Some years ago, I was at a private play party being held in a large house that had a number of private rooms. A woman I knew somewhat approached me for a scene. She really liked being tied up with rope so that she couldn't get loose but had a hard time finding men whose skills were good enough to prevent that. She had heard about my special interest in rope bondage. We talked beforehand about what the scene would and wouldn't involve. (Me and my negotiation fetish, don'tcha know?) One of the things she *wasn't* interested in was that the play be sexual. Given that "sexual" is a somewhat vague term, I proceeded to ask her if several different acts would or would not be OK. All of them were not. OK. Candidly, I don't much like doing nonsexual scenes but I figured what the hey. I find her attractive, we seem to have a certain rapport, the scene will probably be "adequately" fun anyway, and who knows what the future might bring, right? So we do the scene, and it's actually not half bad. (For a non-sexual scene, anyway.) Oh, and no, she couldn't get loose. <G>
So the scene is finished and she's getting dressed when I hear her quietly say, almost more to herself than me, "You actually kept the agreement to not be sexual. That was interesting."
I turn to look at her, my jaw hanging open.
"What do you mean?" I ask her.
"You're the first one who ever did that," she replies.
"Yeah," she continues, "All of the other men have just gone ahead and had sex with me anyway."
I cannot believe what I'm hearing.
"What do they say afterwards?"
"Usually something like, Oh, it just happened."
I just stare at her, stunned into speechlessness. Then it dawns on me that she was likely thinking that I would break the agreement as well. She went into the scene anticipating that that would happen. All throughout the scene a part of her brain was waiting for that to "just happen." She was expecting that I would break my word. A part of me starts to become really angry at her that she would think that of me, but I decide to not say anything. After all, I had kept my agreements. We finish up and rejoin the party.
I get to thinking about her prior experiences. That's not OK. It didn't "just happen." A blue car driving by on the street outside the house "just happened." A cloud drifting overhead "just happened." A man intentionally engaging in sexual behavior after he has explicitly promised to not do that is *not* something that "just happened." No, that assertion just plain doesn't fly.
Over the next several months, we go on to have several more private play dates of a similar nature, although as she gets to know me better certain things that were previously not OK now become OK. I love happy endings.
So a short while ago, at a small dinner with some local kinksters, I tell this story and one woman at the table replies, "What's your point?" When she sees that I'm kind of staring at her she continues, "That's more the norm than the exception." The other woman at the table looks at me and ruefully nods agreement.
It gets me to thinking, when Greenery Press was considering publishing "The Kinky Girl's Guide to Dating" I was one of the pre-publication manuscript readers. After I had read the manuscript, I called the publisher and said, "Are you sure you want to publish this? It's basically one long catalog of horror stories about what jerks the local male doms are. An awful lot of these stories are about men lying to get sex, lying about their other relationships, and lying about other important things. If I was a local submissive woman I'd feel like running screaming in the opposite direction. No way I'd want to get involved with these guys."
What particularly bothered me about the manuscript was that the author wasn't talking about newbie men. She was talking about established, well-known guys. Guys seen at places like local munches with some frequency. Guys (supposedly!) well educated about basic SM principles such as consent, respecting limits, and so forth. Guys who *knew better* than to pull crap like that. This bothered me, rather a lot, particularly the implications.
So what I basically have here is at least three women, all of whom seem fairly rational and emotionally stable with no anti-male axe to grind, and all of whom are separately affirming that being lied to by men -- in particular, being lied to by local, known, supposedly educated men -- in order to get sex/play/etc. is a *common* experience for them. In particular, incidents involving men lying or breaking agreements in order to "get" sex and/or to avoid using condoms seem to be extremely common. (In "The Kinky Girl's Guide" manuscript the author recounts an incident in which she wakes up to find her dom fucking her. She's not too drowsy to discover that he's not wearing a condom, which is a direct violation of their safer sex agreements. He was apparently hoping that she'd be too sleepy to notice. When she angrily asks him why he did this, his only reply is a hangdog facial expression. Their relationship ends soon thereafter.)
In my travels across the country, women in other locales have affirmed the basic truth of this. We men are notorious for outright lying (about really important things) to women in order to get play, to get sex, and/or to avoid using condoms.
My God, is the situation really *that* bad?