Treats for the Strange

Welcome to Treats for the Strange. I update erratically, whenever I feel the need to share something in my very pansexual collection.

Treats for the Strange is for anyone with a love of sexuality, art and kink.


Victim blaming and responsibility

Please read through this. Though I recognize that victim-blaming happens, I find that this also happens a great deal in bdsm circles.

"Once upon a time (not so long ago), when I wasn't yet Piper and was very new and verrrry naive about the scene, I fucked up - biiiig time. After only going to a few public play parties, I decided I was ready to go to a private one, staying with people I barely knew, and not telling anyone the truth about where I was going. I didn't yet know my limits, thought I was the biggest baddest bottom to ever hit the scene, and threw myself into situation after situation I wasn't yet prepared for. I pushed myself way past my limits, didn't safe word when I should have, and did things I was later uncomfortable with, and too upset to voice publicly until now.
I was ill-informed, I was unsafe and I messed up.
When the top I was staying with learned of some of this, he sat me right down and explained how unsafe being mute about my limits and feelings was, and how dangerous I had been to myself. He forced me to accept my limits, and wouldn't play with me until I was comfortable voicing them. He saved me from countless potential future violations and negative interactions.
No one has ever held this against me, called me a predator, or accused me of making the scene unsafe.
However, had I been on the other end of this, people might do so.
I have seen numerous times in this community, a top/dom(me) been held to higher standards of responsibility than a bottom. This is incredibly unsafe and unfair. Not only does this often lead to tops being quickly accused of violating someone's limits, being a predator, or even a rapist before all the facts are out on the table, but it also wildly skews the balance of power and responsibility in the scene - if the tops are given more responsibility, they are likewise given more power.
If I was writing this saying I was new in the scene, I went to a party I wasn't ready for, and I did some things I was ashamed of/uncomfortable with/upset about later, I know there would be people on this site that identify with me. And I know if I said, I know it wasn't all my fault, that it was partially the fault of the people who topped me for not checking in, that people would identify with that, too. What I'm not trying to do here is put my experience on anyone else or theirs, but simply express my frustration.
It wouldn’t have been fair of me to expect these tops to be mind readers. I never gave any inclination of my limits or that I felt pushed too far. They didn’t push me too far – I did. I violated myself, and did so through others, which breaches their consent and their limits, and to those people, I’m truly sorry.
I will never, ever blame someone for something I screwed up.
What I am not trying to do here is put my story and experience on others’. What I am trying to do is voice my frustration about bottoms being absolved of a lot of responsibility and guilt. I don’t think tops can be the only dangerous people in the scene, and yet they receive the harshest criticism and attacks.
I understand, that like me, a lot of bottoms may not fully realize how uncomfortable or not-okay they were with a situation until after the scene has died down. That doesn’t make any violation they felt okay. What it does do is give the bottom a responsibility to talk to the top after the fact. A scene is not a top doing something to a bottom – it is a relationship between two or more people, for however long, and everyone involved in that relationship should have the same amount of power, responsibility, and right to know what happened. How can you blame someone for fucking up if they never knew? How can you publicly chastise someone for being monstrous or a predator if you never discussed that with them?
I am not, and never will be, victim blaming. If a friend came to me saying they’d been hurt, I would immediately be on their side. But I would ask them, did they say something? Did they fully and clearly express their limits beforehand? Did the other people involved know they felt violated? If not, they’ve given up their responsibility in the scene to respect their partner’s/s’ limits and consent.
If you left a scene with everyone feeling good, seemingly happy, and then months later was publicly called out by that person for violating and abusing them, wouldn’t you feel jarred, that your trust in that person to communicate with you had been broken?
I know everyone has their own views, stories, experiences and processes, but I hope that the community begins giving an equal amount of respect and responsibility to bottoms, to not automatically assume that because someone feels badly after a scene that it must have been the top’s fault. Every time we relieve the bottom of all responsibility for their own safety and for their relationship within the scene, we’re not only perpetuating domism, but encouraging a dangerous mindset and process, that I, for one, feel sick about.
So, please don’t throw your story and your experience on other’s/s’. Please don’t absolve bottoms of their responsibilities, and likewise, their respect. Please don’t victim blame, but please also don’t be quick to yell ‘predator.’ And please give everyone the same amount of respect and responsibility you hold yourself."

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