BDSM (the sexual equivalent of being into Renaissance faires) Part 2: The Problem with Kink

29 Nov

BDSM is two parts hilarious, three parts terrifying.

It’s hilarious for a lot of reasons, chief among which is the theatrical aspect of it. It might be a result of my being unlikely to respond positively to orders, but I really can’t imagine doing aught but snickering at someone handing out orders to me with the expectation that I’d get all excited by it. I realize that role-playing gets some people all hot and bothered, but that shit is lost on me. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings here, but until someone really cool tells me they’re into role-playing, I’m going to assume it’s the domain of dorks with no sense of the absurd and people who go to Medieval Times and call each other “sire” all night without the excuse of being wasted. I mean really, who besides people who can’t let go of their high school theater days can prance around in those stupid costumes and deploy all of that ridiculous Renaissance faire lingo without laughing too hard to maintain a boner? 

Sex therapists can often be heard advising couples to try role play to “spice up” their sex lives. What a fucking bizarre idea, right? Apparently, in our warped culture, sex is not sexy enough anymore. You’ve got to throw in some power exchange, some foreign objects, some corny outfits, or some absurdly trite verbal exchange in order to make sex sexy. Seriously? How fucking silly. Kink, in general, is about as embarrassing as this.  

But there’s more to it than that. That kink is seen as the remedy for a lack of sexual contentment says a lot about where we’re at culturally with regard to sex; kink, at its core, represents an attempt to derive as much excitement and titillation out of sex as possible while avoiding real intimacy. It’s a lame substitute for what sex can be, an attempt to substitute adrenaline for intimacy, because real intimacy can be quite a frightening concept for people who’ve absorbed the idea that sex is about power and satisfying base urges. Sex may not be sacred, but it’s got the potential to be a bigger deal than using the toilet. It’s a unique way for people to bond and it’s kind of sad that so many people are missing out on that in the quest for ever more absurd couplings of adrenaline and orgasm. 

A lot of people will make the claim that kink will create a bond between the two people engaging in it, but that’s a bit of a red herring. Sure, experiencing fear with someone will tend to create a sense of shared experience (and thus an attachment) between two people, but is that the kind of bond a relationship should be based on? People who have been held hostage together tend to form bonds, too, but no one’s throwing a party about that shit. Sexual adventurousness can be a healthy thing, provided that it’s not being used as a substitute for the bond that ought to exist before it begins. Unfortunately, we’ve all bought into the idea that sex with the same person over a long period of time will necessarily grow boring and that a long-term couple will need to do it outside, pretend they’re doing it with other people, bring new people/objects into the mix, or otherwise alloy the experience with extraneous mental or physical sensations. We’re told that without these additions to the sex mix (that sounds like a Chex mix with pretzels that are shaped like boobs and wieners, which you can consider patented as of now), we can assume that one or both partners will cheat.  

Well, maybe they will. Not because it’s true that sex with the same person must necessarily become boring, but because physical and emotional brinkmanship have become an integral part of modern sexuality to the ouster of intimacy. We’ve gotten the idea that sex is boring if it isn’t coupled with adrenaline, and that only happens when you’re with someone new or when you’re doing something emotionally or physically frightening. Ideally, that adrenaline that comes with getting busy with someone new will be replaced by the kinds of excitement and exploration that real intimacy can make possible, but when it isn’t people often turn to kink rather than considering the idea that they might be with the wrong person. Kink is the solution to the problem that compulsory marriage creates: couples who don’t belong together feeling like failures because their relationships suck. And kink nearly always involves a power differential. Think about a few examples of kink, from the most pedestrian role-playing to the most extreme forms of BDSM and see for yourself whether that’s true.  

It’s true. And because we live in an oppressively misogynistic culture, that power differential usually expresses itself in male dominance and female submission. Mainstream sex and pornography (the line between which I fear is rapidly disappearing) reflect that dynamic in very clear ways: in general, men are aroused by female pliancy, and women are aroused by their ability to arouse men. Women are objects, men are subjects. 

And here’s where BDSM comes in. As funny as my hazy Hot Topic-esque tableaux of the average BDSM interchange might be (at least to me), it ain’t no joke. BDSM, all of the corny posturing aside, is nothing but a highly-concentrated and more obvious remix of the mainstream conception of sex as something men do to women. If misogynistic mainstream sex is meth, BDSM is ice. 

Now I promise I’ll get to the data…

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110 Responses to “BDSM (the sexual equivalent of being into Renaissance faires) Part 2: The Problem with Kink”

  1. Jim November 29, 2008 at 3:31 PM #

    “I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings here, but until someone really smart tells me they’re into role-playing, I’m going to assume it’s the domain of idiots with no sense of the absurd and people who go to Medieval Times and call each other “sire” all night without the excuse of being wasted. ”

    Well, here you are. I could be described as “really smart” since I’m a member of Mensa, which requires that your IQ puts you in the top 2% of the world. I am also a practitioner of BDSM.

    While I found your posts amusing, they were generally way off-base in terms of being factual rather than opinionated. The BDSM community is as diverse as any other, and to make broad statements about that community with only tiny shards of “evidence” is to do it an injustice. Still, it was a fun read.

    Here is one of the statements you made that was possibly the most inaccurate with regard to most BDSM: “A lot of people will make the claim that kink will create a bond between the two people engaging in it, but that’s a bit of a red herring. Sure, experiencing fear with someone will tend to create a sense of shared experience (and thus an attachment) between two people, but is that the kind of bond a relationship should be based on? ”

    Kink absolutely creates a bond between the participants, but it’s based on trust rather than fear. If either of the people are afraid at any time, then something has gone horribly wrong and everything should immediately stop. My sub trusts me completely and has never been afraid of anything I might do, even though we are into some pretty heavy stuff. The other thing you left out of your essay is that there is love between us. While this certainly wouldn’t be true for the folks who answered your online ads, it’s true for long-time BDSM relationships just as it is for any other long-time relationships. It was never about “spicing up” a boring sex life, though. We have been doing BDSM from day one in our relationship, with occasional forays into “vanilla” sex as well. We enjoy both types.

    Is it all just silly? Of course. We don’t do BDSM because of some hidden need to feel superior or inferior, we don’t do it because we had messed-up childhoods, we do it because it’s FUN. We have a really good time with our play sessions (that’s what most BDSM folks call it) and we treat it like PLAY. There is often laughter involved, and genuine affection between us while we play, as well as the aforementioned love. I understand that many people will never understand this, will never see how BDSM can be fun (especially for the sub), and I can appreciate that. I will never understand why people think watching fishing on television is fun, either, but I don’t plan to post a multi-post blog making fun of those that do…

    …well, not today, anyway.

  2. Trinity November 29, 2008 at 3:58 PM #

    I’m too tired to say much about this, but 9-2, there’s something you might be able to help me with here.

    On tons of anti-SM websites, posts, and blogs, I run into this idea that SM is about “role-playing,” that people who are into SM really get into acting out corny roles.

    Honestly, as an eight-year veteran of the Scene, I find this rather odd, and I wonder where it comes from. I tend to see a lot more of people just straightforwardly doing stuff than I see setting up elaborate role-playing.

    So, uh… where’s this idea that we’re all “role-playing” come from exactly? It doesn’t seem to me to quite square with reality, tbh.

  3. Nine Deuce November 29, 2008 at 4:03 PM #

    How is D/s not role-playing? How is SM not role-playing? There are two clearly-defined roles. The fact that playing them is second nature doesn’t mean they aren’t roles.

  4. Trinity November 29, 2008 at 4:11 PM #

    That’s equivocating. Yeah, one could say that being a teacher is a role and dressing up as a princess for a renaissance faire is a role, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t relevant differences between the two.

    If you’re opposed to D/s, why you need to muddy the waters by bringing in renn faires, which have nothing to do with it, confuses me. Again: clarification, please?

  5. Jenn November 29, 2008 at 4:59 PM #

    It’s semantics, but the way you’re defining role-playing implies that, say, sex is role-playing because there is the penetrator and the penetrator (or the pleasurer and pleasuree, woman and man with appropriate baggage and assigned gender role, or whatever the configuration). Role-playing, as generally defined and accepted, is not that broad. It’s one of those over-generalizations that show you lack of knowledge on the subject. At least BDSM practitioners are open and honest about their roles and allow you to step out of them if it’s not working for whatever reason.

    Not trying to be offensive or anything here, but I’m irritated by people who expose things that they don’t really know. Like people saying the martial art I practice is all for violent rejects who want to hurt and be hurt (no, there are plenty of women in it for self-defence, and there is the art side of it) or is not practical because it’s an art, not like, say, self-defense classes (no, there are places that focus more on the art or the sport side as compared to self-defense, yes, but it really depends on where you take it).

    Yes there is a lot of what you describe in BDSM, but no it’s not indicative of the subculture. If you’d gone to a club event, for instance, you’d encounter really nice, intelligent human beings, as opposed to whatever random fucktards you got responding to the ads. Feel free to hold your opinions about BDSM without doing thorough research or actually interviewing those in the scene, but this series of posts is just detrimental to those who are reasonable human beings who will continue to be maligned for the their preferences. Sure, the surface scratching of the internet side of the scene is full of misogynistic assholes who we may want to see kept away from women, but don’t do the rest of the scene a disservice by perpetrating loathsome stereotypes.

  6. Trinity November 29, 2008 at 5:58 PM #

    “If you’d gone to a club event, for instance, you’d encounter really nice, intelligent human beings, as opposed to whatever random [people] you got responding to the ads.”

    Yeah, this. I do wonder how the experience would differ if 9-2 had gone to munches or demos first. The people one meets there tend to be far more knowledgable and respectful, and as I’ve said before, I don’t think a person can pronounce on “BDSM” without discussing the actual subculture itself.

    That’s one of the things that surprises me so much about this — as I commented to another of her posts, I do think that there are some sexist things that happen in the community. It always flummoxes me why people choose to ignore what the community actually looks like in favor of one Craigslist experiment.

  7. Luke November 29, 2008 at 6:14 PM #

    “physical and emotional brinkmanship have become an integral part of modern sexuality to the ouster of intimacy”

    Economics textbooks often start out by stating ‘the economic problem’: human needs are infinite, resources are finite. That is supposedly why you need economics.

    What they don’t point out if that if our economic system only makes sense on that assumption, it’s likely to function in such as way as to preserve and perpetuate it in all areas.

    One example is advertising: businesses must make us desperately need more things.

    Another example might be what you refer to – people must be changed so that their sexual desires always need satisfaction, and satisfaction in terms of ‘external’, commodifiable, things.

  8. Nine Deuce November 29, 2008 at 6:25 PM #

    Sarah – You’ve been graylisted after that nonsense on the porn post. You aren’t here discussing your experiences but rather insulting other people. I’m busy right now and don’t have time to argue with you or anyone else.

  9. Aaron Boyden November 29, 2008 at 7:25 PM #

    I’m not really into BDSM myself (though I am into role-playing, and so apparently an idiot; good to know), but I know lots of people who are, and I have been to a BDSM club. Your descriptions consistently seem to be about something entirely different from what I’m familiar with. Like others in this thread, I would have thought a club might be a better place to do research than the internet. Put up a female profile which doesn’t mention being submissive on any vanilla dating site; will the responses be any better? From what women I know have told me, I’m guessing not. Your research methodology probably says a lot more about online dating than about the BDSM scene.

  10. Aspasia November 29, 2008 at 8:04 PM #

    “I mean really, who besides people who can’t let go of their high school theater days can prance around in those stupid costumes and deploy all of that ridiculous Renaissance faire lingo without laughing too hard to maintain a boner? ”

    Do you feel the same about people who perform in community theatre? Broadway? Hollywood? Bollywood? Indie films? They ‘prance around’ in many costumes all day and step into roles that often have nothing to do with them as a person.

  11. Trinity November 29, 2008 at 8:10 PM #

    “Your descriptions consistently seem to be about something entirely different from what I’m familiar with.”

    Yeah, this. It’s always odd to me… I see a lot of people, usually “feminists”, making comments on BDSM and what the community “really looks like”, without making any reference to clubs, organizations, demos, famous people within the subculture, etc.

    The more I see it, the more I think they’re talking about something only tangentially related, if at all, to the vast majority of BDSM practice.

    Which would be OK if they’d admit it more often. (9-2 does here, and I’m glad of it.) But instead, they present their discussion as “what’s wrong with BDSM”, as if BDSM were practiced in universal ways in wildly differing contexts.

  12. devastatingyet November 29, 2008 at 9:15 PM #

    I am a woman who does BDSM. Currently I am dominant to my submissive boyfriend, but I’ve been submissive in the past as well. Just to give background.

    I disagree with Jim that if fear is involved, you’re doing it wrong. A lot of couples (including us) do play with fear. Let’s not pretty everything up.

    However, the bonding I experience with my boyfriend is not about having shared a high-adrenaline experience, at least no more than it is between vanilla couples after sex. It is about trust and intimacy. We’ve had incredibly moving scenes that involved no “role-play,” no pain, no fear at all.

    As others have said here, what you’re saying about the bdsm community is not true to my experience at all.

  13. Nine Deuce November 29, 2008 at 10:41 PM #

    Dan – I’ve been, and while there are plenty of nice people there, I’m still a bit perplexed at their fascination.

    Aspasia – Yes, especially theater and indie film actors.

  14. Dan Holzman-Tweed November 29, 2008 at 11:27 PM #

    Being perplexed at someone’s fascination is very, very different from thinking someone is an “idiot.” Lots of very intelligent people do role playing, go to ren fairs, do BDSM, and a whole lot of other things that might perplex you. Lots of very intelligent people do all sorts of things that perplex me. The difference appears to be that I don’t think that makes them “idiots.”

  15. Trinity November 30, 2008 at 12:46 AM #

    “However, the bonding I experience with my boyfriend is not about having shared a high-adrenaline experience, at least no more than it is between vanilla couples after sex.”

    *nod* Yeah. I mean, there is adrenaline involved, and that’s fun.

    9-2 could be talking about “headspace” though, with the idea that it’s primarily/”merely” an adrenalin high. I wouldn’t say that it is, though I do think that headspace can happen without intimacy.

    Which is only really a problem if one assumes sex is bad if it doesn’t include intimacy. I don’t, but some feminists seem to think sex always should.

  16. RenegadeEvolution November 30, 2008 at 9:06 AM #

    ND: Well now, you can call me an idiot all you like, but I am in the SCA, I play D&D, I get a kick out of the costuming and the singing, but I do not role play in the bedroom, I have two degrees, and most of my enemies won’t even call me stupid.

    I think something you and a lot of people miss here is we are all wired very differently. Hell, I do porn and stripping and pro-dom for money, but I absolutely have intimacy with my partner. There need not be an and/or between intimacy and rush…you can have one, or the other, or both. And I do feel like you are judging something you truly know nothing-as a part of that scene- about. Hell, even having been there, done that, visit on occassion, know people deeply involved, get paid for it…i don’t claim to ‘know’ that scene.

  17. Natalia Antonova November 30, 2008 at 9:45 AM #

    I’m not into BDSM, but I love online RPG’s and used to act and model – sign me up for the coveted Idiot Club membership as well! Will there be beer in the offing? Just making sure…

    People I have known who were into the Scene, as Trinity calls it, were just that – people. Some good, some bad, most perfectly ordinary. To be perfectly honest, I hate how people continue to snicker and roll their eyes at them, there’s a great big superior “oh, I’m not like THOSE weirdos” going on here that I just find both unnecessary and telling.

    The points made about intimacy in this essay really stick out at me – because not all sex is about intimacy, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing either. Having been in a long-term relationship for nearly a quarter of my life now, I have to say, sex can be different from night to night. Relationships tend to ebb and flow, after all.

    I think it can be the same with casual sex as well – there’s no rule that says that casual sex can’t be profoundly intimate on some level. Depends on the people involved, no?

    I know you’ve already stated a number of rather strong opinions about “piggish” sexual behaviour, 9-2, and while I’m not here to change your opinion on the matter, it does stick in my craw that there is a huge shaming component to all of this – like, if only everyone could be so dignified as to uncross her legs at only the most appropriate and intimate of moments. Bah humbug, I say.

  18. Nine Deuce November 30, 2008 at 3:05 PM #

    Natalia – That’s a serious oversimplification (and misrepresentation) of what I’m saying. First off, I’m not here saying women should only have sex under such-and-such circumstances. That’s absurd. I’m saying that there are some dynamics involved in BDSM that are problematic, that we live in a hierarchical society in which power has been sexualized. I don’t deny that people get excited by it and I’m not telling anyone what they should be doing, but rather am arguing that it needs to be considered. My vision of women’s sexual liberation includes having our sexuality given full consideration. As of now, it’s treated like a side dish to male sexuality. Accusing me of slut-shaming is a way of side-stepping the entirety of my argument.

  19. Dan Holzman-Tweed November 30, 2008 at 3:51 PM #

    “I don’t deny that people get excited by it and I’m not telling anyone what they should be doing, but rather am arguing that it needs to be considered.”

    Will the rest of the series include your explanation of why you think it has not been considered?

  20. Trinity November 30, 2008 at 8:31 PM #

    “To be perfectly honest, I hate how people continue to snicker and roll their eyes at them, there’s a great big superior “oh, I’m not like THOSE weirdos” going on here that I just find both unnecessary and telling.”

    Heh.

    I like being a weirdo, Natalia… but yeah, I don’t like the holier-than-thou, “my theory can explain why you’re different, and by the way it says you’re bad/stupid/brainwashed/ditzy” thing.

    Considering me a bit of a freak is fine with me. Thinking that makes me a fool or a danger… THAT’s where I get angrified.

  21. Trinity November 30, 2008 at 8:34 PM #

    Dan,

    Even if her series does say that she thinks people haven’t “considered” it, I find that whole trope rather played out. In my experience most kinky folks I know have spent a lot of their lives wondering why they are the way they are. And many of those have — gasp! shock! — even wondered whether their kink is compatible with feminism or is not.

    I’m not accusing 9-2 of this, not until I see what she has to say in the next posts, but I think a LOT of radical feminists conclude that because people’s examinations do not culminate in “Patriarchy made me this way”, the examinations must not be thorough enough.

    Whether someone agrees with what these people consider correct becomes a litmus test of how much “examining” someone has or has not done.

  22. Trinity November 30, 2008 at 8:36 PM #

    “Lots of very intelligent people do all sorts of things that perplex me. The difference appears to be that I don’t think that makes them “idiots.””

    Yep. I’m perplexed by many forms of polyamory, but I don’t think that this means some theory explains why it’s problematic. I just think it means I’m not interested.

  23. Natalia Antonova November 30, 2008 at 9:00 PM #

    I’m not accusing you of slut-shaming, but since you’re talking about intimacy in this post – I thought I’d point out that a) intimacy means different things to different people and b) intimacy isn’t always present to begin with.

    And also, you’re doing more than considering things here. You’re making value judgments – for a start, considering that you’re assuming the people you’re discussing are all idiots to begin with.

  24. Trinity December 1, 2008 at 3:59 AM #

    “People like Trinity (and Dw3t-Hthr, and Bitchy Jones, and many others) who write about sexism from inside the BDSM community instead wind up saying ‘This is my community – how can it be made better?’ The latter is a much more interesting look at the situation, imo.”

    And even more amazing is that we don’t always agree. Personally, I’m not that thrilled about a fair portion of what Bitchy has to say, especially about pros (because, see, she’s not one and can’t speak to their experiences. Amazing that!)

    Or am I “dichotomizing” again? *eyeroll*

  25. syndicalist702 December 1, 2008 at 7:05 PM #

    I will stop at “It ain’t my bag,” when it comes to talking about BDSM. I know little about the scene and almost nothing about the people who practice it, my wife being one who is more open to it and understands it better.

    I think you’re a bit quick on the draw here, 9-2. Especially if you’re like me and know very little about this subject.

  26. subversive_sub December 1, 2008 at 7:53 PM #

    I won’t bother with a critique, which others have already made pretty well on here. Suffice to say, as a masochist (and feminist/anarchist) I strongly disagree that BDSM is “a highly-concentrated and more obvious remix of the mainstream conception of sex as something men do to women.”

    I wanted to comment because I totally agree with you that using new activities and toys to “spice up a relationship” is usually, if not always, wrongheaded and a poor substitute for good communication and real intimacy. (I just don’t think that the relative kinkiness of those activities matters much; struggling to save a stale relationship with a vibrator or expensive lingerie is just as bad as trying to do it with handcuffs or a blindfold, IMO.) I think you’re spot-on in saying that such advice is indicative of how we treat sexuality in this culture: always looking for something new and more exciting, new roles, new people. Anything to keep us stimulated and to avoid having to seriously look at what we really want and why we’re so unhappy so much of the time…

    Incidentally, I’ve talked to several sex educators about how learning more about BDSM has helped their work, because so much of BDSM involves negotiation, open communication, understanding of consent, etc. If sex therapists want to use BDSM to help couples, they should focus on these aspects — which are just as applicable to vanilla relationships as they are to kinky ones — instead of prescribing light bondage and a little spanking…

  27. Nanella December 1, 2008 at 8:17 PM #

    I do have experience within the BDSM community, I’ve looked at a lot of BDSM porn in my time, I’ve played some of these games, and, 92, you are 100% right on in your assessment. Few participants in the community are overtly fucked-up, but get to know people better and you discover a common theme consisting of low self-esteem, emotional damage, and adrenalin highs substituting for genuine intimacy.

    BDSM *is* nothing more than a dark and dangerous caricature of patriarchy-approved sex dynamics. It *is* absurd. And aggressive…potently angry. People who get off on hurting and dominating others, or being hurt/dominated, haven’t got their heads screwed on right; I didn’t have my head screwed on right when I thought this shit was exciting. It takes time, revelation, and much contemplation to get past the knee-jerk defensiveness evident in the above posts. That so many feel compelled to defend their alternative lifestyle does not surprise me. If there wasn’t a problem with BDSM, it wouldn’t need defending.

    The bedroom is always the place where psychological issues get played out.

  28. devastatingyet December 1, 2008 at 10:29 PM #

    Nanella:

    That so many feel compelled to defend their alternative lifestyle does not surprise me. If there wasn’t a problem with BDSM, it wouldn’t need defending.

    You could say the same about homosexuality for the past 40, 50, or 100 years. In fact, so much of what you said sounds like anti-gay arguments.

    Those people are sick. When I wanted to do that it was because I was sick. They have low self-esteem and are dmaged. They know it’s wrong and that’s why they need to defend their sick behavior.

  29. Trinity December 1, 2008 at 10:48 PM #

    “I think you’re spot-on in saying that such advice is indicative of how we treat sexuality in this culture: always looking for something new and more exciting, new roles, new people.”

    YES. It’s that whole weirdness that fuels the “new sex tip every month in Cosmo” crap too.

    And yeah, it annoys me when the new sex tip is silk scarves *too*. (Especially since that’s actually not the greatest material to be tying people with, though I’ve never been a huge bondager really. I’m lazy. That’s what cuffs are for.)

  30. Trinity December 1, 2008 at 11:01 PM #

    “If there wasn’t a problem with BDSM, it wouldn’t need defending.”

    I don’t think this is good logic. Think about persecution of gay people, and the people who think those who say this is wrong are simply being “defensive.”

    Prejudice does exist. You may be right that the opprobrium aimed at us is actually deserved, but that’s not because any time people get “defensive” it means they were unfairly attacked.

  31. Dan Holzman-Tweed December 1, 2008 at 11:10 PM #

    @Nanella: “If there wasn’t a problem with BDSM, it wouldn’t need defending.”

    I often hear that if there wasn’t a problem with my Bisexuality, it wouldn’t need defending. Neither is a credable position.

  32. Nine Deuce December 1, 2008 at 11:32 PM #

    Dan – That’s a faulty analogy. Homosexuals and bisexuals are oppressed groups, and the asinine arguments of their oppressors come with far different motives than the motives Nanella had for making her argument.

  33. Tins December 2, 2008 at 1:52 AM #

    “That’s a faulty analogy”

    How about this one: when I was in High School, occasionally I would listen to music that my schoolmates would criticize me for enjoying. Often I would then get defensive about the bands I was listening to. I wasn’t defensive because the bands I was listening to were bad. I was defensive because I was unwilling to give up something I enjoyed, but felt insecure about being rejected for not adopting the prevailing attitudes.

    I’m not trying to defend BDSM (I’m largely ignorant of it, and it seems there are people here much more qualified than me to speak on the subject), I’m trying to point out that
    “If there wasn’t a problem with [insert any activity/ideology/community here], it wouldn’t need defending.”
    will never be a valid criticism, because things that are not problematic require defending frequently.

    The problem with anything isn’t defensiveness. According to my moral system, if there is a problem with something, it is usually the way it proliferates unhappiness and suffering. To point out defensiveness as a flaw is to distract from any points you have to make about how the proliferation of unhappiness (or whatever your moral system defines as ‘bad’) is occurring.

    (Personally, I think, just like practicing vanilla sex, it is possible to practice BDSM without proliferating unhappiness. The best way to persuade me I’m wrong about that would be to explain how, say, a loving long term BDSM relationship which both participants enjoy, is bad. I can see how coercive or abusive BDSM relationships are bad. It’s the loving relationships where you’ve lost me.)

  34. Nanella December 2, 2008 at 4:16 AM #

    Tins, it’s “bad” because BDSM is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of physical and emotional abuse, the scenarios enacted by people who would be far better served by spending a little time on a therapist’s couch. Yep, I know how extraordinarly provocative a statement that is, but, believe it or not, I’m not here to get into a lengthy philosophical debate on this subject. 92′s analyses reflect my personal experience, not to mention thoughtfully constructed and researched opinions of mine regarding BDSM.

    Normal, emotionally healthy people don’t get off on being called derogatory names, made to perform degrading acts, being faux-raped, strangled, beaten, slapped, etc. People take their issues into the bedroom…adult children who were molested at a young age get into the submissive’s role of being taken advantage of, being treated like shit, because it’s how the unconscious mind takes traumatic experiences and shakes the shit off, polishes them up nicely and makes them “acceptable” to the conscious mind. There’s a similar phenomenon that sometimes occurs in women who’ve been sexually assaulted. When you don’t seek professional guidance in dealing with childhood, or even recent, traumas, the mind will find a way, no matter how twisted and destructive, to get through it. To survive it. A proclivity for becoming sexually aroused via abusive behavior doesn’t necessarily have to stem from sexual abuse. An example: a young man is criticized and belittled by his mother, beaten by his father, he becomes depressed (depression often manifests in men as anger), he develops a sense of powerlessness……he grows up and starts having sex, he takes that internalized powerlessness, that anger, and he takes that into the bedroom. Now he has an outlet for his emotional issues, now he’s in control, he feels powerful, he can vicariously hurt every person who’s ever hurt him, vent that anger through verbal abuse and sadism: “You know you want it, you little whore” *WHACK*!

    But, hey, it’s all fun and games and they hug and laugh in the end, so that’s how you know it’s Ok, right? That’s how you know…right?

    What you end up with are two emotionally dysfunctional people who, instead of working with a professional to purge the anger, alleviate the depression, gain real mastery over all the slings and arrows of yesterday and their subsequent psychological ramifications, these people reinforce the anger, they inadvertantly rub salt in their own wounds, they don’t get any better. I’ve seen what happens in the BDSM community. I’ve yet to meet a single participant who is entirely mentally and emotionally stable. Everyone’s carrying baggage of some kind around and all the while they’re playing survival games, trying to make what is very, very wrong feel right. Playing games with denial and self-delusion so they can mentally survive another day.

    You don’t have to agree with me, I’m not asking you to. I was moved by 92′s take on BDSM, she hit all the right chords with me and it felt right to express my sentiments on the subject. I’m not interested in changing your mind, I’m really not. (I will quickly remark that there is substantive research supporting everything I’ve said above, however. I didn’t reach these conclusions on my own.) I’ll be completely candid: I still find it arousing. But now I know why, and I think what 92 is proposing is perfectly fair. She wants you to think about *why* you enjoy being humiliated/subjugated/physically abused/verbally abused, or why you enjoy humilating/subjugating/physically abusing/verbally abusing others. Not everything that feels good and doesn’t have apparent consequences is good for a person (the operative word: “apparent”). The least you can do is devote some time and thought to it while being completely honest with yourself.

    And 92 is right about the faulty analogies. This blog is one individual’s forum for airing her thoughts and beliefs. I’m almost certain that she didn’t issue any of her dissenters a personal email invitation to come here and argue with those thoughts and beliefs. I don’t visit the blogs of anti-gay “activists” or outspoken misogynists, I don’t give them the time of day, because I’m fully confident that they’re full o’ shit nutcases and that my diametrically opposed ideals are valid where their ideals are so much hot air, their blog entries so much nonsensical blathering, that they’re actually kind of amusing in a really sad way. The point I was attempting to make earlier is that if you really believed 92′s stance on BDSM was genuinely irrational/nonsensical/etc., you wouldn’t bother giving her the time of day. What she’s said has really gotten to you, it’s fueled a desire to persuade her of her wrong-headedness. Whom are you really trying to convince here? 92, or that small internal voice of doubt that says, “You know what, 92 has a really good point. Maybe our sexual proclivities are just a bit fucked up, hey?” If you confronted it head-on, you might not like what it says about you. Been there, bought the black leather bustier and riding crop.

  35. Trinity December 2, 2008 at 4:32 AM #

    “I’ve yet to meet a single participant who is entirely mentally and emotionally stable.”

    I’ve yet to meet a single human who is entirely mentally and emotionally stable.

    Though maybe if I hung out with people who didn’t approve of my choices, everything would suddenly be clear?

  36. Trinity December 2, 2008 at 4:36 AM #

    “She wants you to think about *why* you enjoy being humiliated/subjugated/physically abused/verbally abused, or why you enjoy humilating/subjugating/physically abusing/verbally abusing others. Not everything that feels good and doesn’t have apparent consequences is good for a person (the operative word: “apparent”). The least you can do is devote some time and thought to it while being completely honest with yourself.”

    Okay, but if she can demand this of us, let me ask something of you:

    Why do you think we haven’t thought about this? As I said earlier, it seems that people who are against SM look at what we have to say, and then decide that, because we reach a different conclusion than they do about our motivations and about what’s good for us, we must have never thought about what motivates us and go back to “the therapist’s couch.”

    My therapist, by the way, is a married, vanilla heterosexual woman with a young kid, and agrees with me that there’s nothing wrong with my proclivities, or my relationship with someone who loves me very much. Have I got her bamboozled? What does she need to examine? How might she go about this?

    The “therapy” meme is so old it’s moldy, especially considering that the vast majority of mental health professionals I’ve talked to *don’t* think SM is unhealthy. Would you care to share the research you’ve got to back up your claims?

  37. Trinity December 2, 2008 at 4:40 AM #

    “What she’s said has really gotten to you, it’s fueled a desire to persuade her of her wrong-headedness.”

    I’ve got no interest in persuading her (or you); she’s rather hard-headed, and clearly enjoys pronouncing on various things people do.

    What I do have interest in, and find often happens in conversations like these, is getting the people who may or may not know what BDSM is like to hear the stories of people who participate. Yeah, I’d like them not to judge us — but really, primarily, it’s not so much because of that as because some of the stereotypes people have very clearly reveal that they have no experience and therefore no idea what they’re talking about.

    You do, and it didn’t work for you… why say that you know what motivates everyone else? I sure don’t claim to!

  38. Lee Davis-Thalbourne December 2, 2008 at 5:11 AM #

    “Tins, it’s “bad” because BDSM is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of physical and emotional abuse.”

    I would debate the notion that BDSM is socially acceptable.

  39. Trinity December 2, 2008 at 5:26 AM #

    also Nanella, if it’s so obvious we’re wrong and silly and damaged and addled, and you don’t bother with the blogs of other people you deem misogynists or crazies… why bother to comment here yourself?

    “You must think being an ex-BDSMer needs defending!”

    ;)

  40. Trinity December 2, 2008 at 5:43 AM #

    “I would debate the notion that BDSM is socially acceptable.”

    Yes. Trying BDSM for “spice”, as ND mentions, may be, but going beyond that… well, does the phrase Operation Spanner ring any bells?

  41. RenegadeEvolution December 2, 2008 at 6:08 AM #

    “I’ve yet to meet a single human who is entirely mentally and emotionally stable. ”

    There is the truest statement ever made.

  42. Natalia Antonova December 2, 2008 at 8:12 AM #

    I’ve yet to meet a single participant who is entirely mentally and emotionally stable.

    Just to second Trinity here – WHERE have you met anyone who’s entirely mentally and emotionally stable?

    To me, those people are like unicorns.

    Sure, plenty seem that way from a distance, but once you get close to someone – you see the little and large cracks in anyone’s foundation. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re human beings, it’s in our nature to have mental and emotional problems – and, you know what? There’s isn’t ONE right way to deal with them either.

  43. Dan Holzman-Tweed December 2, 2008 at 8:33 AM #

    “Dan – That’s a faulty analogy. Homosexuals and bisexuals are oppressed groups, and the asinine arguments of their oppressors come with far different motives than the motives Nanella had for making her argument.”

    The analogy looks fine to me: Those who oppress me for being Bisexual make that argument with the motive of twisting my defense against their attack into a “proof” of their attack. If Nanella has any other motive, she’s welcome to make the case but the fact remains that the argument has horrible precedents.

  44. devastatingyet December 2, 2008 at 3:00 PM #

    It would be a sad world if nobody ever showed up to debate anyone they thought was wrong. I mean, sure, I’m not going to bother debating homosexuality on a forum over at Focus on the Family, because those people are too radically divided from me to be worth arguing with in that type of forum. (Real life, where people can be approached more gently, and with more personal arguments, is different.)

    But feminists are not radically opposed to my views. I am a feminist myself. Talking to other feminists about whether bdsm is harmful is not a waste of time, in my view.

    My non-kink-practicing therapist also doesn’t see a problem with the bdsm aspect of my relationship. He thinks that some of our ways of negotiating and discussing things, and resolving problems, that relate to the d/s that we practice, are quite healthy, and the rest he doesn’t seem to think poses any threat to mental health.

    Are my boyfriend and I completely sane? Of course not. As Trinity said, show me someone who is.

    But we love each other and our relationship gives us both strength and joy. And the fact that some of our pleasure comes from structured, careful, emotionally literate applications of pain and dominance…well, I don’t think we’d be having nearly as good a time without these things, and I don’t think they do us any harm whatsoever.

  45. Trinity December 2, 2008 at 3:20 PM #

    “But we love each other and our relationship gives us both strength and joy. And the fact that some of our pleasure comes from structured, careful, emotionally literate applications of pain and dominance…well, I don’t think we’d be having nearly as good a time without these things, and I don’t think they do us any harm whatsoever.”

    Yeah, this… this right here. Haha that makes me want to call mine now and say something mooshy. :)

  46. RCDC December 3, 2008 at 12:31 AM #

    i’m relatively new to D/s, so i can only speak from my very very limited experience. i am a strong, emotionally articulate, intelligent young woman with a very strong libido. for years i’ve tried to deny what i’ve known since i was 13 – that although i am as intelligent and capable as, usually more so than, most men, i have a deep-seated desire to be dominated in my sexual relationships. i was never abused, and have more or less led a charmed life. i’m not an adrenaline junkie, being the most risk-averse person i know. this revelation is something i have desperately desperately tried to avoid. now that i’ve tried it, i know that it satisfies me because it is a part, even if a small one, of who i am.
    9-2, maybe it’s because my skin isn’t as thick as the others’ yet, but every time you mocked who i am, it was like a punch to the gut. i can’t change who i am. believe me, i’ve tried. i worry now that someone will find out and i’ll never find a job. i worry that people will reject me because, like you, they refuse to even try to understand us from a point of equality. this is worse than slut-shaming; women with active sex lives have a choice, and if they choose a monogamous sex life, no better or worse for them. if i do not occasionally allow myself to submit to another’s will, i will be walling off a part of myself. since i began to submit weekly to a friend, i have been LESS depressed, LESS anxious. i’ve experienced the pain and repression i felt at trying hard to be a good feminist, to not be some man’s punching bag. and i still feel that pain whenever one of my sistren decides that because i do not love or make love as she does, i’m some kind of traitor to the cause, a handmaiden to the patriarchy. but i refuse to turn my back on myself – i’m sorry, but i have to look out for number one.
    i recognize that this wasn’t a real argument as much as a testimonial, but you know what? yours wasn’t that intellectually rigorous either.

  47. Nine Deuce December 3, 2008 at 12:55 AM #

    RCDC – This series isn’t about telling you not to be into whatever you’re into, it’s about examining the cultural factors involved in BDSM. I don’t care what any one person does (provided no one is being hurt), but I do care about the reasons our sexual culture is the way it is. Don’t come here and tell me I’m oppressing you because I find the mixture of sex and power problematic.

  48. RCDC December 3, 2008 at 5:38 AM #

    it’s not the raising of the issues i have a problem with. it’s the (incredibly demeaning) sense that people are willing, even eager to view me as “less than” because of a characteristic that i can’t change. when faced with phrases like “I really can’t imagine doing aught but snickering at someone handing out orders to me with the expectation that I’d get all excited by it” and “I’m going to assume it’s the domain of idiots with no sense of the absurd” what is a young feminist meant to feel about her desires other than shame? i’m sorry that i was so emotional in the previous post. i had an unpleasant experience in the past with a sexual partner who became verbally abusive when i expressed an interest in bdsm play. needless to say, that outburst from him marked the end of our relationship with marked distaste on both sides.
    i do recognize the philosophical problems inherent in sexuality. i worry sometimes, as i tend to worry about anything, that my sexuality will begin to affect my ability to do my work, which requires being, on occasion quite forceful. i’m finding the balance on my own. all i’m really asking for is a civil discourse, hear all sides, rather than one that seeks to belittle the other side. i’d gladly participate in that.
    again, to clarify: i take no issue with the debate itself, only the tone of the debate. i apologize for my earlier outburst and hope to mend fences.

  49. Offended Sub December 3, 2008 at 10:26 PM #

    @Nanella:
    I didn’t actually plan on jumping in on this debate (maybe I should call it an anti-BDSM holy war). But I need to express my feelings now, or I might end up seriously depressed for real. It’s like RCDC said, it feels like a punch to the gut. I’m getting so sick of radical feminists calling me unstable, traumatized, dysfunctional, self-delusioned and everything else that has been thrown around here. Let me get this straight: I’ve been fantasizing about being sexually dominated for as long as I can remember – as I grew up and discovered more about my sexuality even to the extent of what some of the dudes responding to 9-2′s CL ad mentioned. And I NEVER, let me repeat NEVER, was in any situation that remotely resamples what you proclaim to be the one and only source for such desires. I was never molested, assaulted or abused in any form, nor have I been indoctrinated by evil patriarchic society. Both my parents have always been kind and caring (and still are, they’re not dead mind you). I have many friends and always had since pre-school times. There never was a reason for me to feel inferior. I don’t know what happened to you that you say your conclusions are based on personal experiences. But you can claim that you have done “extensive and thoughtful research” all you want, your theories are indicative enough of what kind of books you’ve been reading, what kind of studies you’ve consulted, or whatever else you’ve done to acquire this “knowledge”. I’d be surprised if you ever consulted any scientific work you suspected of not being in favour of what you wanted to hear.

    And as for coming here and defending what is important to me:
    “The point I was attempting to make earlier is that if you really believed 92’s stance on BDSM was genuinely irrational/nonsensical/etc., you wouldn’t bother giving her the time of day. What she’s said has really gotten to you, it’s fueled a desire to persuade her of her wrong-headedness”
    I didn’t come here deliberately, I stumbled upon this place. And to extend your logic: when someone calls you a bitch, retard, idiot , if you feel insulted by this and talk back, it means that this person is actually right?
    “That so many feel compelled to defend their alternative lifestyle does not surprise me. If there wasn’t a problem with BDSM, it wouldn’t need defending.”
    Everything is bound to be viewed differently by different people. When one group challenges the views of another group, concluding that their views must be wrong just because they defend themselves is outright ridiculous.

    Lastly, I apologize for being aggressive. But it’s not like I didn’t have to take insults here either. See the first part of my post for what you’ve been calling me. Now I’m out of here. Being verbally abused by anti-BDSM activists is bad for my mental health.

  50. Nine Deuce December 3, 2008 at 10:34 PM #

    RCDC and Offended Sub – Both of you have come very close to saying that your desire to be dominated is innate. If it isn’t, it had to come from somewhere, and I’m trying to pinpoint where that might be (not for you as individuals, but in general).

  51. Offended Sub December 4, 2008 at 2:20 AM #

    Curiosity made me come back it seems. Yeah, knowing where these desires originate is something I’d like to know as well. Actually I think that you deserve praise for honestly trying to find a definite answer. But your three articles so far appear very biased, at times even degrading, to me (for example: I really love shibari. It looks gorgeous and feels great. “Seriously, fuck Japan” strikes me as something very racist to say).

    That being said, I don’t mind the thought of these feelings being innate. Actually I don’t see why masochism being coded in our genes would be such a bother. No man could use this as a basis for defending patriarchy without making a fool of himself. Firstly, I think it’s reasonable to say that more than 50% of all women are not masochistic anyway (if my peer group is any indication), and secondly, masochism is not at all exclusive to females. You wanted to investigate the latter in more detail, right? I didn’t want to follow this discussion any further, but now I’m curious about what statistics you have obtained. I doubt that any online-dating site can be a reliable source for this, though.

    Maybe I should add that despite some of my fantasies being rather “hardcore”, I only want to be dominated when it comes to sex. I’m pretty fond of my freedom outside of the bedroom.

  52. Trinity December 4, 2008 at 3:04 AM #

    Offended and RCDC: Having read 9-2 before, I feel a need to say that those snarky, very universalizing remarks are common in her posts. For whatever it’s worth to you, she says similar things about most things she doesn’t like. :)

    If you want a safer spot, there’s always Let Them Eat Pro-SM Feminist Safe Spaces. I tend to snark as well, the other way, but I thought I’d give you a heads up. That’s a spot where people can talk about feminism and SM that’s actually for us, where talking about one’s life and fantasies *won’t* yield insistence on examination. :)

  53. Octavia December 8, 2008 at 4:50 PM #

    I find it truly sad the number of “my therapist approves of my behavior so that I do not have to think about it myself” responses here. Guess what, kids – mental health professionals do not have all the answers, are socialized in much the same way that you are, and aren’t good excuses to use for refusing to examine the link between BDSM and the cultural norm of subjugating the sex class (women).

    You owe yourself a little bit more than just the intellectual dishonesty of “the medical profession says so, so nyah nyah”.

  54. Trinity December 8, 2008 at 8:15 PM #

    “I find it truly sad the number of “my therapist approves of my behavior so that I do not have to think about it myself” responses here.”

    Can you point me to where I said I don’t think about it myself? I made the comments on mental health professionals’ opinions of BDSM not because I think that therapists have all the answers, but to counter the comments people kept making that said “You all need a therapist,” “get professional help,” etc.

  55. Lara February 1, 2009 at 3:41 AM #

    Thank you thank you thank you for not only handling this issue thus far with tons of grace, insight, and thoughtfulness, but for also making me laugh hysterically and ponder hard all at the same time.
    You’ve clearly taken the time and effort to consider the issues at hand with BDSM while not making it an “individual problem.” The mistake (or is it a mistake?) the mainstream media makes is that it treats BDSM as “deviant” and a “subculture.” But the fact of the matter is that it’s exaggerated power relations, heavily gendered (and racialized) ones dressed up in role play.
    And I would also suck at taking orders, or giving them, or role play without cracking up and turning it into some musical about boogers and poo….
    Could one make a chex..sorry.er….sex mix vagina?? I mean we don’t just need weener and boobie sex mix pieces.
    Get crackin’ on that Sex Mix patent, woman!

  56. Jon February 25, 2009 at 7:49 AM #

    My, my, where to begin in this one? I think I will start with the linking of Role Playing with BDSM inherently. Ok, Role playing covers a HUGE playing field. It’s everything from putting on a school girl skirt, to playing nurse and doctor. Are you going to tell me all your sex has been missionary with the lights off?
    There is a reason therapists tell couples to spice things up a little sometimes, because overtime, things become routine. Even sex. Maybe you haven’t been in a relationship or married long enough to hit that little bump, but it happens. You will be hard pressed to find an intelligent therapist who doesn’t recommend exploring mutual fantasies and role playing. It’s a way to remind you that the person you love can still be fun!
    Secondly, BDSM is Not Role Playing in many Cases. It’s usually a serious life choice. Some people take it to varying degrees but you are assuming we are acting out a part. You are assuming it’s a game for people, something we decided to do one day and not a part of who we are as people.
    I found myself drawn to BDSM before I even knew what it was. I spent a lot of time thinking I was a freak because I got turned on when I saw someone tied up in a show or movie and it was a bizarre and huge revelation to learn that other people were into it too. I wasn’t the only one!
    You are apparently painfully vanilla by the way talk, and as an outsider you can’t understand that this is a part of us. In my last post I said I wasn’t out there converting people to BDSM and I never have. It’s one of those things that you have in you or you don’t. If you don’t you will never really understand those of us that do.
    As for fear being a bonding force, you have it backwards. My girlfriend trusts me. Every so often, I do something that scare and terrifies her, but we have already formed a bond, and she trusts that I am not going to go to far. In fact we spent a lot of time working up to BDSM. We didn’t jump in with both feet despite previous experience and mutual interest. We have been together several months and are just now getting into the kink.
    I know I just mentioned it though, but you are leaving out the mutual respect in BDSM. Truth told, I have to trust a submissive in any play situation. She could go to any police station the next day claiming I kidnapped her, beat and raped her, and I would spend the rest of my life in a 4X6foot cell making special friends with a fellow named Bubba no matter how much I tried to defend myself.
    I have to respect her right to say stop, and I have to stop when she asks me to. And she has to trust me to stop when she asks me to. That is real trust and intimacy.
    BDSM isn’t caused by the society we live in, it’s caused by the people we are and our interests.

  57. Naomy October 13, 2009 at 4:26 AM #

    I didn’t read all the replies…… Just most of them. I agree with what was originally said about BDSM being a way of moving away from intimacy. Maybe this is because I read a lot of psychology books on fetishes. Which talk about not just mainly sexual fetishes but all different forms of fetishes. The main point being that fetishises are a way to conceal and reveal. Kink is f**ked up. Bottom line. Doesnt stop me from practicing BDSM but at least I acknowledge the psychology behind it.

  58. Miss Andrist December 24, 2009 at 4:32 AM #

    Survivor. I can barely read this post and I go perhaps a bit farther than ND in my condemnation. Again, I border on violent self-defense. I was looking for another post I found through this blog that comforts me… But I had to stop and say something:

    Feminization is defined as erotic by BDSM as humiliation. There is no synonym of the inverse for females. Seems the males have a more clear idea of what it means to be a female than a lot of the commentors on this subject.

    BDSM is the sexual language of concentrated essence of Rush Limbaugh.

    • Nine Deuce December 24, 2009 at 8:06 AM #

      Feminization is defined as erotic by BDSM as humiliation. There is no synonym of the inverse for females. Seems the males have a more clear idea of what it means to be a female than a lot of the commentors on this subject.

      Quite an important point.

  59. skeptifem September 16, 2010 at 3:21 PM #

    I am way late to this, but I really hate how any critique of BDSM comes with “pffft you’ve obviously never been a part of the community” as an answer. That doesn’t mean anything, you are just saying it isn’t what it really really looks like. I am not impressed. You all are acting like there aren’t scores of ex BDSM community members who share the opinion of of people like 9-2. There are.

  60. Fede September 16, 2010 at 11:36 PM #

    Yeah, skeptifem, I’m late too, but here to declare my agreement with you, Miss Andrist, and of course ND.

    “BDSM isn’t caused by the society we live in, it’s caused by the people we are and our interests.”
    What absolute twaddle.

    BDSM is a stylised rape scenario. It may be controlled, it may be exciting for all involved, it may bring them to orgasm, and it may involve a feeling of great trust and intimacy and, yes, love between the participants. It is a rape scenario nonetheless, and of course it is informed by rape culture.

    Naomy has the right idea here. Acknowledging that kink is fucked up does not necessarily mean that a person can help being turned on by it. I salute you for acknowledging it, Naomy (if you read this), and am in the same boat.

    I’m not speaking from up on high; I get turned on by some pretty fucked up things, and yes, they are rooted in the power differential between men and women in which I have been steeped my whole life. My particular kink (gay-boy-on-het-boy slash fiction) may be a warped version of that, but there’s no doubt as to the source from whence it sprang, ferchrissakes.

  61. Lillie September 17, 2010 at 10:41 AM #

    skeptifem: Indeed – and how does “The Community” work in practice? Let’s say I get a bright new idea tomorrow and think, “Wow, I’m going to try out BDSM”… and I pick a local BDSM club to try things out as a newbie. How do I know I’m picking one of the “good” communities? How would I know who to trust not to “really” abuse me?

    It’s not like they have a centralized union and a set of rules that every chapter and sub-chapter of BDSM International must obey. They always say it’s a self-policing community, but who exactly polices whom and how do you even know the local BDSM police aren’t the people you really, really want to avoid?

    If everyone could potentially enjoy anything (see the Jezebel article I linked to in the “Why I Hate Men Part 1″ comments, in which many proponents of BDSM implied that the reports of the abuse might have been wrong because it all might have been consensual (including things like having your urethra sewn shut)) then how the hell do you lay down any ground rules, anyway? And if even “the community” can’t decide what’s the outer limit of safe, consensual BDSM and what constitutes abuse, then who exactly is going to police anything, and how?

  62. sneeky bunny September 17, 2010 at 10:52 AM #

    And I hate how often critiques of BDSM (and you, Skeptifem, provide an excellent example of this) boil down to “I don’t care what you say your experience is, I think it’s gross, so you are deluded or lying”. That sort of thinking denies me agency, and I find that demeaning. I do not discount those who find BDSM problematic. It can be viewed as the Patriarchy distilled down to its essence. For some, the very idea of playing with that dynamic is horrifying on a visceral level for any number of reasons. For some the objection is sociological or political, as the practice of BDSM with in the overall societal construct can be seen as an impediment to changing that construct. Every one, in their own lives, has to decide just how much they choose to politicize the personal. For me, playing with power dynamics is about trust and has allowed me a deeper (and, I must say, hotter) intimacy with my partners, which I had lacked in my more “conventional” pairings. I am aware of the likely personal and political origins of my kinks and after much self examination am fine with my sexuality, but I wouldn’t dream of being so presumptuous as to say that my sexuality is the only acceptable way of getting it on. All I, or pretty much any of the kinky folk who have regularly posted on this blog, have ever asked, is that we be shown the same courtesy of assuming we know our own minds.

  63. sneeky bunny September 17, 2010 at 3:54 PM #

    Lillie you raise some excellent points. The disintegration of the comments on Jezebel was appalling and a breath taking example of victim blaming. The point is that she was raped and abused not the methods by which she was raped and abused. No community is immune to the infection of predators. Evil people, with evil intent, will cloak themselves in what ever persona, and use what ever tools their particular community provides, to achieve their end. What is particularly tragic and horrible is that the victim in this crime is being characterized as unrapable because of the *methods* used to harm her. It doesn’t matter *how* he raped and abused her, there’s no gradation of evil here. Any rape, in any form, by any perpetrator comes from an equally evil place, and trying to shield oneself from that horror by marginalizing the victim is whistling in the dark at best, and makes oneself and ones community complicit at worst.
    There is an excellent post and (resultant conversation in comments) that addresses some of the points you raise about the responsibilities of the “BDSM community” to self police over on Feministe. The point of self policing is not to make sure that the fair name of the BDSM community is not besmirched. The point, or it should be, is to keep shit like this from happening to people, and to keep their participation in kinky sex from being used against victims of rape and abuse.

  64. Valerie M September 18, 2010 at 5:55 AM #

    That sort of thinking denies me agency

    Every one, in their own lives, has to decide just how much they choose to politicize the personal.

    So, you think you can step outside of patriarchy whenever you want, and at the same time that feminist criticism of BDSM on the internet, which no one is forcing you to read, is oppressing your real life choices?

  65. sneeky bunny September 18, 2010 at 11:03 AM #

    I can no more step outside of the patriarchy than I can step outside of the air which we all breath. It is an inescapable fact of life. How I, or you, or any one for that matter, live their lives with in those bounds is the point.
    As I said, I understand those who find BDSM problematic for whatever reason. I respect the thought process and life experiences that have brought them there, and I would never dream of dismissing their position by assuming they didn’t know their own mind.

    My position, happens to be different, and it bears repeating, for the sake of clarity, that assuming kinky people are all deluded or liars is reductive, divisive, and nonproductive.

    I find the way you phrased your question to me to be interesting. One could respond that no one is forcing you to read my posts either, but, as I’ve often said about this blog, the diversity of feminist voice here is what keeps me coming back. An echo chamber, while cozy, does not encourage growth.

  66. kristina September 18, 2010 at 2:17 PM #

    I know you’re not directing this question at me Valerie…but I do want to take a shot (I’m not into BDSM for the record)
    I don’t think that I can step outside of the patriarchy, but I do think an overall knowledge about it, how it works, and how it is and has affected me can give me the opportunity to make an informed decision on my personal level (as in I may not advocate my same choices to someone else based on the context in which they live their lives, it risks hypocrisy but I honestly don’t believe the world is that black and white to tell people my choices are the best choices for them.) As for criticism of BDSM, I find all views equally important, but that doesn’t mean I condone that lifestyle because I am taking things from my context, just as someone else may be taking the criticism in their context…It’s only oppressing real life choices if you refuse or are uninformed of the context of the individual into which it is applied. So, criticism itself isn’t oppressing it’s oppressing if that criticism is taken as fact which depending on the language is the fault of the reader, or the fault of the writer…I however have stated a million times, that ND is very good about keeping her criticisms in the context of her views and I appreciate that about her blog.

  67. Valerie M September 19, 2010 at 1:37 AM #

    One could respond that no one is forcing you to read my posts either

    Absolutely. But then, I am not trying to claim that reading your posts denies me agency.

    BDSM is the fetishisation of the power differential that exists between men and women. It is a patriarchal practice and as such, deserves scrutiny from a feminist perspective.

    No one is saying you can’t engage in it if you want to, and no one is saying you don’t really really enjoy it. But feminist it is not. It’s getting off on your own disenfranchised position in society, and don’t expect feminists to not say so.

  68. kristina September 19, 2010 at 3:30 PM #

    “It’s getting off on your own disenfranchised position in society, and don’t expect feminists to not say so.”

    In general aren’t we as women disenfranchised? How is it determined that any sexual activity we engage in isn’t coming from our disenfranchised position?
    (I’m not trying to be an ass…just honestly asking)

  69. sneeky bunny September 19, 2010 at 3:46 PM #

    LOL
    So am I to be purged from the movement for displaying insufficient doctrinal purity? How…..Maoist.
    My objection to Skeptifem’s comment was specific to her assertion that kinky people, (and I’ve read this again and again in comments on this blog by a number of others as well) are either liars or deluded.

    For the third time, I understand, and respect the agency, of those who find BDSM problematic. I am not offended by that. I do not object to a critique of BDSM. I would never tell some one, who is not so inclined, that they would change their minds about BDSM if they only had the right experience.

    What you seem unable to wrap your head around is that I have read the critiques and done the self study and *still* am a feminist who enjoys BDSM. Sorry about that, but there you are. And I’m not alone, and I’m not going to be silenced.

  70. Fede September 20, 2010 at 12:32 AM #

    “So am I to be purged from the movement for displaying insufficient doctrinal purity?”
    I certainly hope not, sneeky bunny! Lest we all turn out to be too uncool for the feminist school of thought.

    I would argue that one can most definitely be a feminist who enjoys BDSM, and an excellent feminist at that, only I would not call BDSM practices feminist in themselves.

    I do find BDSM problematic, although it could be said that all sexual activity must necessarily be problematic in a patriarchy.

    Kristina, indeed *any* sexual activity we engage in may owe something to women’s disenfranchised position in society. Patriarchy informs everything we do to some extent, not least in bed. Even m/m porn clearly borrows from the dominant-male-submissive-female dynamic of heteronormativity. (As for f/f gay porn, I wouldn’t know; I haven’t consumed any)

    Admittedly, I suspect the term BDSM may cover a pretty diverse range of practices, but all in all, BDSM is relatively far out on the precariousness continuum, to my mind, because of the ole’ stylised rape deal.

  71. sneeky bunny September 20, 2010 at 9:25 AM #

    @kristina: You make a good point I think. The patriarchy is inescapable, and an argument can be made that it taints all interpersonal relationships, or indeed any societal interaction. For some this leads to the conclusion that separatism is the best way for them to live authentically as feminists. This can manifest as limiting one’s contact with men in one’s daily life as much as possible, by actively seeking out and patronizing women owned and run businesses, professional services, and spaces, while still living in society, or it can go as far as living off the grid entirely. Some feel that due to rape culture, and the internalized misogyny from which it can be argued all men suffer, that the only truly egalitarian form of sexual expression is lesbianism. For those who cannot, for whatever reason, form same sex attachments, celibacy can often be an option. Others, try to lead authentic feminist live with male partners, negotiating the rocky waters of the patriarchy in a shared boat. This, of course, requires vigilance on the part of both partners that they live in awareness of their own societal conditioning and work to overcome it.

    It’s a tall order no matter how you look at it. :)

    As I said up thread, it’s up to each individual to decide how much the wish to politicize their personal lives. I have been a feminist since my early teens ( indeed, I still have the t-shirt commemorating the first International Woman’s Day) and through reading, study, and activism have come to a personal understanding of my own place in the movement and the world. Every journey is different.

  72. Valerie M September 20, 2010 at 11:03 AM #

    Nice straw argument you’ve built there sneeky bunny but sorry it’s not going to work on me. I don’t have the power to purge anyone from feminism. At any rate, everyone and their dog is calling themselves a feminist these days (including pimps) so I think it’s pretty ridiculous to think that word is going to make anyone immune from criticism.

    Also absurd is the notion that I could somehow silence you. Your opinion is so mainstream that no feminist rhetoric could ever drown it out – women saying that it is, in certain situations, alright to physically abuse women is exactly what men want to hear, and they will make sure you are heard. The real marginalised voices here are the ones like mine, who say that you can never, under patriarchy, say it is alright to use violence against a woman and not have it be a political statement. You don’t get to choose how political it is. That choice is made for you by patriarchy, a social system that thrives on violence against women.

    Someone said it very eloquently somewhere: you’re orgasm is just not that important. Every time you enable men in their delusional thinking about women, that we are appropriate objects for their violent, misogynist fantasies, you are stabbing your sisters in the back. And while you may like that, I don’t.

  73. sneeky bunny September 20, 2010 at 12:13 PM #

    Fede I would agree with you that it would be impossible to call BDSM practices feminist per se. It can be pretty much a Kabuki play reenactment of the patriarchy for sure! :)

  74. Valerie M September 20, 2010 at 3:20 PM #

    @ kristina

    I hope you are not suggesting that all women fuck men.

    Surely you can tell the difference between two lesbians softly kissing and a man sewing a woman’s vagina shut?

  75. kristina September 20, 2010 at 3:46 PM #

    No Valerie, I’m not at all suggesting that all women fuck men…that’s absurd. I’m asking if even acts that aren’t PIV in a heterosexual relationship are coming from a disenfranchised position. The reason I didn’t bring up lesbian relationships is I’m admittedly very ignorant about lesbian relationships…not that I don’t want to learn, but I lack that experience in my life and the people who can share those experiences with me. Also, from what I know now about lesbian relationships doesn’t seem to fit the patriarchal model…I don’t see too much analysis on lesbian relationships and how they follow a patriarchal model…except in mainstream porn, and I don’t find that medium a reliable source for information.

  76. sneeky bunny September 20, 2010 at 4:21 PM #

    Valerie M
    Joke. Not straw argument. Joke. As apparently unsuccessfully indicated by proceeding said comment with ”LOL”.

    For the, what is it now? Fourth? Yes, fourth time. I have no problem with a feminist critique of BDSM. I think that conversation has value. What I think detracts from that conversation is dismissing other women as liars or deluded who do not agree with you. Which, again for the fourth time, was my original objection to Skeptifem’s comment.

    I think that there is room for all manner of feminist thought on this blog. That’s one of the things I love about it. Women who are just starting to think about these issues can come here and explore ideas such as separatism which in their daily life might never have occurred to them as even being an option. They can have those “Ah Ha!” moments regarding the insidious nature of the patriarchy in their own lives and relationships. They can develop the tools needed to fight for change in our culture, and around the world. And they can interact with feminists of all shades from 2nd wavers to 3rd wavers to radfems etc. I think that diversity is valuable.

    And as far as straw arguments go, that “feminist pimp” you allude to seems pretty inflammable. :)

  77. Fede September 20, 2010 at 4:50 PM #

    A Kabuki play reenactment of the patriarchy! Ha, I like that description.

    “Some feel that due to rape culture, and the internalized misogyny from which it can be argued all men suffer, that the only truly egalitarian form of sexual expression is lesbianism.”
    Oh yes, I would count myself among those who feel that way, and lordy, did I hope and pray, when I was growing up, to be a lesbian! As did quite a few of my friends, they tell me, but to no avail. Orientation is a cruel master.

    But I might go so far as to suspect that even lesbianism may often fall short of being truly egalitarian under patriarchy. Misogyny is so ingrained in our mentality that women internalise it, too. And sexual relations are practically *by definition* a dominance-submission deal, no matter how subtle or loving or who does the dominating.

    Like you say, one viable option (for some) is to abstain altogether. But, well, each of us has to figure out which compromise to make in order to make the most of our limited options. The best a person can do if she doesn’t want to be celibate, I suppose, is to require of her partner(s) that they earn her trust.

  78. sneeky bunny September 20, 2010 at 5:27 PM #

    @ kristina
    Lesbians are not monolith. There are as many different kinds of lesbians as there are heterosexual women. And if I might add, in my admittedly personal experience, lesbian sex? Not all soft kissing. ;)

  79. Valerie M September 21, 2010 at 8:15 AM #

    @kristina

    I’ve already written a couple of times about how much agency I think women have in hetero relationships. Feel free to read the posts to save me typing it all out again.

    http: //wewillnot.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/sexual-prime-and-mens-usurpation-of-female-desire/

    http: //wewillnot.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/homo-sex-is-more-natural-and-evolutionary-than-hetero-sex/

  80. kristina September 21, 2010 at 10:14 AM #

    @ kristina
    Lesbians are not monolith. There are as many different kinds of lesbians as there are heterosexual women. And if I might add, in my admittedly personal experience, lesbian sex? Not all soft kissing. ;)

    Exactly… which is why I claim ignorance on the subject…I don’t have ANY knowledge base on it, and prefer to let lesbians do the talking…I could easily make assumptions on what lesbian sex is like if I were to see it as monolith, but the sad truth is I have no idea, no inkling to what it is like at all BECAUSE of the many experiences of different women, and no amount of talking I could ever do with every lesbian on the face of the planet could fully educate me on the subject, so I prefer to leave my assumptions out of it.

  81. Valerie M September 21, 2010 at 11:17 AM #

    sneeky bunny if you are in any way suggesting that I said that all lesbian sex = soft kissing, please point me to where I made such a claim. I was pointing out, for kristina’s benefit, that not all sexual acts that women engage in are violent or mirroring male/female power differentials.

    Also, girl-on-girl porn for straight dudes? Not a fucking thing to do with lesbianism.

  82. sneeky bunny September 21, 2010 at 2:41 PM #

    Valerie M,
    Sigh.
    And as Fede pointed out lesbians aren’t immune to cultural influence, and even their sexual expression may fall short of the egalitarian ideal.
    Your comment set up a false dichotomy which I addressed in a tongue in cheek manner. I have no idea what experience you may have with same sex attachments. I can only speak of my own. Which is what I did. And, as I said, in my experience, it isn’t all soft kisses.
    I entirely agree with you that gay for pay girl on girl porn has nothing to do with lesbians. The long claw like nails alone…..gah!

  83. kristina September 21, 2010 at 3:14 PM #

    “Also, girl-on-girl porn for straight dudes? Not a fucking thing to do with lesbianism.”

    Yeah…I totally figured.

  84. Valerie M September 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM #

    sneeky bunny, you keep trying to redirect this conversation, which is a typical response from BDSMers who can’t address the real life harms these practices have for all women.

    And since you keep going ‘sigh’, ‘LOL’, and the like, you can fuck off actually.

  85. sneeky bunny September 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM #

    @kristine
    I just wanted to check in with you, because it occurred to me that I might be sounding a little condescending and that is totally not my intention. Damn the internet! It’s so hard to convey tone of voice even with the aid of emoticons! (Here’s one of a bunny. !,! )

  86. Bluecat September 22, 2010 at 2:04 AM #

    Something I have trouble wrapping my mind around is why self-harm, or self-inflicted injury, is universally understood to be symptomatic of psychological illness by the mental health community, and yet, if you enlist someone’s assistance in harming your person, as long as it’s in the name of sexy fun good times, all is well. If you were to derive pleasure from the act of choking yourself, slapping yourself, calling yourself names, etc., you’d be an excellent candidate for psychoanalysis and/or psychiatric medication. Yet we give these same self-destructive/self-punitive/self-degrading behaviors the green light if they occur in a sexual context with a consenting partner.

    What a crazy world we live in.

    • Silent Agony (@DiscordantFlesh) February 22, 2013 at 4:55 PM #

      I have struggled with self harm since I was a little kid and though I could have I choose not to and know firmly why now, that it is very triggering and upsetting to me and I could never derive pleasure from it and I also am very sensitive and would feel hurt being called names like slut or whore.

  87. sneeky bunny September 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM #

    @Valerie M
    I have done nothing of the sort. For the fifth time. I have no objection to a feminist critique of BDSM. As I said to Fede, BDSM can be seen as a Kabuki reenactment of the patriarchy. My objection was, and is, (again for the 5th time) to kinky people being marginalized from that conversation through the assumption that we are deluded or liars. An objection that I have yet to see you address if we want to get picky. :)

    I do apologize if my attempt to keep the conversation light has rubbed you the wrong way. I tend toward the flippant. (Indeed, as noted on my grade school report cards again and again.)

    You and I are in agreement on many points Valerie M, from the pervasiveness of patriarchal influence in our lives, to the awesomeness of lesbian sex. I hope we can continue to participate in many spirited conversations here on Rage Against the Man-chine in the future, and I look forward to reaching a deeper understanding of your point of view through the reading of your blog as well. But as far as “fucking off” ? You’re going to have to buy me dinner first, I’m afraid. ;)

  88. kristina September 22, 2010 at 10:34 PM #

    I know how it is sneeky bunny…no worries, I didn’t think that…it helps when a smiley is at the end… =)

  89. Valerie M September 23, 2010 at 8:38 AM #

    @Bluecat: Exactly.

    @ sneeky bunny

    Because I do think you’re deluding yourself, that’s why. Please tell me how what you are saying is any different than women who say ‘I just like makeup and high heels and uncomfortable shit, okay? I would totally wear it even if women weren’t oppressed!’

    But as far as “fucking off” ? You’re going to have to buy me dinner first, I’m afraid. ;)

    Don’t you know my secret identity?

    http: //wewillnot.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/mmm-vanilla/

    Dinner beforehand wouldn’t stave off your ennui, I’m afraid. Sigh! lol

  90. sneeky bunny September 23, 2010 at 10:05 AM #

    @ bluecat
    You are speaking specifically to verbal and ritual aspects of a BDSM scene, correct? Because as far as societally sanctioned getting together and beating the crap out of each other goes the list is legion. Boxing leaps immediately to mind, or football (American, or Australian rules even more so, since they don’t believe in padding) or rugby, or many of the martial arts. And I am assuming that there is no objection to women playing rugby or practicing kung fu on the grounds that it some how supports the patriarchy.

  91. sneeky bunny September 23, 2010 at 10:54 AM #

    @Valarie M,
    I have been over to your neck of the internet and read your whole blog, and we have even more in common than first suspected. An appreciation for Hyperbole and a Half and k.d. lang for example.
    As you are a chef, I’m sure any meal you might prepare would be any thing but boring, and I never said there was anything wrong with vanilla. :)

    And yes, I must confess, I do perform femininity in the realm of fashion. I have a Master’s degree in costume design, so the semiotics of apparel are of particular interest to me. I could go alllllll day talking about what a pair of shoes tell me about some one, or a silver ring worn on one’s middle finger for that matter. :)
    So yeah, this is another point where we part ways, because I view fashion as art, (as well as an unique form of communication) and I will always be willing to suffer for art. But dear God, heels *every* day? Can. Not. Do. It. I’d get foot cramps all the way up to my knees!

    I have a related question for you. Tattoos are painful and can be seen as a form of self mutilation. Do you think, on those grounds, that they might be considered oppressive to women? Personally, I have three, and view them as a form of personal artistic expression, but you might find problematic the fact that I also reeeeeeeeeally enjoy the physical sensation of the process.

    But not foot cramps. Can’t abide foot cramps.

  92. kristina September 23, 2010 at 7:25 PM #

    I’d have to say tattoos are less acceptable on women then men…precisely why I have 2… LOL!

  93. Bluecat September 23, 2010 at 9:24 PM #

    @sneeky bunny:
    I can see where you were attempting to go with this argument, but the analogy fails on multiple levels. Violent sports such as football and boxing are a contest of brute strength between equal opponents. There is no element of masochism or sadism in sports. There is no power-over dynamic. There is no enactment of physical/verbal abuse.

    I know your tattoo analogy was directed at Valerie, but I can’t resist pointing out that the masochistic pleasure you feel is an unintentional side-effect of the process. The tattoo artist’s objective isn’t to dominate, denigrate, or cause you pain, it’s to give you a permanent piece of artwork.

  94. Valerie M September 24, 2010 at 1:37 AM #

    @ sneeky bunny

    Hey what is this anyway? I though we were arguing about BDSM – suddenly were having a romantic candle-lit dinner? And I’m cooking as well?

    Regarding my tattoo: I want to second what Bluecat has said, but also add that while I don’t know if tattoos are oppressive to women, my reasons for getting one were definitely borne of oppression.

    My tattoo, the only one I have, is a lesbian symbol. I got it to show solidarity with the lesbian community and to identify myself to other lesbians, not that they seem to have much trouble recognising me these days! If not for lesbian oppression, the tattoo would not be necessary, and in fact would have no meaning.

    As for art in general, an interesting argument I read on the subject (at IBTP, I believe) a while back is that art, or personal expression, would cease to be necessary outside of systems of oppression because one could be wholly oneself. So art would not survive the revolution.

    Of course, this had a lot of people whinging ‘but I LIKE art,’ which did seem to miss the point a bit.

    Anyhoo, probably getting a little off topic here.

  95. Valerie M September 24, 2010 at 1:53 AM #

    Also forgot to say – while getting my tattoo was far from the most painful thing I have ever experienced, it was definitely unpleasant. So no, it’s not the best analogy for that reason as well. It was thoroughly unenjoyable. I was not doing for the experience of having it done, if you see what I mean.

  96. sneeky bunny September 24, 2010 at 9:56 AM #

    @bluecat,
    Thanks, I was looking for clarification on your position, not necessarily disputing it.
    As I said, I view tattoos as a form of personal artistic expression, but there are some who find any kind of body modification problematic and I was interested in Valerie M’s opinion on the matter, particularly as there is an intrinsic pleasure/pain dynamic involved. Piercing and scarification would also fall with in that debate I think.

    @kristina
    There still *is* a societal disapproval of tattooed women isn’t there? I tend to forget that as I can (excluding my parents) count on one hand the number of people I know who *don’t* have any tattoos.

  97. kristina September 24, 2010 at 3:27 PM #

    I personally did get pleasure from the process of the tattoo…but I used to be a cutter too…I just took my love of the pain and put it to “better use”… I no longer find seeking pain pleasurable, but that was something that changed in me, not something I was coerced into. I would still get another tattoo, but it would be less seeking the process, and more seeking the art.

  98. Lea December 17, 2010 at 11:50 AM #

    I didn’t read all the comments, so I don’t know if someone already asked this. Anyway: I’m a feminist myself, a quite radical one, and I know I’m into BDSM since I was 10 years old. Now, as I’am older, I have a lot of BDSM sex. And I like, no, love to be the submissive one. I don’t see what’s the problem with it – as long as both partners really want the sex to be like that. What is your answer to this? How can you explain it? Am I an idiot, too? Looking forward to your response.

  99. sneeky bunny December 18, 2010 at 12:52 AM #

    I second ND in suggesting you read the comments. There are a lot of them, I know, but they make for a very lively read, and you will get a variety of opinion, and food for thought.

  100. polly December 18, 2010 at 4:22 PM #

    I didn’t read all the comments, so I don’t know if someone already asked this. Anyway: I’m a feminist myself, a quite radical one, and I know I’m into BDSM since I was 10 years old. Now, as I’am older, I have a lot of BDSM sex. And I like, no, love to be the submissive one. I don’t see what’s the problem with it – as long as both partners really want the sex to be like that. What is your answer to this? How can you explain it? Am I an idiot, too?

    I have no idea if you’re an idiot or not. But I know you’re lazy. Read the comments. Or if that’s just too, too hard, you could try just reading the post. Which is titled ‘the problem with kink’.

  101. 1111curious January 30, 2013 at 3:02 AM #

    And I know this is a 5 year old post but I’d be curious to see how many of the people who bashed the BDSM lifestyle would deny having ever done so with the release of such tripe as 50 SHADES OF GREY.

    • Silent Agony (@DiscordantFlesh) February 22, 2013 at 5:01 PM #

      Her take on that “book” would be cool.

    • Sugarpuss February 22, 2013 at 11:16 PM #

      More like 50 Shades of Misogyny and Implied Incestuous pedophilia.

      Somebody posted a quote from the book (I forget who’s blog it was), and it was some irksome rot where the lead male character was making sexual comments about their unborn female child.

      Ever since reading that, I cringe and wretch when I hear the name of that scuzzy book.

      • sneekybunny February 23, 2013 at 12:22 PM #

        Could not agree more. Those books are crap.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Leftist Critiques of BDSM « Yes and no - May 7, 2009

    [...] is an entry expressing a view of kink similar to mine, from Rage Against the [...]

  2. BD/SM and the reification of patriarchal sexuality (Part 1/2) | Second Council House of Virgo - February 19, 2013

    [...] have the right to engage with complimentary others to see their desire fulfilled.  RATM speculates that it is the desire for a closer bond which leads people to engage with BD/SM – [...]

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