#BDSM · Rape · SexualConsent · Sexuality

BDSM..Is it legal? Right Now….Nope.

Today in a landmark case, BDSM was declared illegal. This is simplistic, but the facts are as follows:
A George Mason University student was expelled for sexual assault in 2013. The student was having a consensual BDSM encounter with his submissive, with a prearranged safeword. When the encounter became uncomfortable for the submissive, the dominant asked if she wanted to continue. She said she was unsure. Thus, since the specific safeword wasn’t used, he continued the encounter, since he assumed consent. She reported the assault to the University, and the student was expelled.
The student in turn sued George Mason University for unlawful expulsion. His case was that since the relationship was based in BDSM, certain aspects of consent were more variable, and not like a regular sex act. Thus, the University violated HIS right to have consensual sex.
The case, Doe v/s Rectors and Visitors of George Mason University, was tried in Virginia federal court, and a decision was reached: Consensual BDSM is NOT protected under the constitution. That’s right folks, there is no legal protection for consenting adults participating in BDSM. The case the Student’s lawyers tried to use was Lawrence v/s Texas, struck down laws that aimed to make gay anal sex illegal. This case, in short, stated that consensual gay sex could not be prosecuted, and such laws were traditionally used to discriminate against a maligned minority. The Virginia Federal Court said no, this case could not be used to protect BDSM as well, because 1) BDSM hasn’t been out in the open as long as gay sex, so there was no legal precedent to protect it, and 2) Because of the inherent risk being taken by the submissive that isn’t seen in “normal” sex, the court found that it was right, in the interest of the State, to protect the vulnerable party in a BDSM relationship. Thus, the student could not claim HIS right to consensual sex was violated, because the 14th Amendment didn’t protect BDSM as a constitutional right. Thus, technically, BDSM has no protected status under the law and is illegal….
Whew, there is so much going on in this I’m not sure where to begin. First, in my opinion, and the opinion of the rest of the sane BDSM population, if you are in a consensual encounter and the submissive seems unsure and hesitant about continuing, the responsible dominant CEASES THE ENCOUNTER!!! For this student to continue, ignoring her discomfort, was RAPE. Thus George Mason University was justified in kicking his ass to the curb. By all rights, he should be in jail. It isn’t made clear in reports why he wasn’t arrested and tried for sexual assault, but it’s a safe bet she didn’t feel she could get justice because it was a BDSM encounter. I’ve seen this happen before.      
I can understand why the court felt the need to protect the vulnerable party. Douchebag excuses for Dominants abound. I feel it sets a dangerous precedent, because in more cases than not, BDSM is safe, sane, and consensual. This case has all the earmarks of a law to be abused itself.
  This is where the BDSM community needs to step up and begin educating the public on what constitutes a safe BDSM relationship and encounter. And for the love of God, FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY isn’t the example that should be used!!!! The National Domestic Violence hotline has a 15 point checklist for abusive relationships, and FSOG highlights all of them. If you are interested in the BDSM lifestyle, talk to people in the lifestyle. If you are already practicing BDSM, take time to honestly answer questions. Finally, if you are in a consensual BDSM encounter, both Dominant and submissive have a right to end the encounter at any time, period.

For the abusive relationship checklist, please go to:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline site at http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/

For good solid information about BDSM:
The BDSM Wiki at
http://www.bdsmwiki.info/Main_Page

I also want to acknowledge the incredible article in the Washington Post today, ” No constitutional right to engage in consensual BDSM sex”, by Eugene Volokh at
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/03/04/no-constitutional-right-to-engage-in-consensual-bdsm-sex/?postshare=1901457400410385&tid=ss_fb

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