Let crazy terror take my head, nobody could fend off an attack more powerful than the idea of power.

It’s not what one thinks it is. It’s not what one doesn’t think it isn’t. It’s not what one thinks it isn’t. What is most unlikely is what’s most probable. The unthinkable trembles my heart, I call it “fear! fear!”

The illness comes into being again, I change it, and all this without the slightest calculation. One day one the next the other. I’m convinced I make myself sick one illness after another without being able to do a thing about it. Thinking I know this is an illusion of the ill. It’s no help at all my knowing it. All the same, no complacency. Each illness makes me doubly ill 1) with the illness 2) with being sick of being ill. Every time I make myself sick, I always make myself sick again but I see perfectly that I do this on the same model, it’s always the end of being, generally it’s at the bottom of the garden this happens, the way the death of my father took place, starting in the garden’s northeast corner which suddenly fills up with this terrifying substance, invisible but substantial, tactile, perceptible perceived as brushing as growling, this colossal quantity of void that one hears sighing if one could hear it (but one doesn’t want to, one is petrified), not breathing but sighing, as if the garden our daily body were suddenly occupied by a body too big diffuse internal and thus hollowing out of our usual compact and limited body bottomless pits of visceral caverns and this content, this monster is a nightmare in broad daylight without a hope of waking, the vanguard of Regret that already fills up all the available space, that spreads out into our eyes our throat our lungs great doses of bitterness and sobs to come. I am perfectly aware that the misfortune is my fault, I call upon no one, but taking advantage of my deficit of vigilance during sleep the illness spreads into every inch of me like a building going up without any estimation of its internal or external resistance and I am its even before I open my eyes. The minute I’m up, I lack everything, daylight, courage, sturdy legs, everything necessary to life: movement, confidence, habit, the solidity of things, the loyalty of vital beings! So far as I can see everything betrays me. No one I can count on. Death is the first to come along. I see it everywhere, far more overwhelming than my mental debility and it picks and chooses, according to probability or improbability.

Nobody can fend off a hurricane, it grinds up and kills at random, that I am at the origin of it doesn’t in the least lessen its impact.

Hélène Cixous
Hyperdream,
Translation Beverley Bie Brahic

What level of Witch…?

December 9, 2017

 

witch ride

I have never written about being female and being queer and being brown in a white-majority country and being Dalit and having an abusive childhood and my physical illnesses and struggling with depression: put all those together and I’m the super-intersectional minority of one.

My Anglophone fantasy-reading taught me that in the Middle Ages, they used to bury witches at crossroads. If you need two roads to intersect to keep down one basic witch, I wonder what level of witch that makes me.

Mimi Mondal
Missive from a Woman in a Room in a City in a Country in a World Not Her Own

abuse

The internet abounds in simplistic definitions of BDSM versus abuse. Usually these definitions have been written to justify BDSM – which ultimately is consensual whereas abuse is not.

For my part I’d stress (along with Elie Wiesel) that we should never “see” a person as an abstraction. Instead we should “see” them as a universe: each with their own secrets, their own treasures – and each with their own sources of anguish and desire. We should also be able to “see” when a particular individual’s desire for pain / punishment / humiliation is out of control.

If you recognise mental aberration in a BDSM Sub, is it then abuse to forefill that Sub’s most keenly expressed desires?

‘Hurt me more, piss on me, shit on me, fist me…Make me bleed.’

The worse part about anything self-destructive, is its intimacy. And a Sub, too closely enmeshed in strong violent desires, is like a drug addict desperate for a fresh fix; their fantasies become more like an illness…they are unable or unwilling to turn away from them because it feels as if they are killing a part of themselves in the process.

Is pandering to their desires / fantasies abusive or no?

Well, I think it becomes abuse the moment the Dom recognises these addictions for what they are. An illness. And in satisfying the Sub’s intense need for extremes of experience, a fine line is being crossed.

Likewise, those sadistic Doms who know their Sub / victim will not use their “safeword” despite the severity of the treatment being dished out – are they abusers? So much freak and nastiness abruptly released on some poor Sub / victim…

Is that abuse or no?

I think yes, that’s feckin’ abuse. The Dom is abusing their position, and their power over the Sub.

Personally, I’m involved with people who play bondage “games”. Mild kink is the order of the day. Rarely anything too heavy. That said, I know people who incorporate knives into their “play” – I think it too dangerous – and I know others who engage in “needle play”…which, again, is not for me.

BDSM then, is about “acceptability”. If you ain’t comfortable with it, don’t do it. It’s also about respect – for yourself and for your partner / partners. It is also very much about consent and communication – Communicate, communicate, communicate!

The games me and mine play are rigorously planned and choreographed down to the last little detail. And if there’s anything – anything at all – that a participant isn’t happy with, then it doesn’t happen. Risk management is all important. BDSM play should NEVER result in actual physical or emotional harm to any individual.

If it does, then that, boys and girls, is abuse!