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Guest blog: Withdrawal symptoms – how to withdraw consent

If you’ve been following the criticism of the oppressive changes to UK porn regulations, you’ll probably have seen one or two (or thousands of) people spitting outrage over the definitions of ‘moderate’ pain and consent. While consent in porn is absolutely vital, the censors have made a pretty huge mistake in how they categorise it – believing that consent is something which should be determined by an objective third party, rather than the people who are playing.

It’s for this reason that they’ve said porn with a bound and gagged subject will be censored – apparently there’s no clear means of withdrawing consent.

Please welcome Jenny, who is here to demonstrate just how utterly ridiculous that assumption is.

Withdrawal symptoms: how to withdraw consent during play

These pesky new pornography laws have given us smutty folk pause for thought this week. The issue of demonstrating continuous and enthusiastic consent – both in and out of porn – remains contentious.

Consent is something good play partners take time to establish. When I started negotiating safe words with my dominant, we immediately dismissed the obvious signs to stop. Sometimes a girl just needs a “no” or “please Sir stop” to make things feel a little more transgressively hot.

We opted for the traffic light system. Red for “stop”, Yellow for “still happy but don’t go further” and Green for “oh god yes that’s perfect”. It works just fine.

When we indulge in breath play we have a pre-established click signal which stops all play immediately. We’ve used this system so often the clicks are built into my muscle memory and he lets go like Pavlov’s Dom.

If colours or clicks don’t do it for you, there are plenty of other ways to clearly communicate when you’re not enjoying yourself in a scene. Check out my handy guide to withdraw consent:

Rave On

Slip a glow stick into your sub’s hand. When things get too intense he can simply break it with the tiniest amount of pressure. Works particularly well if in a darkened room. Other similar ideas include party poppers, a bubble machine and a glitter/confetti cannon. Though be aware that the latter are extremely messy options. Maybe you could reintroduce play by making your sub pick up each little piece of confetti, one by one.

The Drop

Give your sub an object to hold. Preferably something with a bit of weight such as a padlock, rolling pin, or dildo (if you can spare one). When things get too much, all she has to do is drop the object. The sound will alert the Dominant that their sub wishes to pause. This works well on hardwood floors – or tile if you’re in the bathroom. This is good method for breath play, as your sub’s body will also alert you if things have gone too far. If she is close to passing out she’ll let go anyway. There’s no danger of being too incapacitated to withdraw consent.

A Paws In Play

Install a box of kittens in the corner of your dungeon, on its side, with a string rigged to the box’s opening. Give the end of the string to your sub. Should his threshold be crossed, the string is pulled and out come the kittens. A fuzzy way to neutralise any sexual tension. Great aftercare as well.

This idea was inspired by my Dominant’s cat. After several feline gatecrashes we both realised I’m no-one’s bratty little slut when a cat is demanding tickles.

Sound It Out

Use music to cut through any play by giving your sub the remote to your speaker system. Pre-load with a fun song and your sub can simply press a button when she wishes to stop for a breather – or a dance. The sillier the song, the better.

Recommendations include ‘Cotton Eye Joe’ by Rednex, ‘Bump and Grind’ by R Kelly and ‘Safety Dance’ by Men Without Hats.

As you can tell, I am thoroughly exasperated that the law sees fit to intervene on kinky pornography – on the grounds that it is impossible to tell if consent has been given or not.

Impossible – really?

Instead of negotiating some sort of disclaimer to demonstrate the performer’s enthusiastic consent, we are now expected to stop making, and therefore watching, kinky porn in the UK.

Let’s give kinky folk a bit of credit – the controls play partners set up are often painstakingly thought out to protect both partners’ wellbeing. The studios that produce this work are some of the most ethical in the industry.

The new legislation shows a massive misconception of kinky porn. Unable to understand the pleasure many people get from it, the government have just suppressed it.

Keep demonstrating your enthusiastic and continued consent for kinky porn in the UK.

If you, like Jenny, think the law is an ass, please do help fight against it. You can sign this petition, attend this protest on Friday 12th December, or support Backlash – an organisation which is building a legal fund to support those who are challenging it. If you’re not sold purely on the ‘it’s ridiculous that they’re censoring our porn like this’ issue, then check out Myles Jackman’s excellent breakdown of the political implications behind the change.

10 Comments

  • Liz says:

    Protest is on Friday 12th not 10th!! :)

  • “he lets go like Pavlov’s Dom”
    so brilliant, I was laughing

  • Fiddy says:

    Didn’t they also do something the lines of banning flat chests/petite bodies as well in porn? Cause my wife (who fits both of these descriptions) kinda looked at me funny when I read about it. If this is indeed true then I wonder why any pervert still lives in the UK. Porn isn’t exactly meant to be censored, nor are adults not capable of giving consent as soon as a gag goes on. At least it’s not as messed up as Australia’s laws.

    • Desire on wheels says:

      I’m 4’11 but definitely equipped with curves, which I developed fairly early on. I still remember another girl saying to me when I was 16 or so, “You must attract a lot of paedophiles.” I was absolutely gobsmacked. I’ve ended up pretty sensitive to being infantilised, especially since I’m disabled (ye gods and little fishes, I wish people would stop doing that to disabled folks) and have found as an adult that I am consistently taken for 5-10 years younger than I actually am. Our culture already does enough to treat women like children.

      But seriously, folks, it’s not that hard to make it clear when someone’s an adult. Yes, even if they don’t need to wear a bra or are the height of an average twelve year old.

  • Bruce Esinem says:

    Haven’t they heard of shaking your head to express No? Why do you need a limb free!?

    This is all about £ and controlling the net by the Tory Taliban

  • Desire on wheels says:

    Kiiiiiittens! My cat is practically a domme all on her own. Bossiest little thing ever.

    I like the list of options, and am wondering if it’s occurred to these fine people that deaf folks have to navigate sexual consent as well, that not everyone communicates primarily through speech.

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