To Share or Not to Share?
Reposted with permission of the author.
I recently spoke with an old friend who is involved with a dominant I dislike. (Please note, I feel that being a dominant requires no particular virtue - its easy to be a dominant. Its difficult to be a good dominant.) She was speaking in her usual glowing terms about him and how wonderful he is, and I was being non-encouraging and non-committal with short, monosyllabic responses. (I thought it was better than informing her of my real opinion of him.)
Shortly after this, she sent me a document file via pager, which I opened out of curiosity. There was only a short title, which left much to the imagination.
Most of those who know me know a little of my history; my father was not the best parent one could have, and I have a very difficult time with age or daddy play because of it. I feel its a very private and personal thing. She knew my history, and my objection to public age-play, and still sent me this document, which described an age-play fantasy in great detail. When I told her why I wasn't going to read it, she became very hurt and a bit angry with me.
I came away from that conversation with the feeling that she was not my friend, and that my emotions and known distaste for public play of that nature meant nothing at all to her. I was not a compatriot - I was an audience for her and her dominant's kink, I had had it sprung on me, and I resented it mightily.
What happened left me wondering when being tolerant became synonymous with being a martyr. Is it possible to object to a display of a kink you don't like, and still be considered open-minded? Are opinions allowed, or are you allowed to have opinions, but not voice them?
My first experience with daddy/daughter play was in a chat room with a verbally abusive dominant, and his submissive. They were not only playing in front of people who had asked them repeatedly not to, but playing in front of her children in this manner. (Trust me - children know when their parent is having sex with someone. Its not hard to guess it.) When someone said that because of her own experience, she didn't want to watch, he said 'people like you should not be in the lifestyle, they should be in therapy'. This, as you can imagine, went over like a ton of bricks, and left an overall sour taste in my mouth regarding age play.
I have since privately experimented with it, and while it has interesting and intense effects, it is still something that I could not share with the world, and would not want to, because I know how much it disturbs me to watch it myself when someone else is doing it, not to mention the soul-baring properties of it. Its an immense display of trust and intimacy.
When does it become inconsiderate to play in front of someone? Should you have to watch something that makes you uncomfortable to avoid being labeled intolerant? I don't like watching most porn, either. Am I intolerant of pornstars acting out their interest? No. I just don't want to watch. However, it seems to be more acceptable in this community to show off your kink to someone you know doesn't want to witness it, than to object to being made into their audience.
I'm sure I'll be flamed for this in some way or another. Am I intolerant? Sure. It keeps me sane. After all, there is a point at which you've opened your mind so much, your brain falls out. Feel free to play as you will; just leave me out of it, please. I haven't consented to watch.
© copyright 2002 by Rowan Ste. Julian. All rights reserved.
More Essays by Rowan Ste. Julian
- You've Realized You're a Dominant Woman. What Now?
- The Idiocy of Chat Conventions
- Feminism, Wicca, and D/s
- The Illusoria - Collaborators in Abuse and Murder
Further Reading on Etiquette and Protocol in a BDSM and Leather Context
- The Manners and Traditions Section of "Ambrosio's BDSM Site" at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/manners.cfm
- "Play Nice: Some Notes on Scene Etiquette and Leather Protocol" by Ambrosio at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/protocol.cfm
- Part 1: General Principles
- Part 2: More Specific Guidelines
- Part 3: Cruising With Class
- Part 4: Play Parties
- Part 5: Flagging, Symbols, and Rituals
- Part 6: A Few Notes on High Protocol
- Part 7: In Closing
- The Entire Article on a Single Page
- "Etiquette for the Scene" by Rose at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/etiquette.cfm
- "Civility and Incivility in the Scene" by
Chris M[Black Rose of Washington DC] at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/chrism01.cfm
- "A Proposed 'Pansexual Protocol'" by Ambrosio at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/ppp.cfm
- "Commandments: Ten Rules for Dominants / Ten Rules for Submissives" (from the SOJ) at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/t10c.cfm
- A Leather Bar Hanky Code at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/hankcode.cfm
- For further reading, there is an etiquette guide for alternative sexuality and lifestyle situtations including but not limited to BDSM: Campbell, Drew, The Bride Wore Black Leather ... and he looked fabulous! Greenery Press: Emeryville, 2000.
Further Reading on Etiquette in General
- Etiquette by Emily Post: This is an online republication of the 1922 edition of Emily Post's 627-page first edition Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home (The 1922 edition is the most highly recommended book for High Procotol.)
- U. S. Flag Protocol (Title 4)
- George Washington's "Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation"
- Cardinal Newman On Being a Gentleman
- Passage from Jane Austen's Northhanger Abbey
Further Etiquette and Protocol Links
- Additional links in the "Manners and Traditions" section at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/manners.cfm