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Tomorrow came, and I sit silently.

I'm not going public. I can't. 
 
I can't say who it is. 
 
Because I have nothing to back it up. 
 
See, here is the thing. This person is actually a brilliant presenter. They teach safe techniques all the way through, is approachable and well-spoken, and is friendly as they come. In public, they are a dream presenter - knows their shit, teaches and entertains, offers to help out if its needed. In the public dungeon, they do scenes that draw a crowd. Safe, hard edgy play that elicits gasps and awe, and everyone wants to play with them. 
 
On paper, a dream presenter. 
 
In private, that's where the problem lies. Behind closed doors, where no one sees. I've heard story after story after story of people this person has hurt. People left behind, mere shells of who they were, due to various combination's of both physical and emotional violence. Safewords blown right through, edgy technique bordering insanity, and people get hurt. I watched a rare public version of one of these scenes with my own two eyes. And it was horrible to watch. 
 
But I have no proof. No one has ever stepped up to say this is what they did to me. No one saw, no one knows. It all gets swept under the rug time and time again. 
 
So they keep getting invited. And I have to sit on the sidelines and bite my tongue.

Do I know people who played with this person? Yep. Some of them have enjoyed themselves even, had a good time. Walked out unscathed and happy. And I'm glad for them, glad that they had the experiences they negotiated for and received. But there are others who aren't as lucky.
 
People close to me know my feelings. I warn my friends when I can. Alas, as much as I want to, I can't save the world. 
 
It sucks. It sucks that I can't stand up and scream my fucking lungs out like I want to. Because if I did, *I would be the one ostracized*. I would be the bad guy, who everyone hates. 
 
I wish I was an asshole. I wish I didn't care. I've been brooding about this for practically a decade, and I'm sick of it. But then I think of that newbie drawn starry-eyed to them, and I think fuck, another one. There goes another one. 
 
There goes another victim.

Comments

( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
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redhead_sue
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
Okay, so you can't go public. But that's only true for you as "Boymeat, the public figure." You can't get up on your soapbox and proclaim to the whole community what you know and believe. I understand that. But as a friend and an individual, you can continue to warn people close to you on a one-on-one basis. In that case, you don't really need facts - you just need someone you care about, who you want to help, who trusts you.

You can't save the world, and you can't save people from themselves. You can't save every newbie - some people just have to find out for themselves.
boymeat
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
You're right. I have done that, and I continue to do that.

But yet it kills me that people WILL keep figuring out for themselves, and more people will get hurt. And more people will stay silent, and we'll still continue endorsing their behavior by inviting them to our events.

This is probably the issue that causes the most anguish and grief for me, bar none. Never ending.
(no subject) - feyrieprincess - Feb. 10th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nex0s - Feb. 10th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - boymeat - Feb. 10th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nex0s - Feb. 10th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - feyrieprincess - Feb. 10th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - princesskaite - Feb. 10th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - boymeat - Feb. 10th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sadisticseraph - Feb. 11th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC) - Expand
beth_
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
I read this post with interest; thanks for putting it into words for the rest of us. I can't imagine that any of us who have been around 10+ years haven't run into this at some point. you, however, are dissecting the reasons and theory and logic behind your decisions ... thank you for that.
miashell
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
I empathize on several levels. Thank you for outwardy sharing what can be so wrenching inwardly- it's shed new light on some of my thinking.
sirkenandsubg
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
I agree with Sue - formally outing the person takes a high degree of proof - but to your friends who trust your judgement, telling them who it is can psooibly save one of them, or conversely, give them the added eye to watch out and possibly prevent something happening to someone unsuspecting.

Also, just raising the issue the way you have, anonymously may be seen by the person, and put them on notice anyway.

- K

- K
kimberlogic
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
I'm one of people who played with person who nearly directly matches the description you've left here and was shattered for a while. It was a few years ago, private scene. I've felt like no one would care much if I said anything. Ever time I see this person on a presenters' list, I shudder.
desiringsubject
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
I had a conversation, at least in part, about this very thing last night. Probably not the same person who, although an occasional presenter, is not well known. But we realized that although this person has been dangerous to many over a long period... slowly... this person is starting to be the one ostracized. Enough people are willing to talk about it in groups, maybe not on soapboxes, but to people that slowly this person becomes less of a threat. More and more people take newbies aside and say "no, seriously, not that one. danger will robinson." it's an annoyingly slow process. it would be nicer if there were a way to nuke from orbit. But the process works. Slowly.
julian_wolf
Feb. 10th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
But the process works. Slowly.

I'm glad it works in some cases, but with my experience, it's the rare that it works. I'm sure that he's not talking about either of the people I'm thinking of in the New Mexico community that fit the bill- and they both have 10+ years of leaving victims, many of which never come back out to play again. I survived one, and was warned off the other.

We always talk about policing ourselves, but I almost never see that actually happen.
(no subject) - princesskaite - Feb. 10th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - princesskaite - Feb. 10th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
princesskaite
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
Due to some things that have happened lately I probably have a slightly different view on this than I might have a couple of weeks ago.

First, I'd like to point out, that you don't have an issue with this person as a presenter. As stated, they teach safety, are good presenters, etc etc etc. So as a presenter, there's not much you can say.

As a *person* they clearly have some serious issues.

The problem is that people being presenters engenders a level of trust with the public. People think if they are asked to present, if they get up in public and talk about safety and technique - they must be good. Its even worse if they come off as endearing and charming.
But that's a generic problem. And just because they are a presenter doesn't mean the world is going to run to them, but people are much more likely to approach them for play. There are presenters that are GREAT presenters that I would NEVER play with because I find things about them questionable, unattractive etc.

I think that for now the best thing is to keep telling people that as a *person* you find them objectionable. And sometimes people will listen, and sometimes they will not.

I love to hear what people think about people who's classes I'm attending or who I'm thinking about playing with. It cuts down on the amount of time I waste. If you tell me a presenter is boring, I like to know that. If you tell me someone is great or unsafe to play with, I appreciate knowing that too. But the thing is, no matter what you say, I still have to make decisions for myself.

Which brings me to people who never open their mouths. If something terrible is going on *say something*. In the past, when I was new and dumb and unsure of where the strength of my relationships and support laid, there were times I didn't say things were amiss when I *should* have. But I think if things are really *that* terrible - people need to be encouraged to say something. Because nothing ever changes if everyone stays quiet. There is only ONE time I have ever had a safeword run right through, and I have no problem telling anyone who it was.

And I think I'm done ;)
nex0s
Feb. 10th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
There is only ONE time I have ever had a safeword run right through, and I have no problem telling anyone who it was.

Good for you.

I had a play session that became an actual rape when I was young and ignorant. I didn't play again for 10 years. I've had people not believe me, but fuck them. They weren't there, they don't know, I know what happened to me. Said person knows what they did.

Sadly, I don't get to out them since they don't live here anymore and as far as I know don't play in public. But I sure as hell would warn people away from him if he were.

N.
(no subject) - trouble841 - Feb. 10th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - boymeat - Feb. 10th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - faeflitt - Feb. 10th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
boymeat
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
My desire is to make the public scene better. As hard as that may be.
archers_elegant
Feb. 10th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
So even though you whisper your knowledge to some folks you still will not publicly state 'The Emperor Is Naked'.
boymeat
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
I believe I sufficiently explained why I can't.
(no subject) - archers_elegant - Feb. 10th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
divalion
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Man, I have a strong suspicion that I might know who you're talking about.

Even if the person I'm thinking of is not the person you're thinking of, I sympathize. The person I'm thinking of never did anything directly to me scene-wise (though was an inconsiderate asshole under the guise of the charming exterior), but really hurt someone I cared a lot about.

The person I cared about told me about it, but I never personally witnessed it. And it always turns my stomach when I see the dangerous person show up as a presenter, knowing that so many people think this person is the shit. But I have no direct evidence to offer that they're dangerous, and yes, in public they seem pretty safe and knowledgeable. If I were asked privately, I'd give my honest opinion. But public accusations are so incendiary. I sympathize with your internal struggle.
litovka
Feb. 10th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
:( And this has been going on for a *decade*? Jesus.

On barely-related note, are you going to Frolicon this year? It doesn't look like you're on the presenters' list..
boymeat
Feb. 10th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
I'm not teaching... for the first time ever! And I'm OK with that. They needed a year off, to get some fresh faces. Totally get that.

I'm thinking about appearing anyway. Need to work out the finances, and hotel, and... yeah. So, right now, only a 25% chance I will be there.
(no subject) - ntrance - Feb. 11th, 2010 04:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - willowrrain - Feb. 11th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
srl
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
And if you're well-respected and well-known, I'm sure you don't have to imagine how situations like this feel to people who don't have A Name in the public scene. Plenty of people know someone whom they consider to be Dangerous, but reputation mechanisms don't always work the way we might want them to.

Perhaps it's time to print up another round of Is it S/M or Abuse? flyers/handbills and make sure they get into people's hands.
onmyownterms
Feb. 10th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
I understand completely...
I had a safeword blown through by a well-known person in the local public scene over 10 years ago (I was raped). Amazingly enough, the male Dominants that I knew here took my side, but the female submissive population of our playgroup took his. Unbelieveable that I was ostracized by a group I created because I tried to warn people that he did not respect safewords.

Since then, I have adopted a rather unpopular position on safewords... A good Dominant doesn't need them and a bad Dominant won't care.

Of course, this is based on my personal experience, YMMV. But I think in some respects we do newbies into the great scene by preaching that a safeword will prevent them from something going wrong...

A safeword is nothing more than a word... get to know your partners, that's the real way to play safe.

Edited at 2010-02-10 09:08 pm (UTC)
bootjac
Feb. 10th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
OH OH! I have one of those.
The number of people on my "piss on their grave when they die" list is rather short, but one of them on that list fits your description quite well. I shall name him Robert. or Bob. his friends call him bob. I call him asshole who made my hubby cry. I will do a little dance, and piss on his grave, when he finally keels over dead.

i guess it's good that I don't do anything in public, because really, if I was more active, I'd have to stand up in the middle of a bar or something somewhere and shout out "robert wendell is a fucking asshole and if you play with him you deserve what you get"

coyotegoth
Feb. 10th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Aargh- I remember more than one scenario like this from back in the day. It's an ethical quandry; all you can do, until someone *does* agree to come forward, is warn people privately :(
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