Tory MP faces backlash for 'irresponsible' claim that BDSM act is 'degrading and misogynistic'
Parliament TV

People are criticising a Tory MP for describing a BDSM sex act as "degrading and misogynistic".

Laura Farris shared a headline from Men's Health magazine on how to choke someone during sex safely, describing it as "deeply irresponsible journalism".

She added: "They decline to mention to their readers that if it goes wrong, they'll face up to 25 years behind bars. #DomesticAbuseBill".

The Domestic Abuse Bill, which passed through the Commons earlier this month, rules out "consent for sexual gratification" as a legal defence for harming a partner.

People can no longer claim in court that their partner's death was as a result of rough sex or 'sex games gone wrong'. This is a defence that was being used increasingly, with the most prominent recent example being after the death of British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand.

After claiming her death was the accidental result of consensual sex, her killer was sentenced to life in prison.

The purpose of the rough sex amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill is to avoid people winning reduced sentences by claiming their partner consented to the acts that led up to their death or serious harm.

This is clearly very different from an outright ban on any form of BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) or kinky sex.

Choking during sex can and should be done safely, with caution and consent, as Men's Health explains.

People are criticising Farris for apparently failing to understand the "concept of consent".

People also took issue with Farris's description of choking as "misogynistic", given that it can be enjoyed consensually by people of all genders.

The Domestic Abuse Bill is set to have its second reading in the House of Lords, after which it is likely to be fully enshrined in British law.

It is an important bill aimed at protecting victims of abuse, not an excuse to kink-shame people who enjoy consensual BDSM.

While it's true that choking can be dangerous, that's arguably even more of a reason why we should have more guidance on how to do it as safely as possible.

You might expect Laura Farris, who is a co-chair of the Women and Work parliamentary group, to already known this.

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