Why community leaders sometimes break consent


Risk and idiocy in the kink sceneThink about the last interaction where someone was annoying as hell and you struggled to have a conversation in a civil manner, had to choke back on raising your voice.

Think about the last time you heard a story about a community leader who broke consent.

Think about the last time you saw a 17 year old on Fetlife who identifies as a master.

Think about all of the fuckboys you have encountered either online or in the real world.

I’m going to explain why they’re annoying assholes and why it isn’t *completely* their fault.

The Dunning-Krueger Effect

If you’ve never come across this term before, it is the concept that people who are brand new to something are more likely to identify as an expert.

“You suck at knowing that you suck at something.”

The less skilled and educated you are, the less aware you are of how little you know, than once you start becoming educated and aware of how little you know.

You will be able to see examples of this in any area which you start to become skilled in, both in yourself and in others who are new to the field. They will make many of the same mistakes you made as you were learning.

Optimal Levels of Risk

There is a theory that in our formative years, we learn an ‘optimal level of risk’, which affects our decisions going forward. An interesting observation attached to this is that people seem to not only reduce risk in their behaviour and environment down to meet this level, but if the risk around them is too low, they will actually *increase* their risky behaviour to meet it again.

Say for example your optimal level is a 5/10 and your car is so advanced that it brings your aggregated level down to a 2 on your drive to work. You are much more likely to drive over the limit, to use your phone or to break the rules of the road to bring that 2 up to a 5.

With the world becoming more technologically focused, we find ourselves communicating more and more via phone, text, Skype and email, because we are now able to get in touch with others like us.

A hundred years ago, finding someone else who was as into battlestar galactica and BDSM as you are would have been near impossible, but these days they are plenty of apps and virtual platforms where you can ‘find your tribe’.

But with this ease of access has come a level of safety. You can see why there are so many people online who, when given this safety of anonymity, will threaten others, run their mouth and act in ways that they would never dream of doing elsewhere or if there were even the slightest chance that they would be found.

And what we have left is a great number of people who are terrible at interacting with people and just don’t realise how bad they are. 

Because they are able to talk to people at any time, they do exactly that: they talk and talk and talk, doing the same thing over and over and never realising that they are just making the same mistakes throughout and don’t run into the fact that they suck.

These people generally are just at that perfect level where they have just enough skill to think they’ve got everything figured out, but also have so little that they have nothing figured out at all.

‘a little learning is a dangerous thing’ – Alexander Pope

So that generally explains explains fuckboys, baby ‘doms’ and just complete idiots who have no idea about how the world works, but what about community leaders? Those who put themselves out there to teach others as respected experts or experienced kinksters?

Well while we can cycle around once more to the dunning Kruger effect, which certainly plays some part in it, let me instead introduce you to…

The Ben Franklin Effect

A person who has performed a favor for someone is more likely to do another favor for that person than they would be if they had received a favor from that person.

What this basically says is that in order to make people like you, to make them trust you, etc, you should ask them to do something for you.

Now admittedly the example I am throwing out now is very much open to interpretation, but imagine that person A hosts an event. It’s £10 entry and during the first half it is a market, the second half is a play party. This is the typical model used at events everywhere.

Now, in this scenario, there are mutually beneficial relationships all around: A is helping the stall vendors by allowing them a place to peddle their wares, the vendors are helping person A by paying them money for the opportunity to sell.

The establishment profits from A hosting the event and in return A gets a place to host on an ongoing basis.

Customers and stall holders have a symbiotic money-for-goods relationship.

But what about the customer-A relationship?

A is providing a place for kinksters to gather and is paid in return by the vendors, but the customers are also paying: entry fees.

But let’s say that it’s a great event, we will usually do something else as well: we will talk about it. We will bring friends, we will return and we will spread the word for free. In it’s simplest form, we do A a favour by advertising their event.

Now it should be known that a very small section of the leaders in the community break the ethos that we are built upon and I have never personally experienced a breach of trust in the community (my personal opinions about some leaders aside), but those that do break consent tend to have relied on this favour on our part to build their reputations.

So the bottom line is this: even when surrounded by people doing stupid things, don’t presume that they are being malicious deliberately. Assume that they are suffering the Dunning-Kruger effect, being idiotic and not realising it.


So that’s the thoughts for this week. Psychological effects which stop us functioning as amazingly as we could otherwise.

As ever, we have a Facebook page and a Patreon, but most importantly, we have the goal of you staying sexy.


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