Findoms and Blackmail

Twice in the past 24 hours I have had cashslaves (findom subs, for those not in the know) tell me that they had in the past been blackmailed by cash masters. This infuriates me and I need to write something about this just to calm myself down. I’m so upset that I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts, so this post may be a bit stream-of-consciousness.

A dom blackmailing a sub is utterly reprehensible. A boy’s submission to a master is sacred thing rooted in trust. Violating that trust is akin to raping someone physically–the sub experiences intense, unpleasant fear, violation of trust, and an undesired loss of autonomy that may linger for months. (My apologies if anyone feels that I am minimizing rape–quite the opposite. The idea of blackmailing a sub seems nearly as reprehensible.) This is literally the opposite of what a dom ought to do.

The job of any dom is to continuously seduce consent from his sub. This is especially true in findom play, because in most cases, the dom and sub do not meet face to face, meaning that the finsub can simply walk away if he chooses. Doms crave a sense of power, so a finsub simply walking away is disempowering to a dom, and in many cases the dom may not even get an explanation of why the finsub has left (ghosting seems to be quite common in findomming, although many findoms correctly predict that a ghosted boy may eventually return without warning). So I get that a less ethical findom might be tempted to maintain control through tactics like threatening to expose a boy to his family, employers, and the like. Findoms sometimes know the passwords to a finsub’s bank account, and might be tempted to simply make an unauthorized withdrawal.

But doing so violates the finsub’s consent, and consent is the bedrock of all bids and ethical power exchange. Being ‘violated’ consensually can be intensely arousing. Being violated non-consensually is frightening and unarousing. Speaking as someone who was once threatened with being exposed to his employer (by a sub who was upset that I had decided not to play with him a second time), I can say that it’s an incredibly unpleasant experience that provokes anxiety months after the threat is made. One of the boys I spoke to told me that he had attempted suicide after the threat was made.

Blackmail and extortion are crimes, very serious ones. In the US, it is a Federal crime, meaning that if it is reported, it generally gets investigated by the FBI. While I am not a lawyer, I do know enough about the laws around blackmail and extortion to say that simply the act of making the threat is the crime. The blackmailer does not have to collect payment or release harmful information to commit the crime–the mere act of uttering the threat is illegal. (The law may be somewhat different outside the US, but my guess is that this element of it is fairly consistent, because the essence of the crime is not the actual release of information but the making the threat in order to get something out of the victim.) Because findom is most commonly conducted online (via Twitter DMs, Skype and so on), when an extortionate findom makes a threat, there’s a good chance he’s giving the sub the proof of the crime in the form of a DM or text message.

So, finsubs, if you are threatened this way, the wisest thing to do is not send money but to take screen caps of the conversation that clearly show the threat being made and then tell the blackmailer very directly that he has just given you the proof of his crime and that if he contacts you again or carries out his threat to release embarrassing information, you will report him and let the FBI (or whoever else handles such things in your country) handle the matter.

The main power a blackmailing findom has is the ability to release embarrassing information (screen captures, cam footage, payment records) to the finsub’s family or employers. But being a finsub is not generally a crime. It’s not illegal to send money to something over the internet. Being a findom, however, can be illegal depending on how the findom handles things. Many findoms do not pay taxes on their earnings, which is tax evasion. Using Teamviewer to drain money from a sub’s bank account or creating a fake debt contract may qualify as wire fraud or other forms of fraud depending on the details. Some findoms submit voluntary ‘debt contracts’ to collection agencies, which is fraud. Some findom interactions may even potentially qualify as prostitution in some jurisdictions (again, depending on exactly what the details are–for example cash-meets that end with sexual contact).

So while a blackmailing findom has the power to embarrass his victim, the victim has the power to put the blackmailer into an enormous amount of legal jeopardy. (Incidentally, the threat of such nonconsensual humiliation is reduced if the finsub has been honest with his partner about what he’s doing and why he’s doing it.) The goal here is not necessarily to actually inform the FBI or whomever (because an investigation will probably involve some amount of embarrassment for the sub) but to make it clear to the blackmailer that he has a great deal more to fear from the sub than the sub does from the blackmailer. Bullies usually back down when they find themselves unable to frighten their victim. Being blackmailed is an experience of frightening non-consensual powerlessness. Realizing that you have the upper hand legally is a way to reclaim some of the power that has been stolen from you.

I don’t know how widespread this problem is in the findom community, but it needs to be stamped out hard. All ethical findoms have an obligation to make it clear that blackmail is not part of kink, that it’s both unethical and illegal, and that anyone caught doing it will be chased out of the community. And if you’re a novice findom reading this, you need to learn that it is NEVER acceptable to use your finsub’s personal information for any purpose they do not consent to. It’s not kink; it’s a crime.

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