When Allies Aren’t Allies- My Experience With I'd Tap That

This is a repost of a letter in its entirety, from a friend of mine, Kira Andry. If you are a part of the queer, sex+ community in the GTA, this is some information you may need to know to make an informed decision about attending and participating in the 'I'd Tap That' events and community.


When Allies Aren’t Allies- My Experience With I'd Tap That

**Trigger Warning: Rape culture, misogyny, victim-shame/blame, etc**

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Before you read the rest of it:
Honesty, despite being strived for, tends to be a massively dividing force.
I understand that some of you won’t like what I have to say and might even unfriend me for saying it.
Go ahead.
I, as an honest person, will always tell the truth. I am not ashamed and I have nothing to hide.
I will not cover for those who have wronged me and I do not owe anyone my silence.
This is my experience and I alone own it. I will do with it what I see fit and I see it fit to warn others so that they may not be victimized as I was.
If you wish to “unfriend” me because of that then it will be of no loss to me.
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          Recently I have decided that I will no longer be attending events by the group "I’d Tap That".
This decision has come from a series of unfortunate, but eye-opening, events.
Up until recently I had been a huge supporter of the organization and their mission -recommending them to many other people and sending out a flood of event invitations each month.
I liked their aim and thought it would help combat many ills in our society.

I could not have been more wrong.

          I had a friend who knew that I was struggling in life due to a horrific past and was in the process of trying to establish secure support systems.
This friend and I had very frank and open conversations and I was very upfront about my limits and requirements.
This friend ID'ed as "sex positive", "honest", and "feminist" among many other things I require in my close interpersonal relationships, so I thought he'd be safe to trust.

Wrong.

This friend ended up gaining my trust only to then break it and shamelessly gain my consent through fraud.
(People should know that obtaining consent through fraud is not consent at all. It is legally and technically a form of rape.)
He then went on to repeatedly and intentionally trigger me:  He used the knowledge I had shared with him in confidence, committing the most damaging acts (at his disposal) against me, knowing that I would not be able to withstand this further assault and therefore knowingly put me in a dangerous situation.

          He then involved the police for no other reason than to trigger me further, knowing I had had traumatizing experiences with cops in the past. (Any survivor that has been raked through the "justice" system is aware of what I speak) 
He had lied to them about how long we had known each other, what had transpired, and various other facts, even going as far as to say that we had been in a "relationship".
He had intended to victimize me further through my fear of the police and then get their support by reciting the over-used and widely-accepted sexist notion of "bitches be crazy" after a relationship ends.
It is important to note that we were never even in a "relationship".
 I had to correct these falsehoods and set the record straight. I even patiently explained terms like "consent", "sex positive" and "rape culture" to the officer, who was surprisingly receptive.
They tried to get me to press charges, but I could not bring myself to chance being revictimized by police again.
They said they wanted to do something to help so they ordered him not to attend the events I attended (including "Crush"), or to otherwise continue to harass me in any way.

That’s that, right? I could just go on with my life, and at least I’d have a safe space to go with like-minded people, right?

Wrong again.

          I alerted two of the organizers about what happened.  I explained the situation and asked them to not allow the person who victimized me to attend, seeing as how allowing his presence would make the event less safe and tempt him to defy police orders.
In response the first organizer denied my experience, saying that since she had been involved with him at one point, and he had not done that to her,  he could not have possibly done that to me.
She stated that he had not assaulted me, and then went on to belittle what happened calling it “relationship drama”.

Denying a survivor’s experience and belittling it because the person who victimized them had not victimized you is propagating rape culture.
I called her out on this and it was not taken well.

I spoke with another organizer in hopes that something would be done but that proved to be generally useless. Accusing someone of gaining consent via fraud was too close to calling it "rape" for her liking. She felt as though I was being too harsh and that I  was victimizing him.
They just sympathized with, and made excuses for, him. They did not want to believe that their friend was capable of doing this, so what did they do instead?
They decided to make me out to be the problem.
(Nothing like revictimizing the victim to prove how much you are against rape culture.) 

          On the day of “Puppy Love” (another one of "I'd Tap That" events), I got an extremely passive-agressive letter from the first organizer banning me from all future events. She stated that she personally did not feel comfortable allowing my presence at their events, implying that I had not been respectful, thoughtful or considerate.
She stated that me calling them out on their rape culture didn’t “jive” with them.
She followed that by saying that I lacked a “healthy attitude” and a “healthy mindspace."
How she came to determine that I don’t know.. (I guess speaking up about having been victimized and expecting a self-proclaimed “sex positive” “safe space” to stay true to their mission statement is unhealthy. Noted.)

I don't quite understand how the "I'd Tap That" women thought that someone with a major conflict of interest would be the most qualified to make this decision, but I'm not going to argue with their attempt at logic.
She then gave an oozing lipservice about how "the health, safety and happiness of their patrons is of the utmost importance them" and how that included me but then explained how they did not feel that "any amount of empathy or understanding they offered me has made me feel safe." 
(That is what you call a slap in the face)

She then stated that they hoped I would be able to participate in the future once I had changed and taken their message to heart.
(Lines on the chalk board will read, "I won't speak up about being assaulted if the victimizer is well-liked or had been involved with someone in a position of power.")
The letter ended by wishing me "the happiness I deserved."
(Wow, I wonder how much that would be?)          

In the end they stopped inviting me to their events, however they did not stop inviting the person who obtained consent through fraud.

They banned a victim so that the victimizer could legally attend.
That is as far away from “sex positive” and “feminist” as you can get…

          One of my biggest issues with "I'd Tap That" is that, despite their claims, they are extremely dismissive when it comes to the safety of their patrons.  For instance, they claimed they would continue to allow the person who victimized me to attend because their aim is to "educate".
No, just no.
The importance of educating of someone who sexually victimizes others should not be placed above keeping people safe and providing a safe space for survivors.
I, as a survivor, am not pleased with the fact that they would treat us as sacrificial lambs so that predators might have a chance of being "educated".

Furthermore, exactly what education can be provided at a bar with alcohol and "sex booths"? 
Any person who actually supported consent would understand that alcohol affects everyone differently and intoxicated people cannot legally consent. 
(If you can't be driving a car or signing legal documents you should not be having sex. The only exceptions to this are circumstances in which everything is openly discussed and agreed upon ahead of time. Consent should NEVER be assumed.)

"I'd Tap That" defends this by saying the sex booths are "consent monitored". 
The people monitoring the booths didn't appear to be standing around with breathalyzers so they were just assuming people's state of intoxication. 
(You're semi conscious and smiling in your drunken stupor, hanging off someone's arm? You look into it! YOU'RE GOOD TO GO! Into the rape-er- I mean sex booths with you!)

"Consent monitored" or not, allowing these "sex booths" is extremely problematic and ultimately the organizers of "I'd Tap That" are setting up people to be assaulted.. at a self-proclaimed "sex positive" "safe space".


           Even if by some freak chance they invite me back, I refuse to attend.
I cannot, and will not, support an organization that calls themselves a “safe space” but knowingly allows unsafe persons to attend their events and therefore subjects potentially vulnerable people to predators.
I cannot, and will not, support an organization that so blithely lies about being “sex positive” and “feminist” while banning a victim so that the person who sexually victimized them can attend.
I cannot, and will not, support an organization that does not stay true to their mission statement and one that does not truly value consent.

I think the world is already plagued with enough rape culture.
I don’t know about you, but I will not support an organization that revictimized a victim. 

Comments

  1. I'm so sorry you had that experience! It's disgusting that the organization did not support you. thank you so much for posting this... i will not be supporting them.

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  2. I also had an issue at a Id Tap That event. A "safety" person was by far too intoxicated to be taking part. He was all over people and his LACK of consent was off putting to both me and my partner. The issue was raised, we attended another party. Same issue came up.

    I think they have a bit of a 'our peeps are our peeps, they can do no wrong' attitude. Sorry thats wrong.

    As for the party. its changed. What was a happy, fun, exciting party to attending has just turned into a off premisses swing club for people who have no clue about culture or about sex positivity. Its grown too fast for the event organizers and they don't see whats happened.

    perhaps we should start something else, back to the roots, back to where it started and when it was FUN.

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    1. I couldn't agree more about the "change" in I'd Tap That events. It's just not what it used to be. All of this new info coming to light is really unsettling.

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  3. From one person living with the impacts of sexual violence and trauma to another, thank you. I had been thinking about attending but after reading your post and following I'd tap tjat's follow on facebook I know that this is not a place I want to be in or support in anyways. I often think and discuss with other the sexiness of sex-positivity that functions in a way that invisibilizes 'survivors'; I'd tap that seems to be like a good example of that happening.

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  4. fuck spelling, grammer and editing...

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  5. @Anonymous - 21 June 2013 09:51. I agree with a lot of what you say but I have to say that as someone who has been poly for the last 10 years and yes as a swinger I am deeply offended by how you used that term. You use it the way some people use 'queer' or 'gay', to offend! Please don't. If you're truly sex positive, you wouldn't be exclusionary like that. It is no more correct than slut shaming, or trans shaming. If the activity involves consenting adults, then you're not the person to judge; no one is. Thank you.

    And I assure you the crush parties are very far from being an off premisses swing club.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not defending them. I have a big issue with how the event doesn't screen its patrons. My friends have had their asses grabbed by drunk PUAs. I don't understand why there is no screening system, no filtering. There are lot of good ways of implementing this. Afterall if all we wanted was a "club night" then we'd just go to a regular bar or night club.

    The whole point of a sex positive and safe space is the SCREENING. It is knowing that other people who are there have gone through some kind of filtering, some mechanism to only allow in individuals who share the same values and who can be respectful. Having safety monitors doesn't do much. It is reactive not proactive. if a guy is being to grabby rapey I'd be happy to introduce him to my left knee, or call the cops. I want to be in a place where I don't need to worry about that, and yes there are lots of sex clubs in Toronto that can offer that, but I thought the whole point of Crush was that it was for being around sex positive people but not in a strictly sexual space. That's why my friends and I have attended.

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  6. Genuine question: What qualifies as 'Consent through fraud'?

    Because legally it would only apply toward cases of assumed identity (ie posing as someone's husband at a costume party, having sex with them in low visibility settings under a similar assumption...basically assuming the identity of someone else) or having sex with someone with an undisclosed STI. Cases of money/goods being promised but not delivered are historically not considered consent via fraud, however can be looked at as a claims case.

    From R. vs. Clarence: "the only sorts of fraud which so far destroy the effect of a woman's consent as to convert a connection consented to in fact into a rape are frauds as to the nature of the act itself, or as to the identity of the person who does the act. Consent in such cases does not exist at all because the act consented to is not the act done."

    Subsequent cases established that sex obtained under false pretence (ie. A prostitute having sex but being refuses payment after the fact) do not fall under the guidelines of rape as there is no question about consent for the act itself, merely the remuneration for it (a seperate issue).

    This clarification is important, as should the party be named and the case not fit these qualifications, hypothetically both the writer and the host could be accused of slander. Furthermore, abject dismissal of a claim as serious as rape is clearly a major issue, so further clarity as to the nature of the fraud involved would give a better picture of the situation by which to judge the response.


    Also, the consent while intoxicated issue is a touchy subject. This is a rather well written post against the notion that any sex while intoxicated would be considered rape:

    http://www.safercampus.org/blog/2008/04/alcohol-and-consent/

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    1. Implying that the OP is a sex worker by repeatedly assuming the fraud involved money or goods isn't the hard-hitting insult you hoped it would be. To be insulted by that, one would have to believe sex workers are inherently bad and shameful, and I'm sorry to inform you that doesn't reflect our views on the matter. The fraud in question did not involve money or goods, so I not only has your veiled insult failed to make an impact, you're also barking up the wrong tree.

      I would not publish this blog post were I concerned about legal reprisals, nor would the OP have asked me to. She has clarified as much of the personal details as she is comfortable revealing, and to ask her to prove her experience is rapey enough to distance herself from her abuser and ask for support from the event-planners, is not what I would determine to be reasonable.

      The OP addressed the issue of engaging in sexual activities while under the influence of alcohol: "If you can't be driving a car or signing legal documents you should not be having sex. The only exceptions to this are circumstances in which everything is openly discussed and agreed upon ahead of time. Consent should NEVER be assumed." This is actually pretty closely in line with the views of the author of the link you posted. Add to this the fact that Crush parties boast an extended last-call so their participants can get more intoxicated, and it's clear that just having *any* booze present isn't the issue - it's encouraging over-intoxication and spaces right at the party to engage in potentially unconsensual sex with overly inebriated people that is problematic.

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    2. "Genuine question: What qualifies as 'Consent through fraud'?"

      Genuine question my ass. If this was really your question? Why did you jump right into answering it? That's not a genuine question at all. It's basically you straight up assuming that the OP doesn't know what consent through fraud is.

      It's okay, we don't need you to put your personal stamp of approval on whether or not this rape really happened. It's pretty entitled and shitty of you to ask for more details, which already implies you don't believe her.

      So, maybe you could try actually asking genuine questions, rather than a bunch of veiled condescending insults designed to undermine the OP.

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    3. Same anon here. I actually have a ton of respect for sex workers, so that wasn't where I was going. It was simply a case law example of something *not* considered consent through fraud (lying for sex, as the john never intended to pay). As it would basically require being in a situation where you are functionally unaware of the person's identity/assuming them to be someone else to be defined as such, it's difficult to imagine a scenario in which it could be accomplished having met someone at an event then pursued things offsite.

      Essentially, the legal definitions of consent through fraud do not mesh with the setting and details presented, which is why I'm curious about the OP's definition. I've had several friends, male and female dismiss the claim for that reason alone and I'm loathe to declare someone a rapist/rape supporter on tenuous grounds (as I have borne witness to innocent parties being accused of such...by which I mean parties who had never even been in contact with the accuser.)

      Ultimately I'm seeing a lot of arguments stating I'd Tap That is defending a rapist and as this is ultimately a case of one opinion against a silent opinion, I can't see there being sufficient grounds for them to ban either party without direct police intervention. The vague and largely inconceivable detailing of the rape as being by consent via fraud don't help that argument as I have noted, that is an extremely limited description that doesn't seem possible within the setting presented. Thus if there is doubt, it's only because the details presented seem to conflict with the actual fact of what's being detailed.

      Based on the description of events, it seems borderline impossible for an outside situation to meet the legal definition of consent through fraud, as the original writer claims. If that is the case, then by her own testimony it would not be legally classified as rape (though other charges may apply) which would go against the core of the accusation.

      It's not based on general disbelief insofar as inconsistencies within the testimony itself. If there's further information, it could provide clarity but as a multi-week relationship of any kind would provide knowledge of the person...consent gained would not be legally considered fraud.

      Consent through fraud is not lying to get sex, legally speaking basically. And that seems to be the tone/setup of the post. Which...if it is simply a case of "x lied to get sex." they're likely a bad person...but it is not legally considered rape which means you've been falsifying your position which could hence invalidate your position.

      I'd like to hear an argument against that before dismissing the point and greater clarification of the actual 'fraud' involved would be necessary to do so.

      And I'm sorry, but asking for clarification of a significant accusation is neither victim blaming nor entitled. This has been argued in a public forum with major accusations being issued. You can't simply expect to be blindly followed/believed. People can and do lie about this sort of thing and it hurts the cases of actual victims if every accusation is automatically treated as fact.

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    4. Addendum, from para 2:

      "I've had several friends, male and female dismiss the claim for that reason alone and I'm loathe to declare someone a rapist/rape supporter on tenuous grounds (as I have borne witness to innocent parties being accused of such...by which I mean parties who had never even been in contact with the accuser.)"

      To clarify, I do not mean the accuser in question in this post.

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    5. I think this person is just trying to say that rather than sexual assault (Canada does not have legal rape) via the vitiation of consent through fraud it is a case of manipulation, which is still sexual assault. You cannot exhort someone for sex. He got to know her for the purpose of getting into her pants or took the opportunity noticing a vulnerability. The poster just came off as defending the anonymous male whether they were or weren't.

      Further, it is not the obtaining consent before as that is problematic because that establishes the act is ongoing. Consent is rolling at any time it can be revoked. It is that the assumed consent of this space. My partner made it clear to me at the watered down puppy love when someone grabbed her from behind to massage her. As if she was suppose to just enjoy it. The space boasts sex positive and consent but that makes people believe that everyone there is saying yes to everyone and everything. This actually in some cases removes the consent.

      The other problem is not the space itself but the organizers for the poster. That is an issue though I shan't talk about.

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  7. It is important to note that the survivor identifies as a non-binary trans* person who's pronouns are "they/them/their", not "she/her".
    Their pronouns should be respected.

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  8. You're right, I see in my own comments I've misgendered them. Thanks for correcting me.

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  9. Someone above mentioned being 'pro-active' instead of 'reactive'. I think everyone, including the blog writer, should put something like this into place as this discussion isn't quite solving the actual issue, it's only producing fire where there is already too much heat.

    Start educational events about various sex events in the city. Build a screening method/ train screen staff for these events. Build the positive from this negative experience. It's truly the only way you can move away from the label of 'victim' (which is used far too often) and become a survivor who is better than putting down those who have wronged you.

    And if you think I don't know what I'm talking about... I am a survivor. I no longer give time to those who have done wrong, I support and build up those who are right.

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    Replies
    1. If you choose to identify as a survivor rather than a victim, that's your choice. If you say the word is used "far too often" without saying it's because there are too many people creating too many victims, you're focusing in the wrong direction. Try aiming your frustration at a society that nurtures perpetrators more than those they victimize.

      In short, do better.

      Delete

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