I went on the Auckland Slutwalk. For a wrap up of the media coverage (including blogs) and why one may wish to go on a slut walk see my friend Curvaceous Dee’s blog - http://curvaceousdee.com/ She has done an excellent job and therefore I won’t repeat it. There has also been discussion about it in online comunities.
Instead I will talk about my personal journey in relation to Slutwalk. I am a rape survivor four times over. I will give you background before moving on to how Slutwalk relates to me at 47 years old marching down Queens St. It is a long story with no juicy bits, this time WW gets serious. Move on if you wish, stay if you want to know more.
I grew up under the tyranny of an emotionally manipulative mother, who has proudly said she brought us up like ‘perfect little zombies’; and an emotionally detached father who barely knew I existed. I rarely brought friends home due to Mum’s extensive screening and blocking programme and except for Mum’s tantrums there was very little noise or communication in our house. Then there was this weird as incident I have only recently recalled as a very young child where something sexually happened with my arse and a stranger in a toilet that was shared by a group of seedy shops. It is too blurry to understand.
Otherwise it was a pretty sweet childhood with little complaints other than being taught that girls and women had to behave and appear differently to boys and men – and that was just how the world worked – so don’t be difficult by asking questions and know that men were in charge. Put on your pink clothes, ride your bike like a women, don’t get dirty and no you cannot play soccer because you will get hurt!
However, the above conditions produced a painfully shy and paranoid kid until my first boyfriend at 14 years old when I came alive. Also I have always had and still do have communication difficulties in female friendship, whereas I have often felt an affinity with boys and men.
Cue: a montage of the teenage stoner, party animal with the same manipulative first boyfriend. We learned about sex together and there was no one to ruin my penthouse and cosmopolitan informed ideas of being a sexually liberated woman. I was the woman that could eat more, drink more and take more drugs than the other women and never cough when I spotted oil. I wondered what it would be like to be a slut and have more sex than other women.
I then slimmed down and transformed into an ‘in your face’ punk rocker in my early 20’s and ditched the boyfriend. I thought I was ugly and then I discovered I could score men at parties – what an awesome game that turned out to be. Oooh he’s hot, I wonder if I can score him – yay another notch in my belt – if it is good enough for men then it is good enough for women. I loved sex and my appetite was insatiable. It started as a fun game, but through the haze of heavy drinking and drugs it became a desperate search for someone to spend the night with me instead of being alone. I scored bad skinheads in one scene and hung out with the nice stoner friends in another. There were fucks, competition, anti conformity and hard times in one scene and fading friendships and mellow times in the other. I became a slut and I was labelled as such by men who were sluts themselves.
What protected me was that I could fight really well and I would scare the shit out of the boring normal people of Wellington, and so the men respected me and were amused by me and the women feared me. I had a few female friends who tried to warn me about my slut rep, but I did not listen.
One night I was at a party with a different crowd at an acquaintance’s house. I was looking for fresh meat in a new scene. I was given a joint that was laced with angel dust. I thought I was sleeping on the floor next to the acquaintance’s bed and being fucked by his friend. When I woke up in the morning I discovered that his entire rugby league team, and then some, had been through me. I felt shame and guilt and disgust in myself. I never saw those people again. Stupid slut – you deserved all you got!
Being a slut had brought me pain and shame and so I tried to find a relationship with the skinheads, but who wants a relationship with a slut? They could not believe that I would remain faithful. I had spent so much energy in pretending to be a nasty, tough punk rocker that they did not know the true me anyway. Then I got a boyfriend who had broken up with his wife. He was wanted by the law and it seemed exciting at the time. I went to a party one day and as I walked up the street and into the house all the skins and punks yelled “slut, slut, slut, slut”. What could I do, but hold my head high and not let them get to me. Once inside I discovered why they were doing that. There was his wife returned from a break away and she was fully pregnant. It had all been lies and manipulation. Stupid slut – did you really think you were worthy of being loved?
After he went to court and was sentenced to an alcohol programme I slashed my wrists and ended up in good old Porirua Hospital for a few days observation. I then realised that I had nothing to complain about when I saw what others went through with mental illnesses. I came out a new, but broken woman.
That week our unofficial leader was stabbed to death at a party I went to. It was time to move on up to stay with Mum for a spell then off to Auckland. It was the same sort of scene, but friendlier. I was starting a fresh with new people and doing it in a new way. What job could a messed up young women do with a flat full of people on heroin? I was damn good at sex, everyone told me so – why not get paid for it. I became a paid slut!
I felt I had gained some control in my life. I had money, I had new drugs, new parties, and I fucked people in my scene that were worthy of my friendship. I called the shots - and I had a new game to play! Entice the customers so that they move on from a massage to sex. If they didn’t then we did not get paid. If I did not get paid, I could not party and wear cool clothes and I could not keep up with the heroin culture of my new scene. Flirt + entice = survival and fun. I moved up to being the second most requested girl in the parlour.
One night a huge gross taxi driver came in and chose me. He told me that he had no money for sex, but wanted a massage. I did what we were trained to do, and I hoped that maybe he was not a time waster after all, that maybe he had some money tucked under that huge fat gut after all. I was good at what I did, and so I was up for a challenge. Flirt and entice, do the sensual massage, get the fucker horny, get money for drugs and fun. Wank, wank, money in the bank!
He pinned me down and said I was a dirty little tart and deserved to be taught a lesson. He fucked me without a condom. I could hardly breathe under his sweaty fat mass. I thought I was going to suffocate. I usually could shut part of myself off from customers and go on to automatic pilot, but this time I felt every disgusting shunt up my dirty little cunt! I felt disgusted and ashamed and stupid. Ugly, stupid slut – you deserved all you got!
I did not tell anyone, because I was ashamed and felt it was my fault. I went for a holiday back to Wellington to my old stoner friends, but I did not fit in there anymore, and returned feeling lost and alone. Work was no fun anymore. I found it hard to pretend I was having fun with the customers. I no longer flirted with my Daddy figure boss and he sensed my withdrawal. He became very controlling of me - his asset. I left and went to another parlour.
Then I met my future husband. Someone loved me after all. I stopped being a paid slut and he stopped being a drug dealer’s body guard and thief. We moved away from Auckland and started a new straight life together.
Happily ever after it was not. Zoom through 19 years moving to many places with kids in tow. The feisty part of me slowly died through a destructive marriage to an emotionally stunted, violent man with a drinking problem and my own marijuana habit. I had lost myself completely.
But then I was reborn! I gained some certificates, got work, kicked the dope, lost the husband and went to university. I was in control of my children’s lives and myself. A fresh start. Then I discovered BDSM! Wow – my life took a running leap and landed on a very cushy mat. Hard time, but good times.
Except for one time on the top I was learning to be a sub. Then a switch I had bottomed to let me top him. He turned on me and fought me until I could not hold him off anymore. He cuffed me and laughed at me. He said that he would beat me until I cried. Instead of trying to talk him down or screaming for help I went cold and numb inside. I did not back down from the challenge, because I was furious with him and the tough punk rocker surfaced and refused to back down. I was not going to give him the satisfaction of me crying and I was not going to show any pleasure in this.
After a long while of no consent he finally said that he would beat me with his belt and asked me if that was ok. In the weird state I was in by then I agreed to this ridiculous challenge. He finally gave up after the most severe beating I have ever had. I even had a cup of tea with him and thought it was all ok! Then driving home from Auckland to Hamilton I broke out of the coma and could not stop crying. I phoned him to explain how bad I felt. He just laughed at me. I realised then that this was his plan to break a strong woman. He had told me he was tired of weak subs and wanted a strong woman – now I know why. Stupid slut look what you got yourself in for this time – you deserved all you got.
A vanilla friend helped me to realise that because we had negotiated for me to top him and that there was a long period of no consent then that period was RAPE. I held on to this through a very destructive and lost time. All that power I had regained after my marriage break up had been stripped away from me. I was back to the bewildered and scared little girl in that toilet, as the shamed out slut waking up from the drugged gang bang, as the messed up hooker under the fat taxi driver and as the sad old mother and wife to the embarrassing drunk. Stupid old slut – haven’t you learned anything!
What got me through was my children, the support of friends and the realisation that it was rape – I was not to blame - my history was. I still am mad at myself for not yelling out and for my anger taking over my reasoning, but I was angry at him and all the other people that had taken away my power. That is a lot to back down from.
I moved then into a manipulative relationship with a dom and eventually moved into a house with him and my kids. He showed me love I lapped it up and like the loved starved slut I was I closed my eyes to the warning signs until they were staring me in the face. I discovered he was into kiddy porn. I kicked him out of the house and a few years later thanks to my reporting he served time in prison for pictures of children in BDSM contexts that were as young as seven.
Somehow I climbed out of all this mess. I graduated university, I brought up two awesome kids and I made some awesome friends. I became a dominant and my personal power bloomed much more than it ever did before thanks to my wonderful deceased sub slavetreva and some really cool friends along the way. I have people writing to me all the time saying how much they enjoy my writing on BDSM. I now have a fantastic young sub and fun playmates. Thank you all xxx
The good Master I used to play with called me slut in an affectionate way and so a new loving form of slut was reborn in me. I am a slut in how much I love sex and how slutty I can behave – but I am now an exclusive one with only some special people. I am very particular who I have sex with and who dominates me. I try hard to make sure the people I dominate are looked after and know that they are valued by me. I usually only wear ‘slutty clothes’ in the privacy of BDSM spaces. I do not allow others the privilege of seeing me like that.
I am a rape survivor four times over. Only the first was your classic straight forward rape situation. The other three are tangled in their actions, blurred in meaning and therefore easy for fingers of blame to be pointed at me. The thing is that I DID NOT SAY YES TO ANY OF THEM. The last one had a period where there was not consent, even if later there was - but I will add that I was very subbed out by then and it was not how we negotiated the scene. They all knew what they were doing. They all took advantage of the situation to get a trip out of my non consent. They enjoyed stealing my power
We talk about consent over and over again in BDSM, yet when it comes to rape, people are still blaming the clothes and behaviour instead of focussing on what rape is really about. That is someone taking someone else’s power away – WITHOUT CONSENT. Clothes do not give consent – people’s words do.
My little black dress does not mean yes.
When I walked down Queen Street on Saturday I walked in my doc’s symbolising my punk history (if you were not tough enough you were beaten up and had your boots taken off you – no one has ever dared do that to me). I wore a slut top and a bdsm style skirt to represent my lifestyle of fun and consent, my warm coat open for protection from the outside world, but showing the inner slut inside.
I did not want to shun away in the crowd. On the way there I posed for photos laughing and dancing as I subverted Queens St’s business and shopping space – slut on the loose! I walked up the front of the march with a banner and friends. I yelled out hard and loud for all the people before me and all the people ahead of me that have been or will be raped. I yelled out for the pain that we feel. I yelled out at how wrong societal messages are. I yelled out at the people who took my power away from me .... without my consent. I also yelled out at the fun to be an activist again after a break of seven years.
This was a very cleansing moment for me and it helped me remember how much I enjoyed activism when I was a student. A new breath of fresh air has rushed over me. A new direction is about to be known.
Thank you for reading and please remember to always stick to the pre-session negotiation.