I’ve been hanging out on a BDSM-related IRC server lately. The level of consent fail in some of the messages I get is staggering.

They follow quite a distinctive pattern. Someone with a capitalised nick sees that my nick is uncapitalised and assumes that I am a submissive. They then send me a message. Sometimes they open with “hi” and “how are you?”, followed by asking for my description.

Quite a lot of them just stop responding when I tell them I’m trans.

Those who don’t, and those who didn’t bother with pleasantries like “hello”, start giving me orders.

I tell them that I’m not taking orders until we’ve negotiated a scene.

They stop responding.

Never once has anyone who takes this approach – find a sub, act like that means they’re your sub – actually stopped and established consent when I call them on it. They just stop talking. They’re so anxious to get their rocks off that the ten minutes to discuss what we each kink on, what our limits are, and decide that we’re compatible enough to have a good time, is too much to ask. If I maintain my right to withhold consent, I become unfuckable.

That’s pretty damn scary. Sure, this is online. But “online” isn’t the same as “not real”. They’re assuming that my consent is irrelevant to having sexy funtimes. I don’t believe that they don’t carry that attitude around in meatspace, and that puts anyone they play with in danger.
I bet they’re more subtle about it in meatspace, though, and that puts me off playing with anyone I don’t already know well, and triply so playing in private. These entitled doms are seriously poisoning the well for all you good people who wouldn’t dream of giving me orders until we’d negotiated to play. It’s your problem, as well as mine, if the scene is full of predators. If when I come to munches I find that several middle-aged men assume I’m a femsub and try to impressive me with their dominance by telling me anecdotes in which consent doesn’t play a role, I’m going to stop coming to munches. If half the people I meet online want me to call them “sir” in the first two minutes of our interaction, I’m going to get a lot more hostile and wary of people who message me.

Oh, and for the record: I’m not a femsub. I’m a genderqueer switch, and you’re not the boss of me.

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