Name of Article: Ethics in the BDSM Lifestyle By EPE Dominion
Synopsis: It will be a great relief when the folks talking the loudest about
ethics start to follow their own rules.
Ethics in the BDSM Lifestyle
By EPE Dominion
Is there truly a code of ethics in the
BDSM Lifestyle between groups and people?
To begin, I am basing my observations on
my experience in my own areaís BDSM scene and my experience in leadership in a
lifestyle group for the last 25 years. As in all lifestyle groups, ethics are
formed through interactions between groups; this can be based on either a common
goal, a reason to work together to help others, or the knowledge that if you
trash your fellow group you will feel the wrath of folks having a face-to-face
to set the record straight.
Overlying this there should be the
inherent rights that you afford a fellow member of the human race. This should
be a personís right to their privacy, the right to their own opinions and
their right to celebrate their lifestyle choice without constant outside
interference. In short, their right to be a private person.
In our area, we have a BDSM population
that in the last three years has split three times. What was once one large
fairly open group has now split in to two groups, one very open and one smaller
group with three levels of privacy. The smaller group has moved much of its
activities into a very private forum and has a closed membership. This is a
trend that the BDSM scene is seeing in many areas. The reason is that for many
going to munches in public venues, going to meetings and parties at known
locations like BDSM Club Houses or nightclubs, or putting their name on an open
public corporationís membership list could cause harm to their family and
livelihoods. Due to the fact that the larger group will not honor this smaller
groupís ideal of privacy, the two groups have little to no interaction any
Now we come to ethics. What the lifestyle
is now seeing is that large open groups are out there talking about ethics; the
problem is that many talk the talk but do not walk the walk. Case in point: in
our area this large group talks about ethics and being understanding to the
needs of people in the Lifestyle but at every turn tries to put pressure on the
smaller private group by pressuring their members for information, banning folks
or taking them off party lists if they find out a person holds dual memberships.
In fact it has been said by this larger group that all groups in this area
should be under the direct leadership of this larger group. I would think this
type of behavior is not just in our area but in fact is going on in many areas
around the country.
The good part about all of this is when
you spout ethics, you have to look at what is accepted as the proper way you
should conduct your group. I find it humorous at best when I look in on some of
the leadersí groups and see groups I have first hand knowledge of stroking
each other about the correct way to treat others and conduct themselves -- in
fact, putting on a public face for other groups and turn around and plot a
scheme to stamp out smaller private groups in their area. Well, back to the good
stuff; even though they are stroking each other, the dialog is good, the rules
of ethics they discuss have validity, and at some point in the future if enough
groups play at following them online, in fact, at some point these same groups
will be called on the carpet in RT for not following their own rhetoric.
So is there truly a code of ethics in the
BDSM Lifestyle between groups and people? Yes.
It will be a great relief when the folks
talking the loudest about ethics start to follow their own rules.