This episode has nothing to do with BDSM. It was inspired by recent events involving individuals in the Toronto, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta scenes, but there is nothing kinky about the allegations. The accusations are of a heinous abuse of power and exploitation of individuals who cannot consent
. One thing that sets what we do apart from abuse is consent
. So, if the allegations are true, kink isn’t a factor.
While some may believe that this is an isolated matter, it is not. People want to believe that it cannot happen to them, in their communities, or involving people they know. I certainly never thought that anything of this magnitude would hit so close to home. But child pornography rings and gruesome murders aren’t the only things that can shake our faith in humanity. Murder, rape, exploitation and abuse are all deeds that humans are capable of, and where there are humans, there is a chance that your life may be affected.
The details of the crime are not the subject matter of this episode. The guilt or innocence of the accused persons is also immaterial. What is pertinent is the feeling of betrayal and resultant self-doubt that comes in the wake of the news that someone who we trusted and respected could do something like this. What does this say about us? As a community, as a sub-culture, as human beings? In communities across the globe, we have had to come face to face with the reality that there are people who do bad things walking amongst us. In some cases, they operate on the fringes of our society, but sometimes, they ARE one of us. How could we not see them for what they are? How can we trust our own instincts and gut feelings about others when we welcomed and embraced someone who has been accused of monstrous acts?
Dr Laura Coleman (aka a_wild_woman on FetLife) is retired from private practice as a Marriage, Family and Child Therapist, Board Certified Counsellor and Certified Clinical Mental Health Counsellor. She now works in her secure online office as a Life Coach, Life Skills Educator and Certified Hypnotist. As a therapist, she specialized in the therapeutic treatment of adults and children who experienced abuse and/or traumatic life events. She developed an out patient treatment program for adults who were abused as children and successfully ran this program for many years.
After retirement, Dr Coleman has become a prolific writer on topics such as trauma recovery, BDSM safety, protecting yourself from predators, personal growth, self-esteem, changing your personal patterns, and improving your relationships. Her writings can be found on FetLife and on her websites (linked below). She has presented at her local dungeon, The Mark, on topics such as identifying predators and learning to say “no”. As an educator, she led many discussions for The Mark’s Kinky Roundtable and presented at a local MAsT group meeting.
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