This would not happen if kids learned about bondage in sex ed

BondageTape2It’s been a while since we had a really stupid challenge get around on the internet, so this was bound to happen – pun intended. The “duct tape challenge” is the latest stupid craze, and I have no wish to minimize the harm it caused a teen in Washington state. However, I do intend to take advantage of the situation as a teachable moment.

Just about any experienced practitioner of bondage will tell you that it is extremely dangerous to bind someone’s legs and arms with anything and leave them standing without attaching the person to some kind of support. Some might be daring enough to do this, while “spotting” them, to make sure the person doesn’t fall down, but (hopefully) those people are few and far between. Also, most would not opt for using duct tape, or if they did, they would probably protect the skin and body hair from the adhesive one way or another.

The point here is that while the public at large might think that people who are into bondage are not particularly concerned about the safety of their partners in play, the fact is, safety is a primary concern. Like anything else, there undoubtedly are some stupid people out there doing BDSM without a clue about safety measures, but given the viral nature of weird news stories, it’s safe to guess those people are few and far between. There would be far more headlines about bondage situations going wrong, because when one is not concerned with safety, it’s likely that a call to emergency services will quickly follow.

So, obviously bondage practitioners learn about this stuff somewhere, and it’s fair to guess that if the kids who have been pulled into this latest internet stunt learned at least a little about it, they might actually avoid doing it. You didn’t misread any of this. I am suggesting that teens be taught safe practices in BDSM. It is not about encouraging anyone to engage in kinky sex. This is a suggestion based on real concerns for safety that have been bubbling under the surface over the past several years now. The fact is that kids are exposed to concepts related to BDSM already, and unfortunately, many of them are unrealistic at best and downright dangerous at the worst. Like anything else in this world, education is the best weapon against misinformation.

One of the biggest pieces of misinformation out there has to do with something that is arguably already a problem when it comes to sex ed – BDSM practitioners are extremely concerned with the concept of consent. Whether they are adherents of SSC (Safe, Sane and Consensual) or RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink), the big “C” in kink is Consent. Personally, I prefer PRICK (Personal-Responsibility Informed Consensual Kink), because it points out that people need to be responsible for their actions. Also, the emphasis on making sure one’s partners are Informed about what they are actually consenting to appeases the legal corner in my brain. No matter what, the misinformed public who think that BDSM is just about beating the crap out of people for kicks should learn that kinksters do not like to blur lines when it comes to consent. (If they do, it’s fair to guess that either they will learn to stop doing it, or they will find themselves ostracized from the kink community very quickly.) While they might not use the word “no” to make things stop, whatever word they choose to put the brakes on everything is honored – or else. So, it could be argued that the BDSM community already managed to figure out that problem of consent that so many people are debating about now. The question now is: Why would it be a bad thing for kids to learn about consent to sexual activity from people who hold it above just about everything else? (The only thing above it is safety, of course.)

Like it or not, the bottom line here is that this kid might not be worried about losing eyesight in one eye, or anything else right now, if he’d learned the simple fact that what he did in that challenge was extremely dangerous. Also, the fact is that learning about BDSM is probably about the only reason why something like this would have ever been brought up in a classroom. It is something to consider, even if the simple idea of kinky sex makes you nervous.

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