Everyone knows that the first rule of fight club is: “You do not talk about fight club.” If you are familiar with this mandate, you may also recognize the slightly redundant second rule of fight club, which also reads: “You do not talk about fight club.”
The first rule of fight club (and by proxy, its successor) has become, at this point, a cultural artifact in itself. Even those who have not read the book or seen the movie (both of which are appropriately named “Fight Club”) have probably heard it at some point or another. But what about the third rule of fight club?
The third rule of fight club, though perhaps the most obscure, is also the perhaps the most important. It states: “If someone yells ‘stop!’, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over.”
The third rule of fight club is, in effect, the group’s consent clause.
Interestingly enough, Yale, too, has a policy about both fight clubs and consent, though it’s a stance they’ve adopted only recently.
It is a little known fact around Yale’s campus that there were several secretive, even cult-like fight clubs springing up on campus during the lazy summer session.
Perhaps they simply wanted to fill the void left by the violent, wayward elbows of the heavyweight crew team on the dance floor at Toad’s. Perhaps they were simply bored. Regardless, their failure to observe the sacred first rule of fight club got their truant asses quickly discovered. We can only assume that the principal snitches received their due stitches.
Faced with the threat of a serious liability issue, Yale felt compelled to respond to this incident in the way they know best: by taking to the undergraduate handbook.
According to the Yale College Undergraduate Regulations, a punishable act of violence or physical force is defined as: “physical restriction, assault, or any other act of violence or use of physical force against any member of the community, or any act that threatens the use of violence or physical force.”
Following the fight club incident, they added this addendum to the aforementioned definition: “The implied or express consent of the person against whom such violence or force is used will not be considered a defense.”
At face value, the statement is straightforward and even reasonable. But if you want to read into it (as I absolutely do) you may arrive at this startling conclusion: that Yale does not endorse — in fact, it condemns — the practice of consensual slapping.
It is in this context that I feel compelled — duty-bound, even — to issue this defense of consensual slapping, particularly as it pertains to the bedroom (or wherever it is that you kids have been getting down and dirty). Because here’s the thing about slapping: It can be pretty fucking hot.
Now, I’m not asking to be knocked around and bloodied up in the traditional fight club style — that’s not my thing, but I respect it if it’s yours. What I’m talking about is a tamer, less violent brand of physicality, which might also include such things as biting, spanking, hair pulling and light choking. One could say (as I’m about to right now) that in an ideal world, sex should be like a kinky game of Bop It.
In an earlier, straighter chapter of my sexual history, I used to rely on my (male) sexual partners to take initiative when it came to the game of consensual slapping and related roughhousing. A lot of other women I know (mostly cis and straight) have reported similar experiences.
Unfortunately, the Earth’s supply of mind readers (especially those who are good in bed) are few and far between. As a result, the simple tactic of relying on others to infer my sexual preferences has not always been a successful one.
Part of this trepidation may be a symptom of self-consciousness. The other part is undoubtedly tied to the stigma surrounding sexually adventurous women — but that’s a subject for a different time.
For my part, I’ve found that this uneasiness can be partially cured with practice (your hesitant “uhh… spank me?” will become a declarative sentence in no time). There’s nothing sexier a partner whom you feel comfortable around, whether it’s a long-term lover or an anonymous one-night stand.
If you’re looking to start the conversation in a lower stakes environment, a simple “ok, so what else are you into?” can make for some highly productive pillow talk. If you’re feeling more emboldened, there’s nothing like a bit of dirty talk to ignite your lusty loins.
Or, if all of that seems like too much for you, you can always settle down with some nice fight club fanfic and slap your own damn self like a grown-ass adult.
With that, we (your Cliterati) would like to wish you a Happy Hoe-vember and a merry Spanks-giving.
Love and other indoor sports,
Ella Clitzgerald and Sally Ride-All-Night