opinion

Armie Hammer reckons he's been 'kink shamed'. His victims couldn't disagree more.

Warning: This post includes references to graphic sexual themes.

Hollywood actor Armie Hammer has never hidden his appetite for all things kink. Recently in an interview with Netflix promoting his film Rebecca, he admitted that his ideal dinner date would be the controversial and contentious philosopher Marquis de Sade — notoriously known for his rabid erotic writings related to sexual cruelty and sadism.

It’s been a busy 12 months rocked by constant headlines, mainly due to his impending messy divorce to television personality and entrepreneur Elizabeth Chambers, as well as his very active dating life. There have also been scandals, including a DM leak in July 2020, featuring a risqué exchange with a Russian woman (@dominastya on Instagram). 

Watch the Trailer for Call Me By Your Name. Post continues below.


Video via YouTube.

Last month, numerous women came forward with allegations against the actor. Resulting in an abundance of headlines accusing Hammer of various forms of sexual misconduct.  

Previous romantic partners of his including House of Effie (@houseofeffie), Courtney Vucekovich, Paige Lorenze and other anonymous women online alleged that Hammer would take BDSM-play well beyond the boundaries that they originally consented to. 

The exchanges posted by Effie are harrowing — at the beginning, she shared screen grabs implying Hammer and herself were involved in a kink-based dom/sub relationship, where the conversations between both parties weren’t too eyebrow-raising, and for Hammer, the only issue would have been that he was sending sexual messages to a woman other than his wife. In one of the screen grabs, he dubbed Effie "the Michael Phelps of F**king". In another, he says, "Your naked body is a f**king sculpted piece of art / They would carve marble after it if you lived in the renaissance".

Armie Hammer in 2008, in the early days of his career as an actor. Image: Getty.  

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But then things took a much darker turn. Subsequent messages saw Hammer describe a sexual experience he supposedly had with Effie. The DM read, "Raping you on your floor with a knife against you. Everything else seemed boring / You crying and screaming, me standing over you. I felt like a god. I’ve never felt such power or intensity".

There are also alleged threats made by Hammer where he expresses his displeasure with Effie after she contemplated reaching out to his wife. This threat was made over a year before she made contact with Chambers. 

"Well, very convenient of you to bring that up because if for some reason something goes wrong and my wife finds out I will probably remove your head from your body." This isn’t the only threat allegedly made by Hammer towards Effie during their relationship.

Listen to Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, where hosts Laura Brodnik and Kee Reece discuss the comments around Armie Hammer's alleged leaked DMs. Post continues below. 

In leaked screenshots via the Daily Mail today, Hammer is caught saying that he’s a victim of ‘kink shaming’. In the messages, he’s also talks about a CNC (Consensual non-consent) sexual encounter he had with a woman who he would kidnap because he “knew she wanted it”.

Consensual non-consent sex is a style of BDSM play where participants consent to sexual acts that mimic those that are non-consensual. 

This could include the use of bondage (the Japanese bondage technique Shibari is something Hammer openly enjoys as evident from his Instagram likes and the #shibari tag that he follows), pretending to torture or rape participants, or sex taking place during sleep or an unconscious state. 

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Safewords are then used to stop whatever activity is taking place when a participant is no longer feeling comfortable.

Let's just say Hammer and Effie were participating in consensual non-consent sex and were following all the protocols and consent was provided, including safewords and respecting boundaries, would that mean Hammer is the monster he is being portrayed as or just a victim of kink-shaming?

According to many of the allegations made by the women who have come forward, that hasn’t been the case. Taking Effie’s Instagram stories as an example, she notes that Hammer never used safewords. She felt pressured to give consent due to his influence and dominance. 

Effie was only a mere 20 years old when the relationship began. There are also horrific images posted on her Instagram suggesting Hammer choked her with a belt and provided no aftercare. It’s important to note that she did not provide consent to have Hammer choke her with a belt. She also admits to being ghosted often after sexual experiences, left to treat her own scars alone — both physically and mentally.

In further damning accounts, Paige Lorenze shared in an interview on KIIS FM's Kyle and Jackie O Show that Hammer would leave her with bruises and told her to show off the bruises when she expressed her concern about them. 

She also said they would engage in knife play that made her feel extremely uncomfortable. During one encounter she talked about, Hammer engraved an ‘A’ on her pelvic bone before she could tell him to stop.

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud where Holly, Mia and Jessie have a conversation about Armie Hammer. Post continues after podcast.

Lorenze also mentions about she felt emotionally manipulated and would have done just about anything to please him. He would compliment her and make her feel good about herself meanwhile introducing her to various forms of BDSM that made her feel uncomfortable.

What these women have alleged goes well beyond what’s accepted as BDSM play. 

Just because you’ve agreed to something previously, doesn’t mean that you have given consent for all subsequent sexual encounters. In all sexual encounters, and especially during BDSM play, consent must be informed and explicit. If it isn’t, this isn’t consent.

It’s not ‘kink shaming’ if consent is obtained through sexual coercion — whether it’s through manipulation, gaslighting, blaming, guilt-tripping, or any other sinister methods to obtain consent.  

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Calling Hammer out for his rape fantasies, threats of torture and cannibal tendencies isn’t kink-shaming a man who describes his interests as "niche" in an uncovered recording of Hammer posted by the Instagram account @switch_ga, where he discusses the previous DM scandal from July 2020. 

Image: Getty. 

Labelling your sexual preferences and experiences as niche or kink doesn’t give participants permission to avoid accountability when they cross boundaries. It’s not kink shaming when kinks or fetishes are used as a smokescreen to hide abuse.

Too many men (especially influential men) have gotten away with exploiting their sexual encounters with women by using the ‘their-kinks-are-niche’ card or going beyond what was consented to originally.

If we dismiss any alleged abuse as kink-shaming, we’re giving the green light to abusive men to continue romanticising harm, which has serious real-life consequences for women. 

Having non-consensual fantasies that involve seriously hurting women (both physically and mentally) must not become normalised.

By saying Hammer is a victim of kink-shaming, we're disrespecting the brave women who have come forward and shared their allegations.

Not only do these women admit that they felt uncomfortable during and shortly after their various sexual encounters with him, but their mental health has deteriorated immensely since, even years after their relationships ended with Hammer. Women such as Lorenze and Vucekovich have talked extensively about the PTSD they have endured as a result of their experiences and their need for therapy. 

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This can’t be swept under the rug again. 

Twitter may be inundated with memes making fun of Hammer’s apparent fetishes, but those who continue to make light of Effie’s story are giving him what he wants — he wants you to dismiss the pain of these women and turn him into a meme.

Armie Hammer must be held accountable for the emotional and physical suffering he has allegedly caused the fearless women who have come forward, and that has to happen now.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home. 

Amy Smolcic is a writer, teacher, content manager of Wickedd Childd and bookworm based in Melbourne. For links to Amy's work, visit her website, www.asmolcic.com. You can follow her on Twitter @amysmolcic

Feature Image: Getty.

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