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lunedì 20 gennaio 2020
|Mistress Tokyo says there is no defence when it comes to violating consent. Image: Roberto Duran Penthouse|
Her stern warning comes as the world waits to hear the fate of Grace Millane’s killer, who argued her death was a result of sex gone wrong between the pair at his apartment.
Millane, 21, was killed by her Tinder date while she was backpacking in New Zealand.
The 27-year-old man, whose name has been suppressed by Kiwi courts, was found guilty of murdering Millane following a high court trial.
This is despite the defence arguing that Millane had died during consensual rough sex and that she had asked him to choke her.
The court heard her killer spent up to ten minutes strangling her and he took 'trophy' photos of her body. According to the prosecution, after Millane died, her killer Googled 'hottest fire' and then looked at several pornography sites.
The case prompted NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern to apologise to Millane's family on behalf of the country.
"Your daughter should have been safe here, and she wasn't, and I'm sorry for that," she said in her tearful response.
Sadly, as the details of the crimes against Millane came to light, research shows unwanted slapping, choking, gagging and spitting during sex is on the rise.
More than one-third of U.K women (Millane's home country) under the age of 40 claimed that they had experienced one or more of the above acts without giving consent, according to research first reported by BBC Radio.
Twenty per cent of those women said they had been left upset or frightened by one or more of these acts, regardless of whether they had initially wanted to try it or not.
In NSW the law prevents a victim's sexual history and reputation from being used to argue that they consented to a sex act that is subject to a criminal case.
New Zealand doesn't have the same stance. While Millane's killer was eventually found guilty and is awaiting his sentence, during the trial, her ex-boyfriend was asked to detail their sexual past. He claimed they had experimented with choking using safe words.
Tabloids covering the trial then zoned in on Millane's past sex life and it was widely reported that she had visited BDSM websites.
Australian lawyer Jasmina Ceic said a person's sexual history or preferences should not be relevant to whether or not they consent to have sex with a particular person.
"The court doesn't want you to reason that because the person liked BDSM they were consenting to the sexual act," Ceic said.
'Do Consent Really Hard'
Mistress Tokyo has been a dominatrix and BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, Masochism) practitioner for more than 20 years. She describes herself as a "highly fetishistic bondage top".
While the popular movie and book series Fifty Shades of Grey thrust BDSM into the mainstream, she felt strongly that when it comes to consent it is never 'grey'.
|Mistress Tokyo says consent is the most important part of her job. Image: Mistresstokyo.com/soulfocusstudio|
If we're going to do consent we're going to do it really hard. So using safe words and encouraging the person to step fully into consent.
Another Sydney-based dominatrix is Mistress Lucilla, who refers to herself on the job as "unapologetically cruel", but she draws a firm line at consent.
The services listed on her website include "spanking, flogging, caning [and] slave training". But before any of that happens, she makes sure her clients fully consent to whatever they do behind closed doors.
|Mistress Tokyo says consent is never a grey area. Image: Roberto Duran Penthouse|
Mistress Lucilla said she makes sure her clients are willing participants in 'play' and stresses it must be 'safe, sane and consensual'. Her clients discuss their medical histories, past trauma, injuries and medication and alcohol that's been consumed before anything happens.
"I'm very strict about getting consent and clarity about what's going to happen during the session. If the client is unsure about what they want, I send them away to reflect on it," she said.
Australian law holds firm that a person cannot consent to serious bodily harm where there is a risk of death or significant physical impairment.
Mistress Lucilla claimed she has had to turn away clients who make 'extreme' requests -- such as asking for their genitals to be removed.
|The dominatrix says she operates under strict consent. Image: Supplied/ Tim Bradshaw|
The New Normal - But Should It Be?
In 2017, a survey of 1,000 people found almost 60 per cent believed stopping unwanted sex was the woman's responsibility, Patty Kinnersly, CEO of domestic violence prevention group Our Watch said.
The research echoed concerns from law and criminology experts that consent is not well understood as acts of sexual violence become normalised in the bedroom.
"There is a degree of increased acceptance when it comes to aggressive sexual relationships," Professor of Criminology Gail Mason said.
In shows like Game of Thrones, sexual violence is normalised and women are often portrayed as objects of sexual pleasure or as performing a service.
The NSW Law Reform Commission has published a series of draft proposals in an attempt to strengthen the definitions of sexual consent.
One proposal aims to ensure that a person does not consent to sex if they do not "say or do anything" -- following Victoria's lead on the issue.
|NSW is seeking to strengthen consent laws. If a person consents to one sexual activity it doesn't mean there is consent to other activities. Image: Getty|