I have two daughters and a son. I love them more than words, and have their backs. So it made me pause and think when I received a message from someone’s Dad this week, who messaged me to let me know that if I tied up his daughter again I wouldn’t be able to tie my own shoe laces.
I gave my reply some thought. Should I let him know that I wear slip on shoes? Should I send him a whole bunch of photos of girls in compromising positions and ask him which one is his daughter? My first instinct when threatened is to poke the hornet’s nest, to go “really? You want to bring it on?” I am not a fan of being threatened. After taking a few deep breaths, I pointed out that I would not hesitate to go to the police if I heard from him again. I suggested that he talk to his daughter instead of me. When I asked around, based on his initials, I discovered that it was someone who is estranged from their daughter (who is over 25). I am really not the person he needs to be talking to – and, more importantly, listening to.
There is a sense among some people that it is impossible to consent – who would let someone tie them up and hit them unless they had been brain washed? Surely no one in their right mind can find bruises pretty? This is tough stuff to understand from outside the kink community and even harder to understand when you see photos of someone you care about apparently hurt. It is understandable that this creates a feeling of rage and a desire to get revenge. That doesn’t mean threatening people over the internet is a good way forward but it does means we need to take pause and consider how it feels to think that someone you love and care about is being hurt and mistreated. How can we explain to friends and family that it is what we want? If you have someone who will listen and take the time to understand then it’s possible, but if someone doesn’t want to hear, it is just not going to be possible.
I often hear people say some people at work, someone in the supermarket, someone in the pub, was going on about BDSM and I just kept quiet. PLEASE DON’T. While we may never be able to help someone understand who has just seen pictures of their kid with bruises, we can spread proper information one person at a time, one conversation at a time. We can improve the general understanding of BDSM. It might just be that the person you hear complaining about BDSM in the pub is the dad or mum of someone I tied up – and while they won’t listen to me or her, maybe, just maybe, they will listen to you.