Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My recent letter to The Center for Sex Positivity


I just want to say that I think your organization is really fantastic. I used to live in Seattle, and thanks to your community (it was called The Wet Spot then, circa 2000) I was introduced to BDSM and the concepts of SSC when I first started exploring this lifestyle. Not everyone gets such a supportive, informed first experience, so I want to say thank you.

I also have a question about some of the language used to describe sex positivity, particularly on your FAQ section, describing What Is Sex Positive Culture:

"The sex-positive movement is an ideology which promotes and embraces open sexuality. The sex-positive movement is a social and philosophical movement that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, and encourages sexual pleasure and experimentation."

My question is about the wording of the particular phrase, "all consensual activities are fundamentally healthy". I am a dominatrix, so have had many people consent to playing with me. I know very well what this looks like. However, I have also had colleagues be given consent (in transactional and lifestyle situations) to perform activities they were not fully trained in, or perhaps knew were extremely dangerous but did anyway (a sub came to me after someone had caned his kidneys- in my experience, this is universally unsafe). This sort of manipulation can mask itself as consent, but is clearly not what you mean to be included in the phrase.

So, although many activities are consented to, whether they are "fundamentally healthy" or not, I believe is sort of a naive notion. As a kinky person, I believe that it is the right of any individual to have whatever done to their body that they wish. I would hope that it is SSC if done in a BDSM context.

I know that the above statement is a carefully thought-out political movement-wide notion. It is also on many other blogs and websites that I have found about sex positivity. I am hoping that someone could possibly qualify the phrase, or start a dialogue to make it more precise. Perhaps by adding "safe and sane" to it, which are already a part of our lexicon.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely and Warmly,


No comments: