Sunday, October 5, 2008

the topic of rape

Recently Pygar wrote a post about rape. His posts usually receive many comments from women, but when I read this particular post, only David had replied. I debated about commenting, as this is a very difficult subject for me, but I wanted to present a woman's view. Especially a view from a submissive woman who has experienced rape. I wondered if other women had refrained from commenting due to shame or embarrassment from having been raped.

I believe that every woman who has been raped, has her own reaction and I certainly was not trying to make any blanket statement. I only wanted to express my own feelings and reaction. I do not know Pygar or David personally, but I read both of their blogs and I respect them as experienced and caring Dominants. I did not take offense to anything that either of them wrote, but I did want to share my own experience and my own feelings. My own experience was different from many, I am sure that some people would not even view my experience as rape, since it was my husband that raped me. Until this past year, I had not told anyone what had happened to me, nor had I dealt with my own hurt in a positive manner. I have written about my experience previously, but I am now prompted to expand on it.

Looking back, I realize that I became involved with my ex-husband due to my submissive tendencies and my propensity for BDSM. I did not know anything about the lifestyle, I had only experimented a little, with some kink in the past. I ignored many warning signs, partly because of my lack of experience and partly because of my own insecurities. I enjoyed many of the things that he introduced me to, I was turned on by his forcefulness and his control. I did not understand the dynamics of a power exchange. I also did not originally recognize the multitude of problems that he had, or the fact that he blamed much of them on women. I do know that safe, sane and consensual were never a part of what we shared. I also know that his intent was to harm me. He was not happy or sexually satisfied, until that harm occurred. Our relationship was not about BDSM, it was about abuse. Rape is abuse.

The fact that things began as consensual and exciting, does not negate the fact that it wound up as non-consensual, dangerous and damaging. I was not free to stop it, I was not free to set limits, and I was not free to leave. I do believe that I was lucky to get out alive. Since originally sharing my story (in a limited way), I have been told that I might have just over-reacted to rough sex that went too far. Rape is not rough sex that went too far, it is an act of violence, and for me it happened more than once. It is the act of inflicting physical and emotional harm on a person. I am lucky. I am lucky to have been able to get out, I am lucky to have been able to rebuild my life, I am lucky to have found someone who has helped me heal. It may seem very strange that, after my experience, I am still interested and able to engage in a D/s relationship. To me, it is not strange at all, it has allowed me to be in control. I choose to submit, I choose to trust, I choose to serve. Nothing has been taken from me, I have given it freely and willingly.

Not all D/s relationships are the same, some dominants are much more demanding and forceful. Some submissives like rape role-playing, but the common thread is consent. When there is no consent, it is not D/s, it is not M/s, it is not BDSM, it is abuse. I have read accounts of rape or abuse where women admit to sexual arousal, that did not occur in my case, nor does it make it okay. Our bodies are designed to react in a certain way to certain types of stimulation. Arousal does not signify consent, it only signifies that a physiological response has occurred. I think that it is this arousal that David was referring to in his comment, I do realize that he was not condoning rape in any way. I still have a hard time believing that rape has awakened any submissive feelings or desires in women, though I cannot speak for all women. I also know that since posting a profile on a BDSM site, I have received messages from men asking if I had a rape fantasy or if I wanted to be "raped." My response was to delete the message and block the sender. Those men scared me, I know that "rape fantasies" and role play is a kink that some people have (both men and women), but BDSM is based on trust. Men who open with that type of message, who do not try to build trust or initiate a conversation, let alone a relationship, seem to be looking for an excuse, or a "legal outlet" to commit rape. Especially, since my profile does not indicate that desire or fantasy.

The problem is not limited to BDSM, date rapes happen all the time. The key, in any relationship, is communication. If you haven't communicated enough to establish what each of you wants, you shouldn't be having sex. If communication and trust have been established, there should be no misunderstandings that may lead to rape. Whether you ascribe to SSC or RACK guidelines, open communication and discussions should protect both dominants and submissives. Dominants are just as vulnerable, they could lose their family, their career, and their freedom if they are accused of rape or abuse.

My current relationship has been my healing and recovery. I am understood, cared for, and protected. I trust Him in every way. I know He would never physically or mentally harm me. I can be honest with Him, in all matters, without fearing judgement or ridicule. I am valued and cherished. He does not take my submission for granted, but constantly strives to earn it. My desire to give everything to Him, is derived from my feeling that I can never give back to Him as much as He has already given to me. He is loving and affirming, He empowers me. He admires and appreciates my strength, for the stronger I am, the more I have to give. By freely giving to Him, the things that had been forcefully taken in the past, I have been restored.


Pygar said...

Thank you Alice.

I hope more men read your post and learn from it.

I know that it will be very distressing to discuss such things - but I hope it may have been cathartic too.

I had been in two minds about writing my original post as I knew it would be difficult for women to respond. Thank you for being brave enough to do so.

I am pleased though that you have found a relationship that has led to you being "restored".

With very best wishes

- Pygar x

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written post. I recently learned to connect submission with strength and dominance with self control. You are strong indeed.

Louise said...

This is a very brave post Alice, and it does point out the topic so well. I do agree with you that there's no correlation between rape and the awakening of any submissive feelings or desires in women. Quite the contrary, I would say. Like Pygar, I also hope more men, and women, will read this and learn from it.
Love, Louise

Pixiepie said...

such insight...i enjoyed reading this and thank you for sharing your story.

OliviaManners said...

Thank you Alice for posting this.
Thoughtful and thought provoking and wise.

I can relate to, understand, and agree with so much of what you say.

It has been quite a journey to get there though and I think there is still more to go!

And I really like what maryann wrote.." I recently learned to connect submission with strength and dominance with self control".

Best wishes,


Alice said...

Thank you for all of your kind and supportive comments. I maintained my silence for a long time. Enough healing has occurred, that I can now see it as an event that happened in my life and not the emotional trauma that it was.

My thanks to Pygar, for having the courage to bring up the topic. The more discussion and understanding, the better off we will all be.