Guest Post: S&M and Abuse

While I’m busy working and unpacking and setting up my new apartment (Jesus and I are officially cohabitating!), I’ll leave you with a guest post from Molls. Molls recently moved to Holland with her husband (wow, that’s weird to say. Husband is something I never thought I’d associate with Molls) and is unemployed for the moment. She is going crazy and trying not to rip her hair out, so it’s possible you may see several more guest posts from her in the future. Idle hands are the devil’s playground, after all.

You couldn’t escape the media coverage in 2009 of Chris Brown assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. Afterwards, graphic photos of Rihanna’s injuries were leaked. Rihanna became the poster-young-adult for a domestic violence victim.

Months later, Rihanna did a photo shoot for Italian Vogue. The shoot was dark and gothy and included some bondage themes. I think the photos are gorgeous, you can judge for yourself. Some, however, disagreed vehemently with Rihanna’s decision to participate.

“Muzzled, huh? What kind of message does THAT send?”

“Am I alone in seeing some distrubing mixed messages here? This is a woman who has just come through the trauma of being brutally beaten and abused. Yet here she is seemingly playing with fire on the fringes of bondage, dominatrix ­, even S&M. Does she WANT to attract men who are into violence?”

“What’s more than disturbing about that muzzled pic is that it’s Rhianna muzzled because she appears to be sayng, “I like to get beaten up and abused and what happend to me is no big deal’.”

“Well this isn’t saying a lot for her decision making skills correct. I think what happened between her and Chris Brown was horrible but I wasn’t there. At some point we need to start taking responsibi­lity for our actions. What kind of behaviour do these images bring about to you?”
The controversy has resurfaced recently with the release of the video for Rihanna’s latest single, S&M. The song and video, of course, touch on some S&M themes, depict Rihanna tied up, and include the lyrics “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me.” Predictably, a vocal group of people disapproved.

”You would think after a bout with domestic violence she would not ties herself up in a music video and perform violent sexual acts to glorify S and M. Domestic violence may not be what defines her but a lot of people relate to her for that incident. She is sending mixed messages and should be more responsible.”

“one minute she is saying Chris Brown beat her a** the next minute she is saying she like being hit with whips and chained up. This is a sick B**ch.”

“didn’t she get beat once by chris brown? and she makes songs with “love the way it hurts” and “whips and chains excite me?” she is pathetic, and it won’t be long before someone else beats her again.”

“Are we sure she is a victim of domestic violence?….or was it just sex???”

People thought she was all innocent when the whole Chris incident came in, but she’s into S&M maybe she likes getting hit.
Hey, abuse victims! Wanna try out those fuzzy pink novelty handcuffs? DENIED! Now that you have been the victim of abuse, you must have all of your sexual interactions on a bed of rose petals while listening to Kenny G. Clearly there is no difference in life between acts you consent to and acts you don’t. That’s why strong safety Quintin Mikell is legally allowed to tackle you whenever he damn well pleases.

Rihanna didn’t consent to being hit by Chris Brown. She did consent to the photoshoot and the video. Therein lies the apparently difficult-to-comprehend difference. To say that because Rihanna (or any abuse victim) likes getting spanked or being tied up, she must have been okay with her assault is akin to saying that because I play soccer, it’s okay to slide tackle me in the grocery store. Or the because I enjoy having sex, raping me is totally acceptable.

Your sexual preferences do not make it okay for someone to assault you. Being the victim of assault does not mean you have to change your preferences. An unconsented-to attack on your person is, in no way, the same as a consensual sexual interaction, no matter how rough it might be.

This entry was posted in BDSM, Culture Goes Pop, Rape Culture, Sexuality, With A Little Help From My Friends. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. B.No Gravatar
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Yuck, those disapproving comments are gross as shit. BDSM helped me recover my interest in sex after an abusive relationship; explicitly negotiating boundaries and consent, discussing what would happen and what it would be like, made me feel confident and helped me feel safe again.

    Excellent guest post!

  2. EveyNo Gravatar
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Great guest post! I was confused at first, I open links in tabs behind the current page to read later and thought the linked text was the authors own opinions on Rihanna in relation to whatever the link was and was SHOCKED that you’d guest post that Britt. But I read on and understood. Very true. There are even people in the kink community who have issue with understanding this line. My partner and I play with all things involving force and have people come up to me after parties and ask if he abuses me. Kudos!

One Trackback

  1. By Guest Post For Britni « Neamhspleachas on April 3, 2011 at 10:15 am

    [...] over responsibility for not letting her blog become an internet graveyard. Check out my post on S&M and Abuse. « Unsolicited Advice Published on April 3, 2011 in Balls and Chains and Procreation [...]

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