Consensual Non-Consent Story Discussion Part 1
Trigger warning: This article discusses consensual non-consent (sometimes known as rape-play). This topic may be distressing, so please ensure you have the care you need. That might mean not reading this article, or making sure someone is on-hand to talk through any emotions you may experience. We are always delighted to interact with you via the comment section or a private message, but we are not mental health or medical professionals, and we may not always be available to chat right away. So, please, make sure you’re taking care of you.
Remittance Girl is a prolific author of many delicious, and seriously hot, erotic pieces. One of these gems, entitled On A Very Dry Afternoon in Early Summer, speaks to the heart KITC. In it, a woman asks a man she trusts to rape her in an attempt to heal the residual feelings lingering from her past sexual assault.
In KITC, Tim describes his experience helping a woman work through trauma from her rape and the steps they took to ensure it was a safe experience for them both. This type of negotiation and care should be a part of any BDSM experience. However, I don’t think the characters in this story are part of a BDSM community, and that is one of the reasons I love this story. The characters work through the situation as best they can with the knowledge they have. Their journey is beautiful and touching and, along the way, they show us some red flags to heed in our own adventures.
In the past, the female character was raped. She says she has gotten over the trauma of her rape, but she still has doubts. She says:
It’s not the rape. It’s not really about what he did to me anymore. It hasn’t been for a long, long time… It’s about what I didn’t do. That’s what eats away at me. It does. You have no idea how it does. Every time I think I’m strong, that I won’t take shit, that I take the measure of myself, it comes back to haunt me. It’s robbing me of something important.
She wants to ask her boyfriend to rape her, but she can’t bring herself to say the words. He explains her inability to ask, saying, “If you ask me to, then it’s not rape.”
This is the first mistake they make: they think she wants him to actually, literally, rape her. This may seem like a semantic issue, but there is a very real difference between playing out a consensual non-consensual scene and actually being violated. There is nothing Safe, Sane, or Consensual about rape, and rape is not an accepted part of the BDSM lifestyle. Consensual non-consent has its place, though it is considered controversial even within kinky circles. For those who choose to engage in such behaviors, communication about expectations and limits is key, and a safeword is essential.
I don’t think this woman wants to be raped, though she may lack the vocabulary to express what she does want: to act out a rape that is as realistic as possible in a Safe, Sane, and Consensual manner. This might give her an opportunity to work out the questions she has about herself with minimized risk to either of their physical or emotional health, as well as minimizing the risk to their relationship.
Consent is the bedrock of the BDSM community for a reason, and without discussion and negotiation, these characters run the risk of this experience causing as much (or more) damage as the original trauma. They approach negotiations when he asks, “If I agree to go down this road with you, if I do what you won’t ask me to do, what will that make me? How real is real? Where’s the safe word? Where are your limits? Where the fuck are mine?” But, in the end, we see none of this negotiation and we have no idea if it happened.
They go into the scene, and her internal dialog seems to indicate it was not what she expected, and she wants him to stop. Without a safeword she has no way to tell him to stop. She says, “Really, I mean it. I can’t breathe. Put me the fuck down.” It is unclear to me if she actually wants him to stop, and may be unclear to him, as well.
I’ll discuss my thoughts in the next article but, before I do, I’d like to hear from you. What do you think of the story? What risks did they assume, and what could have done to mitigate those risks? Was he in control of himself during the scene, and is that important? Perhaps most importantly, did she get what she was looking for from the scene, and will be any unintended consequences (good or bad) for them as individuals or as a couple?