Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Unless you have been studiously avoiding Pagan blogs over the last week or so, you will have seen many posts about the arrest of Kenny Klein. The horror of discovering that a well known Pagan figure is a predator in our midst was hard enough, but to watch the story unfold into a history and pattern of abuse that was not stopped has been shocking. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

This horror has sparked debate within the community – a debate about how we build safe communities, how we protect the vulnerable, how we spot predatory and abusive behaviour, how we deal with abuse and accusations of abuse, how we deal with abusers in our midst. Pagan leaders and teachers have gathered together, talked online, drafted statements and drawn up suggested protection policies for festivals and events. All of this is important work and although I have many thoughts I could share, I wanted to focus back on the basics.

I was surprised to see many comments about sexuality in Pagan culture creating an atmosphere of acceptance in festivals and gatherings. Have I run stark naked through a fire maze at Beltaine? You betcha! Did I consider that action a sexual invitation to others? No. Definitely not. In a community where it is common to find groups working skyclad together, where sexual activity may be used in ritual, where people celebrate the fertility of nature, where festivals and events carry the air of fantasy and magic, we need to trust that we are safe in our celebrations. Pagans are, as a general rule, very sex positive people. Sex positive means that sex is not seen as shameful or sinful, indeed many Pagans see sex and sexuality as sacred. However, a sex positive attitude does not equal consent. Any sexual activity without consent is abuse, plain and simple, and I would suggest that any deliberate physical invasion of anothers personal space (such as hugging) without their consent is potentially abusive behaviour. Too often we fall back on the ‘no means no’ culture, but in an environment where there are often obvious power dynamics in play (such as student/teacher, neophyte/Priestess) this form of negative response is unreliable. There are many reasons why someone would not feel comfortable or capable of verbalizing a resounding NO. Personally, I believe that we need to work hard, from the ground up, to develop a culture where consent equals a continual and enthusiastic YES – and nothing less than that is acceptable.

BW Sex3Consent – from the Latin consentire, meaning “feeling together”. Consent is not the absence of a no, it is the presence of a yes. Yes to feeling, yes to sharing, yes to giving, yes to receiving, yes to participating. Yes in sound mind, yes in full awareness, yes in the boundaries of law. Yes in body, yes in heart, yes in mind. Yes in each and every moment.

 

Consent is a shared experience. Consent is knowing that someone wants you as much as you want them. And that knowledge of a twin flame of passion, pleasure and participation is pretty damn sexy.

Please note: All sexual experiences, within and outside of ritual celebration, should be safe, sane and consensual. Safe – physically and mentally protected from negative consequences. Protected from unintended pregnancy, from STDs, from permanent harm, and using safe words to alter or stop role play. Sane – of sound mind. In full and conscious awareness of the process, with informed consent of participation, and in full mental capacity to make decisions. Consensual – in full, enthusiastic and continual agreement of participation, within the legal boundaries of consenting age. If at any point consent is withdrawn by any participant, all sexual activity should immediately cease without manipulation, coercion, shaming or abuse. To continue without a continual and enthusiastic yes is to commit the crime of Rape.

 

 

For further reading:

http://shaunaaura.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/of-pagans-and-predators-part-1/

http://wildhunt.org/2014/03/allegations-emerge-after-pagan-author-charged-with-possessing-child-pornography.html

http://www.patheos.com//Pagan/Predators-Paganism-T-Thorn-Coyle-03-31-2014.html

http://pervocracy.blogspot.ca/2012/06/missing-stair.html

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Comments
  1. jim says:

    Good article – coming from a preacher who has never ran naked through the flames – LOL! I always enjoy reading what you have to say! From you Bible thumping friend 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Read it. And then some more of her blog. Including ‘Never Not the Neophyte‘ and ‘Getting the Green Light: Sex Positive is Not Consent‘. One of my favourite pagan […]

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