Intolerance and Ignorance

By Mistress Ren

Recently, I was threatened.

I've been threatened stalkers who wished to do me harm, jealous Dommes who swore they would 'steal' my beloved lafayette away from me, and by egotistic male Dominants who felt it their duty to try and 'put me in my proper place' as a woman who 'should' be submissive. But this threat has caused me more anger than anything described above. This threat involved taking my newborn child away from me...and it came from a family member.

Why, you ask?

Due to the BDSM lifestyle that lafayette and I choose to live.

I was told that if I ever abused my child - given the BDSM activities that I engage in - this 'family' member would see that I never have contact with children again, including my own.

What ENRAGES me is that this person is not only intolerant of a differing sexual lifestyle and ignorant of what BDSM entails regarding the rules of SSC and Rack that govern our activities, but that she made the broad sweeping assumption that I would engage in such activities with a child.

We in the lifestyle have long been fighting the vanilla perception that we are abusers and pedophiles. The moment our activities come to light, it is the vanilla community's first thought that we are forcing such activities upon the innocent. But, let's look at the facts:

Abuse - physical, emotional, or a combination - occurs most often in relationships where there is a 'standard' sexual dynamic. While there are abusive BDSM partnerships, they are far fewer than in traditional relationships, basically due to our 'drumming in' of the SSC and RACK rules. Having worked in the social services sector as a domestic violence/sexual assault advocate, I can think off the top of my head of only one relationship that was not 'vanilla' where abuse was occurring - and this was a lesbian relationship.

When uneducated vanilla people hear of our activities, they immediately assume that we are preying upon children. The fact is, the vast majority of pedophiles are married white males, in their 40's, with children of their own - seemingly 'normal' men who have an excellent community reputation, and engage in volunteer activities with children (troop leaders, coaches, etc.). In my 10+ years of practicing the BDSM lifestyle, I have encountered only one pedophile within the lifestyle - and I personally turned him in to the local authorities.

So, why do we in the community get such a bad rap? Because what we do is different, sometimes scary, and to the uneducated, can 'look' abusive. What we do is not the 'norm.' What we do has long been considered 'unhealthy and sick,' and is only now being recognized by doctors and psychiatrists as healthy and loving when mutually agreed upon parameters and rules are respected by both partners. The BDSM lifestyle is slowly gaining some understanding and tolerance thanks to the educational programs of various BDSM support groups across the country and national media exposure, such as seen recently on television shows, like 'CSI.'

But the biggest factor in assuring our lifestyle acceptance is - ourselves. How we live, how we interact in our relationships, and how we show our affection and love for our partners. Many members of our families were concerned when lafayette and I 'came out' and shared our lifestyle choice....but, seeing the love and respect we have for each other, within the context of our nontraditional lifestyle, has eased their worries, and has opened their minds regarding BDSM. They now ask questions and want to be informed and educated. They do not always understand why we find pleasure in what we do, but they have - with their questions - removed their ignorance and gained tolerance.

Unfortunately, some people will never take such steps. Some people are convinced that they are educated enough, and that their view of the world is the correct one. There isn't much we can do about such people....their intolerance and ignorance rule them. It is the broader scope of people that we need to be thinking of - the social service agencies and the medical and legal communities. These are the groups that we must work with when the threats come our way.

As I fed my tiny daughter this morning, I looked down into her serene face and I was again outraged at the threat made against me. Aside from my dear lafayette, my child is my most cherished gift in this life. I would personally 'bury' anyone who ever harmed her. That this family member even thought such a thing of me causes me not only anger, but great disgust.

And so education continues....I, and many others, will continue to do our share to educate people and agencies about the lifestyle. It is the only way to stop the intolerance and curb the ignorance.

My greatest hope is that when my daughter is grown - if she chooses to follow this lifestyle - she will not be faced with the same threat I have received. I pray that she will be able to hold her child and be content in knowing that her family respects her choices, and that she never fear losing her precious little one.

Mistress Ren
Copyright 2005


  Page Updated 09/05/05


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