holiday or not - always keep it consensual
Happy Independence Day – Please Be Safe and Sane
It’s the 4th of July, which equates to Independence Day here in the USA.
The 1st of July was Canada Day. That’s a similar celebration without an armed revolution to motivate the festivities.
Fireworks are stunning displays. Parades can be great fun. Backyard barbecues are my favorite way to entertain, not just on holidays.
But, my thinking today is less about the holiday itself, and more about the tradition of telling folks to have a “safe and sane” 4th of July. Yes, the BDSM community motto has been taken over by the holiday safety police. Or perhaps, it’s vice versa.
My own memory seems to indicate that wishing folks a safe and sane 4th of July predated our community’s adaptation of the safe and sane motto. But, I’m also aware of the frailties of human memory. It’s easy to convince ourselves something happened a certain way, especially when it’s convenient for our own psyche and worldview.
On the topic of safe and sane, I personally believe that Safe, Sane and Consensual (SSC) is just as good a motto as Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK). I tend to say I go by the latter, but it’s really a case of macht nichts, a German expression my Dad taught me that translates to mean – it doesn’t really matter. One’s as good as the next.
Sanity and safety are both relative things. So is responsibility.
Personally, I find fire play, knife play, suspension, and other edge play activities to be quite sane. I’ve studied and practiced, those are techniques I am quite comfortable using.
But, you wouldn’t find me becoming a snake handler.
Snakes bite. Some of them include poison as a part of that bargain. To me, handling snakes is neither safe, nor is it really a sane activity. At least not to my way of thinking.
Obviously, though, your mileage may vary.
Awareness is a relative thing too. What I consider to be informed and aware may, or may not, meet your personal standards. Your standards may not meet mine. Who’s to say?
The one word in both definitions that should be without room for interpretation is consent.
Sadly, the human condition is full of frailties and greed. Even a concept like consent is full of attempted interpretations designed to justify what is really nothing more than thinly disguised rape. Like I said before, it’s easy for some to convince themselves that events happened a certain way, especially when it’s convenient for their psyche and worldview.
It’s rare to met a submissive woman in our community who’s consent has not be violated. It’s a tragedy that stories of consent violations are rife within our community.
So please, have a safe and sane 4th of July.
And always remember – Consent Matters!
NOTE – A version of this post was originally from a previous date, July 4, 2014, on a version of MichaelSamadhi.com that no longer exists. It’s been edited and amended for 2017. The material may be rewritten, but the message is just as valid today as it was 3 years ago when the original was posted.