In our world, a lot can go wrong if we are not very careful. Trevor Bauer, professional baseball player, is currently finding this out. Pending the outcome of a restraining order hearing in LA Superior Court and potential criminal charges, the outlook does not get much worse. All over a series of potential kink encounters gone wrong.
Before I go any further, this is not about his potential innocence or guilt. Or the voracity of the claims of his accuser. It is looking at the overall circumstances which potentially led to this point from the lens of kink. I was not there and do not know all the facts. Likely the real truth will never see the light of day. Bystanders like us are left to speculate what may have happened. Which I am not doing either.
What this article will examine some of the potential failure points as IF this was a kink encounter gone bad and what might have been done to prevent things going as they did.
- Just the Facts Ma’am
There is no one news story, article, or piece of court document which gives us a very good picture of what transpired. But after reading over fifty differing accounts of the court testimony and other sources a pattern begins to emerge where their stories match up. These are what I am hanging my hat on.
- There were only two encounters between the two of them both at Bauer’s residence.
- The two of them texted extensively and that during these exchanges “rough sex” was discussed at length to which they both indicated they were into.
- At some point in time a discussion on limits was had. Unknown what time or by what means the discussion took place. During these discussions his accuser did indicate some activities she was not comfortable with. We do not know what those are.
- The first encounter included rough sex as well as choking to the point of unconsciousness, fingers being shoved down her throat, impact by hand without bruising, and vaginal and anal sex. The latter possibly by force while she was unconscious.
- That when she regained consciousness, she asked him to stop, and he did.
- In between encounters she stated via text that she had never been more turned on than after their first encounter. This included her admission she liked “rough sex” and his statement that she probably did not like it as rough as he did. To which she replied, “Bring on the pain.”
- They agreed to meet a second time.
- The second encounter included rough sex as well as choking to the point of unconsciousness, impact by hand which included bruising, and vaginal and anal sex. The later possibly forced during the period of unconsciousness.
- That when she regained consciousness, she asked him to stop, and he did.
- That she incurred significant bruising as a result of the second encounter. She also experienced petechial hemorrhaging around the eyes and darkened gums potentially as a result of being choked.
- That they communicated via text after the second encounter during which she relayed images of the marks, bruising and hemorrhaging and he relayed his concern and offered support.
- That a day or so after the second encounter she sought medical assistance at an emergency room. During which the ER nurse administered a SART Examination (evidentiary examination for sexual assault) and notified law enforcement.
- Law enforcement did interview her. Law enforcement has not filed since charges or made an arrest on Bauer.
- Approximately a month later she filed for a protection order through the LA Superior Courts, Civil Division.
These lead me to believe they were engaged in kink; that they were both probably not very experienced; and the level of play did not match to the level of relationship or trust.
If so, where did it all go wrong and what are the failure points? What could they have done differently?
- In the Beginning Consent – Potential Criminal Liability (leaving the protective order issue aside)
Like most kink cases we have seen in the past Bauer is trying to argue these were consensual encounters and very possibly, given what we know, they were. But that does not matter one bit. As I have written in the past, consent as a legal defense regarding kink is a very iffy bet at best. Both regional and federal courts have ruled against consent as a defense in kink consistently.
Because it does not matter if the person receiving gave their consent as they cannot legally consent to a criminal act. In this case significant physical injury and forced penetration while unconscious. California has a specific law on the latter.
- Even Before Consent to the Act
What happened to not playing hard with people we barely know? Especially not Edge Play like choking. This more than anything else leads me to believe they are inexperienced players.
What is on display here is a wanton disregard or being completely naïve of practices we know help protect us from both severe physical harm and legal issues. I can see some lower-level negotiation before very light play and have no problem with it. Yet here, they went all in without any known trust bond or relationship.
That is not only reckless from a legal standpoint, but from a personal safety standpoint also.
What we do in kink is risky, so risk seeking is hard coded in the DNA for many of us. Yet this drive to find the next physical and emotional high through play needs to be tempered with some restraint and good judgement. More often than not, we see newer players lacking in these areas, because they are new, lacking that experience, and get caught up in a current sweeping them along.
We need to take a significant amount of time to vet and get to know a person fairly well if we are going to play heavy. There is not any substitute for it and the potential consequences of ignoring this step are national headlines today.
- The Marks of Passion
Whether we like it or not, they are evidence of a potential battery. As kinky people we do not view them this way, but the law does. Any time we leave a mark on someone, we have to be at peace with the potential consequences. If not, I would seriously advise against leaving any.
Bauer not only left marks but choked the accuser to the point where there was petechial hemorrhaging. Approximately 30 seconds of sustained pressure causes the blood vessels in the face to burst. This amount of force and time for the petechiae to develop puts the bottom in imminent risk of permanent physical harm. Law enforcement knows this and may charge Bauer accordingly as it could be viewed as attempted homicide or at the least a felony battery. The next 10 to 40 years of his life could be forfeit.
Not being able to hammer this point enough….. if you are going to play this hard, you better be able to trust your partner. Both ways. Not the, “I’ve known them for a few months,” kind of trust. The I would trust them with my life and raising my kids if I died kind.
If they are both inexperienced players as I suspect, Bauer and his accuser probably had no idea what they were getting into or they likely would not be where they are with this issue today.
Have a plan for seeking medical attention if needed. Seek out kink friendly professionals in your area who understand the marks they see, may not be abusive. Take the time to learn first aid, wound care, and more advanced medical aid appropriate to the type of play you are engaging in. If both of them were experienced, had a plan, and taken the time to train in how to deal with kink injuries….. perhaps this could have been avoided.
- It’s the Unseen Things Which Can Bite Us the Worst
If Bauer knew her medical history, it is currently unknown if he did. Perhaps he did not know enough to even ask. Here that history may have played a significant role. During the court hearing the nurse who administered the SART examination openly testified in court the accuser’s use of ibuprofen prior to the second encounter could have exacerbated the bruising. The accuser was also taking the prescription medications Lexapro and Gabapentin. These in combination are a serious cocktail and may have also contributed to the excessive bruising.
Lexapro is an antidepressant and anxiety medication. Not digging on anyone who needs it or uses it. But as a top I would want to dig a little bit on this to make sure the person I was playing with is ok enough to do so.
Gabapentin is used with other medications to prevent and control seizures. It is also used to relieve nerve pain in adults and is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. Knowing this I would be very hesitant to engage in heavy impact or choking/breath play. Regardless of why the accuser was taking the medication, they may be less likely to have a healthy pain response and unable to tell me the difference between the good pain (of impact play) and bad pain, to prevent seriously damaging them. Further, a restriction of oxygen could trigger a seizure.
Whether we like it or not, as tops we do have a responsibility to say no to play if we believe someone is not ready for the activities we want to engage in. Physically or mentally. Talking about medical history and medications is the only way to gain the needed information so we can make an informed decision. People involved in kink need to get past the embarrassment or secrecy they may hold regarding their personal information in this regard. It is for our own personal and collective safety.
- Where It All Ends Up
There is no way to tell at this point what the outcome of the protection order hearing will be let alone potential criminal charges for Bauer. When this article is published, at least one of those may have been decided. Hopefully, with the release of additional information we can learn more about the circumstances and use it to better protect ourselves.
In the meantime, please take this article for what it is, partly fact, and partly speculation. Both used to highlight potential legal and physical risks of play. I am not suggesting you should stop everything and go through your medicine cabinet or quit playing all together. Only that some of what we do has to be approached with real planning and thought; a bit of caution aided with a modicum of knowledge; and whole heap of covering your own ass before the fact.
Vetting; developing trust; understanding the kinks you are exercising and the risks; having an understanding of each others’ medical concerns, history, and medications; as well as having a plan for if play goes wrong are all key points we need to be aware of and practice.
If we do not, we are rolling a loaded pair of dice and the odds are against us.
Bauer rolled snake eyes.
News Stories and Relevant Links (unfortunately case transcripts are not available in full at this time)
TAC is a lifestyle writer, dominant, and mentor who contributes to and helps admin several online kink, polyamory, and swing culture groups on Facebook such as the BDSM Alternative Lifestyle Discussion and Education; Information Exchange for Dom/mes, Masters, and Mistresses; Virtual Munch; and Pittsburgh Lifestyle. His writing includes information on self-improvement, kink education, growth, dominance, trauma, power dynamics, healthy and healing relationships, power exchange, safety and much more. His goal is to continue giving back to a community of friends who have supported him for over three decades. He can be contacted and view much of his other writing on FetLife @ TAC_1.