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the elephant in the dungeon

There is an Elephant in the Dungeon, and yet so many people refuse to look, to acknowledge or talk about it. The few that do attempt to look at the elephant, point out the elephant or goddess forbid talk about the elephant are met with denial, misdirection, character attacks and so forth.

The Elephant is that there ARE people who are in our kink communities simply so that they can prey on others.

Ignoring it, calling it anything but what it is, pointing out that there are predators everywhere, calling me a drama whore or a victim does not change change the fact that the elephant is real, it is there.

Just like any other gathering space for adults, there are abusers and predators in the BDSM community. Being kinky does not mean that one is safe, sane, noble, strong, honest etc, just as being kinky does not mean one is a pedophile, sociopath, adulterer, liar, abuser etc. "But there are predators everywhere!'Sure. Our kink community is not the only place to find creepers.

Something to keep in mind, however, is that certain environments are more likely than others to entice abusers. Environments where they can blend in, be anonymous, build credibility, rely on those around them to hush up complaints, and where they are able to find persons who are more likely to be conflicted about the abuse itself.It is easier to hide a hatred towards women amongst heavy players.

It can be difficult at times to separate misogyny from some of the more intense aspects of BDSM. It is easier to hide a deep hatred when surrounded by acts of violence, humiliation, degradation and power exchanges. "You are just saying this because (insert bs personal attack here)"Yes, I am female. Yes, I am a feminist and an advocate for equality and coexist. Yes I have been sexually assaulted. Yes, someone has used BDSM as a way to abuse me.

None of this removes the elephant from the room.

My experience as a new bottom is just as valid anecdotal evidence as your experience and anecdotal evidence. Regardless of our personal experiences, however, this elephant is here. Right now, in your community and in mine, there are persons who are welcomed into the BDSM groups and events, often in leadership roles, who use that 'authority' and the guise of BDSM to abuse their submissives and bottoms. It is happening.

"We have no way to self police this"

W e don't have to be our own police. What we could do, however, is lead. We can talk to the experts about ways to deter and prevent this, ways to encourage victims to come forth, how to address it and how to support those involved. We have the option to be proactive, rather than to just debate if victims are lieing. We have the option to create a cut and dried (ish) protocols in our societies and clubs for addressing these concerns, rather than focusing on trying to contain the allegations within our community.

When we try to run damage control we actually empower abusers and trample the victim, creating an even more welcoming environment for further abuse. "That allegation is false! I talked to him/her and they were genuinely appalled that (victim name) felt they were abused!"While I am not talking about a specific allegation allow me to share a not so fun fact: Most abusers do not realize that they are in fact being abusive. They justify their actions to themselves. They don’t' just wake up one day and violently rape someone (typically). Instead there is a pattern of boundary violations that typically escalate. The very terrifying truth is that while many do not really get that they are violating anyone's boundaries, a few know exactly what they are doing. They feel they are entitled to do what they want and they are charismatic and well able to fake shock and indignation, sincerity and earnestness.

It's our community.

I would love to see it be a safe place.With all these newbies entering the scene thanks to changing societal values and media exposure via soft bdsm books and movies and documentaries we need to get on this. I predict a rise in consent violations being reported until we figure out how to be proactive.

/end rant