Sometimes this happens:
- You’re worried that you’ve done a bad thing.
- Or that you’re going to do a bad thing
- And you go to someone for help thinking through it
- And they say “Oh, no, you’re not the kind of person who would do that.”
That’s not a good thing to take for an answer, because there aren’t kinds of people who do bad things and kinds of people who don’t. Everyone does bad things sometimes. It’s really important to keep that in mind, and to actively work on noticing and fixing it.
Doing right by others is a skill. One you always have to keep working on. Not an innate attribute.
If you’re worried that you’ve done wrong, don’t let someone tell you that you’re not the kind of person who would do such a thing. When you’re worried about the possibility of hurting people, what matters is to figure out what you are actually doing. It’s not a referendum on what kind of person you are. It’s about what you do, and how to make what you do good.
This is one of the ways that the BDSM scene trains new Dominants not to take Submissives’ consent seriously.
Often, especially when a person is first learning to top, they express a lot of concern that they might be harming the people who bottom for them. And, often, they instantly get reassured that BDSM is not abuse, that consensual domination doesn’t cause harm, that dominant desires are just a fetish — and that being confident in your dominance is attractive, by the way. In other words, “Don’t worry, you’re not hurting anybody. You’re not that kind of person.”
But a lot of people in the BDSM scene are “that kind of person” — by which I mean that a statistically higher percentage of people are non-consensually sexually assaulted in the BDSM scene than in the overall population. (Which is saying something, considering how often sexual assault is committed in general — an average of once every 2 minutes in the U.S.)
If you’re excited about playing in the risky psychosexual sandbox that is BDSM, but concerned about doing that in the most ethical way possible, it’s AWESOME to ask lots of questions, and keep asking questions, about whether the things you’re doing are really okay. And it’s not helpful, ethical, fair, or safe for more experienced people to respond by telling you not to worry your pretty little head about it.