Here at Hobby we’re great advocates for the proposition that any BDSM practice has to exist in the moment, to be located firmly around now, not around external reference points. It’s why we don’t do BDSM101 or promote guidebooks.
We start from the principle that you have to be constantly aware of what you’re doing, and what the result of it is.
Jem has written powerfully, and persuasively about the acquittal of Steven Lock. She wanted me to write about the case as an event within the legal process, or as a precedent. Like R v.Wilson, it might not establish a precedent that can overturn the pernicious, and barely achieved precedent in R v. Brown, that on the basis of three Law Lords to two the Supreme Court might create public policy as to what individuals enjoy. (Individuals who wonder why I was so opposed to the public policy excuse for judicial innovation in this post might reflect on whether R v. Brown is the strongest argument against judge made law.)
The problem, of course, is that Lock’s case creates no precedent. He was acquitted, in a badly reported case, on the basis of the jury deciding that, in a he says she says trial of facts, they preferred his version of events. Unless there is a judicial misdirection concealed amongst the sparse reports, we’re not sure Mr Lock and his unfortunate victim will trouble the courts again.
Feminists reading this might recognize the way in which rapists get off in cases of what some foolishly call date rape.
There are plenty of bad things to recognise in the portions of the victim’s account of what happened to her in her relationship with Steven Lock. There are plenty of things which anyone who shares this blog’s ambitions and views would object to.
There’s plenty to learn from it as well, but that’s not what this blog is about.
This blog is about not whining.
It’s about not victim blaming. It’s about accepting accountability, and all that means.
If you engage in a sexual relationship, and another person ends up photographing their manacled wrist, using the picture to message a friend so they can call the police, you have no defence.
You’re guilty as a man can be, of fuckwittery in the third degree.
Being in the moment is an absolute principle, but if at journeys end someone feels they’ve been so badly used they want the police to be called, and, having been called, the police choose to charge you with offences against the person, you are, officially, an arse. Worse than that. You may also be a rapist. And an abuser. What you’ve read, and what you’ve done previously, don’t count. And never will.
Jemima and myself often contemplate a society in which being in open relationships, or being happy with BDSM, are not difficult secrets. In such a society, the legal imperative would not change. If, at journeys end, someone feels you have abused them, or raped them, irrespective of what you thought was going on, you’re responsible. If you choose to base your sex life around ‘I am in charge, and they do as I wish’ you can’t ask for a pass-out to escape the consequences if what you wish leads to those you have sex with feeling as if they have been abused and victimized.