I had an email exchange with someone lately that reminded me, for one thing, how happy I am that I don’t have to see anyone new unless I think we’re really well-suited to each other. Because this man and I were clearly not a good match.
Essentially, he wanted to do a boxing/punching scene in which I punched him, in the face and head, until he went unconscious. (He would not fight back.) His exact phrase was “The session ends when I am knocked out, or just can't get up.”
Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this as a fantasy. Chester French videos aside, this kind of masochism isn’t as sexualized as often as, say, spanking. But there are men around who like it, and I know of women who do it. Still, it’s not my specialty, and so I do not have vast experience doing boxing and punching.
Thus my response was that I was willing to discuss a scene where I hit him, but I was definitely not willing to beat him unconscious. That is not a safe thing to do. Frankly, I’m not sure that I would feel comfortable punching someone in the face, period. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, given that I do other painful things to people. From what I have seen, one generally wears boxing gloves for scenes like this. And people box and get hit in the face every day. But still, I have no training in how to hit someone in face, and even if I did it lightly, it just seems like a really easy way to damage someone. And my personal limit is that I will hurt you, in ways you consent to, but I will not consent to damage you.
There’s a big difference, to me. Pain = sensation in the moment. Or at least something that’s short-term and that will heal. A bruised butt is painful in the making and sore for a while afterwards, but it’s not damage. I define damage as: a permanent change to your body that impairs normal function and/or causes ongoing emotional distress. A big scar that you didn’t want, for example, is damage, even if it doesn’t impair your functioning.
So in the course of my response to him, I said, “Any scene with me ends when I say it does.” Meaning, I wasn’t going to keep hitting him if I judged it to be a bad idea. Even if he wanted me to.
Well, he didn’t want me to have that limit. So, he and I are not going to meet. It’s funny, when people talk about consent in BDSM, they always talk about bottoms getting pushed past their personal limits. You don’t hear as much about a bottom trying to make a top hurt him/her beyond the top’s boundaries. However, my right to safeword out of a scene is just as valid as a bottom’s. Consent has to be present on both sides. The minute that's not there, what you’re doing is no longer anything I consider healthy BDSM. So I think we’ll call this negotiation a Technical Knock-Out.