Thursday, January 24, 2008

Human "Pet" and Trainer Tossed From Bus In London

I always find it interesting how people find ways to discriminate against sexual minorities. On the other hand I also find it interesting how little respect some folks in our community have for others sensibilities. My case in point is one that happened last week in London.

Tasha Maltby enjoys living the role of “pet” for her boyfriend and Master. She also dresses in what we in America call “Goth” style. Recently she and her Master were thrown off a bus in London when the driver refused to allow her on wearing a collar and on a leash. He stated flatly, “we don't let freaks and dogs like you on.”

No I have to hand it to the bus driver for recognizing her role as a pet or dog, but his instance that they get off was a bit much. Additionally, the couples insistence in carrying their role-play into a public and very much “non-consensual” space seems at fault here as well. Having a BDSM scene in public may be fun, but it does not respect the sensibilities of strangers. That said, I have done scenes in public before, but they were always “stealth” scenes where to the casual observer, nothing very odd was happening.

What this incident does is drive home two important points. First that we as a community are a sexual minority and as such face discrimination. For a lot of people, particularly straight BDSM folks, the subject rarely comes up. However incidents like this highlight the very real discrimination BDSM people can face, no matter what their sexual orientation. Second this reminds us that public spaces are rarely the right spots for a scene. Just as sex in a public place is a bad idea, so is a BDSM scene, at least a visual one like this one.

The good thing is the bus company said it apologized if the couple felt they had been discriminated against. Now I wonder if the couple has apologized to the people they dragged into their scene without consent?

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