In case you don’t know who Jian Ghomeshi is he’s the CBC broadcaster who was recently fired over assault allegations. He made a very public Facebook post defending himself & it has been all over the news for the last week.
Several women allege that he hit them with a closed fist or open hand; choked them with his hands around their neck to the point that they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and verbally abused them before, during, and after sex acts. The women have said that they did not consent to this behavior.
Ghomeshi said it was “consensual”. He admits to being into rough sex.
Most say this is not a conversation about kinky sex, it’s a conversation about assault. I tend to agree but since I’m in the fetish scene I’m going to focus on the kink angle.
If Ghomeshi has alternative sexual interests, like cross-dressers, foot fetishists, pony boys, diaper play fans, etc…it can be challenging to find partners to play out fantasies with. Ghomeshi admits to being into rough sex. It sounds like he likes to choke, smother & slap around his partners for sexual jollies. This is actually only a problem when the partner does not consent to that & isn’t into it (or if he takes it too far….um, “closed fists” might be too far dude)….but THIS is the part a lot of people will have a hard time with: there are women who really get off on that kind of play. They are out there. I bet Ghomeshi has even found a few, maybe even introduced this kind of play to a few women who didn’t even know they liked it.
It’s a complicated issue. Especially if his fetish hinges on the women NOT being into it…then that’s just straight up assault. But what if he’s just been really bad at finding like-minded sex partners….and/or really bad at negotiating the parameters of a rough sex ‘scene’?
So to be clear, yes, I am a women saying that some women would want this kind of rough sex…in fact, if Ghomeshi doesn’t end up in prison I bet he’ll never have to look very far to find cooperative bed buddies again. Sure, most women will hate him for being a scum bag woman beater…personally I see a possibility that it was a little left of that. I see a man with sexual urges he was unable to control, a man who did not respect women enough to ensure he had their clear consent for rough play & a man who took things too far. So a weak, stupid man. A man who did not know how to get his kinks fulfilled in a healthy way. Possibly a man with some other issues…but I’m not a therapist, again, I’m focusing mainly on the kink angle here.
So for us in the kink community here are the take-away lessons:
– It’s never okay to physically hurt another person without their explicit consent and boundaries discussed & agreed upon.
– Even if you are playing the submissive role you must speak up if you are not okay with what is happening (and/or ensure boundaries were clearly discussed before). Sex games aside you must take care of yourself & assert your right to be respected.
None of us are mind readers. Communicate!
This is an excellent unbiased new article with all the facts (updated today):
Side note: A lot of the coverage on this issue is about creating a safe place for victims of violence and sexual harassment to come forward. I am in complete support of that & mean no disrespect to any potential victims. I have chosen to take a closer look at one aspect of this situation with a BDSM perspective.
Members site: http://www.MistressT.net
So I will start off with the obligatory (yet earnest) declaration that this behavior is unwaveringly unacceptable.
But I wonder how many in the fetish community can empathize with people who have sexual urges that perversions to the norm? I have an undeniable fetish for women in leather. I can’t NOT have a sexual desire when I see a woman dressed that way, even if she’s not my wife/girlfriend/whatever. I have no choice in the matter. Many, many times, I wish I did. Being able to ignore those feelings would have saved me from a lot of trouble I’ve managed to get myself in. And the differences are 1) I have the ability to not act on those feelings thus I don’t end up affronting people who aren’t interested in my advances and 2) I have a means to fulfill those desires in a legal manner without victimizing someone.
But I didn’t choose my fetish, so I thank God that I wasn’t born with a fetish for acts/partners that are illegal because there is no safe, legal way for those people to fulfill the desires that they were in turn, born with and did not choose.
Basically it just really sucks to be them. But be that as it may, consensual is still the name of the game. You can’t force your urges on someone just because you have them.
Thank you for this comment; very well said. It’s sad that Ghomeshi seems to be throwing the BDSM community under the bus in order to cover up assault. When several women come out with similar stories of abuse I have a hard time believing that these were consensual activities that they later changed their minds about. Consent should always be very clear in any sexual situation, but particularly in ones that most outsiders would perceive as violence (and definitely as you say, closed fisted punching is pretty extreme even for most kinksters). There are plenty of ways for people (especially wealthy public figures) to find willing partners even for extreme kinks; liking rough sex is simply no excuse for crossing the line into assault.