There’s been a cross-country furor about the recent conviction of sadist and international sex tourist Donald Bakker.
I saw mention of it online, and caught Bakker’s homely visage staring at me from any number of newspaper boxes. My reaction was mostly to shudder and move along.
Another predatory pedophile. Yuck. I’m glad he’s been caught.
Then, as I was plotting out the column for this month, my brainy sweetie leaned over my shoulder and said, “What about that sex tourist guy? Aren’t you going to write something about him?”
“Huh?” I said. “Why?”
“You write about BDSM stuff, right?” she said, patiently, as if teaching algebra to a small child.
“Yeah, so why should I…? Oh. Oh crap.”
You see, it had never occurred to me to form a connection between what Bakker was doing with unwilling local sex workers and foreign children, and what me and you and us and our friends are doing in our bedrooms and plush dungeons.
Yet, sadly, some of the acts of sadism, his and ours, might sound the same to the segment of the greater population that doesn’t know and love our queer and kinky community.
So I thought about it for a while. Is Bakker the leather community’s little lost lamb?
If he’d been exposed to the real-life pansexual leather community as a young adult, would he have understood about the importance of informed consent?
What if he’d gone to a casual monthly BDSM munch and met some women who happened to share a taste for extreme sensation? Would a caring mentor have made the difference, taking him under a leather-clad arm, and carefully pointing out the difference betwixt fantasy and reality?
Are Bakker’s sexual behaviours and mine secretly the same, differing only in degree and legality? Well, also differing markedly in morality and, goddamn it, the victimization of women and children. Ah. That’s the key.
There’s a reason kinksters speak so fondly of power exchange. For a really hot scene, you get together with another equal-in-power human being, and one of you agrees to lend his or her power of decision-making to the other for a predetermined length of time.
My personal thrill comes from the realization of the gift given by the powerful, self-aware women who might choose to offer submission to me.
Addicted sex workers-who are so estranged from the protection of our society that they don’t dare report sadistic assaults-and young children in Cambodian brothels have no power left to lend.
I don’t think a kindly mentor would have helped. Bakker wasn’t playing bedroom games with the lending of power.
He was torturing those who were powerless to resist. And that kind of man could never, ever be one of my people.