The Illusoria* - Collaborators in Abuse and Murder
© Copyright 2002 by Rowan Ste. Julian. All rights reserved.
Posted with the permission of the author
(*Illusoria: Those who focus so intently on the illusory aspects of BDSM that they neglect and fear the realities of it.)
Why do we do it?
Why do those of us who have a clue, who realize that BDSM is more than pretty silks and saying 'Yes, whatever you say Master, this girl has no fucking brain Master', why do we bother?
Every time we have the possibility of doing a good deed, of showing a submissive that she can be a submissive and not be an injured, battered and brainless doormat, some other illusoria comes along and tells her that she HAS to do what Master says, because Master knows best, even if it'll rip out her colon lining, damage her psyche, cripple her for life, or make her wind up as barrel fodder for some freak in Kansas.
We can voice our fears, our concerns, our worries for others who place themselves in danger because they fall into the chat trap of believing that 'real Masters don't need safewords', of believing that 'real slaves don't have needs'... of believing that for some reason, in some fantastical way, they have abdicated the responsibility to continue existing as a comprehensive human being, with needs, responsibilities, and a BRAIN!
For all the prating and posturing done by the illusoria, all the recommendations of safecalls, never meet in a private place, they do equal damage by stripping a woman of the possibilities of saying 'no' to someone who either exists in a state of perpetual and horny ignorance, or who actively means her soul, her body, and her mind harm. Often, after damage has been done, the illusoria sniff and wash their hands, blaming her for the damage, ignoring the fact that they fostered the potential in the first place with their blindness.
I've come to believe that most of the people who wander the halls of BDSM chat are full of shit. They're so scared by the possibility of reality that they fill their world with the idea that somehow if they lose the ability to think for themselves, they won't fragment the dream that they have painstakingly crafted around themselves to protect them from the mean evil REAL WORLD outside.
The problem is, the illusoria have collaborators in the women themselves, who want to believe that the man wooing her is Prince Charming and Jay Wiseman all wrapped up in Russel Crowe's skin with a penis the size of a cricket bat. She doesn't want to hear that she might have to say no to this man. Saying no would damage the fantasy! It'd rip the Leather Disney backdrop she's painted for herself through hours and hours of masturbatory battery-wasting!
So these women, these sad and voluntarily deaf women who refuse to take responsibility, go out and find themselves someone who claims to be a dom. Sometimes they're lucky. Often, they're not. And often, though not frequently to make a dent on the chat illusoria' psyches, they get battered, bloodied, beaten and broken. Sometimes they get killed. Sometimes they survive - and wish they hadn't.
Abusers who masquerade as dominants are plentiful in BDSM rooms. Unlike in real time BDSM, the clique will ignore you if you criticize a popular 'dominant', even if he's just threatened your life publicly. There is no way to distinguish backstabbing gossip from valid warning; often, popular abusers are venerated at the cost of those who point out the flaws in the abusive poseur's act. Those who abrade the tissue-thin fabric of dreams that chatters create around themselves are isolated, ignored, and denigrated.
In the end, abusers have an army behind them, supporting their every injury, aiding their battery. They are the ones who say 'submissives may not say "no"'. They are accomplices. They abet every punch. They hold out the knife for every stabbing. They heat the irons for every malignant branding a batterer burns into the skin of a broken woman.
Every barrel that the Kansas Slavemaster Murderer hid, every man or woman that has been abducted, raped, beaten, tortured non-consensually, stabbed, bludgeoned, shot, and disposed of, all of these brutal acts may be lain at the feet of three parties:
The abuser who performs the deed;
The submissive who allows him or her to do so;
And the illusoria, fantasy addicts, chat-dominants, chat-submissives, who have promulgated the illusions, half-truths, and out-and-out lies that make it possible for the submissive to make him-or-herself the perfect prey in the first place.
I do have sympathy for some victims. Sometimes you can do everything right, and still be damaged. Sometimes the tiniest ripple in calm water can be the sign of a shark underneath. Abusers are good at hiding. Its how they remain free abusers, and not ass-targets in the pink-jumpsuit section of jail. (Inmates, by the way, looooooooooove rapists.)
I'm fast losing sympathy for those who buy into the chat fantasy, however, and pay for it. They place themselves in danger, not for any worthy cause, not for the fate of the universe or the life of a baby. They place themselves in danger so that, for an hour or a night, they have the possibility of realizing a fantasy.
What fantasy is worth a life? Correct answer: there is no fantasy, none, that is worth giving up your life for. Its very tempting to set up a safecall, and rely completely on that, to ignore your instincts, and fall into a role that becomes a trap. It is, however, stupid. Sometimes, they ignore the need for a safecall completely, because to admit the possibility that something may go wrong is to admit that there is a reason for fear. It is admitting that dominants are not perfect, that they are vulnerable, and that they might be walking into a trap; that is not fantasy. It is reality. They want fantasy. They will do anything to get it.
Yes, they ignore the warning signs, tear down every red flag, and delude themselves into believing that they are different, this man is not like those others, and this time they will get what they want. They are, ultimately, always wrong, and sometimes the price they pay for perpetuating the fantasy for just one more hour is very high indeed.
I am being harsh, and judgmental. Big deal. I'd rather be a judgmental, harsh and breathing bitch than a very dead idiot. People have wondered lately why I am so angry with BDSM chat; many of them need to look in the mirror for the reason. I am sick of seeing a woman enter a chat room or post on a message board the count; how many dollars lost, teeth knocked out, organs destroyed, friends alienated. Often, the people who view me as an embittered bitch are the ones who have offered up the excuse for these women to victimize themselves...
'REAL SUBMISSIVES NEVER SAY NO!'
More Essays by Rowan Ste. Julian
- You've Realized You're a Dominant Woman. What Now?
- To Share or Not to Share?
- The Idiocy of Chat Conventions
- Feminism, Wicca, and D/s