Please, somebody, come and defend Kink.com. I triple-dog dare you.

7 Feb

This post contains some fucked up shit. Please be warned and think carefully about whether you want to read it. 

Everyone knows I went to peep some of the shit on Kink.com as a part of the research I did for my BDSM posts. I don’t make the claim that what goes on on their sites is representative of what goes on in the typical real-life BDSM relationship (I mean, fuck, how many people can afford to buy all that shit?), and I’m not really planning to discuss that website in relation to the wide world of BDSM, but I feel it necessary to discuss what I saw on that site. 

I’m not easily thrown into a state of despair about the world unless I’ve been watching A Double Shot at Love or Bad Girls Club for over three hours (posts to come), but send me a story about human trafficking, about the abuse that women in war zones suffer, about the rampant torture of children by rape tourists in Southeast Asia, or about a submissive woman’s “journey” (brainwashing) and I’m likely to have to go lie down and think about moving to Mars for a few hours. And, of course, looking at images of women being tortured had the same effect, differing only in that it has yet to abate and it’s been over a month. 

For those of you lucky enough to have never seen anything those piles of shit at Kink.com have put out, I’ll just characterize it as torture mixed with the most degrading sex acts possible. The variety of cruel and bizarre devices, contraptions, machines, and objects that the producers have accumulated for use on the women featured on the site is terrifyingly mind-boggling, and the  entire vibe more closely approximates the contents of a nightmare than anything I’ve ever seen while awake: the logos for the site are designed to look like titles for a horror movie; the page backgrounds are dominated by black, gray, and brown to the extent that they remind one of that stupid Tool video; and the videos are nearly all taped in the site’s building at the Armory, a pretty dungeonesque joint by the looks of it. The text describing each of the sites is fucking petrifying. An example from the Device Bondage site:

Device Bondage is a BDSM sex Website with the best porn around. Our naked women in BDSM play are whipped, tied up, chained, fucked, and humiliated. Amazing things that happen on our site include kinky sex with tit torture, steel bondage, hard nipples, nipple clamps, rope bondage, girls being caned, torture sex [What in the FUCK is "torture sex"? ], girls being spanked, leather bondage, and other BDSM play.

Girls are also pulled in and out of cages, their tongues clamped, their bodies pinned, and their arms and legs strapped. We also have contraptions used in countries such as China for torture. Our girls like to be tied up with leather belts and harnesses, spanked hard, punished, and humiliated. When the girls are done spreading wide for their bondage sex shoot, they have red asses, intense pleasure, and big smiles.

There’s footage and photos of naked women locked in cages too small for rabbits, of broken skin and blood, of women being waterboarded and subjected to other near-drowning tortures, of naked women being humiliated and tortured in public. Machines, metal, wood, electrodes, hooks, needles, hoods, and every other possible thing some sick motherfucker could come up with to use to torture a woman are in evidence on one or more of Kink.com’s sites. 

Each of the galleries that the sites use to sell their videos features a shot or two of the woman’s face looking absolutely terror-stricken. And it’s those photos that bother me the most. I know why they’re there; the people who pay money to watch the shit on these sites need to see that the woman who they’re watching get tortured is hurting and is scared because she doesn’t know what is going to happen to her next. 

The fact that the site owners always include a shot of the woman after the shoot looking happy doesn’t matter. The men who go to these sites aren’t there to revel in women’s pleasure, they’re there to see women tortured. They’re not watching public humiliation videos to fantasize about iconoclasm and bucking societal norms, they’re there to get boners thinking about degrading and humiliating human beings. These sites aren’t about “exploring our dark sides,” they’re about giving free reign to the sickest of human desires, desires that are inculcated by a sexually repressed and guilt-ridden society that has yet to figure out how to deal with the detritus of religious dogma and has thus intertwined fear and hatred with sex to create the misogynistic shit heap we now live in. This shit ain’t revolutionary, it’s so fucking obvious and stupid that I’d  laugh if it didn’t look so much like RAPE. If exploring your “dark side” entails wanking to women being tortured, it might be best to leave it unexplored. Or kill yourself. 

You know what I don’t want to do? Live in a world where people jerk off to women being subjected to “contraptions used in countries such as China for torture.” Know what else I don’t want to do? Listen to women (or men) tell me that the women who participate in the creation of these videos for these disgusting motherfuckers to jerk off to do so because the shit feels “amazing.” Nor do I want to hear how subversive the people who are into this shit are because they “explore the dark side.” First off, what person over the age of sixteen talks about “exploring the dark side”? Seriously. And why does “exploring the dark side” have to be such an unimaginative, tired, boring, intellectually insulting, misogynistic cliche?  

But besides the ridiculous aspect of someone fancying themselves a revolutionary because they get boners from seeing women hurt or get orgasms from being hurt when we live in a society that encourages that shit like UFC encourages tribal tattoos, it’s pretty goddamned obscene. The way I see it, if you think you’re punk for getting off on reenacting the kinds of abuses that real women and children in this world suffer on a daily basis (and thus mocking their suffering), you can go fuck yourself. 

Did I mention that Howard Stern is a fan of Kink.com? The end.

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1,434 Responses to “Please, somebody, come and defend Kink.com. I triple-dog dare you.”

  1. bonobobabe February 7, 2009 at 2:56 AM #

    Sick motherfuckers! Absolutely fucking sick!

    ND, you need to take care of yourself. I wouldn’t go looking at that stuff anymore. You don’t need those images in your head. I have some things in my head that I wish weren’t there. Although, I’m sure the creature that it happened to probably wishes even more than I that it never happened.

    Sometimes I think I’m going to lose it completely and I have to take a break from feminism. Just read mystery novels, eat comfort foods, soak in the tub, and pretend there’s no patriarchy out there.

    Please be careful and take care of yourself.

    • Nine Deuce February 7, 2009 at 3:00 AM #

      Yeah, I’m taking a permanent break from that shit, but I needed to say some shit about what I saw last month when I was researching this BDSM business. Luckily it’s over. Kink.com is dead to me now.

    • Kg June 9, 2013 at 11:34 AM #

      I don’t think that any of you have ever actually been involved in the BDSM scene. What is displayed in the vast majority of BDSM kink porn online is entirely unrepresentative of the nature of relationships that venture into dominance and submission, sadism and masochism in both the physical and mental aspects, and bondage.

      As someone who is involved in a relationship involving all of those things, your views come across to me as terrifically misinformed.

      In regards to dominance and submission, it is the concept of two partners mutually agreeing to a power exchange in which one partner becomes the authoritative and dominating one and the other voluntarily and provisionally relinquishes control as a sub. Additionally, there are actually more males than females who enjoy being genuinely submissive, although women as a whole tend towards the passive role in bed more frequently than men. Bondage and sadism/masochism often, but not do not always, feature in dominant/submissive (often abbreviated as D/s) relationships.

      For example, myself; I am male, bisexual, and I have a Master. I love him dearly, as he loves me. We very recently got engaged. I do not terribly enjoy pain, although he enjoys inflicting it. I am covered in scars from him, and I always have at least one bleeding cut that he put there. I don’t make a fuss about it, because I choose not to. I enjoy being tied or handcuffed up. He routinely calls me “pet,” “bitch,” “little slut,” and often compliments me by saying “good boy.” We go for walks with me in my collar, and with him holding me by a leash. These are all things we both agree to and enjoy.

      The part that no one who isn’t involved in this type of relationship (read as “you”) sees is why it works: both the dom and the sub have the psychological needs to be wanted, to control in the case of the dom, and to be controlled in the case of a sub. It’s desired by both parties, and every aspect of the relationship absolutely depends on unwavering, complete trust by all parties involved.

      A dominant trusts his or her submissive to use a safeword and to tell him or her if something isn’t okay, hurt too much, or if anything else needs to be altered, and the dominant is responsible for doing that.

      A submissive trusts his or her dominant to stop the instant that the submissive uses the safeword, to monitor during play to ensure that nothing is going wrong, and above all else, to care for him or her.

      In short, it’s fully capable of being just as loving, tender, and intimate as any relationship that any of you would deem more proper because you enjoy different types of intimacy, and amazingly enough, what you see in porn is not what happens in the real world. It’s fantasy. Pure and simple. That applies to all types of porn, BDSM included.

      You’re free to think anything else, of course, but the fact that some 1400 of you have managed to miss the reality that porn is not representational of what actually occurs and have cast judgments upon a “sick motherfucker” like the master I love who cares for me more than he does for himself says to me that the vast majority of you were a little quick to judge.

      If you read all of this, thank you for listening. I would like to hear your thoughts.

      • DeviantFem June 13, 2013 at 12:13 PM #

        Thanks for explaining this. Some people really do like being submissive, and yes there are clubs that have all the gadgets so you don’t have to afford them all. For whatever reason, many submissives love to have a master because a sense of responsibility and pride is hard to maintain in everyday life. It’s just a way to shed the weight for a while. There are many, many submissive males also, and from personal experience I can tell you that you would be insanely surprised by just how many of them are extremely successful, powerful business men at the top of the corporate ladder. I’ve seen it time and time again.

        The whole thing with the pain is something the subs enjoy too. Usually, in real life, a sub/dom relationship is more intense and powerful that any vanilla relationship you will ever know. It is a deep thing. It is so intense, that many venues have private rooms and “come down” areas so that people can come down off the high that it gives you after playing for a while. This is for dom and sub alike.

        I would challenge everyone here to see the difference between a a mutually beneficial power exchange and a lack of consent or rape. Do not judge the BDSM community poorly just because it’s not your thing. Man and women can both enjoy humiliation, and I’ve seen this many times. Also, there are communities that help new people become educated about safety and how to do these things correctly. The entire community has a very strong emphasis on this, and that is why 95% of venues and BDSM parties do not allow the use of alcohol or drugs. Seriously hurting a woman or man is never condoned.

      • borderwalker June 21, 2013 at 5:04 AM #

        “I do not terribly enjoy pain, although he enjoys inflicting it. I am covered in scars from him, and I always have at least one bleeding cut that he put there. I don’t make a fuss about it, because I choose not to. ”

        This is the part of your post that really stood out to me. If this is truly an open trusting relationship between consenting adults I’m sure you’ve told your partner that you don’t particularly enjoy the pain. Have you ever reflected around how it is possible for him to get pleasure from inflicting it on you when he knows you basically suffer through it to please him?

        You might rationalize that this is a normal part of him being a sadistic dom, but Kg, he’s just being a shitbag.

      • Another Perverted submissive June 13, 2014 at 6:48 PM #

        Here here! Thank you, this needed to be said.

  2. m Andrea February 7, 2009 at 3:32 AM #

    No offense, but I can’t even read your descriptions of this crap for more than a few paragraphs at a time. It’s really, really disgusting. REALLY DISGUSTING. I have no idea how you can cope with examining it all, but thanks.

    Off to take a shower, seriously.

  3. Nine Deuce February 7, 2009 at 3:39 AM #

    I know. It was heinous to write it, and it was hard to figure out how to expose exactly what’s going on on the sites without giving them traffic or posting actual imagery. It’s been bothering me for weeks now and I felt it necessary to draw attention to just how egregious it is, but I’m sure it’s pretty unsavory to read. Sorry. I think my BDSM research is going to have to be limited to reading blogs in the future, though the two I posted excerpts from yesterday weren’t much less worrisome than Kink.com is.

  4. Zelda February 7, 2009 at 3:50 AM #

    If my ‘master’ tied me up until numb, whipped me until raw and caged me until red in my home, what legal system would not consider that abuse and jail the sadistic fuck?

    Can someone tell me why the fuck all of that torture is considered acceptable and legal if my ‘master’ does it for sexual pleasure?

    This is not a matter of freedom of speech; This is a matter of freedom from being tortured by sadistic fucks. If our legal system does not allow someone to consent to torture, then a perverted as fuck site like Kink.com needs to be shut down.

    • Kitty May 15, 2014 at 7:37 AM #

      I am a kink.com model. I am a kink.com submissive. I absolutely love my job, and my fiance supports it because every time I come home from work it’s with a HUGE smile on my face.
      I am not pro-rape. I am pro-consent. I am pro equality between genders. All genders, not just the binary.
      Kink.com is not pro-rape. They are pro consent. They are pro equality between genders. They torture males a well as females. They have female sadists as well as male.
      The before and after interviews, while not intended to be boner inducing, are designed to drive home the point that bdsm can be safe, consensual, and sanely executed. It is a message to our viewers that what we are doing is an agreed upon act, something that the submissive wants and enjoys.
      I have screamed, cried, and begged on set. I have never felt unsafe. Each time my scene partner checked in with me, I have been eager to continue the scene. I have a safe word. If anything happens I do not like, I can use it without fear of being a failure. In fact, I am frequently told not to hesitate to communicate with my top if I feel unsafe or stop having fun at any time during the shoot. I will still get paid. I will not lose my job.
      I am also not brainwashed. I am a very powerful woman in my real life. I have a fiery, dominant personality. I am intelligent, educated, determined. I have a host of things that I love outside of my submissive identity. I read obsessively. I watch Netflix and play a ton of super nerdy games. I laugh. I cook. I foster and rehabilitate animals. No one can steal away who I am, regardless of the training I go through.
      I love being tied up. I love having control taken from me. I don’t care if my scene partner is male or female. It’s not about gender. It’s about me. I want to be afraid. I want that rush of adrenaline and endorphins and, yes, even oxytocin and dopamine. I love the pain more than the pleasure. I’d rather be flogged than brought to orgasm.
      Kink.com is respectful, clean, and safe. Everyone there is SO nice. I’m treated like a princess. When I speak, they listen. I’ve made so many friends and enjoyed so many new experiences. I feel safe and happy when I’m there.
      It’s not for everyone. The imagery can be disturbing, and trigger inducing to some. Viewer discretion is advised. But it makes me happy, and hurts no one without their consent.
      I don’t consider myself to be “exploring my dark side”. I’m just exploring me. Doing what I enjoy because hey! There’s a safe outlet for me to enjoy it. I’ve actually led other women AWAY from abuse my taking them into the BDSM world. Women who wanted to be hurt, and to be submissive, but were looking in all the wrong places. This community is about love, respect, trust, and kindness.
      And male submission, while not as popular in porn, is just as common in the community. In fact, I’ve met more male subs than male dominants. I, personally, love a dominant woman. It’s not about misogyny or gender roles. Each individual, regardless of gender orientation, can choose their own role in the D/s spectrum. I choose to be submissive. I love being held, and pet, and told that I’m a good girl. I want to have my limits pushed, to be excited and afraid all at once.
      There are fetishes out there I will never be into, will never understand. And there are people out there who will never be into my fetishes, and will never understand them. And that’s okay. I won’t yuck your yum. So long as you’re safe, sane, consensual, and happy…Go be yourself.
      I wasn’t abused as a child, but I’ve had these cravings my entire life. I had a very normal childhood, with some pretty interesting Barbie games. It’s just who I am. Who WE are. Different strokes for different blokes and all that. You don’t have to understand. You don’t have to try it for yourself. If the thought of being tied up and tortured doesn’t make you wet between the legs, just don’t do it. I will defend your right to say no until my last breath. Do not condemn my right to say yes.

      • Sugarpuss May 17, 2014 at 8:08 PM #

        Yeah, you totally grew up in a vacuum, on a deserted island, with no patriarchal influence at all. And the male-dominated media didn’t put any ideas in your head either. It’s a, uh…. COINCIDENCE! Yeah, that’s it!
        Just out of curiosity, what is your Plan B when you reach the ripe old age of 27, and cease to meet the demanding fuckability standards of the pathetic slobs who jerk to your image? You do have one, right?

        I absolutely love my job, and my fiance supports it [...]

        What a shocker.
        Could somebody please pass the barf-bag? Thanks in advance.

  5. Rachel February 7, 2009 at 5:23 AM #

    A relatively minor point, but it just occurred to me that if the world were okay, the phrase “torture sex” would be an uncomfortable but perplexing oxymoron.

  6. Caitlin February 7, 2009 at 7:01 AM #

    Nope. Not defending Kink.com. Can’t, won’t and would rather see them buried forever than even look for something to try and defend them on.

    I think the smiles at the end are possibly the most dangerous part– “See? Any *real* woman (as in, not a prudish, uptight, frigid etc.) in touch with her sexuality secrets wants to be raped and tortured. She’ll thank you later!”

    Ugh. I need to go shower. Pity I can’t do the same for the *inside* of my head.

  7. isme February 7, 2009 at 9:15 AM #

    I thought that was there to blur the line between all fun and games kink and torture porn. Though, it does seem a bit pointless, because people watching torture porn are doing it because it is torture porn.

    If it makes you feel better, there is a sizeable minority of sites about men being tortured. Eventually, we might get true equality, with people of all races, genders and creed having painful things done to their genitals. That’s sort of progress, I suppose.

    If you want really sick, though, I once saw a site advertising a scene involving a vaginal pear. Had to be lying, of course, given what the thing does (google it at your peril, though it wasn’t originally just for use on women, the church could use it on a variety of orifices), but pretending to be doing that for real for someone’s enjoyment…

  8. Laurel February 7, 2009 at 12:48 PM #

    “The fact that the site owners always include a shot of the woman after the shoot looking happy doesn’t matter.”

    I rather suspect it does matter to the customers, or they wouldn’t bother with it. Just as with rape, it’s important to the dehumanization and humiliation of a woman to be able to “prove” she “wanted it.” This neatly absolves the sick fuck jacking off to this stuff of all blame.

    And it comes last because I can imagine a guy having an orgasm and _then_ being a bit worried about/disgusted with himself for enjoying this stuff (at least at first). That post-orgasm shot of the women smiling is his palate cleanser.

    Jesus, I can’t think about this anymore. I hate the world enough on good days….

  9. Polly Styrene February 7, 2009 at 2:19 PM #

    Can I say again, for UK readers. This stuff is now ILLEGAL to possess in the UK. Please don’t look at it.

  10. Polly Styrene February 7, 2009 at 2:22 PM #

    Oh and Zelda – again, any act that causes ‘more than a trifling injury – breaks the skin basically – is illegal in the UK, consent or no consent, unless it’s a legally recognised exception like medical treatment or body piercing. BDSM sex is not a legally recognised exception.

  11. Laurelin February 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM #

    Oh my god. I don’t know how you managed to look at it, ND.

    I don’t know how anyone could defend this shit. It is pure misogyny- there is no way depicting women being tortured to get men off can be seen as anything else. I am terrified of the men who watch this shit. They are dangerous. I know this too well.

    • Nine Deuce February 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM #

      They’re defending it alright, but on their own blogs. I’ve been over to read some of it and it’s pretty bizarre.

  12. delphyne February 7, 2009 at 7:41 PM #

    Of course the women are smiling afterwards -a) they are being paid (they don’t create it BTW, the scumbag sadist men who film and produce it are the creators) b) they are probably incredibly happy and relieved it’s over and c) the producers make them do it so we blame them for what happened to them and blame them for apparently promoting it. Or you know maybe the film the after-interview before the rape and torture.

    This isn’t about fantasy any more than bear-baiting or boxing are fantasies. There are a lot of evil sick fuck men out there who enjoy seeing real women tortured. Those are real experiences they are watching, not fantasies.

    This is the reality for women who have been raped at Kink.com:

    http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/blog/2008/01/report_of_assault_at_kinkcom_a.html#more

    Also let’s name names. Peter Acworth is the guy who owns it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/29/magazine/29kink.t.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1

  13. Rian February 7, 2009 at 8:18 PM #

    I have been in discussion the last few days with men who defend PUA/game interaction with women, and I have divided them into two main groups. There’s the guy who wants power and control over women and then there’s the guy who wants power and control over women and wants to make them pay for everything that has ever made him feel emasculated. The images you describe, I see them behind the words of these guys, the way they talk about women. It’s very unsettling to realize that the thought processes that lead to this kind of treatment of women are alive in so many men—and those men are recruiting others to think the same way they do.

  14. Screaming Lemur February 7, 2009 at 9:13 PM #

    Uh, there’s no defense for that site. Even as someone who plays around with BDSM, what’s on there is vile, misogynistic and makes me need brain-bleach.
    I’m just saying, I hope you don’t consider that representative.

  15. Nine Deuce February 7, 2009 at 9:36 PM #

    delphyne – Thanks for pointing out a problem with my language. It didn’t really communicate what I wanted it to and it placed too much blame on the women rather than Acworth and co. Also, thank you for the links.

    Screaming Lemur – Thank you as well. The title doesn’t convey my sarcasm as well as I’d hoped, so I changed it. (And while I don’t consider it representative, it does send up some red flags with regard to what men are doing getting into BDSM.)

  16. Josh Lyle February 7, 2009 at 10:12 PM #

    A Defense:

    Speaking as someone that has sampled a lot of different sources of BDSM porn, Kink.com is more creative and less cliche than the median. By far.

    P.S., A Second Defense: Kink.com doesn’t shame women for their sexuality.

    P.P.S., I’m pretty sure that my partner, having read this, is going to make me beat her next weekend, so you’ve got some propaganda by deed blowback going on now.

    P.P.P.S., it seems strange for you to complain about people jerking off to this material, then tell them to go fuck themselves for finding it “revolutionary” (I’m not going to defend that claim, although I think Michel Foucault did a pretty decent job of it). I think you have to pick one or the other.

    • Nine Deuce February 7, 2009 at 10:23 PM #

      Weak sauce.

      1 – Who gives a shit if it’s more creative? If I come up with a more creative way than the next person to torture someone, do I really deserve a reward? Sorry, but that’s no defense. By the way, congratulations on being a connoisseur of images of women being tortured.
      2 – You’re right: Kink.com doesn’t shame anyone for their sexuality, even when the sexuality they’re portraying deserves it. People torturing each other shouldn’t be a part of human sexuality. I’m all for women being free of the shame that society tries to attach to their enjoying sex, but this is not a freedom from that, it’s a result of it. If women weren’t ashamed of their sexuality, they probably wouldn’t develop the desire to be dominated (which removes the responsibility for liking sex from them), forced (same deal), or humiliated and hurt (which works as a sort of penance for enjoying sex). And who the fuck is Kink.com to speak for women’s sexuality anyway? I’m a woman, and I’m not too keen on anything that company’s got to say about female sexuality. Besides that, is the fact that they don’t shame women for their sexuality (as long as it’s the kind they can make money off of) really a defense for the fact that they put out torture porn? Nah brah.
      3 – I have no idea what “propaganda by deed blowback” means. While you’re rewording that, go get a copy of a grammar book and have a look at the punctuation and capitalization chapter.
      4 – I used the term “go fuck yourself” in its metaphorical sense. Who thinks of masturbation when someone tells them to fuck off? And do you really think that you’ve pointed out a logical flaw in my argument by bringing that up? Lame.
      5 – Don’t bring up Foucault on my blog. He was a turgid embarrassment to the world’s intellectual tradition. His thoughts were a) not that original, b) totally incoherent, c) not all that interesting, and d) derived from his own self-absorption. But anyway, what does he have to do with this discussion? Pedophiles and people who are into morally questionable sex acts love Foucault because he makes it possible to relativise morality, but that wasn’t really the crux of what he had to say (though I doubt you’ve read and understood anything beyond his Wikipedia entry). If you’re going to bring him up in relation to BDSM I think you’ll lose the argument, because I could probably use his writings to show you that BDSM is a ritualized manifestation of power and that your talk of transgression is bullshit because it takes place within a hegemonic “discourse” about gender that you can’t see your way out of. But I wouldn’t do that, because I hate Foucault.

  17. L February 7, 2009 at 11:13 PM #

    All this talk about kink.com makes me think back to a thread at Feminism 101 about whether there can be feminist porn. One self-proclaimed “feminist” outright said that kink’s porn is feminist and ethical! Because they have the “models” smiling afterwards and they have standards. WHAT. I responded in that thread, and her defense was, essentially, “you’re just morally outraged, you prude; quit telling women what to do.” Same ol’, same ol’. I don’t know what to make of it except we, as a society, are deeply fucked up when someone who claims to be in favor of women’s sexual liberation calls kink.com feminist. Moving to Mars sounds like a good idea during such exchanges.

    And, boy, Josh, your comment just takes the cake. “I’m pretty sure that my partner, having read this, is going to make me beat her next weekend”? So you have no agency in your relationship, no way to refuse to beat your girlfriend? Way to go not taking responsibility for YOUR BEHAVIOR, you fucking tool.

  18. Josh Lyle February 7, 2009 at 11:18 PM #

    1. Who gives a shit who gives a shit? We’re arguing on the internet, no one can be expected to really care.

    You attacked them for being cliche and uncreative, I defended them from the attack because I felt like taking up your rather vague dare.

    Also, thanks, I take some small pride in it. I know you meant it in a mean way, but sometimes recognition from one’s enemies is the best kind.

    2. Kink.com incorporates varied sub-projects. Many of which are run by women who speak for their own sexuality and that of like-minded women. While I support your right to shame them for it I think that’s a dick move on your part.

    Now, what I said isn’t a defense of their production of torture porn, but I’m not interested in defending that, at least not in a metaphorical sense. However, it is a more general parry and riposte of your argument that will matter to people whose opinions I care about.

    3. Sorry, commas are a personal weakness.

    I don’t care enough about you to explain terminology you could spend five minutes looking up on Wikipedia. Since you manifestly don’t care enough to spend five minutes looking up the terms, we should probably give up on having this argument.

    4. Yes, I know. People who respond to obscenity by being smart-asses, obviously. No, I was just being a smart-ass. Lame, yes, but that’s the level of discourse I was working with.

    5. Since I’m not allowed to bring up the subject of this point I won’t discuss it further.

    • Nine Deuce February 7, 2009 at 11:29 PM #

      1 – There’s nothing creative about abusing women. What’d be creative is for someone to figure out a way to make porn that didn’t involve women being abused. But then I guess that wouldn’t be porn, would it? I’m your “enemy” because I have an opinion that doesn’t mesh with your patriarchal sexual desires? Great. And I’m sure you go around with a straight face telling people you’re pro-feminist. Just once I’d like to hear one of these pro-porn “allies” extend his pro-woman rhetoric beyond telling feminists that we’re trying to curtail women’s sexual expression (sexual expression that happens to look a lot like male fantasy, that is). He’s a feminist, but he comes here and talks down to me even though I’m clearly smarter than he is. Priceless.

      2 – I’m not shaming women, I’m saying there’s something that needs to be examined. I’m not going to patronize and infantilize women either, which means I’m going to challenge their views when I disagree with them. If any woman wants to come and tell me why she engages in some particular act, I’ll listen, and I’ll argue, and I’ll treat her like a human being rather than a baby who can’t defend her views. “Parry” and “riposte” are nearly synonymous as you’re using them, so you’re being redundant (unless you meant “parry” in the sense of “evade,” which I wouldn’t admit to if I were you). And also, you ought to rethink the preposition you used to connect them to the phrase “your argument.” You aren’t impressing anyone with your awkward deployment of SAT/GRE words here, so give it up.

      3 – You’ve got a problem with more than just commas, my friend. This isn’t Germany; we don’t capitalize every noun. And why do I need to look shit up to make sense of your unclear writing? Your job as a writer is to make your points clear, not use stupid jargon to show everyone that you’ve taken a Sociology 101 class.

      4 – The “level of discourse” you were working with? Ha! I think you know better than to try to impugn my critical thinking ability and rhetorical skill and pretend that the entirety of my thoughts in this post can be reduced to two (not really all that) contradictory slang terms. Nice try, though. I really like ignorant, unwarranted hubris, so good job.

      5 – Way to weasel out of explaining how Foucault is relevant to this post (which I knew you couldn’t do anyway — for future reference, if you’re going to try to intimidate someone with references to mediocre European intellectuals, make sure they don’t know more about the subject than you do).

      Sorry, Josh, but you’re not going to trick anyone into thinking you’re smarter than I am by using words you don’t even know the precise meaning of or by making off-point remarks that have no bearing on the subject of the post. And you’ve still yet to mount a defense for Kink.com.

      • Poopy June 7, 2009 at 5:52 PM #

        ND, I love this:
        I’m all for women being free of the shame that society tries to attach to their enjoying sex, but this is not a freedom from that, it’s a result of it. If women weren’t ashamed of their sexuality, they probably wouldn’t develop the desire to be dominated (which removes the responsibility for liking sex from them), forced (same deal), or humiliated and hurt (which works as a sort of penance for enjoying sex). And who the fuck is Kink.com to speak for women’s sexuality anyway?

        I say:

        MEE TOOO! I know this chicks love it. I know lots of them feel freedom in “surrender.” I also know it is BECAUSE of shame, not in spite of it. It’s so fucking ironic that in order to
        “be a woman” you must reduce yourself to admitting you are a filthy whore who deserves to be fucked. I’m so confused!

        No, I’m not ND is right. The whole desire to be controlled, I think, is driven from shame, otherwise there would be loads and loads of dominant women out there.

        And why are most of the women on their site white? Hmm…… I wonder if many of them came from Protestant religions. Hmmm…..I wonder if that the reason it’s a “turn on” is because they didn’t really do it! Someone made them.

        I’m an unabashed slut…. of my own naming. Not because my “master” said so, therefore I agree. It’s because I SAY SO, BITCHES.

  19. Forlock February 8, 2009 at 2:35 AM #

    Well, Nine Deuce, the people who you should be talking to are the women who perform for these videos, and get their opinion on the subject.

    If you keep talking about them without actually talking TO them, that is a form of dehumanization by itself.

    • Nine Deuce February 8, 2009 at 3:00 AM #

      Forlock – Gimme their contact info and it’s on. So far, I’ve heard only one viewpoint from a Kink.com performer, and it confirmed what I suspected (see delphyne’s link). And the idea that you are going to tell me I’m the one dehumanizing these women is fucking hilarious.

  20. pisaquari February 8, 2009 at 2:55 AM #

    Whoally shitfest! ND, this is such ***necessary*** exposure, it really is. Speaking about BDSM without revealing the requests-nay DEMANDS- of these assholes is completely context-less.

    As for poor arguments and failed synaptic connections, one has to be sucking shit through the ears to claim rafems are infantillizing bdsm-practicing women. What with all the references to adult females (they ARE adults right?) as “girls” and all the “spanking” oh-and-not-mention “Daddy,” “Master,” “Owner”…….UMMMMM–who the fuck is doing the infantillizing here?

  21. Michael_X February 8, 2009 at 12:38 PM #

    Hi,

    Human sexuality is a weird thing. Some of the things that I’ve encountered that others fetishise leave me cold and occasionally I have to quell negative emotions.

    However what consenting adults do in private that doesn’t hurt others is their business and if they want some porn that fits with those activities I see no harm in it and those scientists who have researched “violent” porn haven’t found evidence of harm. There are a number of studies that suggest those with a good sex life are mentally and physically healthier, regardless of their orientation.

    I guess my SM orientation effects how I see and process this material. To someone not wired for that kind of loving it may well be that they experience it very differently.

    I’ve met quite a few women who enjoy SM. They are adults and I don’t think society needs to protect them from themselves.

    And if you looked at kink.com you’ll have seen they also have men playing the dominant/top role with men, women with women, women with men.

    So may I appeal to those who have a different sexual orientation to respect ours. I don’t expect you to understand it or get it or see the beauty, the positive, the life affirming things we do. I understand that what you see provokes strong negative emotions. I gather that quite a few heterosexuals have a similar response to strong gay porn. So perhaps leaving the porn alone and speaking to us and listening would be a better route to take. We just, sometimes, make love differently to the societal approved missionary position, sometimes very differently ;) Believe me though we are enjoying ourselves and we are competent autonomous adults.

    Michael_X

    • Nine Deuce February 8, 2009 at 3:30 PM #

      You’re making a false analogy here between sexual orientation and fetish.

  22. Polly Styrene February 8, 2009 at 3:46 PM #

    Forlock. Do you have contact details for the women?

    The question isn’t really how much anyone doing this ‘consents’. The question is what kind of person gets their rocks off watching torture.

    Armin Meiwes is someone who you may have heard of. He cooked, killed and ate a man with his consent. The man was still alive when he and Meiwes ate his (the victim’s) penis.

    Do you think that the “consent” means there are no problems with Meiwes actions? Because by your logic you should. And are we dehumanizing this man by not respecting his choice to be eaten?

  23. Michael_X February 8, 2009 at 5:26 PM #

    Hi,

    “You’re making a false analogy here between sexual orientation and fetish.”

    I don’t believe so and, with respect, I’m not making an analogy. For me it is a sexual orientation that I have had since an early age. Quite a lot of sadomasochists I’ve met regard it as an orientation though admittedly not all.

    Take a look at the articles in the Journal of Homosexuality, volume 50, numbers 2/3, 2006 for some current research.

    Consider what a fetish is:

    From: The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English 2009:

    fet·ish / ˈfetish/ • n. an inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit. ∎ a course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment: he had a fetish for writing more opinions each year than any other justice. ∎ a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc. DERIVATIVES: fet·ish·ism n. fet·ish·ist n. fet·ish·is·tic adj. ORIGIN: early 17th cent. (originally denoting an object used by the peoples of West Africa as an amulet or charm): from French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço ‘charm, sorcery’ (originally an adjective meaning ‘made by art’), from Latin factititus.

    That doesn’t fit me. Although sure there are a lot of fetishists out there who need x, y, or z to be aroused and get off. No, for me it’s about my identity as a person, who I find myself romantically and sexually drawn to, how I relate and the sort of relationship dynamics I need in a fulfilling relationship. If, perhaps, I have a fetish it is for consent and mutual enjoyment.

    You could put someone in front of me who fitted my every fantasy as to looks, who was bedecked in all those things I find hot in terms of clothing, hey why not throw in full use of kink.coms dungeons and toys, yet if when we looked at each other there was no SM magic spark then I’d yawn. On the other hand when I meet another person of similar orientation to mine then it matters little what they look like or if they are in jeans and a T-shirt; it’s the meeting of minds, the shared emotional landscapes, the person, and who we are and what we are.

    Okay, I’m prone to purple prose, and the lack of a preview/edit system left some typos in my earlier comment and perhaps this one too, but for me it is a core aspect my identity. It’s about far more than sex. I believe that counts as an orientation.

    Best regards,

    Michael

  24. delphyne February 8, 2009 at 7:08 PM #

    So are you a sadist Michael? If so what sort of sadistic acts do you commit on women?

    Did you read the link about the woman being raped at Kink.com? Is that the sort of thing you’d enjoy watching?

    Have you thought that maybe your sadism has cut you off from your humanity and your empathy as you seem to have no negative reaction to images of extreme torture of women.

  25. katie February 8, 2009 at 7:51 PM #

    This is horrible. I didn’t agree with your posts about porn purely because the fact that the woman actually pretends the enjoy it and the majority of men believe she is actually enjoying it (or kid themselves into thinking that) shows that they actually have some humanity and dignity and would likely not put a woman through something she didn’t enjoy.

    This site however is disgusting. I have serious issues with anyone who would want to watch this sort of thing. Not only that but it blurs the lines between consensual sex and rape – I’m sure there are men out there who have watched this so much that they probably think when a woman is saying no she is actually asking to be raped, beaten and tortured.

  26. Trinity February 8, 2009 at 8:06 PM #

    “Quite a lot of sadomasochists I’ve met regard it as an orientation though admittedly not all.”

    Michael: http://sm-feminist.blogspot.com/2007/10/models.html

    (ND, I am not taking up your dare to defend Kink.com, for reasons I go into at SM-F here.)

  27. ammre February 8, 2009 at 8:33 PM #

    There’s no point in defending kink.com to you. You’ve already decided how you feel about it all. You’re not it’s audience, you’re not it’s community. You may have a case saying that max hardcore, or gonzo crap could fuck with your own personal life, but the people interested in kink.com wouldn’t even bother with you. You’re nothing to them.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 12:42 AM #

      ammre – No shit I’m nothing to the Kink.com people. I’m female, right? But the fact that I’m “nothing” to those motherfuckers really bums me out. No, really. I swear.

      • Leda Locke May 12, 2009 at 8:12 AM #

        Your femininity has nothing to do with it. You could be male, transgender, or asexual, and you still wouldn’t be their audience, simply because of your view of the site. Terming you “nothing” to them is slightly silly, though – probably a reaction to your own violent response.

  28. Meta February 8, 2009 at 8:41 PM #

    Perhaps I can add another perspective to this conversation. I consider myself a feminist, using the definition of promoting gender equality and giving women the freedom of choice. I’ve taken several women’s studies courses, and I’ve thought a lot about the destructive quality of patriarchy. I am also a submissive and masochist in a loving, long term relationship with a man I call my Master. The nature of our relationship and everything that we do is 100% consensual. We discuss and reevaluate our dynamic constantly, making sure that it makes us both happy, which it does. I am not with my boyfriend/Master because of any external pressures (e.g., I’m not financially tied to him, and I have a strong social network completely independent of him). I’m also not just agreeing to submit to him so that he’ll stay with me. If I want to stop this aspect of our relationship at any point, I know that he’ll still love me. I do it because I enjoy it and I find it physically and emotionally satisfying.

    Rejecting patriarchy and engaging in (male-domiant) BDSM may seem superficially

  29. Meta February 8, 2009 at 9:18 PM #

    Perhaps I can add another perspective to this conversation. I consider myself a feminist, using the definition of promoting gender equality and giving women the freedom of choice. I’ve taken several women’s studies courses, and I’ve thought a lot about the destructive quality of patriarchy. I am also a submissive and masochist in a loving, long term relationship with a man I call my Master. The nature of our relationship and everything that we do is 100% consensual. We discuss and reevaluate our dynamic constantly, making sure that it makes us both happy, which it does. I am not with my boyfriend/Master because of any external pressures (e.g., I’m not financially tied to him, and I have a strong social network completely independent of him). I’m not with him because I’m insecure and this is the only thing that gives me a sense of self-worth, nor am I with him because I was violently sexually abused as a child. I’m also not just agreeing to submit to him so that he’ll stay with me. If I want to stop this aspect of our relationship at any point, I know that he’ll still love me. I do it because I enjoy it and I find it physically and emotionally satisfying.

    Rejecting patriarchy and engaging in (male-dominant) BDSM may seem inconsistent, but it’s not. The difference between patriarchy and consensual submission is the consensual part. I’ve chosen to do this; I want this. Submission is not something that is imposed upon me. And it stops the moment I say it stops. Patriarchy can be very destructive to the human psyche, often silencing women and keeping men from their emotions. My relationship is the complete opposite. My boyfriend/Master encourages me to be honest with him (and with myself), and he is just as open and honest with me.

    Yes, my Master enjoys seeing me squirm in pain, but that’s only because he knows that it also arouses me. The harder he twists my nipple, the wetter I get. I love wearing a collar and being called his good little slut. To an outsider, it may look like he’s hurting or humiliating me, but both of us know that it’s much more complex. Our relationship is based in love; our kink is the way we chose to express it.

    I don’t know the stories of the women on kink.com. Perhaps there are some legitimate instances of abuse or harassment, as there are in many contexts. And I can’t say that all of the participants are in loving relationships. But I don’t think that their situation is all that different from my own – they are involved in something that they have chosen, because, for whatever reason, they enjoy it.

    The reason you’ve been accused of being patronizing to women is because you are not recognizing that women have the emotional and mental capacity to decide whether or not they want to be in BDSM relationships. Just because that’s not your choice doesn’t mean that it can’t be mine. I feel like you are telling me that I am not making a rational choice or that I’m not making this choice for the right reasons. That is both insulting and paternalistic.

    Blogs like this are what give feminism a bad name. You’re not actually listening to other women – you’re just telling us what we want (or should want).

  30. hellonhairylegs February 8, 2009 at 9:22 PM #

    “However what consenting adults do in private that doesn’t hurt others is their business and if they want some porn that fits with those activities I see no harm in it and those scientists who have researched “violent” porn haven’t found evidence of harm.”

    Sex that doesn’t hurt others? Well then, I think we’ve just removed kink.com from the equation. Michael, I think you are making the common mistake of ignoring the women in the porn.

    Also, sources? What scientists?

  31. delphyne February 8, 2009 at 9:47 PM #

    “I consider myself a feminist, using the definition of promoting gender equality and giving women the freedom of choice.”

    Feminism is about freeing women from male oppression, meta. This “choice” argument was created by anti-feminists who wanted to claim that every choice a woman makes is a feminist choice which is clearly ridiculous. It’s an anti-feminist concept not a feminist concept.

  32. Michael_X February 8, 2009 at 10:18 PM #

    Apologies UK bed time will reply tomorrow.

    Michael

  33. Nic February 8, 2009 at 11:21 PM #

    Feminism is about freeing women from any sort of oppression, not just oppression from males. Females can oppress other females as well, and that is just as unacceptable as males oppressing females. Oppression doesn’t become somehow more acceptable just because its being done by females. What exactly gives you the right to tell other women how to live?

    And please explain how giving women more choices is an anti-feminist concept.

  34. Meta February 8, 2009 at 11:57 PM #

    “Feminism is about freeing women from male oppression, meta. This ‘choice’ argument was created by anti-feminists who wanted to claim that every choice a woman makes is a feminist choice which is clearly ridiculous. It’s an anti-feminist concept not a feminist concept.”

    (1) Your tone is incredibly condescending and patronizing. I may be submissive to my Master, but I will not tolerate disrespect from anyone.

    (2) It’s not whatever the woman chooses that is feminist/anti-feminist, but rather the act of choosing itself. It’s also the reason that the woman has made a particular choice that matters. Is she working the night shift because her husband forced her to, or is she a career woman because she wants to be? Is she a stay-at-home mom because she thinks that what she’s supposed to do as a woman, or because she finds joy in raising her children? I submit because I find it pleasurable, not because I am a woman and I think I “should.”

    (3) Who are you to say that my definition of “feminism” is wrong? That word has and continues to be controversial. My extensive background in women’s studies lend support for my particular concept of equating feminism with choice, and I am going to continue to use that.

    (4) Thank you, Master (aka Nic), for defending me here. :)

    (5) I can’t believe I’ve gotten caught up in responding to this. A bit out of the norm for me. I may stop soon. Not because I think I’ll lose this argument, but because I’m not finding it enjoyable and I will therefore choose to stop. You can read more about my submission on my blog, though, if you’re interested.

  35. syndicalist702 February 9, 2009 at 12:11 AM #

    Now there’s a server farm that’s got “Please hurl a volley of incendiary grenades at me!” written all over it.

    BeeTeeDubz, have you ever heard of makelovenotporn.com?

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 12:20 AM #

      I have heard of it. It looks pretty weak.

  36. delphyne February 9, 2009 at 12:44 AM #

    I’m not being patronising Meta. I am just pointing out that you are incorrect in your understanding of feminism.

    Women’s studies is often a site of anti-feminism these days unfortunately so it isn’t where I’d look for a definition of feminism, but being told something by a teacher gives the air of authority and hierarchy however so I can see why it would appeal to someone who was into BDSM. Feminism is about women’s liberation and BDSM with it’s attachment to male dominance and female submission and sadism towards women is antithetical to that.

    Nic you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s interesting to be lectured to about feminism by a man who has a woman as his slave and gets her to call him master though. That’s a first for me.

  37. Nic February 9, 2009 at 1:07 AM #

    Del,

    As Meta said, feminism is a very controversial idea that has multiple definitions. Don’t treat your own version as necessarily right. As she pointed out, that is patronizing.

    I don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, thanks for that assertion which lacks any evidence at all. By the way, if you are going to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, please make sure you know what your talking about, first.

    “Feminism is about women’s liberation and BDSM with it’s attachment to male dominance and female submission and sadism towards women is antithetical to that.”

    Actually, BDSM doesn’t have an attachment to male dominance and female submission. That’s the way that many people choose to take it, but a large number of people engage in it differently. I have an old friend of mine who is a Domme. Another friend of mines dad is submissive to her mom. There are plenty of people who switch roles.

    By the way, please tell me how liberation involves telling people in society that they can’t do what they enjoy? You ignored my last question, surprisingly enough, try not to make it a pattern.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 1:12 AM #

      Nic – You don’t get to speak for women in defining feminism, nor do you get to order people around here.

  38. Nic February 9, 2009 at 1:16 AM #

    ND,

    I wasn’t speaking for women when I defined feminism. As a male, I get to talk about feminism as well. Please don’t shut me out of the conversation merely because of my sex. Doing so is no better than what happened to women for generations.

    And do try to avoid telling me not to order people around, while simultaneously ordering me around.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 1:21 AM #

      It’s my blog, so I decide what goes on in comments. You, being male, are entitled to whatever opinions you have about feminism, but you aren’t entitled to tell women what feminism is or should be about. It’s not here for you, it’s here for us, so let us work it out amongst ourselves. We’re capable, trust me. As to ordering people around, your tone is insulting and patronizing. I reserve the right to edit your comments if you keep it up. You might be used to ordering your partner around, but I don’t have to deal with it, nor do my other commenters.

  39. delphyne February 9, 2009 at 1:20 AM #

    My evidence was Nic that you were talking total nonsense as to what feminism is and isn’t. I’m also not interested in your facile questions. You appear to take yourself far too seriously – “master” FFS.

  40. delphyne February 9, 2009 at 1:21 AM #

    Women’s studies has a lot to answer for if it gives the Nics of this world the idea that they can muscle in on feminism. Really poor show.

  41. Nic February 9, 2009 at 2:51 AM #

    Wow…so you deleted my comments where I calmly explained debates, but you let it go through where I just trashed you?

    Classy.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 3:03 AM #

      You never calmly explained debates (whatever the fuck that means), you were insulting from the get-go. Honestly, I didn’t delete anything. Your comments were in moderation, but now I will delete them. You’ve been boorish and irritating since you got here, and you don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about. You clearly know nothing about feminist theory, the history of feminism, or what’s going on with feminism today. You also don’t seem to understand that as a man, you might be able to support feminism (though you obviously don’t – you’re a grade-A misogynist judging by the way you treat women who disagree with you), but you don’t get to play a directive role in it because women are the ones who get to decide what issues are most pressing and how to organize the movement. You’re in over your head and you’re making an asshole of yourself. Piss off. And go learn the difference between “your” and “you’re” and “its” and “it’s.”

  42. Forlock February 9, 2009 at 3:33 AM #

    >>>Feminism is about freeing women from male oppression, meta. This “choice” argument was created by anti-feminists who wanted to claim that every choice a woman makes is a feminist choice which is clearly ridiculous.>>>

    And who are you to deny a woman her own choices just because you don’t think those choices are feminist? A woman’s choices are her OWN, not yours to make for her.

    And the “choice” argument that you speak of was created by feminists in the late 60s and early 70s in regards to access to birth control and abortion. They argued that it was “her body, her choice”. And while Meta’s choice is not my choice or your choice, it’s HER choice.

    There is a difference between what two people like Meta and Nic decide for themselves, and what a group of people like the Taliban decide for women as whole: forced to wear a burka, being denied education, denied employment, and denied the right to even go out of the house.

    So what are you going to do? Set up spy cameras in everyone’s home to make sure they are having sex in the politically correct rad-fem way?? Quite ridiculous.

    Frankly, Delphyne, what you call “radical feminism” is nothing but patriarchy in reverse. Meaning that instead of the men doing the oppressing, it’s the women who are the oppressors.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 3:38 AM #

      Forlock – Radical feminism is not patriarchy in reverse. Radical feminists just don’t think that sex takes place in a vacuum where choice renders patriarchy irrelevant. You know you’re mischaracterizing the radfem position. Stop being dishonest.

  43. Michael_X February 9, 2009 at 8:01 AM #

    Hi,

    Delphyne you asked me some questions.

    “So are you a sadist Michael?”

    I think we need to be careful with terms here. That word is heavily overloaded with conflicting meanings and is heavily context defendant. I tend to use the term sadomasochist. Some might call me a BDSM practitioner, or kinky, or a perve. However any label is going to mislead. I’m old enough to remember when to the majority of the UK population the term homosexual was considered a synonym for paedophile.

    “If so what sort of sadistic acts do you commit on women?”

    None that I haven’t experienced and enjoyed myself. Yes, shameful as it is sometimes considered in today’s BDSM world, I switch. I’m not going into specifics but I will say that I am rather tame in what I do compared to kink.com. Much of what they portray is fantasy. Just like non-SM porn.

    Watch some non-SM porn, if you wish, and see those athletic bodies, often selected because of natural or artificially enhanced sexual characteristics, the incredible stamina, etc. Is ordinary day to day sex like that?

    No, it’s fantasy sex, and a lot of kink.com is fantasy SM. Some of it very hot to those who enjoy that sort of thing.

    Yes, when I watch it I vicariously enjoy it. Yes, I’d love to engage in some of those activities but lack the skill, training, equipment, etc. And, yes, I’d like to engage from both perspectives. All those things you see being done to those women, I’d like to try. Both doing and experiencing them done to me. Some of them I have and enjoyed tremendously.

    “Did you read the link about the woman being raped at Kink.com?”

    No apologies if I have missed something important. If you post it I’ll take a look and respond to that. Thank you in advance.

    “Is that the sort of thing you’d enjoy watching?”

    I’ll have to see the link but it’s a no brainer to say that if it is rape then yuk. I’m an ethical person and a consent freak.

    “Have you thought that maybe your sadism has cut you off from your humanity and your empathy as you seem to have no negative reaction to images of extreme torture of women.”

    What I am seeing is people engaging in hot kinky mutually fulfilling sex.

    As I’ve said it’s a brain wiring thing, if you are not wired that way I don’t expect you to see or get what it is that we do. Just accept that we are adults, competent and enjoying ourselves.

    Sometimes in life things are not what they seem and that is very true of much SM activity.

    I’d write more but we have to get the kids off to school, go to work, yadda, yadda.

    Best regards,

    Michael

  44. isme February 9, 2009 at 9:22 AM #

    I would generally agree with Forlock. There are plenty of decisions that I disaprove off, but that I’m not going to claim people have no right to make. We all know the terrible effects that smoking has. It has no positive aspects whatsoever. But it’s not for me to say that people have no right to smoke.

    I’d also agree that many people (not neccesarily Delphyne) do seem to be calling themselves feminists or radical feminists as an excuse to be condescending or insulting towards people holding other views.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 5:12 PM #

      isme – I’ve never said that anyone has no right to engage in whatever they’re engaged in, unless they’re hurting people. I think the issue at hand is whether what goes on at Kink.com and as a result of what they do hurts people. I think it does.

      • She-wolf September 14, 2009 at 7:50 PM #

        How about this…why don’t you try actually talking to some female masochists and asking them questions about why they do this and what they get out of it? Their answers might surprise you. Fetlife.com is a very friendly site and it has a lot of forums with many women of all sexual orientations who take various different roles in BDSM. You could talk to them and start a dialogue.

  45. delphyne February 9, 2009 at 11:55 AM #

    I’m just skipping over the male sadists’ posts for now. They have nothing to say to me.

    Men who enjoy torturing women or who enjoy seeing women tortured are the enemies of womankind and the enemies of feminism. You can see it in action here the way they try to neutralise feminism or turn it into something that supports their woman-hating activities. All they are interested in is for the torture and abuse to continue and for them to be free of any criticism or opposition. It’s not going to happen.

  46. Breeze February 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM #

    It’s amazing most individuals who promote BDSM as ‘fun and sexually empowering’ have totally ignored how Kink.com is nothing new at all. The methods those men who work for Kink are not new because the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazis and now of course pornographers use the same old methods. Namely, imprisoning women in very small cages and the systematically raping and sexually torturing them. Only difference is the rapists and pornographers let the women out – but not until after they have been sufficiently dehumanised and sexually tortured by men.

    Ah but now we are supposedly living in a more civilised culture? Are we? Are we not simply re-imposing what white culture did to black female and male slaves and also what the Nazis did to women and men who did not conform to their white male supremacist ideologies.

    Ah but sexually torturing women is now ‘empowering’ and sexually freeing, because such women ‘choose’ to be sexually tortured by men. Likewise, when denial doesn’t work always claim ‘but men are depicted too in similar acts. Yes indeed some men are sexually tortured by other men but the real reason is because the men sexually tortured are those labelled ‘feminised others.’ They are not ‘real men’ and hence it is appropriate for them to be sexually tortured.

    No escaping it – all the excuses in the world does not justify men sexually torturing and raping women just so they can ‘get their rocks off.’

  47. november February 9, 2009 at 5:16 PM #

    It’s a bit off-topic now, but didn’t anybody notice that you have to declare that you don’t find anything displayed on kink.com offensive or obscene BEFORE you may enter?

    Come on! When there is nothing offensive or obscene shown on a site, there is no need to make sure that people agree on that in advance. By forcing this opinion on people, they actually make the concession that there might at least be some offensive or obscene things on the site.

  48. polerin February 9, 2009 at 5:34 PM #

    Couple notes.
    Sex does not exist in a vacuum. The choices a woman makes with her partner has significant effects on her relationship, and her relationship has a significant effect on her life. The exact same can be said of her job choices, decision to conceive or not, and the way she interacts with the world.

    We are all human, have experienced different things in life, and have different tastes in many things. Art, food, sex, companionship, entertainment… all the factors that make our lives enjoyable and worth living involve choices that others would likely not make themselves. Not all of these things are feminist activities in their very nature, and some of them, like BDSM, can be practiced in ways that harm women. Again, I’ll stress can.

    I’m not involved with the BDSM scene, but of the two people I know personally that are, both are women and both are Dom’s. I realize that this is a small sample and possibly more indicative of the people I associate with, but it makes it very difficult for me to categorically decry BDSM as anti-feminist.

    However, even given the (heteronormative) premise of a female Sub and a Male Dom, the reality is that a healthy scene relies on the needs of both parties being met, even if this is not evident on first glance. I can only imagine that a long term relationship is more so. The world is a hard place, and one that people sometimes need to escape from for a little bit in order to come back stronger. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that a woman who is highly self-aware and lives her life making systemic changes in the world that benefit all would enjoy and find solace in BDSM, in either role.

    The approach you and many of your commenter have taken up in dealing with this subject totally disregards the agency of the people involved, and uses them only as props in your attack on freedom.

    And to get through the many strawman scare questions, no I don’t think torture is right, no I don’t think using mind tricks to keep a sub “in place” is right, and I think that anyone who is in an abusive relationship should get out and stay out. I also happen to be an anti-authoritarian, and apply that to not telling people how to live their lives.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 6:13 PM #

      polerin – I don’t disregard the agency of the people involved, but I do see that their agency is being exercised within a game they didn’t set the rules of. There’s a difference, and I think pretending there isn’t is oversimplifying things. Everyone seems to want to reduce this issue to “choice,” as if that’s all that there is to it. That’s a myopic way to approach something so complicated.

  49. DaisyDeadhead February 9, 2009 at 6:09 PM #

    I posted this comment on Renegade Evolution’s blog:

    Okay, just visited Kink.com, and don’t see what is so disturbing, really. It’s BDSM, okay. And?

    It is obviously consensual BDSM itself that is the issue, right? Are we back to that again?

    ND, it is when someone correctly calls this a KINK, that you know you are safe and have nothing to worry about. They understand what it is. It’s when a man thinks this is NORMAL and ACCEPTABLE in all things and at all times, that you have something to worry about.

    What’s hard to comprehend about that? The whole site is called KINK, which means the people who arrive at that site must have a certain sexual self-awareness in the first place: they are KINKY, not mainstream.

    They are going to that site to BE WITH THEIR OWN KIND, not with you.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 6:14 PM #

      Daisy – I’m not so sanguine about the proclivities of men who like to see women tortured. Good for you if you are.

  50. Michael_X February 9, 2009 at 6:47 PM #

    Delphyne,

    Apologies, I’ve read again the posts above and found the link you posted about an alleged rape at kink.com. My bad, I should have seen it first read through. I’ve also done a search with terms like “arrest”, “police, “legal charges”, etc.

    I’ve not seen or found anything to lead me to believe there is any truth in the allegation. Hearsay and anecdote yes but evidence no. There are also claims, such as the use of “mm mm” as a safe word that don’t ring true.

    If a rape or indeed any kind of non consensual activity did take place then I hope the victim goes to the police and that it is investigated fully followed by legal proceedings, convictions and an appropriate term of imprisonment for those responsible.

    Regards,

    Michael

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 7:06 PM #

      If only it were so simple as that, Michael X. Women who are raped in the porn industry have absolutely no legal recourse. They’ve signed waivers, they’ve been taped giving consent, and when they’re gagged, how can they protest when things go too far? What cop is going to take the claims of a rape victim seriously who has been taped allowing herself to be tortured?

  51. Laurelin February 9, 2009 at 6:53 PM #

    ‘Obviously’ consensual, huh? I’m glad you know exactly what is going on, and what is consensual and what is not, Daisy. Thank god you’re here to advise us!

    Even if it is ‘consensual’, it still amounts to images of men torturing women. It is still sexualising the humiliation and degradation of women. How the hell can anyone think that’s okay?! It’s beyond me.

  52. Zeta Igriega February 9, 2009 at 7:42 PM #

    >>I’m not being patronising Meta. I am just pointing out that you are incorrect in your understanding of feminism.>>

    Miriam Webster defines feminism as : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

    Subject to interpretation. Thus either of you could be correct, incorrect or any point in between. It’s subjective. Meta isn’t incorrect. If she were stating this perspective was radical feminism perhaps it could be stated she was incorrect in her understanding as radical feminism has a specific understanding of feminism from a specific view.

    There is nothing however that states that radical feminism is the only path to feminist social change. I believe it is imperative that we focus on the goals of feminism and the enormous challenges of building a fair and just world for women. Patriarchy wins in an environment where bandwidth is expended fighting to enforce one view of radical feminism.

    Is the goal to fight oppression or to fight for a singular interpretation of feminism? There are different approaches, different views but much bigger priorities than whether Meta’s view of feminism is consistent with radical feminism.

  53. polerin February 9, 2009 at 8:05 PM #

    ND: So, you’re not denying their agency, you just think they don’t know what they are doing, or .. what exactly? Why shouldn’t a woman decide that she likes that kind of interaction and wants to go ahead with it?

    The assertion that they don’t set the rules is not a wholly factual one. Everything I have ever seen about BDSM being practiced safely and consensually includes a large dose of “Know what you are getting into, and work out things ahead of time together.” If you wish to make the argument that society has programmed them to want that kind of treatment, go ahead, but I’d suggest that you check to see if there is a peer reviewed study or two that backs you up on it. The very existence of non-hetero women Subs makes it much more difficult to support.

    I am not limiting it solely to “choice”, I am saying that a human beings agency to make choices that do not harm other people should not be limited. I have to say I find it interesting that you claim BDSM’s defenders are limiting the scope of the argument when you consistently disregard that it’s NOT just the male dom female sub setup.

  54. polerin February 9, 2009 at 8:08 PM #

    Zeta: I’m not a fan of referring to the dictionary for definitions of a movement or sociopolitical ideology. Invariably it is not nuanced enough, too heavily influenced by popular thought, or both.

    That being said, I do agree with your overall message of, “Really, do we need to condemn each other?”

  55. Jenn February 9, 2009 at 8:15 PM #

    Dude, Michael X, way to know nothing about the law. As someone that studies the law (oh noes), I know that 98-95% of women that report rape are not lying. It’s a pretty common statistical fact, so I feel confident in telling you to look it the fuck up.

    Furthermore, kink.com takes the already horrible imbalance of power inherit in pornography (the women have no legal recourse, cannot control how their images are used, etc) and enhances it tenfold with pornography that inherently approves of non-consensual sex, torture, rape, abuse, and battery. All of the above, might I add, are completely and utterly illegal if non-consensual (and, many moral theorists postulate that they cannot be consented to at all, especially such oxymoronic things like “consensual rape” or “consensual slavery”).

    So you’re arguing here out of total ignorance of the law. Nice try.

  56. firefey February 9, 2009 at 9:01 PM #

    this convo is interesting for me as a woman, as a BDSM FemDomme (female dominant), and as a feminist. i have to say, radical feminism and i often do not get along, as i tend to feel as though anyone not in full agreement with rad-fem blogs/posters is called out as delusional or defective and not able to make decisions for themselves. having a prevailing thought that decisions made by women that have the same facts as you do, but that make decisions different from you, are not really chosing but are in fact dupes seems counter productive and it makes getting through some of these issues that much harder.

    because, honestly, i’m not 100% sure how i feel about porn. i know i’m not ok with the pornification of many things, young women and girls especially. and i am vehemently anti-slut shaming. something i, unfortunetly, see on far to many occations coming from (seeming) rad-fem places. sex and sexuality being the complex creatures they are, i find it wrong to tell someone their way of relating to their sexuality is incorrect. but then, i find it wrong to tell anyone how they can and cannot relate to an ephemeral concept, be it sexuality, feminism, gender, etc.

    having said that, ND it’s obvious that this has allarmed and offended you. i am not trying to tell you how to think or feel about the things on kink.com or the people who view the content. i will, however tell you that your demand that people not ever think or feel or enjoy this kind of sex or sexuality is akin to demanding that gay people become straight. is it possible that lines were crossed and that the women and men on the reciving end have gotten more than they thought they would, or have had reactions different than they thought they would? not only do i know it possible in this context, i know it happens in real life situations. and if a performer (or bottom of any kind) believes they have been pushed beyond their acceptable limits they should be aloowed to speak out against it. as a general rule the BDSM community does not like having people around who abuse other people under the cover of what it is that we do. there are support groups and community involvments in place to try and help prevent as much of this as we can.

    i know you don’t really want someone here defending kink.com, and i think that might be what meta, michael_x, nic and i are picking up on. which might be why this convo has taken a different turn. but please understand that in asking that someone defend kink.com and the “sick fucks” who look at and are aroused by the images there, you are asking us to defend our sexuality. i cannot speak for the other posters here, i can only speak for myself. but it seems to me, it feels to me, it reads to me as though nothing i can say about my life will be considered by you as valid. you have passed judgement on me, on my relationship- the single most loving, fulfilling, amazing relationship i have ever had- and you have concluded it isn’t real.

    maybe you don’t intend to sound like “the opposition” by using words that other, by accusing people like me of horrendous things, by saying we are the cause of societies ills. but you do. you sound just like the people who demanded we pass pro 8 so the sancitiy of marriage and the lives of children could be protected from those horrid and damaging gay people who want their sick, immoral relationships acknowledged.

    is it possible for us to disagree without condemnation?

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 9:05 PM #

      Firefly – I’m not comfortable with this analogy people keep making between BDSM and homosexuality. There is an element of power and oppression involved in BDSM that is not inherent in homosexual encounters. And as someone who believes that sexual orientation is not a choice, I don’t like the comparison either (though I’d rather leave the analysis of this comparison to readers who aren’t heterosexual). I don’t appreciate being compared to people who supported Prop. 8 because I’ve got some serious moral and theoretical problems with the intermingling of sex and power while we live in a misogynistic society.

  57. Michael_X February 9, 2009 at 9:02 PM #

    ND,

    You make a very valid point and one I admit I was aware of. Still, successful prosecutions have taken place in the UK and if the allegation is true I hope the woman does go to the police.

    You asked for someone to defend kink.com but ultimately only they can do that.

    I have very limited information, being in the UK. What I can say though is that there are people I have met and people who I have communicated with for many years who are involved in the US BDSM scene and various BDSM, SM, and leather communities and organisations, some of them for decades, and I have not come across gossip, rumour or other red flags concerning this business.

    Word of mouth in a tight community built upon knowing others, earning trust and ones reputation can be a very powerful “police force” both to control behaviour and deal with those who step out of line.

    Now absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but I’m minded to consider them innocent on this one until proven guilty given that I have found no allegations of criminal or unethical behaviour against them other than hearsay on a website of questionable impartiality.

    On the other hand I’m also going to go out, dig around, and try to prove myself wrong. If I hear anything suggestive of wrongdoing from or through a source I know and trust or other new evidence appears I may well change my position and if I don’t like what I hear I’ll share it here if possible.

    Ultimately if one considers porn or sex work or SM as always sick, unacceptable, vile or whatever then they, kink.com, certainly are all that. (I’m not saying that is your position, just speaking in general). As is every other business who like them are selling fairly heavy hardcore SM porn.

    I wouldn’t even begin to try to defend all of sex work, the porn industry or even all SM. Nor would I wish to there is a lot of bad out there that stinks. However my perspective is it is not all bad. Ethical sex work, porn and SM are possible and exist.

    Nagel, in a famous essay, asked “What’s it like to be a bat?” I imagine a bat given human level cognitive skills and language if asked to explain batness would feel just as tongue tied, frustrated and inadequate as I do in trying to explain what SM is to those of us, male and female, who are wired that way to people whose orientation is very much not SM.

    So to sum up the defense you requested. I believe sadomasochism is an orientation, that ethical SM is possible, and that I have not encountered credible evidence that kink.com has committed crimes or behaved unethically. I freely admit I am not in a position to check as closely as I would wish and I reserve the right to radically change my opinion about kink.com if such evidence should come to light. I also accept, though I believe them in error, that some simply consider all SM unethical and that to them no defense can be offered.

    “The things that seem beautiful, inspiring, and life-affirming to me seem hateful, ugly, and ludicrous to most other people.” – Pat Califia, Macho Sluts.

    I doubt if anything I’ve said will alter the way SM looks to people who see it that way just as my hypothetical bat would never enable me to see the world as bat ultrasonic radar sees it.

    Thank you for allowing me to have my say. For fear of repeating myself or going round in circles, something I fear I may already have done to a small extent, I’ll shut up and listen unless you or another specifically addresses something to me.

    Kind regards,

    Michael

  58. firefey February 9, 2009 at 9:15 PM #

    and i can respect the fact that you question consentual power exchange relationships as they relate to a non-consentual imbalanced power dynamic at large in the culture we live in. i do the same thing myself pretty regularly while trying not to give myself a nasty case of congnitive dissonance. but i stand behind the comparison to the language used.

    in terms of history of sexual movements they are really quite similar. homosexuality as it was percived 30-50 years ago vs how it percieved now has many similarities. accusations of pedophelia, subversion, and all maner of questionable morals were thrown against gay communities. many of those same accusations are thrown our way. you may also want to look at the intersectionality of BDSM/Leatherist communities and GLBTQ communities. the overlap is pretty high.

  59. polerin February 9, 2009 at 9:23 PM #

    ND: I’m no queer theory master, and your point about a power relations in BDSM vs SSR’s is valid, but I think there is at least a superficial validity to the comparison. You are with the majority in looking at a sexual practice and relationships that involve it which you don’t share, and are considering it’s practitioners wrong for doing so. There is privilege in not having to deal with societies condemnation of how you have sex.

    Are there things that (non-BDSM)GLBT couples have to deal with which (straight)BDSM relationships don’t? Most definitely. I assume the reverse is true as well.

    That being said, I am uncomfortable comparing a for-profit website with my marriage.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 9:25 PM #

      I’m not comparing Kink.com to people’s real relationships (it says so in the first paragraph).

      I’m just worried about people making claims on oppressed status when the status is something that’s being chosen.

  60. firefey February 9, 2009 at 9:36 PM #

    i didn’t claim oppessed status, i said you use language that others people for their sexuality. on top of which there is no clear distinction between nature and nurture when it comes to sexuality. one could, and often does, make the claim that homosexuality is a choice. i would disagree with them, and i have a feeling you would to. you claim my sexuality is a choice and i say you are incorrect for the same reasons i would disagree with the peoson claiming homosexuality was a choice.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 9:40 PM #

      Except that our society conditions women to be sexually submissive, whereas it does not condition people to be homosexuals.

      I’m not “othering” anyone (I do dislike that term – it’s academic jargon), I’m saying that I think there’s something problematic going on. I can understand why it’s going on, which means I’m not essentializing difference or presenting myself as a foil to those who do something I think is problematic.

  61. Nic February 9, 2009 at 9:38 PM #

    “Dude, Michael X, way to know nothing about the law. As someone that studies the law (oh noes), I know that 98-95% of women that report rape are not lying. It’s a pretty common statistical fact, so I feel confident in telling you to look it the fuck up.”

    Its also one that is basically made up and incredibly hard to prove one way or another. I have no idea what the numbers are, and I can’t see why anyone would lie about it, but knowledge of the law doesn’t provide any evidence at all about the percentage of women who lie about rape.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 9:45 PM #

      It may be hard to prove, but it isn’t made up. See this post and the links it contains.

  62. firefey February 9, 2009 at 9:40 PM #

    i would also like to point out that while you do state that your post is not about BDSM in real relationships, you do state pretty plainly that people who find this arousing are sick and demented. and guess what kinds of people are going to be the overwhelming majority of kink.com consumers…

  63. Nic February 9, 2009 at 9:40 PM #

    “Firefly – I’m not comfortable with this analogy people keep making between BDSM and homosexuality. There is an element of power and oppression involved in BDSM that is not inherent in homosexual encounters. And as someone who believes that sexual orientation is not a choice, I don’t like the comparison either (though I’d rather leave the analysis of this comparison to readers who aren’t heterosexual). I don’t appreciate being compared to people who supported Prop. 8 because I’ve got some serious moral and theoretical problems with the intermingling of sex and power while we live in a misogynistic society.”

    Both are deviant sexualities. Both are groups of people who are marginalized. Both have inherent dangers in both, but in the end, both are sexual choices made by consenting adults.

    The same type of arguments about that they don’t know whats good for them, that they don’t know whats healthy, that they are buying into an evil form of society that you have been making about BDSM, are made about homosexuals.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 9:43 PM #

      Are you saying homosexuality is a choice?

  64. firefey February 9, 2009 at 9:46 PM #

    all human sexuality is a combination of inborn nature and external ideology, so the argument can be made that some people are conditioned to be sexually submissive, some people are conditioned to be homosexual, and some people are going to be all over the map. what i find most disheartening is the fact that you refuse to discuss any BDSM relationship that is not Male Dom/ fem sub. I am not submissive, i never have been. my beloved is not feminized by me or anyone around him. but he is most assuredly submissive to me. and if we look at images of BDSM and get aroused, or get ideas, or get discussion topics out of it then we’re sick and twisted fucks who hould just go kill ourselves for exploring that side of our sexuality? do you see how that is alienating? or am i just beating my head against a wall here?

  65. Nic February 9, 2009 at 9:47 PM #

    “I don’t disregard the agency of the people involved, but I do see that their agency is being exercised within a game they didn’t set the rules of.”

    This is patently false, or is in any healthy BDSM relationship. The bottom should ALWAYS have agency to choose. This is why we have things like safe words.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 9:55 PM #

      This is patently false, or is in any healthy BDSM relationship. The bottom should ALWAYS have agency to choose. This is why we have things like safe words.

      No, dude, I mean that the overarching social structure in which we live constricts choice.

  66. polerin February 9, 2009 at 9:48 PM #

    ND: I realize that, I was being cautious as it seemed like the thread had diverged from your original theme of “talk about kink.com” and into a broader discussion of BDSM. I don’t really think that it is possible to separate your critique of kink.com from a critique of BDSM as practiced in a relationship or in the wider world.

    Beyond that, I dislike the “You’re born gay, so that makes it ok” argument which you hint at by saying that BDSM is chosen. I don’t mean to presume, but from the post and your statements in comments you seem to identify as a radFem, which I always associate (possibly erroneously) with the quote, “feminism is the theory; lesbianism is the practice”. I don’t know what makes me as I am, but reducing things to biological essentialism reaches into oversimplification in my opinion.

    For example. Say, as a purely hypothetical, that the predisposition to enjoying S&M is not a biological artifact, but rather a byproduct of their environment. Is that “chosen”, and if so, is the person who has that disposition wrong for having it?

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 10:02 PM #

      polerin – I’m not a lesbian, so I clearly don’t subscribe to that bit of ideology. I don’t completely subscribe to any ideology, as I came to the feminism I feel is right without having had any exposure to feminist theory of any kind.

      To polerin and Nic – I don’t really know or care whether homosexuality is biological, because I’m not here to tell anyone how to have sex or whom to have sex with. That’s the patriarchy’s job, not mine. But BDSM does tend to play into patriarchal ideas about sex in a lot of ways, alloying sex with power as it does. As sex is used as a tool of oppression against women, I think it’s necessary to take a close look at what’s going on in M/f BDSM. You might come to the conclusion that you can practice it without it amounting to oppression, but I remain unconvinced. You can choose to not give a shit whether I’m convinced, but I’m not. The difference between me and anti-gay types or those who engage in slut-shaming is that I don’t advocate the banning or extirpation of anything. I instead hope that by discussing things and getting them out into the open, people will gradually come to see the problems inherent in mixing up sex and power in a hierarchical society. You can ignore me and go on thinking whatever you want, but you’re not really my target audience here. Fence-sitters are.

  67. Nic February 9, 2009 at 9:53 PM #

    “Are you saying homosexuality is a choice?”

    Whether our desires for one sex or another is a choice is a scientific question that hasn’t been answered. But as far as people choose to actually engage in sex, yes, we do choose who we fuck. This should have absolutely no bearing on the the same-sex debate, and in fact the proliferation of arguments trying to prove its a choice one way or the other are merely buying into the assumption that its a negative thing to do. The argument is basically if its a choice, well then clearly you shouldn’t choose it and we can blame gays. But if its not a choice, well then they can’t help it, they are just diseased and we should allow it. Its an asinine argument that starts out presupposing that homosexuality is bad.

    Who cares if its biological or not. People want to do something that doesn’t effect anyone else at all. Nobody goes around arguing about whether my profession, or what I like to eat, or any other of my traits are biological, so leave this one out as well.

  68. Nic February 9, 2009 at 10:00 PM #

    “It may be hard to prove, but it isn’t made up. See this post and the links it contains.”

    Neither the post, nor the links provide any evidence that it wasn’t made up.

    Here’s some evidence that it is made up. Not that its wrong, but that its made up. Who knows what the number is, but as far as I know, its really fucking hard to figure out what the numbers would be, and real scientific studies on it haven’t come out.

    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2004/12/2_false_rape_st.html

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 10:03 PM #

      For someone who claims to be a feminist sympathizer, you sure are sounding like an MRA with this false-rape-claim business.

  69. Nic February 9, 2009 at 10:02 PM #

    “No, dude, I mean that the overarching social structure in which we live constricts choice.”

    Right…because all these women who have submitted are doing so because society pressures them too, right? But yet, its something that they can’t tell society because, if they do, it does what you are doing to them, but worse.

    You don’t find it odd at all to say that society is restricting the choices these women have and forcing them into something that society completely, and unequivocally condemns them for doing?

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 10:04 PM #

      How in god’s name are you going to claim that society derides women for being sexually submissive?

  70. firefey February 9, 2009 at 10:03 PM #

    constricts, yes, but negates all together? i can’t get behind that. and yet, much of your post here seems to imply that i cannot make choices because i’m not enlightened enough about my options.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 10:05 PM #

      No, not negates altogether. I obviously don’t think that or I’d stop writing. But the constrictions and influences are there, and I’m just trying to draw attention to them.

  71. firefey February 9, 2009 at 10:15 PM #

    there’s two bits i want to respond to. one, the statement that society doesn’t punish women for sexual submission. i can only agree to that to a point. much of society wants women to be marginally submissive to their men. any woman the think is being too submissive is brainwashed and coerced. women friends i have who participate in M/f relationships are told they are being abused, that they should leave, that they cannot rationaly evaluate their relationship. i will be one of the first people to admit that from the outside some of what goes on in a power exchange relationship looks like abuse. but if you refuse to believe a woman who tells you she is happy, who seems to be thriving, who seems genuinely to love her situation how are you any better than someone who doesn’t believe a woman who says she is being abused. you do not get to pick and chose who is speaking their personal truth.

    the other thing i want to point out is, your refusal to talk about permutations other than M/f within this context. if you want to discuss the constrictions placed on women as they relate to their sexuality, great. but lets not just talk about the one that you think is bad. because i get heaps of shit from people about the way i conduct my relationship. i’m unfeminine, i’m controlling, i’m a ball buster (i am but in a totally different, and much more litteral context). my beloved is a pussy bitch, weak, pathetic, unmanly. we are both devient for refusing to play by gender norms.

    i’m all for discussing the intersections of power and sexuality. i’m all for discussing the possible implications of those intersections. and i’m really quite happy to talk about what it means to be into BDSM and feminism. i’m just not sure that’s really what you want to do.

  72. polerin February 9, 2009 at 10:17 PM #

    ND: I didn’t intend to imply that you did, I apologize. I was actually intending to say that it simply implies the fact that homosexuality can in some instances be a choice. I simply dislike essentialist arguments when it comes to things like GLBT issues.

    Anyhow, seeing as you say you are not asking to ban BDSM, what *is* your intent. Your orginal post used some very strong and very emotionally charged language and ideas. It didn’t come across as, “I am unconvinced that BDSM can be practiced without it amounting to oppression.”

    It came of as “BDSM is rape and torture, and anyone who gets off on it is a disgusting motherfucker”. In the first I can see a theory discussion, the second it seems as though you are set to condemn anyone and everyone who engages in BDSM and enjoys it.

    As a side note, I suspect that the fence sitters are everyone’s target, though I do hope to at least have a civil discussion of where our outlooks on the world diverge. ;)

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 10:23 PM #

      I admit straight up that I have no sympathy for Kink.com. It’s terrifying shit, and I’m very afraid of the men who use the site.

      firefly – I explained in my 4th BDSM post why I chose to focus on M/f BDSM. I think it’s a different thing than other forms of BDSM, and the only reason they’re lumped together is because there’s a scene involved. BDSM is a big umbrella, and I think it’s OK to analyze one thing that falls under it on its own. Obviously it doesn’t make sense to discuss everything involved in BDSM at once, lest we end up talking in huge, indefensible generalities.

  73. Nic February 9, 2009 at 10:22 PM #

    “I don’t really know or care whether homosexuality is biological, because I’m not here to tell anyone how to have sex or whom to have sex with.”

    Except you want to shame Meta for the way she has sex with me, and you want me to”kill myself” for what I find arousing. You have told people how to have sex, and you’ve told us we are doing it wrong.

    “But BDSM does tend to play into patriarchal ideas about sex in a lot of ways, alloying sex with power as it does”

    Yes, it can. Both patriarchy and BDSM are power relationships. Frankly, sex and power have a lot to do with each other. Someone is on top, someone is on bottom. Someone is controlling it more than the other. Someone makes the first move. Not everything that happens or has something that could relate to patriarchy, does relate to patriarchy. Guess what else? BDSM can be dangerous. This is part of the reason there are so many rules and formalities around it. But men and women have agency to decide that they want to enjoy something, even if it is dangerous.

    “As sex is used as a tool of oppression against women, I think it’s necessary to take a close look at what’s going on in M/f BDSM.”

    And this is what I find ridiculous. M/f BDSM is somehow bad, but F/m BDSM is more understandable? Imagine patriarchy doesn’t exist. Many of these people will still want to engage in the same type of activities that they want to now. But somehow now its ok? So what people want to do is acceptable only because of completely outside influences beyond their control? Thats an absurd way of judging actions.

    When i was born, my parents had a group of friends similar to some of the people on this blog. They suggested that my parents give me up for adoption because I was male. When my parents refused, they kicked my parents out of the group. Yes, I had a penis, but I was an infant. This is the same type of demonizing that you are engaged in.

    “The difference between me and anti-gay types or those who engage in slut-shaming is that I don’t advocate the banning or extirpation of anything”

    Someone posted that you applauded the UK laws making BDSM illegal. That would be advocating, and applauding, the banning of my and Metas consensual sexual activities.

    “I instead hope that by discussing things and getting them out into the open, people will gradually come to see the problems inherent in mixing up sex and power in a hierarchical society.”

    Of course there are problems with it. Mixing up anything and power has inherent problems with it no matter what kind of society you are in. But “that there might be issues” and condemning it, and shaming those who engage in it, are two very, very different things.

    You didn’t want an honest discussion, you wanted to insult something you found gross in the name of feminism. No honest discussion of a sexuality starts out with outright stating that some practitioners of it should kill themselves. Rhetorical flourish or not.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 10:27 PM #

      You aren’t going to paint me as a lunatic because you want to compare me to someone who told your parents to give you up for adoption because you’re male.

      I applauded the UK ban on violent porn because I think it’s harmful and there’s no way to legally protect the women involved from rape.

      I’ve explained over and over why I think M/f BDSM is inherently more problematic than other forms. I’m tired of repeating myself and I have work to do.

      And I didn’t shame Meta.

  74. antiprincess February 9, 2009 at 11:06 PM #

    And I didn’t shame Meta.

    well, I guess that’s Meta’s call, if she feels shamed by you or not.

    • Nine Deuce February 9, 2009 at 11:07 PM #

      Yeah, everything in the world is subjective. There’s no right or wrong.

  75. antiprincess February 9, 2009 at 11:29 PM #

    Yeah, everything in the world is subjective. There’s no right or wrong.

    That’s not at all the point I was trying to make. I’ll try to be more clear (hard for me because I’m totally not as smart as you) –

    You may not have thought your words were shaming. Yet Meta may still feel shamed.

    You may well be able to say “I did not intend to shame Meta.” But that has no bearing on the actual shame she may have felt.

  76. Zeta Igriega February 9, 2009 at 11:40 PM #

    >>I applauded the UK ban on violent porn because I think it’s harmful and there’s no way to legally protect the women involved from rape.>>

    Maybe this is something we need to come together and put aside differences and fighting over who knows what about feminism, who is feminist, etc.

    Sex without consent is rape. If women can’t go to the police, which I know they can’t, if they are in BDSM porn and state have been raped,,, The problem is the police. The video is useless in terms of defining consent. A smile on camera isn’t inherently consent a scream on camera isn’t inherently rape. It is how the person determines they feel about it. All the statements on tape saying I consent are meaningless if she didn’t. That being said there are women who do consent to being tortured, filmed with active and free consent.

    The police who refuse to do their job because of what is portrayed on video. They are who is wrong. The justice system who turns a blind eye because of the video is wrong. It’s often very specific to the victim. And there lies the key. Specific to the victim.

    If I am an actress in a video that depicts very violent rape but entered it and everything that went into it with consent, let’s say for the hypothetical of making a video to demonstrate the horror of rape for the construct of social change, regardless of what was shot, if I consented and had active consent, then it wasn’t rape and the men weren’t rapists. On the flip side I could shoot the same film, smile endlessly through it but have the whole thing be rape.

    The police and justice system need to be held accountable to the standard of the victim’s perception of the event. Can’t our fight be to raise awareness where it needs to be raised? Is the battle with each other over who bests understands tenets of feminism important enough to expend copious amounts of bandwidth when cops and the justice system look at a video and determine a rape victim isn’t a rape victim because of how they determined she acted and how they determined her consent?

    Is winning a feminist battle with each other important when we lose the war to combat rape?

  77. Jenn February 9, 2009 at 11:54 PM #

    I just want to interject and say that whoever is comparing my like of getting horizontal with people of my own sex to beating the shit out of people for fun can kindly go fuck themselves.

    If you can’t see the obvious difference between BDSM and homosexuality, get the fuck out of dodge. Seriously.

  78. Clarisse February 10, 2009 at 1:03 AM #

    If exploring your “dark side” entails wanking to women being tortured, it might be best to leave it unexplored. Or kill yourself.

    Out of curiosity, have you ever read Jay Wiseman’s book, SM101? It’s a very well-known BDSM primer.

    Here’s a quotation from page 27, where Wiseman is talking about what he went through when he first started acknowledging his BDSM desires:

    I went to the library of nearby Sonoma State College and looked through its library section to see what I could learn. What I found was grim. There were a few books that talked about sexual sadism and its often-murderous results. One especially disturbing book contained numerous police photographs of rape/murder victims. The sight of these women’s bodies, often horribly mutilated, sickened me and terrified me more than I can say. Was I turning into a person who might someday do something like that?

    I decided to keep myself under surveillance. I made up my mind that I was not going to allow myself to hurt anybody. If I thought I was turning into someone that would harm somebody else, then I would either put myself into a mental institution or commit suicide. And thus I lived, waiting and watching to see if I was turning into someone that I needed to shoot.

    If Jay Wiseman had killed himself, he would never have written SM101, which has taught thousands of people how to practice BDSM safely.

    Just saying.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 1:08 AM #

      Great point. I guess that invalidates everything I’ve had to say.

  79. Forlock February 10, 2009 at 1:23 AM #

    >>>Forlock – Radical feminism is not patriarchy in reverse. Radical feminists just don’t think that sex takes place in a vacuum where choice renders patriarchy irrelevant. You know you’re mischaracterizing the radfem position. Stop being dishonest.>>>

    Nine Deuce, what I think is that radical feminists are placing far, far too much emphasis on sexuality, to a completely obsessive and unhealthy degree. If the subject is not prostitution, then it’s pornography, and if it’s not pornography, then it’s BDSM. It leads me to think that you don’t care about oppression of women in it’s other forms, such as economic and social oppression.

    In other words, a woman can slave away in an Indonesian factory making Nike shoes for a dollar a day, but if she starts spreading her legs for ten times as much, then she’s “horribly oppressed by the patriarchy”. Do you really and honestly think I can’t see through this nonsense? It may be patriarchal, according to you, to exchange sex for cash, but the REAL patriarchy, according to ME, is having to slave away in the factory. Why? Because the dollar-a-day factory job is what causes the temptation and desire to earn ten times as much selling sex. So the REAL oppression starts in the factory, and not the other way around.

    As a feminist, Nine Deuce, you should be focused on women’s lack of education, health care, and lack of job and career opportunities worldwide. And you should also recognize and be concerned about the oppression of women that is NOT inherently sexual in nature, such as the plight of widows in India, and the gender apartheid practiced in parts of the Middle East. I can guarantee you that Afghan women for the most part have other things to worry about besides BDSM or pornography. They worry about where their next meal is coming from.

    Something to think about, isn’t it.

  80. L February 10, 2009 at 2:00 AM #

    Wow, that argument has never been made before about feminists, forlock. No, no, it’s never been made at all! And certainly not by a man talking to a feminist woman. You’re so original and SO much better at this feminism stuff than the rest of us wimminz!

    Oh wait.

  81. Rachel February 10, 2009 at 2:26 AM #

    the REAL patriarchy, according to ME, is having to slave away in the factory. Why? Because the dollar-a-day factory job is what causes the temptation and desire to earn ten times as much selling sex.

    No, it’s because men slave away in factories as well as women, and therefore you can manage to stir yourself to empathize with them, whereas prostitution is something that mainly women do (oh, and children, who I’m sure are showing lost of agency by “spreading their legs”) so you can’t manage to get up the empathy to think about what paying $900 a month for a room in a trailer in the desert plastered with pornography and being fucked by any man who picks you at any time of day or night would be like – and this is legal and supposedly regulated prostitution I’m describing here.

    After all, we’re women. Getting fucked is what we’re for. Getting fucked a few more times, or a few dozen, or a few thousand, couldn’t hurt us, could it?

    Maybe you should go help some women slaving away in factories instead of charging in like an Internet white night to save feminism from the deluded little ladies.

  82. firefey February 10, 2009 at 3:16 AM #

    jenn

    i’ll stop comparing the amount of shaming and shit people of the same sex get for fucking when people like you stop shaming me for the way i fuck. if you want to have a discussion about gender norms and imbalance of power and how they relate to BDSM fine. i’m there with bells on. but stop pretending like you want that, when you clearly don’t.

  83. Clarisse February 10, 2009 at 3:25 AM #

    “Great point. I guess that invalidates everything I’ve had to say.”

    Wow. Are you actually trying to have a productive conversation or just showcase your sarcasm?

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 3:32 AM #

      It just seemed tertiary and didn’t really address the argument at all.

  84. Zeta Igriega February 10, 2009 at 3:42 AM #

    >>Feminism is about freeing women from male oppression, meta. >>

    Isn’t feminism aobut freeing women from oppression of from any gender? Oppression is oppression. Perhaps the world would be a better place if we fought to free everyone from oppression. I don’t want a man to be oppressed anymore than than I want a woman to be. I’m also not born better than 49 percent of the population by virtue of being born female.

  85. hellonhairylegs February 10, 2009 at 3:57 AM #

    As a lesbian, I would like to say a sincere fuck you to people comparing BDSM to homosexuality. Gay people have been raped, beaten and killed for their sexuality. We have limited legal rights and a whole lot of crap thrown on us. The BDSM that ND is talking about here is directly in line with patriarchal norms and by definition involves hurting people.

    Just because we want something doesn’t make it right. Being aroused by domination is something we’ve been programmed to do since birth. That doesn’t mean we should hurt people or celebrate pain. And you know what? I will shame people that hurt other people, because in my opinion that is part of the social contract (and it isn’t the sex that is shameful).

    I recognise that the people who practice BDSM are complex individuals who deserve human rights. That is why I hope that some of them actually read the post and these comments with an open mind.

  86. Clarisse February 10, 2009 at 4:01 AM #

    I’ll try to be clearer.

    1) Many BDSMers actually do feel very deep and significant shame about our sexuality, including thoughts of suicide.

    2) This includes some really smart and productive kinksters like Jay Wiseman, who have done a lot to establish safe/sane/consensual BDSM practices.

    3) Would you rather Jay Wiseman had killed himself, than that he wrote SM101 — which has taught thousands of BDSMers how to have safe/sane/consensual relationships?

    I get that you have a problem with BDSM, intrinsically. I disagree with your position, but you are obviously very angry and very passionate, and I don’t think that it will be productive to engage you on the question of “Is BDSM really fucked up or not?” or “Hey guys, just look at Kink.com, how horrible is that?!”

    What I think is more productive is this question: Assuming that BDSMers are going to be practicing BDSM no matter how much people try to shame us out of it (and I assure you that we will) … then how can we ensure that BDSM is usually safe/sane/consensual?

    That is: Even if we assume that BDSM is horrible and fucked up … what can we do to ensure that the people who do it are doing it in the safest way possible?

    And my answer is this: If people like you would show some compassion and stop using hate speech like “kill yourself” — and would start considering that the way you talk about BDSM is influencing real people who feel real shame and real despair — then

    (a) kinksters would be less likely to entertain thoughts of suicide — or commit suicide,

    (b) kinksters would feel more comfortable leading workshops and writing books that teach other kinksters how to do BDSM safely,

    (c) therefore, the people who are actually out there doing BDSM would be less likely to get hurt.

    Since you’re coming down so hard on Kink.com — which is probably one of the most ethical porn companies out there, including mainstream porn companies — well, I must assume that you don’t agree that consent makes BDSM okay.

    But whether or not you think consent makes BDSM okay … you must admit that BDSM between consenting partners, who know what they are doing, is better than BDSM between partners who don’t understand themselves or their practices. And therefore, you must admit that shaming kinksters into silence and/or suicide is counterproductive.

    There is going to be BDSM and there is going to be BDSM porn, no matter how much you rail against it. It fills a very real emotional and sexual need for us, whether you understand that or not. And since these things are going to exist — evil or not, fucked up or not — it’s better that we do them in very careful, well-trained, consenting ways.

    Kink.com may not be perfect, but at least it’s trying to create an environment where BDSM porn is done in a careful, consenting way.

    So is Jay Wiseman. Who entertained thoughts of suicide because of people like you.

  87. hellonhairylegs February 10, 2009 at 4:03 AM #

    “Isn’t feminism aobut freeing women from oppression of from any gender? Oppression is oppression. Perhaps the world would be a better place if we fought to free everyone from oppression. I don’t want a man to be oppressed anymore than than I want a woman to be. I’m also not born better than 49 percent of the population by virtue of being born female.”

    Aren’t straw arguments fun? FFS Zeta, where has anyone in this comment thread suggested that women are superior to men? Feminists are trying to free everyone from oppression, and in the case of radical feminists, from oppressive gender roles. Women are fucked over on this world right now, and trying to stop that IS making the world a better place.

  88. Trinity February 10, 2009 at 6:00 AM #

    “As a lesbian, I would like to say a sincere fuck you to people comparing BDSM to homosexuality”

    As a queer person myself, I would like to say a sincere fuck you to people who claim that I ought to see my BDSM and my queerness differently.

  89. Trinity February 10, 2009 at 6:09 AM #

    “And my answer is this: If people like you would show some compassion and stop using hate speech like “kill yourself” — and would start considering that the way you talk about BDSM is influencing real people who feel real shame and real despair — then

    (a) kinksters would be less likely to entertain thoughts of suicide — or commit suicide,”

    The thing is, Clarisse, that I honestly think some of these folks think it’s GOOD that we think of suicide.

    I don’t think anyone in here is actually saying “Go kill yourself” and meaning it.

    But I do think that people are saying the world would be safer and sparklier and better if we were not in it.

    They wouldn’t hand us the guns or the pills — most people aren’t that cruel — but as long as our despair is not directly their doing, they don’t care. They don’t see us as fully human.

    Until they do, this won’t get anywhere. We can talk about how alienated it makes us feel, but until they accept that we are no less people than they are, our stories of nearly killing ourselves will be amusing to them. They will laugh at our weakness, and that will be that.

    It won’t ever occur to them that it’s the same despair that drives the gay youth to believe she should be dead. In fact, the comparison will offend.

    Until we are people to them, this is nothing but dark fun.

  90. Zeta Igriega February 10, 2009 at 6:14 AM #

    It isn’t a straw argument. I was referring to this

    >>>>>Feminism is about freeing women from male oppression, meta. This “choice” argument was created by anti-feminists who wanted to claim that every choice a woman makes is a feminist choice which is clearly ridiculous.>>>

    I thought I’d quoted it in the above post, obviously I neglected to quote my point of reference. My apologies for confusion caused. My point was to ask about the statement of feminism being about freeing women from male oppression. And why it is specific to male oppression.

    >>where has anyone in this comment thread suggested that women are superior to men?>>

    My bad, the lack of quote as a point of reference totally threw off the way the post read. My only point was concern about feminism being about freeing women from male oppression. I am trying to gain understanding of why it was parsed that way. My point is, IMO, an oppressor is an oppressor regardless of gender.

    <>

    Agreed.

    What is FFS? I don’t know what the acronym means. So it’s hard to respond to it.

    >>and in the case of radical feminists, from oppressive gender roles>>

    As long as radical feminists are respecting that we all have differing views of gender roles. It isn’t inherently wrong to choose a different path. I lived with a radical feminist roommate when I was a flight attendant. When hired we got our uniform choices, white blouse w/blazer/tie thing, navy blue pants, or the same thing with a navy blue skirt, or a navy blue dress.

    After a first week in which many senior F/A’s told me I would come to learn to hate the white top/pants combo and to go with the dress. They were right.

    My rad fem roommate went ballistic. She saw taking the dress option as anti feminist, enforcing the patriarchal view of women as objects having to expose their bodies, wear attire considered traditional to women. She felt that I was doing it make a spectacle out of myself for me, for being brainwashed by the patriarchy to believe I had to look a certain way because of male gaze. It was a constant argument that she wouldn’t let go of.
    Only she didn’t listen. It had nothing to do with choosing to be an object for me, first I’m a lesbian, I don’t care what men think of my appearance, but what she didn’t know because she wasn’t a flight attendant is the white top is a nightmare in turbulence. Drinks get spilled on it that stain, which is hard to get out, requiring a run to the laundry room at 2 am after arriving at 11, taking the shuttle from the airport to the hotel, checking in, dealing with all that, or paying hotel dry cleaning to rush, which wasn’t comped by the airline, only to get back to the airport at 8 the next morning. The dress was deep navy blue, if something spilled on it, it didn’t show much, it didn’t wrinkle, the blouse was awful for wrinkling, Blazer had to be worn over the vest, over the top with the tie thing, or one layer with the dress and no polyester pants that cause everyone to break out.

    My point for this huge post on flight attendant fashions. To my roommate the dress was tantamount to betraying feminism. Making women feel like they have to wear the dress, supporting traditional gender roles/ooppressive gender roles etc, trying to be a spectacle,,, But it wasn’t any of that. It was nothing more than the dress was more comfortable than the pants/top uniform, and way less maintenance. Meaning more sleep time on short turn layovers in between 14 hour days.

    My roommate’s belief was that taking the dress option away was a victory for feminism. This was a point she felt strongly enough to make it a fight virtually every day. I don’t see me or other women having to wear something high maintenance and something that we felt was really uncomfortable as a victory for women just to take away the option for the sake of challenging what some deem an oppressive gender role. Those feeling oppressed about wearing the dress had the pants option. It can also be a case of oppressive gender role being enforced by radical feminism if I am told that I have to wear uncomfortable clothes for the sake of someone elses interpretation of gender role. Especially when none of it even applied to the feminists as none of them were flight attendants.

    Now the makeup and 2 inch heel requirement for female employees. That I didn’t like and tried to challenge. Why is a mans face ok as long as he shaves but a woman has to have all this make up on. Why is he fine on flat shoes but I and other women by virtue of being female have to wear heels. This was an absolute requirement. For a job walking endlessly on inclines. The make up the heels should be a choice. Although I question the heels from a safety issue perspective in the event of an evacuation. Again, the radical feminist perspective was I should break dress code knowing I will get fired because that is the best way to fight oppression. But it isn’t. It would have enhanced my oppression to lose a job I genuinely liked to be a proxy soldier in a war that I didn’t wish to take part in.

    These things tend to be subjective. The whole endless drama about my uniform choice. Was that really the best use of bandwidth in fighting oppression? My point in this huge post is that we often view things differently from others and that in many things, what is right, what is wrong, what is worth a battle, what is fighting a battle and losing the war, and what seems like a noble freeing goal may not free another woman. And because she sees it differently than the radical feminist doesn’t make her anti feminist, doesn’t mean she isn’t understanding feminism. Her feminism may be that women should have the right and be supported in the right to make reasonable choices.

    Any theory that verges into constantly telling what is right and wrong and not being flexible about diversity, differences of worldview, and focuses on compliance more than objective of ending oppression. That becomes an theory that may need to be re-evaluated

  91. Defending, briefly February 10, 2009 at 7:46 AM #

    Until you have been to that edge, and have been brought back by someone you have put your trust in fully, you don’t know what you are talking about and you are not qualified to comment.

    Even as a dominant, I never initially understood. I knew my bottoms liked it, begged for pain I would provide for them — I was confused, so as an experiment, I was singletail whipped for a few hours — and after that, I was able to understand.

    But I, (or kink.com,likely) am not asking you to “get it” because you would have to want it, in order to seek it out, like the women in these videos. So in line with “keep your laws off my body” I will add, “Keep your judgments off my libido.”

    Furthermore, It should be pointed out that the kink ‘scene’ doesn’t really deal in orgasms — It deals in full on catharsis through sexual acts. Maybe this is where your logic trips over its hubris. It may be worth examining.

  92. isme February 10, 2009 at 11:10 AM #

    FFS: “For fuck’s sake”.

    As for the comparison of homosexuality and BDSM, I can see the value of it, but yes, the similarities are fairly superficial.

    “As long as radical feminists are respecting that we all have differing views of gender roles. It isn’t inherently wrong to choose a different path.”

    Seconded.

  93. delphyne February 10, 2009 at 11:38 AM #

    “If Jay Wiseman had killed himself, he would never have written SM101, which has taught thousands of people how to practice BDSM safely.”

    Don’t you mean:

    “If Jay Wiseman had killed himself, he would never have written SM101, which has taught thousands of people how to practice BDSM.”

    He was spreading the word on sexual torture, not acting as a Health and Safety Officer.

    It’s more than a little pathetic and overdramatic that he had to go “OMG I’m going to kill myself if it turns out I got this wrong”. How about he just stopped doing it and then carried on living his life like everybody else? The choice really isn’t sadism or death, no matter what the manipulative try to persuade us.

  94. delphyne February 10, 2009 at 11:48 AM #

    “Patriarchy wins in an environment where bandwidth is expended fighting to enforce one view of radical feminism.”

    Actually patriarchy wins when you try to cut out the key component of feminism which is to overthrow male supremacy and end male oppression of women.

    Both BDSM and patriarchy win when feminism is redefined as “every choice a woman makes is a feminist choice, therefore a man beating a woman is doing something feminist as long as she wants it”.

    This redefinition came from the academy (as Meta says she studied Women’s Studies) not from grassroots feminism. It’s part of the backlash.

  95. Zeta Igriega February 10, 2009 at 1:37 PM #

    You know Delpyne, your arrogance and sarcasm are tools of abuse. Taking on the behaviors of an oppressor isn’t overthrowing anything. Just repeating the cycle. Call me feeling feminist choice or lack thereof, but I don’t like being the target of your abuse any more than I do of some chauvinistic prick.

    For radical feminism to overthrow patriarchy, you are going to need a lot more supporters than you have now. You do a disservice to fighting partriarchy and to your cause with shit like this. I don’t interact relentlessly with people exhibiting abusive behavior. Further conversation between us is going to require you leave the abusive behaviors aside.

    You can believe strongly in radical feminism and your views. We all feel strongly about our views. When you use abusive behavior to express yourself. That isn’t advancing social justice. That is replicating abuse.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 1:38 PM #

      I find it very ironic that Delphyne is being accused of being abusive here. Could you please be specific about the parts of her posts that you found abusive?

  96. delphyne February 10, 2009 at 2:25 PM #

    I don’t think I’ve been sarcastic and being sure of what I know isn’t arrogance.

    It is the height of arrogance to try and redefine a political movement created for the liberation of one group of people from the oppression of another, to suit your own personal objectives. Maybe what you are responding to is the anger I feel at that Zeta.

    I certainly don’t need you telling me how to achieve radical feminist goals, again a very arrogant way of you to behave. Maybe you are projecting your own arrogance on to me. I’d also be happy for you not to comment on any of my posts as I prefer not to attempt communication with people who are being manipulative.

  97. reversed gaze February 10, 2009 at 2:33 PM #

    It’s more than a little pathetic and overdramatic that he had to go “OMG I’m going to kill myself if it turns out I got this wrong”. How about he just stopped doing it and then carried on living his life like everybody else? ” (Delphyne)

    Ever hear of the Anti-Gay movement? Same thing that you said right there. “Why don’t you just ignore you sexual desires and go get yourself a nice picket fence.” (The book, “The New Victorians” By Denefeld, comes to mind)

    I believe Zeta is right on when she calls some of the statements abusive in spirit. And I find it amusing that actual non-consensual abuse is the only way feminists who “don’t understand” can react or incite dialogue.

    Parable moment: Mich.Women’s Music Festival, 25 odd years ago, some women were consensually practicing BDSM, and they were all physically beaten up by women on ‘the land’. — They physically assaulted these women, because they chose to hold on to their judgments of those women more dearly than principles surrounding choice, understanding, strength, communication.

    Tools of the master, indeed.

  98. Rosa February 10, 2009 at 3:21 PM #

    “It’s more than a little pathetic and overdramatic that he had to go “OMG I’m going to kill myself if it turns out I got this wrong”. How about he just stopped doing it and then carried on living his life like everybody else? The choice really isn’t sadism or death, no matter what the manipulative try to persuade us.”

    You know, this sounds a lot like what Christians say about gays – the love the sinner hate the sin crap. That it’s ok to be gay as long as you’re celibate.

    I tried, I really tried for years and years and years to suppress my kinky fantasies. I felt awful about them, I thought they were disgusting, I thought I was disgusting for having them. Didn’t make them go away though. And I feel far better about myself as a human being – as a woman – since I have come to accept that side of me and been able to express some of those fantasies in consensual BDSM.

  99. polerin February 10, 2009 at 3:25 PM #

    nd: It’s more than a little pathetic and overdramatic that he had to go “OMG I’m going to kill myself if it turns out I got this wrong”. How about he just stopped doing it and then carried on living his life like everybody else? The choice really isn’t sadism or death, no matter what the manipulative try to persuade us.

    The above would really upset me if it were talking about trans issues or GLBT activism. It shows absolutely NO empathy or attempt to listen, along with telling everyone in this discussion who is involved with BDSM that they should just “be like everyone else.”

    I cannot agree more with Zeta about this:
    Any theory that verges into constantly telling what is right and wrong and not being flexible about diversity, differences of worldview, and focuses on compliance more than objective of ending oppression. That becomes an theory that may need to be re-evaluated

    ND, what I dislike about many of your supporters, and in some parts you yourself, is that the Vangaurdist attitude. Regardless of what you think, or how you wish to come off, a large part of the reaction that are getting is because it feels like you think you know how things should be and will help us poor unenlightened to get it right.

    While I am not 100% about the comparison between being GLBT and being into Kink, I do know that the language being used here is the exact same painful language I’ve had directed at me about trans issues. Calling people rapists, abusers, throwing the assertion that they should disregard their own life and happiness in an attempt to defy gender norms… All of this has been directed at me before. All of it comes from a place of privilege and disregard for others.

    Do I like the language and attitude coming from some of the others? No, but I’m not surprised considering condemnation in the tone of the article and the early comments.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 3:37 PM #

      I’m getting terrifically annoyed with these facile comparisons between BDSM and homosexuality. I think I’d like everyone to stop making them. If there are lesbian or gay readers who want to discuss the comparison, I’m all ears, but I find the analogy weak and offensive.

      I’m also a little sick of hearing the language that ought to be reserved for oppressed groups deployed in defense of what MANY of you have repeatedly described as a lifestyle choice. Women are oppressed, lesbians and gay men are oppressed, people of color are oppressed. I’m not ready to weaken the rhetorical tools those groups have at their disposal to discuss their situations with by allowing just any old group of people to co-opt them. “Abuse” and “oppression” are serious charges, and I’ll not have the terms watered down by people claiming they’re being abused because someone doesn’t approve of their choices or that they’re being oppressed because someone questions the theoretical validity of their justifications for their behavior.

      As to my supposed paternalism, it’s bullshit. I’ve said over and over that I don’t particularly care what anyone chooses to do, but I do have the right to voice my opinions and challenge those I disagree with. Would you rather I deny your agency by assuming you’re too fragile to defend your beliefs?

  100. Trinity February 10, 2009 at 3:51 PM #

    “I’m getting terrifically annoyed with these facile comparisons between BDSM and homosexuality. I think I’d like everyone to stop making them. If there are lesbian or gay readers who want to discuss the comparison, I’m all ears, but I find the analogy weak and offensive.”

    ND,

    If you’re not going to allow certain comments or kinds of speech in your comments, that’s your right and your business. However, if that’s so, can you answer me a few questions:

    1) Are you bi/pan/omnisexual/queer yourself? Because I am bisexual, and it’s really bothering me to hear from someone who I’ve only ever seen talk about hetero relationships that I am misspeaking or being insulting when I talk about my own sexuality. If you are het — and you may not be, but I’ve never seen any indication otherwise — then you’re a member of an oppressor group here. So I think you should, bare minimum, be asking the people who you see making comparisons that offend you if they are hetero or not.

    2) Supposing for a moment that you are bi/pan/omni/queer: what gives you the right or even the reason to challenge someone like me, who is saying “Look, I am BOTH bisexual AND sadomasochistic, and I don’t experience them any differently. Both of them, in my experience, are unchangeable and are a basic part of how my sexuality functions. People telling me I ought not be sadomasochistic is going to be precisely as effective as telling me I ought not desire other women.”

  101. delphyne February 10, 2009 at 3:59 PM #

    “You know, this sounds a lot like what Christians say about gays – the love the sinner hate the sin crap. That it’s ok to be gay as long as you’re celibate.”

    I was responding to this:

    “If I thought I was turning into someone that would harm somebody else, then I would either put myself into a mental institution or commit suicide.”

    Why not just stop what he was doing if he found it was changing him as a person in a way he didn’t want, rather than going to those overdramatic extremes?

    And I call bullshit on the christianity charge – this mortification of the flesh, desire to endure pain for some greater good, and exultation in submission to a “master” sounds a lot more like fundie christianity and the way some fundamentalist women talk about the way their husbands fit in their lives than any radical feminist argument ever did. How do BDSMers differentiate yourselves from fundie christians when, apart from the god aspect, you share so many of the same values?

  102. James February 10, 2009 at 3:59 PM #

    It’s also not that revolutionary to make blogposts about how naughty BDSM is. Reactionaries do that all the time.

  103. Trinity February 10, 2009 at 4:02 PM #

    “It’s more than a little pathetic and overdramatic that he had to go “OMG I’m going to kill myself if it turns out I got this wrong”. How about he just stopped doing it and then carried on living his life like everybody else? The choice really isn’t sadism or death, no matter what the manipulative try to persuade us.”

    You know, it’s really odd that you say this, given that the anti-SM folks commenting here have said over and over that they want dominant men to understand how horrible they are, to feel the psychic weight of being wrong and “getting off on harming women.”

    The minute a dominant man says “Hey, I was suicidal because I really did think it would be better to harm myself than to harm women,” you think he’s being melodramatic?

    No shit?

    In comments to a post where somebody LITERALLY SAID “People like this should go kill themselves?”

    I would’ve expected you folks to be happy he wanted to off himself, and angry that he came to what you believe is the wrong conclusion — that there’s no need for him to do this because his activities don’t do harm.

    You think they do, and he should stop, right? Kill himself if he has to to do that, as the post suggests?

    Yeah, those words were a melodramatic flourish on the part of ND.

    But why the sudden and dizzying about face when someone says “actually, I can tell you the story of someone who worried about exactly that?”

  104. polerin February 10, 2009 at 4:12 PM #

    ND: I didn’t accuse you of paternalism, rather that your arguments and the arguments of the people who agree with you are structured in such a way that it implies a Vangaurdist attitude. The two are similar but not the same. I don’t know you, and this is the first interaction that I’ve had with you, so I try not to make snap judgments.

    Beyond that, I *am* a lesbian, and I am a trans woman, and I am making the comparisons. Not to the discrimination that the two groups (and intersections) face, but rather to the language that is being used here and the language I have faced from anti-gay and anti-trans/trans-exclusionary people. I am uncomfortable with some of the way that Nik is comparing them, I think it is a bit too heavy handed and completely different from the original way the comparison was used. This discussion isn’t really a good place to dig into the details of the expanded comparison imho, because of how heated it has become and it is more than a bit outside the original scope.

  105. Zeta Igriega February 10, 2009 at 4:37 PM #

    Delphyne I mean this response with every intent of being constructive, not flaming and simply a response with my feeling.

    >>I don’t think I’ve been sarcastic and being sure of what I know isn’t arrogance.>>

    Delphyne, with all due respect to the strength of your convictions. And for the record, I have no issue with people being sure of what they know. But you are presenting your answers to many people as though you are right and they are wrong. We are talking about belief structures here. Radical feminism has been important to me in my lifetime, has been part of many major healing processes and there are certainly many components to radical feminism that I agree with and hold to my own beliefs.

    What you feel is being strong about what you know is to another person invaliding. Invalidating of many, some, who probably share many common views with. The fight against oppression needs passionate activists who have strength of their convictions. There is no doubt to any of us that do activism that there are many oppressors who will try to use intimidation to push people away from the fight against oppression through brute force. And that the need for strength of conviction is very important. Very important. No question.

    In my opinion, there is also a case for having strong opinions but presenting them in ways in which the message isn’t being lost in the presentation. Even on issues that I agree with you both here and in other blogs, you convey such a strong sense of making others wrong or in expressing yourself in a manner that feels very disrespectful, invalidating and often times feels as a hostile, patronizing lecture. I don’t feel it is unfair to ask you to consider how your actions and form of communication, regardless of being well intentioned, may be causing harm. It is likely you don’t mean to do this. I”m not the only one what has said this kind of thing. Oppression, how it has impacted each of us, how it impacts each of us, is personal to each of us.

    My life, my past, the oppression I have suffered, the oppression I have seen friends and loved ones suffer, those experiences are both similar and global to many others and but they are unique to me also. As they are for everyone. These differences impact our views on feminism and how we interpret it. Yours is no more wrong than mine. But it is no more right either. I don’t believe advocating respect and asking for consideration of how anyone’s strength of conviction is presented be reflected upon is either manipulative or malicious.

    >>I certainly don’t need you telling me how to achieve radical feminist goals, >>

    Fair enough, but that goes both ways Delphyne. To expect that it is fine for your to strongly do tihs but state to others that they shouldn’t isn’t a reasonable expectation.

    >>Maybe you are projecting your own arrogance on to me.>>

    I’m sorry it feels that way. It isn’t intended as such. My intent with you has been to draw a boundary because the overwhelming feeling I have from your responses is that they are unnecessarily aggressive, invalidating and that strength of views is being presented as you right, I and anyone who even partially disagrees with you as wrong.

    >>I’d also be happy for you not to comment on any of my posts as I prefer not to attempt communication with people who are being manipulative.>>

    That’s fine. I’ve answered your concerns in the previous post and will let it drop. I don’t have any desire or need to force communication with anyone. With one last caveat. This is my whole point about abuse. You labeled my discussion with you as manipulative. If it feels that way, I am willing to look at my actions and look for ways so that you don’t feel that sense because I am not trying to be manipulative. But you are presenting it as fact. And it isn’t fact. I respect that you may and probably don’t agree with me. I don’t want anyone’s belief in me via manipulated process. I’d rather someone disagree with me via honest construct than agree with me via dishonest. I have asked you to consider your actions. That consideration may result in you disagreeing entirely with me. And that’s fine. Nothing says I’m right and you’re wrong. This is a discussion of beliefs on oppression and how to combat it. I too believe in my views. If others are to believe in them that process has to be ethical. I’d rather that you and others disagree with me that agree via poor ethics like manipulation.

    peace
    Zeta

  106. James February 10, 2009 at 4:41 PM #

    Additionally, you seem to be ignoring their “Men in Pain” section.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 5:11 PM #

      James – 3 sites out of 14 feature men. Your objection about gay porn has been addressed a zillion times. It may be true that reactionaries write against BDSM, but their analysis has a vastly different basis than mine. Lame objections.

  107. Clarisse February 10, 2009 at 5:12 PM #

    The thing is, Clarisse, that I honestly think some of these folks think it’s GOOD that we think of suicide.

    Yeah, I think you’re right. Forgive me … as a white upper-middle-class straight woman, I’m just not accustomed to being part of a highly marginalized group. I keep assuming that if I just point out “hey, I’m human too” often enough, they’ll listen. I guess that says a lot about the privilege I’ve enjoyed so far.

    He was spreading the word on sexual torture, not acting as a Health and Safety Officer.

    It’s more than a little pathetic and overdramatic that he had to go “OMG I’m going to kill myself if it turns out I got this wrong”. How about he just stopped doing it and then carried on living his life like everybody else? The choice really isn’t sadism or death, no matter what the manipulative try to persuade us.

    1) Do you really see no difference between consenting BDSM and sexual torture? Really?

    1a) Just out of curiosity, do you see a difference between consenting sex and rape?

    2) … I thought about responding to your “sadism or death” point, but you’re so determined to misread me that I can’t imagine how to explain myself. Oh well.

  108. delphyne February 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM #

    “You labeled my discussion with you as manipulative. If it feels that way, I am willing to look at my actions and look for ways so that you don’t feel that sense because I am not trying to be manipulative. But you are presenting it as fact.”

    You mean like the way you labeled my posts as replicating abuse, presenting it as a fact? –

    “That isn’t advancing social justice. That is replicating abuse.”

    You appear to be suffering from an extremely bad case of double standards, zeta. It’s also what I meant by manipulation. You want to be left free to say anything you choose about the way I post, but if I do likewise to you, it prompts a huge screed about how I’m doing things wrong and should do them differently. You don’t seem to understand that it isn’t up to you to monitor how I express my opinions or knowledge.

    “My intent with you has been to draw a boundary because the overwhelming feeling I have from your responses is that they are unnecessarily aggressive, invalidating and that strength of views is being presented as you right, I and anyone who even partially disagrees with you as wrong.”

    Again, almost every BDSMer here has been telling radical feminists we’re wrong and we don’t know what we’re talking about but that doesn’t seem to have registered with you. Please stop with the double standards. I’d ask you to consider your actions too, but it would be patronising as hell, so instead my advice would be if you don’t like my posts or my style – don’t read them.

  109. delphyne February 10, 2009 at 5:39 PM #

    “I find it very ironic that Delphyne is being accused of being abusive here.”

    I don’t. Zeta I think is Jill Brenneman, one of the sex pozzie gang who like to try and silence or shout down any hint of radical feminism they see popping up on the internet.

    The “you’re abusive” charge to rad fems, is one of their commonest tactics.

    You’ll see the twisted pretzel shapes Zeta/Jill is getting herself into trying to justify her charge against me. Including a whole lot of double standards. :D

  110. polerin February 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM #

    ND: true enough about the count, but as I said above, it’s a porn website. The number of het porn websites that are honestly and actively marked to women is very small, and regardless of the one gay section, it’s not really marketed to gay people as far as I can tell.

    Doesn’t make it right, but it is wholly unsurprising and just as true (if not more so) of most other het porn sites, and is not BDSM or kink.com specific. Also, unsurprising given that you chose to focus on M/f and not any of the other types.

  111. James February 10, 2009 at 5:53 PM #

    James – 3 sites out of 14 feature men.

    Yes. And how do they fit into your analysis?

    Your objection about gay porn has been addressed a zillion times.

    And not once has it been addressed well.

    How can gay porn be misogynistic?

    It may be true that reactionaries write against BDSM, but their analysis has a vastly different basis than mine. Lame objections.

    For the most past this post relies upon shock material, a tactic identical to those used by the reactionaries. So far as I can tell you don’t perform any analysis, you simply say that you don’t wish to:

    Live in a world where people jerk off to women being subjected to “contraptions used in countries such as China for torture.”

    Which is simply a description of your Utopia. Then you say that you also don’t want to

    Listen to women (or men) tell me that the women who participate in the creation of these videos for these disgusting motherfuckers to jerk off to do so because the shit feels “amazing.”

    In which case I’d suggest you stop asking them, since coping with taking statements which contradict your ideology as in good faith is clearly causing you difficulties.

    You don’t analyse the content, you impose your prejudices onto it. You disregard the “Happy aftermath” shots since you presume that you know better than the site’s designer what it’s audience wants best. You completely ignore the portion of the site which is dedicated to torturing men (a minority which you devote exactly no words to).

    The one occasion when you subject it to any thorough analysis is here:

    These sites aren’t about “exploring our dark sides,” they’re about giving free reign to the sickest of human desires, desires that are inculcated by a sexually repressed and guilt-ridden society that has yet to figure out how to deal with the detritus of religious dogma and has thus intertwined fear and hatred with sex to create the misogynistic shit heap we now live in.

    And even then you fail to realise that those two claims do not contradict. Such websites are an exploration of the “dark side” of society and that side looks much as you describe it. I don’t see the break there. And it’s hardly surprising to me that when most men are heterosexuals, it’s women who will end up degraded most. Because it’s women that men desire.

    (& at other times they turn it inwards and you get the men sets. It’s not who gets punished that really matters, here, it’s that punishment occurs. The source isn’t a Patriarchy, it’s residual religiosity and the fallout from its former dominance.)

    As ever, you confuse hatred of sex with hatred of women.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 6:28 PM #

      James – Of course the guilt associated with sex comes out as misogyny. Ever read the Bible? And do you not see something wrong with this quote?

      And it’s hardly surprising to me that when most men are heterosexuals, it’s women who will end up degraded most.

  112. reversed gaze February 10, 2009 at 6:31 PM #

    I am a queer woman. A former “leather titleholder.” and community leader. So it would seem that I am am qualified to comment on the BDSM/gay connection. Which I did make previously, that asking me to relinquish my kinked fantasies is the same as asking me to stop being gay.

    Who, or how I choose to love myself, or consenting adults, is quite honestly not a place where I will allow you or others to place your judgments, or so whimsically suggest… “why don’t you just have ‘normal sex’, (and only the type of sex that you would approve of?)”

    And while one would like to think that someone’s kinky private, consensual sex life is not grounds for oppression, you haven’t done your homework. Personally, I have felt more oppression for being kinky than for being queer.

    For kinky people, children’s custody has been threatened, jobs have been at stake and lost, familial relationships damaged, self shaming, marriages ended, arrests have been made based on consensual acts by officers who didn’t understand what was going on, reputations slandered. Sounds exactly like oppression to me.

    There is still a lot at risk for an outed kinked individual, and it is about who you choose to love and how you choose to love them. I would the shame and fear levels, on par with being gay around 1999. In the United States these days, you won’t get shot for it like Milk, or tied to a fencepost in Wyoming and left to die, but you could get a good deal of trouble for admitting your desires.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 6:34 PM #

      I’m not suggesting what kind of sex you ought to have. I’m saying I’m concerned with M/f BDSM when we live in a world in which sex is used as a tool of oppression against women.

  113. reversed gaze February 10, 2009 at 6:36 PM #

    And it’s hardly surprising to me that when most men are heterosexuals, it’s women who will end up degraded most.

    I would say that the portrayal (on the internet) is more focused with this skew, because men, have the added economic influence to affect the pornography trade, and therefore the images they want to see, in aggregate.

  114. reversed gaze February 10, 2009 at 6:53 PM #

    I was referring to Delphyne (11:38 )refferring to Jay Wiseman: How about he just stopped doing it and then carried on living his life like everybody else?

    And you kind of are telling me what kind of sex to have… though not directly — you would prefer to call my fantasies “sick” and my lovers “disgusting motherfuckers”.

    You are seeing “tools of oppression” where clear choices, regardless of gender have been made. You see these acts through the lens of judgment. It is the act of choosing that is empowering… not the choice chosen. Being able admit your desire, and voice it, and find a loving place where that desire is met, in a controlled way. That’s not oppression. That is liberation. And regardless of your desire, may we all be so lucky.

  115. Fivestar February 10, 2009 at 7:05 PM #

    Wow. Interesting attack. I identify as a queer/dyke feminist and I’m part of the BDSM community. It’s a shame that people who call themselves feminists completely invalidate a woman’s sexual agency.

    I might have agreed with you before I discovered the power of submission. Also, you need to consider that the BDSM community that you claim perpetuates violence against women and the patriarchy is only a portion of the BDSM community.

    In fact, its a mysogynist perspective to assume that this is the only type of power dynamic in BDSM play.

    I know the models who work at Kink.com and who love it. I also validate those who had a negative experience.

    Kink.com goes to great lengths to establish consent from the models and honestly wants models who are really into the BDSM acts.

    Porn is hotter when people are into it.

    Issues of sexual assault and sexual harassment happen at any type of institution and the porn industry is definitely not immune to it.

    All I know is that Kink.com is a diverse working environment with female and queer directors. It is an alternative porn company and you’re article is evidence that you’re ignorant of a lifestyle that many women find empowering.

    Don’t deny us the reclamation of that power.

    p.s. you should try ropes sometime;)

  116. James February 10, 2009 at 7:06 PM #

    James – Of course the guilt associated with sex comes out as misogyny. Ever read the Bible?

    Yes. Which bits do you mean?

    And do you not see something wrong with this quote?

    Well if women are the focus of their arousal then it would follow that women are going to be the targets. Because they’re the one’s men are looking at sexually. You could say that porn should show more balance but porn is mostly watched by men, or at least so think the pornographers.

    I don’t think that it could safely be said that this is what all sadism amounts to, though. The roots of sadism are hazy (some suggest that they are around because every society needs a punishers and unless people enjoyed inflicting it punishments would become lenient in practice, which sounds plausible but non-falsifiable) but although I’m optimistic and eager (I subscribe to Utilitarianism and sadists who don’t care whether the person they’re hurting appreciates it or not are about as anti-utilitarian as you can get) with regards to reducing the amount of it I don’t think that sadism as a tendency is eradicable.

    So even in the ideal gender binary free world there would still be sites like kink.com.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 7:08 PM #

      No, dude, your quote said that because most of the people looking at the stuff were hetero, then most of the people being degraded would be women. Why does heterosexuality necessitate women’s degradation?

  117. James February 10, 2009 at 7:16 PM #

    I would say that the portrayal (on the internet) is more focused with this skew, because men, have the added economic influence to affect the pornography trade, and therefore the images they want to see, in aggregate.

    I would agree, but am interested as to what electoral system members of your community engaged in to decide upon you as their leader.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 7:24 PM #

      Now people need to be elected before they can have an opinion? You’re being an asshole, James.

  118. James February 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM #

    No, dude, your quote said that because most of the people looking at the stuff were hetero, then most of the people being degraded would be women. Why does heterosexuality necessitate women’s degradation?

    It wouldn’t by itself, but when existing within a firmly anti-sex culture any form of sexuality will end up distorted as a consequence.

    I’d say that that’s to a large extent no longer true of the culture of America or England (the country you and I live in respectively, so far as I’m aware) but we’re still struggling with the aftermath and have a lot of remnants lying around. Accordingly you’d anticipate that when most observers of porn are men and most men are straight the gender who you’ll see humiliated etc most are the women.

    It’s not because they’re women, it’s because they’re the focus of sexual interest. The observer wants to consider them in a fashion which is sexual while also sustaining the worldview they have in place. When there’s no God in the skies and no Mujuhadeen driving through the streets how can that be done? By physical punishment and general subjugation.

    Which is pretty much what you said, but I don’t see hatred of women really coming into it. It’s hatred of lust. It’s people getting “What they deserve”.

  119. James February 10, 2009 at 7:29 PM #

    ND – They don’t, but RE described herself as a “community leader”.

  120. Nicoletta February 10, 2009 at 7:43 PM #

    Not a defence for the Kink.Com site as much as a defence for the ‘lifestyle’ of BDSM – because for some of us it’s not a game.

    See this collar i’m wearing ? I’m not wearing it because of fashion. I’m not wearing it because i play momentary games of ‘Dominance and submission’
    I’m wearing this collar bacause i want to; because i’ve given myself completely to my husband and, though we don’t usually need the term as such, ‘Master’. If He feels the need to treat me like a pet, He will, and i’ll act accordingly. If He feels i should be degraded, more power to Him – i for one know i’d be bored to tears without.

    I know He loves me, without Him needing to tell me; it’s in every look he gives me, in every touch, and every word.
    I want Him to be my superior, even though He doesn’t think of himself as anything more or less than me; He understands my need to have someone ‘above’ me, to take care of me, dote over me, love me – what is ‘Sick’ about that ? I want to show my love to him in subservience, and He not only accepts, but encourages me to be that wich i want to be: His.
    His pet. His wife. His lover. His in every possible way.
    Yes, He treats me like a pet; He keeps me fed, happy, nurtured, cared for, and healthy.
    He punishes me when i deserve or crave it – i can’t think of many men who’d have the guts to do to me what He does without an inch of guilt, because of society’s programmed ‘Hurting Woman, Bad’.
    He puts up with beeing arrested for kissing me in public, when i forget to bring ID
    Not only that but He actually thinks it’s funny.
    He’s saved me from myself on more than one occasion – see the last line of this post for particulars – and has never faulted me for my weak moments.

    He is the first – and only – man i’ve ever felth love for; ever since my obsessive crush on Him when i was just age three.

    I want Him to know i am His. I’ve trusted Him, and still trust Him, to be able to care for me in the way i want – and need – to be cared for. I trust Him, and i know he won’t betray this trust.

    I’m wearing this collar as a visible token of that; my love for Him, my giving myself to Him, and my trust in Him.
    If there’s ‘wrong’ in that, then i don’t care to be ‘right’.

    P.S. – I was never brainwashed. In fact, if i hadn’t agressively come onto Him, i’d still be single. Without a doubt. Hormonal birth defects are fun that way – and if you want the particulars of -that-, feel free to mail me.

  121. desire February 10, 2009 at 7:57 PM #

    to echo Fivestar, i actually am friends with several people who model for kink.com and who love it. it’s one of the most progressive adult entertainment companies in the country, with full-time employees receiving salary and full benefits and models competing – yes shocking i know, that many adult entertainers would give their right tit to be featured on a site as “degrading” as kink.com – for some of the highest rates in the industry. not to even mention that all models sign a consent form before even being allowed to be photographed. i know you dworkinites have a vendetta against the adult entertainment industry in general but could you at least do some research before attacking a company that many consider to be a gold standard as far as ethical practices are concerned?

    additionally i find it really insulting that you’re making assumptions about the models’ agency based on the photos on the site. while bdsm clearly isn’t your thing, that doesn’t give you the right to pass judgment on an entire lifestyle and on the desires and wishes of the many women who find themselves drawn to it. just because you don’t get why any woman would enjoy the safe, sane and consensual exploration of pain doesn’t automatically mean that the activities depicted on kink.com are non-consensual.

    i mean if you’re going to criticise the sexual desires of an entire lifestyle, why stop at bdsm? clearly FtM transpeople are just brainwashed by the patriarchy into renouncing their female identity, right? are you gonna start saying that women who engage in sex work deserve to be raped? oh wait, i actually HAVE heard that argument from a 2nd-wave feminist.

    and no, i’m not a kink.com employee, a pornstar or a closet man. i’m just a REAL feminist.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 8:04 PM #

      I didn’t make any assumptions about the consent of the models. You’re trying to polish a turd by telling me Kink.com treats its employees relatively well. They’re still profiting off of images of women being tortured, whether those women are into it or not. And thanks for telling me I’m not a real feminist because I don’t think torture porn is good for women.

    • Not buying it May 19, 2014 at 12:17 AM #

      No one with half a braincell to rub together should believe your last sentence desire. You’re entire comment reads like a pr script. You obviously work in porn, just because of the way you frame the argument.
      Logically, if you feel the need to say, “I swear I don’t work for them” chances are you work for them. Just sayin’.

      • Not buying it May 19, 2014 at 12:23 AM #

        Just realized this post is really old. When are you going to blog again ND? You have a unique voice that is really needed in today’s crappy blogosphere. You are one of the few bloggers that restore my faith in humanity.

  122. desire February 10, 2009 at 8:03 PM #

    ps way to rip off the name of my first favourite band with a stupid pun. triple-dog BOO.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 8:08 PM #

      I was making fun of your favorite band with the site name. I used to make fun of people who were overly angsty by referring to their “raging against” whatever, and the site name was a way to be a little tongue-in-cheek about things, to not take myself completely seriously. You are a fucking dork if you like Rage Against the Machine. Oh, and you’re also an asshole for thinking you get to decide who is a real feminist, which even I don’t do. So piss off.

  123. textbloom February 10, 2009 at 8:07 PM #

    Some women do enjoy bdsm. I’m one of them.

    You give all feminists a bad name.

    Why don’t you blog about something you understand?

    Man-hating is so over and done with. Unless, of course, it’s consensual. ;)

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 8:08 PM #

      Sigh. I don’t know anything about feminism. Hilarious.

  124. A February 10, 2009 at 8:16 PM #

    You say dork like it’s a bad thing!

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 8:20 PM #

      Not always, but in this case it is. Listening to pseudo-revolutionary corporate rock makes you the dork of the century. “Fuck the law, man! Where do I get me a $30 Che Guevara t-shirt?”

  125. James February 10, 2009 at 8:24 PM #

    “And thanks for telling me I’m not a real feminist because I don’t think torture porn is good for women.”

    Well various women have posted here saying that this is what arouses them, and your post (like all of your posts on the matter) has presented BDSM as disgusting, reprehensible, unacceptable, (inexplicably) inherently degrading and pathetic.

    Indeed, you’ve even described the endlessly imaginative website, kink.com, as “Boring”.

    So are you actually acting in women’s best interests here? Are you advancing their liberty through your condemnations? Do you know what’s best for them or do they?

  126. Gorgias February 10, 2009 at 8:25 PM #

    “What cop is going to take the claims of a rape victim seriously who has been taped allowing herself to be tortured?”

    They won’t. Maybe you should join us in fighting the stigmatization of kinky people, to the point where it’s very difficult to get a rape charge to stick against someone who enjoys rough sex, instead of exacerbating the problem.

    “Even if it is ‘consensual’, it still amounts to images of men torturing women. It is still sexualising the humiliation and degradation of women. How the hell can anyone think that’s okay?! It’s beyond me.”

    Because they’re big girls and don’t need the armies of patriarchal feminists to protect them from themselves? Because rejecting the consent defense marginalizes these women and puts their sexuality outside their control? Because it others them and refuses to accept them as human, with a faculty of free will, introspection, and choice?

    I’ve been pissed on; I’ve been called a slut; I’ve done a lot that’s humiliating in the quest for sexual gratification. By far the most injurious affront to my dignity I have ever been accosted with has been the assertion by people that do not know me that my faculty of reason and choice has been hopelessly compromised because of the choices I’ve made.

    I certainly acknowledge that my desires have been shaped by social forces outside my control. I just don’t care. A thing’s meaning lies in its experience, not in its genesis. If you are a nonbeliever who thinks evolution is correct, then the cause of our sexuality is merely a base need to keep the species going. If the cause of something is its meaning, then there is no meaning to be found in this other than an odd misfiring of the desire to reproduce. But even if this is the cause of my sexual longings, that does not for a moment detract from the love that a newly married couple feels. It does not invalidate the profound experiences I have kneeling at the feet of my master, or the heights of ecstasy I experience when I’m pushed to my limits. Whether or not I’ve bene conditioned by patriarchy (and as a male sub, it’s kind of difficult to contend that I have been), nothing can take away the link I feel with my Master.

    “…pornography that inherently approves of non-consensual sex, torture, rape, abuse, and battery”

    your sex:rape::my sex:rape

    Look, a BDSM top (avoiding the word sadist owing to cultural baggage) fundamentally gets off on the experience of his or her partner. I don’t think any of them could get off by whipping a plastic dummy: it’s clearly not the physical motions that excite them. So does a rapist’s. So the question is, what experience are they getting off on? As a bottom myself, though I have never been raped, I’m pretty damn sure my experiences differ considerably from those of a person being raped. After all, I consider them uniformly positive experiences, and integral to my sexual satisfaction as well as exploring my sense of self, whereas rape is uniformly a negative experience. If a BDSM top’s enjoyment depends upon the experience of the individual, and the experience of that individual differs in no small way from that of a person being raped, then they have nothing in common but appearances.

    To wit: the enjoyment of a BDSM top depends in most cases upon the enjoyment of the bottom.

    “Firefly – I’m not comfortable with this analogy people keep making between BDSM and homosexuality. There is an element of power and oppression involved in BDSM that is not inherent in homosexual encounters. And as someone who believes that sexual orientation is not a choice, I don’t like the comparison either (though I’d rather leave the analysis of this comparison to readers who aren’t heterosexual). I don’t appreciate being compared to people who supported Prop. 8 because I’ve got some serious moral and theoretical problems with the intermingling of sex and power while we live in a misogynistic society.”

    Do you really think that any of us chose to be kinky?

    You’re right that the objections to homosexuality are different than those to kinky people. Being kinky may in fact be a bad sexual orientation, as I consider pedophilia to be. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is a sexual orientation, inasmuch as it is something that is integral to a person’s identity, surfaces early, is not chosen, and if it can be changed, can be changed only with extremely strenuous effort (I am one of the few people here who consider that sexual orientation can be changed. I say this as a bisexual submissive. I just don’t think it should).

    “I’m just worried about people making claims on oppressed status when the status is something that’s being chosen.”

    Okay, apparently you do view it as chosen. So, if it can be chosen, do you think that you could choose to like pain right now? Could you focus really really hard, and then finally start enjoying to be whipped? If you could, why do you think anyone would? Why would we choose to limit our pool of sexual partners and be part of a marginalized section of society?

    Honestly, I can’t fathom how you came to this conclusion.

    I can certainly see how BDSM is conditioned by patriarchy and outside cultural forces. Speaking from the gay male BDSM community, the submissive is often feminized. I just diagree that in the absence of patriarchy, BDSM would dissappear. You’d still have natural masochists. You’d still have endorphin junkies (see: piercing enthusiasts). You’d still have people who find meaning in submission and fulfillment in dominance. It just wouldn’t be as clogged with the detritus of female = submissive.

    “But BDSM does tend to play into patriarchal ideas about sex in a lot of ways, alloying sex with power as it does”

    See, this, exactly. Patriarchy conditions a certain kind of mixing of sex with power: namely one where the male is dominant and the female submissive, and more crucially, where the female is not expected to have a choice about how to have sex and with whom, and the woman’s desires are not expected to be taken into consideration.

    I would also question that notion that everything that has to do with patriarchy is necessarily corrupted. Patriarchy tends to mix sex and power. Farming and reproduction also happen under patriarchy. These are not bad things. For my part, I’m content to say that the mixing of power and sex is not inherently problematic, because I’ve witnessed too many instances of sex and power being melded successfully to the mutual gratification of both participants. It’s the things that actually hurt people- that the submissive is not given a choice, and that the submissive’s desire is not given equal airtime- that I’m going to rail against.

    “How in god’s name are you going to claim that society derides women for being sexually submissive?”

    Equivocation. Ask how many submissive women in the BDSM scene are completely comfortable with being out of the closet about it. Not many of them will be. Society, including yourself, from your position of heterosexual vanilla priveledge, tends to look down upon what we do in the bedroom.

    “by definition involves hurting people. “

    BDSM only by definition involves hurting people if piercing, tatoos, and surgery by definition involves hurting people

    Hurt/harm dichotomy, people. I hurt myself every time I get off my ass and start exercising. It hurts. I’m also not harmed in any way. I can say that the vast majority of BDSM practioners do not wish harm upon their partners or themselves.

    “If there are lesbian or gay readers who want to discuss the comparison, I’m all ears, but I find the analogy weak and offensive.”

    Hi, bisexual submissive here.

    I never had a choice about either of my sexualities. I felt guilt about both of them for quite some time. I feel far more oppressed for my submissiveness than I do for my bisexuality. I feel that the analogy is apt to a point (see my post above).

    “this mortification of the flesh, desire to endure pain for some greater good, and exultation in submission to a “master” sounds a lot more like fundie christianity”

    Aye, I do think that Christianity and BDSM can have a lot in common. I don’t see this as necessarily a bad thing.

    “Abuse” and “oppression” are serious charges, and I’ll not have the terms watered down by people claiming they’re being abused because someone doesn’t approve of their choices”

    24% of sadomasochists have lost a job because of their sexuality. 3% have lost a child. (http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=162102). we feel the same shaming many homosexuals do. We fear the discovery of our sexuality, fear coming out to our family and friends.

  127. reversed gaze February 10, 2009 at 8:27 PM #

    James: There is a whole network of titleholders — There was a formal contest. 5 judges. Scored on; speech, interview, fantasy performance. I was a local titleholder.
    Womens’ International title websites;
    http://www.imsl.org/
    http://www.msworldleather.com/
    History and many others here;
    http://www.leatherarchives.org/

    “Community leader” in this case, is self defined, and (I feel, accurately) represents the level of activity, influence, event production, networking and outreach, volunteering, committees, groups and boards, activism that I participated in/on. In other words, I was fully engaged with the lifestyle and this topic. I hope this answers your question?

  128. desire February 10, 2009 at 8:41 PM #

    @Gorgias:

    “Maybe you should join us in fighting the stigmatization of kinky people, to the point where it’s very difficult to get a rape charge to stick against someone who enjoys rough sex, instead of exacerbating the problem.”

    THANK YOU. i would go further and advocate for the destigmatization of ALL consensual sexual preferences AND lifestyles – including sex work. that way, when a young woman in philly who happens to be a sex worker brings a charge of gang rape to court, a FEMALE judge won’t dismiss it as “theft of services.” true. fucking. story.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,307245,00.html

    it’s just too bad RAtM hasn’t written a song about this yet. not like ND would listen to it.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 8:47 PM #

      Gogias and desire – I’ve said on many occasions that I’m for decriminalization as far as sex work is concerned. And I’m damn well not OK with a legal system that makes it impossible for women who’ve been raped to get justice (see Deuce’s Law, likely the most controversial thing I’ve ever written). But I can fight against a fucked up legal system and against a culture that ENCOURAGES rape at the same time because they are RELATED. If you don’t see how, you’re being willfully blind.

  129. Nicoletta February 10, 2009 at 8:44 PM #

    @Gorgias

    Simply put ? Amen.
    Also, kudo’s to you. :)

  130. Zeta Igriega February 10, 2009 at 8:45 PM #

    Delphyne,

    You asked to not further discussion. Then this. Do you want further discussion or just the word? You have asked me to read your posts, not respond to them repeatedly, then state that I am trying to silence you? I’m not trying to silence anyone. I oppose silencing people. My blog and the fact that I have let anyone of any perspective share their views at any length including some very long vitriolic threads from radical feminists.

    Which way to you want it? Do you want a response or for your post to be left alone.

    Do you respect my right to speech or do you prefer that I silence my voice and opinions out of respect for your request? That you can’t have both ways.

  131. James February 10, 2009 at 8:49 PM #

    I was aware of the leather contest stuff, but that wasn’t really what I was interested in. (Congrats there, though.)

    You did answer my question but I don’t consider you a leader of that community. Indeed I consider the concept of a “Community Leader” to be largely a media fiction (used by the press and networks as a matter of convenience despite its distorting influence) which has mostly served only to empower the opinionated and outspoken to a degree that they are not deserving of.

    The most obvious example of this is in religious communities where frequently the most conservative elements become spokesman (yeah, it’s usually a man) for a group they want to represent but never will. I’m not saying that that’s what you are, I’ve really enjoyed your contributions to this thread, but it’s what that sort of “bloc” mindset often leads to. I’ll always find someone who asserts that others are their followers without asking the people in question first a tad presumptuous, I suppose.

    I suppose in this instance it’s come in handy (since most other BDSM loving women on this thread has just been ignored, presumably due to being more than slightly ideologically inconvenient) but largely it’s counter-productive towards anything save self-aggrandizement & misrepresentation.

  132. Zeta Igriega February 10, 2009 at 9:08 PM #

    >>my advice would be if you don’t like my posts or my style – don’t read them.>>

    Delphyne you are absolutely correct. There is nothing productive for either of us in me reading them. Or responding. I agree and will take your advice. No malice intended in this statement.

    To the moderator, thank you for allowing my posts to clear moderation. Your board provides a great forum for differing ideas to be expressed and my hope is that the fight against oppression is successful for all at some point in our live times or at least humanity.

    peace

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 9:09 PM #

      Zeta – I don’t block comments that aren’t insulting. It’s my policy.

  133. Nic February 10, 2009 at 9:48 PM #

    ND, you have specifically blocked comments of mine that weren’t insulting. By the way, there are no insults in this post, will you therefore let it go, as per your policy?

    Georgia…fucking amazingly said.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 9:55 PM #

      Nic – You can comment here, but I’ll ask you to avoid addressing me and any other commenter who asks.

  134. polerin February 10, 2009 at 10:01 PM #

    I was making fun of your favorite band with the site name. I used to make fun of people who were overly angsty by referring to their “raging against” whatever, and the site name was a way to be a little tongue-in-cheek about things, to not take myself completely seriously. You are a fucking dork if you like Rage Against the Machine. Oh, and you’re also an asshole for thinking you get to decide who is a real feminist, which even I don’t do. So piss off.
    ….
    Zeta – I don’t block comments that aren’t insulting. It’s my policy.

    Nice. Cheers. I guess I’m a dork. Great way to engage in honest debate there :P

    Rage is what got me off my ass and actually fighting for my ideals. Can’t say that about Clapton or Hendrix.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 10:04 PM #

      Yeah, they suck too.

      I’m not here to engage in debate. It’s my forum. You’re a guest.

  135. James February 10, 2009 at 10:05 PM #

    Who do you like?

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 10:08 PM #

      What, bands? Because I dislike three overrated bands/musicians? If you seriously want to know I’ll tell you, but I don’t see that it’s that bizarre that I don’t like those three.

  136. James February 10, 2009 at 10:22 PM #

    Well you also expressed some disdain for NIN as I recall (although it was more to do with his cultural impact along with The Crow, which I can kind of understand) and out of the four most people I know of will have a fondness for at least one of the four.

    But yes, I am quite honestly interested in complete seriousness.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 10:30 PM #

      Yeah, NIN sucks too, and I say that even though I happen to be friends with someone who was (embarrassingly) in that band for a short while. Here is a list that I’ll copy and paste from another location:

      Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Pitchfork, Back off Cupids, Rocket from the Crypt, Sonic Youth, Dead Meadow, Iron Maiden, The Fall, The Duke Spirit, The Police, English Beat, Sleater-Kinney, Pere Ubu, Killing Joke, Oingo Boingo, Slint, The Cure, Number Girl, Echo and the Bunnymen, Oasis, Kool Keith, The Smiths (not Morrissey), Don Caballero, Speaking Canaries, Icarus Line, Dinosaur Jr., Killdozer, Les Savy Fav, Beehive and the Barracudas, Jesus Lizard, Burning Brides, At the Drive-In, !!!, Black Sabbath, Ink and Dagger, Slayer, Swervedriver, David Bowie, T. Rex, Roxy Music, Black Flag (as long as Henry Rollins isn’t on the mic), Minutemen, Circle Jerks, Descendents (basically all South Bay punk bands, but mostly for teenage nostalgia’s sake), Fugazi, Dead Kennedys, Fucking Champs, Tears for Fears, Devo (but not “Whip It”), The Church, My Bloody Valentine, and a bunch of others.

  137. polerin February 10, 2009 at 10:32 PM #

    ND: While it is your forum, and I am indeed a guest, you invited people here, and in general I’ve tried to be polite and respect that. I just find it telling that you castigate people for being rude then go on a tear yourself.

    **shrugs** I’m pretty much done here anyhow, I don’t think I can add much more.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 10:34 PM #

      I never dish it out first. desire gave me shit for punning a band’s name, essentially calling me a dork, and I merely set her straight about the meaning in my site’s moniker.

  138. TrinityVA February 10, 2009 at 10:40 PM #

    Well ND, I must say you’ve gone entirely TOO FAR NOW!

    You said NIN suck!

    NOW, IT’S PERSONAL!

    ;)

    hee hee.

    (Can’t say I agree with the people snapping at you for making fun of a band you don’t like. FFS, my blog name is snarkily appropriated from Sandra Bartky dissing SM. Snark is not a bad thing, people.)

  139. James February 10, 2009 at 10:43 PM #

    Besides Oasis that’s a pretty much flawless list.

    Sonic Youth, The Fall, The Duke Spirit, The Smiths (not Morrissey), At the Drive-In, & My Bloody Valentine we are especially in agreement over.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 10:48 PM #

      I like Oasis for reasons only Americans can understand. They’re like caricatures of everything we think about England.

  140. Gorgias February 10, 2009 at 11:00 PM #

    “I never dish it out first”

    You did tell the bulk of people likely to be opposed to you to kill themselves. Then you responded to the suicidal thoughts of one of our own with derision. If the tone of the posts in this thread has been more confrontational than any other, well, you’ve got the reason.

    “I’m damn well not OK with a legal system that makes it impossible for women who’ve been raped to get justice (see Deuce’s Law, likely the most controversial thing I’ve ever written). But I can fight against a fucked up legal system and against a culture that ENCOURAGES rape at the same time because they are RELATED. If you don’t see how, you’re being willfully blind.”

    Well, there are three things going on in a hypothetical rape case at kink.com that makes it unlikely to see justice. The first is the general prejudice against believing the claims of rape victims. The second is a prejudice against sex workers that because they have been compensated, they cannot be raped. The third is that people into kinky and rough sex must have enjoyed it somehow, and their exulting in the basest of desires makes their consent null in the first place.

    You seem to be fighting against the first two, which is admirable. But you’re still contributing to an othering of kinky people that exacerbates the third problem..

    I think you’ve a much harder case proving that what kinky people do in their bedrooms or even their porn encourages rape. For one thing, it’s not entirely proven that porn depicting something is more likely to make it happen- it’s just as likely that someone who feels guilty about such desires will use it as a release mechanism and it would thus make it unlikely for them to consummate their antisocial desires. Even further, you have yet to prove that kink porn is by its very nature nonconsensual. To the vast majority of people it is likely to look so, because it does not seem that anyone would consent to such things. But the average viewer of kink.com is one, I think, who is at least familiar with the physical BDSM community even if they aren’t active practitioners in it; and for us, the videos are more likely to evoke memories of purely consensual and awesome experiences we’ve had in our bedrooms. In other words, it occurs in a space where such activity is for the most part understood to be consensual as a backdrop.

    My last post was fairly long, but there are a few points that I’d like to see addressed that I haven’t yet.

    1.) Why we should care about a practice’s genesis when we have the experience available. To wit: if it is a positive experience and does not harm anyone, why do we care if it has its roots in patriarchy?
    2.) Why we are correct in assuming a similarity between a rapist and a BDSM top when both get off on the subjective experience of their partner/victim, and this subjective experience varies in the case of a rape victim and a BDSM bottom.
    3.) Your definition of sexual orientation, why BDSMers don’t fit in with that, and why you continue to believe that people choose to be kinky.
    4.) Whether you buy into the difference between hurt and harm, hurt being a pain that may serve a higher good, as in the case with piercings, tatoos and medical procedures, with harm being something that by definition is undesirable.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 11:02 PM #

      I never responded to anyone who expressed suicidal thoughts.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 11:04 PM #

      Dude, how are tattoos and piercings going to serve a higher good?

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 11:28 PM #

      1 – Because we may be furthering other women’s oppression when we engage in certain acts (I’m thinking of porn when I mention this). Because patriarchy doesn’t disappear because we’ve learned to like parts of it.
      2 – That question is worded weirdly. Please rephrase it.
      3 – It’s they who’ve told me that it’s a choice. And those who have not are coming dangerously close to saying that submission is innate. That’s a seriously problematic claim.
      4 – I don’t think a higher good is being served. It may be pleasurable for the individual, but where’s the higher good? I keep hearing about how brave people who practice BDSM are. I think it’s braver to try to imagine sex that isn’t mixed up with power.

  141. desire February 10, 2009 at 11:02 PM #

    you know it really is too bad we’re predisposed to hate each other, because you might actually like my music.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 11:07 PM #

      We aren’t predisposed to hate each other. That’s the Man doing the divide-and-conquer, and I’m not into the Man. I don’t hate anyone who’s commented here (though I’d probably pass up the opportunity to drink a beer with Nic).

  142. James February 10, 2009 at 11:06 PM #

    “I like Oasis for reasons only Americans can understand. They’re like caricatures of everything we think about England.”

    I suppose that they serve pretty well for that role. If they have demonstrated that our working classes are no longer (indeed never were) chirpy cockneys then perhaps they’ve done some good…

  143. Gorgias February 10, 2009 at 11:14 PM #

    “Dude, how are tattoos and piercings going to serve a higher good?”

    Okay, higher good may evoke some connotations that aren’t there, but the point is, the person choosing to get pierced or tattooed considers the improvement in looks more important than the temporary pain and difficulties of aftercare =)

    Still waiting for a response to those four points.

  144. desire February 10, 2009 at 11:15 PM #

    “Dude, how are tattoos and piercings going to serve a higher good?”

    by increasing bodily mindfulness and personal aesthetic? just sayin’. not all of us have “man’s ruin” tattooed on our ass.

    (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51pNWHuJHYL._AA280_.jpg, not sure who the hell would get that anywhere but it’s a big world)

  145. Gorgias February 10, 2009 at 11:52 PM #

    “I never responded to anyone who expressed suicidal thoughts.”

    I was referring to the Wiseman thing.

    “1 – Because we may be furthering other women’s oppression when we engage in certain acts (I’m thinking of porn when I mention this). Because patriarchy doesn’t disappear because we’ve learned to like parts of it.”

    How does BDSM, even if it does come from the patriarchy, further women’s oppression when it is practiced in a situation where consent is paramount and mutual gratification and closer personal connection are the end goals?

    This strikes me as claiming that engaging in sex legitimizes rape because, hey, it implies that women like that sort of thing! And might in fact encourage people to do it even when they are withholding consent!

    “2 – That question is worded weirdly. Please rephrase it.”

    Here, I’ll get the thing from earlier in the thread:

    “Look, a BDSM top (avoiding the word sadist owing to cultural baggage) fundamentally gets off on the experience of his or her partner. I don’t think any of them could get off by whipping a plastic dummy: it’s clearly not the physical motions that excite them. So does a rapist’s. So the question is, what experience are they getting off on? As a bottom myself, though I have never been raped, I’m pretty damn sure my experiences differ considerably from those of a person being raped. After all, I consider them uniformly positive experiences, and integral to my sexual satisfaction as well as exploring my sense of self, whereas rape is uniformly a negative experience. If a BDSM top’s enjoyment depends upon the experience of the individual, and the experience of that individual differs in no small way from that of a person being raped, then they have nothing in common but appearances.”

    “3 – It’s they who’ve told me that it’s a choice. And those who have not are coming dangerously close to saying that submission is innate. That’s a seriously problematic claim.”

    I’m unaware of any people who consider their kinky desires a choice. We do call it a lifestyle, which is not the same as saying that it is a choice. Certainly, it is our choice to engage in the BDSM lifestyle, much as it is a choice for homosexuals to engage in a homosexual lifestyle. We can choose to ignore our sexuality and put ourselves in a relationship where we are not emotionally and physically fulfilled, just like homosexuals.

    In any case, claiming orientation isn’t claiming anything innate. I fall down pretty hard on the “nurture” side of “nature vs. nurture” question on both homosexuality and kinkiness. That doesn’t make them any less orientations. In any case, I fail to see how submission is innate is any more a problematic statement than any other kinds of behavior (homosexuality, to name one) is innate. Hint: genes don’t work that way, guys.

    “4 – I don’t think a higher good is being served. It may be pleasurable for the individual, but where’s the higher good? I keep hearing about how brave people who practice BDSM are. I think it’s braver to try to imagine sex that isn’t mixed up with power.”

    Again, I seem to have confused with my use of “higher good.” My apologies. What I mean is that, just as many consider the physical pain of exercising to be worth the good things of health, and piercers and tattoers consider the pain worth undergoing for a more aesthetically pleasing body, so can BDSMers consider pain worthwhile. It’s not a very good analogy on that basis because pain is desired for itself in BDSM activity. But it does indicate that things that cause pain are not necessarily bad. We are willing to undergo all kinds of physical pain if the rewards for doing it are good enough.

    The point is: there’s a difference between the psychologists’ death drive that seeks one’s own harm, and a masochist who enjoys the endorphin rush and intimacy of having pain inflicted on them. Just as there is a difference between the evil person who genuinely wishes to inflict harm on another, and the sadist who enjoys inflicting a bit of pain in the quest for mutual gratification.

    • Leda Locke May 12, 2009 at 9:31 AM #

      @Gorgias: it’s not genes, it’s the conditions of the pregnancy, for homosexuality at least. in simple terms, if a woman is unduly stressed during her pregnancy, it can affect the amount of testosterone she releases, which affects the development of the child. For a boy, it happens when she’s stressed and deals poorly with it, ie, NOT producing enough testosterone. For a girl, it’s when she’s stressed and powers through it, thus releasing excess testosterone. Apparently the Germans figured that one out awhile ago after wondering why so many German males that were carried during WWII were gay…I can’t put my finger on the link to the technical-jargon version of the study, but it’s out there. It’s nature, just not genetics.

      …don’t ask me why we’re kinky. I got nothin’. ^_^ Maybe I’ll do a study on that, when I get my PsyD…

  146. Forlock February 10, 2009 at 11:57 PM #

    Dear L and Rachel,

    I am a woman, not a man. Now that I’ve cleared that up, I’m going to repeat my original message, and this time I want you to read it careful, now that you know I’m not of the male sex:

    What I think is that radical feminists are placing far, far too much emphasis on sexuality, to a completely obsessive and unhealthy degree. If the subject is not prostitution, then it’s pornography, and if it’s not pornography, then it’s BDSM. It leads me to think that you don’t care about oppression of women in it’s other forms, such as economic and social oppression.

    In other words, a woman can slave away in an Indonesian factory making Nike shoes for a dollar a day, but if she starts spreading her legs for ten times as much, then she’s “horribly oppressed by the patriarchy”. Do you really and honestly think I can’t see through this nonsense? It may be patriarchal, according to you, to exchange sex for cash, but the REAL patriarchy, according to ME, is having to slave away in the factory. Why? Because the dollar-a-day factory job is what causes the temptation and desire to earn ten times as much selling sex. So the REAL oppression starts in the factory, and not the other way around.

    As a feminists, you should be focused on women’s lack of education, health care, and lack of job and career opportunities worldwide. And you should also recognize and be concerned about the oppression of women that is NOT inherently sexual in nature, such as the plight of widows in India, and the gender apartheid practiced in parts of the Middle East. I can guarantee you that Afghan women for the most part have other things to worry about besides BDSM or pornography. They worry about where their next meal is coming from.

    ———-

    I would like to add to this by saying to Rachel that women comprise the vast majority of sweatshop labor, not men. The people who work in Nike sweatshops are almost exclusively young women. And there are other types of non-sexual jobs that mostly women do, such as nurses, teachers, and nannies, and bank tellers. And judging from the sarcastic and spiteful response that you gave to me when I mention women being oppressed in non-sexual situations, I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t actually care about these women, not even the Afghan women who worry about having enough to eat.

  147. James February 11, 2009 at 12:19 AM #

    And those who have not are coming dangerously close to saying that submission is innate.

    “Innate” and “Mutable” are too entirely distinct things. Why should arguing that something is not possessing the latter lead to arguing that it is the former?

  148. James February 11, 2009 at 12:19 AM #

    I meant TWO distinct things, obviously. >.>

  149. L February 11, 2009 at 1:33 AM #

    Sorry for the incorrect assumption about your gender/sex, Forlock. Still, the claim that feminists “should” focus on other “more important” issues is made all too frequently, and this claim is ultimately a red herring meant to throw conversation off-track. It’s a common troll tactic (and trolls on feminist blogs are often male, hence the assumption, for which I apologize again) and frankly boring to deal with. There are plenty of feminists — online and off — who work to liberate women from economic, imperialist, colonialist, and racist oppression such as what you’ve described. That just happens not to be the topic at hand here.

  150. Forlock February 11, 2009 at 1:42 AM #

    >>>Here is a list that I’ll copy and paste from another location:

    Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Pitchfork, Back off Cupids, Rocket from the Crypt, Sonic Youth, Dead Meadow, Iron Maiden, The Fall, The Duke Spirit, The Police, English Beat, Sleater-Kinney, Pere Ubu, Killing Joke, Oingo Boingo, Slint, The Cure, Number Girl, Echo and the Bunnymen, Oasis, Kool Keith, The Smiths (not Morrissey), Don Caballero, Speaking Canaries, Icarus Line, Dinosaur Jr., Killdozer, Les Savy Fav, Beehive and the Barracudas, Jesus Lizard, Burning Brides, At the Drive-In, !!!, Black Sabbath, Ink and Dagger, Slayer, Swervedriver, David Bowie, T. Rex, Roxy Music, Black Flag (as long as Henry Rollins isn’t on the mic), Minutemen, Circle Jerks, Descendents (basically all South Bay punk bands, but mostly for teenage nostalgia’s sake), Fugazi, Dead Kennedys, Fucking Champs, Tears for Fears, Devo (but not “Whip It”), The Church, My Bloody Valentine, and a bunch of others.>>>

    Nine Deuce, there is absolutely no way on EARTH that you can listen and love music like this and be a radical feminist at the same time. Absolutely NONE. Punk, New Wave, and Metal are politically incorrect forms of music, both in lyrics and instrumentation.

    I’ve had my suspicions about you as a fake radfem, but now those suspicions are confirmed. You talk the talk pretty well, you use language like “rape rooms” and all that crap, but you’re not one of them. Not with that kind of musical profile.

    I can’t tell you what to do with your life, but I hope that one day you’re going to stop pulling everyone’s leg and start showing who you really are.

  151. James February 11, 2009 at 2:09 AM #

    There are plenty of feminists — online and off — who work to liberate women from economic, imperialist, colonialist, and racist oppression such as what you’ve described. That just happens not to be the topic at hand here.

    And barely ever is, was (I suspect) Forlock’s point.

  152. L February 11, 2009 at 2:41 AM #

    It’s still not a valid critique, James.

  153. McStar February 11, 2009 at 2:41 AM #

    “I keep hearing about how brave people who practice BDSM are. I think it’s braver to try to imagine sex that isn’t mixed up with power.”

    Kinky people are perfectly capable of imagining sex that doesn’t involve power play (whether of the unconscious, or the explicit and negotiated variety) – hell, from personal experience, we’re perfectly capable of having sex that doesn’t involve kink, or is as devoid of power as any sex can be in repressed, patriarchal societies with severe religion hangovers. We (well, I, at least) simply don’t see the sex that is consciously and deliberately free from power as politically or morally superior to the sex that is consciously involving or evoking power dynamics.

  154. jillbrenneman February 11, 2009 at 3:18 AM #

    3 bands. Rusted Root, great stuff opposing US aggression in Latin America, opposition to war, and legalizing marijuana. No, I don’t smoke anything including weed. Never have. But the huge waste that comes because of criminalizing marijuana. I have to say I agree with Rusted Root.

    Amanda Marshall. She is this awesome Canadian female singer that is bi racial although you would never know, a point of which much of her songs are about. Many songs about racial tolerance. And a brilliant song named Birmingham about leaving an abusive husband.

    And Sheryl Crow. Yes Sheryl Crow. Her newest album has some really great socially aware music. Out of Our Heads, a song about peace, the media’s fanning hatred to get the juicy shots from war. Another song I forget the name, about New Orleans after Katrina. Back in 96, Redemption Day has a great message.

  155. isme February 11, 2009 at 10:36 AM #

    “I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t actually care about these women, not even the Afghan women who worry about having enough to eat.”

    Weeelllll…attitudes like that are generally (not neccesarily in this case) an “us and them thing”. The plight of people in your own country often seems more important than that of foreigners.

    Living in the first world means lots of luxury items that people in the third world were oppressed to make. You could see porn as a luxury item, but English speakers get oppressed by the porn industry.

  156. Calico February 11, 2009 at 5:14 PM #

    Nine Deuce – Are you actually looking for a model’s voice? I have been shooting for Kink on and off since 2007 and would be happy to discuss my experiences and motivations with you.

    • Nine Deuce February 11, 2009 at 7:31 PM #

      Calico – Yes, I am.
      Gorgias – Hate happiness? Way to poison the well.

  157. Trinity February 11, 2009 at 5:24 PM #

    “Kinky people are perfectly capable of imagining sex that doesn’t involve power play (whether of the unconscious, or the explicit and negotiated variety) – hell, from personal experience, we’re perfectly capable of having sex that doesn’t involve kink, or is as devoid of power as any sex can be in repressed, patriarchal societies with severe religion hangovers.”

    Yes, exactly. I’ve not only imagined it, I’ve had it. I still like BDSM.

    Maybe I’m just not “imagining” hard enough?

    “You didn’t clap loudly enough, children. Tinkerbell’s dead.”

  158. Trinity February 11, 2009 at 7:59 PM #

    Buggle, can you explain something to me here:

    You’ve said that because we’ve come here defending BDSM, we must have shown up because we “love the abuse” and want “radical feminists” to humiliate us.

    Isn’t “women love abuse” Freudian bullshit? Isn’t it anti-feminist?

    Or did I miss some memo somewhere?

    And on that note, couldn’t I turn around and say “radical feminists” have a bizarre fixation with BDSM, given that they keep bringing it up?

    I hadn’t posted anything on this topic for a month. Note that I didn’t even show up until other people told me ND posted Part 4 of — watch this now! — a whole SERIES OF POSTS on us and why we’re uncool.

    • Nine Deuce February 11, 2009 at 8:06 PM #

      Calico – BTW, it’s totally up to you how you’d prefer to discuss. I know writing in a public forum kind of alters the dynamic of a discussion (especially when it’s something contentious), so if you want to e-mail me that’s also cool. But I’m also fine doing it here.

      • Calico March 9, 2009 at 12:09 AM #

        ND, I am so sorry – I forgot to turn on follow-up comments! That offer to chat still stands, of course, although it might be easier via email than in the middle of this tangle.

  159. Liz D February 11, 2009 at 8:22 PM #

    I won’t defend a whole website, a lifestyle or even my own choices.

    But they are mine to make and I enjoy them thoroughly. You don’t have to enjoy them, you don’t even have to understand them. But just because you do not understand them does not mean you should try to tear them down.

    You can and should make up your mind about me as to whether you think I’m aware, confident, secure, happy, fulfilled. I’ve already decided for myself.

  160. Forlock February 12, 2009 at 5:35 AM #

    “There are plenty of feminists — online and off — who work to liberate women from economic, imperialist, colonialist, and racist oppression such as what you’ve described. That just happens not to be the topic at hand here.”

    >>>And barely ever is, was (I suspect) Forlock’s point.>>>

    Yes, James, that’s exactly my point. All I’m seeing when I come to second-wave feminist blogs is prostitution this and porn that and BDSM over there. To be fair, I haven’t been to all of them.

    Yes, there are women forced into sex work against their will, but even in those cases (where the women are tricked or forced), poverty and disenfranchisement are the precursors. Second-wave/radical feminism unfortunately goes to absurd lengths to deny this fact. It’s much easier for them to focus on the sex itself, because then they don’t have to deal the much greater task of eliminating the poverty and lack of agency. And that’s the REAL patriarchy that needs to be eliminated, right there.

  161. Natalia Antonova February 12, 2009 at 9:26 AM #

    Because patriarchy doesn’t disappear because we’ve learned to like parts of it.

    True. But you can say that about a lot of things. I honestly don’t see what makes BDSM so special.

    I mean, I’ve been told I ought to pretty much kill myself (speaking of suicide!) because I wasn’t interested in getting married as a teenager and having strictly missionary sex for the rest of my life while bearing as many babies as possible.

    Didn’t mean that I struck missionary off the menu (I think it’s kind of sweet!). Or the possibility of marriage and even giving birth – one of these days.

    Anything can be twisted and appropriated. That doesn’t mean that just anything can, or should, be given up or derided.

  162. Jenn February 12, 2009 at 11:05 AM #

    I just kind of stopped reading the trash about halfway through the thread and gave up on BDSM. I take back everything I said about wanting to understand people.

    If someone can honestly sit there and rationalize how fetishizing non-consensual violent sex that follows the dominant patriarchal norms and is entirely rooted in them is a valid “identity” like homosexuality and race and gender, I’m going to assume the right to assume that they’re criminally intellectually challenged with a persecution complex the size of the Sun.

    Let’s put it this way: I can look up any “mainstream” pornography and walk into any “gift store” like Spencers and find enough references to leather, whips, and chains and lovely female submission to male violence to make me want to move to the Moon. I can’t turn on a single freaking cable channel and have my sexuality be shown as anything but a punchline or a thing women do to turn men on.

    And since now the thread has turned towards the defense of absolutely horrid bands that offend my musical sensibilities, I leave this post.

  163. Cheshire February 12, 2009 at 11:47 AM #

    [posting this here because the thread at sm-feminist has died]

    N-D, others have already said similar things but what you said hit a nerve.

    My partner is a Dom male who owns a fairly large collection of Kink.com pornography. He suffers from depression, I live in fear that the disease that both he and I suffer from will take him from me. So don’t you fucking dare say we are on the same side, you want the most important person in my life to die of a disease that they have suffered from for most of there life, a disease which makes their life hell. Why, because his entertainment doesn’t fit your politics?

    DON’T YOU DARE CLAIM YOU CARE FOR ME.

    WE ARE NOT ON THE SAME SIDE

    Don’t fucking bother.

  164. Jessica February 12, 2009 at 6:15 PM #

    Hello all,

    I am attempting not to be infuriated at this brilliant display of ignorance.

    I am a 23-year-old bondage model, who does bondage and sadomasochistic clips for a few different websites. I’ve also been an active player in the BDSM community for a few years now. I feel that all you people who are condemning this stuff have probably never met a true BDSM player.

    I am a normal, intelligent, grad student, who grew up with wonderful parents. I was raised as a strong, independent young woman. And you know what? I love being restrained. I love being tied up and spanked or whipped by a partner who I connect with and takes me to my own personal pain limits, and no further. The BDSM community is the most accepting and loving community I have ever encountered. The energy involved in a deep power exchange between two people can be one of the most enlightening, spiritual, and powerful experiences I believe a human being can have. When I engage in sadomasochistic acts, there is always consensuality. Even in “play rape.” If anything goes too far, you simply use a safeword. I’ve used one three times in my life.

    I am a bondage model because it turns me on. I don’t do it for the money – never did. It’s fun. My photographer is my friend, and we have a great time when we do our shoots. I do a good job of looking “terrified,” because I am performing. Really, I have a great time being tied up, sometimes flogged or spanked, and it’s a cathartic experience.

    The point is, everything is in control, and when you get down to it, in BDSM play, it is always the submissive/masochist who is ultimately in control. They decide how much they can take. People have been using pain and endorphins as a means of transcendence for thousands of years.

    Oh, ever heard of Third Wave Feminism? Look it up sometime. Thanks!

    -Jessica

    • Nine Deuce February 12, 2009 at 6:22 PM #

      Yeah, I have heard of third wave feminism, and I think it’s where everything went wrong. But thanks for the condescension.

  165. Laurelin February 12, 2009 at 6:42 PM #

    I’ve heard of Third Wave Feminism. It reminded me why I am a Second Wave Feminist.

  166. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 6:44 PM #

    “Oh, ever heard of Third Wave Feminism? Look it up sometime. Thanks!”

    Jessica,

    As on your side as I am, that really doesn’t help matters any. Most of the people here are people who are dismayed by “third wave” feminism and think it’s a bastardization of the things they believe in. While I don’t agree with them, it’s better to ask rather than assume your opponent in a debate is willfully ignorant.

  167. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 6:45 PM #

    And Cheshire, what makes you think the thread died? Or do you just mean ND isn’t over there any more?

  168. Cheshire February 12, 2009 at 11:38 PM #

    There haven’t been any new comments in the last couple of days, have there, but yes I did want a response from N-D

  169. James February 13, 2009 at 12:42 AM #

    What are the reasons that you think Third Wave feminism came into existence?

  170. Trinity February 13, 2009 at 3:35 PM #

    “What are the reasons that you think Third Wave feminism came into existence?”

    The big one was women of color feeling unrepresented by Second Wave theory that failed to take intersectionality into account.

    (Personally, I really hate how that gets ignored in so many of the “wave” discussions, and the distinction gets distilled into “white women having the sex wars.” I think that really ignores the important work of many feminists of color/womanists.)

  171. ranat February 13, 2009 at 4:07 PM #

    It looks like this thread died down before I got to it, but if Deuce were to ever respond here again, my question would be “What do you propose those of us who do wank off to torturing women (and other people) do about it?” Besides kill ourselves. Being that we are what we are, and we cannot change that (believe me, I’ve tried. For a decade), are we just supposed to stop having orgasms and sexually fulfilling relationships? How would that undermine the patriarchy?

    I’ve written a more in depth post about patriarchy and kink, revolving around your comments on the subject from several sources, if you’re interested in more discussion.

  172. Michele February 13, 2009 at 5:08 PM #

    Hi. I’ll take your challenge, since it’s shooting fish in a barrel.

    I just spent two days looking at Kink.com. I looked at the pictures from each site, and watched a couple of the movies. While I like people who have an imagination, I think you have too much of one for your own good.

    Let’s take each of your accusations, point by point.

    *I don’t make the claim that what goes on on their sites is representative of what goes on in the typical real-life BDSM relationship (I mean, fuck, how many people can afford to buy all that shit?)*
    What you are saying here is that you think SM equipment has to be expensive. Implied is that rich weirdoes do it. I’ve been doing some form of BDSM since 1976. At first when I did it with other people I was using simple riding crops (easily available at tack shops for about 4.95 in the old days) and wooden spoons (from the supermarket), as well as my dad’s old neckties (priceless in more ways than one) when I was alone- I was into self-bondage for years. I also used fruit and veggies from my local supermarket. To this day I don’t own tons of leather, latex or large metal devices. Most of my ‘toy-chest’ is made up of re-purposed everyday objects from tack shops, maritime stores, housewares stores, and places like Home Depot. This is pretty typical, and when I watched Kink.com, I saw people using similar items that had been painted black or had some chains added. The nipple clamps that kept appearing, for instance, are Japanese clover clamps, and are used by sailmakers and sewers here in the US. They can be bought for less than 20 bucks. The Hitachi Magic Wand is a popular vibrator among a lot of women- you can get ones like it at Walmart and then wrap it in black Saran Wrap to make it look scary, as well as keep it clean. As for the rigging- I suggest you speak to anyone who does rock-climbing or sailing. The metal stuff is typically something people get made; it’s expensive, but so are cars, Apple computers and wedding rings. People usually save up for them if they’re into that. Most people aren’t.

    *but send me a story about human trafficking, about the abuse that women in war zones suffer, about the rampant torture of children by rape tourists in Southeast Asia, or about a submissive woman’s “journey” (brainwashing) and I’m likely to have to go lie down and think about moving to Mars for a few hours.*
    I used to teach high school English. One of the topics English teachers cover is speechmaking and persuasion techniques. You used a perfect example of a propoganda technique called ‘kitchen-sinking’, in which you put the idea you are attacking (submissive women making choices you don’t like) in with unrelated and indefensible ideas (the abuse of children). Adult women are not children. Adult women are, well, adults. Many adults make choices that I as an individual might find completely repulsive- like calling for censorship of something they don’t have to look at, or voting Republican. However, as a feminist (card carrying since 1975) and a humanist, I believe humans, including women, have the right to make stupid, wrong and even bad choices. In some cases, what I see as bad or stupid or wrong at first might turn out to be right – for me or for someone else, depending on circumstances and the actual facts of the case.
    By the way, all learning is a form of ‘brainwashing’. The inculcation of a firm belief regardless of solid proofs involves re-ordering the mind and re-aligning its thoughts. For instance, I used to be a Catholic, and I really believed in the Holy Trinity and transubstantiation. Now I’m a Zen Buddhist and I don’t anymore- but it took a lot of reading and self-rewiring to get to that point. You have no solid proof that all women are brainwashed into doing SM- you just want to believe it is so, and would believe it even if you sat down with twenty women who said otherwise and even invited you into their lives. That means you have been brainwashed yourself.
    *There’s footage and photoes of naked women locked in cages too small for rabbits, of broken skin and blood, of women being waterboarded and subjected to other near-drowning tortures, of naked women being humiliated and tortured in public. Machines, metal, wood, electrodes, hooks, needles, hoods, and every other possible thing some sick motherfucker could come up with to use to torture a woman are in evidence on one or more of Kink.com’s sites. *
    Now, this is a fun one. There are no ‘cages too small for rabbits’. Rabbits are about 12-24″ long when full grown. A cage that is large enough for a human to enter of his or own will (as opposed to having to be dismembered, crushed, and put through a blender first) is much larger than that. There are no pictures of broken skin and blood on Kink.com. Bruises, yes. Blood and broken skin? Show me one. I looked at every photo available on the site.
    Are there women being waterboarded and being put under near-drowning conditions? Yes. But I have bad news for you. None of them are being forced into it. Take a look at any of the movies. Sick as it is to you, some of us like stuff like that. And on Kink.com, all ‘drowning’ is done with women as dominants. I’ve done similar things to men who wanted to play with me again and again. There are also men on the site (see ‘Men in Pain’, for example) who like being pushed to the edge. Humans are funny creatures- they often participate in and seek out activities that will cause them distress and would definitely, under other circumstances, be considered torture- like sticking themselves with needles or being nailed to crosses as part of religious rituals, being beaten as part of fraternity hazings, or participating in sports activities (rock-climbing, football, field hockey, fencing) that have actually led to the deaths of others. If it’s not to your taste, keep away.

    Some people like being ‘humiliated’ in public. There are whole shows on tv about humiliation- from Jerry Springer to Let’s Make a Deal. People go on shows like Cheaters and sign releases, knowing that they will be seen. At the pinnacle are shows like Survivor. Again, it doesn’t have to be your taste, and the models are never shown being ‘humiliated’ in front of children or non-consenting adults.
    I could go on (and on, and on). But I won’t. Does everything on Kink.com make my nipples pop? No. Some of it makes me want to puke- most of it’s the German stuff, because I find it very cold and unfeeling. I’m not into total depersonalization, either as a top or as a bottom. I’m more into service and discipline, which is like saying that while I like sports, curling leaves me cold while baseball excites me. But I also know that watching service videos are as boring as heck to people who aren’t into that- it’s like watching chess if you don’t know how to play or do so casually.
    Much of SM can’t be ‘seen’ by the naked eye anyway. It’s impossible to depict subspace (which is essentially a trance state exactly like the kind people like myself have gone into during a long Mass or meditation session) with a camera. So to some extent, you are like a person reviewing a sporting match without understanding any of the rules, finer points. finesses, and so on. However, I would be more than happy to allow you to see real, personal BDSM (I’m not offering to do it to you- I find self-righteousness to be a sexual buzz-kill). I live in Northern NJ, and I also know some people who work at Kink.com (I was happily surprised to find out a friend of mine works there when looking through the photos and films), so if you are on or near either coast, I can arrange for you and a group of friends to see this stuff up close and talk to actual dominant and submissive women and men (I noticed you have not at all acknowledged dominant heterosexual women, or gays and lesbians of either the top or bottom persuasion- does it not fit with your brainwashing?). You can even bring a lawyer or a police officer if you’d like. And even better, you can pick the day you want to meet me, even at the last minute. I’m willing to offer this because I received my PhD in cultural anthropology after studying the BDSM community in New York City, and I think you are severely misinformed. Please let me know how to contact you in private and I will do so.

    • Nine Deuce February 13, 2009 at 6:02 PM #

      My e-mail address is off to the side.

      Rabbits may be small, but anyone who’s not a terrible person would give one a cage bigger than those they use on Kink.com.

      I’m busy, so this’ll have to wait.

  173. Michele February 13, 2009 at 5:24 PM #

    Jessica-
    While I have never been a bondage model or a third wave feminist (I’m too old for that), I celebrate you. I actually put out a magazine for people of color in SM for a bit, in part because of my feminism, and my desire to educate people about the diverse sexuality of people of color, particularly of women. I happen to be African-American. I also happen to like bondage (both giving and getting) and discipline. For the record, I have never allowed any of my partners (most of whom have been white) to call me a slave. I’ve also not had sex in public or done anything that would in my mind cast shame on my ancestors. This is another reason why the ‘brainwashing’ canard distresses me. I have been very mindful and self-questioning about my own behavior and have always had non-SM-involved friends as sounding boards. Doing SM has allowed me to tackle many of my feelings regarding racism and sexism, and to finally have the freedom that many white people often take for granted- the right to make choices not based on the color of my skin, my ethnic background, my sex or my genitals, but on my own mind and heart. While other life choices have contributed to this feel of freedom, do SM has certainly helped the process. It has also helped me to understand that we have the right to choose what kinds of sex we want within the parameters of safety, sanity and consensuality, and we don’t have to please others while doing so. Nor are we under any obligations to please others, save for those we wish to please. I have had male friends I wished to please so much that I beat them until they bled- and I got pleasure from it too. I’ve also had female friends I wanted to please so much that I’ve made them call me daddy while ‘forcing’ them to suck my dildo (after they’d told me how much they wanted to do so). And there have been men and women to whom I have submitted my will out of love, friendship, and admiration- but most of that involved being a student (;)). Still, since I know that others have been emotionally harmed by the rude words of others, I’m saying something here, even though I know it will fall on deaf ears for most readers.

  174. Laurelin February 13, 2009 at 6:44 PM #

    So we’re back to ‘it’s okay to torture people as long as they consent’. Riiiiight. Call me crazy, but I thought that torturing people was always wrong. I thought that deliberately inflicting harm on a person who is not threatening your life was wrong.

    Why would someone want to torture others?
    How can they justify this?

    They can’t.

  175. Michele February 13, 2009 at 7:42 PM #

    You said it’s ‘torture’. any things look like torture, but aren’t. It is actually impossible to torture people with their consent.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_Against_Torture

    The legal definition of torture is clear. Putting clothespins on a woman’s breasts and removing them quickly while she has an orgasm is not torture. It’s sex, just not in a way you like. Using a cattle prod on someone who is saying ‘nonono’, but who asks to do it again is also not torture- especially since in SM, what you don’t see is that cattle prods have their power stepped down. A fully high powered cattle prod might actually kill a person outright or put him or her in cardiac arrest. It will do a lot more that make a person cry a bit. http://www.downonmyknees.com/archives/instruments/cattle_prods_and_sm.php

    Again- point out the exact videos in which torture happened. Not still photos- I can take a still from a 1930s movie and say it shows torture, since I’m not offering context.

    But to humor you a bit, let’s take language into account. In SM, words like torture, hurt, slave, master, humiliation, degradation and so on are all used, but they mean slightly different things to players than they do to outsiders. SMers are against actual, real life torture- otherwise, Kink.com would close up shop in San Francisco and take up residence in Kuwait or Pakistan, both of which are countries where torture is legal and the governments would probably enjoy hiring people who are skilled at it. SMers actually have classes on how to do what they do without inflicting harm. But we know that in video games, perfectly nice people commit acts such as theft, murder, torture, and so on- yet it’s not the same as the real thing. The masters, mistresses and slaves in SM have no legal valence- they don’t actually own people or are owned by them, and they know this. I can call myself a queen, and find people who are willing to be my court- but that doesn’t mean the US government will recognize it. Outside of video games, people in sports often talk about hurting the opposition or humiliating them or making them feel pain. However, we know that this is hyperbole. The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t actually get to cut off the genitals of the losing team- which has been known to happen in real-life torture.

  176. Michele February 13, 2009 at 7:50 PM #

    One last thing. Real-life torturers do not claim to stop hurting people just because they cry. They do not ask victims if it’s ok for them to go on with the torment. they do not write copious websites on how to avoid nerve damage or heart failure, or permanent emotional distress. SM people do. On Kink.com. it’s made clear from reading the guidelines and watching any of their self-produced movies that they do not act as torturers.

    Years ago, a teacher of mine told me that before he’d become an anthropologist he’d disliked lots of people, but this was out of prejudice. After going to school and learning about various cultures, he found that he still disliked some of these same people- but now he knew why, and he knew why he thought they were wrong. I don’t have a problem with people disliking SM play. I simply object to people making up ridiculous claims about rabbit cages, blood and other nonsense, when these can be disproven in less than five minutes. Base your dislike on actual facts, not on hearsay or your own perverted fantasies, which is what you are doing now.

    • Nine Deuce February 13, 2009 at 11:16 PM #

      Michele – You don’t get it. It doesn’t matter if individual women think BDSM rules or participate gladly in filming shit like that on Kink.com (and your other points were so tertiary as to warrant no response). What matters is that the existence of this kind of shit is BAD FOR ALL WOMEN.

  177. pisaquaririse February 13, 2009 at 7:52 PM #

    “Why would someone want to torture others?”

    Wiring laurelin! It’s all wiring!
    It’s new catch-phrase for everything orgasmic.

  178. Laurelin February 13, 2009 at 8:00 PM #

    If it’s not torture (who am I to argue with you and Wikipedia? *rolls eyes*) Then why do BDSMers like to call it torture?

    Is that not an insult to those who are tortured? Eroticising their agony? Clearly doms (or whatever you’re calling them these days) think torture is sexy, or they wouldn’t use the word. They seem to want to believe it’s torture, after all.

    Doing harm to another person is still doing harm.

    Again, we focus on the person who ‘consents’. What of the person doing the harm?

    Why is he let off the hook?

  179. James February 13, 2009 at 8:01 PM #

    It looks like this thread died down before I got to it, but if Deuce were to ever respond here again, my question would be “What do you propose those of us who do wank off to torturing women (and other people) do about it?”

    I’ve found this site heavy on the rage, light on the suggestions. At least RATM told us to “Let the guilty hang…”

    So we’re back to ‘it’s okay to torture people as long as they consent’. Riiiiight. Call me crazy, but I thought that torturing people was always wrong.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s only a stimulation of torture is somebody wants it.

    I thought that deliberately inflicting harm on a person who is not threatening your life was wrong.

    How about leaving your partner unsatisfied? Wasn’t that being a bad thing a substantial plank of the Second Wave?

    Why would someone want to torture others?
    How can they justify this?

    They can’t.

    Now I’m not a natural defender of sadism. Indeed, as I’ve said before, I’m a Utilitarian. Unfortunately though it seems that sadism is an ineradicable element of humanity. Accordingly the best we can hope for is for sadists to be matched with masochists. If they don’t want to hurt somebody who enjoys it then they can either restrain themselves or be removed from the mainstream of society.

    In a way though, those who are happy with masochists being in a S&M relationship is the perfect solution and constitutes the squaring of the circle.

  180. ranat February 13, 2009 at 8:54 PM #

    @Laurelin -

    “I thought that deliberately inflicting harm on a person who is not threatening your life was wrong.”

    I think your phrasing brings up a crucial point. There is a longstanding distinction in much of the kinky community between ‘hurt’ and ‘harm.’ Pain, or ‘hurt’ is often desirable (not by everybody who is kinky, I might add). ‘Harm’ is typically used as a negative, such as hurting someone in the wrong way or hurting someone against their will can harm them, as in causing lasting emotional or physical damage. This distinction in terminology is not used by everyone, but it is fairly prevalent. There is also a common distinction between ‘good pain’ and ‘bad pain,’ or the pain a person wants to feel and the pain they don’t.

    I inflict pain on partners, and sometimes ask them to inflict pain on me. They like it, I like it. If it becomes bad pain, they say a safeword, and I stop. If it becomes too much to handle, I say a safeword, and they stop. People have been hurt, and are happy for it, but no one has been harmed.

    “Why would someone want to torture others?
    How can they justify this?”

    By the satisfaction and fulfillment of their partner(s) and themselves.

  181. Trinity February 13, 2009 at 10:51 PM #

    “By the satisfaction and fulfillment of their partner(s) and themselves.”

    Pleasure is for greedy hedonists! It’s outmoded, ya know. We have THEORY now.

  182. ranat February 14, 2009 at 1:15 AM #

    @Nine Deuce –

    “You don’t get it. It doesn’t matter if individual women think BDSM rules or participate gladly in filming shit like that on Kink.com[.]”

    Then again, I ask, what is it you propose that kinky people do about your views on our sexuality? Should we all swear abstinence, or recite “I shall have gentle-mainstream-normative-sex” ten times every time we fantasize about tying someone up, or being tied up, or whipping someone, or being whipped? What is your proposed alternative? Should we all resolve to be sexually unfulfilled? How would this undermine the patriarchy? How would it help all women for a comparatively small sexual minority to stop having orgasms?

    We cannot stop existing, and neither can our sexualities. You stated in a comment at SM Feminist that your suggestion of suicide was intentionally over-the-top, so I’d appreciate a response other than that.

    • Nine Deuce February 14, 2009 at 1:28 AM #

      I’m not telling you to do anything, you see. Do whatever you want. All I’m saying is that I’ve got issues with BDSM and that I think it’s at odds with feminism.

  183. ranat February 14, 2009 at 1:44 AM #

    @Nine Deuce – I’m still quite curious to know what you think should be done to resolve your issues with BDSM and how you believe it is at odds with feminism. Your vehemence on the subject seems to suggest you believe something should be done about it.

    I’m also interested in hearing your views of other dominants besides men, such as dominant women, trans-people, intersex people, and others. You’ve suggested at SM Feminist that you believe a F/m dynamic is different than M/f, and I was hoping you could elaborate on that point.

    • Nine Deuce February 14, 2009 at 1:47 AM #

      Yes, I intend to. As of now life requires that I pay attention to it.

  184. ranat February 14, 2009 at 3:02 AM #

    Understandable.

  185. Laurelin February 14, 2009 at 5:19 AM #

    ““Why would someone want to torture others?”

    Wiring laurelin! It’s all wiring!
    It’s new catch-phrase for everything orgasmic.”

    Oh I get it. I have seen the light!
    Oh but I have to confess something.
    I’m naturally wired to question BDSM and inflicting pain on people in the name of orgasm.
    I just can’t help it, it’s the way I am. Stop oppressing me!

    So I guess I won’t be shutting up anytime soon, eh?

    It’s interesting how we have to use phrases like ‘wiring’ to describe something that is supposedly ‘natural’.
    And also that ‘natural’ is used as a synonym for ‘acceptable’.
    All dominant political groups have claimed that the gendered set-up they impose on others is ‘natural’ and cannot be changed.

  186. Lillie February 14, 2009 at 10:22 AM #

    I’ll stop with the naive questions now, but I can’t help but wonder – what would a kinky person do if s/he were to fall in love with someone non-kinky, “vanilla”, and “boring”? I’ve always thought people are surprisingly adaptable, and to tie your identity up (har, har) with a particular form of sexual expression is – or so it seems to me – to miss a whole gamut of things people have to offer in love relationships, and other ways in which people can be compatible.

    (Which, yes, goes both ways. But I for one am not opposed to a variety of sexual expression; I just have an ideological problem with the eroticization of violence in general. I feel that people attach far too much importance to their “vanilla” sex lives, too: from reading certain women’s magazines, you’d think regular orgasms and shopping are everything there is to life. To be honest, I personally can’t think of any form of sexual expression – “vanilla”, hardcore or anything in between – that would be entirely fulfilling to me. But I don’t feel any less fulfilled as a human being for it.)

    Imagine a male dom and a rad fem falling in love with each other. I’d like to see that rom-com.

  187. ranat February 14, 2009 at 2:43 PM #

    “Imagine a male dom and a rad fem falling in love with each other.”

    Best. Romantic Comedy. EVER.

  188. Trinity February 14, 2009 at 3:16 PM #

    “I’ll stop with the naive questions now, but I can’t help but wonder – what would a kinky person do if s/he were to fall in love with someone non-kinky, “vanilla”, and “boring”?”

    Personally, I don’t think such a relationship would work. Love is one thing a relationship needs; sexual compatibility is another. I’ve seen sexual incompatibilities really mess up relationships between people I know love one another deeply, and it’s heartbreaking to watch. I would probably deem it better to love such a person in a non-sexual way.

    If I did fall in love with such a person and feel sure that a relationship would work, I would probably do what a lot of kinky people in that situation do, providing my partner was OK with it: some form of polyamory or play outside the relationship.

  189. Mike Crichton February 14, 2009 at 3:52 PM #

    Other, more articulate voices, have already said most of what I wanted to. I would like to point how how incredibly amusing I find the gay posters who are absolutely aghast that “Those People” could dare to compare themselves with good, wholesome LGBT folk. It’s somewhat reminiscent of how certain black homophobes get about them…

  190. Bella February 14, 2009 at 4:51 PM #

    I am NOT a fan of kink.com and I am NOT defending it. However, having said that, there are other points to consider in discussing this subject matter, as you’ve dragged in some auxilliary topics;

    1) One website is not the sole spokesperson for an entire demographic of society.

    2) Failure to include a discussion of the consensuality aspect of BDSM is a failure in fully and completely discussing the subject at hand.

    3) It is amusing to think that, someone who champions the rights of women to choose to not participate in these activities doesn’t comprehend that the flip side of that coin consensuality coin is that, if women have a right to choose NOT to participate, they also have a right to choose TO participate, as do men. (FYI? There are FAR more male submissives and female dominants out there, than female submissives and male dominants.)

    4) Regardless of what anyone thinks, kink IS a valid form of expressing one’s sexuality. Just as those who are straight seek out straights, gays/lesbians express themselves with a same sex partner, those who are kinky seek out others who are kinky, those who are either dominant or submissive seek out a corresponding mate. Again, it’s all about consensuality, NOT force.

    4) Typically, when someone condemns something based on fear, “feelings”, and hysteria, with regards to human sexuality, they are superimposing THEIR morality and THEIR beliefs onto others, as opposed to granting them that same freedom to choose, that they are screaming about being taken away.

    5) It will be interesting to see if any responses based on logic and ratioal thinking are posted in response to this, and how many responses end up being attacks and more screaming. :-)

  191. James February 14, 2009 at 5:55 PM #

    “Imagine a male dom and a rad fem falling in love with each other. I’d like to see that rom-com.”

    THIS.

  192. T Dalton February 14, 2009 at 6:05 PM #

    The thing is, most of what you see on kink.com and other sites is the EXCEPTION, not the real-life norm.

    Most real-life practitioners of BDSM adhere to SSC – Safe, Sane, Consensual.

    What CONSENTING ADULTS do in the privacy of their own bedroom, frankly, is no one’s business but theirs.

    Most of your readers who are horrified by what they see on kink.com probably know, work with, or are related to people who practice one form or another of BDSM.

    And the lesser-known facet of BDSM is there are PLENTY of male subs out there who enjoy being dominated. But unfortunately, the PPV sites make their money off men who want to see women subs, not the other way around. That’s why you see so much of it out there.

    It bothers me that someone would rile up people based on a website that is NOT indicative of the majority of real-life BDSM practitioners out there. It’s like the scare when I was a kid where people declared that teenagers who listened to heavy metal would go on to do drugs and commit suicide. Um, no, not so much.

    I’m NOT defending NON-CONSENSUAL acts, or those with minors. That is NOT what I’m doing.

    I’m saying that if you stood in a room with 100 people, chances are, there’s several of them in there, people you would think of as “normal,” who have some sort of private kink going on. Are they hurting you by enjoying their private pleasure? No.

  193. Malc February 14, 2009 at 7:01 PM #

    The original post asked for someone to defend Kink.com. But that’s bass-akwards: Freedom of Speech (enshrined in the Constitution, but actually even broader than that as a concept) demands that those who would deny that speech defend their attempt at censorship. And unless you can get damn-near universal consensus on that censorship, one is left with the problem of deciding who is the arbiter of appropriateness!

    But there are a few points that the Righteously Indignant are missing and/or ignoring for convenience. One is that any site like Kink.Com is, at its core, entertainment, and entertainment exaggerates, dramatizes, and likes to shock! One example of an entertainer who epitomizes this is the same Howard Stern who was cited as, apparently, a reason to oppose Kink.com along the same lines as the dislike of torture. But Stern makes no bones about why he is successful:

    Just as there are people who enjoy looking at the stuff that Stern and/or Kink.com produces, there are as many, if not more, people who enjoy ranting and railing against Stern and/or Kink.Com. (Same is true with all the political talk shows: Limbaugh’s audience is split between those who agree — to some extent — with his politics, and those who enjoy the indignation and feeling of moral superiority listening to his waffle).

    In short, just about everyone who demands that Something Must Be Done is engaged in a form of mental masturbation, not much different from those who engage in (presumably) a more physical form of masturbation as a result of Kink.Com.

    More issues: rape fantasies are very, very common — as fantasies. Ditto kidnapping. Ditto torture. In NONE of those situations does a rational human being confuse the fantasy with the reality. They are different.

    Movies frequently show killings, car crashes, bombings, etc. Not even the most zealous try to suggest that a movie depiction is likely to result in people deciding to kill, crash cars, bomb things… yet as soon as porn gets mentioned, the loons rush out and claim that porn will instantly create an army of zombies acting out the behavior shown in the porno.

    To the self-proclaimed “feminists”: feminism means empowering women with the right and the ability to choose to do anything that a man could choose to do. No more and no less, and pretending somehow that the choice to stay home and raise babies barefoot in the kitchen is wrong is to deny what feminism actually is. All feminism demands is that the choice should be the woman’s, not the man’s. It shouldn’t take a genius to realize that this implies that woman must have the right to choose to make themselves subservient to, well, anyone they like (man, woman, child, dog, hamster… their choice, not yours).

    Finally, would the Righteously Indignant prefer that Johnny Notquiterightinthehead have to experiment with amateur torture, or merely click on Kink.Com? I don’t think there should be any question on the subject, but I’m amazed at the number of idiots who think that one can legislate away the variations in humanity.

    [ Just for grins, the Soviets frequently treated dissent as a mental condition. I'm not sure I'm in favor of any policy that steers the USA in the direction proven so harmful by the USSR! ]

    • Nine Deuce February 14, 2009 at 8:53 PM #

      Malc – No one is talking about legislating anything. It’s a moral judgment, not a call for legal action. Also, you’re being an asshole. If you want to participate in this discussion, avoid telling feminists what feminism is about and avoid the condescension. I promise, you aren’t smarter than we are just because you’ve grasped the basics of a myopic, self-serving political ideology.

  194. ranat February 14, 2009 at 7:56 PM #

    “1) One website is not the sole spokesperson for an entire demographic of society.”

    I would just like to repeat here from the comment I just added to the ‘A Question for Doms’ thread that the business practices of professional sex workers (such as the models at Kink dot com) should not be conflated with the lifestyles of kinky people. One is based on the capitalist accrual of wealth, one is based on real desires, real people, and real relationships. With such different motivations and modes of operations, the results, which might seem superficially similar, are completely different. This should be taken into account by those of you who are not kinky and therefore won’t automatically see/feel the difference.

  195. Dixie G February 14, 2009 at 8:58 PM #

    @Lillie
    “I’ll stop with the naive questions now, but I can’t help but wonder – what would a kinky person do if s/he were to fall in love with someone non-kinky, “vanilla”, and “boring”? I’ve always thought people are surprisingly adaptable, and to tie your identity up (har, har) with a particular form of sexual expression is – or so it seems to me – to miss a whole gamut of things people have to offer in love relationships, and other ways in which people can be compatible.”

    Well, we could speak to this question with another alternate. You see, I am a submissive woman who is also Poly (as in Polyamorous.) Or, as some might say, I practice ethical non-monogamy. That means that I have committed relationships with one relatively vanilla lover and two decidedly kinky ones. So, you see, I can have the best of both worlds, and a stunning abundance of love, as well as get my ass whipped with a flogger.

    Of course, I’m nothing but a mindless, oppressed female who doesn’t know what she wants or needs, so that hardly counts, does it?

    To ND and some others in this discussion:
    Opinion is one thing, arrogance and condescension are quite different ones. But then, as a 60 year old woman who lived the “oppressed” life of being a wife and mother for 30 years, who has authored two **horror of horrors** romance novels, designed clothing to **horror of horrors** enhance a woman’s sexual attributes, who loves skirts and heels and makeup and even **horror of horrors* shave my pubis for esthetic reasons, I can hardly speak to the freedom to make choices, can I?

    Of course that isn’t the whole picture of who I am. I’m not someone who can be placed in anyone’s neat little box. I’m an individual and I’ve made the choices for my life, good and bad, with and sometimes without due consideration of their consequences — but they were my choices, not foisted on me by anyone. And I take full responsibility for them.

    Freedom is about being fully actualized. I am. We make our lives what they are by our choices and by the expectations we have. We live within the structure we choose. It’s so simply and yet so difficult to comprehend.

    Whatever you or anyone on this forum may think of who I am or what I do, save your pity and condescension for someone else. Doesn’t matter if you understand or agree with what I do. I’m happy. BDSM, bi-sexuality, polyamory, unconventional and even non-politically-correct artistic freedom, are all part of what I want in my life. And if I smile with sweet remembrance when I sit down and wince at the ass bruises, well honey, that’s my prerogative. I sure don’t need anyone’s approval.

  196. Trinity February 14, 2009 at 9:04 PM #

    “I would like to point how how incredibly amusing I find the gay posters who are absolutely aghast that “Those People” could dare to compare themselves with good, wholesome LGBT folk.”

    As someone who’s queer and kinky, I keep waiting for an explanation why exactly so many people talk about those two things as if they’re mutually exclusive.

  197. Trinity February 14, 2009 at 9:09 PM #

    ranat:

    “One is based on the capitalist accrual of wealth, one is based on real desires, real people, and real relationships. ”

    While I agree with your general sentiment — that pornography is unrealistic — I think there’s something really unfortunate in this wording. Yes, people in pornography are acting, presenting things that are generally unrealistic for the enjoyment of the viewer.

    But sex workers ARE “real people.” The fact that they’re acting doesn’t make them fake humans or something.

    I’m guessing that was just an unclarity, but there’s an awful lot of useless dehumanization of sex workers out there, and I don’t think we need to dip our toes into that cesspool to say “hey, this represents real life about as well as Who’s the Boss did.”

  198. isme February 15, 2009 at 3:27 AM #

    “If you want to participate in this discussion, avoid telling feminists what feminism is about”.

    Wait…does this mean we can’t tell the BDSMers what BDSM is about anymore? Aw….

  199. Brian February 15, 2009 at 6:06 PM #

    All of those women on Kink.com’s websites are willing participants. They get paid to do that stuff. It’s their job. If they weren’t willing participants, I’m sure you’d hear about the FBI or someone investigating them and putting people in jail.

    • Nine Deuce February 15, 2009 at 7:09 PM #

      Brian – Duh. That isn’t the point.

  200. ranat February 15, 2009 at 7:50 PM #

    @ Trinity -

    “While I agree with your general sentiment — that pornography is unrealistic — I think there’s something really unfortunate in this wording. Yes, people in pornography are acting, presenting things that are generally unrealistic for the enjoyment of the viewer.

    But sex workers ARE “real people.” The fact that they’re acting doesn’t make them fake humans or something.”

    That’s a good point. I didn’t mean to imply that in my wording, so thanks for pointing it out. What I probably should have said is that sex workers such as the models at Kink dot com are playing a part, a character which is defined by the motivations to accrue wealth. My main point though was that these parts do not necessarily reflect their real desires, or the desires of kinky people at large, because the source of motivation is so different.

    Apologies to the sex workers! I didn’t think about all the ramifications of my wording.

  201. Trinity February 15, 2009 at 8:05 PM #

    ranat,

    I understood you, and figured you probably didn’t mean it that way. Just wanted to make sure. :)

  202. Joy February 15, 2009 at 10:38 PM #

    “Just because we want something doesn’t make it right. Being aroused by domination is something we’ve been programmed to do since birth. That doesn’t mean we should hurt people or celebrate pain. And you know what? I will shame people that hurt other people, because in my opinion that is part of the social contract (and it isn’t the sex that is shameful).”

    I disagree vehemently. I wasn’t societally conditioned to be submissive or to be aroused by domination. I was raised by a single-man-hating mother who had no use for men beyond getting her sexual needs met once in a while. If anything I was raised to be the oppressor, not the oppressed.

    I never have bought into societal conditioning, I became disillusioned with the Christian church around the age of six or seven when in Sunday school I was told that I was “bad” because I was a female and Eve was a woman who got everyone cast out of the Garden of Eden. I inherently *knew* that was wrong.

    But I’ve also always hated man-bashing. The women who gleefully engage in man-bashing act as if men are somehow lesser because they have penises. Someone please explain the logic in that? Please explain to me how reversing oppresion can POSSIBLY create any type of equality?

    I’m quite proudly slave to my Master/husband. I didn’t choose what I am but I did choose who I submitted to. I chose to shed my mother’s conditioning because it wasn’t me. There is nothing shameful in what happens between CONSENTING adults. (note the emphasis on consent)

    I chuckle at the comments that say submissive women have no choice in their “tortures”. Actually I laughed out loud because I am the inventor of some of my “worst tortures”. I ask for some things that may disturb others because they make me feel good, they make me happy, and joyful. I take great pleasure in the sexual S/m but I also take pleasure and pride in cooking a healthy and tasty meal to serve to my Master and family. I take pride in having raised independently thinking children. I take pride in being a whole person who doesn’t feel shamed by her sexuality.

    Oppressed? I think not. Just acting out what “society” has taught me? That’s laughable. If I did that I’d be an anorexic ball-busting b*tch making my way up the corporate ladder and taking no prisoners, while blaming society for all of my problems and not taking any personal responsibility for my own choices or for my children.

    THAT is what society is teaching. Lack of personal responsibility, lack of culpability. Male or female, it makes no difference, you’re not responsible because someone else is to blame.

    • Nine Deuce February 15, 2009 at 10:42 PM #

      Wow. Now there’s the kind of feminist I’d love if I was a dude.

  203. delphyne February 15, 2009 at 11:21 PM #

    I like the way “man-bashing” (metaphorical) is supposed to be the worst thing ever, whilst “woman-bashing” (literal) is liberatory sexuality that we should all get behind.

  204. James February 15, 2009 at 11:25 PM #

    I like the way “man-bashing” (metaphorical) is supposed to be the worst thing ever, whilst “woman-bashing” (literal) is liberatory sexuality that we should all get behind.

    Depends if the men consent…

  205. Mat February 16, 2009 at 12:06 AM #

    Interesting discussion…..

    I’m curious with regards one thing.

    Firstly, how would you define feminism and why feminist political ideology should be applied to BDSM relationships?

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 12:11 AM #

      Don’t be lazy. Read around if you want to know the answer to that question.

  206. Mat February 16, 2009 at 12:14 AM #

    Please don’t think me lazy or anything. I want to know what it means to you ND

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 12:19 AM #

      Dude, you’ve got a blog here with 150 or so entries explaining how I conceive of feminism.

  207. Mat February 16, 2009 at 12:33 AM #

    Wow… that’s an awful lot. I’m impressed. I’ll get round to reading them at some point.

    You see, I wouldn’t consider myself arrogant enough to preach my views to anyone but, reading through you’re first blog about your investigations I couldn’t help but feel that you focused heavily on M/F domination and upon the pornography on the kink.com website. Aren’t there parallels between vanilla porn and BDSM porn?

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 12:34 AM #

      Of course. Like I said, I’ve written thousands of words on the subject. If you really actually do care to know what my stance is, read what I’ve said.

  208. Mat February 16, 2009 at 12:40 AM #

    I’m trying to agree some common ground.

    My view on pronography is that it seeks to make a profit from peoples base desires in a manner that dehumanises all involved (not just the ladies who participate) and that it exploits those who participate and watch.

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 12:42 AM #

      I don’t disagree, I just think BDSM porn is more obvious about it.

  209. Mat February 16, 2009 at 12:49 AM #

    Good.

    But why not apply the same argument to F/M domination, and with the same vigour? Is the humiliation and degradation of men in pornography just as symptomatic of societies ills?

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 12:52 AM #

      Mat – Come on. Do you really think men are degraded in porn in the same sense that women are and on the same scale?

  210. James February 16, 2009 at 12:50 AM #

    I agree ND, you really don’t write about feminism and women’s issues enough.

  211. James February 16, 2009 at 12:54 AM #

    They’re treated as machinery, effectively.

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 12:55 AM #

      Yeah, but in real life they’re human beings. And I’d rather be treated like a machine than a piece of trash.

  212. James February 16, 2009 at 12:57 AM #

    Yeah, but in real life they’re human beings.

    Sorry, what?

    And I’d rather be treated like a machine than a piece of trash.

    Each is equally dehumanising.

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 1:00 AM #

      1 – Men are not generally reduced to objects in daily life, and women are.

      2 – No, sorry. One includes hatred as well as dehumanization, and is the graphic representation of the fact that we live in a misogynistic society. Let’s just get us a male:female ratio on facial shots.

  213. James February 16, 2009 at 1:02 AM #

    1 – Men are not generally reduced to objects in daily life, and women are.

    Hahahahahaahaa.

    You honestly have never heard of “Human Resources”?

    2 – No, sorry. One includes hatred as well as dehumanization, and is the graphic representation of the fact that we live in a misogynistic society.

    So we are agreed that each is equally de-humanising?

  214. James February 16, 2009 at 1:04 AM #

    How does hating something that is not human make it even less human?

  215. Mat February 16, 2009 at 1:06 AM #

    Of course, both are dehumanised to different degrees and different ways. Pornography depicting F/M domination tends to dehumanise males moreso than women. In my humble opinion the extent is about as relevant as gender in the equation. Both are human beings first. And that brings me to the second question.

    Is this a gender issue or an exploitation issue?

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 1:10 AM #

      Mat – It’s a gender issue and an exploitation issue. There’s no way you can pretend that men suffer negative effects of porn to the same extent that women do. And you’re not paying close enough attention to F/M BDSM porn.

      James – Knock it off.

  216. Mat February 16, 2009 at 1:21 AM #

    Tell the truth, I’ve seen both, and the treatment meted out to men in Femdom pornography is equal to the women on a site such as kink.com.

    A site you might be disgusted by is the English Mansion.com

    The main difference between that site and kink.com is that there isn’t the nice little interviews with the submissive men where they get the chance to say whether or not they enjoyed it.

    I guess this comes back to what you believe feminism actually is.

    And what James is saying is more valid than you’d care to admit.

    • Nine Deuce February 16, 2009 at 1:54 AM #

      Mat – You’re a fucking fool if you think that men are as damaged by porn as women are. The end.

  217. James February 16, 2009 at 1:37 AM #

    ND – In lieu of an answer to my question I’ll elaborate on my position.

    Trash and machinery is an equal degradation, as neither possess sentience. Only sentient beings are of any worth transcendent beyond what we attribute to our surrounds because it is only the sentient which can perform that act of attribution. This makes them a key part of the structure of existence which can never be true of any non-sentient.

    A common criticism of the pomos, the existentialists, et al, is that they devalue human life. Nothing could be further from the truth: if all meaning is imposed then the only source of any meaning in the world are those capable of such imposition. Without the sentient there can only be nihil.

    So yes, you might as well be a machine or trash. If there is no mind and no thought then you would be utterly uninterested in your condition either way. Indeed there wouldn’t be a “you” at all. I suppose that the natural flip-side of Descartes, more than anything.

    You may have a point with regards to contempt (personally I’d say that there’s a lot of reverence there, or at least as much as is required to commit sacrilege, but these things are problematic to argue over), but you have none when you say that men are not objectified. It ranges from the aforementioned HR (although since women are now an almost entirely integrated part of the labour force they are as much under the remit of HR managers as men) to my Ministry of Defence (and your DoD) that sees its soldiers as autonomous mobile rifle carriers, entirely expendable and nothing more. I’d go so far as to say that seeing people as a resource is an inevitability under any capitalist system (as well as any alternative I’ve seen in action).

  218. Trinity February 16, 2009 at 1:50 AM #

    Mat and James: Uh, I have no words for how much both of you are NOT HELPING.

    Howzabout you at least read some of the comments above you, eh?

  219. Bella February 16, 2009 at 5:00 AM #

    ND, you stated to Malc, “If you want to participate in this discussion, avoid telling feminists what feminism is about and avoid the condescension. I promise, you aren’t smarter than we are just because you’ve grasped the basics of a myopic, self-serving political ideology.” Well, the same can be said to you about BDSM. You ARE telling those of use who are more than acquainted with BDSM what it is, when clearly, you really don’t have a working idea of what it is in real life. Based on your rants, it is clear that you’ve not really examined this from the psychological POV, nor from the real life POV. Checking out one website and then…ranting about that website? And basing your whole opinion of it on one website? Hell, anyone can do that. Taking the time to really do the investigation, attending munches, collaring ceremonies, homes of those who are practicing D/s or M/s on a regular basis, now THAT takes work. However, doing that work to properly and thoroughly research your subject matter would not make for the wonderfully inflamed blog that initiated all these comments, nor would it allow the dehumanization of those whom you write about.

    I suggest taking the time to attend a collaring ceremony, a munch, a lecture-demo, and then revisiting this topic. Talk to Dominants, in real life. Find out what we really are about before rushing to snap decisions.

    Oh, for the record? My mom is a man hating feminist who owns an original copy of Ms. Magazine, along with almost every issue of it from its inception. ;-) One more point to trash the “this is what we’re taught” theory? My Dad left my Mom for another man, who happened to be into kink. My Dad was a Leatherman, back in the 1970s to 1990s. He wanted me to be a dominant, strong woman, never submissive to a man, as did my mom.

  220. RenegadeEvolution February 16, 2009 at 5:50 AM #

    WTF?

    ND, where did the spacemonkeys come from?

    YES, porn can ultimately be dehumanizing to both men and women and can be very overall misanthropic (an argument I have been making for years)…

    However, anyone who thinks that on the whole it is as degrading towards men as it is towards women is a certified moron. And I say that as someone who freakin’ loves porn.

  221. isme February 16, 2009 at 9:21 AM #

    “Tell the truth, I’ve seen both, and the treatment meted out to men in Femdom pornography is equal to the women on a site such as kink.com.”

    Quite likely, but there tends to be much less of it. The majority of BDSM porn is about degrading women. And M/f is closer to “mainstream” pornography, although that might be saying something more about mainstream porn and society than M/F.

  222. Mat February 16, 2009 at 11:40 AM #

    Yes. I’m a tool. Hey ho! Life goes on.

    Your writings indicate intelligence and reading. So why resort to petty name calling? Couldn’t you apply a little more imagination to your efforts? I can think of several far more cuting insults, many of them used in real life. It’s water off a ducks back.

    In order to advance human rights (and this inevitably includes womens rights) common ground has to be sought. This is precisely what James does in his posts: it’s even handed and the issues apply just as much to women as they do to men. So how is this not helpful?

    The scope of your writings on BDSM seems quite limited. If all you’ve seen is the kink.com website I can understand your attitudes. It’s pornography, the accusations levelled against are completely justified and are true of all pornography. The assertion that women are harmed more than men is quite correct but as an argument lacks both imagination and range. How does pornography influence male attitudes towards women, and vice versa? Should this not be considered harm?

    Your approach seems to be: draw a line, say that everyone who does not entirely agree with you is on the other side of it and declare them the enemy. May I ask: what do you expect to achieve beyond preaching to the converted and inciting counter productive conflict?

    Liberty and respect first: I support all attempts to increase the freedoms and liberties for all women and strongly believe that is in the interests of all men to do this. Should I consider myself free if others are not. I would find it dissapointing if you could not concede this.

    The issues presented aren’t limited to gender politics. If someone has liberty and freedom, they will live their lives as they see fit. I can disagree with that, or find their actions distasteful and thus choose my own path. In short, when I gaurantee anothers freedom I protect my own. You seem quick to condemn those who live their lifes as they see fit. What freedom should you expect?

    What place does gender politics have when regarding human relationships? I could place an ad claiming to be a submissive woman and providing little other information I know precisely what to expect. Shallow and vacuous souls? They wouldn’t tell you anything you shouldn’t expect. It would be easy to pander to my own prejudice. It would be less productive than attempting honest and constructive dialogue.

    It would undoubtably have been nicer for that building to have been converted to an art museum. I’m reminded of something I learnt studying soviet era politics: pollitical beliefs and ideologies are shaped by individual circumstance.

    In case your wondering I’ve read the majority of comments above, including those I agree and disagree with. Personally, I wouldn’t waste my time with petty insults. It doesn’t help half as much as reasoned argument.

    But yeah, I’m a stupid thick tool, right? What should I expect.

  223. Alexandra February 16, 2009 at 12:13 PM #

    I’d rather be treated like trash than a machine…

    …so long as it’s consensual, you know. That’s my choice. Is that choice “feminist”? I wouldn’t say so. But I wouldn’t say it’s incompatible with feminism, with me being a feminist.

    Disagree? Go ahead. But I wonder at the end of the day, what are you advocating here, ND, or what are you proposing?

    You keep saying variations on the “No one is talking about legislating anything” line. So what are you talking about? You’re making no bones about it being a moral judgment. Maybe in your mind this moral judgment is targeted with laser-like precision on the Patriarchy and on the men who “get off on torture”. Maybe not. But in reality, you’re wielding a flamethrower loaded up with slutshameum and you’re torching a pretty wide swath.

    I have needs. Sexual needs. To read your posting—and similar sentiments that have been expressed by some other feminists—it seems like my choices are pretty basic:

    Whore or Madonna.

    I can live out my life like a nun, praying that some day there will be a generation born free of Patriarchy in part because my sacrifice helped stop the creation of “torture porn”… or I can be a slut, crossing the line of what has been morally judged to be proper for a woman.

    I’m a Whore, because I’m not cut out to be a martyr. I’m working on accepting myself more so I don’t feel that way, but the shame is still there. I wonder how you feel about that. Do you consider it progress for me, for women, for anybody, if I feel less ashamed? Or do you think this shame is a good thing that I should be feeling, for doing something morally wrong?

    Here’s an extension of that question for you, a serious yet utterly hypothetical situation:

    If the Great Cosmic Judge of Such Things appeared before you and declared that you had been selected at random to decide whether all women who enjoy male-domination BDSM would feel deeply ashamed of their “kink” or be utterly okay with it, what would your decision be?

  224. Bella February 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM #

    Oh, Alexandra…I love your post and your hypothetical question.

    What has always intrigued and amused me about “feminists” ranting against women who choose to do something other than they do, themselves, personally, is that they really don’t see that they’re being as chauvinistic to other women, as they’re screaming about men being to women. If you’re pro-women’s rights, including a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body, in terms of abortion, then, why on earth does it not also follow suit that, if you want a woman to be able to choose what to do with her body in THAT instance, that that carries over to s & m AND dominance and submission? Connect the dots, folks, those of you ranting about how oppressed female submissives are.

    Furthermore, I would highly recommend reading this article posted in the NYTimes about Kink.com. I found it fascinating. Perhaps doing more research into a subject, other than clicking on a few links, would yield a more productive discussion, as opposed to all the early “ME TOO!” posts.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/29/magazine/29kink.t.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 1:48 AM #

      Bella – No more straw men allowed. No one here is telling anyone they ought not to be allowed to do anything. And if you put the word feminist in quotes again in reference to me, you’re banned.

  225. Val February 16, 2009 at 11:55 PM #

    While my Master is sitting there flogging/spanking/paddling/whipping/caning the crap out of me, my wrists and ankles bound, my thoughts are null and I feel like I’m floating.

    My naked body quivers with sweat, and I sometimes think that the sound of his voice is enough to make me cum.

    He releases my bindings, and rubs lotion over my bruises and welts, kisses me deeply, and pronounces what a “good girl” I have been.

    After our play, we take a shower, washing each other, then cuddle on the couch to watch a movie, giggling and focused solely on each other.

    I can see the love in his eyes. The loves for me, his bestfriend, partner, and submissive.

    He lights a cigarette for me, and asks if I’ve read the new Scientfic American, yet. We talk about nanotubes, and drink wine.

    ***

    I love my Master. He loves and respects me.

    If you say BDSM is wrong, then you say our love and relationship is wrong.

    And to that, I say fuck you.

  226. tammi February 17, 2009 at 2:23 AM #

    it seems as if your original post had really two purposes…on the surface, to challenge your readers to defend one particular website that is honestly not representative, by your own admission, of what most involved in the BDSM lifestyle are into. i will not be one of those trying to defend a website since it is not what i am “into”…i am sure it serves a purpose for those who go to the site, but i would wager a guess that most of those are indeed men who wish they could be involved in some of those scenes but find themselves unable or unwilling to do so in real life. from what little i have seen of it, it is an extreme form of BDSM meant to do but one thing, like most porn, generate money for the producers.

    it is more of the “hidden” agenda of your post that i am disturbed by and wish to address here. that agenda being that porn and BDSM are morally corrupt and dehumanizing to women because they are being manipulated and brainwashed by men into believing that these activities are ok and truthfully what they want.

    first of all to understand D/s and BDSM, one must understand that the activities that people engage in under the umbrella of BDSM are as wide ranged and varied as those engaged in by any group of “vanilla” couples. and that many of the activities BDSMers carry out are also done by “vanilla” couples behind closed doors…ie, blindfolds, spanking, etc…..does this also mean that the “vanilla” couple who wanting to put some spice into the sex life are also morally corrupt? Many D/s relationships involve no pain, no torture of any kind..they are power exchange relationships where one person, either temporarily or fulltime gives up their personal power to another. given your “extensive” research on BDSM i am sure you know that in any true D/s relationship almost all the power truly lies with the submissive for they have the power to stop anything and everything that happens just by saying so.

    You seem to cast all BDSM relationship into one group and say they are wrong because women are giving up their personal freedom to men and allow themselves to be tortured by these men without regard to their own personal safety. that men who are involved with BDSM are evil and sadistic. and there maybe some who are, i am sure in a lifestyle as large as BDSM that there are some who are exactly those things…but that is a far cry from all or even most. and at the same time you seem to omit several segments of the BDSM “family” who are also engaged in many of these activities. the Mistress and Her male submissive or someone like me..a bi female submissive who is in a long term loving D/s relationship with a bi female Domme. Are we as morally corrupt because i enjoy the caress of a flogger upon my skin or because i willingly and lovingly give up my power to Her in our relationship?

  227. Val February 17, 2009 at 4:28 AM #

    @nd::

    Cool. I’m a poet.

    But do you deny our love, or say that our relationship is wrong?

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 4:28 AM #

      I would if I gave a shit. Your relationship isn’t my concern here.

  228. Bella February 17, 2009 at 5:11 AM #

    You assume a lot, ND. I wasn’t referencing you when I put feminists in quotes, but, if it upsets you, I will refrain from doing so, though, I will point out that not putting something in quotes is, for the way I was writing, incorrect grammar. I was referencing ALL the people who call themselves feminists that have posted about wanting to remove a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body, including the rabid anti-choicers who call themselves “pro-life”.

    I’ve come across hundreds of them, feminists who think they know better than any other woman, in the 5 short years since I discovered BDSM, each one more concerned than the last with “rescuing” me and other women like me. I know fetish models, some of whom I am fortunate to call friends, who have had feminists try to save them, failing to recognize that we have made the choice that WE want to make, same as the models at kink.com…..and no one is advocating shutting it down? Really? No one is advocating legal action? May I draw your attention to one post that jumps into my memory from Zelda on February 7 @3:50AM:

    “This is not a matter of freedom of speech; This is a matter of freedom from being tortured by sadistic fucks. If our legal system does not allow someone to consent to torture, then a perverted as fuck site like Kink.com needs to be shut down.”

    To me, that’s a pretty clear telling someone they aren’t allowed to do something, that they want the website censored and shut down. You, yourself, push the envelope pretty darned close to calling for closing down kink.com. Zelda is also not alone. She just happened to be the first one that i found tonight.

    I have to ask, did you even read the article that the NYTimes did on the website? Are you aware that, in this time of increasing cuts to health care provided by employees, THEIR employees have, from what I read, far better health care than the average employee in the US does? As far as I can see;

    1) The women employed there, and ALL the employees there, are doing something they want to do.
    2) They are well paid for the jobs they perform, including excellent health care benefits.
    3) They ARE “employees”. They aren’t kidnapped and forced into what they are doing, which, as I pointed out in my first post, is the cornerstone of BDSM; consensuality.
    4) What they’re doing, much like with gay marriage, doesn’t reflect on anything else in the “real” world. To say that what fetish models are doing, somehow cheapens or lessens the real life white slave trade, is as ridiculous as saying that same sex marriage cheapens or lessens heterosexual marriages. Fetish modeling is fantasy, NOT reality. White slave trade is reality, and a very real problem, but it has nothing to do with consensual fetish modeling, much the same as NYC runway modeling has slim to nothing to do with “real” life.
    5) If you don’t like looking at it, don’t look at it. I don’t like WWE so I don’t watch it.

    Lastly, as I gather from your writings that you are still reading up on BDSM, I would suggest studying something called “subdrop”. It is akin to when a marathon runner “hits the wall”, with regards to a drop in hormone and endorphin levels. What masochists experience, in real life, is not that different from what anyone going through something strenuous goes through, in terms of the endorphin and adrenaline releases. In cultures not as hung up on things as ours, there have actually been studies done on this. Here is a link to one such article about “whipping therapy” and how it cures depression:

    http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/360/15176_whipping.html

    Bella

  229. Val February 17, 2009 at 7:22 AM #

    @nd::

    By saying that you don’t give a shit… why the anti-BDSM rants, then?

    My relationship IS your concern. If you dispise BDSM, then you dispise my relatioship.

    I’m only one of millions. Basically, you’re saying that many, many relationships are invalid.

    You’re taking the EXTREME cases, and making biased judgements against kinky, loving folk. Where’s the middle ground?

  230. isme February 17, 2009 at 1:18 PM #

    “4) What they’re doing, much like with gay marriage, doesn’t reflect on anything else in the “real” world. To say that what fetish models are doing, somehow cheapens or lessens the real life white slave trade, is as ridiculous as saying that same sex marriage cheapens or lessens heterosexual marriages.”

    “I’m only one of millions. Basically, you’re saying that many, many relationships are invalid.”

    It would seem to me that it’s not individuals that are the concern, it’s the trend. If I personally choose to do something by myself, that is unimportant, but if a large number of persons choose to do something by themselves, then it becomes different. At least I’d assume that is at least part of the issue, though it does tend to lead to dismissing individual cases as irrelevant to the whole, while they are what makes up the whole in the end.

    “You’re taking the EXTREME cases, and making biased judgements against kinky, loving folk. Where’s the middle ground?”

    I’d like to see that as well. Or maybe even, from those who think that BDSM is wrong, a discussion about where something becomes BDSM and hence wrong, instead of being “normal”, and what they think about things approaching, but not passing, that point.

    “5) If you don’t like looking at it, don’t look at it. I don’t like WWE so I don’t watch it.”

    Well…as much as I respect the rights of others to do what they want, that line has certain connatations for me, it’s one I’ve seen used to justify all sorts of content that I really object to.

  231. Bella February 17, 2009 at 2:07 PM #

    You make valid points, Val, and address my underlying concern about rants from ANYONE over women who don’t conform to their particular pigeonholes. Feminists put pressure on non-conforming women to be other than what they are, as do other aspects of society which seek to advance THEIR cause, as opposed to the cause of all women. This is a complete and total failure to recognize that they, the feminists, are doing what they are ranting against. *Some* feminists take away women’s choices just as often as men and the religious right do.

    Ranting about abuse of women is one thing, and on that, as a victim of rape and molestation, I will wholeheartedly support and join the cause. I work with abused women. Ranting against consensual acts teaches women that, “No, sweetie, you really don’t have the right to choose how to live your life, and *I* know what is best for you, so, don’t worry your pretty little head about the fact that you are sexually unfulfilled. *I* know what is best for all women, in terms of leading a fulfilling sex life, and you ONLY have the choices that *I* give you and want you to have!” Sorry, but that is pure hogwash.

    Let me ask this, to those of you who want kink.com closed, along with other pornography sites;
    1) Do YOU have jobs to offer all the people who will then be unemployed, including all the women?
    2) Do YOU have healthcare benefits to offer all the people who will then not have healthcare benefits?
    3) (Most importantly) Do YOU want the government to have the ability to censor that sort of speech? If so, do you realize that once they do that, they’ll come after sites like this with all the cussing on them? Seriously….the amount of “fucks” and “shits” and “mother fuckers” on this blog….I thought I’d stumbled upon a rap site, and if they go after kink.com, as they did go after the porn industry under “W”, do you realize that they’ll come after you, next?
    4) Do all of you who are proposing that BDSM relationships are invalid understand that you ARE advocating taking away a woman’s right to self determine and choose who she is and how she expresses her sexuality and how she expresses herself privately? Is that really what you want, to take away more choices from women? If that is what being a feminist is, perhaps I am not a feminist, as I want to empower women to make the choices they want to make in their lives, free from societal pressures to conform and fit into nice, neat, tidy pigeonholes.

    Bella

  232. delphyne February 17, 2009 at 3:13 PM #

    “While my Master is sitting there flogging/spanking/paddling/whipping/caning the crap out of me, my wrists and ankles bound, my thoughts are null and I feel like I’m floating.”

    It’s called disassociation and it’s a product of trauma.

    Do you really think you are some extra-special snowflake who only this happens to? That nobody else has every experienced a body-mind split because of what is being inflicted on their body? The body has mechanisms in place to protect the mind from severe pain when there is no escape, but instead of respecting those mechanisms which are there to protect you in the most extreme circumstances you’re fooling around with them in the name of your ree-lay-shun-ship.

    Is there any possibility that any of you will look at what you are doing in a wider context instead of this incredible me, me, me-ism – “if it happens to me it must be special and unique”. It really isn’t.

  233. T Dalton February 17, 2009 at 3:23 PM #

    I would like some clarification, I suppose.

    What exactly IS the main argument here?

    Is the argument against consensual BDSM relationships regardless of how willing all parties are and regardless of how much they enjoy it? If so, how can you morally or ethically defend that position? That’s the same as basically saying women don’t have the right to decide how they practice their sexuality. Just because you don’t agree with a consensual sexual practice doesn’t make it wrong. I don’t agree with some things, so I don’t practice them. It’s just that simple. I’m sure there are radical right-wing religious folks who believe that any sex outside of procreation is wrong, so even though my personal life is on the tame end of the scale, they probably think I’m damned to hell for enjoying it when my husband goes down on me (or vice versa). Oh well, I could care less what they think.

    Is the argument against a website depicting things that might not be agreeable to some who view it, but the performers (and let’s face it, they ARE performers, actors and actresses paid for their work) are willingly doing it? If that’s the case, then just don’t go to the website. If the website isn’t violating any laws, then you’re proposing censorship, which, again, I can’t agree with and it’s a slippery slope.

    And frankly, you’ve probably introduced a bunch of people to Kink.com and brought them a ton of new business by this anti-Kink campaign. *LOL*

    Is the argument for imposing government restrictions on consensual sexual acts between legal adults? Again, I won’t agree with you there.

    I feel the net has been cast too far and broad. It’s fine for someone to disagree with a lifestyle choice of another, that’s what this country was founded on, belief that people should have the right to live in the way they determine.

    If the argument is that nonconsensual, illegal, forced victimization of people should not take place, then hell yeah, I’m on board. Duh.

    But if the general argument is that people who practice consensual BDSM are sick freaks who should be ashamed of themselves and banned from practicing these same consensual acts with other consenting adults, sorry, that’s pretty much akin to the pro-lifers who want to dictate what women can do with their bodies, and I will never agree with you.

    What I do, what other consenting adults do in their sexual lives, CONSENTING ADULTS, is nobody’s business. I don’t agree with mindless morons who give thousands of dollars to churches who encourage sheeple attitudes and pod-people behavior, either. I think they’re idiots. But they have the right to do it, and it’s not my business if they do it or not.

    Choice is a cornerstone of the feminist movement, is it not? That’s what I – yes, a woman – have always been told. That we have a choice.

    Just because some women WILLINGLY CHOOSE a certain path that someone else disagrees with doesn’t make that path wrong. I would never choose to go into a nunnery. (Do they even still have those?) I would never choose to go into the military. However, I respect those who choose to follow their convictions and their beliefs and do so.

    Do NOT equate what happens with illegal, forced prostitution and slavery with consensual BDSM.

    Just because it’s not YOUR choice doesn’t mean it’s a wrong choice.

  234. RenegadeEvolution February 17, 2009 at 5:02 PM #

    Bella:

    For the Record: MOST porn performers do not get health care benefits via their jobs.

  235. Val February 17, 2009 at 6:54 PM #

    @delphyne::

    Its called subspace. Many, many men and women experience it. I’m no snowflake, dear. And it makes me warm, fuzzy, and giggly. It makes me want to cover my Master with kisses and tell him to hit harder.

    I just find it so odd that you, as a feminist, believe that you know what’s best for MY vagina. And mind. What is sexually liberating about that?

    I consider myself a feminist. But… I guess I don’t happen to be a prude.

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 6:56 PM #

      Val – Calling a woman a prude because she isn’t into what you’re into is hardly feminist. The prude/whore dichotomy is a little too patriarchal for my tastes. You’re an asshole and you’re banned.

  236. Valerie February 17, 2009 at 7:07 PM #

    @nd::

    She was basically making fun of me, and my boyfriend. I’m a psychology major with a minor in women’s studies, have my CNA, and have done extensive research on medicine… so to assume that I don’t know the body’s defense mechanisms is an assault on my intelligence. Why isn’t she banned?

    I didn’t call anyone anything.
    I just said that I wasn’t one.

    You’ve telling me how I should(n’t) have sex, and who I should(n’t) have sex with. That’s just oh so nice and feminist.

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 7:14 PM #

      This post is about Kink.com, not you. Quit being so fucking narcissistic. I’m frankly sick of all these personal anecdotes. We can have a debate without giving each other the details of our sexual activities, because what’s being discussed here is a theoretical issue, not anyone’s personal practice. I don’t give a fuck what you are into and what you think is a good time, what I care about is the general furtherance of women’s liberation. If you think women’s liberation means your right to act as you see fit without regard for the effect your actions might have on other women, right on. But don’t come here and tell me or any other woman that we’re prudes because we’ve got a moral objection to something so saturated with problematic elements of patriarchy and oppression. And, really, don’t call anyone a prude. That’s a term men use to coerce women into sexual activities they aren’t comfortable with. See this.

  237. delphyne February 17, 2009 at 8:10 PM #

    I didn’t say a word about your vagina, Val. Read what I wrote again.

    I said what you were experiencing was disassociation and the mind/body split that can happen with trauma. If you’re a psychology major you may already know about it however I don’t know what they teach you on your course – psychology is a big field. I don’t care if BDSMers have their own stupid little term for it, we’ve already seen the sort of things BDSM euphemisms are used to cover up.

    I didn’t make fun of you, I asked you why the hell you and your partner were using trauma inflicted on you as a means of getting excitement in your lives and why you were touting it as something marvellous.

    I also don’t give a toss if you call me a prude. It just goes to show how weak your arguments are. Shorter BDSMers:

    “Me, me, me, me, me. It’s all about ME. Disagree? You’re a prude.”

  238. Trinity February 17, 2009 at 8:15 PM #

    ND,

    While I understand your frustration with the personal anecdotes and agree that they don’t count as argument, I also think there’s something particular that this disconnect brings out:

    One side is saying that personal anecdotes do count, because the personal experience is all we’ve got. “What BDSM means,” on such a view, is just what commonalities and themes can be found in thousands of personal stories. It’s whatever reasons for it, activities, and explanations are most common, most appealed to, most important. On this view the only way to come up with “what BDSM is about” is to read as many stories as possible (or, failing that, to come up with a sound method of selecting samples) and discover what you find.

    The other side — which you’re on — says that a theory that makes no reference to actual experience can and does explain it, and therefore individual experiences are irrelevant and beside the point.

    But my question is: what makes the theory itself one that we should accept, then? As I understand it, radical feminist theory itself arose from practices like consciousness raising, which was lots of women in groups sitting around describing their experiences, noticing commonalities, and coming up with theory that explained those commonalities and how to work to fix the problems that showed up over and over in the lives of many women.

    Now, I wasn’t around in the ’70′s, so perhaps some second-wavers/radical feminists who were can correct me. But my question is: What exactly happened? Why does theory now trump experience, when commonalities in experience were precisely what led feminists to determine that sexism wasn’t just a personal matter, but rather a political one?

    It really confuses me.

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 8:28 PM #

      It’s both personal and political, and I’m tired of people using their personal experiences to deny that there’s a political aspect. I’m tired of moral relativism and personal anecdotes because they’re clouding the issue. There IS a right side here, and it’s the side that opposes women’s oppression. Playing around with eroticizing oppression might be fun for some individuals, but that doesn’t mean that those of us who would like to see oppression end have to pretend there’s nothing problematic about it. I remain absolutely unconvinced that BDSM can be practiced in a way that leaves patriarchy aside (I feel the same way about all sex, so I’ll not hear another fucking word about BDSM vs. “vanilla” sex). I simply do not believe that these people telling me how feminist it is that they have the choice to be excited by fetishizing and eroticizing oppression have escaped the cultural messages that even I, a radical feminist (as labeled by others), haven’t been able to analyze my way out of completely. I’m not urging banning anything, I’m not telling anyone to be ashamed, but I am saying that our goal ought to be a world in which women are truly sexually autonomous beings. That means making choices with regard to sex from a set of options that aren’t limited by patriarchal social conditioning. We’ve lost the fucking plot here, clearly.

  239. Trinity February 17, 2009 at 8:33 PM #

    “There IS a right side here, and it’s the side that opposes women’s oppression.”

    Of course it is! That’s not at issue at all here. Even the grossly clueless BDSM folks who’ve been flooding in and acting like complete fools are not disagreeing with this.

    What they are saying is that BDSM is not about oppression — that it is about something else. They are attempting to use personal anecdotes to illustrate this.

    My question is: why is that illegitimate, when personal anecdotes are how, say, Dworkin called attention to the evils of pornography and domestic violence? The theory there came out of experience.

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 8:35 PM #

      Personal experiences do matter, but one anecdote doesn’t counteract entire theories based on the aggregate experiences of millions of others.

  240. delphyne February 17, 2009 at 8:40 PM #

    The “personal is political” meant that women examined oppressive experiences in their own individual lives and related it to a wider system of male oppression of women. It had never been done before, previously women blamed everything that happened to us on ourselves and of course men were happy for that to happen. Consciousness raising was a project for women’s liberation, it wasn’t “Ooh, I had an orgasm, anything that causes one of those must be great!” without examining any of the political contexts or power dynamics that surrounded the orgasm.

    The patriarchy is happy for women to be fucked. The patriarchy is happy for women to be tortured. Whilst you might enjoy either or both of those things, partaking in them certainly doesn’t mean you are doing anything radical, revolutionary nor are you working to liberate women.

    And who says our theory has nothing to do with women’s lived experiences? You Trinity? You’re wrong. A whole lot of criticism of BDSM comes from women who have been on the receiving end of it and know all about it intimately. Just because you want to pretend those negative experiences don’t exist doesn’t make it true.

    I don’t think it confuses you in the slightest though. It seems to me you’d like to create confusion however. The wide-eyed look doesn’t suit you.

  241. delphyne February 17, 2009 at 8:43 PM #

    Dworkin also called attention to the evils of sadomasochism in relationships. That theory came out of experience too.

  242. James February 17, 2009 at 8:43 PM #

    Personal experiences do matter, but one anecdote doesn’t counteract entire theories based on the aggregate experiences of millions of others.

    Spoken like a true ideologue.

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 8:46 PM #

      James – Your recent posts have added nothing to the discussion. If all you want to do is needle people, do it elsewhere. You and everyone else know better than to call me an ideologue. I mean, fuck, I’m letting you comment on my blog.

  243. delphyne February 17, 2009 at 8:52 PM #

    Dworkin on female masochism:

    “I believe that freedom for women must begin in the repudiation of our own masochism. I believe that we must destroy in ourselves the drive to masochism at its sexual roots. I believe that we must establish our own authenticity, individually and among ourselves–to experience it, to create from it, and also to deprive men of occasions for reifying the lie of manhood over and against us. I believe that ridding ourselves of our own deeply entrenched masochism, which takes so many tortured forms, is the first priority; it is the first deadly blow that we can strike against systematized male dominance. In effect, when we succeed in excising masochism from our own personalities and constitutions, we will be cutting the male life line to power over and against us, to male worth in contradistinction to female degradation, to male identity posited on brutally enforced female negativity–we will be cutting the male life line to manhood itself. Only when manhood is dead–and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it–only then will we know what it is to be free.”

  244. Trinity February 17, 2009 at 8:57 PM #

    “Personal experiences do matter, but one anecdote doesn’t counteract entire theories based on the aggregate experiences of millions of others.”

    Which is why I offered studies. There wasn’t much of a response.

  245. Trinity February 17, 2009 at 8:58 PM #

    “I believe that ridding ourselves of our own deeply entrenched masochism, which takes so many tortured forms, is the first priority; it is the first deadly blow that we can strike against systematized male dominance. In effect, when we succeed in excising masochism from our own personalities and constitutions, we will be cutting the male life line to power over and against us”

    Assuming she’s right about this — and I think she isn’t, but — wouldn’t it make more sense to first change men, rather than relying on women not to present men with the temptation?

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 8:59 PM #

      Men will keep that up until we refuse to allow it. Feminism is women’s movement, not men’s. They’ve got no reason to give up privilege, so we have to make them.

  246. antiprincess February 17, 2009 at 8:59 PM #

    If you think women’s liberation means your right to act as you see fit without regard for the effect your actions might have on other women, right on.

    ok, here’s where it gets complicated for me.

    ND, on the one hand, I hear you saying “I don’t care what you do in your personal sexual life.”

    and yet, if that above statement is any indication, you actually DO care what I (or any other random kinky person) might do in my personal sexual life, because my actions, you feel, might have an effect on other women.

    which sounds a lot like “if you hadn’t worn that short skirt, I wouldn’t have gotten sexually assaulted.”

    so it’s a really mixed message you’re sending.

    as for personal anecdotes – well, lots of great feminist thought came out of the sharing of personal anecdotes that everyone thought were unique to their own experience.

    you can only say “I’m not talking about you” so many times before you’re not really talking about anyone.

    myself, I think women’s personal anecdotes are valid enough in any feminist-leaning conversation.

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 9:03 PM #

      Anti-princess – You have the power to do what you want to in your sex life. It’s your prerogative. I have the prerogative to think it’s anti-feminist.

  247. James February 17, 2009 at 9:08 PM #

    A lot of ideologues let people comment who they are at ideological divergence with comment on their blogs. A fine example is here:

    http://www.leninology.blogspot.com/

    (Another blog I really admire, incidentally.)

    I’m sorry that I offended you. As far as I am concerned no ideology is definitive, and none should be relied upon. At least not entirely. They all have their blindspots, and their points of forced muteness. It seems like radical feminism simply doesn’t have an answer to the happy BDSMers.

    I asked you why you thought the Third Wave had happened and personally I consider that to be the reason: there were just spots it couldn’t hit. It’s the reason people abandon ideologies for new ones, it’s something that anyone interested in ideological history, and I am, sees a lot of (classical liberalism didn’t have answers to the socialists, new liberalism did, therefore…)

    And no, I’m no doe-eyed Third Wave fan, it has it’s failings. Some pretty crippling ones, at times. But there’s a reason it came into existence and there’s a reason that the efforts of Penny Red to kick-start a Fourth one haven’t quite taken off. And amongst them was that the 2nd Wave, having been the movement that had a strong claim to being the most pleasure inducing one ever staged what with it’s Feed The Clitoris agenda, was becoming strikingly anti-utilitarian.

    Perhaps that was inadvertent, idk.

    But the 3rd Wave does have a lot more answers. And they waste a lot less time with this sort of stuff. Examining symptoms < Devising solutions

    And I’m sorry for not contributing more, I’m a little stretched for time lately. I’m certainly not aiming to annoy people and nothing else but if that’s all I’ve been achieving then I guess I’ll reconsider commenting at all. Let me know how I’m doing, at any rate.

  248. antiprincess February 17, 2009 at 9:08 PM #

    Anti-princess – You have the power to do what you want to in your sex life. It’s your prerogative. I have the prerogative to think it’s anti-feminist.

    okay.

    but the fact that I even have a sexual prerogative is feminist, in my mind.

    and how does my acting on my sexual prerogative hurt people who aren’t me?

    if my acting on my sexual prerogative didn’t hurt other women, would it be NOT anti-feminist?

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 9:13 PM #

      Your sexual prerogative is still limited by the fact that we live in a society in which women’s choices for sexual expression are conditioned and limited. As is mine.

  249. antiprincess February 17, 2009 at 9:38 PM #

    Your sexual prerogative is still limited by the fact that we live in a society in which women’s choices for sexual expression are conditioned and limited. As is mine.

    limited only by the imagination, in my opinion.
    but that’s just my opinion. I don’t require or even expect anyone else to share it.

    but you didn’t answer my questions.

    more luridly phrased: how does the spanking I get hurt you, or Delphyne, or anyone else?

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 9:40 PM #

      You acquiesce to and further the idea that women are (and ought to be) submissive and masochistic.

  250. Trinity February 17, 2009 at 9:48 PM #

    “you can only say “I’m not talking about you” so many times before you’re not really talking about anyone.”

    This, yes.

    I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that all these conversations actually say is “I see feminism this way, and because of this I choose not to participate in BDSM.” Sort of like the “well, I’m vegan, and I think ideally you should be too, but I don’t think I have the right to impose.”

    Which is nothing I have a problem with — I don’t think that’s particularly reasonable feminism, but hey, I don’t run anyone’s life but my own.

    What I don’t get is why it becomes this whole obsession with proving this is What Twoo Feminism Says, if people actually want nothing more than to explain why they don’t do SM and wish other people wouldn’t either.

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 9:50 PM #

      Because we can’t keep capitulating to patriarchy and expect it to end.

  251. Trinity February 17, 2009 at 9:52 PM #

    “I asked you why you thought the Third Wave had happened and personally I consider that to be the reason: there were just spots it couldn’t hit.”

    I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it several more times before I’m laid in the ground, but… the whitewashing of the Third Wave particularly bothers me. The most famous “spots it couldn’t hit” had to do with sexuality and the stuff we’re bickering about now, but somehow the history of women of color critiquing the second wave gets lost. Probably because white people don’t feel a need to pay as much attention to race issues as to how other white people fuck.

  252. Trinity February 17, 2009 at 9:54 PM #

    (and of course, vaguely on this note there’s the whole famous article by Alice Walker critiquing a lesbian SM couple where “the mistress was white and the slave black” and all the racial creepiness of that and how clearly SM was a retrograde mocking of history by Whitey

    only to have it pointed out that in the couple she was writing at such great length about, the top was Latina.)

  253. antiprincess February 17, 2009 at 9:58 PM #

    You acquiesce to and further the idea that women are (and ought to be) submissive and masochistic.

    really? that’s all that means to you?

    every time I engage in this (admittedly corny) behavior, I’m acquiescing to and furthering the idea that women are (and ought to be) submissive and masochistic? no matter what. no matter what the context, no matter who I’m with, no matter if I spend 99% of the rest of my time doing things that indicate that I feel women are (and ought to be) assertive and, er, non-masochistic?

    since when am I (or any random kinky woman) Everywoman? isn’t part of feminist thought that I’m allowed to have desires different from the needs of my sister, my neighbor, my girlfriends? that one can’t say with authority “women want” or “women need”, because women are individual people and not a great big herd of interchangeable cows?

    why do you (or any random radical feminist) think you can tell me what my body means?

    does it matter what my partner thinks about that spanking and what it means?

    can we not also say, by this logic, that every time a woman does, oh, I don’t know, particle physics, she is acquiescing to and furthering the idea that women are (and ought to be) brainy and useful?

    what if the woman who’s getting the spanking is also a physicist? would she explode somehow from the conflicting messages?

  254. James February 17, 2009 at 9:59 PM #

    But what would be the outcome of two kinky people in a relationship defying their urges be? Would it be a battering of the Patriarchy? Far more likely that instead it would just be a pair of unsatisfied people who aren’t sexually content.

    I would also like to add:

    “you can only say “I’m not talking about you” so many times before you’re not really talking about anyone.”

    Fucking THIS.

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 10:09 PM #

      James – The question isn’t what would happen if two kinky people defied their urges, the question is why are the urges there and should they be.

  255. RenegadeEvolution February 17, 2009 at 10:04 PM #

    Grumble…

    Crack diagnosis of dissociative states or episodes via the Internet by non-trained professionals do not fact make. What a radical feminist who is not involved or a fan of BDSM calls a dissociative state might merely be a post sex high to someone else.

    As for personal antidotes…well, people use them because, surprise surprise, there is no such thing as a Universal Everything, and thus, there is no one answer to questions regarding much of anything, so people go off of what they know, what they’ve seen, and how it’s been. This is true for anything. I am willing to bet cash money that on pretty much any topic, if you ask a group of people to define and discuss something, you are going to get slightly, if not wildly, different answers from everyone.

    I want to know where, exactly, the massive overpowering war cry of BDSM (the act) is SOO feminist is coming from. Show me please? I’ll go tell said people that gee, they might be mistaken, personally…

    However, being told how wrong (or excuse me, not on the right side) one is and all the other…assertions…that have been made all over the past several threads about people into BDSM are not exactly endearing it’s practitioners to radical feminism in the least. Instead, it is making them feel alienated, beat up on in a not good not consensual way, talked down to, or, in some cases, just generally pissy and of the mind that radical feminism is no less authoritarian and controlling in theory (and practice) than it’s male-driven counterpart- Patriarchy.

    And as for the what about me, you know, that is a two way street. Yes, my enjoyment of whatever sexually might have repercussions on other people. Nod nod, it might. However, someone saying, “this should not be done because it taints the way men see…. (me)…” then makes it, well, what about meeee as well. Me not being into BDSM or what have you even if I want to be into it? Well, okay, I have then taken one for the team, but I have now been affected by someone else saying “what about me?” Thus, that persons dislike of something sexual also has repercussions on people who do like it. There are “me’s” all over the place, and yeah, they all affect each other in one-way or another. But just as no one is forcing me to lock up my whips, I am not forcing anyone to pick on up either. Two way street, that what about me business.

    And so what if my sexual prerogative is limited? I rather wonder about that personally, I have in my day tried a lot of different things…and amid that myriad of things, well, I’ve found things I really like to do and I do them. I have found things I really do not like and thus, I do not do them. I am all for people doing what they like, and not doing what they don’t. I think that is a grand idea, really. BUT, tell me this…why does the assumption that some folk just have not examined or considered or whatever else enough still persist? I am actually fairly certain that pretty much no matter what, on occasion, I would probably enjoy roughing people up during sex or having that done to me during sex. Even if the world was all equal and peaceful and shit like that…I bet I would still dig some hair pulling and slapping action. And guess what, until someone can solidly prove otherwise???

    That’s right, I shall stick with, of all the things I have tried, what I enjoy. That happens to be it.

    I am also curious how the idea came about that if a woman was submissive sexually that suddenly, she was also submissive in every other way possible and thus always projecting the image of “women as submissive”? There are a lot of submissive women who are, outside of a sexual context, real hellions who take shit from no one.

  256. antiprincess February 17, 2009 at 10:06 PM #

    Because we can’t keep capitulating to patriarchy and expect it to end.

    so, if I read you correctly, every time I say “spank me, baby!” to my partner, I’m recapitulating patriarchy.

    no matter what I do with the rest of my day. no matter what my partner does with the rest of hir day. no matter if I never take a picture of it, or talk about it with anyone. even if I keep it a secret and take it to my grave.

    good thing you don’t care what I do with my sexual free time…

    if a hand smacks my naked butt in the middle of the forest and nobody is around to hear it, is patriarchy recapitulated?

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 10:07 PM #

      If only it were that simple, AP.

    • Leda Locke May 12, 2009 at 10:07 AM #

      “if a hand smacks my naked butt in the middle of the forest and nobody is around to hear it, is patriarchy recapitulated?”

      …I think I’m in love. *giggles* antiprincess, that was ridiculously well-phrased.

  257. antiprincess February 17, 2009 at 10:21 PM #

    The question isn’t what would happen if two kinky people defied their urges, the question is why are the urges there and should they be.

    I imagine that part of the reason the urges are there is because sexual repression exists, that which is designed to eliminate all but the most narrowly-defined “appropriate” sexual expression. but desire is not eliminated – it’s just squooshed into asymmetrical shapes.

    mind you, I’m no scholar, as should be obvious, but I feel that the presence of unusual (kinky, “pervy”) sexual behavior is part of the legacy of body shame we’ve all inherited from the early days of the industrial revolution and probably before.

    whether those urges should or shouldn’t be there is, to me, one of those irrelevant questions. gotta deal with the reality on the ground.

    is sexual repression a function of patriarchy?

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 10:29 PM #

      BTW – I may hope that we can develop a more healthy way to deal with human sexuality, but that is a far cry from arguing for one kind of appropriate sexuality (which is usually a synonym for male-centered and in line with religious bullshit).

  258. antiprincess February 17, 2009 at 10:22 PM #

    If only it were that simple, AP.

    as I said, I’m no scholar. what am I missing?

    • Nine Deuce February 17, 2009 at 10:27 PM #

      Sexual repression has generally been an element of patriarchy, especially when it comes to women’s sexuality. I think you’re onto something when you say that sexual repression warps sexuality. I agree with that 100%, and I suppose my goal is to eradicate the warped-ness and the repression and see if we can’t find something more healthy to do. I know we live in the world we live in and we make do with what we have, but I think striving for something better is always worth doing.

  259. James February 17, 2009 at 10:25 PM #

    Trinity: Ok then. Clearly 2nd Wavers were deficient in racial stuff as well as the issues I highlighted.

    ND: Ah, “Should”. This is the crunch of things, I think.

    I’m perfectly willing to accept that they’re acting out commentary on their culture. But regardless of the source the presence is unquestionable. It doesn’t matter what the origin is, the feeling is immutable. It’s not “the wiring” so much as the surroundings, but for those feeling it now it’s something they’re left with, irreparably so far as I can tell. But that’s just how things are, it isn’t any different to how anybody else feels. Unless we’re going to start sprouting the “Natural Law” type nonsense I’d expect from Catholic Church, which I really wouldn’t advise.

    Accordingly I can’t see how whether they “Should” or “Should Not” feeling anything is relevant next to the fact that they already do. If you believe that they might not feel as they already do then by all means do your best to shape society in your ideal image as best you can, to save future generations. Strike at the source. But I don’t really see how you’re doing any good at all attacking a group already ridiculed so thoroughly and prejudiced against by so many.

  260. James February 17, 2009 at 10:40 PM #

    FAO Trin: This article suggests that the two issues we raised might not be so differentiated as you suggest.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_v19/ai_5010445

    In specific this: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_v19/ai_5010445/pg_5?tag=content;col1

    MacKinnon then dismissed the legal reasoningof Hunter and other opponents of the anti-porn legislation. “Why don’t women lawyers act as though they give a damn?’ she demanded angrily. “Why are women lawyers who identify as feminists trying to make sure that women are not going to matter?’ Most of the audience cheered. MacKinnon derided Hunter as “speaking for the pornographers’ and masquerading as a feminist. There was a thunder of approval. More than 20 women then trooped to the podium to call out their differences to the still-riveted crowd. At one point, a black woman law student and a white incest victim confronted each other. “If one iota of the intensity of this debate had gone into outlawing poverty in this society, maybe we’d be getting somewhere,’ said the law student. “To put these [anti-porn] laws on the books is such a diversion away from bread and justice and real empowerment.’

    “If women and minorities are really empoweredin our society, you will see a change, you will not see pornography,’ she continued. “But, no, you want to attack a goddamn symptom! Where are we going here? This is dividing a community. I couldn’t go anywhere else today because finally I was sucked into this debate.’

    “Is it not worth it?’ demanded the incest victim,who was now crying.

    “No, it is not worth it!’ the student yelled.”Hundreds of thousands of people are dying!’

    “And 100,000 missing children are taken off thestreets for the use of sex and to be photographed!’ cried the incest victim.

    “You give women the power they need and thatwon’t happen,’ the law student shouted back. “You give women the support they need for raising their children and that won’t happen!’

    Idk how widespread that sort of thing was, that’s only one instance, but it’s interesting as fuck.

  261. Trinity February 17, 2009 at 11:13 PM #

    James: Yeah, that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.

    Audre Lorde’s letter to Mary Daly, also, I see as part of the same thing… and easy to find.

  262. antiprincess February 17, 2009 at 11:30 PM #

    Sexual repression has generally been an element of patriarchy, especially when it comes to women’s sexuality. I think you’re onto something when you say that sexual repression warps sexuality. I agree with that 100%, and I suppose my goal is to eradicate the warped-ness and the repression and see if we can’t find something more healthy to do. I know we live in the world we live in and we make do with what we have, but I think striving for something better is always worth doing.

    well, not to get all PHMT, but sexual repression I think has proven just as harmful for men as for women. I don’t think men, specifically, are born with an innate urge to harm their partners any more than I think women, specifically, are born with an innate urge to be harmed.

    but then again I don’t think that being kinky (even extremely kinky) has anything necessarily to do with being harmed or being harmful.

    I think that we’re born with urges. I think those urges may vary in intensity or direction as an innate thing, but I also think they’re shaped by years of cultural baggage that we don’t even remember why we all carry.

    I have more to say, sorry for the incomplete thought, but the Littlest Patriarch is hungry, or wet, or bored, or something…

    • Nine Deuce February 18, 2009 at 1:13 AM #

      AP – It isn’t as harmful to men as it is to women. It conditions them to rape, which makes us, not them, the victims.

  263. Faith February 17, 2009 at 11:44 PM #

    “1) The women employed there, and ALL the employees there, are doing something they want to do.”

    You have no possible way of knowing that.

  264. Lee Davis-Thalbourne February 18, 2009 at 12:02 AM #

    “I think you’re onto something when you say that sexual repression warps sexuality. I agree with that 100%, and I suppose my goal is to eradicate the warped-ness and the repression and see if we can’t find something more healthy to do.”

    But here’s the thing, right. I’ve had BDSM and other fetishistic urges since before I had sexuality. I was having fantasies of disembodiment, or being kept as a pet, since I was about 5 years old, at least 7 years before my sexuality existed (and these weren’t scary fantasies – they were quite pleasant, I recall). My boyfriend reports much the same thing – his childhood fantasies were often about being the knight in shining armour taking the girl to his castle to be tortured because he loved her, or being the big boss of an underground criminal organisation. He was having these fantasies since at least 5-6, at least 4-5 years before his puberty started.

    If fetishistic and BDSM fantasies come from warped sexuality, this would not seem to explain these sorts of childhood fantasy – fantasy that occurs long before a child even remotely understands sexuality. It seems to me that there’s something more fundamental than sexuality at play here, something that might not necessarily be connected to social constructions of sexuality, but might well contain a biological component (like much of sexual desire)

    • Nine Deuce February 18, 2009 at 1:12 AM #

      Lee – What, do we live in vacuums until we develop sexual feelings? Sexuality exists before puberty, and socialization exists from birth.

  265. Bella February 18, 2009 at 12:06 AM #

    To renegadeEvolution:

    The website in question was kink.com. Therefore, I addressed kink.com’s employement policies, which, if anyone is interested, can be found at:

    If you scroll down to business practices and read what it says….Hell, if I was 10 years younger, I’d quit my job and go apply! LOL! Why NOT make money at something you enjoy and get decent health benefits?

    Furthermore, if you want to go research what models get paid elsewhere, have at it, but, ND made it site specific, so, my responses are geared towards her initial topic.

    • Nine Deuce February 18, 2009 at 1:11 AM #

      Bella – Did you actually think I’d allow a link to Kink.com? Come on.

  266. Faith February 18, 2009 at 12:09 AM #

    “I want to know where, exactly, the massive overpowering war cry of BDSM (the act) is SOO feminist is coming from. ”

    Then what exactly is being said? From what I can tell, it’s being argued that BDSM might not be feminist, but the choice to engage in it is. But by that logic we’d have to argue that Sarah Palin is a feminist. After all, it’s her choice to argue that women shouldn’t be allowed to have an abortion. And what about women who choose to stay with their abusers because they think they love them? Men who really do rape and beat them without consent. Are they engaging in a feminist act by choosing to stay with an abuser?

    I sure as hell hope not.

  267. Faith February 18, 2009 at 12:13 AM #

    “if a hand smacks my naked butt in the middle of the forest and nobody is around to hear it, is patriarchy recapitulated?”

    Nice. :)

    That put a smile on my face.

  268. Bella February 18, 2009 at 12:29 AM #

    To renegadeEvolution, again:

    My apologies for not putting these together, but, I’m trying to keep all the different thoughts seperate. You made an excellent point, about women who are sexually submissive not being submissive in other aspects of life and the inherent fallacy contained therein.

    I’ll go one further. There are women, like myself, who are sexually and privately submissive to ONE person, and that ONE person is someone that they’ve been freinds with, and developed a relationship with, and that they trust. Any dominant who has tried to boss me around finds out, very quickly, the error of that sort of thinking.

    I’ll be perfectly honest here…I don’t identify, solely, as a submissive. I identify as a slave, but ONLY with one person, and one person ONLY!

    Having said that, I am a professional dancer, semi-retired, dabbling in a bit of psychology, before going to college for psychology, who has PTSD, and has learned to deal and cope with it, who HAS disassociated (and to those who think that disassociation and subspace are the same? You are wrong. They are similar, but not the “same”) and who helps abused women.

    I’ve taught in inner city public schools. I’ve been a vice president for a dance company board. I’ve fought off a would be attacker in a Chicago alley. You do NOT want to cross me professionally, or on any business level. I’ve negotiated theater contracts, and I take no prisoners. Hell, I’ve gotten the gas company to give me a refund when they didn’t want to and had made a mistake. I’ll drop my own f-bomb….and you don’t want to fuck with me, period, end of story, professionally, or in a business setting. I’ll cut your balls off or ovaries out and feed them to you with a nice chianti and some fava beans, if you cross me. *grin*

    I believe that I know what is best for me, in terms of my sexuality. I believe that other women also know what is best for themselves, in terms of sexuality AND in terms of their employment. I do NOT believe that it is up to me to tell other adult, consenting women, what they can do, who they can do it with, and what they “should” be doing, so that they are then in accordance with MY views, MY values, MY morals, and MY wishes. No one died and left me as God/dess, and I still think it is the height of arrogance to tell other women what their sexuality, and how they view themeselves, sexually *SHOULD* or *OUGHT* to be, OR what they can do with their body. Those two words, “should & ought” allow rationalization of meddling in others’ lives, when the very thing that is being railed against is an over bearing patriarchal society.

    Someone explain to me, as if i was 5, why it’s ok for other women to boss each other around, make moral value judgments for other women, and take away our rights, but, somehow, if it’s coming from a male, it’s suddenly wrong? Color ME confused….massively! It’s wrong either way. If you’re advocating taking away women’s rights, you are on the wrong side of the argument, including the right to self determine who she’ll work for.

    All any of us have the right to do, is to self determine, as best we can. We rail against, at least I do, the commercial media for failing to present a wide variety of body types, but then we sit back and watch the same shows, over and over again, buy products sold by ultra-thin models, yet, think that we somehow have the upper moral ground because we can talk the talk?

    ….fascinating, truly fascinating……

  269. T Dalton February 18, 2009 at 1:23 AM #

    Nine Deuce said, “I remain absolutely unconvinced that BDSM can be practiced in a way that leaves patriarchy aside (I feel the same way about all sex, so I’ll not hear another fucking word about BDSM vs. “vanilla” sex).”

    Um, okay. When I read this, please correct me if I’m wrong, I take it to mean that you’re against ALL sex? This is a serious question, not a bullshit poke at you. I’d like to try to understand your point of view.

    In your version of the world, what kind of sex IS okay? (It’s a legitimate question.)

    Nine Deuce also wrote, “I simply do not believe that these people telling me how feminist it is that they have the choice to be excited by fetishizing and eroticizing oppression have escaped the cultural messages that even I, a radical feminist (as labeled by others), haven’t been able to analyze my way out of completely. I’m not urging banning anything, I’m not telling anyone to be ashamed, but I am saying that our goal ought to be a world in which women are truly sexually autonomous beings. That means making choices with regard to sex from a set of options that aren’t limited by patriarchal social conditioning. We’ve lost the fucking plot here, clearly.”

    Again, I’m confused. On the one hand, you’re saying that I shouldn’t be ashamed and I should have a choice, but that my choice is wrong…why? What other options are there? I mean, I think humanity has pretty much covered all the basics in the ten-thousand-plus years of civilization, right? From matriarchal to patriarchal and every combo in between.

    And seriously, no smart-ass intended here, because frankly I’m at a loss to understand where you’re coming from. My choices aren’t limited. (They were when I was with my ex husband, that’s for freaking sure.)

    I wasn’t “conditioned” into my choices. If anything, I overcame my “conditioning.” If it was up to my mother, I’d be a good church-going girl who didn’t swear, never got divorced, kept her mouth shut, etc. etc.

    By me NOT practicing my own personal, private kink with my husband in the privacy of my own home, how does that help or hinder in any way, shape, or form the plight of other women in the world? How does what any adults do behind closed doors, if they are all consenting, impact positively or negatively the plight of women in the world overall? Again, I feel that’s a legitimate question.

    And frankly, I’m anything but oppressed in my house. My house is run by Me. My husband submits to Me.

    If you’re against all sex because of the patriarchy of it, again I ask, what in your point of view (I’m trying to have a legitimate conversation with you here) is considered “okay?” If we all stopped having sex, is that okay?

    The world isn’t made up of absolutes. What works for someone won’t work for another. I would never have the kind of relationship I have with my husband with my ex or anyone else for a number of reasons. Is my husband “brainwashed” because HE approached ME and asked for ME to take the dominant role in our relationship? Does that make me a bad person in your eyes for doing what we do?

    I know you’re saying you don’t want to deal with specific individual anecdotes, but that’s what the world is comprised of, a series of anecdotes that all blend together to form the fabric of humankind. We aren’t a homogenous world where one-size-fits-all, or even fits most.

    I wouldn’t want to live in that kind of world anyway.

    So I’d like to backtrack the conversation and find out what IS okay, and not in vague socio-political jargon either. In real, plain English, what, in your point of view, is “okay?” Is no sex for anyone okay? Is sex okay only under a certain set of circumstances?

    Is it okay for a woman to pick a guy she likes and have sex with him if she chooses if he totally keeps his mouth shut and offers no opinion in the matter? Women with women only? (sorry, I’m not doing THAT, I don’t swing that way) I mean, I am trying to understand your point of view, but so far I…just can’t.

    If, in your point of view, no type of sex is okay because it’s overshadowed by patriarchy (this is the meaning that I am taking from what you’ve said, I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, I’m simply saying that this is the impression you’ve left me with) then basically doesn’t that mean you’d be against any point of view on sex that doesn’t agree with yours — no matter how valid it is — simply because you refute the basis of the argument to begin with?

    I…I just don’t understand where you’re coming from, I suppose. I pride myself as a rational, reasoning person. I’m college educated. I’m a writer. I love a good debate. But somehow, I feel there’s something I’m missing in this picture.

    I can understand if you don’t like what goes on on Kink.com, fine, I get that. I can understand if you don’t agree with BDSM for whatever reasons, fine, okay. I can see points in your argument where I see what you’re against.

    But what are you for? I’m not talking some sweeping vision, either. I mean, brass tacks here, help me see your point of view of what you ARE for in this argument and why? What I read from your words is you’ve got some concept of all women in general not having a choice because men make the rules. (Again, I’m NOT putting words in your mouth, I’m telling you that’s the impression I come away with after reading your words.)

    So if personal anecdotal evidence isn’t acceptable proof that a sweeping, absolute viewpoint is wrong, then what kind of evidence/change do you require to open your mind to considering other valid realities for people other than whatever it is you feel it should be?

    • Nine Deuce February 18, 2009 at 2:06 AM #

      No, I’m not against all sex, but I am for scrutinizing all forms of sex and for trying to shrug off the conditioning that a misogynistic society has tried to impose on us. That means decoupling sex and male supremacy. I am for women creating their own sexuality rather than allowing men to do it for us. I’m going to write a post on this soon, but I’m busy.

  270. Faith February 18, 2009 at 1:27 AM #

    “If fetishistic and BDSM fantasies come from warped sexuality, this would not seem to explain these sorts of childhood fantasy – fantasy that occurs long before a child even remotely understands sexuality.”

    Actually there is an explanation for that…but it requires a belief in reincarnation.

  271. antiprincess February 18, 2009 at 1:49 AM #

    AP – It isn’t as harmful to men as it is to women. It conditions them to rape, which makes us, not them, the victims.

    do you think that’s the only thing that societal sexual repression does to men?

    do you think that societal sexual repression does that only to men?

    or is that which differs from your thesis statistically insignificant and therefore irrelevant?

    because I don’t know that I agree with that. (but my reasoning behind my opinion includes a collection of them there irrelevant personal anecdotes nobody wants to hear.)

    as far as early childhood fantasies of high drama and peril and so forth, and those being woven into one’s sexual tapestry – I think it’s a sort of combination of nature and nurture. which I didn’t really make clear in my previous comment. I certainly had ‘em.

    I also wanted to say that I feel like one really can’t separate the condemnation of BDSM practice from the condemnation of BDSM-practicing people, and that trying to un-warp the already warped (for whatever reason), or trying to convince us to un-warp ourselves for the good of womanity (whether overtly, covertly or sarcastically) is a waste of time. it’s attacking a symptom, not a root cause.

    And I wonder: is the entire vast and powerful universe of womanhood, in its great and glorious fertile existence, somehow threatened with utter destruction because I like a spanking now and then?

    @faith – as always, I live to, er, serve… ;)

  272. Geasa February 18, 2009 at 1:56 AM #

    Just wondered, what was the point of this?

    I would not judge you based on your sex, but it is ok to judge me on my sexual orientation.

    The founding principles of BDSM is safe, sane, and Consensual. You use words like rape, abuse, and torture, you do actual know what they mean?

    One of the things you seem to have missed is that the most respected people, in the BDSM world, are mostly female, and many are submissive as well.

  273. RenegadeEvolution February 18, 2009 at 2:00 AM #

    Bella:

    Kink’s employees receive benefits. As in, programmers, designers, so on. MODELS are considered independent contractors, not employees, and do no get things such as health insurance. I said nothing about the pay rates- which are fairly standard. Porn performer 101- you are not an employee, you are an independent contractor. If Kink DID give their models benefits like insurance, they would most certainly publicize it boldly because they would truly be trailblazers.

    Faith:

    A women expressing the fact that she even HAS any sexual desire AT ALL can be construed as feminist…because the thought that women could not or should not have such things, much less, gads, express them, has been a key point o’ patriarchy. The acts she engages in? No, not all acts in various contexts are feminist. A woman saying “hey, check it, I have a damn sex drive?” Oh, I do think that just might be. Do you feel otherwise?

  274. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 2:04 AM #

    “Then what exactly is being said? From what I can tell, it’s being argued that BDSM might not be feminist, but the choice to engage in it is. But by that logic we’d have to argue that Sarah Palin is a feminist.”

    Wait… let me get this straight:

    You think that us saying “Look, patriarchy has conditioned women to look for outside approval of their sexuality and to try to mold it to some authority’s standard. Given that we know how destructive this has been for women, let’s not, as feminists, create a new Standard and hold women to it.”

    is the same as us saying

    “Sarah Palin chooses to be a clueless antifeminist moron. How feminist!”

    ?

    You’re very intelligent and thoughtful, Faith. Surely you can debate with us without reducing what we say to so ridiculous a strawwoman.

  275. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 2:15 AM #

    “Um, okay. When I read this, please correct me if I’m wrong, I take it to mean that you’re against ALL sex? This is a serious question, not a bullshit poke at you. I’d like to try to understand your point of view.

    In your version of the world, what kind of sex IS okay? (It’s a legitimate question.)”

    TD,

    I’m the wrong person to answer that, but in case ND is tired of explaining:

    Radical feminist theory about sexuality tends to argue that the sexualities of everyone in society have been shaped by living in an unjust society that privileges some groups over others. (The one we’re most talking about here is men over women, but there’s also such dynamics as heterosexual over queer, white over people of color, etc.)

    Since men have traditionally made the rules, they have structured society in ways that serve their sexual desires. To cite just one example, while in much of nature, male animals have shiny, fancy markings or plumage to attract females, in human society women are expected to paint and groom themselves and even perhaps modify their bodies (makeup, “sexy” clothes, plastic surgery, etc.) to be appealing to men.

    All of this, according to the radical feminist theory, gets internalized. So a woman may absolutely love her high heels even when she’s got chronic foot pain… without realizing (says the theory) that the real reason she loves her heels is because society has impressed upon her that a woman who wears them is sexy/beautiful/good.

    With respect to sexuality, then, the idea is that our society expects a kind of male dominance and female submission. Women are supposed to be the pretty and the pursued, and the ones who are conquered or claimed in sex; men are supposed to be masterful and seductive. And this is just vanilla!

    M/f BDSM, on this view, is an exaggerated version of the same thing. It’s still got the swoony surrender and the masterful manliness, only now it’s got actual pain, real bondage, real “I’m yours/she’s mine,” etc. It’s an exaggeration for greater intensity of something that’s already deeply ingrained in the culture.

    Now, as I’ve said, I don’t agree with this view, for reasons I’ve already enumerated many times already. However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect you to understand the basics of how the view works.

    As a dominant woman though, I will say that I *do* get the strong sense that men who don’t know me *do* often free-floatingly expect me or other women who like men to do the swoony-fainting-flower thingy. It’s a common assumption that this is what women’s desire for men is *about*, and I do think *that* is cultural.

  276. antiprincess February 18, 2009 at 2:36 AM #

    I am for women creating their own sexuality rather than allowing men to do it for us.

    what makes you think I haven’t done this?

    and what makes you think that if I (some crazy irrelevant statistical outlier) have done this, other women can’t or don’t?

    pardon my bold, but this is really the heart of the matter for me. after so many years of going round and round the mulberry bush, we’ve finally caught that damn weasel. (for me. and I’m so grateful to finally have the opportunity to discuss it. so please, pardon my obviously inappropriate enthusiasm.)

    • Nine Deuce February 18, 2009 at 2:54 AM #

      AP – Because it’s nearly impossible to do in the current context. I’ve been thinking about it for 15 years and I’m still struggling with figuring it out.

  277. Faith February 18, 2009 at 2:39 AM #

    “Surely you can debate with us without reducing what we say to so ridiculous a strawwoman.”

    I fail to see how what I asked was a “strawwoman”. Ren seems to have gotten what I was attempting to ask.

    Let me try something a bit more clearer:

    How is a woman making a choice that is not feminist a feminist act? How can there be any logic in that?

  278. Faith February 18, 2009 at 2:46 AM #

    “A women expressing the fact that she even HAS any sexual desire AT ALL can be construed as feminist…because the thought that women could not or should not have such things, much less, gads, express them, has been a key point o’ patriarchy.”

    Yes.

    “The acts she engages in? No, not all acts in various contexts are feminist. A woman saying “hey, check it, I have a damn sex drive?” Oh, I do think that just might be. Do you feel otherwise?”

    Yes, saying that she has a sex drive is a feminist act. But you didn’t answer my question which was quite simply: How is engaging in a act (sexual or otherwise) which is not feminist a feminist act? If BDSM is not feminist, how can choosing it be a feminist act?

    How can engaging in non-feminist sexual acts be feminist?

    There doesn’t appear to be any logic there.

    It just seems to be that there is such a desperate need to come up with a defense – any defense – that some commenters are engaging in some major mental gymnastics.

  279. RenegadeEvolution February 18, 2009 at 2:46 AM #

    ::Slams head into wall::

    It is not the choice itself, it is the ability to make a choice, period. I waxed on about this at length elsewhere, but yeah, I am not sure how it is so difficult to say/see/recognize that women having an ability to make a choice, at all, and laying claim to those choices and saying “hey, check it, I dig this!” is not a good, if not perfect feministest of most feminist things.

  280. Faith February 18, 2009 at 2:51 AM #

    “It is not the choice itself, it is the ability to make a choice, period.”

    I’m sorry, Ren. I have difficulty understanding or accepting that making a choice to engage in something which is not feminist can be feminist.

    It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

  281. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 2:55 AM #

    “How is a woman making a choice that is not feminist a feminist act? How can there be any logic in that?”

    I don’t think it is, personally, and I’ve said myself that I don’t. (Commenters there do disagree and assert that it is, though.) I tend to think “feminist acts” are acts that concretely aid women, bring about rights or freedoms for women, inform people about women’s issues, etc.

    What I do think “is feminist” is recognizing the ways that patriarchy sets up a double bind for women in terms of sexuality. That whatever sexuality a woman has, patriarchy condemns it. In my view, the problem is not (say) that all patriarchy allows is female submission; the problem is that it’s impossible for women to get sexuality “right” in a society that sets up, and vigorously enforces, a double standard. No matter what a woman’s sexuality is, she is punished for it, because she is either too sexual or not sexual enough.

    As it very often is, patriarchy is self-contradictory in what it demands. This catches women’s sexual lives and vitality in a crushing, soul-destroying vise.

    So what I do think is feminist is encouraging women to understand that they live in a society designed to wrench their authentic sexuality away from them through shaming or worse, and encouraging them to trust themselves with regard to sexuality. This doesn’t mean that they will automatically do things that are good for them; many people have sex in self-destructive ways.

    It does mean attempting to create an atmosphere where women are encouraged to discover what their feelings are, figure out which desires are important to them, figure out how to set healthy boundaries and explore in healthy ways, etc.

    And I do think that much (NOT ALL) of the BDSM scene emphasizes methods and tools (negotiation, carefully discovering and discussing what you really want, safewords, emphasis on enthusiastic rather than passive consent, etc.) that can help women do this. THAT can be feminist.

    BDSM itself, however, is no more, OR LESS, feminist than Jello.

    IMO, anyway.

  282. RenegadeEvolution February 18, 2009 at 2:57 AM #

    Faith- and I was just about to question your logic and painfully narrow and rigid thinking on the matter. Funny that. Follow me here:

    Women all over the world, past and present, get killed, arrested, shamed, blackmailed, emotionally destroyed, ruined and shunned for being sexual AT ALL. I hope I do not have to prove that to you.

    Women standing up to that shit and saying no, I will not take this crap any more, I am a sexual being with sexual feelings who does not deserve to be killed, arrested, shamed, blackmailed, emotionally destroyed, ruined and shunned for that….

    feminist or not, you tell me, since I seem to have it all wrong, all the goddamn time.

    Simple question, really.

  283. antiprincess February 18, 2009 at 2:58 AM #

    Yes, saying that she has a sex drive is a feminist act. But you didn’t answer my question which was quite simply: How is engaging in a act (sexual or otherwise) which is not feminist a feminist act? If BDSM is not feminist, how can choosing it be a feminist act?

    How can engaging in non-feminist sexual acts be feminist?

    again, the heart of the matter for me.

    I believe that any consensual sexual activity a woman desires is feminist enough.

    there is no non-feminist sexual activity if it is desired by a woman.

    so, for me, BDSM as consensually practiced is feminist enough. so is any other sexual activity you can name, pretty much. (now, that’s just one uninformed, uneducated opinion. but it’s mine.)

    but, see, here’s where it all comes off the rails for me:

    some say that no sexual act is feminist. in fact, no choice a woman makes in this world is uninfected by patriarchy, and so no choice is truly feminist.

    so, how many not-feminist acts is one allowed before she has to stop calling calling herself a feminist?

    how many clinic defenses, rape awareness seminars, marches, classes, etc. does one need to balance out that one damn spanking, or even more “normal” sexual activity?

  284. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 3:00 AM #

    “I’m sorry, Ren. I have difficulty understanding or accepting that making a choice to engage in something which is not feminist can be feminist.”

    But winning the ability to make the choice, or being trusted with the ability to make the choice can be.

    It was feminist for women to gain the vote, even if some of them voted against their own interests. Which I don’t doubt some did; some do to this day. (Witness the whole “Palin is awesome, because I’m a feminist” nonsense in some Internet enclaves.)

  285. Joy February 18, 2009 at 3:00 AM #

    “No, I’m not against all sex, but I am for scrutinizing all forms of sex and for trying to shrug off the conditioning that a misogynistic society has tried to impose on us. That means decoupling sex and male supremacy. I am for women creating their own sexuality rather than allowing men to do it for us. I’m going to write a post on this soon, but I’m busy.”

    It has been stated quite clearly, in plain English, many times over, that a large number of us haven’t bought into the societal conditioning you’re talking about. SO, if that societal conditioning doesn’t exist in OUR minds how are we not creating our own sexuality, owning it, and embracing it? Could you explain that to me?

    I’m quite curious to see how you rationalize this.

    Joy

  286. antiprincess February 18, 2009 at 3:02 AM #

    AP – Because it’s nearly impossible to do in the current context. I’ve been thinking about it for 15 years and I’m still struggling with figuring it out.

    so………..what man (or conspiracy of men?) created my sexuality?

    find him. name him.

    was it my dad, telling me to stay away from boys because he didn’t want a slut for a daughter? was it the boys who thought I was too weird to date anyway and avoided me like the plague?

    who was it? let’s get him.

    and then what?

    • Nine Deuce February 18, 2009 at 3:06 AM #

      You two are pretty impressive if you’ve managed to escape the kind of conditioning that everyone else in the world faces.

  287. antiprincess February 18, 2009 at 3:09 AM #

    it’s not just the two of us, I’m saying.

    how many statistical outliers have to get together and say “hey, we’re over here!” before we figure into the theory?

  288. antiprincess February 18, 2009 at 3:12 AM #

    and then again, too, a lot of my sexuality was shaped by women. at least, that’s where I sought out a lot of early sexual experiences. not all of it went the way I would have liked, for a lot of reasons. were the negative experiences a result of patriarchal conditioning?

    (but, you know, personal anecdote, not data.)

  289. Joy February 18, 2009 at 3:14 AM #

    “You two are pretty impressive if you’ve managed to escape the kind of conditioning that everyone else in the world faces.”

    Why is it that you make it sound like it’s something impossible to do? Why is it you seem to believe we’re a minority when we’re not? Unless you’re a sheeple there’s no reason why you can’t opt out of societal conditioning. Even sheeple have the choice, they’re just happier grazing and going with the herd.

    Joy

  290. Bella February 18, 2009 at 3:17 AM #

    Let me ask you this, ND…..so, is EVERYONE in the world conditioned the same way? That seems to be the gist of what you are saying, over and over again, that all countries, on all continents are influenced and conditioned by a patriarchal society. Do i have that right?

    • Nine Deuce February 18, 2009 at 3:22 AM #

      That’s way too simplistic. And I’ll speak for myself, thanks.

  291. Faith February 18, 2009 at 3:23 AM #

    “Women all over the world, past and present, get killed, arrested, shamed, blackmailed, emotionally destroyed, ruined and shunned for being sexual AT ALL. I hope I do not have to prove that to you.”

    Agreed.

    “Women standing up to that shit and saying no, I will not take this crap any more, I am a sexual being with sexual feelings who does not deserve to be killed, arrested, shamed, blackmailed, emotionally destroyed, ruined and shunned for that….”

    Agreed.

    “feminist or not, you tell me, since I seem to have it all wrong, all the goddamn time.”

    Yes this is feminist (as far as I’m concerned). You still haven’t answered my question, however.

  292. Faith February 18, 2009 at 3:26 AM #

    “It does mean attempting to create an atmosphere where women are encouraged to discover what their feelings are, figure out which desires are important to them, figure out how to set healthy boundaries and explore in healthy ways, etc.”

    But if they do explore their sexuality, or sexuality in general, and decide that certain acts are not feminist…how is it feminist to engage in those acts after declaring that they are not feminist?

  293. Faith February 18, 2009 at 3:32 AM #

    “But winning the ability to make the choice, or being trusted with the ability to make the choice can be.”

    And if the choice is not feminist, but is destructive to the self or otherwise, we’re just supposed to accept it and remain silent? Even if they are hurting themselves or helping to perpetuate a society in which other women are harmed or oppressed?

    I don’t think women’s choices are sacrosanct. I think everyone makes bad choices and that those bad choices have consequences. I also happen to believe that any responsible adult will make the effort to not make bad choices.

    With the power and ability to make a choice comes the responsibility that goes with the ability to make a choice.

  294. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 3:38 AM #

    “That’s way too simplistic.”

    Then please do explain the nuances I’m missing. Nuance is always awesome.

    • Nine Deuce February 18, 2009 at 3:40 AM #

      Yeah, dude, I will. At some point. I have way too much shit to do to spend all day on here repeating things I’ve written hundreds of times. Should anyone care to know where I stand on this issue, look under my porn tag.

  295. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 5:11 AM #

    “But if they do explore their sexuality, or sexuality in general, and decide that certain acts are not feminist…how is it feminist to engage in those acts after declaring that they are not feminist?”

    1) Not feminist doesn’t mean anti-feminist. Brushing my teeth is not feminist. Feminism doesn’t care whether I do it or not.

    2) I’m not saying it’s particularly feminist to engage in the acts. I’m saying, as I’ve said repeatedly, that encouraging women not to mistrust themselves is a good thing, and that IF that is, as it often is, a corrective to patriarchal shaming, then that encouragement CAN be feminist.

    Why this is turning into me saying the action is feminist I really have no idea. I tend to think truly feminist actions are, you know, activism of some sort, not kinky sex. Or endless pronouncements on what women would want to do in Utopia.

  296. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 5:14 AM #

    “And if the choice is not feminist, but is destructive to the self or otherwise, we’re just supposed to accept it and remain silent?”

    No, but I don’t think people’s lives are my business unless they’re close friends. Just hearing “I like to submit” doesn’t mean anything to me. Seeing a friend of mine involve herself in a destructive version of D/s would.

    But in terms of saving all humanity from itself? No, that’s just stupid. Part of treating people with respect is giving them the freedom to make mistakes.

    “Even if they are hurting themselves”

    As I said above, if someone I was close to was using BDSM in a destructive way, I’d try to help them.

    “or helping to perpetuate a society in which other women are harmed or oppressed?”

    The idea that how people fuck deeply influences society is not something I buy. Perhaps if I did think that held water, I’d be for stopping people.

  297. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 5:16 AM #

    AKA: How the fuck is pointing at people and going: “You, you there! Your choices are not feminist!” any improvement for women in society as a whole? What does it accomplish? I’ve asked this before, and I’m still waiting for an answer.

  298. RenegadeEvolution February 18, 2009 at 11:52 AM #

    Faith:

    That is my answer. Right there. Women declaring themselves as sexual beings is feminist. End game. No more story.

    Then again, I do not think any sexual act, in and of itself, holds any politic whatsoever. People add the politics.

    Do I think M/f BDSM with all the language and trappings is feminist? Nah. Nor do I really actually care. I don’t think someone claiming the feminist title has to live a 24/7 feminist lifestyle. In a world where women are shamed daily for even having or mentioning sexuality, well, a gal standing up and saying “I have that” is an improvement in my opinion- even if that sexuality entails things other people do not like. The flavor? Well, no matter the flavor she is going to take crap for it…and any flavor, well, it is going to be bad or distaseful to other women. Nature of the beast.

    Now, perhaps one day in the glorious and egalitarian future, no women will want to be into BDSM (I doubt it, but it could happen). In the mean time, when doing so can affect them so adversely, I think any time a woman stands up and claims to have any sexuality at all, whatever it is, well, that’s a step up from it being assumed we don’t have any at all, and why yes, can be good for women.

    Because you know, for every single woman out there who says OMG, BDSM is so terrible and look what it does to the rest of us! There is some other woman who says thank you for speaking out on this, I feel that way too, but was afraid to say it.

    And guess what, in my head, one of those women is not of more import than the other.

    Oh, and Trinity’s comment there at 5:16? Ding ding ding!

  299. RenegadeEvolution February 18, 2009 at 12:13 PM #

    No, really, to elaborate a bit on Trinity there…

    For over three years I’ve had various folk in bloglandia standing around chanting “how you have sex is so not feminist!” (which hey, I never really said it was)…such things have, oh, really changed how I have sex now, haven’t they? They have totally endeared me to radical feminism too, right? They have completely opened up lines of communication and built bridges between women and all that stuff too, eh? Oh yeah, and you know, with some folk, how I fuck does totally negate anything and everything else I may do to actually help other women out.

    So to answer what Trinity asks up there? It accomplishes nothing. And I bet you dollars to donuts other kinky women would tell you the same thing or share a common experience/feeling with me here on this one.

    Seriously, do you expect all the kinky women out there to reform or change their sexual tastes to suit…well, what radical feminists say sex should be? For real? Would that make y’all happy? Chances are, it would make the majority of the kinky women pretty miserable, and that would serve what purpose, exactly?

  300. isme February 18, 2009 at 1:47 PM #

    “Part of treating people with respect is giving them the freedom to make mistakes.”

    You mean what you happen to think is a mistake, but otherwise I agree.

  301. Faith February 18, 2009 at 2:12 PM #

    “How the fuck is pointing at people and going: “You, you there! Your choices are not feminist!” any improvement for women in society as a whole? What does it accomplish? I’ve asked this before, and I’m still waiting for an answer.”

    Trinity,

    Right now the argument is being made by Pro-Sm women that SM is not necessarily feminist. You are correct that brushing your teeth is not a feminist act. However, sexuality is a huge part of feminism.

    So, explain to me what SM is if it is not feminist. And if you believe that how people fuck does not have any real influence on society, why are these conversations so important to you? Why waste your time on something that you do not view as having much meaning? Because I keep seeing you say in one way or another that you don’t think it has any real impact, yet you spend a great heaping amount of time discussing something that you claim to not see as particularly relevant to the conversation (the conversation being feminism).

  302. Faith February 18, 2009 at 2:19 PM #

    “That is my answer. Right there. Women declaring themselves as sexual beings is feminist. End game. No more story.”

    I agree that women declaring themselves sexual beings is feminist. But desire is different from action. Simply because we have certain sexual desires does not mean that we should act upon them. This is where I’m having the difficulty.

    Acknowledging desire = feminist. Completely totally agree. I still don’t understand the logic in actually engaging in activity that is not feminist.

    “So to answer what Trinity asks up there? It accomplishes nothing. And I bet you dollars to donuts other kinky women would tell you the same thing or share a common experience/feeling with me here on this one.”

    Being one of those damn kinky women (of the mostly submissive variety no less), I can say that I do not find the radical feminist analysis of BDSM offensive. And yep, I have found it helpful in learning to understand and accept myself.

  303. Laurelin February 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM #

    “And if you believe that how people fuck does not have any real influence on society, why are these conversations so important to you? ”
    Good question. And why do you need validation from radical feminists? Why do you care what we think?

  304. antiprincess February 18, 2009 at 3:16 PM #

    And why do you need validation from radical feminists? Why do you care what we think?

    because we work with you. we do clinic defense with you. we picket with you. we take back nights with you. we put up posters with you, distribute flyers with you, plan events with you, discuss issues with you, contribute to causes with you -

    we, er, walk among you. and it’s impossible to swallow the constant mocking, derision, and snotty sarcasm without speaking up once in a while and saying “hey, you know, I’m standing right here, next to you, holding this end of the banner.”

    how can we work with you knowing you think we’re dangerously weird/monstrous/collaborating with Patriarchy?

    and we want to work with you, despite what you might think.

    that’s why we give a shit.

  305. Bella February 18, 2009 at 5:52 PM #

    AP, you get a standing ovation for your comments about us other feminists walking amongst radical feminists.

    I’m one who has marched, helped women access abortion clinics, simply to get medical care OR to get an abortion, if that was their choice. When I was in elementary school, I saved my allowances for months and sent it into one of the groups working to pass the ERA. (For those of you not born in the early 60′s, google it.) I am called “radical” by my freinds, because of my beliefs in women’s rights and my work for women, and I find it amusing, when it is not outright offensive, to hear other women screaming that it’s more than Ok for them to make the choices that THEY want in their lives, but, God forBID that I be granted that same respect they are demanding from me. ;-)

    I married an emotionally and psychologically abusive man because of being “shoulded” into doing it by well meaning relatives. They thought that I SHOULD marry him, because he would give me the freedom to work as much as I wanted to. Yah, riiight. I’ve got your freedom right here, and it’s going to cost you 2 decades of passive aggressive behavior, psychological abuse, being sexually unfulfilled and sexually unsatisfied, and then? When you want out, finally? It’s going to cost you more. I’ve had it up to my leather collar with folks using “should”. *grin*

    Live and lete live, and I’ll grant you the same respect and choices. None of us who are involved in D/s or M/s relationships are telling YOU, the radical feminists, that you MUST do what we do, yet, y’all feel mighty free to tell us what we “should” or “should not” do. It’s the same dichotomy that is between the pro-choice and anti-choice sides in the abortion debate, and it’s the same dichotomy between the pro-same sex marriage and the anti-same sex marriage sides as well. Those who are pro-choice and pro-same sex marriage are simply requesting that women and other consenting adults be granted the freedoms to choose how to live their lives. They are NOT saying that all women must get abortions and all couples must be same sex couples, yet, the argument is that the choices made for abortion or same sex marriage are somehow affecting those who don’t get abortions or are heterosexual. Hogwash! Pure, unadulterated hogwash. We, who engage in kink, are NOT advocating that everyone engage in it with us. Hell, we don’t WANT you in our scene if you are this much against us, as the negative energy is very destructive, yet, you want to take away our ability to express ourselves in a way that is mutually satisfying, sexually. Someone care to tell me who died and left radical feminists in charge of who I am and how I express myself sexually, cause, I certainly don’t remember giving anyone that power. ;-)

  306. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 6:48 PM #

    “So, explain to me what SM is if it is not feminist.”

    A sexual preference and/or orientation. Orientation, in my case.

    “And if you believe that how people fuck does not have any real influence on society, why are these conversations so important to you?”

    Because I feel that people deserve better than to be derided for their orientation? (I’m surprised as hell that people consider this weird.)

    “Why waste your time on something that you do not view as having much meaning? Because I keep seeing you say in one way or another that you don’t think it has any real impact, yet you spend a great heaping amount of time discussing something that you claim to not see as particularly relevant to the conversation (the conversation being feminism).”

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you missed my comment, but as I said on SM-F when Part 4 of ND’s series went up: I had no interest in getting involved. I don’t really care any more what people who rely on faulty logic from thirty years ago do and think.

    However, because people who read SM-F expected me to challenge Part 4, and asked me repeatedly to comment, I posted.

    Then I responded to the hateful and vile suggestion that I — or at least, several of my close friends — should kill myself for being a top.

    There you have it: why I care.

    Really, if I’d posted to my blog something vile like “radical feminists should kill themselves because they don’t appear capable of original thought,” wouldn’t you think a few might show up to call me out on it?

    Even people who usually assert that they “don’t care about the sex-pozzies”, etc?

    What if their friends were telling them “hey, this is bothering me… would you say something?” Would you consider such a person hypocritical for responding then?

    And also, as I’ve said many times before, if this BDSM debate is over and no one cares, why is it that every few months, like clockwork, some radical feminist who doesn’t even do BDSM feels an intense need to pronounce on it?

    Why are YOU all so obsessed with us?

  307. RenegadeEvolution February 18, 2009 at 6:49 PM #

    Faith: Well, as has been said sooo many times before, you are one woman now, aren’t you? It is all well and good that you find the analysis interesting and helpful. Have you stopped engaging in submissive behavior yet and other unfeminist sexual activities? Do you want to/plan to?

    So there is you, as opposed to every other kinky woman who has participated on any of these threads. It would seem you are the miniority.

    And sure enough, I do not particularly care how people fuck so long as they are doing it legally. However, it sure as hell annoys the crap out of me when people decide they know what is best for others, put things under universal umbrellas, blame things like rape and murder on kinky people who, oh, never raped or murdered anyone, and figure one form of repression is better than another and a shit ton of assumption and drive by psychology. There has also been a lot of disrespect shown to kinky women commenting here (not by you, you as always are very polite), and that I find…ironic.

  308. Trinity February 18, 2009 at 7:03 PM #

    “So there is you, as opposed to every other kinky woman who has participated on any of these threads. It would seem you are the miniority.”

    And… even if that is true (I don’t want to put words in Faith’s mouth but I seem to remember that she actually said it is, back a ways), how does that being a positive step for her necessarily make it a positive step for everyone else?

    I’m too lazy to russell it up now, but there’s a passage in Herman’s _Trauma and Recovery_ wherein a woman describes realizing that her SM fantasies are harmful and negative, and replacing them with imagining waterfalls.

    Okay. I have no problem with that.

    But thinking myself about what’s been positive and negative for me, I find that the idea that sexuality is something that magically arises from other people harming you to be a concept that isn’t useful to me. One that, in fact, has actually done harm to me as I heal.

    Why is her story the story of a successful survivor, and mine the story of a stuck one? Why is there one and only one trauma narrative that gets approval?

  309. Faith February 18, 2009 at 8:04 PM #

    “Why are YOU all so obsessed with us?”

    I can’t say that I am obsessed with “you” or any one else into BDSM, personally.

    “I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you missed my comment, but as I said on SM-F when Part 4 of ND’s series went up: I had no interest in getting involved. I don’t really care any more what people who rely on faulty logic from thirty years ago do and think.”

    Yes, I missed the comment. But I was not only referring to this thread or this blog. 9 times out of 10 (or at least it seems) if I see you involved in a thread it’s either about BDSM or sex work. I’d be hesitant to state that the people you disagree with are relying on “faulty logic”, regardless of when that “faulty logic” originated.

    And you know what? I really don’t like MRA’s. I really don’t give a good goddamn what they think..which is precisely why I pay no attention to them whatsoever despite the fact that they do nothing but constantly deride women.

    “Really, if I’d posted to my blog something vile like “radical feminists should kill themselves because they don’t appear capable of original thought,” wouldn’t you think a few might show up to call me out on it?…What if their friends were telling them “hey, this is bothering me… would you say something?” Would you consider such a person hypocritical for responding then?”

    I don’t care much for the behavior and attitudes of certain radical feminists. But I also do not care for the behavior and attitudes of many sitting on the other side of the fence. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: There is piss poor behavior and attitude from both “sides”. Unless the piss poor behavior is just completely absolutely atrocious, I just do my best to ignore it. I don’t have all day to police the behavior of other women, nor is it my job to do so. We are all adults here after all. And, I do not believe that the piss poor behavior of certain feminists derides or negates radical feminist theory.

  310. Faith February 18, 2009 at 8:12 PM #

    “how can we work with you knowing you think we’re dangerously weird/monstrous/collaborating with Patriarchy?”

    Ap,

    I meant to say this last night and then my melatonin kicked in and I had to go to bed before I fell out of my chair.

    For whatever it’s worth…From what I’ve seen of you, I have absolutely no reason to believe that you are a danger to anyone. You seem to be about as dangerous as my 2 year old fluffy ridiculously cute hamster. I also don’t know what you are into in the bedroom, and frankly, I really don’t give a damn. I have no reason to believe that you would ever do anything that you thought would harm anyone else.

    I’m more than happy to “hold the other end of the banner” with you.

  311. Laurelin February 18, 2009 at 8:14 PM #

    “because we work with you. we do clinic defense with you. we picket with you. we take back nights with you. we put up posters with you, distribute flyers with you, plan events with you, discuss issues with you, contribute to causes with you -”

    I fail to see how our critiquing BDSM prevents you from doing any of those things.

  312. Faith February 18, 2009 at 8:22 PM #

    “Well, as has been said sooo many times before, you are one woman now, aren’t you? It is all well and good that you find the analysis interesting and helpful.”

    I haven’t said anything about the whole “one woman” thing. And yes, I do believe it’s all well and good that I find the analysis interesting and helpful. Quite well indeed.

    “Have you stopped engaging in submissive behavior yet and other unfeminist sexual activities? ”

    Currently, yes. I am human and full of fault though so I make no promises that I never will again.

    “So there is you, as opposed to every other kinky woman who has participated on any of these threads. It would seem you are the miniority.”

    If you go by these threads, yes. If you go by the number of women who used to be kinky who then became radical feminists, I’m not so sure about me being in the minority. Besides, there are a helluva lot of women out there who aren’t commenting on these threads.

    “blame things like rape and murder on kinky people who, oh, never raped or murdered anyone, and figure one form of repression is better than another and a shit ton of assumption and drive by psychology.”

    I agree that blaming rape and murder on kinky people (unless the kinky people in question actually are rapists or murders) is completely unacceptable. However, I’m not entirely sure how many feminists women actually are doing that, if any. What I see is feminists women discussing their beliefs that BDSM can help feed into the culture and society which fosters violence against women…and also that it is often a byproduct of that society. This is different from saying “kinky people cause rape and murder”.

    “There has also been a lot of disrespect shown to kinky women commenting here (not by you, you as always are very polite), and that I find…ironic.”

    There’s been a lot of disrespect shown to a lot of people all over the damn place.

  313. antiprincess February 18, 2009 at 11:46 PM #

    Ok, I said: “because we work with you. we do clinic defense with you. we picket with you. we take back nights with you. we put up posters with you, distribute flyers with you, plan events with you, discuss issues with you, contribute to causes with you -”

    and then Laurelin said: I fail to see how our critiquing BDSM prevents you from doing any of those things.

    let me show you.

    stay with me.

    let’s say two random feminists, me and some mythical you, meet while participating in the planning of a great big march. We paint some banners, make up some chants, whomp up some flyers, share stories of how we came to a feminist consciousness, all that happy crap.

    the part of the march we were responsible for – it goes GREAT. really smoothly. all the stuff we were supposed to get done, we actually do. and everything is AWESOME. and off we march and loudly we chant and we’re all high on that marching energy and at the end, we decide to go for a coffee or something, you and me.

    and we have some coffee and do a march post-mortem, and talk about stuff we learned and how we’d do things next time, and that’s all great, and the conversation winds around to, oh, I don’t know, sex or porn or something or other, and you say to me:

    “yeah, you know, I like working with you. you’re not one of those weird BDSM people.”

    (and don’t tell me this doesn’t happen or wouldn’t happen because it did. to me. several times.)

    now, what does this mean to our working relationship? our nascent friendship?

    alternately, let’s say I have a blog where I talk about feminist stuff. and lots of folks agree with me, and we have big long comment threads and I have lots of blog pals and it’s all great. and then I let it slip that I don’t absolutely hate random-kinky-sexual-activity, in fact I kind of like it. suddenly half my pals are not my pals anymore, in fact they’re urging me to examine and calling me not-so-feminist and pretty soon all the good work I did is discredited and all because I reveal an interest in the one thing that is the Magic Eraser for all feminist “cred.”

    how can I work with, or blog with, my former allies?

    and, you know, a whole bunch of other more-or-less personal anecdotes out my ass, all coming together to tell you, Laurelin, why I (and others, I assume) can’t work with people who spend a great deal of time in “critiques of BDSM” because it’s never a critique merely of the practice.

    it’s calling people who participate in the practice “dumb”, “deluded”, “corny”, “harming all women”, etc, blah blah blah.

  314. antiprincess February 19, 2009 at 12:00 AM #

    You seem to be about as dangerous as my 2 year old fluffy ridiculously cute hamster.

    well, you don’t have to be so mean about it…;)

    (I’ve also been told that I’m as aggressive as a fluffy bunny. sigh.)

    I appreciate it, that you think I come across in a non-threatening manner and all. and I like you too!

    nonetheless, as a kinky person, the anti-BDSM contingent considers me Part Of The Problem, nice and fluffy and “harmless” as I am.

    wolf in sheep’s clothing, me. and the rest of us, I suppose.

  315. Faith February 19, 2009 at 12:20 AM #

    “Then let us take the responsibility of the consequences of our actions for our own self-regarding behavior instead of trying to white knight us out of supposedly abusive relationships.”

    I’m pretty sure the point of my statement just flew 100 feet over your head. And pardon me for saying this, but 19-year-old male submissives in homosexual relationships are hardly the target of any of the statements I’ve been making.

  316. Faith February 19, 2009 at 12:27 AM #

    “(I’ve also been told that I’m as aggressive as a fluffy bunny. sigh.)”

    Fluffy Bunnies rule!!

  317. Laurelin February 19, 2009 at 12:31 AM #

    “Good question. And why do you need validation from radical feminists? Why do you care what we think?”

    “Because you are one of many blocs of people we need to convince before we have to stop worrying about losing our jobs for what we do in the bedroom. Because you are the standard bearer of a system of oppression of non mainstream sexualities in our society, and you’re pretending to do it from a progressive and non-entrenched position.”

    Don’t insult my intelligence. We are not in charge of those things, and you know it.

  318. Laurelin February 19, 2009 at 12:35 AM #

    AP- I can’t stop critiquing BDSM just because it hurts your feelings. I have no desire to hurt your feelings, but that unfortunate side-effect won’t stop me talking. All the arguments in favour of BDSM were used on me before to wear down my resistance. I have to speak against it. The alternative is, for me, unthinkable.

  319. Faith February 19, 2009 at 12:44 AM #

    “Don’t insult my intelligence. We are not in charge of those things, and you know it.”

    Thank you.

  320. antiprincess February 19, 2009 at 1:22 AM #

    All the arguments in favour of BDSM were used on me before to wear down my resistance. I have to speak against it. The alternative is, for me, unthinkable.

    well, of course! no amount of “convincing” will change what you’re into, what makes you tick. and those that thought they could, in pursuit of getting into your pants – those individuals were clearly in the wrong, on a deep level.

    and I know there’s nothing I can say to you (or to anyone similarly harmed) that will take that pain away. I get that.

    I’m not trying to wear down your resistance in order to take advantage of you (though I could see where it might feel that way). I’m trying to get you to see me (and people like me) as fully human. I’m not convinced you do.

    it’s not just that you’re hurting my feelings, Laurelin. People who identify as both kinky and feminist can be shut out of feminist work, out of feminist discussions, out of feminist life – if they come out as kinky in response to someone’s snide comment.

    if it was as trivial as hurting my tender fee-fees, I’d get over it.

    I do feel it’s important to note that in the “sex-pos”-iverse, there’s room for all kinds of consensual expression all along the continuum of sexual imagination – it all counts, from a gently penetrating gaze to dressing up like anal-probing space aliens or whatever.

    There’s room for you and yours in my feminist world. There’s no room for me (and people like me) in yours.

    would you walk away from that, feeling good and happy and productive, if the (sensible) shoe was on the other foot? or would you fight for acceptance on just some basic human level?

    it goes beyond the “hurts my feelings” stage, for me. (I can’t speak for anyone else.)

  321. antiprincess February 19, 2009 at 1:27 AM #

    and, Laurelin – now that I think about it, I don’t expect you to stop the critique, and I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I did.

    I mean, I don’t expect to stop critiquing the critique, myself, and round and round we go, world without end…

    maybe we should all just prepare ourselves to go around and around like this forever.

  322. antiprincess February 19, 2009 at 2:07 AM #

    after a little more thought, Laurelin, it occurs to me that a kinky woman’s presence on any given thread, or in any given environment, might hurt YOUR feelings, so to speak.

    and so I feel like I should apologize. though I’m not sure if I’m apologizing for specific actions I did that made you uncomfortable, or actions I did with other people that came around to hurt you in ways I still can’t really grasp, or just for my existence as an out kinky feminist.

    but further to why I won’t shut up about it all -

    the shutting out of kinky feminists from feminist community – it sets up a weird power dynamic of its own. (you may deny it, but I feel that it does.) it sets up a sort of class system of feminism, in that one has to be this feminist to be included in feminist community, and if one is not at least this feminist, she can’t contribute.

    you know, or she could try to fake it. but how feminist is that, to ask a woman to be inauthentic in order for her contribution to be valued?

    but maybe we just sort of have to accept the fact that we’re still sorting out the Barnard College Conference of 1980-whatever. the “pleasure and danger” conference.

    at any rate, it’s clear to me now that my very presence, my very existence in some parts of feminist world is offensive. and I don’t say that in a teen-drama-I’m-going-to-go-jump-off-a-bridge sort of way. (and I don’t think that I personally am all that important as to be offensive. I’m probably just irrelevant.) I say that because I realize I should be more sensitive to what my presence represents in those parts of the feminist world.

  323. Faith February 19, 2009 at 3:30 AM #

    “Divide and conquer is a strategy used by many oppressors, but I will not allow gender essentialist politics to distract from the task at hand, namely sexual freedom.”

    Bravo!

    Someone give that boy a cookie.

  324. Trinity February 19, 2009 at 3:41 AM #

    “9 times out of 10 (or at least it seems) if I see you involved in a thread it’s either about BDSM or sex work. ”

    Question for you then: Do you tend to hang around my LJ? What do you think of my posts on fandom, or about my relationship, or the like? Do you hang out on the message boards related to fandom where I’ve been spending much of my online time, for example?

    It’s likely you only see me talk about this because those are the only times our paths cross.

  325. Trinity February 19, 2009 at 3:43 AM #

    “I’m trying to get you to see me (and people like me) as fully human. I’m not convinced you do. ”

    This. It’s not about our poor widdle fee-fees or something. It’s about basic respect.

  326. Joy February 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM #

    [Quote]Trinity
    February 19, 2009 at 3:43 am
    “I’m trying to get you to see me (and people like me) as fully human. I’m not convinced you do. ”

    This. It’s not about our poor widdle fee-fees or something. It’s about basic respect.[/Quote]

    Ironic, this is what feminsm started out as. Women wanting to be respected as human beings. It’s funny that it has become this “us against them” thing between women. This would be why I avoid most feminists because I always walk away with a feeling that I just don’t quite measure up to their standards of what a feminist “should be”.

  327. Christina February 19, 2009 at 9:20 PM #

    Love the comment in the last paragraph–what the hell is with people thinking they are somehow “radical” or “edgy,” or as you say “punk,” because they debase themselves and other people? You’re right on here. I’m so damn sick of hipsters sacrificing intellect and human rights in the name of doing/watching something that shocks “traditional” values. If individuals really want to challenge the status-quo, they should recognize that the misogyny, patriarchy and abuse they are endorsing–the manchine–is about as socially progressive as the KKK or third reich and start challenging these oppressive systems. DUH.

    • Nine Deuce February 19, 2009 at 9:28 PM #

      Yeah, hipsters are one of the top 5 things I hate on this planet, mainly because they’re affectedly jaded, completely self-absorbed, and generally completely thoughtless and stupid (and I say that as someone who likes almost everything I like because it sucks and is thus funny, which should make me like hipsters). Hipsters and “sex positive” types kind of share that disregard for serious moral issues unless they benefit directly from having a stance.

  328. RenegadeEvolution February 19, 2009 at 9:33 PM #

    “share that disregard for serious moral issues unless they benefit directly from having a stance”

    Yep, exactly, all the time, 24/7 you all nailed us.

    rolls eyes

    Christina: You even bother to read what any of the kinky people said? I wonder, because yeah, punk and edgy is what its all about, all the time, right on.

  329. Trinity February 19, 2009 at 9:49 PM #

    What the hell does BDSM have to do with hipsters?

  330. biglesby February 19, 2009 at 9:50 PM #

    How many kink.com models did you interview before your post?

    • Nine Deuce February 19, 2009 at 10:00 PM #

      None. They aren’t the point. Whether the website’s models are treated well or not, the site promotes the mixture of violence with sex. That isn’t cool, and no amount of bullshit about how into it the models are is going to change that. Sorry, your little “gotcha” is nonsense.

  331. Trinity February 19, 2009 at 10:01 PM #

    “punk and edgy is what its all about, all the time, right on.”

    I wouldn’t know punk if it jumped out and bit me.

    And… said OI? Isn’t that a punk thing? I heard it was a punk thing. :)

    • Nine Deuce February 19, 2009 at 10:02 PM #

      I meant punk in the “resisting the status quo” sense.

  332. RenegadeEvolution February 19, 2009 at 10:05 PM #

    “None. They aren’t the point. Whether the website’s models are treated well or not, the site promotes the mixture of violence with sex. That isn’t cool, and no amount of bullshit about how into it the models are is going to change that. Sorry, your little “gotcha” is nonsense”

    Nice to know some women matter more than others. As always, it seems. Those other women? Pfft. They don’t matter.

    • Nine Deuce February 19, 2009 at 10:07 PM #

      They matter, but what they produce hurts other women. The point of this post is that what Kink.com puts out is morally repugnant. It wasn’t intended as a discussion of what the models at Kink.com think of their work conditions.

  333. RenegadeEvolution February 19, 2009 at 10:12 PM #

    morally repugnant is so subjective in many cases. I would (and have) argued that the sort of attitude towards sex put out there by various rad fems and the way they treat other women who do not agree hurts other women…oddly enough, people agree with me on that. However, I do not find that attitude morally repugnant, even if it is (why yes, IS) harmful.

  334. antiprincess February 19, 2009 at 11:16 PM #

    Hipsters and “sex positive” types kind of share that disregard for serious moral issues unless they benefit directly from having a stance.

    what’s a “hipster”?
    (I mean, so I know what I’m being lumped in with.)

  335. Trinity February 20, 2009 at 2:00 AM #

    “what’s a “hipster”?
    (I mean, so I know what I’m being lumped in with.)”

    I’m not sure myself, tbh. Didn’t want to admit it, though, because it’s so… in? to disdain them. Whoever they may be. :)

    • Nine Deuce February 20, 2009 at 3:21 AM #

      Joy – You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think that porn negatively affects women’s lives. There are studies upon studies that show that it decreases men’s sensitivity to women’s physical and emotional boundaries, and that it hurts relationships and damages women’s self-image. That you’re here defending it is pretty fucking bizarre. Why don’t you let the men do that for themselves?

  336. James February 20, 2009 at 3:57 AM #

    ND: That sort of divisionism is uncalled for.

    • Nine Deuce February 20, 2009 at 4:01 AM #

      James – What are you talking about? If it’s my comment to Joy, there’s a large measure of sarcasm intended (though I do find women who defend porn to be an odd crew).

  337. James February 20, 2009 at 4:25 AM #

    Maybe they enjoy it?

  338. RenegadeEvolution February 20, 2009 at 4:37 AM #

    This really probably is the point where I should shut up. Odd crew and all.

  339. James February 20, 2009 at 5:04 AM #

    The deviant majority.