Ghomeshi does not represent the BDSM community: Cameron

Instead of attacking the credibility of witnesses, Ghomeshi needs to prove he had consent

With Jian Ghomeshi’s high-profile sexual assault trial underway, the line between what is and isn’t abuse or assault seems muddier than ever.

One thing that is clear to almost everyone in the BDSM (Bondage Domination Sadism and Masochism) community however is that if this were a true example of BDSM or rough sex, it would be relatively simple to prove it.

This may come as a surprise to some, but BDSM is not a violent kink; it’s a fetish based around the illusion of violence.

Spanking, hair pulling, slapping, “forced” sex (rape fantasies), is consensual power play where one participant agrees to give up their power to another in a highly specific, diligently planned way.

Understanding your partner’s kinks, deciding which desire to explore and working out a scenario takes time. The women testifying say they were blindsided by violent assaults by Ghomeshi.

There are many differences between abuse and kink but for me, the simplest way to tell, the most telling difference comes in the form of one, single word.

The safe word.

If you don’t know, a safe word is any word (or an action if verbal gags are involved) which, having been agreed upon in advance of playing out any scene, a person can say that will stop the action immediately.

But 1,000 safe words will not stop abuse or assault.

The safe word is born out of four of the cornerstones of BDSM and kink, which are consent, communication, support, and trust. The presence of a safe word means consent was given to engage, limits were defined, and everyone knows when and how to stop.

This takes time, planning, and above all else, honesty. What it means is having everyone lay out their desires and agreeing which will be involved and which will not. Everything is enjoyed by both parties. Period.

This in turn brings partners closer together, breeding trust and security. Assault and abuse only breed fear, pain, and sadness. The BDSM community works extremely hard to educate people, both inside or outside the community, about the difference.

Whether his actions are qualified as assault in the eyes of the law or not, Ghomeshi’s defence is spending too much time trying to dismantle the witnesses’ credibility instead of trying to prove the cornerstones were present.

To me it’s obvious they weren’t no matter which way you slice it.

Whatever Jian Ghomeshi thinks he’s doing, it is not BDSM.

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Ghomeshi does not represent the BDSM community: Cameron