I recently read a post on Fet entitled [CASE REVIEW] Case #105577
I’ve seen a lot of criticism of Fetlife over the years for not doing more to get rid of predators. In Fetlife’s earlier days you didn’t need to provide a cell phone number to get an account and you could easily create multiple sock puppets and disappear and reappear as someone new all the time.
Anonymity in Fetlife can still be an issue. The problem is that to identify a predator behind an alias name on Fet you first have to know the real name of the person on Fet as determined by a real ID.
At a dungeon I frequent they require a drivers license. If you committed a crime there your real identity is known.. and if you are banned you can’t come back unless you bring a fake drivers license.
Fetlife doesn’t have that kind of hammer lock on real information. They do however have a cell number linked to each account now and that is a good start at making it harder to just disappear and reappear as someone else if Fetlife bans you.
That measure however does nothing to actually make it safer to meet someone from Fetlife. When you get into the real world all bets are off. There is virtually nothing that can assure your safety. The only thing that helps is “red flags” and they are 60% correct at best.
The main dangers are from sociopaths and persons who cannot control their anger. These can be new people or people you think you’ve know for years… or come highly recommended because others think they know the person.
A sociopath is not going to understand boundaries or respect negotiations. Limits will be ignored. A sociopath is going to take what ever they want because they are incapable of understanding anything but what they want. A masochist who says that they have no limits probably hasn’t met a sociopath sadist yet.
A person who can’t control their anger is dangerous because they will become violent at some point. Maybe not today or tomorrow but eventually. They might seem charming, honest, and humble but someday their violence will cause terrible fear and harm. They may cause invisible scars, irreparable injuries, and possibly even death.
I’ve seen a number of these situations play out in unexpected ways. A very trusted person who was known for five years suddenly turned viciously on trusting friends. A very dependable bottom of many years caused great harm to others in another incident. A relativity new Dom caused great divide between clubs and community a while back because of sides taken over his consent violation accusations. A conflict arose between a very trusted and respected community leader and friends over a question of touch – which was resolved in a matter of hours but served as a warning non-the-less.
If I had a plastic toy sitting on my car dashboard that came in a McDonald’s Happy Meal and you saw it and said.. “oooo I want it! I’ll give you $100 dollars for it.” We might might make that exchange.
And someone observing the exchange might wonder why I was getting $100 for a junk piece of plastic that I got for free.. even though both of us were happy… THAT is the mystery of BDSM.
People often don’t understand why a masochist does what they do, or why a slave does what they do, or for that matter why they would put up with a sadist or someone telling them what to do. The point is.. they are OUTSIDE the exchange.
When two people make an exchange only those inside the exchange know if that exchange was equitable. The exchange is not about equality it is about equity.
In the example, only I know if giving up my beloved dashboard icon was worth $100 and only the person paying knew if it was worth $100 to them to complete their collection. People on the outside of the exchange do not know, and cannot know the inner satisfaction of those inside the exchange.
Turn that good exchange into a bad one and justice needs to be served. A predator has no motivation to assist. Those outside the exchange can dig for objective truths but the subjective reality of the exchange will forever leave us outsiders. Worse… most of these cases are a “he said, she said” situation with no witness.
We want to believe every person who says they are a victim. You really do. It’s a visceral tug at your heart that that begs in strong emotions. You know instinctively that its bad enough to be a victim but then to not have people believe you just makes it worse. You do not want to part of the naysayers.
Victims rarely have witnesses so truth is determined by the past history of the people involved. Publicly honored people get a break that is only overridden when there are enough victims coming forward who have no incentive to do so.. then truth becomes evident. Where there is smoke there is fire. Basing your belief on numbers of victims though is a rotten system. Case in point.. Bill Cosby. I still find it hard to grasp how my beloved comedian who never used foul words committed the crimes he is convicted of.
On the other hand the logic that says every victim has nothing to gain is equally wrong. To follow this logic is to convict a person without recourse or justice – and justice must prevail. Mob mentality also cannot be the cause for conviction. Things are not always as they seem. Just as a top can be a sociopath or a violent person, a bottom can be prone to issues of their own. These issues can take take the form revenge, or mental instability, fiscal reward or be even more complicated.
Fiscal reward is a big motivator. That means wealthy persons, persons in a divorce, or persons otherwise involved in the settlement of an estate could be targets of persons motivated to destroy opponents. Life just sucks sometimes. You HAVE to consider possible motivations when adjudicating.
I have always said..
EVERY accusation of consent violation has a predator and a victim..every one. The real question is, who is the predator and who is the victim? ~ Xtac Quote
If you have never seen or read “To kill a mockingbird”, look up the 1962 movie staring Gregory Peck and Brock Peters. This movie explores the essence of this quote… You’ll see what I mean when you watch.
I would love to advise you to just stay out of these conflicts… But that would leave a predator left unscathed by the righteous justice they deserve. AI JUST I observed.. EVERY one of these has a predator in it. We have to try to get to the bottom of things. In the end I fear we will continue to see Blackstone’s ration continue to be lived out before our very eyes, especially in BDSM. Try to remember that there is good in the world….
Carpe Diem my friends, be someone’s great day.