We recently lost Chrissy Amphlett of Divinyls fame. One of the most haunting memories of their music is still the lyric saying “it’s a fine line between pleasure and pain”. Nowhere is that more evident than in our industry where clients and providers indulge in varying degrees of pleasure and pain, fantasy and reality, sub-culture versus mainstream. For a vast majority of encounters, the standard fare applies, with maybe experimentation extending only to the point of requesting different outfits, or basically an adult version of “dress ups”. If you’re dealing in the premium market, sure you have to put on the charm and grace to be the arm candy for a CEO or a high-flying business person.
But there is also the very select market that occasionally dances on the wild side – some BDSM, perhaps dressing up as babies with giant bottles and dummies, maybe golden and brown showers, or even “sploshing”. Whenever we venture into these more adventurous and potentially harmful encounters, trust becomes the single most important element. Aside from trust, the establishment of limits or thresholds, the agreement on safe words or phrases to ease up or fully halt the experience are just some of the mandatory elements towards the experience.
Every now and then, we hear of someone going that bit too far. Not that long ago, we lost a beloved member of our fraternity, the legendary Miss Jazzy-O, purportedly to an experience taken a little too far. Theories abound as to the demise of Michael Hutchence, and more recently that of David Carradine, where auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong has been proffered as an explanation. It always serves as a timely warning that if you have to ask if something is ok, then intuitively the answer should be “NO!”
A more subtle but no less important factor is that of familiarity. Oftentimes with regulars, we have built up a rapport and a level of trust that we push the boundaries, we let things slide, we let each other get away with things we otherwise would never tolerate. The trouble with this is that some people extrapolate this too far and take it as carte blanche to do anything they want. That should never be the case. We should never assume we have carte blanche to do anything and everything. Even our dearest and most beloved don’t have that level of tether-less freedom!
Only just this week, I had an encounter with someone whom I thought was a regular. We’d seen each other on about half a dozen occasions. We had experimented with some elements of Dom/Sub scenarios, given my own recent desire to explore the world of BDSM. However, this time, without warning or consent, the encounter descended rapidly into one of pain, domination without consent, humiliation and physical injury. He struck me. Not accidentally, intentionally. Not a single isolated strike, but several. He gave me a blood nose, I have to see a dentist as some of my teeth feel loose, he forcibly penetrated me without preparation or lubrication. I kicked him out of the room and his only excuse was “I had a bad day”. Well, Adrian Bayley had a bad day and Jill Meagher paid the price ... unacceptable. On August 9th in 1987, Julian Knight had a bad day and seven people paid the ultimate price in Clifton Hill … unacceptable. On the 28th of April in 1996 in Port Arthur, Martin Bryant had a bad day. 35 people – including children – paid the price … unacceptable. In the late 1800s, around the Whitechapel district of London, a very frustrated and misguided soul had several bad days – at least 11 by all accounts – and ran his own personal vigilante campaign. He was later known as Jack the Ripper. Totally unacceptable.
We started off by saying that it’s a fine line between pleasure and pain. Unfortunately, that is as far as I can agree with Chrissy. The next 2 lines of the song are “you’ve done it once, you can do it again” and “whatever you done, don’t try to explain”. No, you can’t do it again, and yes, you will have to explain [to the authorities] why you’ve done what you’ve done. For the sake of others, and their safety, the rattlesnake has to be exposed. And this is where the buck stops, as does this blog.