The ‘idea’ of ‘risk aware’ has been around a long time. The problem being that most people are not really aware of the risks at all. There is an idea that informed decision making should exist, it should. However if you ask someone about say ‘breath play’ they will generally tell you that it can be done without grave risk to the submissive. The truth is that you couldn’t do ‘breath play’ inside a trauma room surrounded by emergency room doctors and ensure the life of the submissive. By the time the submissive is ‘visibly’ in trouble they are close to death. (Breath play is choking, strangulation, holding of breath, constraint of breath by any means) The burden of ‘accurate’ knowledge on the dangers of some play is generally far beyond the scope of interest (or availability) of a practitioner or recipient. Basically, risk aware is let the submissive BEWARE – or places the burden for consent and responsibility for outcome on the submissive accurately knowing the level of risk or danger to their life.
Does the dominant say to the submissive – will you engage in breath play with me knowing that sexually connected deaths by lack of oxygen average 250 persons in the United States each year. If someone said that to you would you agree to roll those dice? Has the dominant placed into the hands of that submissive (prior to play) accurate detail on what can and may occur should they consent? Or does the dominant leave the ‘collection of data’ to the submissive? (statistics can be verified in the Megalinks of Criminal Justice)
Or perhaps we should look at a common whipping where the skin is abraded or broken. Is the submissive aware of the level of contamination on the whip, the table, in the blood or sweat of their dominant who is touching them during scene? If the whip is being used or has been used on several submissives can illness or disease be transmitted by the whip? How would you feel if a doctor used ‘dirty’ medical devices on you during an operation? How would you feel if the operating room were not sterile, if the doctor’s hands were unwashed? Do you believe you are then at risk for exposure to disease, particularly if you have openings in your skin? Is the dominants responsibilities ‘in scene’ any different from that of a doctor? Is your life in their hands? Is your exposure to disease in their hands? Should you as a submissive trust them to act in protection of your life, health and well being? During scene can you as a submissive ‘act’ to prevent touching of your body, open wounds, by non sterile or contaminated sources?
What about a diabetic submissive – how long does it take a diabetic submissive to heal from a fairly simple bruise? Is that contusion life threatening? Debilitating? How does a submissive in advance of scene investigate the consequences of a bruise that doesn’t heal for years? How do they know the nature of this future bruise, how big it will be, how much tissue will be damaged in order to be ‘informed’ in advance of their ‘risks’? Does the dominant advice the submissive on common medications which can increase or reduce bruising – does the dominant know what medical implications the introduction or removal of such common medications will have with the submissives other medications? Or should the submissive ask their doctor first?
How about breast bondage? Does the dominant insure that the submissive know that circular (often used by persons new to S/m) breast bondage can and often does cause lifetime nerve damage to the submissive? How about nipple piercing and long term infections of the breast? Is permanent nerve damage and long term infections acceptable outcomes?
The dominant under ‘risk aware’ doesn’t carry the damage of the scene, the risks or dangers. They are set free to do anything they can talk their submissive into agreeing to do and after the scene the dominant walks away with no damage to themselves. Compound this by the full understanding that a dominant imposes all kinds of pressure on a submissive and that a submissive may agree to something purely to please their dominant. If a submissive trusts their dominant then there is a perceptible ‘idea’ that the dominant will not violate that ‘entrustment of life’ given unto them. How competent is the submissive to say no when such actions will result in long term damage, illness and loss of robust life? If mental health is not part of the equation does that mean a dominant can and may scene any person willing to agree to being scened, even if that person is suicidal? What responsibility does a dominant have if their submissive has very low self esteem and will agree to anything in their fear of losing their dominant? Is this coercion?
This sounds like an open ticket to overt predatory (lack of responsibility) behaviors to me. Again placing the burden for outcome solely upon the shoulders of the submissive with the dominant bearing nothing, no damage, no long term responsibility.
The simple truth is that two people are involved in the scene. Both are there by consent and both are responsible for any negative outcome which may occur. If a dominant damages, injures or kills a submissive they can and should be faced with legal consequences. Consent is not enough and consequences should be equally meted out.
A submissive should be educated just as a dominant should be educated.