating art together. We had never played sexually before, nor had we ever negotiated sexual play. Near the end of our collaboration session, while I was naked and bound, my photographer reached betwen my legs and fingered me sexually without my consent. After a few seconds, when I didn’t react one way or another, he stopped.
I froze instantly. I didn’t say no. I didn’t say anything at all that I can remember. Maybe I would have safeworded if this had happened during play, but this wasn’t even a ‘scene’. I didn’t have a safeword. In those days, I was doing art-nude and fetish modelling for a variety of photographers semi-regularly, and sexual contact wasn’t something that was negotiated beyond “can I put this rope between your legs? excuse my reach” because it wasn’t supposed to happen, period. It was a shoot, not a play date.
I went home feeling more confused than anything, blaming myself for not speaking up, and convincing myself that making a fuss about it would be “overreacting”. After all, the entire incident probably lasted less than a minute, and it was easy enough to convince myself that there must have been a breakdown in the communication somewhere, that he didn’t really mean it and that I should have done something differently, somehow.
It was a long time before I told anyone about what had happened, even my partners. It was easier for me to downplay and/or try to forget the incident than it was to deal with the prospect of a messy confrontation. In hindsight, part of me wishes that I had spoken out sooner, but on top of being not-so-experienced in dealing with these kind of issues, I was also terribly embarrassed by what had happened, and especially by my reaction to it.
My intention in writing this is not to ‘out’ or ‘confront’ the person in question — this incident happened years ago, and is not something that I’m looking to revisit at this time. And before anyone starts making assumptions about who this person might be, I will quickly add that, between the ages of 19 and 21, I have done nude/fetish modelling in 6 different cities, 3 different countries, and on 2 different continents.
Who or where it was is irrelevant for the sake of this writing.
What is relevent is how fucking prevalent these kind of consent violations actually are in our community at large. I could write pages about the things that I’ve personally witnessed and/or experienced alone, and that wouldn’t include the (often very similar) stories I’ve heard from friends and acquaintances over the years.
I constantly see people preaching about how it’s safer to meet potential partners at events — how it’s safer to play with people who are well known and respected. Do you know what I say to that? Horseshit, that’s what. Almost every consent violation that I have ever witnessed or personally experienced in the scene has been perpetrated by someone who is (or was) ‘well-known’ and ‘respected’ in the community.
In fact, the absolute worst thing that I have ever witnessed personally was done by a respected kinkster & ‘educator’ who slyly confided in me that the demo suspension that he had just done, in front of a crowd of people, at a huge annual kink event, was actually his first suspension ever, and that neither the organizers OR the demo-bottom had been informed of this fact in advanced, or probably ever.
So, that whole ‘well-known’ and ‘respected’ thing? As far as I’m concerned, it means shit-all. I can’t tell you how many sleazy event promoters, photographers and ‘educators’ I’ve met during my travels — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched an experienced, long-time member of the kink scene spank, grope, or [insert x here] someone else, only for that [someone else] to later tell me that what had happened wasn’t negotiated or consensual, and that they were too shocked to speak up, or that they didn’t want to ‘make a scene’ over something so ‘minor’.
So, let me just leave you with this:
If you grope someone sexually without their permission and they don’t say no, it still doesn’t change or negate the fact that you groped them sexually without their permission. They shouldn’t have to tell you “no”, or try to stop you — ultimately, you shouldn’t be engaging in those (or other play) activities until they’ve explicitly said “yes” to begin with.