I recently met a man who’d had his consent violated by a bottom so severely that he wanted to cut D/s out of his life permanently. As bottoms, we can push boundaries with the worst of them, and our methods are no less destructive for their covertness. They say you can’t violate consent accidentally, but that’s a fairy-tale, no matter who’s holding the rope.
My Harm is Your Harm
I’ve been a traumatised bottom. I’ve thrown myself into situations I knew might trigger me into a rape-terrified, weeping mess. Do you know what it’s like to bring that out in another person during sex? It’s traumatic in itself—so much so that I’d rather be the mess than the trigger. Failing to tell my top what he was risking was removing his right to informed consent. Tops have a right to decide if they want to expose themselves to that much guilt.
My Safe Word is Your Safe Word
Safe words keep us safe from lost limbs and scars, and they keep tops safe from causing them. It’s this kind of violation that bottoms tend to ignore. If I caused permanent harm to someone, I’d carry it with me for the rest of my life. It’s why I, as an epilepsy sufferer, refuse to drive—if someone maimed or killed me, the guilt could destroy them. The same concept applies to our use of safe words. Enduring more pain than we can tolerate takes the control out of our tops’ hands, and that’s not informed consent.
My Illness is Your Risk Aversion
I’m responsible for finding out how my illness affects my risk of harm during certain forms of play. If I fail to do that, I have failed my top. I don’t care how much work he puts into learning about my illness. It’s still ultimately myresponsibility to educate myself and him so that he can give his enthusiastic and informed consent.
My Consensual Nonconsent is Your Nonconsent
That I like to play with blanket consent does not mean my top wants that kind of dynamic. I’m liable to set fewer limits in order to get my CNC rocks off by pushing a top to play that way unknowingly. And that is not okay. If I’m playing with a top who likes strict limits, then I owe it to him to draw defined boundaries instead of vague-ing through them manipulatively.
My Pleading is Your Coercion
Coercion is a crime in most first world countries, and you don’t need to be the one doing the hitting to commit it. Coercion is using pressure, manipulation, or emotional force to push someone into a sexual situation they wouldn’t otherwise agree to. Using tools like threats, emotional blackmail, and alcohol to get what you want is abusive. Your sulking isn’t cute, and if you disagree, please reread the first sentence of this post.