(Note from Cassandra: I wrote this several days ago and and every time I start to hit “publish” I’ve hesitated. It’s a very personal topic, and important to me, yet I don’t want anyone to think I’m walking around paranoid that a man is going to attack me. I’m not. It’s just something that I believe a lot of women consider on a semi-regular basis, and wish we didn’t HAVE to consider.)
I promised to write more about the guys who violate scene spaces, who sit too closely, who randomly touch where they are not invited to touch. In my experience it happens way too often.
For the most part, it is just annoying, but it also carries with it an undercurrent of a threat. I feel safe in a play party or in an S&M club like Paddles NYC. Am I safe if I walk outside and the person who just touched me downstairs decides to take things to another level? Or watches me get into my car and then tries to follow me home? (this happened to one Domme acquaintance when a client started to get too attached).
Really, I don’t think that would happen. But there is the potential. If a guy thinks it’s OK to touch a woman because she’s engaging in a fetish lifestyle, does he think it’s OK to do other things with her? Does he think she somehow invited him to do things with her? I haven’t thought about this in a long time, but it has occurred to me in the past. For a person living my lifestyle, would a court believe her if she were attacked and raped? Or would they assume she wanted it or asked for it somehow?
In our society, there is a rape culture. Also see this article: “Rape culture is telling girls and women to be careful about what you wear, how you wear it, how you carry yourself, where you walk, when you walk there, with whom you walk, whom you trust, what you do, where you do it, with whom you do it, what you drink, how much you drink, whether you make eye contact, if you’re alone, if you’re with a stranger, if you’re in a group, if you’re in a group of strangers, if it’s dark, if the area is unfamiliar, if you’re carrying something, how you carry it, what kind of shoes you’re wearing in case you have to run, what kind of purse you carry, what jewelry you wear, what time it is, what street it is, what environment it is, how many people you sleep with, what kind of people you sleep with, who your friends are, to whom you give your number, who’s around when the delivery guy comes, to get an apartment where you can see who’s at the door before they can see you, to check before you open the door to the delivery guy, to own a dog or a dog-sound-making machine, to get a roommate, to take self-defense, to always be alert always pay attention always watch your back always be aware of your surroundings and never let your guard down for a moment lest you be sexually assaulted and if you are and didn’t follow all the rules it’s your fault.”
People still blame the victim for doing something that “caused” them to get attacked and raped. Times have not changed. An 11-year-old gang-rape victim in Texas was considered partly to blame because of how she dressed.
An employee at a drive-through restaurant was told, because of her appearance, “You make men want to be sinful.”
Now listen — I dress provocatively. I flirt. I have touched men who were not my husband. I stay up late at night and sometimes I’m walking the streets of NY dressed like a slut (usually I’m just leaving Paddles and walking to my car, but technically, I have been outside, after midnight, in trampy shoes and a slutty dress.)
And I belong to a culture where we have fantasy violence. I have given and received some pretty intense pain. I like rough sex. I get excited seeing the loom someone’s eye when I pull o a particular toy. by a knife blade clicking open when I am bound and helpless.
Of course (that IS an “Of course,” right?) I only want certain people to overpower me. I have limits on what I do. As a professional Domme, I keep a clear separation between discipline play (my main focus) and sexual play — I don’t do sexual scenes with clients. I don’t have sex — vaginal, oral or anal — with anyone but my husband.
Would any of this matter in the courts? Considering how so many women have been told that their behavior somehow caused the rape, I doubt I would have much of a chance.