And now I’m pissed.

Well, it finally happened.  I finally got genuinely furious with a stranger on the internet, and the comment he left on my blog.

But first, to the gentleman who originally wrote to me about abuse, under the name, Poster.

I owe you an apology.  I told you that the reason you were met with indifference and hostility, and the reason you felt like the kink community considered what you went through as okay, or as acceptable, was because of your approach.  When you said,

They didn’t take one moment to show compassion or understanding when I first started to speak about this, when I was far more gentle and more willing to listen to what they had to say.

I didn’t really respond to it, specifically.

To be clear, I didn’t disbelieve you.  But at the same time, I didn’t want to believe that your experiences were immediately brushed off and swept under the rug.  But to me, that didn’t matter.  The fact that you believed they didn’t care, meant that no one stepped up to help you or support you, and even that is a failure on their part.

Now, I absolutely believe you, and am horrified, appalled, and furious that people like that exist, and that you were met with this indifferent attitude, with this mindset that “it’s not so bad,” or “it’s okay.”

Fuck, I am so, so sorry for not believing you.  I was planning on emailing you this privately, but now I’m putting it here:

I want to help you in any way I can.  I mean it, I want you to take me up on that.  Anything that’s in my ability to do, I am more than happy to help you.  I’m serious, tell me what I can do, and see it done.

Alright, so let’s take a look at what set me off.  It’s long, so don’t feel like you have to read the whole thing.  The important points will be highlighted.  You can go back and see our entire conversation, including my reply to him, on this post.

His original question was:

Would it be possible to get some specifics on how the non-consensual D/s relationship came about? I had a commenter on my blog suggest recently that his D/s relationship was “against his will,” but when I pressed for specifics, what he really seemed to mean was that he was given choices that he didn’t like. Deciding to do something because it is better than an alternative you have been presented with is still a choice.
I have seen real abuse in a relationship, and it took place because one party was physically stronger than the other and, through that, could in fact impose his will on the other, through plain old physical violence. But, the reality in most male-female relationships is, the man is physically stronger. I admit this reply may not seem particularly compassionate, but I’m just never clear on how a non-consensual D/s relationship comes about in the F/m context.

I answered, explaining why there is soso very much wrong with everything he said.  I explained, citing sources, that men are abused by women way more than we realize, and that there are no resources available to them, and that society as a whole doesn’t even react to female-on-male abuse.  Again, anyone who wants to see my full reply is more than welcome to.

My comment was long, as was his response. You’re welcome to check out the conversation on that post, but the highlights will be here.

His comment pissed me off.  But I was trying not to start internet drama, so I set the computer down and spent the evening with Sounder, who put a smile on my face the second I walked in the door.  I had a lot of fun with him, and I was pretty rough with him, and he took everything I threw at him.  It was a fun evening, and that’ll be the subject of my next post.

When I left his house, I was calm and balanced.  Until I checked my email, and saw this gem in my inbox, from (I assume) someone else.

You know there’s a special place in hell for any woman who puts down the abuse that millions of women go through every day. I hope you enjoy burning there.

You know what?  I’m not even going to address that.  Nope, not even going there.

I went for a long drive, trying to calm down.  My car is top-heavy (and leased) so I called up a friend who owns a sports car, and asked if I could run the fuck out of it.  Minutes later, I was pulling the cover off the car and speeding off down the road.

There’s just something so cathartic about driving like that.  Once you get above 100 miles per hour, something just happens.  The world shrinks.  You’re riding that edge between control and chaos, you can hear the engine screaming underneath the radio, you can feel the heat coming off it through the floorboards.

Then slamming on the brakes, twirling the wheel as fast as you can once the fishtailing starts, barely holding on to that control, riding through every movement the car makes.  Then, as soon as you regain control, slamming your foot down on the gas again, seeing those rpms go into the red, hearing the engine groan and whine as it obeys every command.

Shifting gears in a split second, slamming it into fourth, then fifth, then sixth, the car jumping forward as each gear catches, eager to climb, eager to go faster and faster.

The rest of the world fades away.  Even the radio, as loud as it is, fades away after awhile.  The desert around me fades away.  The only things that exist are me, the car, and the road I can see in the headlights.  And the line between me and the car starts to fade, too.

It’s the best feeling, and when I got back, I was at a point where I could address this like a sane person.

Let’s break it down, shall we?  We’ll use the example this commenter used, of a man who told him he was in a D/s relationship against his will.

Now, were his wife’s actions in demanding that kind of relationship “blackmail”? No. Did he have a choice to go along with her demands, or end the marriage if it was on terms he didn’t agree with? Yep. Is she an “abuser” and he a “victim” — that is a call that would be impossible to make without a lot more detail.

black·mail
ˈblakˌmāl/
noun
noun: blackmail
  1. 1.
    the action, treated as a criminal offense, of demanding money from a person in return for not revealing compromising or injurious information about that person.
    “they were acquitted of charges of blackmail”
    • money demanded from a person in return for not revealing injurious information.
      “we do not pay blackmail”
    • the use of threats or the manipulation of someone’s feelings to force them to do something.
      “out of fear, she submitted to Jim’s emotional blackmail”
verb
verb: blackmail; 3rd person present: blackmails; past tense: blackmailed; past participle: blackmailed; gerund or present participle: blackmailing
  1. 1.
    demand money from (a person) in return for not revealing compromising or injurious information about that person.
    “trying to blackmail him for $400,000”
    • force (someone) to do something by using threats or manipulating their feelings.
      “he had blackmailed her into sailing with him”

     

YES, what that woman did to him was blackmail.  That is exactly the dictionary definition of blackmail.  YES, she is an abuser because of that.  The fact that she wouldn’t even tell him what he was signing is kind of a red flag, bro.

That’s not “making a choice.”  That’s not even consensual nonconsent.  That is straight-up blackmail and nonconsent, and it sickens me to think that people in the kink community think that’s okay.

And, honestly, equating the slap during an argument with a man physically overpowering and sending his wife to the hospital really trivializes the abuse suffered by those who have actually ended up in hospital ERs or the morgue due to acts of real and sustained physical violence.

I’m trivializing those who suffered abuse that put them in the hospital, huh?

Oh, you mean like me?

Like the physical abuse I suffered from my parents, my mom who would routinely hit me with her fists in parking lots and the car, to the point that the only place I could feel safe was directly behind her, where she couldn’t reach me?  The woman who threw me down our staircase (by my hair) when I was 8?  Or the fact that my dad routinely threw things at me, and blamed the occasional busted lip, black eye, or bruised cheek on our horses or softball?  Like the scars I still have on my back and the underside of my arm from when he threw me through a sliding glass door when I was 11?

Like the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of my uncle, for three goddamn years, that culminated in rape, that I needed stitches to heal from, and the second rape that left me pregnant (and neither of those men ever saw the inside of a prison cell, by the way).

Like the recurring nightmares I still get, 12 years later?

You remember me saying that 13% of sexual abuse victims attempt suicide? 4 out of 76 women?  Sound familiar?

Yeah, I’m in that 13%.  Two attempts, spaced less than a year apart.

Fuck every goddamn thing about you, you insensitive, hateful, small-minded, asshole.  The fact that people like you exist is why I’m pro choice.

How does acknowledging a growing problem take away from other problems?  You’re one of those All-Lives-Matter assholes, aren’t you?  Because focusing on the growing problem of female-on-male abuse (and yes, it is growing.  The CDC found a slight increase in female-on-male abuse over the course of two years, while male-on-female abuse declined) obviously trivializes and takes away from other forms of abuse, right?

You think I don’t care about female abuse victims because I talk about male abuse victims, and the fact that they are largely ignored?

No really, what’s wrong with you?

And for the record, since there seems to be a lot of confusion in the kink community about this, it doesn’t fucking matter whether it’s a slap to the face or an injury that requires medical care, no form of domestic violence is okay.

So, it is just way too easy to say “abuse is abuse” and women are as likely to be abusers than men, because to get there you have to equate all acts of aggression (a slap to the face in the heat of an argument is the same as a boot to the kidneys or head of a prostrate victim) and the consequences (a reddening of the skin after a slap versus a broken and battered face, hospital admission, etc.) That alone may explain the study you raise regarding a male being yelled at and then hit on the street by a female and no one helping — because the risk of injury in male v. female and female v. male aggressive encounters is wholly different. Did any of the bystanders have reason to think that injury was likely?

Yes, you ignorant asshole.  A slap to the face is abuse.  Any time someone hits someone who doesn’t want to be hit, it’s abuse.  Saying that it’s okay for women to be violent because they’re probably not going to seriously injure their partner is fucking disgusting, and literally makes my skin crawl.

I mean, you do know that’s why the vanilla public hates us, right?  Why they all scream about BDSM relationships being abusive?

Because people like you apparently have no problem with any kind of abuse that doesn’t end in an ER visit.

Literally.  You disgust me.

So the 1 in 4 men across North America, Europe, and Australia who have been physically abused (slapped, pushed, shoved) is alright?  You don’t see anything wrong with that?

Alright, so what about the 1 in 7 men who have experienced severe physical violence from their partner (hit with a fist or hard object, kicked, slammed against something, choked, burned)?

That’s fine, because it happens more often to women?  It’s totally okay for men to continue to be hit, because women are hit harder?

And the 1 in 10 who deal with after-effects of abuse, like being fearful, concerned for safety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, need for healthcare, injury, contacting a crisis hotline, need for housing services, need for victim’s advocate services, need for legal services, missed at least one day of work or school.

Or the 1 in 18 who are severely injured by an intimate partner, requiring medical care?

That’s completely acceptable to you?  You don’t see anything wrong with that?

Arresting women who are reaching out for help for domestic violence can be detrimental to survivors’ chances of receiving help. Research finds that battered women who have been incarcerated are significantly less likely to utilize the legal system for help with abuse (24), and that these women may be more likely to cope through substance abuse and become further involved with the criminal justice system…

In this data report, 25% of all domestic violence arrests were female (which is interesting, considering that 40% of domestic violence victims are male), and only 9% of all arrests were cases in which both parties were arrested.

It’s a broken system, I’m not arguing that, and I’m not arguing that arresting any victim of domestic violence, male or female, severely impacts that person’s mindset and ability to get help.

Still, even in those situations, when men call the police, asking for help, they are still 2.0 to 3.2 times more likely to be arrested than the female abuser.  And female abusers are 5 times less likely to be arrested than male abusers.

The article quotes another study in Boulder County, Colorado, that showed that male victims who called the police were more than three times as likely to be part of a dual-arrest couple than were those individuals identified as female victims.

Even in cases of dual violence, it was more likely for only the man to be arrested.

Even when a man was a victim, the woman was 5 times less likely to be arrested than a man in a similar situation. In addition, current organizational and political pressures may discourage officers from dual arrests when the incident could in fact be defined as mutually violent. For example, if a woman initiated violence by throwing an object at her partner, resulting in a bruise or cut, and the man retaliated violently, causing similar bruising, officers were found to make no arrest or simply to arrest the man.

Another study shows similar information.  With heterosexual men who called the police as victims of domestic abuse, they were the ones arrested 26% of the time, while the female abuser was only arrested 17% of the time.  Half the time, the police made no arrests, despite the abuse, and in 8%, both were arrested.

Even in those cases where the police did identify the abused man’s female partner as the aggressor, in 29% of cases, they refused to arrest the abusive woman. In 39% of these cases they said that there was nothing they could do and left.  The other 10%, the police arrested the male, even when they acknowledged he was the victim.

You said,

And if we define “abuse” in terms of the “acts” instead of taking a hard look at both the consequences AND the whole context of consent (which was what I was asking for in the question you responded to), then every BDSM act that you have engaged in would technically constitute an assault. But, when you hurt someone and they want it, then it really isn’t abuse, is it? Similarly, if you say your wife subjected you to D/s against your will, was it because she held a gun to your head, or blackmailed you, or because she gave you a choice to be a D/s relationship or to not have a relationship with her.

Uh, yeah.  Every BDSM act I engage in with my subs, in the state of Nevada, is assault.  In this state, you cannot consent to be hit, for any reason.

The difference, and the reason my relationships are not abusive, is because a) I don’t hit people who don’t want to be hit, and b) I don’t use emotional blackmail, coercive control, or threats to keep them in a relationship they don’t want to be in.

This is not the first time I’ve said this on this blog:  If a sub no longer wants to be in the relationship, and is being kept in the relationship against his will, it is no longer a D/s relationship.  It is an abusive one.

So would you be just as cavalier with a female abuse victim, who was subjected to D/s against her will, with the choice that she could either endure what her husband did, or file for divorce?

I know one of those, would you like to speak to her?  Because oh, man, she wants to speak to you.

Just to be safe, I asked her opinion first, before writing this.  I didn’t want to put words in her mouth.

Her response was to call you worse names than what I did, and demand to know your email address.  When I refused to give it, she read the comments herself and demanded to know the name of your blog.  I refused to give that to her, too.

If you want to share the name of your blog publicly, and talk to her yourself, then go right ahead.  Maybe she can get through to you in a way that I obviously can’t.

It took her four years to work up the courage to leave him and file for divorce (and a restraining order).

Have you ever tried divorcing a partner who doesn’t want to divorce you?  A partner who can afford a better lawyer than you can?  Do you even know what the fuck you’re talking about?

As it happens, her divorce put her in debt and destroyed her career.  And then her ex-husband sued her, accusing her of sleeping with other people (and he had pictures of his friends fucking her).  She can tell that story better than I can, should you decide to talk to her.

Man, she was an idiot for not choosing the divorce right away, wasn’t she?  She put up with that for four years, because she was too scared to leave, but she chose it, right?  She begged him, repeatedly, to stop, to stop letting his friends use her, to stop publicly humiliating her in front of her friends and coworkers, to stop beating her, but she didn’t divorce him, so she chose to allow that to happen to her, right?  So it’s not abuse, right?  She could’ve left whenever she wanted, right?

Oh and now that I think about it, the reason my uncle raped me was because I finally got the balls to tell him no, so he went after my little sister.  I stopped him, things escalated, and he told me I could either lie there and take it, or he’d do it to my sister instead.

So I guess that’s not really rape, is it?  It’s just an “uncomfortable choice” (wasn’t that the term you used?).  And I made the choice to protect my sister, so that’s the same as consent, right?

No, I’m serious.  You actually, literally repulse me.

I’m turning comment moderating back on.  There is literally nothing you could possibly say that I’m willing to listen to, and any comment you may write that is more than the name of your blog, should you decide to share it (I advise against that, actually) will be deleted without being read.  If I even suspect it might be you, using a different name, I’ll delete it.

I’m ashamed that people like you exist and share the same lifestyle I do.  I’m ashamed that people may see you or talk to you and think that you represent the BDSM community.

I think you’re a horrible, cruel, heartless person and I have no interest in anything you have to say.

Does that make me close-minded?  Maybe, but you know what?  I’m completely okay with that.