Yesterday, someone called a close friend of mine and accused me of being a predator.
While I believe I am the furthest thing from a predator (I have played with two newbies in 10 years, and I am never the sexual aggressor outside of my relationships—although I do flirt hard, it’s mostly hot air), I thought to myself:
- What IS a predator in the community?
- How do we separate a predator from shitty kink going wrong?
- How do we judge ourselves and others when accusations are leveled, beyond a popularity contest?
I realized I don’t have a concrete answer.
I asked a group yesterday, and I got a few suggestions, and a feeling of “I know it when I see it.”
But is that enough?
Maybe it has to be. However, I think that as a community we can do better. We can collectively come up with some guidelines, red flags, maybe even some warnings that could help others identify.
And yes, there are always examples of people who meet a condition who are not predators. That’s going to require judgement.
But just as the DSM is not a single rule for a diagnoses, I’m guessing that predatory behavior will be a strong cluster of correlated symptoms that can lead to diagnoses, or at least greater care and watching.
Here are a few suggestions to start with:
- Seeking out primarily newbies for play.
- Refusing to go to public events. “Too much drama in the community.” or “I’m misunderstood.”
- Ill intent.
- Complaints at events and venues.
- On multiple “don’t fly” lists for events and socials (I do know this is not something the average kinkster will know).
- Patterns of problematic behavior.
- Rapid cycling of partners.
- Isolating partners/denying access to other kinksters.
AGAIN: I’ll state that these things can happen for a lot of reasons. Rapid cycling of partners can be someone who enjoy multiple casual and fleeting relationships, so using it as the ONLY criteria is a bit slut-shamey.
I’ll also note that predators come in all types. While we tend to think of the male dominant, I’ve known submissives, switches, baby-girls, and pets that I would say “I know it when I see it, and I see it,” about.
So, what makes a predator?
How could we as a community define and therefore spot them and warm about them better?
How could individuals rely less on “I’ll know it when I see it”?
I look forward to your thoughts and insights.