The Cautious Kinkster

If you feel violated or abused by me, I welcome being called out in public. I will answer for what happened and take responsibility for my actions.

Victims and survivors of abuse deserve the chance to confront their attackers openly and with the support of the kink community behind them. Even years later.

Those on the other side deserve a chance to publicly take responsibility for their actions. They deserve a chance to change.

Dominants, tops, or anyone else who holds power over another -- tell the world that supporting victims and survivors is more important than a fear of false accusations. It will only cost a small fraction of ones privilege.

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"I _have_ been looking for a way to serve the community that incorporates my violence." -- Turanga Leela, Futurama

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I'm the Demon, Kia. I write & comment about lots of stuff.
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apocalyptomania.tumblr.com
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a-world-of-abuse.tumblr.com
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church-of-the-multiverse.tumblr.com
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media-demon.tumblr.com
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move-eat-live.tumblr.com
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poking-the-powers-that-be.tumblr.com
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politi-kia.tumblr.com
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stealthbananas.tumblr.com
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NSFW:
thecautiouskinkster.tumblr.com
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I also contribute to the Free Open Society Project:

freeopensociety.tumblr.com
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Minion applications now accepted. Also seeking muse & amanuensis. Must be willing to wear a pink uniform. Probably leotard-based uniforms.
Recent Tweets @
Posts tagged "kink education"

delusionsofdebauchery:

So, I left the internet for 24 hours, to give myself a breather. 

In the time that happened, this went up: 

https://fetlife.com/users/1027/posts/1598478

Oh and this happened

https://fetlife.com/users/755066/statuses/9454681

For those of you without a Fetlife? 

http://www.graydancer.com/shibaricon-concerns/

I’m a newblet. This I know, I am aware, and I bow before (okay, at least a respectful head nod) to those that know more, with longer years of practice and education.

I am well aware I do not know the internal workings of Shibaricon, of the people who work there, and am only slowly getting to know some of the people on this list.

The things I’m scratching my head at?

  • Who the fuck lets a guy with multiple consent violations, or at least allegations thereof, teach?
  • Who the fuck lets a guy with multiple consent violations (or allegations) teach bottoms? 
  • Who the fucks lets a guy with multiple consent violations (or allegations) teach bottoms stupid fucking lack of consent, safety or awareness of even basic things like hydration?


I am new. I am aware of this. But I’m also in my body. I’m a dancer. I’m a musician. I do dynamic fucking suspension, and am learning things like aerial silks. What does that mean? I know my damn body, I know what it needs, and I am aware that all of these things require a certain amount of self care, such as, say, hydration. 

I do not know said presenter in question myself. I did not go to the class he presented. But presenting dangerous misinformation such as not needing to hydrate, or be physically in your body?

To not use CONSENT or emphasize it’s importance, in a community that’s validation to exist, practically, is the fact we are aware and respectful of consent? In fact, to brush that off?

That, in case you could not tell from this frothing at the mouth rant, makes me incredibly angry.

I am new. But this is my community. 

What else have I noticed about this?

This hit K&P with the Shibaricon Concerns posts: 

https://fetlife.com/users/1503150/posts/1598726


These are posts I have seen increasingly, more and more over the last year. Of people popping up, with more harassment, more violations of consent, and it scares the living fuck out of me, as someone who has had her consent ignored on multiple levels, by multiple people.

The thing I am going to beat until I am blue in the face, that I said already in this post?

Our little subculture, of events and things like Shibaricon, from leathers to rope alike?

Our little subculture exists on the validation that we respect consent, and do not abuse it (and yes, that includes things like abusing people who volunteer for events), because WIIWD are things that people are consenting to. That we are in fact not sick in the head (or if we are, we are in this together) but in fact in want of the things we do, and negotiate around.

I am new. And I have a small voice, that will probably not be heard. But if you don’t respect the basic fact of that consent, which is a problem ongoing? 

Get the hell off my blog.

malesubmissionart:

BDSM Scene power brokers are doing everything they know how to silence discussions of the rampant rapes, sexual assaults, and violations of consent in their midst (especially by high-profile, VIP-status people), to censor postings linking to critique, and to prevent important safety and privacy information from spreading.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been sent more than five different Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices for videos I’ve made and posts I’ve written criticizing the “single largest online organ in the BDSM universe,” FetLife.com (aka BitLove, Inc.). Moreover, as of this writing, most of my counter-notices were allowed to proceed unchallenged, a tacit acknowledgement that FetLife is well aware their DMCA takedown notices were improper and that my material was all either non-infringing or fair use. The majority of my content is now back online.

As I recently wrote, the BDSM Scene is an abusive social institution. I believe its institutional structures ought be destroyed as quickly and as mercilessly as possible. No institution deserves loyalty, no demographic compassion, no organization trust, no culture respect. But every person is entitled to each of these.

Since the BDSM Scene’s powers that be have economic incentives to support rape culture, to perpetuate technical ignorance, and to erode Internet user privacy, I’ve begun writing computer code to provide users self-empowering tools. This is an effort to break through the “somebody else’s problem” mindset, and an attempt to show that, on the Internet, users—not institutions—can be in control of our own well-being if we work together.

Volunteers are needed to help write code, beta test new tools (such as those linked below), brainstorm new ideas, and generally disrupt the BDSM Scene-State’s abusive functioning. The game is cat-and-mouse; the goal is to spread this information before Scene-State agents censor it, to implement as many tools empowering users as possible, with or without BDSM Scene permission or assistance. Every reblog counts. Every link shared matters.

maymay:

The free FetLife Epic Thread user script gives FetLife.com threaded comments.

The FetLife Epic Thread user script makes reading long, passionate discussions on FetLife.com easier by adding comment threading for @-replies, a “previous/next” link for related comments, and visual highlights. Instead of needing to scroll past a bunch of unrelated comments, simply click the “Next in thread on page” link to go to the next comment in the thread. Rather than having to scroll up or copy-and-paste to see what a comment is replying to, click the “in reply to” link to see the original comment right under your cursor.

Download and install from maybemaimed.com.

See also:

This is cross-posted from this thread on Fetlife regarding many community members’ desire to change the policy preventing users from posting any identifying information, including usernames, of people they claim are abusers or rapists. Currently, if anyone publicly posts a “criminal accusation” the Fetlife team will go in and remove any and all information identifying the accused. Many people have responded in favor of the current policy, claiming that people should not be able to throw out accusations “willy-nilly” and that “criminal accusations are the job of the police.” Here is my response to that:

Here is what makes me certain that people in favor of maintaining the rules that abusers should not be named in public are full of UTTER SHIT and are only here to cover their own asses and because they are afraid of getting called out on their own questionable behavior.

Let’s say we actually do have someone who is your mythical “false accuser” and just holds a petty grudge and wants to blast a person’s name in the worst way possible.
If everyone is following the rules, that person could just private message all of their friends saying “hey this guy raped me, please let fellow community members know.” The message could just get passed along. In this scenario, the accused would have NO WAY of knowing that they are being accused of something, and suddenly everyone would be avoiding them for what seems to be no reason. Furthermore, there would be no public forum for people who know the accused and can vouch for their good behavior to speak up and let everyone know that the accusation is probably false. Even if some people who receive the message about the accused know that it is false, they have no way of knowing who else has gotten the message and therefore no easy way of spreading the word that it is a lie. On the other hand, let’s say someone accuses a person in a public forum. The accused can then see what is going on, who is accusing them, and respond in their own defense. People who know the accused is not a rapist can speak up against the accuser. Everything will be out in the open in a way people can discuss and come to their own conclusions about the matter.

Now let’s say that there is a community member who is actually a predator, and someone wants to spread the word. They could do so through private messages, like described above. However, there is then no way to know how many people in the community they may have also abused; if someone gets the message has also been abused by the accused, they may commiserate with the person who sent the message, but not be able to gather further data on the breadth of the abuse the accused has committed. On the other hand, if someone accuses an abuser in a public forum, others who may have been previously afraid to speak up may do so, and the abuser’s patterns of predation may be fully realized.

So, you see, putting accusations in a public forum is BOTH better for the innocent AND worse for the guilty, and to try to suggest otherwise reveals you as someone who is probably trying to silence people from calling you out on YOUR shit.

Also, for everyone saying “just go to the police” ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND? Are you willingly ignorant of the stories of people in the kink community who have been raped? If you know anything aboutrape statistics you know that less than 7% of rapists reported to the police spend a single day in jail, and that is after a long, re-traumatizing process for the victim. Most rape statistics are likely under-reported anyway, and if you add a kink element to the equations the numbers get lower. I have had several personal friends who DID try to report it to the police, who were straight-up told that they were lying and/or that they couldn’t get a conviction based on the evidence even if they tried.
Basically it works like this: Are the victim and the accused in a relationship, or recently ended a relationship? No conviction. Did the victim consent to certain acts but not others? No conviction. Was the victim seen being flirtatious/friendly/happy with the victim in any context? No conviction. Does the victim have pictures/video of themselves in a kink context on the internet? No conviction (go ahead and read about Fetlife’s horrendous security issues to see the irony on that one)
If you haven’t been living under a rock your entire life, or perhaps if your male privilege is emblazoned on your forehead, you know that our criminal justice system does shit for rape victims. And as rape victims have realized in response, the best, if not ONLY, way to truly protect our community is keep tabs on each other and let each other know who to be careful with. The law will not protect us, so we have to protect each other, and for Fetlife to hinder us from best protecting each other is absolutely criminal.

navigatethestream:

TW: Discussion of racism

i’ve probably opened, written, and then closed the tab a thousand times. 

do i really want my email address attached to this site?- i kept asking myself

its a small small world out there- an excuse as to why it didn’t seem like a good idea

but finally, out of curiosity, i caved and hit the submit button on fetlife’s sign up page. 

i immediately hit the groups tab, hoping to find groups that catered toward people of color. sadly, one of the first things i found was a group made by an obvious white supremacist troll. somebody who had taken the liberty of intersecting submissive/BDSM rhetoric into blatant violent racism via the creation of troll groups with deeply fucked up names, someone who’s page reminded me of the kink version of the jim crow museum except not for educational purposes. 

in seeing that i actively threw up my hands and thought “i aint about that life”. i went to the account settings and de-activated my page.  

but my next thought was “why is this shit acceptable? why aren’t their stipulations in the terms and conditions that prevent this kind of shit from happening?” 

granted, this is true of a lot of websites. as i live, breathe, and write i choose to do it on a blog website that upholds “freedom of speech” {or freedom to be fucked up and not accountable} over the safety of others using that site. i know as a black woman blogger i am not protected in the same way as a white girl who wears a native american headdress, gets called out on it, and goes crying to tumblr staff. 

so in theory i shoudn’t expect fetlife to be any different. it caters to a mainstream BDSM community that i’m willing to bet my yearly tuition payments is not all that concerned with radical anti-oppression praxis unless it relates to the sexualities and genders of the white audience that its geared toward. and even on that level i am sure there are ways to slip through the cracks and evade detection as you poison the internet kink world with your bigotry. where there is a will, there is a person with too much time on their hands looking to find a way. 

the problem is that it needs to be different. 

you cannot have truly “safe” communities of any kind until people are doing the same kind of critical work done in social justice communities. you can’t expect to build these kind of intimate and albeit complicated dynamics between human beings if the same problematic isms play out in ways they aren’t intended to.

i mean lets be real, desiring to be a submissive, bottom, or even a “slave” behind closed doors doesn’t mean you want society shitting on your whole life once you leave that designated space. brown people can engage with alternative lifestyles and their communities without bringing the generational trauma of our histories into the fold. and as much as i resist doing this in my own personal life, inter-racial kink relationships can happen so long as white people are being actively anti-racist in those relationships. 

so if you’re a white person who wants to dominate a person of color and has some desire to bring a caricature of that person’s race into the fold, you need to do some long and hard learning and unlearning. you need to ask yourself why this aspect of their history not only entices you on several internal levels, but why you have a need to bring it to life and reinforce that narrative.  

to put it bluntly: white person, why does paddling aunt jemima while she’s bound and gagged make you hot and bothered? why do you get off saying the n-word during a play session? or any of the derogatory slurs levied against black woman past and present for that matter. and even if your partner is comfortable with that sort of thing, better yet tells you to do it, if you don’t immediately get uncomfortable as a white person why is that? are you the type to go along with it or actually sit down and have a critical conversation about what it means to put those dynamics into motion. what does it mean when you as a white person are comfortable engaging in that sort of specific behaviour for satisfaction. does your desire to raceplay reflect patterns of behaviour outside of the kink community? do you tell racist jokes? do you silence the voices of POCs when in conversations about race? do you assert dominance and authority on the sole basis of being white in those conversational spaces? do you make excuses as to why you’re allowed to do X,Y and Z behaviour even after POC tell you its not okay? do you believe in “reverse racism” or “the race card”? 

bottom line: are you the person who says “i’m not a racist” or are you the person who says “i am learning how to be actively anti-racist”. because i’m not going to be the race-play police and say “don’t do it”. but if you’ve never taken any of the above into consideration, you are not what many would call an ally in the making let alone somebody who should be perpetuating race play. you’re the kind of person who would benefit from taking a raceplay time out and starting that learning and unlearning process. 

at the same time it begins on the individual level, it can’t end at the majority white BDSM community “slowly but surely” adopting anti-racist praxis. websites such as fetlife have to be pro-active in making sure it is a safe internet space for people of colour, just as it should be pro-active in making sure its a safe space for all marginalized and oppressed identities. they cannot default to the bylines of “freedom of speech”, “anti-censorship” or “there are brown people on our site who are perfectly fine with white supremacist trolls and people perpetuating racism so why are you complaining?” because all of those things demonstrate a blatant unwillingness to treat us as equal human beings with our need to feel safe upheld in the same way white kinksters’ needs are. it reinforces the same problematic dynamics of race many people of colour work to dismantle, try to escape from when the work day is done, and try very hard not to blend with the arena of themselves reserved for sexual actualization. 

and if this isn’t the case, the kinky POC separatism needs to stop being on the amazon wish list of dreams deferred and become a reality. we need our own fet life where people understand that just as consent is not always sexy, neither is hammering out the dynamics of a kink relationship to ensure mutual respect and safety both physically and emotionally. but it has to be done regardless of how “sexy” it is. we need an anti-oppression internet kink space that recognizes intersectionality as much as it recognises our distinctness as being many under the umbrella term “people of color”. we need books which give us the good word on kinky brown living, and encourage us to never back down in our convictions to want anti-oppression praxis integrated in our kink lives. because we shouldn’t be stopped from crossing the bridge into our growing communities, making connections, and making the sexual magic happen that we want to see in our lives simply because one out of many websites on the internet fails to come correct.

I note very carefully that FetLife is not getting sued, so, so much for the whole ‘FetLife will get sued’ meme. FL was never in any danger of getting sued over its users accusing each other, the people making accusations risk getting sued — as long as FL takes down the material targeted by whomever’s lawyers. All FL has ever been legally obliged to do is take down material when contacted by lawyers, that’s the bare minimum of intrusion in the FL ‘community’ necessary.

& FL’s policy on not posting ‘criminal accusations’ did nothing to stop this from happening. Apparently the Caretakers missed their preemptive opportunity with those particular ‘allegations of criminal conduct’; I suspect they’re overwhelmed with monitoring 1.7 million accounts, nearly 60,000 groups, & etc …..

The internet, in general, has an ‘image collector’ problem:

…R/photobucketplunder may have gone dark, but a new subreddit made up of the same core community has already sprung up, using the name r/photoplunder in an effort to scrub all references to Photobucket from the site.
Even with a new name, it’s business as usual. The community already has 1,800 subscribers and a full page of links. Many of the community members, apparently collectors, have generously republished dozens of albums of photos taken from the previous subreddit — republished on Imgur, of course, in case the women get wise to the fact that a couple thousand Redditors have access to their nudes and remove them from Photobucket. As with r/photobucketplunder, the emphasis is on secrecy (“Do not follow the usernames of the girls submitted to this subreddit,” reads one of the rules. “When you follow them it sends an e-mail to them notifying them they’re being followed”) and the tone is one of general disregard. The website title of both subreddits is “They should know better.”
The name change would seem to satisfy the copyright component of Photobucket’s complaint, and remove the company’s main line of attack; the other part of the takedown — the accusations of a terms of use violation — is little bit more complicated.
In the notice, the company accuses r/photobucketplunder of “fuskering,” or “fusking,” the act of using a piece of software to search through a private Photobucket album based on the likelihood that the photographs follow one of a few common naming systems. Fusking was and is prohibited on r/photobucketplunder and r/photoplunder, and moderator mechesh claims to have never fusked — the photos featured on the subreddit are supposed to have been found in public albums.
But PhotobucketCEO Tom Munro told Betabeat earlier this week that 50 private accounts had been “violated,” which apparently indicates that some images posted to Reddit had been fusked. And even if it’s able to eliminate fusk-sourced photos entirely the subreddit still may be violating Photobucket’s terms of use by “collecting usernames” and “accessing… photo album… in a manner that makes the images available without the surrounding site banners and information.”
In an email, Photobucket’s David Toner told me that the company is “currently working with federal authorities to determine if a federal crime has been committed in the unauthorized access and subsequent posting of photos from private accounts,” and couldn’t comment specifically on the subreddits. He did point out that the site itself has tried to educate users about fusking, and has made several changes since Gawker and Buzzfeed articles about “fusking” early this week — as Betabeat writes, Photobucket is now “automatically scrambling URLs for new albums, unless users request otherwise, posting an interstitial when users log in suggesting that they scramble the URLs on older albums.”
These changes would help prevent fusking, which relies on a structured URL system that’s easy for software to track and discover. But they’re unlikely to help users who mistakenly make their private photos public, whether due to absentminded error or simple unfamiliarity with Photobucket or privacy protocols….
The Nice Person Syndrome
from: "Anal Pleasure & Health", by Jack Morin (Down There Press, 1998), pages 145-147
…Some of us are strongly influenced by a destructive pattern called the Nice Person Syndrome, which distorts or totally blocks effective communication. The Nice Person Syndrome is an exaggerated role adopted during childhood as a means of getting approval and affection. Nice People are carefully trained to be good boys and girls at all costs. They’re steeped too soon and heavily in the values of unselfishness, cooperation, and pleasing others. They grow up inclined to defer to the wishes of others and to put their own desires in second place, or ignore them all together.
I use the word Nice (capital N) to describe adults who still act like good boys and girls. Such people are often highly intuitive but they use their sensitivity mostly for the purpose of discerning what’s expected of them. They have a profound need to be liked and will violate, if necessary, their own integrity for even the possibility of love and affection. Ironically, they usually are accepted and well-liked, but they’re not satisfied because they know they’ve withheld something of their true identity. As a result, Nice People often live in fear that nobody will ever truly love them — including their imperfections and blemishes. They’re convinced they must be perfect yet they’re constantly and painfully aware that they’re not. Not surprisingly, they often exhibit bodily signs — including anal tension — of an unrelenting inner conflict.
Nice People operate on the basis of one central conviction: The only way to get what I need is to avoid upsetting anyone. They’re usually very good at getting what they want without asking for it, but there’s always something missing. Spontaneity is difficult since each interpersonal exchange is, in a sense, a performance. Keeping up the image requires constant vigilance, since all “bad” qualities — such as anger, selfishness, or competitiveness — must either be squelched, denied, or re-channeled in such a way that they at least _appear_ nice.
I’ve deliberately presented a somewhat exaggerated characterization. But in it you may be able to see aspects of yourself. If so, I suggest that you look more closely at the negative effects this pattern is having on your relationships and sexuality. The impact of the Nice Person Syndrome is typically heightened in the presence of a significant other. This helps explain why some men and women can feel very relaxed and safe when they’re alone, but tense up when they’re with someone. In fact, people who have trouble sharing anal pleasure with a partner when they can easily give it to themselves often discover that playing Nice is getting in the way.
Nice People have trouble making straightforward requests. Instead, they tend to be manipulative, maybe dropping a few hints or else giving what they, in fact, want to get. One of my clients expressed his strategy for getting what he wanted from people as “nicing them into submission.” Nice People believe that if they’re just good enough, others will eventually discern what they want and give it to them. When this doesn’t happen they’re hurt. They would feel angry too — but that’s not Nice.
Nice People are usually “rescuers” who gravitate toward taking care of others. We rescue somebody each time we withhold or distort our true feelings to avoid hurting or upsetting the other person. We do the same thing when we go along with something when we really don’t want to. What we usually don’t realize is that in rescuing others we treat them as helpless victims who can’t take care of themselves. Rescuing, except in instances when someone genuinely needs help, is actually a subtle put-down.
Because Nice People have trouble expressing their desires, they tend to infuse potentially pleasurable situations with obligation and duty. After launching a sexual encounter they may feel compelled to go through with it to the bitter end. This is one reason why making requests and taking breaks is especially important, although at times exceedingly difficult.
All of the experiences suggested here can help you become more cooperatively selfish. Non-manipulative communication is the only way to remain simultaneously in full contact with yourself and your partner. Obviously, if you tune out your partner, touching can become an exercise in alienation. But what many fail to recognize is that if you ignore your own desires and feelings, then you have very little to share….

An oldy-but-a-goody. Kink ‘community’s’ abuse problem has been around for a long long long time. Used to be that discarded subjects of abuse were routinely told they had no one to blame but themselves. Used to be that the discarded subjects of abuse had nowhere to go. Many probably thought they were the only ones . … .

& then the internet happened. & all those discarded subjects of abuse, when they speak out, now they can easily connect with all the many other subjects of abuse from the kink scene. & they are discovering that they are legion. & they are organizing. & they are resisting the status quo that used them & discarded them & systemically devalued them. & that resistance is a good thing:

maymay:

Posts about abuse in the BDSM Scene are making their way through the blogosphere, and they’re predictably heated thanks to certain facets of domist rape culture present there. The first comment was from a self-identified 28 year old female bottom, who said:

wow…traumatized?? i think [Kitty] likes the attention and its some fetish thing to her

More than 90 comments followed. And then came General Disarray’s mighty smack-down on all these horribly callous sentiments:

We are – it’s inevitable – going to be uniquely attractive as a community to a subset of predators. I don’t think I need to go in to the reasons why - they should be self-evident. Additionally, many people who enter the scene do not do so as fully mature people secure in themselves. For many people, entering the scene will be the start of a voyage of discovery, a road that they start down vulnerable and unsure of themselves. The combination those two factors is bad.

We as a community need to be prepared to aggressively deal with predators, even in (especially in) situations where the people they are preying on are not capable of dealing with predators adequately on their own. If we aren’t, we are failing in a very significant way. I’m not saying that we hold direct responsibility for people who are assaulted, raped, etc - we don’t - but we’re still failing in an absolutely inexcusable way.

I am not worried about my personal safety – since I’m a guy, it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be in a situation that I physically cannot escape from, and thanks to my background and support structures I feel comfortable in saying that if anything of this nature does happen to me, I’ll be able to string up my attacker in front of the community, and, if necessary, in front of a judge.

But I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect everyone to be able to say the same thing – but that’s frankly besides the point. Even if it were reasonable to expect everyone to do the same thing (and it’s not, but that’s beyond my scope here) from a practical standpoint we have to realize that not everyone is going to do so. As a community (and especially as a community where so many newcomers will be young and just beginning to come in to themselves) we have a moral mandate to, to the greatest extent possible, safeguard our members from predation. It doesn’t matter if those who are preyed upon are often unusually vulnerable members of our community – that’s almost inherent in predation. It certainly doesn’t exculpate us from our responsibility to ensure as best we can that it happens as little as possible.

If you respond to a thread like this with suggestions that [survivors] should have been more self-aware then please, GTFO. I can guarantee that the vast majority of potential victims in the community are painfully aware of that status. If anyone truly isn’t, then it’s unfortunate but that problem can be addressed in a productive way – say, by running a self-defense course, or helping to produce literature that explains options to [survivors], or even literature that explains options to not-yet-victims. Bringing it up on a thread like this is worse than useless. Regardless of whether or not you intend it as victim-blaming, it’ll sure feel like that to anyone wandering by who has been victimized or is vulnerable – your intentionality doesn’t matter two shits.

I’m sure someone somewhere is reading this and thinking “But Disarray, we’re doing all we can do! Now it’s up to victims to speak out and call the cops, etc!” And that’s fucking horseshit. For an easy example of what we could be doing better – why don’t DM’s regularly receive abuse response training? Even when I lived in the middle of buttfuck nowhere in Pennsylvania there were half a dozen organizations that offered, for free, such training within an hour’s drive. I’m sure there are more here – the Bay Area is generally more progressive than Amish country.

For an even easier example take a look at the first reply to this thread. If you were an eighteen year old sub new to the scene that had had a ‘problem’ with a long-established community member, how comfortable do you think you would feel bringing it up after reading a reply like that? This thread after that point should have been a steady stream of people going WTF are you talking about, but it wasn’t. It took nine replies before someone challenged the first reply – and even then, the person doing so was the person who wrote the article in the first place. The fact that there has been an ongoing argument on this thread is emblematic of the problem in the first place.

There is also a practical consideration that I don’t think has been explicitly discussed here that I find worth mentioning – if this is our response when people are victimized, we will continue to be scorned by most of society. And frankly, if this is our first response in incidents like this, we probably deserve it.

(I changed two instances of the word “victims” to “survivor” because when speaking of someone who has experienced assault and is still living, “survivor” seems more apt than “victim.”)

There’s only one more thing I have to add to this, which is the following: I’m signal-boosting/cross-posting this outside of FetLife because stuff like this is important enough to break every self-protective, liability-limiting rule over. And if speaking up means breaking The Rules, let’s fucking break them.

Over the years I’ve been hanging out there, I’ve encountered hordes of clueless FetLifers after clueless FL’ers, wandering around, posting identifying information, disclosing to one & all their inability to be ‘out’ & equally clueless about the risk they’re taking. & when the lack of privacy is pointed out? Defensively arguing how ‘kinksters take care of their own’ & ‘FetLife is safe!’ & pointing to all that gobbledy-gook in the TOU / Community Guidelines / Privacy Policy as ‘proof’ of how ‘secure’ & ‘private’ FL is . …. .

Here’s the bit that pinches my butt about FetLife’s lack of privacy: FL’s business model (stated rather more nakedly than FL mgmt states it) is predicated on getting its user-base to disgorge as much personal data as possible, particularly in the form of pictures (which drive quite a bit of the free membership inflow — free kinky porn! woohoo!) & in the form of videos (for which it charges a premium membership fee for access). That they ‘tickle’ as much content out as possible while playing down the very public nature of the site (‘free membership is our firewall’ seems to be mgmt’s mantra) to the rubes, er, users of the service, that bothers me. It’s all a little shady, a little hucksterish, for my tastes. It lacks the ‘fully informed consent’ that I like, & that is supposed to be one of the primary shared values of out-&-organized kink ‘community’ (such as that is).

What I’d like to see is highly unlikely, given that whole built-in business-based conflict of interest previously mentioned, but I’d like to see something more like:

  • "Hey, by posting content to FetLife you expose yourself to anyone who opens a free account here. We’d like if it were just us kinksters, but those after the lulz may access large amounts of the content our users post any time they want & post it anywhere on the internet & there’s not a heck of a lot we can do to stop that. We do try to clean up messes after they happen, but we can’t keep the messes from happening.’

This sorta ‘privacy disclaimer’ would seem to do a lot more good than that endless page of gobbledy-gook they’ve got, the one that slyly implies much greater ‘security’, ‘privacy’, & etc than TeamFL (or pretty much any commercial entity) is capable of delivering. Here, another suggested ‘privacy warning for FL’:

  • "Here’s the thing, fellow FetLifers, this being the internet & all, there’s really nothing we can do to stop the /b/tards from 4chan, the lulz chasers from SomethingAwful, or worse coming along & mining this place for material. We’ll stop it when we find it, but if it’s going to bother you or be a problem to have that kind of thing happen, you should keep your contributions to a minimum. & keep in mind that there may very well be a ‘People of Walmart’ type [private] mailing list out there that’s showcasing FL’s specialness right this moment."

But I think FL mgmt is way more concerned with keeping the picture- & video-posting tap fully open rather than slow any of that info disgorgement down at all . … . ..

…A University of California, San Francisco, study put the per-contact risk of transmission through “receptive” fellatio with an HIV positive partner at 0.04 percent. (For perspective, consider that the same study found a much higher per-contact risk of 0.82 percent for unprotected receptive anal sex.)…

…STD clinics have reported that 5 to 10 percent of patients have gonorrhea of the throat….

…A Chicago study found that 13.7 percent of syphilis cases were attributed to oral sex….

…As for HPV, Hurt says, “We really don’t know what the risk is … but it clearly can infect in and around the mouth, as well as in the genital tract.” One study described the risk as “small.”…

…“Across all STIs and all sex acts, generally the receptive partner is the one at greater risk for STI and HIV acquisition, the idea being that wherever ejaculate winds up, that’s also where the greatest burden of infectious material will also wind up”…

…A 2004 survey of U.S. adults found that 82 percent of sexually active participants never used a condom or dental dam during oral sex….