Pro-Domming and Ethics
I am slightly overwhelmed by the response that I received to My last blog post.
— Mistress Evilyne (@MsEvilyne) April 9, 2015
I never expected it to have the impact that it did. The fact that it has been shared and retweeted so many times proves that it is clearly something that needed to be said. However, it brought up many questions about other issues that I did not address in it. One thing that is very close to My heart is the ethics of domination. How to know when to stop, when not to partake in activities, and having the sense of empathy necessary to know when a certain individual is more likely to be damaged either physically or mentally than to receive gratification from any given activity or type of relationship.
I want to make something clear right at the start: I am not here to bash other Mistresses, nor am I pretending to know it all. However, this is My blog, and I intend to air My views on it. I have very specific ideals when it comes to the ethics of BDSM, and although I will not try to force My point of view on others, I do want to let people know how I feel about it all and how I see things, and that is exactly what I will do.
As we all know, there is a fine line between BDSM and abuse. It is a very grey area, and quite a wide line. What to one person seems completely ok, will seem like the worst form of abuse to another. So, how do we differenciate between the two? I have thought about this long and hard, and through My observations of both My play and others’ as well as My (quite good) knowledge of psychology, I have come to the conclusion that it is not any activity in itself which is to be seen as abusive or not, but rather the context of the activity in question as well as the mental states of the people partaking in them. Anything from spitting and spanking to ultra-violence can be done in a safe, sane and consensual manner, or in an abusive one. People are very quick to mention that they play consensually and safely, but I feel that all to often, the “sane” part of the holy triad of BDSM is cast aside.
So what does “sane” mean? I think that due to the various possible interpratations, this word can end up meaning whatever people want it to mean. Some might say that as long as you didn’t put his life in danger, you played sanely. For others it might mean that any given scene was begun only once there was a clear delineation of the soft and hard limits of both parties involved. Everyone has different interpretations of this word and its meaning within the realm of play.
For Me, sane means many things including the ones I mentionned above. Above all else though, I see sane play as something more. Despite the kink world’s desire to be portrayed as a world full of very mentally healthy individuals in order to gain the acceptance of the outside world, I simply do not believe this to be true. The world in general is full of people with “mental disorders”. We all have them, not just the BDSM world. Many do not want to hear this, but it is the reality. Everyone has their own issues, to lesser or greater degrees. Some people are pushed to O.C.D., some to eating disorders, some to psychopathy, some to depression… Pretty much very little quirk that makes people individuals is going to be listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as exactly that: a mental disorder.
I think that the person who can explain this best is Jon Ronson in this TED talk about his book, The Psychopath Test:
This whole talk isn’t relevant to My blog post, but I feel that the beginning of it expresses what I mean about what we consider to be “mental disorders” quite well. Anyway, back onto subject… There are varying degrees of mental wellness and mental unwellness. It is this great variety that makes us individuals. All our quirks, strengths, weaknesses, and even who and what we are attracted to are down to our psyche, which is in great part formed by our life experiences and how our brain dealt with them. Some people will end up being really into running marathons as adults, and some will be really into getting the shit kicked out of them. To each their own.
Now, speaking of running marathons, any activity in the “Vanilla world” can be either a healthy and/or fun activity, or turn into a very unhealthy obsession. Take drinking as a perfect example. You can be the type who goes out for a night on the town with friends once in a while, gets quite drunk, and might feel quite hungover the next day. But it’s just an occasional thing, for a bit of fun, and done responsibly without abusing it. At the other end of the spectrum is going out very often, getting exceedingly drunk, getting oneself into trouble while under the influence, and suffering a terrible come down that incites depression and self hatred, thus creating a cycle of shame, guilt and further substance abuse. At the core of it all is the same activity: ingesting alcohol. But both of the examples that I gave show this activity being done in a sane manner and in an abusive manner. The problem is being able to tell the difference when it is happening.
This example can be applied to pretty much any activity, from gambling to sports, to sex, to driving, to work… There is no activity that humans partake in that is free of the risk of getting obsessed, and taking it too far to the detriment of one’s own mental and/or physical well being.
Many activities that people partake in are solitary activities, or if partaken in in groups or couples, will be so with someone who has the same attitude toward said activity. Visiting Pro-Dommes is different. The men who visit Us are paying for a service. It is oh so easy to see the fact that someone has come to Us asking for any particular service as a sign of consent, AND sanity. They want it done to them, it’s not life threatening, it’s something I enjoy doing, so why not? The problem is that everyone goes for the same kinks for different reasons. Just like the drinking etc., there are some for whom it is light hearted fun, others for whom it fills a void, and then there are those whose subconscious is pushing them to repeat a lifelong cycle of abuse and the easiest way to get it? You guessed it: Pay for it.
We, the professional Mistresses are the ones who cater to the fantasies of men. Thus, We find Ourselves facing a daily dilemma. Every person that contacts Us is potentially coming to Us for the wrong reasons: tom perpetuate a lifelong cycle of self destruction. We need to have Our wits about Us and be on the look out for any sign of mental illness. You will come across Mistresses who profess to help submissives and to cure them of their problems through BDSM. I Myself am not a trained therapist. I have absolutely no right to consider that I know how to help someone with their psychological issues. As much as there can be an underlying urge to help someone who is clearly unwell, I am in no way qualified to do so and if I tried, I might damage them further. It is first and foremost My responsibility to refuse to partake in whatever it is that they want to do, and possibly to direct them to a professional therapist who might be of help to them.
I refuse to be knowingly responsible for the infliction of psychological damage on another individual. Of course, I am only human. I am not all knowing, and as any other human, I will sometimes make mistakes. However, I try My hardest to be ethical in My work and to play not only safely and consensually, but SANELY as well.
There is one question that I ask Myself every single time anyone contacts Me requesting a session. However much I enjoy said activity, and however much I feel the urge to partake in it for My own sadistic pleasure, I keep Myself in check by asking Myself one single question: “Would this be ethical?”
So no, I won’t empty your bank account. And no, I won’t break you and then throw you out of the door. And NO! I most definitely will not under any circumstances cane you because you “NEED to be punished”.