Fetish Fun Or Extreme?

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.


  1. That is such a tough call to make. I go through phases where I read a lot of erotica. I’m not in that phase at the moment, but it will come back. Though there is a lot of stuff that would never turn me on, it still fascinates me to read about it. No idea why.

    It is clear that some things go above and beyond being just a fetish. Yet it is difficult to say where a line should be drawn. Such as submissive who like to be whipped. Would I ever want that? No, but after reading about it I can see why some people would (male or female). We like to think there must be something wrong with a person who wants pain inflicted on them. Maybe for some, there might be psychological issues, but I don’t think that is the case all the time. Some people just really enjoy it. Who are we to say what is okay or not? The main thing is, are there safety measures in place and clear lines that the Dom cannot go past.

    Look at all the people who cut themselves. For the life of me I can’t comprehend this as I would never purposely hurt myself in such a fashion. Yet I choose not to judge them because I’m not in their shoes. I jumped out of planes and can’t tell you how many people think that is weird and dangerous. It resulted in numerous injuries, some that are permanent. Yet I’d do it again if the opportunity arose despite the fact I’m more scared of it now than I was in the beginning. It was the rush and feeling of being alive that made it all worth it. I imagine cutting and other activities provides similar results for people. The difference being the government sanctioned (and even paid me) to do the thing that gave me my kicks despite the danger of it. People die every year from jumping out of planes but it hasn’t been outlawed.

    So for me, I’m not going to judge because it would be like the pot calling the kettle black. I don’t know enough about the case you mentioned to say whether the woman consented or not. Yet I do believe if the person is alive to say they consented, then it shouldn’t be as severely punished as it would for non-consensual. In my opinion, our bodies are ours to do what we like with and so long as no one else is harmed by it we shouldn’t be stopped unless there are clear psychological issues that may be causing the abnormal behavior (or the person is underage and not mature enough to make such a decision).

    Sorry for the long reply. I just have a lot I could say on this subject 🙂

    • Thanks for the thorough reply!

      I agree. In researching fetishes to write my story, I found stuff that wouldn’t be my forte, but was definitely fascinating enough to write about. To me anyway. I’m intrigued because it’s different from my everyday experiences. I even discovered some things that seemed fun to try. 🙂

      People are in to different things, and I judge them not. I wouldn’t want to be judged regarding what I like. In fact, with so much research that deals with the psychological dynamics within these relationships–I deliberately left it all out (of this post and my book) because it seemed too judgmental. If someone feels they need help, I’m glad professionals are available. But I don’t just assume everyone that gets down with stuff that seems out of my range of understanding, has to be suffering from psyche issues. I use my story to celebrate each individuality not to psychoanalyze.

      It is indeed a tough call to make. What I’ve found about this particular pain/pleasure fetish though, is that the participants know it can get out of hand. To avoid unwanted consequences they implement a “safe word”. And that made me wonder why the woman in this case never mentioned anything about it. Unless I missed that part of her testimony.

      The prosecutor was actually going for life in prison, so his sentence could have been worse. Maybe something about the woman’s testimony seemed plausible. Either way, I trust that the jury weighed all the info and made a decision based on it.

      Dear Lord, woman, I’ve never jumped out of a plane! I’ve commented on your blog about how remarkable I find that. lol You and my husband can have that. I have engaged in other risque behavior though: Flying down the highway (120 mph) on the back of a motorcycle at 2 am with no helmet could have easily landed me on a soft cushion in the clouds. Even I don’t understand what I was thinking at the time.

  2. It’s like I always say, if it’s not offensive to someone, it’s probably not very good. LOL

    • So true! I don’t foresee writing anything that won’t offend someone. I’ll just keep giving warnings.

  3. Oh my! I’m nearly speechless. The lines are indeed blurred, and if the woman’s testimony seemed to revealed that it wasn’t all totally consensual…yeesh! I’m going to side with you on this one.

    • Thanks for commenting, Alesha! I hope for her sake it was consensual. At least she and her boyfriend can have some comfort in that for the next oh…fifteen years or so.

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