Monday, October 27, 2014

Is BDSM Always Sane, Safe and Consensual?

October 27, 2014 Yesterday many of us learned about the firing of Jian Ghomeshi from CBC and it caused us to pause and think. Was he fired because of his different sexual lifestyle? It was brought to our attention by Mr Ghomeshi himself on a Facebook posting that he likes rough sex and engages in BDSM. I don't think that is a big deal. I read the Toronto Star article where four women have come forward claiming that Mr Ghomeshi acted violently toward them without their consent. As a sex positive advocate obviously I accept that for the most part that BDSM is safe, sane and consensual. Although I have had women engaged in that lifestyle who informed me that some of the supposed safe play went well beyond what they felt comfortable with and or originally agreed to. And therein lies a problem. Mr Ghomeshi went on the offensive yesterday claiming that an ex girlfriend because he dumped her was out to ruin his career. That type of claim I find juvenile since it portrays that women if a guy breaks up with them that women are somehow out to get the guy. I had hoped that we have moved beyond this type of gender stereotyping but obviously Mr Ghomeshi hasn't. I am keeping an open mind to this story and it may be that criminal charges are laid if an investigation is opened as a result of these four women coming forward. As far as I know sexual assault cases do not have restrictions regarding when the assaults took place. Also I do not believe that the victims in sex assaults have to pursue investigations. It is my understanding that criminal investigators can initiate investigations on their own regarding abuse or sexual assault allegations. I know there will be BDSM'ers who think this issue will cause BDSM to be on public display and there is probably no getting around this. I do know that most BDSM lifestyle people engage in safe, sane and consenting play. I hope though that these lifestylers will keep an open mind that while Mr Ghomeshi claims his sexual lifestyle is causing him to be treated unfairly and as a result has cited discrimination as a result of that lifestyle. What these four women though are alleging on the surface looks like the BDSM went well beyond just some rough sex and into the area of abuse, assault and sexual assault. This may well wind up in the courts if Mr Ghomeshi is charged. While Mr Ghomeshi wants us to believe he is entitled to engage in the privacy of his bedroom whatever he wants but whether the public will buy into this claim especially when a number of women are stepping forward suggesting he punched them with a closed fist and nearly choked them to death is yet to be determined. Jamie Lee Hamilton