BDSM: Femdom Laws and Politics
(Legal Issues Related to BDSM Female Domination Plays)

Femdom Laws and Politics

General Overview
Lack of Definition of BDSM Femdom Activities
For Parties in BDSM Femdom Activities
-- Possible Criminal and Civil Charges
-- How to Act When Law Enforcement Officers Come
For Law Enforcement Officers
-- Perception as a Motive for Prosecution
-- Ulterior Motives
-- The Dilemmas
-- The Differences Between Abuse and Consensual Lovemaking
-- Signals to Help You Evaluate the Situation
-- How to Act

General Overview

Female domination play, also known as femdom play, is any situation where adult partners composed of dominant women and submissive men, of their own free will and choice, actively and willfully incorporate female domination in their lovemaking (and usually for a great deal in their relationship). Female domination play is best known as either femdom in BDSM, femdom in S&M, or female domination sadomasochism.

Female domination can take any shape or form within a relationship. From little things like blindfolding a submissive male when making love to anything like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week dedication of domination and submission acts.

The shape and form it takes totally depends upon the fantasies, situation and boundaries of the partners involved. As long as it is informed consensual, safe, sane and voluntary it is called female domination play. If any or all of these four elements are missing, it is called abuse.

The following statement may sound strong: "hardly anywhere in the world legislation specifically prohibits female domination of BDSM activities between consenting adults". Strong, yes, but true too. Check your instruction manuals and your law books. You will soon find it is almost impossible to find any real, explicit and clear reference.

The first problem is this: there is no legal definition of consensual female domination activities. There are only descriptions of the mental illnesses sadism and masochism and because this is largely outdated scientific material that, for various reasons in many cases is also of questionable nature, the two do not match.

The second problem with sexual legislation (in the area of sexual acts between consenting adults, non-consensual and criminal acts such as rape, sexual activities with minors and child abuse/ child pornography are excluded here) in almost all countries is twofold: it is often vague and limited to more or less specifically mentioned and described activities, in general outdated and usually based on a morality and circumstances that no longer fit in this day and age. And it lacks solid and workable definitions, often deliberate or the result of the fact that the activity as such is impossible to describe in clear legal terms.

As a result, in almost all countries the first determination between consensual acts and criminal activities is left to the individual police(wo)man and/or aid worker. Neither has been trained or informed on the subject and has little else to go by but his/her own perception and information. That is a serious problem and a substantial lack in legislation as well as in training and support. Next - depending on the legal system in the area - the evaluation of any activity brought forward as offensive, illegal or damaging is left open for personal interpretation by prosecutors, judges and/or juries, who again have hardly any solid information to go by.

Strong statement #2: A law enforcement officer - whatever his or her rank, position or job-description - has only two professional goals, derived from "upholding the law": to serve and protect. Interpreting, judging or even laying out social morality does not fit in either of these goals, and, in truth, this should not be left to law enforcement professionals. That is the specific task of legislators.

Next to that, in almost all cases where female domination activities and law enforcement meet, there are either ulterior motives - such as in the case of divorce and custody, political motives or job-related conflicts - or various different levels of legislation are involved. Frequently criminal and civil law are mixed up in court cases involving female domination activities, as well as confusion between protection of the weak (such as minors or women) and the interests of society.

The bottom line of all this is that de facto very few criminal cases ever make it to court and when they do, even fewer will result in a conviction of any kind. We will not enter into the debate about the functionality of sexual legislation and normative government regulation as such, but will try and stick to the practicalities here.

 

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