BDSM and the Law

This is not an easy job. Not just because of everything you have to learn or acquire or manage, but because of the mores of the society in which we live and how they have affected the creation of laws and the enforcement of those laws. It’s a consideration that those of us on the providing end think about regularly — if not daily.

Offering BDSM/kink professionally involves navigating some choppy waters. While many of us have been doing what we do without incident for years — if not decades — there have been some arrests, prosecutions, and lawsuits relating to the practice of BDSM. This can create what is called “precedent”, or a court decision used as an example or authority to help resolve subsequent cases which are similar in nature. Though rulings in our favor can offer potential help, they can only help if they’re out there. And I don’t think there’s a lot of precedent out there.

While we tend to live in what one kink-friendly attorney called, “a culture of tolerance”, which means that while some things may technically not be deemed “permissible”, the laws around them are not really enforced. As a result, the unpredictability of this, mixed with a lack of precedent, means these waters are uncharted. So, if you want to explore these waters, it behooves you to understand what you might find in them.

People may not be aware of this but offering BDSM professionally is actually illegal in some places. New Jersey is one of them*. This means that someone could conceivably be arrested for offering to tie you down and spank you for payment. (Wild, huh?) It means that advertising yourself as offering or looking for pro play would be a violation of the law.

In other places professional BDSM itself isn’t illegal but certain activities might be. Do you have a fetish for strap-on play (aka “pegging”) or forced “cock” sucking? Or do you have a fantasy of being Dominated by more than one person or being in a “forced bi” scene? That’s hot and all, but in some jurisdictions those things could be construed as “prostitution” or “pimping”, respectively.

“Is this truly risky?”, you may ask. This is the nature of uncharted waters. We don’t always know the level of risk we’re taking. It’s dependent on various factors — some which we have control over and some that we don’t.

This is one reason why you may see differences in how Dommes advertise themselves. Some don’t advertise at all or don’t talk about what they do or don’t discuss payment. This can be because it’s beyond Her comfort zone to be so open, whether it’s for privacy reasons or legal ones.

If you’re thinking, “If this is true, then why have I seen Dommes offer all these things?” Sometimes it’s because the Domme honestly doesn’t care and is willing to assume the risk, in other cases She doesn’t know the law and the risk She’s taking.

Whatever the reason for the Domme, it’s in your best interest to learn the law in the area in which you play. This does not mean you have to give up on your kinky dreams. It just means you should be wise and pursue your passions carefully.

So, before sending a message to a Domme and asking, “Can you fuck me in the ass?” or “Can you pimp me out to your other clients?”, know that it may be met with silence and ruin your chances of sessioning with Her. You may need to prove yourself trustworthy before some of these things are discussed — if they ever will be at all.

*In statute 34:1, it defines “prostitution” as including “sadistic or masochistic abuse and other deviate sexual relations.”

The others states in which their prostitution statutes specifically includes sadomasochistic abuse or some variant as a “sexual act” or “sexual contact”:

Arizona
Hawaii
Louisiana
Maryland
DC

States in which toilet play (urine and/or feces) is included in the statute about prostitution:

New Hampshire
North Carolina
North Dakota

States in which the definition of “touching genitals” and/or “masturbation” could include CBT:

Oklahoma
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Texas
Washington

States in which there are extremely broad definitions which include anything designed for “sexual gratification” or that which is “lewd” and “lascivious”:

Delaware
Oklahoma

State in which a live BDSM show is considered illegal due to “indecency”:

Oregon

State in which “basic dominance and submission” are specifically EXCLUDED from the prostitution statute:

New York

This is not a complete list of all statues and it doesn’t qualify as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney.

(Credit to attorney Steven Sandler for the source I’m citing.)

If you want to better understand the law, I recommend starting at the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom’s (NCSF) write up. You can also check their legal resources tag.

If you’re outside the US, you can start on the BDSM and the law Wiki page which mentions the law in other countries. (You probably want to verify the sources, though.)

After that, I advise you to contact an attorney in your area. The type of attorney who is most-likely to be able to answer questions about this are criminal defense attorneys.

NCSF’s website also has a searchable database of kink-aware professionals, which includes lawyers. (Be sure you select at least a country or you will get zero results.) Please note that not every kink-aware professional in listed in this directory; only those who have submitted a request to be listed.

Presenting at DomCon

I will be teaching two classes at DomCon this year:

SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS
This will be one-hour class open to industry professionals only. It will be held on Thursday, May 10th at 11am.
Description: In this class, I’ll discuss both online and real-time security issues for you and your clients.

SO YOU WANT TO VISIT A DOMINATRIX?
This will be a one-hour class open to all conference attendees. It will be held on Friday, May 11th at 4:30pm.
Description: So you’ve decided you’d like to explore yourself with a professional Domme? In this class, I’ll discuss everything from finding the right Dominatrix for you, what you should consider before you contact Her, what to do when you’re ready, how to prepare for your session, and more.

Classes are free with admission to the conference.

What You Need to Know About “Forced Bi” (and Cuckolding and…)

“Forced bi” is a common fantasy, and men regularly ask for it, so I think it’s important to discuss what is involved in this type of scene before one decides to make it a reality. I’m doing this because I’m incredibly tired of going through the process and having the same conversation over and over, which often ends with the guy disappearing. Now, I’m going to point them to this article instead. If they come out alive, then I’ll know I’m dealing with someone who is as serious as I am.

If you don’t know, “forced bi” entails a Dominant woman “forcing” a man to erotically interact with another male. (I prefer to call it “forced homo” or “forced gay” to push My own homoerotic buttons.) Activities can include fondling, kissing, oral, anal, etc. The setting and motivation can vary.

Since cuckolding includes similar activities, what I’m going to say is also applicable for cuckolding scenarios. So it is useful for cucks, hotwives, and bulls to read as well. Or, really, anyone who wants to include intimate contact in their scenes.

Now, though it is popular, not all Dommes engage in this type of play, or if they do they may not allow all facets of it. There are a variety of reasons, some of which may be a personal lack of interest in this type of scene, legal concerns, or the number of flakes. That’s right: a lot of people ask for this play and when the Domme begins planning the scene, they suddenly go MIA. Whether they got cold feet, changed their mind, or had no real intention to play, there is a very high rate of people who don’t follow through.

As a result, when you ask for this type of session, you may be required to go through some extra checks to ensure you’re sincere. The Domme may ask for references, a deposit, a larger tribute, the entire tribute up-front, or something else that makes Her feel more secure. This is to gauge how serious you are. Because so many people are not serious, it is imperative that we weed those people out so we spend our time wisely.

Oh, you’re one of the serious ones? Hot.

The next thing you need to know is the Domme may not allow you to select who She is “forcing” you on. She may have one or more people that She works with for this type of scenario, and She may be the one who chooses who it will be. In that case, it is typical that the Domme will increase the tribute to cover the cost of the additional person’s time and work. In the event She is willing to let you specify, consider yourself very fortunate, but know it may come with additional requirements.

So, you have some very specific person in mind? Let’s say you’d like a guy who’s 6’4″, African American, 225lbs, muscular, smooth, and has a cock 8″ long. Well, I hate to tell you this, but there is no McStud drive-through window. We can’t just place an order off a menu for you; these people have to be found. Depending on your criteria, it may be very, very difficult to find your ideal. Now, if your Domme is amazing and willing to try to find your dreamboat, don’t be surprised or offended if She requires a finder’s fee. This fee may be commensurate with how much of Her time She invests or expects to invest in this search.

Why a finder’s fee? Your Domme is taking time out of Her day to help your fantasy come true. The time She’s spending trying to make your fantasy come true is time She’s not spending doing other work. And it is work. Don’t believe Me? Stop and think for a moment what you would do if you wanted to find your ideal and set this scenario up yourself. Where would you look? How would you contact people? Screen them? Maybe coordinate a time to meet them? Know you can trust them? It can take a lot of time, and there’s no guarantee that if the Domme finds this person they will actually be suitable for the scene. That’s another sometimes lengthy process.

Still with Me? Excellent.

The last thing you need to be aware of is the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is the part where the fantasy usually falls apart. Guys usually want to be forced onto bare cocks and it’s clear they haven’t thought it through. As soon as the details are discussed, the boner dies — possibly forever. As a former sexual health educator and counselor, I believe very a honest conversation about this is a mandatory part of ethical play. To allow people to remain ignorant or make decisions under the influence of a Boner High is pretty irresponsible.

If you didn’t know, all contact with other people’s bodies involves some kind of risk. Some things are more risky than others. Obviously, we work to mitigate this risk by introducing harm reduction efforts. We thoroughly clean anything that will come into contact with bodies, like furniture, equipment, and toys; and by introducing barriers, like gloves, condoms, chux, etc. If you remove any of these measures, you increase risk.

So, you want to suck or fuck a cock without a condom? Cool, but make sure you are very clear about what could happen when you do. It is especially crucial that those of you who are engaging in this type of play without the knowledge of your significant others know this before you put your partner at risk. I’ll skip My diatribe on honesty, but I will be blunt as hell in saying that if you recklessly catch an STI and pass it to your unknowing partner, possibly creating a life-changing situation for them, then you are a fucking shitbag of a human being.

What about getting tested? Getting tested is a fantastic idea — for everyone. There are lots of places around the country which provide free testing. Do a search for “free STI testing [your area]”. Just be aware that some clinics do not provide all available tests, so be sure to ask which are covered. And some tests don’t exist, such as one for HPV. If you still want to do this type of scene, don’t be afraid to ask your Domme about Her process: how She selects someone, screens them, how She cleans, what barriers She uses, etc. If She refuses to answer your questions or acts offended, I do not recommend doing this type of scene with Her.

Yep, this is all real shit, My sluts. This is why cleanliness is so important. And disclosure about one’s status.

Now, if you’ve completely lost your hard-on and think there is no way you can ever have your fantasy come true safely, that’s not so. If you take the right precautions, it’s possible to keep the risk very, very low. If everyone is careful, you can make it happen and stay safe.

If you’ve made it this far, bravo. I know discussing logistics can be pretty unsexy — but it’s a lot sexier than coming down with syphilis.

tl;dr: if you have this fantasy, great, but understand that if you really want it to come true, it will not happen with the wave of magic wand; it will take work. And if the Dominant is a professional, it may require compensating them, and possibly the other party, appropriately. It may also require some flexibility on your part. You may need to give up the Stud of your Dreams and let the Domme bring in the person She is already working with. Lastly, you need to be aware of risk and what you need to do to keep yourself (and possibly someone else) safe.