Last evening I taught the first ever installment of my new workshop, Consent and Pleasure: A Philosophy of Life. If you missed it this time, not to worry– I will be offering it again!
Consent is a much deeper topic than people sometimes assume– for me, it goes far beyond simply saying “yes” or “no.” As we discussed in the workshop, for people to truly be able to express their needs and boundaries in relationships, they need to feel safe and secure to do so, without shame or fear of negative repercussions.
Building a dynamic of trust, where each person’s independence and autonomy is respected, is such a key part of BDSM. As a professional Dominatrix, I always strive to make subs feel empowered to say no if they need to. I don’t ever compare subs to each other (unless that’s a part of a humiliation scene everyone has agreed to), nor do I claim to be the authority on what a “real sub” is or isn’t. If a sub seems unsure, expresses hesitation, or says they do not want to do a certain kink for me, I try to reassure them that I am not disappointed or angry at them having boundaries. The exception to that, of course, is consensual non-consent, where I carefully create an illusion of force or coercion, with the sub’s full awareness and agreement.
In my many years as a Toronto Dominatrix, I have noticed time and again that when people feel genuinely safe, secure, and respected, that’s when they can truly unleash their inner desires and be their wildest, most uninhibited self. Sometimes we forget or bury all the negative feelings and experiences that have made us feel unworthy, unsafe, or undeserving. So my question for you is: who would you be if you felt totally free to express yourself, without fear? If you knew you could say no at any time, what would you feel empowered to say yes to?