The kink community says disgraced former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been a very bad boy.
Schneiderman stepped down following accusations of abuse by several women. In resigning, he depicted his alleged violence against women as ”role-playing and other consensual sexual activity.”
According to the New Yorker story that exposed the allegations, Schneiderman’s accusers insist they did not consent – and therein lies the problem.
In the kink community, there’s one primary rule for practicing BDSM — bondage, dominance, submission, and masochism: all activity between partners must be ”safe, sane, and consensual.”
Consent between partners is essential in sex play that involves an exchange of power between partners.
It’s why potential partners discuss limits and sometimes negotiate detailed contracts before engaging in any activity; to clarify what the partners want and don’t want to do or have done to them.
Some also use ”safe words” which partners agree on beforehand and can lessen the intensity of the action or bring it to a complete halt.
The Schneiderman accusations became a topic of conversation across many blogs and online communities devoted to the BDSM subculture shortly after it broke and the controversy has continued to rage on.
Mistress Matisse, a Seattle dominatrix, called any non-negotiated encounter “ABUSE. End of story.”
Others hoped that the discussion would increase public understanding of BDSM, and distinction between consensual actvities and non-consensual violence.
The criticism of Schneiderman is similar to the anger directed at actor Kevin Spacey. Facing accusations of unwanted sexual advances, Spacey used the opportunity to come out as a gay man following years of speculation about his sexuality.
Many feel Schneiderman may have attempted to deflect accsations against him by revealing an association with the BDSM community.