Some of you might have heard about the BDSM death of a woman in a southern state in the USA, some of you may not. But this death and the discussions around it, have opened the door a lot to discussions about our responsibilities to our fellow BDSM practitioners, to victim shaming, and in general to how we see women, and men, in The Scene.
This really was a BDSM death. The woman was beaten for 4 hours by at least three roommates, while at least one more person who was supposed to be her Mistress watched and a few times used the air tubing from her respirator to join in. The abusers, admitted that the woman used her safe words more than once, but they didn’t listen, or care. They just went on having fun, because she was the “house slave” and they could.
This was no accident. This was a group of people using all the parts and pieces of BDSM to actually kill another human being. it was interesting to see how many people started talking about how these people were not part of the local scene, how they had not attended the local munch, had not been a part of any local groups, as soon as the news reports of this death were published. some people in the area tried their best to distance themselves and “wash their hands” of all blame, and knowledge of the people involved.
Others admitted that they did know the people involved and they had at least a few times attended local events, such as munches. Some of the group leaders did begin discussions about how we could screen people better and keep such people out in the first place. Notice anything here? It seemed that a lot of what was being discussed was all about how to protect the local scene and those in it. Rather than to even acknowledge the death of a real human being.
This is what we call “victim blaming”. Not our fault. The woman was living there and had consented to being the house slave. She could have gone somewhere else to live if she was being abused. She had other choices. Or did she?
We talk a lot about consent being the core of what we do. We advise new people to negotiate scenes and get to know their partners well before playing. We advise people to have safe words, and we expect people to respect and use those safe words to stop things if needed. We talk about honor, respect, consideration, loyalty, and hold ourselves up to having all of these ideals within ourselves, while talking about subjects like play rape, edge play, and posting pictures of people beaten black and blue that get listed on K& P
and loved on a daily basis.
Then when something happens and someone doesn’t stop when a safe word is used, and the person who’s boundaries are violated tries to talk about it, that person quickly finds out that it was all their fault in the first place. They never should have trusted that person. Never should have gone alone to the person home to play with them. Never should have moved in with him/her, and so forth.
Submissives are constantly bombarded with being told they should not be “outspoken”, “opinionated”, or “disrespectful” to others. Telling someone “no” is being a “brat”. Not allowing someone to grab your body and touch you anywhere they choose, lets them know you really are not submissive. Women on the internet get bombarded with men who many times just ask the most offensive sexual questions possible without so much as a hello, and when they refuse to answer get told they are being “rude”.
We do not support those with a problem, we shame them into shutting up. People talk about not going to the police in the case of rape, not investigating it, just agreeing to let it slide as a miscommunication between two people. The words “feminist” and “men haters” get tossed about and all suggestions for solving the problem are shouted down in one way or another.
But women are really beginning to speak up about these subjects. They are no longer willing to stand down and keep silent. They are sharing their stories of abuse and intimidation at the hands of men in The Scene and the stories are being shared all over the internet.
The elephant is coming out and standing tall in the middle of the room, and I think it is a good thing. Women as dominants, and women as submissives, are still human beings first. They must have the same rights as men. The right to express their own sexuality the way they choose, without being belittled or discriminated for them. The right to be submissive to those they choose to be submissive with, and to be treated as an equal by everyone else. The right to say no, and most of all the right to be heard and supported if they run into a problem within the community.
If we make it clear within our groups that all people, no matter who they are, or what role they wish to express, they will be treated with equal respect and consideration and we will not tolerate those who don’t do this.
If we vote with our feet to leave behind groups and leaders who use and abuse others, rather than say “gee, they throw great parties, so even though I don’t like them as a person, I’m going to go and have fun”
If we really start living some of those ideals such as respect and honor that we bandy about. Then those who do not meet these kinds of standards will stand out, and be weeded out, or change their behaviors to meet better standards.
We must find ways to be in balance between expressing and enjoying our own erotic sexual kinks, and bringing out the best in ourselves, and others, as human beings. After all what we are really about is love, not hate. It is time to stand up and be that.
So the world at large will be less inclined to see us as “abusers” or “killers.” and we will have less need to distance ourselves from the death of a human being, who just wanted to express themselves in an erotic sexual way.
Rest in peace … Shirley Beck.
This story is tragic. It isnt the first I have read either about a submissive woman being murdered. There was the Alt.com killer that lured submissive women to his home and killed them and left the bodies in his walls. Another man would find submissive disabled women and soak them in vats of acid and collect their disability checks. He even went so far as to take a womans child from her.
There are good things and bad things that are within this lifestyle. This leads me to a time where I was abused. I had been tied up, and was being beaten with a cane. I used my safeword many many many times. He wouldnt listen. The end result, three hundred smacks with it, me badly injured and scarred for life.
I have learned from my lesson. IN fact I have learned so much that I havent been tied down since. I am a speaker for safety. I advise people all over the world of what to do in situations where they dont feel safe. The easiest thing to do is say NO…and mean it. If they dont listen, simply walk away.
I also provide sources of where to go for help. You might feel that getting help when you have been abused in a BDSM relationship is mute. Really it isnt. Our lifestlye might be discreet, but it isnt invisible. If you call your safeword. That is the same thing as NO…and anything after that is assualt and rape!
Dont end up like Shirley Beck! Be careful whom you scene with. If you arent comfortable say no! If they persist…Leave!