For this week, I knew what I wanted to write on so I started “Googling” for an image to accompany my post. Sometimes that is a risky thing to do, especially when one’s post is titled “BDSM & Feminism?” (I found this image when searching BDSM SFW!) The topic that I wanted to write on today relates to one of the books I am currently reading for the Capstone project: Mya Robarts’ The V Girl. I won’t spoil anything for the readers out there (even though I highly suggest not reading this book), but one of the subjects of the book is….consensual non-consent sex…I’ll just let you wrap your head around that one for a hot second. One of the book’s characters has a kink of consensual non-consent sex, meaning that he and his partner role-play a kind of rape situation. The character in the book strongly emphasizes that it is not rape, since both of the individuals are consenting adults.

The thing that keeps playing over and over in my head is that this same sort of “fantasy” has been the subject of recent novels, Fifty Shades of Grey, and therefore has been a hot button issue. I would be lying if I said that no one out there (both male and female) has a fantasy for consensual non-consent sex, but I also believe that such a thing is leaning into dangerous territory. If consensual non-consent sex relies on the premise that the “victim” is fighting against the perpetrator during the sexual encounter, then how does the perpetrator know when to stop or when it’s just part of the role play? It seems that, just like Fifty Shades of Grey, The V Girl talks about “safe words” that the parties use to halt the action; however, the entire fantasy behind the idea is the part that scares me. Who knows, maybe I’m a prude or I am not as sexually adventurous as some, but I cannot help to think of how feminists would look at consensual non-consent sex.

When I look at this part of the book from a feminist perspective, the first thing that comes to mind is: Well, if both of the parties are consenting to the act, that’s a win for feminism *yay.* But then the other part of me remembers things like the image I used above ^ ^: Oh, yeah. There’s a legal and social/cultural history allowing the corporal punishment of women for a variety of transgressions that we balk at today. When I remember things like that, and the majority of the time I do, I cannot see how consensual non-consent sex would ever be a good idea for women, no matter if there is consent. Also, we have to remember that when women were physically punished for transgressions (in some parts of the world, they still are), the “crime” was typically attached to the fact that the “criminal” was a woman. Many of the ways that women could get into trouble, such as in the American colonies, were by doing things that women shouldn’t be doing: for example, publicly speaking out, having a child out of wedlock, or even just holding a position of power (like midwives). These women were punished until they were brought into submission (those who continued to rail against their chargers just continued to be punished).

What is it about submissiveness that can turn some people on? This very topic was just discussed on Yahoo! News today: the look of submissiveness in the new photo craze called “The Bambi pose” (I’m not joking—it’s a real thing)–>

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I cannot for the life of me find the original article I viewed on this, but a body-expert analyst stated that the Bambi pose is definitely sexual in nature and symbolizes submission. I don’t want it to seem like I am getting into the territory of “well she was asking for it, look at her!” because I do not believe in that at all. I am in no way stating that the girl in the photo above is asking for consensual non-consent sex; however, what I am saying is that there is an odd correlation between violent consensual non-consent sex and our history of physically punishing women. I think my main issue is that the violence related to consensual non-consent sex can have potential hazardous effects, and that it seems like the ultimate goal of such an act is submission, fear, and aggression.

What does everyone else think?

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