Monday, April 23, 2012

Not for the Faint of Heart: Consensual Erotic Blackmail

Kitty: That's blackmail.

Johnny: It's only blackmail, baby, when you're dumb enough to get caught.

Of course, Johnny’s mistaken. Blackmail is blackmail, even if you don’t get caught. But that doesn’t stop either Kitty or Johnny from luring Chris deeper into their trap. And Chris, smitten with the devious Kitty, falls for scheme after scheme, always coming back, always begging for more.

(Want to know how it ends? Check out the classic film noir Scarlet Street, starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, and Dan Duryea.)

But maybe Johnny was on to something. Maybe it’s only blackmail when you don’t have the consent of the person you’re blackmailing.

Consensual blackmail may seem an oxymoron, but as with so many fetishes and fantasies, consent is the difference between a felony and a fulfilling fantasy.

Unlike the classic definition of blackmail, in other words, “the act of forcing somebody to pay money or do something by threatening to reveal shameful or incriminating facts about him,” consensual blackmail is an arrangement entered into with the consent of both parties, no force necessary.

No force, no foul, right?

Consensual doesn’t mean there’s no risk involved. In fact, there’s a great deal of risk.

The frisson of consensual blackmail is the risk of exposure. While the blackmail submissive voluntarily pays money to keep shameful or incriminating evidence from seeing the light of day, the thrill is in skirting the edge, risking exposure, either by not being able to keep up with the agreed to payments, or choosing to not keep up in order to edge closer to being exposed.

Consensual blackmail is edge play at its edgiest. The submissive may not be risking his health or personal safety, but he is risking his relationships, from his most intimate and personal to his professional.

By willingly sharing contact information for the most important people in his life, by willingly giving up incriminating evidence, usually of an erotic nature, and then committing to a financial arrangement with a dominant to keep his “secret” safe, the submissive puts in the hands of the dominant the power to ruin him by revealing his secrets to those who think they know him if he does not hold up his side of the contract.

But it’s not only his life that he puts on the line. By sharing contact information and risking that all of his perversions will be revealed, he also puts the wellbeing of his loved ones at risk.

Think about it. The blackmail submissive is willing to risk hurting his wife, his girlfriend, his parents, his siblings. He is willing to risk embarrassing his co-workers. He is willing to humiliate himself in front of his boss, who then may find reason to let him go. He’s willing to risk his job, his financial obligations to family, and perhaps even the custody of his children.

So why would a dominant risk causing harm to people who never consented to play the blackmail game?

The key is trust.

The submissive trusts the dominant to keep his secret if he adheres to the agreement. The dominant trusts that the submissive will uphold his end of the agreement.

If I accept you as a blackmail submissive, it’s because I trust you to uphold your end of the agreement.

If I accept you as a blackmail submissive, it is because I am confident that you are not using me as a way of revealing your base desires to those closest to you because you don’t have the cojones to come clean and admit who you really are to those you love.

If I accept you as a blackmail submissive, I will push you to the very edge of exposure, to the limits of what is safe.

Most importantly, if I accept you as a blackmail submissive, you risk real exposure, not because I’m cruel and desire to harm people I’ve never met and who never asked me to hurt them. You risk real exposure because if you are the type of person willing to risk the health, heart, and well-being of those you proclaim to love, and then backpedal on your commitment, they deserve to know you for the selfish, irresponsible person that you are.

I am no longer accepting blackmail submissives. You can still purchase copies of the application and the contract, should you so desire. And you know that you do.