When several women accused Jian Ghomeshi of sexually assaulting and abusing them, the Canadian radio host fired back by saying it fell under the rules of consensual BDSM practices. While he's yet to comment -- even as his number of accusers has climbed to eight -- Margaret Corvid, a professional dominatrix and writer, told HuffPost Live that what Ghomeshi did very clearly violated all BDSM codes.
"My biggest problem with Ghomeshi's defense is that he's trying to use the BDSM community, and the many years of education that we have put forward, as a cover for his abuse," she said in a Friday interview.
When Ghomeshi was fired from his post amid the allegations, he claimed his employer was holding his perfectly legal sexual preferences against him. His attempt to align himself with the BDSM community in this manner enrages Corvid.
"Basically what he is trying to do is say everything that he's doing is consensual, and he's trying to distract people with a kink-phobia defense, when really what he is doing is just plain ol' garden variety horrific abuse," she said.
BDSM and sexual abuse vary in a multiplicity of ways, especially regarding consent. What Ghomeshi lacked in all of these allegations is explicit permission, which is required in all acts of BDSM -- and all acts of sex, period -- and must be honored all the way through. Corvi explained:
When two people want to engage in some kinky play, first of all, they have a negotiation. They talk about their limits, they talk about things that might trigger them, things they want to enjoy and things they want to avoid. A lot of BDSM play has safe words ... but it goes way beyond safe words. Once people go into the play -- you have to remember, consent is revocable. Consent can change at any moment.
When a partner speaks out against what's happening, it is up to the other party to end the action -- regardless of what had been previously agreed upon.
"If they don't stop, than it stops being BDSM," Corvid said, "and it starts being abuse."
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