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So is walking your girlfriend on a leash degrading them?


Argus

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Yes, it's Sunday morning again! So Argus has another weird new topic! Yay!

Was reading this interesting back and forth about a woman who walks her girlfriend on a leash, startling neighbors.

Obviously this is exposing the BDSM community rather more than many are comfortable with, despite the recent popularity of books like Fifty Shades of Gray. And it inspired a conversation between I and a couple of friends about the upcoming movie on the book. We all agreed it would, being made by Hollywood, be exceptionally bland and dance wildly around everything related to sex and bondage. It might not be G-rated, but it will be as 'family friendly' as it can be given the noted bondage and punishment elements involved.

In Canada, the obscenity laws were rearranged some time back. When I was about thirteen I sent away for a porn movie, which was seized by customs. When I was seventeen I snuck into a porn theatre across the street in Quebec because they were less censored than the rest of Canada. Now most things are legal to show in Canada. The big exception (barring kiddies and dogs) is 'degradation'. Anything involving 'degrading' sex is still considered obscene in Canada. And that includes bondage, however willing it is on the part of all participants.

This gives rise to one of the oddities of Canada's prudery laws, which says that it's okay to do something all you want, but illegal to write about it or take pictures or videos of it.

163. (1) Every one commits an offense who

(a) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, circulates, or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation any obscene written matter, picture, model, phonograph record or other thing whatever;

So even a diary entry describing your kinky date can be illegal. And the SC has held that sex which involves 'degrading' images of women is obscene. Note the Butler case, for example.

The court ruled that the type of sexual material at which the statute aims is the portrayal of sex coupled with violence or explicit sex which is degrading or dehumanizing and which creates a substantial risk of harm. Explicit sex which is neither violent, degrading or dehumanizing will not be considered obscene unless it involves the use of children in its production.

So should the obscenity provisions be lightened up in recognition of Canadian's new interest in kinky sex? Do we really need to involve the courts over people's homemade bondage fantasies? Or should we instead make it illegal to walk your girlfriend on a leash? I mean, it seems to me that if it's illegal to show it then it should be illegal to do it. If it's legal to do it then we shouldn't be making it a crime to show it.

That simply seems basic logic to me.

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/pornography

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/woman-who-walks-her-girlfriend-on-a-leash-responds-we-like-to-have-fun/article8358467/

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Walking someone one a leash is not obscene - no sex involved. The couple doing this are consenting adults and seem content with it. So really we should just butt out. Personally I find it sad that someone gets off on this, but to each his own.

Fifty shades of gray - funny how many women seem to want to be dominated and abused, at least in their fantasies. As long as the guy is good looking and rich of course, so he's not a creep. (ie creeps are not good looking and definitely not rich). It seems many modern women in some part of their psyche still harbor dreams of being taken care of and giving up responsibility for themselves. That's sad too.

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Guest American Woman
Fifty shades of gray - funny how many women seem to want to be dominated and abused, at least in their fantasies. As long as the guy is good looking and rich of course, so he's not a creep. (ie creeps are not good looking and definitely not rich). It seems many modern women in some part of their psyche still harbor dreams of being taken care of and giving up responsibility for themselves. That's sad too.

Did you read the books? Because it doesn't sound like it.

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Guest American Woman
So is walking your girlfriend on a leash degrading them?

Yes! Next question please.

Even if it's not degrading them, since they are willing participants, it's degrading to be subjected to it. This type of behavior should be kept in private, IMO.

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The couple doing this are consenting adults and seem content with it. So really we should just butt out.
People the right to what they want in private but as soon as they enter the public sphere they are involving people that did not consent to be part of their perversions.
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This is from your link, Argus:

The court ruled that the type of sexual material at which the statute aims is the portrayal of sex coupled with violence or explicit sex which is degrading or dehumanizing and which creates a substantial risk of harm. Explicit sex which is neither violent, degrading or dehumanizing will not be considered obscene unless it involves the use of children in its production.

Are you sure bondage is included? From the above I'm getting the impression that it's 'rape' porn that's not legal.

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This is from your link, Argus:

Are you sure bondage is included? From the above I'm getting the impression that it's 'rape' porn that's not legal.

Bondage, regardless of how consensual or softish, is considered to be degrading in both Canada and the United States. It is kind of lumped in with violence on the presumption that anyone tied up for sex must be unwilling. And so is obscene. You won't find bondage in any Canadian DVDs, magazines or on any cable or satellite offered porn channels, nor on any Canadian web site. Despite the fact so many people (including, apparently a lot of middle class mothers) have an interest in it, or at least, in the erotic/fantasy element of it.

In the US there used to be a law that said you could have bondage and you could have sex, but you couldn't have both at the same time. Not sure if this is still in effect. You'll see it on the internet, but who knows what country the sites are located?

I know they years ago made a movie of what was then 'the' kinky erotic romance novel that got popular. It was called Nine and a Half Weeks. The movie starred Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger. The book involved almost nothing but bondage oriented sex in a dom/sub relationship, but there was none of it in the movie (which flopped). I suspect the Fifty Shades movie will be just as silly as they try to avoid the censor.

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People the right to what they want in private but as soon as they enter the public sphere they are involving people that did not consent to be part of their perversions.

And yet it's still legal. On the other hand, if they take a video of themselves having sex and put it on the internet they can be charged.

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from wiki:

In 2004 a judge in Canada ruled that videos seized by the police featuring BDSM activities were not obscene, and did not constitute violence, but a "normal and acceptable" sexual activity between two consenting adults.[5]

In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. J.A. that a person must have an active mind during the specific sexual activity in order to legally consent. The Court ruled that it is a criminal offence to perform a sexual act on an unconscious person – whether or not that person consented in advance.[6]

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from wiki:

Regardless of what wiki says the judge and case are not identified, and the decision was likely overturned on appeal.

Not sure what the second part of your quote is about as we're not dealing with unconscious people here...

Edited by Argus
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This type of behavior should be kept in private, IMO.

But the point of the behavior is to subject oneself publicly to degradation. It's kind of a sexual hallowe'en.

I don't think that it's consistent that people be allowed to bar the behavior of others in public, if it doesn't affect them. That means that if you're humiliated by seeing nudity, or something, then it should be your problem.

However, we don't live in a world of absolutes. Conservatives and liberals on here often express opinions about regulating the behaviors of others and that's just human. I don't think it's practical to expect governments to stay out of peoples' business by NOT banning public nudity and what have you.

As time goes on, behavior changes and gradually becomes acceptable. It's now legal for women to go topless in Ontario, although they rarely do, and nudity is permitted here and there, eventually everywhere.

We're all going back to the state we came from. I think we have a collective wish to go back to the Garden of Eden.

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Bondage, regardless of how consensual or softish, is considered to be degrading in both Canada and the United States. It is kind of lumped in with violence on the presumption that anyone tied up for sex must be unwilling. And so is obscene. You won't find bondage in any Canadian DVDs, magazines or on any cable or satellite offered porn channels, nor on any Canadian web site.

I know for a fact that's false.

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Even if it's not degrading them, since they are willing participants, it's degrading to be subjected to it. This type of behavior should be kept in private, IMO.

I would wonder if someone is actively trying to degrade themselves, or are being coerced into this to keep a sadist happy. Some people have issues that would probably be better worked out with some kind of therapy than pushing them further. I also have heard of at least a couple of cases where girls went along with guys who wanted to play bdsm games, ended up dead, as their partner kept pushing the game to more and more extreme levels. One of the cases a few years back involved a young woman who had "Property Of" followed by her common-law husband's name tatooed on her...I forget where....doesn't matter anyway....she just didn't realize in time that it wasn't really a game to her husband, until it was too late!

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I would wonder if someone is actively trying to degrade themselves, or are being coerced into this to keep a sadist happy.

I believe that masochists actually outnumber sadists by a wide margin. It's more likely that the person on on the end of the leash is getting off on it than the person holding the leash.

Some people have issues that would probably be better worked out with some kind of therapy than pushing them further. I also have heard of at least a couple of cases where girls went along with guys who wanted to play bdsm games, ended up dead, as their partner kept pushing the game to more and more extreme levels. One of the cases a few years back involved a young woman who had "Property Of" followed by her common-law husband's name tatooed on her...I forget where....doesn't matter anyway....she just didn't realize in time that it wasn't really a game to her husband, until it was too late!

While there are no doubt examples of BDSM/S&M/dom-sub relationships that ended up in horrible ways, the same can be said of "vanilla" relationships as well.

Power-exchange sex games are nothing new, and I see no reason for alarm over it.

-k

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But the point of the behavior is to subject oneself publicly to degradation. It's kind of a sexual hallowe'en.

I don't think that it's consistent that people be allowed to bar the behavior of others in public, if it doesn't affect them. That means that if you're humiliated by seeing nudity, or something, then it should be your problem.

However, we don't live in a world of absolutes. Conservatives and liberals on here often express opinions about regulating the behaviors of others and that's just human. I don't think it's practical to expect governments to stay out of peoples' business by NOT banning public nudity and what have you.

As time goes on, behavior changes and gradually becomes acceptable. It's now legal for women to go topless in Ontario, although they rarely do, and nudity is permitted here and there, eventually everywhere.

We're all going back to the state we came from. I think we have a collective wish to go back to the Garden of Eden.

I think that this approach is problematic as barring certain behaviours in public is common. Public intoxication is barred. Public sex is barred. Nudity is barred. We also bar certain kinds of protests. Saying certain things on an airliner, like "bomb" is barred. So we have a track record of what is acceptable by society. Now it seems some want to allow behavior just because it's controversial. Why? Why should this very small group have a right to public acts degrading women? Just because they want to? Women's rights have come a long long way, from not even being allowed to vote. This is a step backwards.

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I think that this approach is problematic as barring certain behaviours in public is common. Public intoxication is barred. Public sex is barred. Nudity is barred. We also bar certain kinds of protests. Saying certain things on an airliner, like "bomb" is barred. So we have a track record of what is acceptable by society. Now it seems some want to allow behavior just because it's controversial. Why? Why should this very small group have a right to public acts degrading women? Just because they want to? Women's rights have come a long long way, from not even being allowed to vote. This is a step backwards.

I didn't say otherwise, but somehow I doubt this is enough of a problem to warrant action.

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One of the cases a few years back involved a young woman who had "Property Of" followed by her common-law husband's name tatooed on her...I forget where....doesn't matter anyway....she just didn't realize in time that it wasn't really a game to her husband, until it was too late!

Some people just aren't like the rest of us. I hope it ends better for her.

faceTattoo_2471516b.jpg

Edited by bcsapper
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Guest American Woman
But the point of the behavior is to subject oneself publicly to degradation. It's kind of a sexual hallowe'en.

The fact that it's "sexual" in nature is enough of a reason to keep it in private. Kids don't need to be subjected to others' sexual preferences and idiosyncrasies. It would be confusing for kids to see this kind of behavior, and could very well send the wrong message to young girls and boys.

I don't think that it's consistent that people be allowed to bar the behavior of others in public, if it doesn't affect them. That means that if you're humiliated by seeing nudity, or something, then it should be your problem.

I don't recall any mention of being humiliated by seeing it; I find it offensive, and I think it very well could affect others. Furthermore, how would I know if the person being 'dominated' consented to it or not? How do we know it's not abuse when we see such behavior?

However, we don't live in a world of absolutes. Conservatives and liberals on here often express opinions about regulating the behaviors of others and that's just human. I don't think it's practical to expect governments to stay out of peoples' business by NOT banning public nudity and what have you.

The very fact that we have laws ensures that the government is in "peoples' business," and consent alone isn't enough to make anything and everything legal. It's not legal to beat people up just because they like pain inflicted on them, for example. Or to kill them because they want to die.

As time goes on, behavior changes and gradually becomes acceptable. It's now legal for women to go topless in Ontario, although they rarely do, and nudity is permitted here and there, eventually everywhere.

I seriously doubt if nudity will ever be permitted everywhere. For one thing, "no shirt, no shoes, no service" is for health reasons. But comparing nudity, which is natural for everyone, to being trotted around on a dog collar really isn't a fitting comparison. Furthermore, what if the behavior isn't consensual? As I said previously, when we see this kind of behavior, how do we know whether or not it is consensual? And as someone else pointed out - what if the desire to be treated this way is the result of an underlying emotional problem?

What people choose to do in the privacy of their home is one thing. Bringing it out in public is another.

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Guest American Woman
I think those saggy pants the young guys wear are just as offensive as the collar and chain. And women wearing tights with camel toes can be pretty gross too. Or piercings. I don't like any of them, but I'd never ban any of them either. If you don't like it, just look away, live and let live.

Baggy pants, tights, piercings - all are nothing more than fashion that involve only the person sporting them. A collar and chain is behavioral, and is directed at another person.

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