My character, Sleepy Willow, works at a fetish club where all kinds of interesting things take place. Readers are forewarned about the grit and gruesomeness of featured fetishes because some may find it offensive. But do not be mistaken. It DOES take place. Take this November 17, 2011 KHOU headline, for instance: “Houston man who mutilated girlfriend sentenced to 30 years in prison.”
Well, he mutilated her, so he deserves to be sentenced, right? How about if the mutilated girlfriend testified FOR the defendant? What if she insisted it was just a sex game that went too far? And that she didn’t want him punished for what she CONSENTED to?
Ring any fetishism bells? A sex game where one enjoys being beat and the other enjoys doing the beating? Where humiliation, degradation, and power are turn-ons? Where the lines between pain and pleasure are blurred?
That’s sadomasochism (also commonly referred to as BDSM), ladies and gentleman. Or aggravated assault, according to the jury.
Why aggravated assault? Doesn’t it make a difference if she consented to the abuse? If she begged for him to beat her and burn her and mutilate her? If the pain brought pleasure to her as well?
Not legally in most of the western world, since no one can consent to grave bodily harm. She is still considered a victim and he is a felon.
Well, what constitutes grave bodily harm?
Though usually left to a reasonable person standard in many U.S. courts, I think it’s safe to say the following are universally considered grave bodily harm even to the most liberal of folks: breaking bones of another, inflicting wounds that require sutures, causing injuries that result in disfigurement, and causing prolonged or reoccurring unconsciousness.
According to KHOU: “Prosecutors said Longoria tied his girlfriend to a bed and beat, choked and burned her for more than 15 hours back in February of 2011.”
I’m pretty certain a 15-hour sex game that involves beating, choking, burning, and results in permanent disfigurement would not turn me on in the least. And I’m preeeetty sure most people are going to consider it grave bodily harm no matter how much the submissive enjoyed him or herself.
For those who enjoy being beat or beating those who “consent” to the beatings, how much is too much and therefore, punishable by law? Is it fair for the legal system to step in and decide?
While I am all for freedom in sexual self-expression, I am glad the court intervened and imposed this sentence. In THIS particular case. Why? Because after following some of the testimony, I wasn’t really convinced she actually consented.