So, after a month of dead air, we've decided to return with something special: our first guest blogger.
As an anti-violence blog, we've decided to bring in C's unique perspective on the matter: an anti-violence and sex educator speaking from her vantage point at the intersection of real and theatrical violence. As Florida state's red-belt sparring champion and a competitor in the Junior Olympics in Tae Kwon Do at 16-17. But, when she turned 18, the point at which sparring moves to knock-out rounds, the line between sport and actual violence became too blurry for her comfort. She began thinking about the issues of harm and sanity (the state of mind in which one consents to these acts) and ultimately decided not to continue competing.
Later, she was introduced to the concept of safe, sane, and consensual (SSC) play through sex-ed training, specifically BDSM education. These concepts resonated with C in light of her previous experience as a martial artist. Having an ideology that said it was actually okay to seek out thrills, to explore more dangerous ways of interacting, and do so in a disciplined and safe manner was liberating. In Tai Kwon Do, competitors enter the ring, essentially, to beat the crap out of each other--constrained, of course, by the rules of competition (you can't hit an opponent's face, can't knock them out, or cause a concussion). Years later, when learning about the rules and protocols for interaction in the BDSM scene, the structure built around entering potentially dangerous - but rewarding - activities, be they Tae Kwon Do, BDSM, or dating, seemed all too familiar and clear in a whole new way.
Currently C is a post-bacc student in Psychology at Columbia University where she has presented at Conversio Virium, Columbia's BDSM and sex education group. After spending a year co-running the Journeys of Expression art therapy program in New Orleans, C decided to combine her passions for art and activism by aspiring to become a psychologist and use art as a tool for education. Her latest comic, 10 Things Young People Should Know About, will be published in the anthology Young and Kinky this spring.