Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before the Fifty Shades of Grey fever was blamed for more than an innocent baby boom! In Missouri, a man named Ed Bagley -- who sounds like anything but Christian Grey -- faces a federal trial early next year on 11 counts of abuse against a "mentally-deficient" woman authorities say he groomed to be his sex slave since 2002. He is also accused of keeping her captive for years while making money from her photos on fetish Internet sites and forcing her to work as a dancer at strip clubs. Wow, what a completely horrific nightmare.
What's more, because the prosecution says they have evidence of "sadistic sexual assaults" on Bagley's wife, the BDSM community is up in arms, worried that this could open the floodgates of attack on people's consensual, marital sex lives. Definitely raises an interesting question ...
Some say that consent means even the most brutal acts shouldn't be considered criminal. But there's definitely a line that shouldn't be crossed. For instance, if the woman involved in this trial was too young or not intelligent enough to consent, or if she gave consent and changed her mind, it would be criminal sexual abuse. Obviously!
At the same time, I do hope those involved in the BDSM community and law enforcement all acknowledge is that it would be absolutely wrong to let one case, such as this, determine wide-sweeping, generalized laws forbidding the lifestyle, which those involved say -- as a rule -- promotes only "safe, sane, and consensual" acts. Instead, they oughta be sure to remember that there are some real nuances when it comes to practicing BDSM. But it's also not that difficult to see when it's being practiced the right way versus a dangerous, illegal, completely INSANE way.
With hope, this federal trial will get to the bottom of this case and punish Bagley accordingly. But pointing the finger at others in the BDSM community who actually are practicing safely, sanely, and consensually would be just plain wrong.
Do you fear cases like this could cause courts to get involved in people's safe, sane, consensual sex play?
Image via Ibrahim Lujaz/Flickr