Consent Debate Cheat Sheet

1. Joseph Bean, The Future of Leather

And, it was SM, the take me while I’m hot, do with me as you will, no-holds-barred, I’ll do my best to explain the bruises later … Each of us knew our place; out of the way until called, silent until ordered to speak, available to be used or ignored by the men towering over our cowering forms.

2. Dusk Peterson, Spontaneous

“That’s the way to do it,” Trent said with satisfaction. “No twelve-hour negotiations. No fiddling talk of whether the bottom will allow his left ass-cheek to be pounded harder than his right ass-cheek. And Christ help us, no goddamn breaks in the middle to renegotiate. Just raw, rough sex, the way it was meant to be.”

3. Laura Antoniou, Unsafe at Any Speed

Now, when the boys want that big old dyke and her bullwhip away from their sash parades, all they have to say is, “She’s endangering people; it’s unsafe,” or, “She’s not projecting a proper image for our community. That’s insane.” “The people watching have not given their permission to be shown this kind of behavior. That’s nonconsensual.”

4. Joseph Bean, The SSC Mistake

I promise, as most tops were doing 35 years ago, that even if the boy doesn’t always say yes or even get the opportunity to do so, he’ll go away after the scene glad that I took yes for an answer when he couldn’t have thought to say it. Consent, you see, in my feudal world-view, is comprehensive. If you’re in my space, your presence IS consent. In practice, of course, playing with a boy who isn’t glad to be there gets old very fast, so I follow another rule: If I can’t seduce consent, I send the boy away.

5. Gary Switch, Origin Of RACK: RACK vs. SSC

Nothing’s perfectly safe. Crossing the street isn’t perfectly safe. Remember that it’s technically called “safer sex,” not “safe sex.” If we want to limit BDSM to what’s safe, we can’t do anything more extreme than flogging somebody with a wet noodle. Mountain climbers don’t call their sport safe, for the simple reason that it isn’t; risk is an essential part of the thrill. They handle it by identifying and minimizing the risk through study, training, technique, and practice.

6. david stein, Safe Sane Consensual: The Making of a Shibboleth

Sometimes people do things because of their kinks that wreck their lives — or the lives of others. This must not be forgotten or swept under the rug in the quest for social acceptance.

7. david stein, How to Do the Right Kinky Thing

Forget about SSC and RACK. Neither “safe sane consensual” (SSC) nor “risk-aware consensual kink” (RACK) is an ethical principle; they’re well-intentioned slogans that can at best remind us of some issues we need to think about in order to make good choices in BDSM.

8. david stein, Consent Alone Is Not Enough

So-and-so, being adults of sound mind, freely agree to engage with each other in such-and-such a scene with the intention that when it’s over both (or all) will be glad they did.

9. david stein, How to Do the Right Kinky Thing

First, do no harm to oneself or others … hurt is temporary, but harm is lasting … harm is lasting damage that diminishes your ability to enjoy life or pursue happiness.

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