News flash!

10 Feb
  1. The existence of gay porn does not disprove the argument that non-gay porn is degrading to women. There might be a different dynamic going on in a lot of gay porn (I remain unconvinced), but that doesn’t really mean anything other than that maybe gay porn needs to be analyzed by itself rather than under an umbrella with hetero porn. What we’re talking about when we talk about het pornography is the comingling of power with sex, which is THE CENTRAL FEATURE OF PATRIARCHY. 
  2. Choice does not equal progressiveness. You can choose to do heroin if you want to, and it might feel fucking awesome, but that doesn’t make you a freedom fighter. You can be a feminist and be into BDSM, but you can’t claim that BDSM is feminist. Just because something feels good does not mean it’s feminist. 
  3. F/m BDSM (generally) does not fetishize and sexualize the oppression of people who are still oppressed. Therefore, its existence does not prove that there’s nothing problematic about the mingling of sex with oppression in M/f BDSM, burlesque or not. Again, it’s a matter of the need for separate analysis.
  4. Questioning a practice does not equal abuse or oppression. And you can’t spend 15 paragraphs explaining that BDSM, as a “choice,” fits the (warped) definition of feminism and then compare the consequences of your choice to the oppression that lesbians and gay men face. Unless you are ready to say that female submission is innate or that being gay is a choice. 
  5. In order for me to oppress you, I have to be in charge of something that directly affects your life. I’m not. 
  6. If I were truly denying anyone’s agency, I’d refuse to question their assumptions and behavior. I assume we are all responsible for the choices that we make, even though social forces tend to influence those choices. I know that there are people who are aware that M/f BDSM and/or porn are tinged (or saturated) with patriarchal oppression and choose to participate in them anyway, either because there is some benefit in doing so or because they think they can do them “the right way.” I doubt that’s possible, so I’m asking people who think it is to explain how that might be. Would it be better for me to treat other adult human beings like babies who can’t bear to be asked defend their beliefs? 
  7. I can have a theoretical problem with something and speak my mind about it without specifically addressing an individual. If you don’t fit the definition of the kind of person I’m discussing, don’t take it personally. Everyone has the right to judge everyone, but we don’t have the right to enforce our judgements. Therein lies the difference between free speech and oppression. 

Do I need to change my comment policy and require that people take a Logic 101 class before commenting?

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280 Responses to “News flash!”

  1. subversive_sub February 10, 2009 at 8:18 PM #

    A few responses:

    2. “Choice does not equal progressiveness….Just because something feels good does not mean it’s feminist.”

    NOBODY is claiming this. We are saying that BDSM is not *incompatible* with feminism, not that kinky sex is itself a feminist act, or that everyone should just fuck their way to freedom, or that everyone should just do what feels good to them all the time with no regard for consequences.

    4. “Questioning a practice does not equal abuse or oppression.”

    No — but as I’ve said elsewhere, you’re not just “questioning” BDSM, you’re ridiculing it and judging it as something horrible that only sick people engage in. You have said that people like my partner should kill themselves. Meanwhile, in the non-Internet world, kinky folk have had their children taken away, have lost their jobs, have been ostracized from their communities and families, and have had the cops called on them. That sort of sounds like oppression based on sexual identity to me.

    “And you can’t spend 15 paragraphs explaining that BDSM, as a “choice,” fits the (warped) definition of feminism and then compare the consequences of your choice to the oppression that lesbians and gay men face. Unless you are ready to say that female submission is innate or that being gay is a choice.”

    See the queer kinky folk that have responded to you elsewhere. These days, at least, a lot of kinky folk see their kinky sexuality as no more of a “choice” than their orientation (straight/bi/gay) is. This is not the same is saying that female submission is innate; it is saying that for me, right now, it is about as possible for me to *stop* being kinky as it is possible for me to *stop* liking sex with men. That isn’t the same as saying it’s something I was born with, or that socialization had nothing to do with my sexual preferences (whether you’re talking about my masochism or my heterosexuality).

    6. “I know that there are people who are aware that M/f BDSM and/or porn are tinged (or saturated) with patriarchal oppression and choose to participate in them anyway, either because there is some benefit in doing so or because they think they can do them “the right way.” I doubt that’s possible, so I’m asking people who think it is to explain how that might be. Would it be better for me to treat other adult human beings like babies who can’t bear to be asked defend their beliefs?”

    No, 9-2, this isn’t what you’re doing. As I’ve said elsewhere, you’re not giving kinky folk an honest chance to explain how it is that we can have BDSM sex and still be feminists. Stop pretending that you’re offering an equal playing ground for this debate, or actually start acting like you’re open to what we have to say and stop making snarky, hateful comments about us and the people we love and play with.

    If you’re willing to do that, and if your readers are willing to do that, maybe we can actually get somewhere.

  2. Charlie February 10, 2009 at 8:39 PM #

    I agree with everything you say in this post. AND…

    Given that your style of writing is quite button pushing (I recall that you said in one of your posts that you write that way deliberately), I’m not sure why you’re surprised that people respond in ways that are less than 100% logical. Heightened emotions consistently lead to a reduction in critical thinking and higher-order reasoning. There’s a fair amount of research that backs that up, and I’m sure that you can think of plenty of personal experiences that fit that.

    So I don’t think it’s reasonable to stir people’s emotions up, both through your choice of language and your descriptions of (and links to) imagery that many people find triggering, and to then tell people to be logical. People just don’t work that way. Granted, you may have a higher tolerance for emotional intensity and may therefore be able to think more logically then many when your emotions have been triggered. But that doesn’t mean that everyone else can do the same.

    Either you can be less deliberately provoking and hold people to a standard of logic, or you can be as provoking as you want while making room for emotional responses that have less logic to them. Or you can try to have your cake and eat it too, I suppose. It’s your blog, after all. But that hardly seems fair to your readers and I think that it ultimately reflects on your blog. If you genuinely want a dialogue, then you can create a space for that. If you want to set people at each others’ throats, then you can do that too. And doing the latter and pretending that it’s the former is inconsistent, at the very least.

    I also wonder about your 5th point (“In order for me to oppress you, I have to be in charge of something that directly affects your life. I’m not.”) By that definition of oppression, I don’t oppress you since AFAIK, I’m not in charge of anything that directly affects your life. One might argue that as a man, I participate in, and benefit from, a system that affects your life. However, any connection between us is necessarily indirect. So does that mean that I oppress you or not?

    I also wonder why you expect people to respond to your inquiries about their experiences when you’ve amply demonstrated that you have little interest in having an open mind. You use inflammatory language about people you disagree with, you insult and belittle people who do things that you dislike, and you make claims about the motivations of a large number of people without ever asking them what their experiences actually are. Then you turn around and ask those same people to be willing to open up to you and when a few people do, you attack them.

    You’re welcome to have whatever judgments you want. And at the same time, I can’t help but think that it’s disingenuous to then ask people to share their inner selves with you. My personal experiences around BDSM and my professional experiences as a sex educator could both be part of this, and I don’t see any reason why I should open myself up to your attacks when I don’t see any evidence that you want to hear them.

    I find your blog quite fascinating and you’ve given me a fair bit to think about. And when you’re genuinely willing to engage in a dialogue, I’d love to participate.

  3. delphyne February 10, 2009 at 9:02 PM #

    These are standard BDSM responses that we’ve been seeing here Charlie. You hear them repeated again and again whenever radical feminists raise any criticism of BDSM. ND’s list would apply to any number of discussions – you’d almost think they’d been given a set of talking points. I don’t think you can blame the illogic simply on heightened emotions. Also aren’t heightened emotions what BDSMers are supposed to be all about?

    I also think you have to accept that woman-hatred and woman-abuse does give rise to strong emotions in radical feminists, and those emotions may be expressed in language or tone sometimes.

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

    When it comes to BDSM as people practice it in their lives, I’m more willing to tone it down and discuss things (though I’ve still got a problem with the mixture of sex and power), but I don’t have to be diplomatic about Kink.com. It’s a company that profits off of images of women being tortured, and that is completely immoral. I care zilch that there’s a demand. There’s a demand for a lot of things that aren’t morally defensible.

  5. thebewilderness February 10, 2009 at 9:15 PM #

    I wonder if people fully grasp that the reason patriarchy needs to be overthrown is that it is based on dominance and submission.
    The dominance/submission paradigm is the problem. The patriarchy is the manifestation of that paradigm. We are swimming in it. Makes no difference if you do the back stroke like the religious people do, or the doggie paddle. You are promoting the system that Radical Feminists intend to overthrow.
    Given that, I can’t think what there is to discuss.

  6. Fivestar February 10, 2009 at 9:41 PM #

    1. Do you really think it’s possible to remove power from sex? Take a second to reconsider this assertion.

    2. Your comparison of Heroine to BDSM is arbitrary. Perhaps you could open your mind to some people practicing BDSM from a feminist perspective. Just because you can’t imagine it, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

    3. More explaination?

    4. I think you would agree that there are as many feminisims as individuals. What experience do you have about identifying as Kinky? I identify as queer and have had similar experiences about coming to self-acceptance about my desire and coming out. They are not the same, but parallels can be maid.

    5. Seems like your blog that is attacking a lifestyle is affecting my life.

    6. You should check out some porn by Pink and White Productions (pinkwhite.biz and crashpadseries.com). When I discovered Pink and White, I decided that porn can in fact be revolutionary.

    7. Some might argue that “logic” is a tool of the patriarchy to invalidate the experiences of women and people of color.

  7. firefey February 10, 2009 at 9:42 PM #

    “F/m BDSM (generally) does not fetishize and sexualize the oppression of people who are still oppressed. Therefore, its existence does not prove that there’s nothing problematic about the mingling of sex with oppression in M/f BDSM, burlesque or not. Again, it’s a matter of the need for separate analysis”

    you have no clue. seriously. FemDommes are open to just as much crap from so called submissive me who are just looking for a living blow up doll. FemDomme porn is not typically made for female consumption, it is made for male consumption. the intersection of sex and power that happens in BDSM is something that crosses gender. i realize that it doesn’t fit into your desire to rake male dominates over broken glass. but then, i also expect any discussion of FemDomme or Femal Supremacy might be fun for you readers. and we wouldn’t want them sympathizing with the sickos.

    • Nine Deuce February 10, 2009 at 9:54 PM #

      I know that female doms aren’t free from having to deal with shit from professed submissive men. But I think it needs separate analysis.

  8. Charlie February 10, 2009 at 10:01 PM #

    Delphyne- of course there are similarities among the responses from BDSM practitioners to radical feminist critiques. When the questions that are raised change, then perhaps some of the answers will change, too. If people are using the same talking points, then perhaps it’s on both sides of that dynamic.

    You also said “I also think you have to accept that woman-hatred and woman-abuse does give rise to strong emotions in radical feminists, and those emotions may be expressed in language or tone sometimes.” I fully accept that. I’d even go further and say that I accept that it gives rise to strong emotions among people who aren’t radical feminists, as well as among (some) people who aren’t women. I’m not suggesting that heightened emotions don’t deserve their space. I am suggesting that strong emotions and logic are in some tension with each other and to create one and expect the other is unrealistic.

    The question of why people do anything when it comes to sex never has a simple answer. People vary in their reasons and nobody ever has only one reason for anything. The question that I find important is whether someone’s actions support their well-being or not. And what constitutes well-being for each person is going to vary. So when we project our assessment of motivation or well-being on someone else, we’re really just guessing. Even if that guess is accurate for some people some of the time, it’s not going to apply to everyone.

    Some people find joy in a meaningful career and others find it through raising children. Some people find joy through sex blended with power play and others don’t. As long as people are exploring their authentic desires and caring for themselves, I don’t particularly care what shape that takes, unless that affects other people.

    This is where 9-2’s analysis of things like kink.com comes in for me. There are important questions around the impact of making porn like that on the people who make it. There are important questions around how people interpret porn like that and how that affects them, how it influences their actions & choices, and how that plays out in their relationships. Those are huge questions and I applaud 9-2 for asking them. And I also wish that she could ask those questions without vilifying people with kinky sexual desires and behaviors.

  9. firefey February 10, 2009 at 10:26 PM #

    “There are important questions around the impact of making porn like that on the people who make it. There are important questions around how people interpret porn like that and how that affects them, how it influences their actions & choices, and how that plays out in their relationships. Those are huge questions and I applaud 9-2 for asking them. And I also wish that she could ask those questions without vilifying people with kinky sexual desires and behaviors.”

    this. one hundred times over.

  10. James February 10, 2009 at 10:38 PM #

    1. Ah, right. Well the problem here is that definitions of Patriarchy vary quite a bit. I raise gay porn because it suggests to me that porn is mainly about people fucking and is mainly watched because people enjoy masturbating to that. I don’t think that that is something that can ever change (although the average quality increasing would be nice) and I don’t think it really matters that much.

    2. Choice does not equal progressiveness.

    Well of course not, the Progressive movement was once really keen on prohibition and eugenics.

    Just because something feels good does not mean it’s feminist.

    What are the characteristics of an action which is feminist?

    3. F/m BDSM (generally) does not fetishize and sexualize the oppression of people who are still oppressed.

    Yes it does.

    4. Unless you are ready to say that female submission is innate

    I think that this is what is being said. And if people are getting fired from their jobs and having their children taken away from it would you not define that as an oppression?

    5. No, you aren’t an oppressor.

    6. Would stand up a lot stronger if you hadn’t ignored quite so many female BDSMers completely…

    7. Imagine how you would feel if I claimed that “Feminism” meant lesbian separatists of the sort that Dworkin records found her far too softcore. How much would that impress you? How much would that further any debate?

  11. stormy February 10, 2009 at 11:04 PM #

    Zerostars:
    Perhaps you could open your mind to some people practicing BDSM from a feminist perspective.

    gets a “prebuttal” from the bewilderness:
    the reason patriarchy needs to be overthrown is that it is based on dominance and submission.
    The dominance/submission paradigm is the problem. The patriarchy is the manifestation of that paradigm. We are swimming in it. Makes no difference if you do the back stroke like the religious people do, or the doggie paddle. You are promoting the system that Radical Feminists intend to overthrow.
    Given that, I can’t think what there is to discuss.

    :P

  12. stormy February 10, 2009 at 11:06 PM #

    And (in general) the bdsm supporters just get nuttier by the day.

    Protest just that bit too much eh?

  13. Rachel February 10, 2009 at 11:39 PM #

    What are the characteristics of an action which is feminist?

    That it in some way furthers the goal of stopping the subordination of women as a class to men as a class. Duh.

    Which doesn’t mean that every action which is not feminist is necessarily anti-feminist, such as eating a sandwich. But I would say that having sex which is based on the subordination of women to men doesn’t exactly meet that definition in my world, and that promoting it, such as the pornography 9-2 is reviewing, would in my mind meet the definition of anti-feminist. Since I know what you’re going to say next, I realize that kink.com has sub-sites such as Men in Pain, but since (a) the large majority of its material shows women being tortured by men and/or other women and (b) the material with men being hurt is made for a male audience to consume the (real or feigned) sexuality of the women, not the men in it, I would say that kink.com exploits and harms women as a class through, at least in some cases, the production of the material (see http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/blog) as well as through the propaganda effect of the materials disseminated. Got it? Good.

  14. Erstwhile lurker February 10, 2009 at 11:41 PM #

    “F/m BDSM (generally) does not fetishize and sexualize the oppression of people who are still oppressed. Therefore, its existence does not prove that there’s nothing problematic about the mingling of sex with oppression in M/f BDSM, burlesque or not. Again, it’s a matter of the need for separate analysis.”

    I’d really like to you discuss M/f BDSM in a way that involved listening and responding to what male doms have to say about their desires, rather than just projecting some kind of predatory misogyny onto them. I realize that not many of them really opened up about their desires on your blog, but that is not surprising, given the sense of hostility that kinky people are receiving from you and some of your commenters. SnowDropExplodes did leave a very open, non-defensive comment where he described his dominance as about wanting to be really, really important to his partner: pretty to what I feel, or some of the feelings Alderson Warm-Fork described. I’ve had conversations with men about what it feels like to dominate people, and their responses were much closer to the stuff the women were saying on that thread than to the image of a creep who hates and disdains women. Of course there are some asshole male doms who are just plain mean, but there are mean assholes of all genders and sexual orientations.

    “Questioning a practice does not equal abuse or oppression.”

    No, but as others have pointed out, being rude and dismissive does nothing to advance your cause. And I think you can do real harm to people by bullying them on the Internet, even though it doesn’t leave a red mark.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve taught intro logic a couple of times.

  15. stormy February 10, 2009 at 11:51 PM #

    I’d really like to you discuss M/f BDSM in a way that involved listening and responding to what male doms have to say about their desires, rather than just projecting some kind of predatory misogyny onto them.

    If it looks like a duck…

  16. Erstwhile lurker February 11, 2009 at 12:08 AM #

    Typos:

    I’d really like to you discuss M/f BDSM –> I’d really like to see you discuss M/f BDSM

    pretty to what I feel –> pretty similar to what I feel

  17. Voice February 11, 2009 at 12:10 AM #

    Once again, I simply ask if by being a Dom, I must automatically be a women-hater?

    I am not a predator or misogynist.

    I am a fairly genteel gentleman when it comes to all people: men, women, whatever. Why do all of you think that just because we like having fun sex and our home dynamic is different then yours, we are bad people that go around propagating a chauvinist society?

  18. lorelei February 11, 2009 at 12:11 AM #

    “That it in some way furthers the goal of stopping the subordination of women as a class to men as a class. Duh.

    Which doesn’t mean that every action which is not feminist is necessarily anti-feminist, such as eating a sandwich. But I would say that having sex which is based on the subordination of women to men doesn’t exactly meet that definition in my world,”

    I’m sorry… i must be confused. Who exactly was promoting a BDSM lifestyle for EVERYONE?! In fact, i believe a few of us have gone out of our way to say, hey, if it’s not for you it’s cool, just please be RESPECTFUL of other people’s choices!

  19. delphyne February 11, 2009 at 12:24 AM #

    Sticking pins in your wife’s breasts, slapping and groping her with leather gloves covered in tiny pins which make her bleed, tying her up then sticking raw burning ginger up her bottom so she screams in agony to punish her because she went out for a couple of hours and leading her around by a dogleash in public is just fun sex is it Voice?

    Dear god, talk about denial.

  20. lorelei February 11, 2009 at 12:30 AM #

    Does is completely escape you that all those things made me happy? That i love those pins, the gloves were the best Christmas present we got? That, until i was formally punished for upsetting him so greatly with my disappearance, i was a complete wreck and i couldn’t function? He did that FOR ME because i needed a physical form of forgiveness.

    If you just can’t wrap your mind around the fact that i love my life and am happy with it, then you are the one in denial.

  21. James February 11, 2009 at 12:31 AM #

    Protest just that bit too much eh?

    I really wouldn’t start assuming bad faith if I were you. Consider your position, consider your de facto allies.

    Stick with the good stuff.

    That it in some way furthers the goal of stopping the subordination of women as a class to men as a class. Duh.

    Ok, that’s a decent definition.

    Which doesn’t mean that every action which is not feminist is necessarily anti-feminist, such as eating a sandwich. But I would say that having sex which is based on the subordination of women to men doesn’t exactly meet that definition in my world, and that promoting it, such as the pornography 9-2 is reviewing, would in my mind meet the definition of anti-feminist.

    They don’t have sex because they want to get subordinate, they have sex because they want pleasure and it turns out that being on one side or the other of subordination really helps out on that front.

    And kink.com doesn’t “promote” it, it presents it in a crudely theatrical form.

    Since I know what you’re going to say next,

    You presumed, actually, and presumed incorrectly. ^.^

    I realize that kink.com has sub-sites such as Men in Pain, but since (a) the large majority of its material shows women being tortured by men and/or other women and (b) the material with men being hurt is made for a male audience to consume the (real or feigned) sexuality of the women, not the men in it,

    So you presume.

    I would say that kink.com exploits and harms women as a class through, at least in some cases, the production of the material (see http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/blog) as well as through the propaganda effect of the materials disseminated. Got it? Good.

    Well the employees say otherwise. Who am I to trust as to a reliable source on its internal workings? I don’t like appeals to authority but in this instance I would say that one side has first hand, day-to-day experience while the other has a set of prejudices and an ideology which needs feeding.

  22. Voice February 11, 2009 at 12:31 AM #

    Yes it is. Notice how she talks fondly of it too? You act like my wife and I have not discusses out likes and dislikes. You act like since you don’t like something it has to be wrong or immoral. Yes, our admittedly VERY kinky lifestyle, is different, but why are we so wrong with being happy?

  23. delphyne February 11, 2009 at 12:45 AM #

    “That, until i was formally punished for upsetting him so greatly with my disappearance, i was a complete wreck and i couldn’t function?”

    Why was he so upset? You went out for an hour hour when you were being ignored. So what? You’re not five years old. What I saw from him was a complete overreaction – asking you if you wanted out of the relationship, making out it could be make or break time. All because you needed an hour to yourself.

    And why the does his overly upset reaction make you think that you need to be punished to make it right? What on earth is going on with your emotions if that’s the case? You’re adults – adults talk about things, they don’t beat one another when they are pissed off (well they do in abusive relationships, but the advice there is to get the hell out).

    I’m not in denial Lorelei. I am very worried about you after reading your blog. I hope you take care of yourself and pay attention to your feelings (and not just the ones that you think you “should” have in this kind of relationship, but the ones that keep leaking out, like needing to go off on your own).

  24. subversive_sub February 11, 2009 at 12:48 AM #

    @9-2:

    “When it comes to BDSM as people practice it in their lives, I’m more willing to tone it down and discuss things (though I’ve still got a problem with the mixture of sex and power), but I don’t have to be diplomatic about Kink.com. It’s a company that profits off of images of women being tortured, and that is completely immoral. I care zilch that there’s a demand. There’s a demand for a lot of things that aren’t morally defensible.”

    OK. Then can we just leave porn out of the debate? Because there are plenty of other issues wrapped up in that beyond BDSM, and I think it’s getting things confused. Same goes for all the Craigslist and dating-service stuff; basically everything that’s not a realistic representation of what the kinky folks who’re participating in this discussion mean when *we* talk about BDSM in our own lives.

    Can we also refrain from the ridicule and judgment of the sort of things that we kinky folk enjoy, consensually, in the privacy of our own homes or in dedicated play spaces? Also, would be much appreciated if we could not hear any more about how our dom male friends and partners are evil and twisted and should kill themselves. That stuff really makes it difficult to keep participating in this discussion…

  25. James February 11, 2009 at 12:53 AM #

    Jesus, this is old-school…

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_v19/ai_5010445

  26. lorelei February 11, 2009 at 12:54 AM #

    Aww, del, are you for serious? Really, do you have some sort of blindness where you literally only see what you want to? I upset him very much because i was being a downright brat and DISAPPEARED. My husband, my Master, had no idea where i was and no way of finding me to make sure i was ok. Not because i needed time to myself. Because my safety and happiness are His concern.

    Please don’t concern yourself with my emotional well-being. My Master is quite capable of taking care of me. We actually have a very healthy relationship–we talk out any problems that arise and, since i sometimes have problems talking, i also have a journal in which i can write my concerns for Him to read and write responses to.

    Once again, you are making ignorant judgments on the lives of people you don’t know at all! You don’t live with us, you don’t know how we work on a day to day basis. All you know are the experiences i write about on my blog and that is BY NO MEANS my entire life.

  27. Charlie February 11, 2009 at 1:20 AM #

    What are the characteristics of an action which is feminist?

    That it in some way furthers the goal of stopping the subordination of women as a class to men as a class. Duh.

    Actually, I find that definition somewhat limited. What about addressing the subordination of an individual woman, rather than women as a class? Doesn’t that count as feminist, too?

    For me, feminism is about overcoming the oppression of women as a group and as individuals, while respecting and making space for their varied experiences, perspectives and values. Within that definition, supporting women as they explore and move towards their sexual authenticity and agency can be, in fact, a feminist act.

    Further, this is where BDSM can be a feminist act, in my opinion. It can be a place to explore the roles that we have learned and let go of them. It can be a place to transgress socio-sexual rules within a safe container in order to begin letting go of ideas that we no longer need. It can be a way to create a space in which we delve into our psyches, explore our authentic selves, and come out the other side with new insight, wisdom and experience. And it can be a place in which we can care for the parts of ourselves which have been hurt by heteronormative patriarchal models of behavior and heal them.

    Many readers probably disbelieve everything in the last paragraph. That’s OK- I’ve done all of these things and I’ve known way too many people of various genders and sexual orientations who have done the same to let your skepticism threaten me. If you’re interested in a closer look at how people can engage in BDSM and sex in general in order to explore in these ways, check out Bader’s book “Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies”.

    And for the record, given how many perspectives there are on what feminism is, saying “duh” is remarkably patronizing. It implies that anyone who doesn’t share your definition is unintelligent and there are too many intelligent feminists who have different definitions of the term for that to be OK. That’s the sort of rhetorical gambit that shuts down dialogue. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all encourage it, instead?

  28. Voice February 11, 2009 at 1:40 AM #

    del, I don’t think you and I will ever be able to reconcile our different out look on BDSM. You cannot find it in yourself to look at us with anything but contempt. I deeply wish you could find a way to open yourself to understanding the simple fact that we are doing something that makes us happy. Whatever we are doing, it makes us happy. We work well for each other.

    I hope that you and yours, in whatever kind of relationship the couple/group agrees to, works as well as ours and makes you and yours just as happy. I really even now harbor no ill will to any of you.

    At this I believe I will take my leave. Not because I am afraid of you shaking my foundation, but because I truly believe it’s not even about any sort of understanding anymore, just demonizing people who have made a choice to not hid who they really are. I came here to speak out from a stand point of a man proud of his happy, if different, home, but I have only found opposition to an equal playing ground. Fighting and words of pure venom found on BOTH sides of the argument do nothing for either side.

    Be it slave, dom, gay, straight, bi, switch, or what have you, it is your life; it is who you are. Be whatever makes you comfortable. Be happy, be loved, be yourself.

    With love,
    Voice

  29. James February 11, 2009 at 2:25 AM #

    Seeya Voice, you loveable sadist, you. ;)

  30. bonobobabe February 11, 2009 at 2:55 AM #

    Does is completely escape you that all those things made me happy? That i love those pins, the gloves were the best Christmas present we got? That, until i was formally punished for upsetting him so greatly with my disappearance, i was a complete wreck and i couldn’t function? He did that FOR ME because i needed a physical form of forgiveness.

    What doesn’t completely escape me is that if you DON’T say in a public forum that you love all these things, then maybe you get worse, eh?

    And it shouldn’t matter if you do something that upsets your boyfriend/husband. These things happen. If he gets his panties in a bunch over something small, then maybe he’s not someone you ought to be hanging around?

    And if you want and/or need him to hit you to make you feel better for upsetting him, then all I can say is, “You. Therapy. Now.”

  31. bonobobabe February 11, 2009 at 2:56 AM #

    And for the record, BDSM is not kinky. It’s A-B-U-S-E. Physical and psychological abuse. Not hip, not edgy, not fun, not kinky. ABUSE!

  32. ohhffs February 11, 2009 at 3:29 AM #

    It’s a mindfuck delphyne, you can’t keep up.

    “slave” (<lowercase see? respecting teh sub’s agency of having less agency) did something that *legitimately* pissed of Master (like in real life) and so Master “punishes” her by giving her pleasure? Makes sense to me! Whenever someone upsets me I usually repond by giving them an orgasm!
    That or he was actually *really* (like in real life) punishing her because she *really* pissed him off and, in which case, his actions would constitute abuse.

    Yanno, the problem with domestic violence is the damn women just won’t consent to it!

  33. Rachel February 11, 2009 at 4:35 AM #

    It’s not a presumption that the intended audience of kink.com is male. I realize that there are women who watch it, but my point is that they market their sites to heterosexual male viewers – the dominant class, while what is being marketed are women, a subordinate class, without regard (other than from a marketing perspective) to the women’s real or imputed sexual preference whether gay or straight, or dominant or submissive – the result is that the sexualities of people who are already socially subordinate as a class are being packaged and sold to the dominant class. As my concern is social trends rather than outliers, the fact that that a few women may watch does nothing to disprove anything I have said. For the record, I’m not trying to be insulting by saying “outliers” – anyone who holds radical feminist politics (like, say, me) is pretty much an outlier by definition, since it doesn’t really fit anywhere on the liberal-conservative spectrum that most people think politics is. I’m just trying to articulate the perspective that I’m coming to this with.

  34. lorelei February 11, 2009 at 6:01 AM #

    Listen, bon, i can honestly say without hesitation or lie that no one in my entire life has EVER forced me to say something i didn’t want to–except one time when i was forced to be in a school play in elementary school and i really, really didn’t want to. I could keep arguing with you until i am blue in the face but you obviously don’t care about anything but you’re own pre-set opinions so i am done with you. If i wanted to talk to a brick wall… well, that’s why i have a father.

    Thank you for your unkind, ill-intentioned suggestions of therapy but, uh, NO thanks.

  35. subversive_sub February 11, 2009 at 6:31 AM #

    Y’know, I think I’m returning to my earlier position of “these people aren’t listening, let’s not bother.” I was sort of hoping to have a conversation with 9-2, because I do feel like at least she’s interested in hearing what we have to say, but the stuff coming from folks like bonobobabe and delphyne is just consistently hateful and/or condescending, and they obviously aren’t actually thinking about any of our responses. Not worth it.

  36. Charlie February 11, 2009 at 7:10 AM #

    One more time…

    BDSM is not inherently abusive. Nor is vanilla sex inherently non-abusive. It’s all in how you do it, why you do it, and how you care for yourself and others.

    Here’s an example that I’ve made in other settings. Lots of people like to get bitten on the neck during sex. When we’re turned on, our ability to process strong sensations increases, which is why getting bitten while working at the computer isn’t as much fun as getting bitten during sex. Personally, I prefer the term “strong sensation” to “pain” since the latter has connotations that aren’t always accurate.

    So one thing that makes some folks in the BDSM world interested in it is that they actively negotiate and plan for strong sensations. Further, some people like REALLY strong sensations, which might result in bruising or other marks. Where the liberatory aspect of BDSM can show up is through the practice of owning one’s desires, stating them, and then negotiating with a partner to fulfill them. Of course, BDSM is hardly the only place where that happens, but one of the most valuable strengths of the BDSM world is the expectation of that practice and the ability to seek role models, which makes it easier to learn the necessary skills.

    So here are some questions for those of you who “don’t get” BDSM. How many of you like to get nibbled on during sex? How about getting bitten a bit more forcefully? Ever get a hickey? Did you ever look at it in the mirror the next day and smile, thinking about the moment when it happened? When it comes right down to it, what is the difference between that and having an ass covered in welts from being paddled? There’s a difference in scope and possibly a difference in the planning, negotiation and intention that went into it. And fundamentally, there’s not all that much different between a hickey and a welt, as long as it’s something that the recipient desires and enjoys.

    Granted, BDSM practices can look a lot like abuse, especially if you find them triggering or are unfamiliar with them. That’s why it’s important to ask people what their experiences are and to then believe them when they tell you. And when you see a dissonance between things people say and how they act, ask them about it. But ask them about it in a way that leaves room for dialogue or don’t bother.

    To those of you who seem to prefer labeling other people’s experiences- do you really think that anyone is going to suddenly say “you know- you’re right! Thank you for attacking me. I wouldn’t have changed my mind if you hadn’t”? When has yelling at someone ever helped them shift their perspective?

  37. Nanella February 11, 2009 at 9:27 AM #

    “If i wanted to talk to a brick wall… well, that’s why i have a father.”

    I’m not trying to patronize or deride you by asking this: Can you see, at all, how your relationship with your father may have contributed to your desire to seek out dominating men to have love relationships with? I speak from experience; I have a cold, remote, impossible-to-talk-to and domineering father. Every past love relationship was with a man who ridiculed me, who treated me like I was nothing very important, who bullied and manipulated, used me and cheated on me, did everything but treat me like something infinitely precious worthy of an abundance of kindness, respect, and love.

    We accept what we feel we’re worth. If the people who are supposed to love us more than life itself treat us like we’re nothing very important during those formative years, we develop the belief that we deserve to suffer, we deserve to hurt, we deserve to be punished, and only through that punishment and pain can we hope to earn the right to be loved.

    Children assume responsibility for their parents’ lack of competent parenting because they have a very egocentric worldview. Everything that happens happens because of something they thought or did or said. They create internal narratives explaining a parent’s anger or depression, their physical abuse, their neglect or abandonment, that make the child the instigator and ultimately culpable for the parent’s behavior. As they mature and learn about the mysterious workings of logic, they may find ways to contradict the old narratives that superficially put their minds at ease. But what is learned in childhood is not so easily set aside; it gets incorporated into self-image and becomes a fundamental part of what is called our “core beliefs”, which are the things we believe about ourselves that we don’t even know we believe about ourselves. They are so old and buried so deeply, they are inextricably enmeshed with every conscious thought we have, every single day, floating just beneath the surface and influencing everything we do without our conscious knowledge.

    Redemption and release through pain and punishment…It sounds more than a little familiar, doesn’t it?

  38. Lillie February 11, 2009 at 9:44 AM #

    Does is completely escape you that all those things made me happy? That i love those pins, the gloves were the best Christmas present we got? That, until i was formally punished for upsetting him so greatly with my disappearance, i was a complete wreck and i couldn’t function? He did that FOR ME because i needed a physical form of forgiveness.

    Let’s pretend for a moment that love isn’t all about sex, and that you were in a relationship with a man who doesn’t get off on ‘punishing’ you physically. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you loved him back and you weren’t going to leave him just because he doesn’t regularly inflict physical violence on you. Let’s say that the man in question were concerned about your well-being and suggested that your being ‘a complete wreck’ and needing a ‘physical form of forgiveness’ might have its roots in some kind of a panic disorder, or childhood trauma, or post-traumatic disorder, or some such – and he’d like to help you get through this.

    In other words, without the power dynamic inherent in the relationship, would you still ‘need’ corporal punishment, or would your inability to function have a different significance?

    I’ve been depressed myself, and several of my family members have had psychiatric problems, so I’m not saying ‘get help!’ to be insulting or dismissive. But many people – especially girls and women – cut themselves or restrict their food intake to ‘punish’ themselves, to feel better about themselves, to feel some kind of a release from conflicting emotions. And most people would see this as a psychiatric problem. Heck, most people would see even relatively undramatic things (undramatic to an on-looker, that is), like crippling self-esteem issues, as something that needs to be addressed. Because if it leaves you feeling like a wreck and you can’t function, you deserve help.

    My question is, why should sexuality be a separate category of its own? How could it be completely separate from the rest of our psychological makeup? If a person cuts her or his own genitals with a knife, bleeds dangerously, and then claims s/he did it for the sake of sexual release, is it responsible to suppose that the person is perfectly okay? That if it’s sex, it’s all good – heaven forbid that it could possibly be a symptom of a real underlying problem?

    So many who weigh in in support of BDSM say something in the vein of, ‘This is just sex, it’s not serious and it’s not real, I don’t really believe women deserve to get beaten up.’ And then with the same breath they’ll say, ‘I need this; this is my true identity.’ So which one is it? Your identity – what you believe yourself to be in your heart of hearts – or make-believe? Real, ‘deserved’ punishment or a bit of harmless fun?

    All I can say is, if your self-worth is bound up in your kink of choice, and you need punishment to ‘function’, it obviously isn’t ‘just sex’.

  39. Nanella February 11, 2009 at 10:07 AM #

    The condensed version of every pro-BDSM comment in this thread: STOP! CRITICIZING! MY! LIFESTYLE!

    I don’t get it. If something you find personally offensive has no power to directly impact your life in any relevant way, there’s absolutely no logical reason whatsoever to devote even a nanosecond of your attention to it. If you don’t like what a particular blogger has to say about a subject near and dear to your heart (or other hot, throbby organs), you have the freedom to choose not to read that particular blog.

    It’s almost as if the pro-BDSMers are exacting some kind of perverse pleasure from the ridicule and harsh criticism. It’s almost as if they’re, like, masochistic or something.

  40. James February 11, 2009 at 10:55 AM #

    And for the record, BDSM is not kinky. It’s A-B-U-S-E. Physical and psychological abuse. Not hip, not edgy, not fun, not kinky. ABUSE!

    lol, you’re entirely oblivious that rendering it “The Forbidden” in the way you are attempting to only adds to the kink value? Really?

    Rachel: You misunderstand my objection. Your presumption wasn’t about the audience but about what the audience were wanting to see. What they want to see is men getting tortured, and you tried to turn it into somehow being about the woman, which it doesn’t seem to be to me.

    And 3/14 isn’t an outlier, it’s a counter-trend. Four more turn and that’s even.

  41. isme February 11, 2009 at 11:04 AM #

    In regards to points 1 and 3, are these areas which you are going to be dealing with later, ND? It does seem to be needed.

    (Oh, and everyone who has posted before me is wrong about absolutely everything due to not holding true to whatever it is that I believe about any subject that may have come up)

  42. Laurelin February 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM #

    “Once again, I simply ask if by being a Dom, I must automatically be a women-hater? ”

    Yes.

  43. delphyne February 11, 2009 at 1:23 PM #

    “I upset him very much because i was being a downright brat”

    You are not five years old. Adult women are not “brats”. It’s bizarre to talk about yourself in that manner.

    “and DISAPPEARED.”

    For an hour and you CAME BACK. I bet there are hours when you don’t know where he is.

    “My husband, my Master, had no idea where i was and no way of finding me to make sure i was ok.”

    Yup, it’s OK to be worried. Lots of people sometimes worry about their partners, even sometimes worry about where they are because they don’t know but it doesn’t mean they physically punish them when they get back.

    “Not because i needed time to myself. Because my safety and happiness are His concern.”

    If your safety and happiness are his concern, why didn’t he ask “What happened, do you need some time to yourself, were you upset?” It was all about his feelings and his views, nothing about you. Instead you got punished for making him feel bad. Have you not thought that he was in the wrong by being off with Bella (the awful woman who buys him gloves to torture you with) and ignoring you?

  44. Nine Deuce February 11, 2009 at 2:34 PM #

    Subversive Sub – Sorry, I’m insanely busy right now or I’d be participating more. I’m all for discussing this stuff, but it’ll have to be later on when I’m done with this paper and these meetings.

  45. buggle February 11, 2009 at 2:43 PM #

    Delphyne, you are the voice of reality amongst a sea of delusion!

    Nanella- word- you are so right on! Maybe the BDSM’ers just looooove being abused so much, they come to radical feminist blogs just to get more abuse. Seems like they like it, since they keep showing up and posting their ridiculous denials over and over and over and over.

    I really find these people pathetic and tiresome. And totally unwilling to consider anything other than their own sad, exploitative existence.

    These people won’t be happy until they get what they want- which is apparently for feminists to tell them that BDSM is actually feminist and super duper awesome and empowerfulizing and great for women! And there’s nothing abusive about it or problematic about it, it’s all good, not even worth talking about or thinking about. Just do whatever you want to get off and don’t think about or care who you might be hurting (including yourself!) There, are you happy now? Go forth and beat each other senseless, since you “enjoy” it so much.

  46. Gorgias February 11, 2009 at 4:49 PM #

    “In order for me to oppress you, I have to be in charge of something that directly affects your life. I’m not.”

    That seems to be an odd tack for a feminist to take. So much of your analysis seems to be based upon indirect promulgation of attitudes that eventually wind up having a negative effect on people. If guys looking at porn a thousand miles away from you can be scions of the patriarchy (they are not, so far as I can tell “in charge of something that directly affects your life”), then surely your hateful spew can contribute to the oppression those of non-mainstream sexualities face day after day.

    “Unless you are ready to say that female submission is innate or that being gay is a choice”

    False dichotomy. I’m willing to say that both homosexuality and kinkines are sexual orientations whose primary component is nurture. I feel a good definition of sexual orientation is a sexual desire the tends to manifest early, becomes an important part of a person’s identity, and is very difficult to change through therapy. I think kinkiness applies. I’m still not getting your reluctance to extend the definition here: the extension is so obvious that you’re clearly only hanging onto it as a rhetorical point to avoid cognitive dissonance. Maybe we’re a bad sexual orientation. Maybe we deserve oppression, in order to keep us from hurting more people (again, pedophilia being a sexual orientation I would categorize as such). But we’re still a sexual orientation.

    Moreover, nothing demonstrates your complete lack of empathy for people like us, your refusal to see us as human, than this position. You clearly don’t want to deal with a sadist or a masochist who was confused as hell throughout puberty, thinking that they are a monster. You clearly want to deligitmize their anguish, view the paranoia that their families will find out as justified, and the mockery of their friends as natural consequences. Your inhuman and callous reaction to Jay Wiseman’s suicidal thoughts demonstrates this more than anything else you could post.

    “Questioning a practice does not equal abuse or oppression.”

    No, it doesn’t. See, this post? This post is fine, and you’re likely to get some pretty good discussion out of it.

    But you’re pulling a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde impression when you tell sadomasochists to kill themselves, call it the equivalent of renaissance faires, spend a good part of your second article mocking us, and mock the suicidal thoughts of one of our own. Then you act all offended and pretend “oh, I just wanted civil conversation! I just want to understand! Why are you guys all offended?”

    Maybe because you’re offensive.

    This isn’t about getting to a a better understanding of BDSM. This is about winning rhetorical points with your in-crowd. You’re o0nly backpedalling in your comments because you’ve finally been challenged.

    “I’d refuse to question their assumptions and behavior”

    Except you haven’t been questioning, at least until this post. You’ve been condemning from the start, and seem pretty uninterested in conversation.

    “Choice does not equal progressiveness.”

    But on the other hand, advocating the imprisonment or institutionalization of women who choose this because they obviously don’t know what they want is denying their agency. I’m not sure if you’ve been advocating this position, but it’s for damn sure that many of your commenters have.

    I think also, again, my entire criteria is whether or not people are more happy for what they do in the bedroom, and if that benefit to the person is outweighed by negative social consequences, if there are any. It’s certainly not foolproof, but yes, being closer to the situation themselves and knowing themselves better than anyone else, an individual is more likely to make a choice leading to their own happiness than anyone else, generally speaking. So the fact that it’s chosen means that it’s likely to lead to happiness, even if it may be conditioned by patriarchy.

    “either because there is some benefit in doing so or because they think they can do them “the right way.””

    I will say that I mostly reject the feminist adage the personal is political, at least in the manifestation that Trinity has railed against it on her blog (i.e. as a way of zealously making sure that every act in your life is “feminist” and holding every personal action to political ideals as opposed to campaigning for government provided day care or something similar). Ultimately the standard I hold myself to is whether or not there’s more happiness in the world from my actions than before it (yeah, I’m a utilitarian. With slight virtue ethics leaning). And all I know is, engaging in such relationships makes me happy. So far as I can tell, it makes my partner happy. I know that while both me and my partner could survive in a different type of relationship, we would be far less happy (again, similar to the homosexuality thing). I also know that BDSM is not what you claim it is. That consent and focus on mutual gratification and intimacy turns this as far away from patriarchal oppression and Saddam’s rape rooms as sex is from rape. That there is no cause for others to be hurt by my example, and indeed, that others struggling with their non mainstream sexual desires might be able to benefit from an active and supportive scene.

    Ultimately, I look at the world where it is after choosing to participate in BDSM, and I can say that it is a better world. Maybe not by much, but for me, my Master, and to a much lesser extent the community around us, we’ve brought a bit more joy into the world. No one else is harmed or even involved. So why should I go through all this handwringing?

    “The dominance/submission paradigm is the problem. The patriarchy is the manifestation of that paradigm. We are swimming in it. Makes no difference if you do the back stroke like the religious people do, or the doggie paddle. You are promoting the system that Radical Feminists intend to overthrow.”

    I suppose in glorious feminist utopia, children will be free to do what they want without interference from their parents?

    I’m not an anarchist. Power and hierarchy aren’t necessarily bad. Some people find the rigid power structures of military or religious life important for their happiness. Sometimes you need those rigid power structures to get stuff done, like in the military. And some people find their romantic lives enriched by such a power dynamic. And it should go without saying that, no matter how permissive a parent you are or how much you reject the disciplinarian stance, there has to be some level of power imbalance between children and their parents.

    In short, the only standard to which I hold myself is human happiness. While we’re in a minority, there are people who are most happy under authority. Therefore heirarchy can be a good thing if it is freely chosen and not imposed upon the majority of people who are likely to be unhappy under those circumstances.

    “I know that female doms aren’t free from having to deal with shit from professed submissive men. But I think it needs separate analysis.”

    No doubt F/m is pretty fucked up (oh, I am so so glad I’m bisexual). For starters, go read pretty much the entirety of Bitchy Jones’ Diary. I’ve a feeling you two would like each other, actually.

    “And for the record, BDSM is not kinky. It’s A-B-U-S-E. Physical and psychological abuse. Not hip, not edgy, not fun, not kinky. ABUSE!”

    Define abuse, please. I think it’s difficult to create a definition that involves the mutual satisfaction of the participants.

    “Every past love relationship was with a man who ridiculed me, who treated me like I was nothing very important, who bullied and manipulated, used me and cheated on me, did everything but treat me like something infinitely precious worthy of an abundance of kindness, respect, and love.”

    And you seem to assume that that’s how our dominant partners treat us. I can say that my partner only ridiculues me when it turns me on (=P), treats me like I’m something important, hasn’t bullied or manipulated me, and to my knowledge has never cheat on me. He has treated me with kindness (in his own way =P), respect, and love.

    Dom/sub relationships are not what you think they are.

    “Nanella- word- you are so right on! Maybe the BDSM’ers just looooove being abused so much, they come to radical feminist blogs just to get more abuse. Seems like they like it, since they keep showing up and posting their ridiculous denials over and over and over and over.”

    Good pain/bad pain my friends.

    I don’t think there’s ever been a masochist that’s eroticized indigestion or stubbing a toe. Likewise, I think it’s pretty clear that attacking me as a person and deligitmizing my lifestyle is something that falls under bad pain for us.

    “These people won’t be happy until they get what they want- which is apparently for feminists to tell them that BDSM is actually feminist and super duper awesome and empowerfulizing and great for women! And there’s nothing abusive about it or problematic about it, it’s all good, not even worth talking about or thinking about. Just do whatever you want to get off and don’t think about or care who you might be hurting (including yourself!) There, are you happy now? Go forth and beat each other senseless, since you “enjoy” it so much.”

    Why do you hate happiness?

  47. firefey February 11, 2009 at 4:58 PM #

    “Every past love relationship was with a man who ridiculed me, who treated me like I was nothing very important, who bullied and manipulated, used me and cheated on me, did everything but treat me like something infinitely precious worthy of an abundance of kindness, respect, and love.”

    and what of those relationships where we are treated/treat our partners with an abundance of kindness, repect, and love that also involve BDSM play and dynamics? cause honestly, that’s the majority of relationships i’ve encountered in the community.

  48. firefey February 11, 2009 at 5:01 PM #

    “I really find these people pathetic and tiresome. And totally unwilling to consider anything other than their own sad, exploitative existence.”

    because you’ve been SO willing to consider someone elses view point? yeah, you and me kettle. black as can be.

  49. delphyne February 11, 2009 at 5:23 PM #

    “i also have a journal in which i can write my concerns for Him to read and write responses to.”

    I just wanted to add, he asked you to do this didn’t he or am I getting mixed up with other blogs I read? Whatever, reading your journal is *surveillance*, it’s the sort of thing they do in totalitarian regimes, expect he’s got you spying on and betraying yourself rather than getting other people to spy on you for him. If you and he have that super-bond, why does he need to read your journal? Aren’t these masters supposed to be totally in tune with the women they “own” and know exactly what they need? Yet he has to read your innermost thoughts before he knows about them. Funny that.

    For all the diversity that there is supposed to be in this community, the subs tell very similar stories – they weren’t into being tortured before they met their sadist (but of course he discovered their “true” natures surprise, surprise), everything he wants amazingly they want too, they all get asked to write a journal, they all get asked to blog and they all seem to think that their genuine responses to being tortured are meaningless because their world view tells them they feel something else. If you’re screaming in pain that’s your body telling you to stop what is happening to you if you can. Why are you ignoring it?

    I can see the attraction in a way – you get these relationships absolutely full of artificially created adrenalin and drama. Trauma makes you bond which might feel like love even if it isn’t. After being in tremendous pain, discomfort and fear it must be a huge relief to be comforted and helped, but the person who is doing that for you is the person who hurt you in the first place. It all comes at a huge cost however, you do it at the expense of ignoring your bodies, ignoring your feelings and corroding your innermost self. Our feelings and our responses to pain have evolved over millions of years to help us be safer in the world – if we didn’t have them we probably wouldn’t last more than a couple of hours. Yet BDSMers are prepared to completely disrespect and abuse them to get some short term adrenalin rush because they don’t want to examine exactly why they might have this deep familiarity with relationships where one person is abused and hurt and that abuse and hurt is called love.

  50. Rachael February 11, 2009 at 6:41 PM #

    This is an extremely interesting debate. I once again want to thank you for bringing up these uncomfortable issues. I am looking forward to seeing more.

  51. Charlie February 11, 2009 at 6:44 PM #

    Actually, I read a wide range of blogs because I enjoy exploring ideas and perspectives that differ from mine. I prefer to sometimes engage in dialogue with people whose opinions challenge mine, rather than surrounding myself with people who mirror back to me the things I already believe. There’s nothing masochistic about that and once again, I want to point out that I don’t need anyone to project motivations onto me. And if you prefer to only interact with people who agree with you, that’s up to you. Personally, I would find that a safe but bland experience.

    buggle- do you genuinely not see how using language like “other than their own sad, exploitative existence” demeans people? Does it really not occur to you that you’re talking about people disrespectfully? Can you disagree with or be angry with someone without disrespecting them?

    Yes, there are lots of ways in which many people engage in BDSM that are problematic, or influenced by early childhood experiences, or sexism, or what not. And there are lots ways that people engage in vanilla sex, in alcohol use, in exercise, and in eating that are similarly problematic, the result of shame and low self-esteem, trauma, or other issues. And guess what? Just as it’s possible to do any of those things from a place of joy, love, pleasure, and well-being, it’s possible to engage in BDSM from those places, too. I’ve done it and unless you want to deny the validity of my experience or assume I’m lying, then how about trying to wrap your mind around the possibility?

    I expect that some people will want to ask me about that, perhaps our of curiosity and perhaps out of a desire to prove that I’m lying. I don’t particularly care to open up about some profoundly transformative experiences when I know that some of the potential audience is looking for ways to attack me. But I will tell you that both my partner and I are some of the happiest people I know, that we’ve been together for 17 amazing years, and that we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    One thing that I will share with you is that my experience has shown that many of the issues that 9-2 and others raise are especially problematic among the straight BDSM world. I live in a very queer world, in which most of the people I know (of all genders) have explored their internalized sexism and homophobia and examined how they affect their sexual practices. To put it simply, queer folks often approach these issues very differently from their straight counterparts. So perhaps the problem isn’t with BDSM per se, but with the ways in which it often plays out among (some? many?) heterosexual folks.

    I think there are some really important questions here:

    1) What makes it possible for someone to engage in BDSM (or any form of sexuality) that supports their well-being?

    2) How does BDSM differ among queer people, as compared to straight people? How can that inform our sexual practices, whatever our sexual orientation might be?

    3) Given that the majority of people are straight, how can we challenge heteronormative patriarchal modes of behavior, while also leaving room for sexual diversity?

    4) What can we do about the influence of media images (both sexually explicit and not) on the ways in which people envision and negotiate sex?

    5) And finally, can we have a dialogue about sex that doesn’t include anyone calling someone else sick/sinful/disgusting/dirty/abnormal?

  52. Rachel February 11, 2009 at 7:11 PM #

    We’ll have to disagree then, because I have no way to prove that the customers are going to the site in order to see dominant women rather than submissive men. I’m going by the way it’s being marketed, which could be plausibly interpreted your way. I have to add that it would be more plausible if women’s sexual performance weren’t sold as a product everywhere in our culture, but exceptions do exist.

    Also, check out “Friction” on the blogroll of this blog. She is a pro-domme and has some posts about how she is not expected to be dominant, but rather to give “submissive” male customers the type of sexual service they request. Also, it’s a really great blog in general.

  53. buggle February 11, 2009 at 7:40 PM #

    Charlie, does it not occur to you that BDSM is demeaning towards humanity, especially towards women? Does it not occur to you that hurting your partner is disrespectful?

    The stupid, it hurts.

  54. RenegadeEvolution February 11, 2009 at 8:06 PM #

    buggle, does it not occur to you that calling people pathetic, stupid so on, so forth, is also demeaning and disrespectful?

  55. Charlie February 11, 2009 at 8:26 PM #

    buggle- um, no. I don’t experience BDSM as inherently demeaning. Tell me- if I get turned on from the physical sensation of being spanked, how is it necessarily demeaning if I receive that? If I like the sensation of bondage, why does it have to be demeaning? Can you truly not imagine a way to receive those experiences that isn’t demeaning?

    I have experienced demeaning sex. Some of it was in a BDSM context and some of it wasn’t. And I can tell you that the difference between demeaning sex and non-demeaning sex is unmistakable. So please don’t tell me that I’m kidding myself. I’m an adult and I know the difference between the two.

    Further, please see my comment above about strong sensation, hickeys and welts. And then tell me- is it disrespectful to give your partner a hickey? Even though that same love bite would be quite painful in a non-sexual context?

    As I see it, part of the communication gap is that you’re taking a wide range of behaviors and experiences and conflating them. Rather than seeking a more nuanced approach to a complex topic, you’re looking for a simple answer. And when I say that some sex and some BDSM is demeaning, and when I ask what we can do to develop a more complex analysis, you bring it back to a one-dimensional model that ignores many peoples’ experiences. Then you get to say that those people are delusional and stupid.

    Funny- my grandmother always told me that calling someone stupid was disrespectful. Or does it not count because you’re doing it?

  56. bonobobabe February 11, 2009 at 9:01 PM #

    Define abuse, please. I think it’s difficult to create a definition that involves the mutual satisfaction of the participants.

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Have you never seen a person kick or hit or otherwise beat a dog? And the dog comes back all cowed and low to the ground, licking his “master’s” hand? Just b/c the dog continues to come back and doesn’t attack the human does not mean the dog LIKES it, and it doesn’t mean it’s not abuse.

    There are other people commenting here who are way more articulate than I am. Delphyne, for example, has been very logical, calm, and rational.

    I, however, am sick to death of this fucking bullshit. And I will not read anymore threads about BDSM. And my final comment here will be this:

    You guys are all a bunch of sick, fucking, woman-hating bastards who get off on abusing women. You’re immoral, perverted, deviant, and I really don’t fucking care if I hurt your pwecious widdle feelings. Too bad I’m an atheist or I’d tell you all to go to hell.

  57. firefey February 11, 2009 at 9:01 PM #

    in other words charlie… no. she isn’t.

    i would however like to thank you for your calm and reasonable voice. i would be interested in hearing more of what you have to say. i don’t think that’ll end up being here though.

  58. subversive_sub February 11, 2009 at 9:30 PM #

    @9-2: Understandable! Good luck with the paper etc.

  59. McStar February 11, 2009 at 10:02 PM #

    “BDSM is demeaning towards humanity”

    Firstly, that is your personal opinion, and these debates would be a lot more mature and productive if people stopped expressing their personal opinions as if they were universal truths.

    Secondly, I fail to understand how a type of sexual practice/orientation that is experienced by a relatively small minority of people can possibly be so powerful as to be demeaning to ALL OF HUMANITY! The majority of people I know in real life don’t know what I do in the bedroom, certainly not in any detail. How can I possibly be demeaning them if they don’t even know that I’m kinky?

    I completely accept that there are parallels between kinky sex and some types of sex that are most accepted/promoted by sexist or patriarchal norms. I think this is a problem. I had an interesting discussion with a (non-kinky) female friend recently, she was telling me about a very nasty bloke she briefly dated who used to forcibly push/hold her head down when she performed oral sex (when he did it for I think the third time, after being asked not to, she bit down hard and informed him he was dumped, so this story has a happy ending :D) To him, it was presumably a-ok to continue shoving her head down, presumably largely due to the sexist & patriarchal ideas he held about sex. To me, as a kinky person, the idea that someone would do such an explicitly dominant thing during sex without prior negotiation is bizarre. If you compare my friend’s experience with mine (I wanted my lover to do exactly the same thing to me, because I find it exciting; and had to repeatedly reassure him that it was ok and genuinely what I wanted), it’s the non-kinky sex, the sex where a person was unthinkingly acting in a patriarchy-approved dominating manner, which made a woman feel demeaned. Not BDSM. Idiot boys who think it’s ok to be forceful or manipulative in that way are not practicing BDSM. They’re being sexually violent fuckwits. The big problem here is not people who choose to explore pain and power in their sex lives. It’s the people who assume they can do whatever they like with others’ bodies.

    Sexist myths and lies about coercion and rape, bad sex education, social acceptance of intimate partner violence, a horrendously outdated and sexist legal system… these are things that sexually demean humanity. The consensual acts of two (or more!) happy and informed adults do not.

  60. Gorgias February 11, 2009 at 10:43 PM #

    “Whatever, reading your journal is *surveillance*, it’s the sort of thing they do in totalitarian regimes, expect he’s got you spying on and betraying yourself rather than getting other people to spy on you for him. If you and he have that super-bond, why does he need to read your journal? Aren’t these masters supposed to be totally in tune with the women they “own” and know exactly what they need? Yet he has to read your innermost thoughts before he knows about them. Funny that.”

    So apparently dominants are horrible people if they ask for frank communication and aren’t mind reading prodigies.

    “For all the diversity that there is supposed to be in this community, the subs tell very similar stories – they weren’t into being tortured before they met their sadist”

    This is far and away not the dominant narrative (if anything, the dominant narrative I’ve heard is the sub trying to convince their partner to be more domly, but then much of my experience comes from F/m which has the problem of 10 male submissives for every female dominant). The fact that you think it is makes me question how much you’ve actually read.

    “If you’re screaming in pain that’s your body telling you to stop what is happening to you if you can. Why are you ignoring it?”

    Tell that to people who have tattoos/piercings/surgeries/play contact sports/ exercise.

    “It all comes at a huge cost however, you do it at the expense of ignoring your bodies, ignoring your feelings and corroding your innermost self”

    I tried ignoring my body and my feelings for a long time. It didn’t work. I’m a lot happier and much more in tune with my innermost self now that I don’t try to repress my submissive and masochistic feelings.

    “Our feelings and our responses to pain have evolved over millions of years to help us be safer in the world – if we didn’t have them we probably wouldn’t last more than a couple of hours.”

    Explain the endorphin rush from pain if we’re doing it wrong or unnaturally. In any case, the only thing to be considered as far as pain is concerned is whether or not what you’re doing is potentially dangerous to your body- and there are plenty of ways to inflict pain with minimal risk. Per capita, you’ll see far more injuries from contact sports or exercising than you will with BDSM.

  61. delphyne February 11, 2009 at 11:52 PM #

    “but then much of my experience comes from F/m which has the problem of 10 male submissives for every female dominant). The fact that you think it is makes me question how much you’ve actually read.”

    Oh FFS I’m talking about female subs. If you’d bothered to read what I’d written that would be quite clear.

    I’m not interested in male subs with female dominants, they’re just a bunch of fetishists who get off on fetishising the idea of women being cruel. And of course they want women to be more cruel to them, that’s their creepy kink. It’s still the man in control though getting the woman to follow his lead.

    But thanks for pointing out how male sadism is rife in the BDSM community because if you believed the propaganda you’d think that it was always kinky women in corsets and high heeled boots whipping some weak little man, rather than a bunch of abusive men creating a “lifestyle” so they can freely torture women whilst hiding behind the so-called consent of the women they abuse.

    Also, what Bonobobabe said. I don’t know if you are all totally naive, or totally disingenuous (the latter I suspect). Cringing servility doesn’t mean that a person likes something, it just means they are being dominated (really dominated not the pretend kind) by someone with a lot more power than them; and if they tell themselves they like it, it’s a coping mechanism. Mind you in the subs’ journals they are all talking about how they didn’t like something, then all of a sudden it gets magically turned into what they wanted. Being terrorised, tortured and in fear for your life and your bodily integrity does that kind of thing to your thought processes though.

  62. Gorgias February 12, 2009 at 12:01 AM #

    “Cringing servility doesn’t mean that a person likes something, it just means they are being dominated (really dominated not the pretend kind) by someone with a lot more power than them”

    I never claimed such.

    What I am claiming is that a person claiming that they like something is a good indication that they do like something. Listening to a woman’s experience and accepting it! How utterly unfeminist of me.

    “Oh FFS I’m talking about female subs. If you’d bothered to read what I’d written that would be quite clear.”

    I know. That is not the dominant narrative in M/f either, in my experience. I was acknowledging that my experience has skewed toward F/m, but I do read many BDSM blogs, and before the posting of that blog I deemed abuse (still waiting for a link, BTW), I hadn’t heard any stories of male doms grooming vanilla women into becoming submissive.

  63. Gayle February 12, 2009 at 12:14 AM #

    subversive_sub

    HA! You people crack me up. “Subversive sub.” ‘Cause being a “sub” is soooooo subversive.

    Why you’re practically overthrowing the patriarchy all on your own. LOL!

  64. firefey February 12, 2009 at 12:16 AM #

    “I’m not interested in male subs with female dominants, they’re just a bunch of fetishists who get off on fetishising the idea of women being cruel. And of course they want women to be more cruel to them, that’s their creepy kink. It’s still the man in control though getting the woman to follow his lead.”

    delphney, you have no idea what you are talking about. there really is no more concise way for me to put that.

  65. McStar February 12, 2009 at 12:17 AM #

    OK. So, if male doms are all abusive rapists, male subs are all creeply and controlling, female doms are all manipulated into performing a role, and female subs are all brainwashed abuse victims…

    What am I?

    My partner and I gradually discovered kink together, about a year into our relationship. We’ve both suggested new ideas for play, almost always bringing up something that we’d like to try because we personally find the idea exciting. We both enjoy taking either a sub or a dom role and tend to each assume each role a more or less equal amount of time. In BDSM jargon, we’re “switches”. We don’t have a full-time BDSM relationship and there is no psychological manipulation or control in our relationship at all.**

    How exactly do we fit into your categories?

    (btw – if you can possibly come up with an answer that doesn’t involve the implication or outright assertion that I’m self-delusional or insane, that’d be great. Ta.)

    **I don’t think that 24/7 relationships or relationships that do continue kink outside sex are necessarily abusive either, but I’m not even going to attempt to argue that one with you right now.

  66. Gayle February 12, 2009 at 12:24 AM #

    ”Once again, I simply ask if by being a Dom, I must automatically be a women-hater?’

    Yes.”

    Second!!

  67. Gayle February 12, 2009 at 12:29 AM #

    Okay, I didn’t mean to post three time in a row, but this:

    “1. Do you really think it’s possible to remove power from sex? Take a second to reconsider this assertion.”

    That is just sad.

  68. hexy February 12, 2009 at 12:33 AM #

    ND:

    I haven’t been chiming in on this debate over here because 1) I don’t really feel like putting myself out there to get berated and insulted by your commentariat, 2) I’m not a femsub, and 3) I don’t use porn, hence my only opinions about kink.com come from a few friends who have worked there, and I haven’t even seen the product.

    However, I wanted to address this:

    In order for me to oppress you, I have to be in charge of something that directly affects your life. I’m not.

    That’s not the case at all. To participate in the oppression of another person, all you have to do is possess and utilise privilege. While I refuse to play “who’s oppressed more”, you hold certain types of privilege that some of us have no or minimal access to. You are not incapable of adding to the oppression of an underprivileged class you don’t belong to just because you belong to a different underprivileged class.

    Also, Lillie:

    (re: cutting) And most people would see this as a psychiatric problem.

    You don’t see a problem with a coping mechanism that is largely used by women being labelled as a problem in and of itself by the male-dominated and very patriarchal psychiatric system? I can assure you that the biggest concern doctors have if a woman in engaging in superficial cutting and self-harm as a means of coping with psychological pain is that she may be ruining her looks.

  69. Gayle February 12, 2009 at 12:54 AM #

    “You don’t see a problem with a coping mechanism that is largely used by women being labelled as a problem in and of itself by the male-dominated and very patriarchal psychiatric system?”

    I don’t. And I’m no fan of the patriarchal psychiatric system.

    Are we suppose to be for cutting now because some otherwise sexist dudes acknowledge it’s a problem? Where does that logic end?

  70. hexy February 12, 2009 at 12:59 AM #


    Are we suppose to be for cutting now because some otherwise sexist dudes acknowledge it’s a problem? Where does that logic end?

    I wouldn’t know, it’s not the logic I’m using.

    I consider the rejection of cutting as a coping technique to be a bad thing because it enforces a neurotypical standard on how people “should” cope with things and “should” interpret sensation when they’re in a non-neurotypical state, and also because it ignores the voices of many, many women who are cutters or ex cutters who have spoken about how their physical self harm saved their lives.

    I’m one of them.

  71. McStar February 12, 2009 at 1:08 AM #

    ““1. Do you really think it’s possible to remove power from sex? Take a second to reconsider this assertion.”

    That is just sad.”

    Hang on a sec – I’ve always thought that the difficulty of removing power from sex was an essential part of feminist discourse. Especially in radical feminist discourse, in my experience of it, due to its focus on how the patriarchy affects all aspects of women’s lives. I’ve definitely read statements from feminists that suggest that it’s difficult or impossible for sex within patriarchy to be without power imbalance. Robin Morgan, and I believe Dworkin, for a start. Why is it suddenly “sad”, because the same idea is being expressed by someone outside this particular group of internet feminists?

    • Nine Deuce February 12, 2009 at 2:07 AM #

      No, McStar, because the person who said it can’t even imagine a world in which sex isn’t linked to power.

  72. Charlie February 12, 2009 at 7:06 AM #

    *Raises eyebrow* And this here is why I refuse to be associated with feminists…

    *Sigh*

    Look ladies have any of you actually ever participated in BDSM? Do you know people who are in BDSM relationships? Have you actually observed these relationships and the interplay of power and control?

    A sub, 9 times out of fucking 10, is the one in charge. A dom doesn’t just find some girl to beat the crap out of, he has to find some girl that wants the crap beaten out of her, he has to do so in the manner she prefers and does so with her permission. She is in charge, she is saying this how I want to be hit, she lays out the terms. In longer term relationships there is no doubt NEGOTIATION. You lot have heard of this word right? It’s where two SANE people sit down and talk. Sometimes these sane people are of different genders *Gasp* This si to make sue both partners get what they want. A sub is as capable of walking out of an unfulfillign relationship as a dom is. Contrary to your beliefs otherwise.

    I’m not a sub, but I like to be handled quite roughly, I love to be pinned down, I even like to be tied up from time to time. It turns me on. I like handing over control to my partner, I have a fucking ball wrestling with him when he tries to pin me. It’s fun. I like the endorphin rush from beind bitten hard. It feels good. Where do I fit into your nice little “Fucked up” and “sane” category huh?

    As for female doms. The kinky fetish type… some of them are genuinely into that kind of gear (uncomfortable yes, but it does look damn good on in my experience) and some are doing it for show because it’s what’s expected. It’s no different from any other person trying to conform to societies will, and yeah even you fucking feminist lot do it. You’re taking a hard line stance against something you don’t understand in the slightest, trying to demean the people who are part of that scene and live that lifestyle and are trying to enforce you “rules” upon all women.

    I speak for me, and feminist will never be anything less than an insult to me because of people like those in this thread.

    I will defend myself, I will speak for myself, I will protect those who can’t do either where I can, I will beat the living shit out of any man who harms another woman in my presence, and I will be fucked exactly how I want to be fucked when I want, but I want nothing to do with bigotted, snarky little feminist snots trying to take my free choice away. I’ve already got the government to contend with on that, I don’t need you as well.

  73. McStar February 12, 2009 at 8:30 AM #

    That’s the second time now on this site I’ve read a statement about what people can or can’t imagine, surmised from their sexual or political preferences; and it still strikes me as a totally weird argument. How on earth can you have any idea what another person is capable of imagining? I can imagine a world in which sex isn’t linked to power, and I suspect that Fivestar probably can too. The human imagination is a wonderful thing ;)

    The difference between Person A saying “this society cannot separate power from sex” and Person B saying “this society cannot separate power from sex, but once we’ve overthrown the patriarchy, it will” is merely a matter of personal politics.

  74. isme February 12, 2009 at 11:51 AM #

    “I’m not interested in male subs with female dominants, they’re just a bunch of fetishists who get off on fetishising the idea of women being cruel. And of course they want women to be more cruel to them, that’s their creepy kink.”

    Out of interest, what would you say the reason for the different motives (for lack of a better word) for the same behaviour?

  75. James February 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM #

    Why you’re practically overthrowing the patriarchy all on your own. LOL!

    And how much damage are you doing?

  76. James February 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM #

    I think that insults from those who have established no degree of verstehen with the target are invariably far more telling about the spewer than the target. Observe:

    You guys are all a bunch of sick, fucking, woman-hating bastards who get off on abusing women. You’re immoral, perverted, deviant, and I really don’t fucking care if I hurt your pwecious widdle feelings. Too bad I’m an atheist or I’d tell you all to go to hell.

    Bonobobabe here claims that there is a universal morality which BDSMers defy (without outlining it), labels them “Perverse” (without outlining why that’s bad) and states that they deviate from the norm. Now lets leave aside the former two (which are effectively meaningless when detached from further reasoning which she has not provided) and focus upon the last.

    A “Deviant”. Here she argues that BDSMers are bad because they do not obey conformity. I suspect that it is here that we get the whole “Subversive” and “Revolutionary” angle attacked both upon this thread and in ND articles beforehand. I can understand criticism of this (although as a proviso I would say that radical feminist blogs or blog comments read largely by a radical feminist audience aren’t particularly revolutionary either), but I don’t simply fail completely to understand how a radical feminist (that is, someone who does not even act as most feminists do, let alone most women in society) can possibly imagine somebody who deviates to be a bad person purely for it.

    I’d request that BonoboBabe explain this, but she appears no longer to be with us. If anyone else feels the same way then please fill in for her.

  77. Evo February 12, 2009 at 4:04 PM #

    Holy shitstorm, ND. I have been watching this whole thing unfold from a distance, but after seeing you and others being repeatedly attacked for having the audacity to analyze something on your own fucking blog, I had to come and lend my support to you. I think you have handled this with amazing diplomacy. I can understand people feeling attacked, as, if I read this say 3 or 4 years ago, I probably would feel the same way. Some people will be able to take the points you make to heart, though, I suspect most of those entrenched in the “lifestyle” will not. As you’ve said, you’re speaking primarily to those on the fence and I believe those who are in that position will at the very least, in the words of Twisty, cast a jaundiced eye upon the BDSM world before signing their life and agency away to another individual.

    My limited experience with M/f BDSM was disturbing to say the least. That’s not to say that I didn’t derive some pleasure from it at the time, but once I was out of those situations and able to think critically about why being hurt was exciting to me as well as speculate as to why hurting me was pleasurable to someone else, I really could not stomach it. I was a cutter as a teenager. I have a history of abuse. I would say, in my case, I believe 100% that my attraction to submission was inextricably linked to previous abuse. The idea of asking my current partner to hurt me is horrifying to me at this point in my life. I believe he would be equally, if not more, horrified if I did ask
    I have more experience in F/m and was seriously considering going pro domme at one point. I also did some fetish modeling. I would agree with whomever (delphyne, I believe) said that male subs are actually the ones in control. F/m is all about dressing up in really uncomfortable shite and acting out what the man finds exciting. Much of what I would be doing as a pro domme basically amounted to prostitution and I found myself unable to go through with it, despite already having bought a fortune worth of clothing and equipment. I also found male subs to be really, really fucking annoying. They are whiny and needy and always want something from you. I thought when I was getting into it that it would be all about me and what I wanted. Not so in reality from my experience.

    Further, and I know this has been said over and over again, but I think it bears repeating, there is nothing subversive or revolutionary or edgy about BDSM. It really is taking the same old power dynamic and wrapping it in a latex bow and trying to sell it as something new and different. It’s not.

    In short, I agree with what you have said in this and other posts on BDSM. It all jives with my personal experiences as well as the experiences of others I know who have had varying levels of involvement in the “scene”.

  78. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 4:10 PM #

    “As for female doms. The kinky fetish type… some of them are genuinely into that kind of gear (uncomfortable yes, but it does look damn good on in my experience) and some are doing it for show because it’s what’s expected.”

    Yeah. I’m not at all into it, but I know people who really do enjoy it. And you know what? The bored people doing it because they think it’s expected look uncomfortable and annoyed. The people doing it because they like it, regardless of body type or conventional attractiveness, look sexy as hell.

  79. Natalia Antonova February 12, 2009 at 5:09 PM #

    I’m one of those people who doesn’t really mind words like “crazy,” “insane,” etc. I use them quite a bit myself.

    However, I read this thread, and I keep seeing repeated instances of the following:

    – These people don’t know what’s good for them
    – Their lives are sad
    – They should seek therapy
    – They’re sick, twisted…
    et cetera, et cetera.

    You know what? This is classic ableism. Classic. Ya’ll remind me of gentle concern trolls who come over to my site and leave crap like “ooooh, but how could you possibly be trusted in your views or opinions if you have survived violence/abuse?” or “do you think you’re *fit* to comment on A, B, or C?” or “see, if you were *normal*, you wouldn’t feel this way about X, Y, Z…”

    It’s disingenuous and demeaning.

  80. firefey February 12, 2009 at 5:23 PM #

    also, can we get something really clear here… pro domme work is not the same as lifestyle Fem Domme BDSM. at all. my relationship, as with most long term BDSM relationships, isn’t all about me. but it sure as hell isn’t all about the man who submits to me.

    does pro domme work have an influence or effect of lifestyle Fem Domme? i’m sure that it does. what i’m not sure of is he ability of some people here to have enough analytical ability to differentiate between the two.

  81. firefey February 12, 2009 at 5:24 PM #

    also… corsets and really high heels? sign me up!

  82. Lillie February 12, 2009 at 5:37 PM #

    I consider the rejection of cutting as a coping technique to be a bad thing because it enforces a neurotypical standard on how people “should” cope with things and “should” interpret sensation when they’re in a non-neurotypical state, and also because it ignores the voices of many, many women who are cutters or ex cutters who have spoken about how their physical self harm saved their lives.

    That’s an interesting point of view, hexy, and I’m sorry if I offended you. But as you say cutting was a “coping technique” for you, I assume there was an underlying problem you were trying to cope with – perhaps depression? (I hope you’re well now, btw.)

    That’s all I meant, really: not that cutters deserve to be vilified for doing what they do (or women who feel they need corporal punishment to “function”, either), but that if there’s an underlying problem, shouldn’t it be addressed? And isn’t it actually irresponsible to assume that everything’s okay just because it has a sexual dimension? Or is “sexuality” such a sacred cow that even to suggest something might not be okay automatically makes you a bigot?

    Because let’s face it, if somebody is suicidal, self-harming, or destroying themselves with drugs, very few would say it’s their life and their own decision, so let them do what they want, without at least trying to offer help. And if one of my friends were to show up with bruising and scars on her neck and arms, and said it’s all because her husband-Master and she have a “special relationship”, I wouldn’t let go so easily, either. Even if it would make me a busy-body bigot.

    (By the way, hexy, when you said, the biggest concern doctors have if a woman in engaging in superficial cutting and self-harm as a means of coping with psychological pain is that she may be ruining her looks, that doesn’t mesh with my experience at all. But I’m not American so it may be this is dealt with differently over there.)

  83. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 6:49 PM #

    “the biggest concern doctors have if a woman in engaging in superficial cutting and self-harm as a means of coping with psychological pain is that she may be ruining her looks”

    Really? The one time I seriously cut and went in for medical attention, “How can you do this to yourself; you’re so pretty!” was one of the reactions of the nurses to what I’d done.

    I’m truly glad to hear that people elsewhere are more professional, though.

  84. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 6:50 PM #

    “also, can we get something really clear here… pro domme work is not the same as lifestyle Fem Domme BDSM. at all. my relationship, as with most long term BDSM relationships, isn’t all about me. but it sure as hell isn’t all about the man who submits to me.”

    Yes, exactly. That whole “male submissives aren’t really submissive because the Pat programs them not to be” meme is beginning to smell.

  85. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 6:52 PM #

    er, oops, that comment on cutting was supposed to quote

    “(By the way, hexy, when you said, the biggest concern doctors have if a woman in engaging in superficial cutting and self-harm as a means of coping with psychological pain is that she may be ruining her looks, that doesn’t mesh with my experience at all. But I’m not American so it may be this is dealt with differently over there.)”

    I was saying that the nurse did comment on its supposed impact on my looks.

  86. firefey February 12, 2009 at 6:54 PM #

    Lillie, an offer of help is very different than saying you don’t think someone is able to make their own choices, and in fact shouldn’t be allowed to. which brings us back to the idea of informed consent.

    if i know all of the risks in taking any drug, including addiction and death, and i chose to do it anyway am i forfitting my right to make my own decisions? if you offer to help me stop, and i tell you i’m happy and don’t want your help, am i too stupid to make my own choices?

    i undersand that it’s hard to fathom consenting to submission in a BDSM context. i don’t think any of the proponants here are saying they just trapesed into their relationship all la dee da with no discussions taking place before, during, inbetween… because unlike the drug user in your analogy, D/s relationships are evaluated pretty routinely by long term couples. what’s working, what’s not working, where have we been, where are we going, are your needs being met, are my needs being met, etc? and most importantly, do you still consent to this relationship?

    if the answer is an enthusiastic yes, i think that has to suffice. there are too many women out there whos ability to chose, to give an enthusiastic yes, is being impeeded to spend so much time on women and men who are genuinely happy.

  87. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 7:01 PM #

    “That’s all I meant, really: not that cutters deserve to be vilified for doing what they do (or women who feel they need corporal punishment to “function”, either), but that if there’s an underlying problem, shouldn’t it be addressed? And isn’t it actually irresponsible to assume that everything’s okay just because it has a sexual dimension? Or is “sexuality” such a sacred cow that even to suggest something might not be okay automatically makes you a bigot?”

    And, Lillie:

    I don’t think anyone is saying that if there’s an underlying problem, it should be let lie because sex is awesome, or something. What we are saying is that in our own cases we don’t think there’s an underlying problem. We’re being told there must be, that it should be obvious that there is, and we’re saying “No, there isn’t.”

    Some of us are saying we’re not survivors of trauma and are bothered by the assumption we must have been abused. Others of us are saying “Yes, I was, and yes, it has affected me. But I know what my bad coping devices are, and BDSM is not one of them. I am telling you that I see a clear difference between, say, self-harming and SM with my partner, and you are telling me I am deluded.”

    It is possible for people to be wrong about whether something they’re doing is healthy, and no one’s denied it. But I for one would really like a better explanation of how you can be sure that we are wrong when we say that we are very aware of how trauma has affected us, and are working on that, but that we see a very clear difference between that and BDSM.

    I see some lightweight argument for that, which suggests that radical feminists are sure where BDSM comes from so we cannot be right. But I’ve truly seen nothing conclusive in these arguments. All I see is “You must not understand how trauma has affected you”

    and really, I find that deeply insulting, not only to me, but to the therapist who has helped me through some of the darkest times in my life and who happens to agree with me that SM is *not* one of my unhealthy coping devices.

    I know it’s standard operating procedure to answer “but I’m not talking about the personal! Radical feminists never are!” but I’d just like you to sit and think on that for a second. When you tell someone who is a survivor where she is in her healing and what it should look like and when she is wrong in assessing how it’s going, how is there not a personal element to that?

  88. firefey February 12, 2009 at 7:05 PM #

    “That whole “male submissives aren’t really submissive because the Pat programs them not to be” meme…”

    i talked about the concept with my beloved last night. and after we were done laughing our asses off at the idea that he had somehow manuipulated me into the relationship we did some very naughty things….

    but it does go back to my point that F/m should be a part of the discussion about power hierarchies in sexual relationships along side, not seperate from, M/f. but i’m pretty sure i’m not going to see that convo around here aytime soon.

  89. delphyne February 12, 2009 at 7:15 PM #

    I don’t think it’s hard to fathom submission at all.

    For the males who do it it’s a fetish, and for women, the idea of submitting to someone (mainly men) who are more powerful than us has been hammered into us since birth. Submission is a natural response to someone with a lot more power who is dominating you. Rebellion is another possibility but it may not be the safest one at any particular time.

    What gets me is that all these subs seem to think their responses are so different from everybody else’s and so special. Probably most people would have exactly the same reactions given the same set of circumstances and experiences. Human beings are above all adaptable, and will adapt to survive even in the most extreme circumstances.

    It’s also interesting to hear that these tortures are being claimed to be about “love”. As Jenn pointed out before, a lot of this stuff isn’t that different from vanilla het relationships. How many women are coerced into sex acts to prove that they love their guy? – “If you loved me, you’d deep throat me”, “If you loved me you’d let me have anal sex with you”. The “our painful frightening sex is proof of our love for one another” is so laughably familiar it’s untrue. It’s exactly like vanilla het women going on about how much they love deep throating or anal sex with their boyfriends (well their boyfriends certainly love it). Men have been using the promise of love, closeness and relationships to women for centuries to get them to do painful and degrading sex acts. It’s called manipulation and I don’t know why more women don’t wake up to it.

  90. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 7:17 PM #

    “but it does go back to my point that F/m should be a part of the discussion about power hierarchies in sexual relationships along side, not seperate from, M/f. but i’m pretty sure i’m not going to see that convo around here aytime soon.”

    It’s cordoning off the girls because everyone knows girls are no threat. I’m with you.

  91. Lillie February 12, 2009 at 7:23 PM #

    Lillie, an offer of help is very different than saying you don’t think someone is able to make their own choices, and in fact shouldn’t be allowed to.

    But are people really saying that, firefey? Isn’t there a BIG difference between analysing something and suggesting it’s very problematic on many levels, and lobbying for legislation to ban all leather outfits? I could even say BDSM in my opinion morally unacceptable, and that still doesn’t mean I’m saying sexual dynamics based on domination of women shouldn’t be “allowed”. (How could it be “disallowed” anyway? I can see how specific things might be – like, you know, defining some things legally as “abuse”, consensual or not – but somehow I don’t think the dynamic itself or the fetishization of sexual violence is going to be outlawed any time soon…)

    Heck, I think cheating on your spouse is morally unacceptable too, but that doesn’t mean I’m all for sharia.

    if i know all of the risks in taking any drug, including addiction and death, and i chose to do it anyway am i forfitting my right to make my own decisions? if you offer to help me stop, and i tell you i’m happy and don’t want your help, am i too stupid to make my own choices?

    No, but believe me, the way to offer help to an addict isn’t just to ask, “are you ok?” and then say “oh very well, carry on” when they say yes. You can do your best to make a point without locking somebody up until they’re clean. Even if your advice doesn’t ultimately save a life. Happily, it sometimes does. (I’ve seen this first hand, and for the first – oh, I don’t know – dozen times around, the answer was an emphatic “I don’t want your help.”)

    i undersand that it’s hard to fathom consenting to submission in a BDSM context.

    The thing is, it isn’t so hard to fathom. I can see why people do it. I can also see why people do drugs.

  92. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 7:27 PM #

    “I could even say BDSM in my opinion morally unacceptable, and that still doesn’t mean I’m saying sexual dynamics based on domination of women shouldn’t be “allowed”.”

    This doesn’t make any sense. If you feel something is immoral, by definition you don’t want people to do it.

    Saying you don’t is like saying, “Well, of course I personally believe murder is immoral, but I’m not saying it shouldn’t be allowed!”

    Saying something is immoral is saying people, full stop, shouldn’t do it. Or does morality not matter to you at all?

  93. firefey February 12, 2009 at 7:33 PM #

    delph: the thing i see you ignoring, repeatedly, are the cases where women are not begged into a sex act. the woman who likes anal, does she have no right to get that from her partner? what if she wants to try it and brings it up without prior imput from her partner? does it not enter into your world that women are capable of asking for the kind of sex they want without being coerced?

  94. Lillie February 12, 2009 at 8:14 PM #

    I don’t think anyone is saying that if there’s an underlying problem, it should be let lie because sex is awesome, or something. What we are saying is that in our own cases we don’t think there’s an underlying problem. We’re being told there must be, that it should be obvious that there is, and we’re saying “No, there isn’t.”

    I think there’s a fundamental disconnect in this discussion, though, and I’m not sure if there’s any way to bridge it.

    The anti-BDSM people are (for the most part) speaking in the abstract, and the pro-BDSM are relating all arguments directly to their own experience. I can understand it’s annoying when people refuse to see the specific case as specific and insist on arguing from the general, but at the same time, if you keep arguing the general from the particular, there’s no possibility of fruitful discussion at all. All the anti-BDSM arguments are basically shot down by a variation of, “My case is different and you don’t know anything about my life [well, duh]; ergo, you shouldn’t say X about Y because you don’t know how I feel about Y. Therefore, X is untrue. Q.E.D.”

    I’m not sure the pro-BDSM crowd is at all interested in debating BDSM dynamics and the ways it’s problematic from the point of view of feminism. All the arguments seem to ultimately boil down to how your practice of BDSM doesn’t directly interfere with your own perception of feminism/respect for women/life as an independent woman/etc. Well, it doesn’t directly interfere with my life either – nor do many other things I find problematic as a feminist.

    How is that so hard to fathom, I wonder? That one can find things very problematic, plain and simple, without having some kind of a righteous knee-jerk reaction of disgust?

    Saying something is immoral is saying people, full stop, shouldn’t do it. Or does morality not matter to you at all?

    You know, I think I must be morally deficient somehow, because I still see a difference between suggesting people shouldn’t do this or that because of -insert reasoning here-, and demanding that they must stop and be thrown in jail if they don’t.

    But then, I also think cutting down a beautiful old tree in favour of garden gnomes is “morally unacceptable”. I can tell my neighbour I think their decision is wrong and yet, alas, they’ll go on with the chainsaw business in spite of my opinion. And I’m not being facetious (as a feminist and deep ecologist in equal measure).

  95. firefey February 12, 2009 at 9:37 PM #

    “I’m not sure the pro-BDSM crowd is at all interested in debating BDSM dynamics and the ways it’s problematic from the point of view of feminism. ”

    not true. the proBDSM crowd here, as i have read it, has been willing to discuss and debate. however, the insistance that ALL people who do BDSM are a certain way has impeded that. moreover, the way that has been insisted is 1) not a universal in any way despite insistance to the contrary, and 2) monumentally insulting. i will fully support the statement that the proBDSM folks have been using microcosim arguments while the antiBDSM folks have been using macrocosim arguments. but i have a feeling that if the proBDSM folks were to switch to macrocosmic/generalized statements we’d be accused of speaking for everyone in the community. on top of which the general arguments coming from the anti side have been oppinion based without statements of research to back them up. and if you make a sweeping generalization that says ALL people of X have characteristic Y, and there’s one or more people with X that don’t your argument is false. it’s simple logic.

    i’m prefectly happy to debate spesifics, and draw from my own expereinces. i’m happy to look at scientific studies and we can debate their merits and their findings. but this has been a war of oppinions with out concrete data beyond personal anecdata… which isn’t really data at all.

  96. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 10:26 PM #

    “All the arguments seem to ultimately boil down to how your practice of BDSM doesn’t directly interfere with your own perception of feminism/respect for women/life as an independent woman/etc. Well, it doesn’t directly interfere with my life either – nor do many other things I find problematic as a feminist.”

    That’s true, and it’s a fair criticism. But I think the next step in the argument is not bringing back a theory that so many people are saying doesn’t fit, but examining whether the people saying “that’s not ME” are actually exceptions, or are not.

    There’s no way to do that, really, without appealing to studies that examine and document trends. What I saw in my research for a thesis (much of this coming from the book _Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures_, which is a collection of studies and articles on SM from the Journal of Homosexuality) supported the idea that most people see SM as many of us describe it: as playful experimentation that does not relate to bad past experiences.

    I did see a study (Ernulf and Innala, I believe, though I’d have to go look up the actual cite, should you wish) that suggests that female tops are relatively rare; THAT I think we can count as evidence that patriarchy influences the roles people take on.

    Aside from that, though… usually when a theory is challenged by large masses of people, it’s not time to argue for the theory again. It’s time to get out and do the research that demonstrates once and for all whether the theory generally holds and there are a few bright beacons of exception, or whether every third person is The Exception.

  97. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 10:27 PM #

    “How is that so hard to fathom, I wonder? That one can find things very problematic, plain and simple, without having some kind of a righteous knee-jerk reaction of disgust?”

    By itself, it’s not hard to fathom. But in this discussion, reactions of disgust have been clearly evident. People have expressed their disgust many times, especially on the kink.com post. I don’t see how you can think we’re not getting that anti-SM folks are not disgusted. While some of you may well not be, many of you are, and have flatly said as much.

  98. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 10:32 PM #

    “You know, I think I must be morally deficient somehow, because I still see a difference between suggesting people shouldn’t do this or that because of -insert reasoning here-, and demanding that they must stop and be thrown in jail if they don’t.”

    I agree with you that there’s a difference between

    1) an activity’s moral status, and
    2) an activity’s legal status

    and therefore that sometimes it may be right for an immoral action to be legal.

    But we are not discussing legality here. Legality is complicated because limiting people’s liberty, or punishing them at all, brings with it its own set of ethical issues. And even aside from that, there is the question of how feasible it is to punish people for some offenses.

    So I’d appreciate it if we leave legality out of this. It seems you think I brought it in. I didn’t.

    What I am saying is that judging something as immoral is different from saying “Hey, there’s something I’m not sure about there.” Immorality is a serious charge, and I don’t like seeing the word watered down to mean “Oh, I don’t like that, and I think there’s some element of morality-related something to my funny feeling.”

    Actual immorality is something to stand against, not something to squirm about.

  99. Trinity February 12, 2009 at 10:46 PM #

    “i’m happy to look at scientific studies and we can debate their merits and their findings.”

    I’m fine with it too. I’d be particularly interested in what people think of Cross and Mathesen’s study, which didn’t find evidence that the radical feminist view of SM as inherently misogynistic is true:

    “All four groups’ [sadists, masochists, switches, non-sadomasochists] scores indicated beliefs consistent with feminist tenets of equality for the sexes and breaking free of traditional gender roles….

    …Males scored higher than females [note here that they are talking about ALL males, not specifically male sadomasochists] on endorsement of traditional gender roles relative to females. However, examination of both original inventories indicates that the males’ scores, though higher than the females’, were still well within range of relatively pro-feminist views.” (p. 146 in Powerful Pleasures, which I mentioned in my comment above)

    Which is hardly shocking: men are more invested in the Pat than women? Say it ain’t so!

    But, as they say in the study, that by itself is no evidence at all that being a sadomasochist has something to do with it.

    I’m willing to bet people here would simply dismiss it as methodologically flawed, though.

    I wouldn’t disagree with them all; radical feminists rightly point out that people can have unconscious biases and beliefs that can influence them, and those might not show up in glaring neon in a study.

    Still, people often do wave their sexism like a flag when offered an excuse, so I don’t know that it’s entirely dismissible, either.

  100. McStar February 13, 2009 at 1:18 AM #

    “I’m not sure the pro-BDSM crowd is at all interested in debating BDSM dynamics and the ways it’s problematic from the point of view of feminism.”

    Well, that’s certainly not true for me – I’m fascinated by the ways which BDSM relates to feminism (all the ways it relates, not just ways in which it’s problematic or possibly contradictory). I’ve considered myself a feminist for about 12 years and consciously realised I was interested in kink about 5 years ago, and I’ve done quite a lot of thinking and discussing in that time; mostly IRL, as I generally prefer that to internet debates. I’ve made a couple of statements in comment threads here about how I’m interested in these things and can see definite ways in which aspects of BDSM are problematic from a feminist standpoint, but no one has responded as far as I’ve seen.

  101. Faith February 13, 2009 at 1:46 PM #

    “This doesn’t make any sense. If you feel something is immoral, by definition you don’t want people to do it.”

    Don’t want people to do it does not equal not allowing people to do it. I don’t think people should smoke. I really think smoking is a really, really fucking stupid thing to do (says the person who smoked for years starting as a young teenager), I am not, however, campaigning to ban smoking. Just because I don’t want people to do something doesn’t mean I’m going to tell them they can’t.

    I also have not seen anyone say that people should not be allowed to participate in BDSM (as in it should be banned). If I’ve missed it, by all means, tell me.

  102. Polly Styrene February 13, 2009 at 1:52 PM #

    I recommend my system of ‘prebuttal’. In which I take all the common “argument” that I know will come up (easy in the case of BDSM/porn etc because they are the same ones on an endless revolving loop as outlined above) and pre rebut them in the post. It works, as despite zillions of hits, I never seem to get comments saying the above.

    Or maybe it’s cowblogphobia.

  103. Trinity February 13, 2009 at 3:33 PM #

    “Well, that’s certainly not true for me – I’m fascinated by the ways which BDSM relates to feminism (all the ways it relates, not just ways in which it’s problematic or possibly contradictory).”

    *nod* I’ve been writing on this issue since ’02. The assumption that I’ve just missed something/”not examined” gets a bit old after a while. :)

  104. Trinity February 13, 2009 at 8:26 PM #

    Polly,

    In my case, it’s not particularly wishing to engage with your usual commentariat. In my experience, many of them aren’t open to debate at all, so I don’t bother.

    And I find “prebuttal” works just as well with the endless “but what about the patriarchy? but don’t you all love Glenn Marcus?” silly nonsense that goes on on many “radical feminist” blogs.

    If you have any specific desire for me to actually drop by, though, let me know. :)

  105. hexy February 14, 2009 at 11:35 AM #

    Lillie: Oh, you didn’t offend me. I disagree with the perspective presented from both a theoretical and a personal perspective, but the neurotypical model is a pretty firmly entrenched piece of nastiness. And I’m not an American either. :)

    You’re still making the assumption, however, that the psychiatric system CAN and SHOULD “fix” everyone. It’s not the case at all. People absolutely need to have classic psychiatric treatment available as an option if it’s something they need and want to utilised, but it should never be the option people are expected or obliged to utilise because other people find their existing coping mechanisms, mental environments, or self expression icky or unacceptable. Psychiatric treatment is something people should get to equip and strengthen them to deal with their life and illnesses, not to make them “normal”. The neurotypical model is problematic because it’s flatly bullshit… there is no one “OK” kind of brainspace with all others being defective and in need of fixing.

    FYI, I use the term “coping mechanism” to refer to both what people do to get themselves through times of crisis, and what people do to make their everyday lives bearable and stress/angst-minimal. I certainly wasn’t implying that BDSM, kink or alternative sexuality should be considered a coping mechanism to deal with trauma or

  106. Laurelin February 14, 2009 at 3:14 PM #

    Who’s Glen Marcus?

    (Evidently this radfem is out of the loop)

  107. Trinity February 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM #

    “Who’s Glen Marcus?”

    Glenn Marcus was a creepy shithead who kept women as “absolute slaves.” One woman left, saying he abused her severely, raped her repeatedly, etc.

    Over at Polly Styrene’s there’s a post that conflates what he did with what all BDSMers do and suggests that we approved of such things.

    Approve of us or disapprove of us as you like, but I’m not OK with the assumption that we’re OK with violent rapists.

  108. firefey February 15, 2009 at 2:49 AM #

    “Approve of us or disapprove of us as you like, but I’m not OK with the assumption that we’re OK with violent rapists.”

    i’d like to add to that, do not assume that people like him represent the group in any way.

  109. Pharaoh Katt February 15, 2009 at 5:15 AM #

    Unless you are ready to say that female submission is innate or that being gay is a choice.

    Ok, I have a problem with this statement, and that problem is the term “female submission”.

    I don’t think that “female submission” is innate, and I don’t think any of the BDSMers are saying it either.
    But it is possible to have a submissive personality. I have a submissive personality. I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that I’m female.

    I’m not saying that everyone with a submissive personality will be submissive in the bedroom, or that everyone who is submissive in the bedroom has a submissive personality.
    But submissive personalities do exist, and I think phrases like “female submission” ignore what is actually being said.

  110. Trinity February 15, 2009 at 6:24 AM #

    “But it is possible to have a submissive personality. I have a submissive personality. I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that I’m female.”

    Yep, and for some people BDSM offers them a way to be themselves comfortably.

    For others it’s a way of experimenting with not being their usual selves.

    It all varies. Wildly. :)

  111. Trinity February 15, 2009 at 8:20 PM #

    Also, if we’re going to discuss specific activities such as piercing, can we stop calling it “sticking pins in” and talk about what it actually is — using sterile needles? “Sticking pins in” just sounds unsanitary.

    While I’m sure there are people ignorant enough to use pins (and it’s possible the blog entry that has people riled did actually include people doing that; I couldn’t figure out what entry it was in which blog), the vast majority of BDSM people are actually using needles.

  112. Pharaoh Katt February 15, 2009 at 11:36 PM #

    Trinity: Yes, exactly. I find it a place where I can be myself without worrying that my submission will be used against me. And I know people who enjoy it because they’re always in charge, and like to relinquish that control sometimes.

    I don’t have any real life examples but I’m sure the same clould be said of dominants.

    It’s such a colourful spectrum.

  113. lorelei February 16, 2009 at 4:57 AM #

    Trinity said: “Also, if we’re going to discuss specific activities such as piercing, can we stop calling it “sticking pins in” and talk about what it actually is — using sterile needles? “Sticking pins in” just sounds unsanitary.

    While I’m sure there are people ignorant enough to use pins (and it’s possible the blog entry that has people riled did actually include people doing that; I couldn’t figure out what entry it was in which blog), the vast majority of BDSM people are actually using needles.”

    That would be me, lorelei said, waving bashfully. My blog, my straight pins, my tits. And they were sanitary, don’t worry. They weren’t being used for actual PIERCING so much as just… sticking them in there for a bit for our mutual pleasure. But because maybe one person (and i suspect it was delphyne?) actually went through and read my whole blog or some crap like that, “sticking pins in her tits” is just the new rally cry for “OMG OMG these women are being ABUSED!” Sorry for the confusion but, don’t worry, my Master is very safe with me.

  114. delphyne February 19, 2009 at 3:34 PM #

    I missed this before. Trinity you get upset about the funniest things. You claim to be a feminist, but you’re not bothered by a man torturing a woman’s breasts, what really bothers you is that I didn’t mention the hand-sanitiser the sadist used so Lorelei wouldn’t end up at the doctors having to answer a whole lot of difficult questions. Funnily enough she didn’t put too much emphasis on the hand-santiser eitehr. In my opinion Trinity your priorities, in feminist terms at least, are fucked up.

    Anyhow, let Lorelie’s words speak for themselves. This is what you all think is worth defending:

    (possibly triggering)

    “Then it stopped. He turned me over onto my front again. This was really easy because of the way the ropes were set up. He had a little shot glass with some hand sanitizer and straight pins in it. You know, those little needles with the tiny plastic ball on the end? It seemed like there were an awful lot of them and I got very, very quiet.

    He knew I was scared. He knew when he mentioned the idea to me that I would be, that’s why he wanted me tied up. And I was glad for that because the fear and anticipation were almost enough to make me cry. I really had no concept of what this would feel like and that’s a thing that frightens me. When my Master gently took my left breast in his hand and brought the needle to it I think I honestly would have run. As it was, I was tied down and this seemingly complete lack of options was enough to keep me as still as I can naturally be.

    Then he pushed the needle in and I knew what it felt like. Pain, as it often does, started in one fixed point (the source) and then spread out all over my body until it felt like even my toes were humming that same song. I was torn straight down the middle between the urge to scream and the urge to violently come. I believe I did both. When he asked me if I wanted another, I somehow found the breath to say yes.

    Eight times we did that, eight needles–four on the left and four on the right. He asked if I wanted them anywhere else and I didn’t know quite what he meant at first. When he explained it to me I felt that fear again but I’ll be damned if I didn’t want to know. (I am the cat that curiosity killed, just in the body of a very strange woman.) I saw his hand moving down, out of my range of vision without my glasses. I felt a little prick down in between my legs and fear suddenly gave way to terror. My first thought was to scream. My second thought was the word red (safety word, remember?) but my third… my third thought stopped me because it was YOU DON’T KNOW YET. It was all in capitals in my head. If it had a voice, that voice would have been a thunderstorm of booms and growls. It was right, though: I didn’t know yet what it felt like. So, though I did indulge in a real scream, I could not quit.

    My Master could, though, and he did. He said that it looked like I really wanted to stop and wanted to know that I remembered the safety word. It’s probably a good thing I have him and he knows what he’s about, or else I might really hurt myself someday using someone else’s hands.

    We stopped putting needles in me for a while and he fucked me. I was still tied to that mattress, still had eight needles poking up out of my tits. I came so hard when he told me I could (“Do you think you deserve it, you little slut?” “No, Sir… Master, please…”) that I thought the top of my head might actually explode off. It was glorious.”

    Note the bit about how she would have run if she hadn’t been tied up. But hey Lorelei got an orgasm in the end so it’s all good.

  115. delphyne February 19, 2009 at 3:35 PM #

    And lest we forget where the focus needs to be. What kind of a man enjoys sticking pins, needles or anything else sharp into a woman’s breasts?

  116. Laurelin February 19, 2009 at 7:29 PM #

    “And lest we forget where the focus needs to be. What kind of a man enjoys sticking pins, needles or anything else sharp into a woman’s breasts?”

    And why do people defend him? Who on earth would want to associate themselves with such a person?

  117. RenegadeEvolution February 19, 2009 at 8:43 PM #

    it’s less about defending him and more about defending her? You know, that submissive woman who has made a decision about what she wants to do in her sex life and with whom? She’s right here commenting and all?

    She’s also not forcing anyone else to play with pins and needles- nor is her S.O., lest we forget that.

  118. antiprincess February 19, 2009 at 9:13 PM #

    delphyne said: “And lest we forget where the focus needs to be. What kind of a man enjoys sticking pins, needles or anything else sharp into a woman’s breasts?”

    and then laurelin said: And why do people defend him? Who on earth would want to associate themselves with such a person?

    look, there’s a huge difference between this conversation:

    (assuming crushing heteronormativity and a M/f pairing:)

    Partner f: “hey, honey, I know you’re probably gonna think this is weird and stuff, but, um…gosh, how do I say this…I was thinking I’d like to try some heavy breast play during sex…maybe, I don’t know, with pins or something? I know, I’m freaky and weird and I feel funny about it but anyway…”

    Partner M: “no, I get it. we can try that.”

    and this conversation:

    Partner f:”oh, my god, get those pins away from me! seriously!”

    Partner M:”hey, stay still, I’m trying to poke you with pins! jeez, what’s wrong with you?”

    and, I mean, I’ve had both conversations, more or less.

    but, you know, “such a person” who would do a consensual thing with his partner is not necessarily the same “such a person” who would violate his partner’s trust and body integrity.

    simply the act of engaging in sensations like that is not the violation of trust and body integrity. it’s imposing that sensation against the will of one’s partner. or imposing that sensation in anger. or imposing that sensation in a non-partnered context.

    “such a person” is not necessarily some mad torturer.

    but I can see where it would seem so, if one didn’t have the necessary background information.

  119. Trinity February 19, 2009 at 10:13 PM #

    “You claim to be a feminist, but you’re not bothered by a man torturing a woman’s breasts, what really bothers you is that I didn’t mention the hand-sanitiser the sadist used so Lorelei wouldn’t end up at the doctors having to answer a whole lot of difficult questions.”

    I’m not bothered by consensual BDSM for the same reason I’m not bothered by people eating chili peppers.

    Feminism isn’t about being every woman on the planet’s mother hen. It’s about addressing social injustice.

    Far too many people who are supposedly “radical” look for “the root” in other people’s consensual business, because it’s much easier to rail against that and make people feel ashamed than it is to actually take on the social system.

    I know, I know, “the personal is political” has been a nice little ass-covering tactic for thirty years. Lovely to not have to do any work innit?

  120. lorelei February 20, 2009 at 3:59 AM #

    Hey, delphyne: Really good cut and paste job. Thanks for the read and all, and SUPER-thanks for making sure to include the part that damns your whole “Doms are woman-hating MANIACS” argument: the part where *I* let myself go too far with my curiosity and fascination with pain and *HE* stops it because He doesn’t want to hurt me and wants to hear me definitively say whether i am okay or want to stop. And when i wanted to stop, guess what? He stopped, just like that.

    You also forgot to mention the part where i am a grown-ass woman who is perfectly capable of making her own decisions and told Him this was something i wanted to try–before there were any ropes involved. (Speaking of which… hell, yeah, i might have run if i hadn’t been tied up–i’m terrified of needles, that’s why i wanted to try it so bad.) Perhaps this is a fault of my writing, though–i haven’t read that entry of mine in a while but i didn’t see that part in the mega-quote you’ve got up there.

    Seriously, delphyne, i do not have sex for the GLORIOUS CAUSE OF FEMINISM (TM). I do not have sex to start a revolution or prove a point. I have sex, in all its myriad, wonderful forms, for my pleasure and the pleasure of my partner. So, please, leave me out of your fanatic’s cause–i don’t belong there at all and i can’t bear being the argument you use to make yourself look silly.

  121. delphyne February 20, 2009 at 1:42 PM #

    He’s a grown ass man who could decide to control himself and stop torturing your breasts Lorelei. Remember he decided to tie you up beforehand because you would have RUN otherwise. That’s how much he *needed* to do it. He wouldn’t even let you defend yourself when that’s what you’d have done at that point. Stop letting him hide behind your skirts then he can take responsibility for his own behaviour.

    And I’m not using your writing to further the cause of feminism. I’m using it to illustrate exactly what these people are defending, because for all the bullshit euphemisms they use when you get right down to it, what is being done to women in BDSM by men is torture and destruction of their bodies despite the attempted cover-up with words like “play” or “consent” or whatever. Let’s look at the reality and the reality is Voice bringing out some dress-making pins and some fucking hand-sanitizer (yeah so safe) and then going for it on your body.

    Trinity do you think male oppression of women is a “social injustice” as you put it? Do you think male supremacy needs to be destroyed? Male dominance and sadism against women is the oppressive social system (one of them at least). Don’t you get that?

  122. Laurelin February 20, 2009 at 5:53 PM #

    Gorgias- stop the disingenuous bullshit. I’m too smart to fall for your pathetic justifications.

  123. hexy February 20, 2009 at 8:52 PM #

    (Since we all seem stuck on the damn pins again)

    I’m trying to figure out just how many times I’ve had needles go into my flesh to give me the tattoos I already have, and how many more times I’ll go under the needle to get all the ink I like. Now, all my tats have been done by women, but is THAT an acceptable means for a man to be inserting sharp objects into a woman’s body?

    And incidentally… while it seems to be being dismissed when kinksters discuss the phenomena, any tattooist who’s worked on more than their own leg and non-dominant arm can tell you that people respond to that particular type of pain in vastly different ways. Me, I’ve never felt the need to have anyone put pins in my breasts (YKINMKBYKIOK!) but the needles on that tattoo gun leave me a quivering, endorphin filled, exhausted-by-pleasure puddle.

  124. hexy February 20, 2009 at 8:53 PM #

    Gorgias, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but it’s a bit harsh to quote a comment that someone has asked be removed from the thread.

    Not my blog, not my rules, not trying to give orders… I just think that’s really impolite.

    • Nine Deuce February 20, 2009 at 11:12 PM #

      Laurelin – Sorry, I just saw your request to delete the comment. I deleted it and all responses to it. And Gorgias, you’re being an asshole. Be civil or piss off.

  125. Trinity February 20, 2009 at 11:03 PM #

    “Trinity do you think male oppression of women is a “social injustice” as you put it? Do you think male supremacy needs to be destroyed?”

    Absolutely and definitely.

    I don’t see BDSM as related to male oppression of women. You seem to be under the impression that if you tell me you disagree with me enough times, I’ll change my mind.

    So, to turn the tactic back on you (with, it’s likely, no better results), why do you have *nothing to say* to alternative explanations of what’s going on in BDSM? Especially when you’re not one of us and have no idea what you’re talking about?

  126. Laurelin February 20, 2009 at 11:15 PM #

    ND- no probs.
    Trinity- The point is that I *didn’t* have fun. Don’t you ever fucking *dare* tell me I did. You really crossed the fucking line. I wouldn’t speak like that to my worst enemy.

  127. Laurelin February 20, 2009 at 11:17 PM #

    I’ve just read the rest of Trinity’s comment.

    Wow. I’m actually shocked.
    You’ve really shown us your true colours, sweetheart.
    Thank you for proving my point.

  128. Laurelin February 20, 2009 at 11:23 PM #

    ND- Trinity’s comment two comments up is in response to my post about how I was abused and how much worse it could have got.

    That should probably be deleted as well. I love being told how much I enjoyed my abuse, and how much fun I had. I love having my abuse made fun of by a sadist.

    Oh by the way, Trinity? That’s sarcasm. Just in case you have even more reading comprehension problems than I thought.

    • Nine Deuce February 20, 2009 at 11:27 PM #

      Laurelin – I deleted it, but now it’s been quoted again. Let me know if you want me to delete that one as well. And sorry again for letting them through.

  129. RJR February 20, 2009 at 11:25 PM #

    Trinity- Laurelin has just said that she wanted the comment that you have responded to removed.

    Hexy, recognized this and said in response to Gorgias.

    “Gorgias, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but it’s a bit harsh to quote a comment that someone has asked be removed from the thread.”

    So you reply to the comment that Laurelin wants removed with.

    “And I suppose I should say here, that had I been less fortunate, a few years down the line I would have been in the same position as the submissive woman defending her ‘master’s’ abuse.”

    Yeah, yeah, yeah: “I had fun, I found radical feminism, I saw the light, I won’t rest content until you do, too.”

    Personally, I’ve found that any time an ideology has required me to sacrifice the person I used to be, it’s… not been worth it, in the end.

    If you feel happy fuzzy and wonderful because you dumped some top a couple years ago, super great for you. But the rest of the world does not fit your experiences, your life, and your timetable.”

    Though you talk either up thread or on another post about ‘respect’?

  130. Laurelin February 20, 2009 at 11:29 PM #

    ND- That’s absolutely fine. I actually don’t mind if there is a record of the response I got. I think it’s sweet for the whole world to see Trinity’s true face.

  131. RJR February 20, 2009 at 11:34 PM #

    Sorry Laurelin and N-D for repeating it; just I was so annoyed at Trinity’s disregard for Laurelin’s experience.

    I should have thought.

  132. Trinity February 20, 2009 at 11:45 PM #

    RJR: I requested that my comment be removed as soon as I saw hers. Why are you quoting it again?

    As far as my own goes, yes, I crossed a line. I’d prefer it be removed, but if Laurelin wants it left up, okay. I did in fact type those words, and therefore I should own having done so.

    I am going to wait a little while before addressing this. If RJR’s comment is deleted (because it quotes Laurelin), I don’t want to make further reference to something that has been removed.

    If it’s not, I assumed something falsely, and I’d like to publicly, and specifically, apologize for doing that.

    • Nine Deuce February 20, 2009 at 11:49 PM #

      All three – It’s up to Laurelin, and as of now she says it’s OK if it stays.

  133. delphyne February 20, 2009 at 11:56 PM #

    “I don’t see BDSM as related to male oppression of women. You seem to be under the impression that if you tell me you disagree with me enough times, I’ll change my mind.”

    I’m not under that impression at all.

  134. RJR February 20, 2009 at 11:56 PM #

    @ Trinity – “RJR: I requested that my comment be removed as soon as I saw hers. Why are you quoting it again?”

    Your comment was in mod – therefore I didn’t see it when I responded.

  135. Laurelin February 21, 2009 at 12:04 AM #

    RJR: thanks for your response to Trinity. It meant a lot to me.

    I really don’t mind if you want to delete this stuff now, ND. I’m okay if it stays and okay if it goes. I think we’ve said all that needs to be said on this.

    I need to go get some sleep :-)

  136. Trinity February 21, 2009 at 12:33 AM #

    ND:

    I’m with Laurelin on this one. I’m hoping she saw my long apology, but y’know… yeah, I’m not sure I want the personal details I said out there in e-public either where certain people (and I don’t mean debate opponents) can find it, potentially.

    Folks can email me if they’d really like to know.

    trinityva a]t yah00.

    *shrug*

  137. Trinity February 21, 2009 at 1:37 AM #

    ND: Not sure if you’re doing it right now, but please delete the “Okay, then” long comment.

    Shorter me: I’m sorry, Laurelin. I misread “defending” and so I didn’t gather that you weren’t having fun, and that you really were talking about abuse.

    I thought you were saying something akin to “I really enjoyed this when it was happening, so much that I would have been vehemently talking about how wonderful it is, and then I changed my mind and decided it wasn’t healthy for me personally.”

    I didn’t realize you were saying “When I tried this, I found violence and horror. Not fun. ”

    I’m terribly sorry.

  138. Gorgias February 21, 2009 at 5:06 PM #

    “Gorgias, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but it’s a bit harsh to quote a comment that someone has asked be removed from the thread.”

    I was under the impression that the offending post had been removed (the entire thing left me a bit confused. ND reads the comments before approving them, right? I’ve no idea why the “please remove the comment” was approved, since it seems to be a message to the admin rather than for general consumption. In any case, I was under the impression that because the comment was public, ND had read it and taken the appropriate steps). In any case, I apologize.

    ND, I’d appreciate it if you’d e-mail me, comment on my blog, or post here about wht you’ve found objectionable in my last few posts to not allow them to be posted (aside from the quoting of material requested to be deleted)

    • Nine Deuce February 21, 2009 at 5:16 PM #

      I automatically allow comments from Laurelin, so I did not know that was there. As to your comments, you were being rude. I require civility, and you’ve been very boorish and condescending at times.

  139. Trinity February 21, 2009 at 5:22 PM #

    Gorgias,

    Would you mind emailing me the comments that were deleted? I’m curious what they said.

    My email is a few comments up.

  140. Laurelin February 21, 2009 at 6:01 PM #

    I appreciate the apology, Trinity, but I am rather baffled as to how you managed to misread my comment. What did you think I meant by ‘wearing down my resistance’?

    This wasn’t a matter of ‘trying’ something out (that makes it sound like I was tasting sushi for the first time, or something banal and benign like that), this was a matter of abuse.

    Anyways, apology accepted.

  141. Whip-loving Domme February 22, 2009 at 5:39 AM #

    delphyne
    February 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Oh FFS I’m talking about female subs. If you’d bothered to read what I’d written that would be quite clear.

    I’m not interested in male subs with female dominants, they’re just a bunch of fetishists who get off on fetishising the idea of women being cruel. And of course they want women to be more cruel to them, that’s their creepy kink. It’s still the man in control though getting the woman to follow his lead.
    ————————

    Wow, delphyne!! You must think that all women into BDSM are just helpless creatures being manipulated by men. Well as a Domme, I can tell you that I know what I enjoy and even in my vanilla relationships, I have been the one who guided the sexual relationship and introduced many things into the relationship. I’m very curious by nature and have always loved sex and have wanted to try new things. I was the one convincing them to try things out. No way in hell was I being manipulated! Even with my subs, I often will ask them to try new things. The things that I’m not into, I let them know right away so that they know that is something that I won’t explore.

    Now that I’ve discovered BDSM, I’ve realized that I’ve always been very Domme-like in my vanilla relationships. I must say, I’ve always had amazing boyfriends and I could never relate when women complained about their boyfriends being insensitive and negligent to their needs. I expect my boy to give his all to me and I’ve always gotten it. I honestly think the problem is that many women are not clear enough with what they want. Communication is key to all successful relationships.

    Having read numerous of your comments, I realize that you will never understand BDSM nor will you understand the fact that many women – domme, switch, sub – love BDSM and we are not weak creatures being manipulated into it.

    I’ve been annoyed at many of the patronizing comments about female subs (saying that they need therapy, etc). Now you dismiss female dominants. I’m starting to believe that some here think that females can’t enjoy sex at all or that females are too brainwashed to know what kind of sex they like. I hope that radfems have a bit more faith in women’s ability to know what they desire!

    • Nine Deuce February 22, 2009 at 5:43 AM #

      Now, now. No one’s saying women can’t enjoy sex at all by saying that there’s something problematic about mixing up sex with power and/or violence.

  142. Whip-loving Domme February 22, 2009 at 6:28 AM #

    delphyne
    February 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm
    —-

    Having watched many Dom/mes do needle play, I didn’t get the sense that lorelei’s dom was being abusive. Of course, she was scared since it was a new sensation, but he asked how she was after putting the first one is. Had he kept jamming them in without checking in on her, I would’ve been concerned. Personally I’m squeamish about needles, but I’ve watched a lesbian Domme I know do skin stapling and needle play multiple times. The time she first tried skin stapling on her sub, she checked in each time and then would continue. She does the same with needles. Needle play is quite common in BDSM and most are terrified the first time. My friend, who is a switch, did hook suspension for the first time last week. She planned it for months and was terrified but she loved it. There is no way I’d ever let someone put hooks in my flesh and suspend me that way (I don’t think I could watch that), but those who’ve done it tell me how exhilarating it is.

    Btw, many newcomers to skydiving are terrified to jump out of the plane at first…some might need to be pushed out, but they love it once they’re flying. Exploring new pain sensations can be similar for a bottom…it might be scary and they may want something such as being restrained to help them. I want to try out knife play and I’m thinking of restraining my sub to prevent him from flinching and accidently cutting himself. Some bottoms like to be bound…they like the feeling.

  143. Whip-loving Domme February 22, 2009 at 6:41 AM #

    Skydiving may seem stupid to you, but for others it’s one of the most exhilarating things one can do. Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to experience the sensation of flying and although I’ve yet to try skydiving, I want to one day. And yes, I’m terrified of heights and will probably need someone to push me out of the plane, but it’s something that I plan on doing one day.

  144. delphyne February 22, 2009 at 3:42 PM #

    Don’t tell me what I must think WLD. If you have to invent what you think I believe then you haven’t got an argument.

    We live under male supremacy where men hold almost all the power and use violence and abuse against women and children to maintain that power. Women have to do what they need to do to survive in that environment. I never said that subs don’t feel desire for the things the male sadists want to inflict upon them, I just think that feelings and desires are a lot more influenced by the environments people find themselves in than most BDSMers are prepared to admit.

  145. Faith February 22, 2009 at 3:54 PM #

    “Would you mind emailing me the comments that were deleted? I’m curious what they said.”

    Wait…are you asking him to email you comments that he apparently made about a comment that Laurelin asked to be removed because she didn’t feel comfortable with it?

    Are you serious? Really? You can’t talk about her comment on the blog so your just going to go to email?

  146. J.Goff February 22, 2009 at 8:18 PM #

    I’m not interested in male subs with female dominants, they’re just a bunch of fetishists who get off on fetishising the idea of women being cruel

    Not in my own experience. I was brought into the experience of being a male sub by having a domme girlfriend, who liked to do a little D/s play on top of our “vanilla relationship” (I really hate this phrase, btw). I found that I liked it because of the pain on top of pleasure aspect, and definitely not because I saw my girlfriend as being cruel to me. It is my experience that this is a very common thread among the people I have talked to about being a submissive, though, admittedly, I have not delved into the community very extensively. I would merely like to say that I certainly had no fetish about women being cruel towards me, nor do I have one now.

  147. Trinity February 22, 2009 at 8:38 PM #

    “I appreciate the apology, Trinity, but I am rather baffled as to how you managed to misread my comment. What did you think I meant by ‘wearing down my resistance’?”

    Laurelin,

    I can’t remember the comment, but I must not have seen that. You’re right, that only means one thing.

    All I remember of your comment, which I thought I read in full but must not have, was the “In the past, I would have been defending this” which still doesn’t quite make sense to me.

    I’ve experienced people wearing down my resistance as well, and I never would have come into a debate about such behavior saying it was all right, which is what “defending” would mean to me.

    It wasn’t all right with me, ever. I was always uncomfortable, and never would have defended it.

    It was just that the person managed, through really creepy manipulation, to convince me I had to put up with it to get affection, friendship, and the kind of sex I DID want.

  148. Trinity February 22, 2009 at 8:42 PM #

    Faith: No, I wasn’t asking for anything having to do with Laurelin.

    ND has been deleting some of Gorgias’ comments for a while now. I wanted to see them to know why, and discover for myself whether I found them off-topic or rude.

    • Nine Deuce February 22, 2009 at 8:47 PM #

      Trinity – That’s bullshit. I only deleted the comments he wrote that were either offensive or had to do with Laurelin. And you aren’t the comment police on my blog, I am.

  149. Trinity February 22, 2009 at 9:04 PM #

    ND: I didn’t say I was the comment police on your blog, nor that I want to be. I said TO GORGIAS that I wanted to know what he said that you found offensive. So he told me. That doesn’t mean I have any interest in reposting them or in arguing with your comment policy.

    Either way, I’m not and wasn’t interested in the Laurelin thing. I’m interested in what he said that you found rude/offensive and therefore deleted.

    I don’t see why wanting to know what he said is any kind of sin. I’m not saying that you were wrong to moderate your blog as you see fit. I was simply curious what you were objecting to.

  150. Faith February 22, 2009 at 9:48 PM #

    “I don’t see why wanting to know what he said is any kind of sin. I’m not saying that you were wrong to moderate your blog as you see fit. I was simply curious what you were objecting to.”

    But the question is what business is it of yours what the comments said?

    You keep accusing other people of obsessive and creepy behavior, but you seem to be engaging in some pretty damn creepy and obsessive behavior yourself.

    Asking someone to email you comments that were moderated from someone else’s blog is just damn creepy and borderline (if not outright) rude. And since I suspect you want to know so you can try to use the comments as ammunition to bash the meanie rad fems, I’d say it’s definitely in the realm of obsessive.

  151. Trinity February 22, 2009 at 10:00 PM #

    Faith: I have not said anything about what the comments contain.

    I will not say anything about what the comments contain.

    You’re free to think I’m creepy and rude, as you like, but please stop making things up.

  152. James February 22, 2009 at 11:58 PM #

    We live under male supremacy where men hold almost all the power and use violence and abuse against women and children to maintain that power.

    What about economic power? Isn’t it now the norm for families with a married couple to have twin earners? Certainly that is the way that most mortgages are structured…

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM #

      Yeah, but men still own like 90% of property and capital worldwide. Come on, James, are you a fucking MRA? And even if women are making gains in some parts of the world as far as owning property goes, they’re still paid less than men for the same work, and our culture is still virulently misogynistic.

  153. James February 23, 2009 at 12:12 AM #

    I wouldn’t call myself an MRA, no. My attention span’s too short for me to be any kind of effective activist. I did as much anti-RIC stuff as I could on the wrong side of the Atlantic for a year or so a while back, but that’s more infant rights than men’s (I don’t much care what men want to do to themselves, so long as they’re well informed, but what’s really important is that subjective decisions are made by the subject). I do find it ironic that the criticisms that radfems aim at MRAs (that they’re whiners without a case) are pretty much exactly what is said about feminists by their critics, though. There’s a lot in that, I’d say.

    Additionally, I consider it moronic to pretend that there hasn’t been an immense change in our culture with regards to gender. Indeed, I think that doing so can only come from severely underestimating the successes of feminism. Previously it was seem as unacceptable for women to work outside of certain professions and at all after marriage. Now it is required that women work.

    Which is a big shift. And I think people just end up sounding preposterous if they ignore it. As most wanting to re-fight the tired old fights tend to…

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 12:15 AM #

      James – MRAs, unlike feminists, are whining because their PRIVILEGES are in danger, not because their RIGHTS are being violated. I agree that women have made huge strides in recent decades, but that doesn’t mean that thousands of years of misogyny and patriarchy have suddenly come to an end. Read my MRA post. You’re coming pretty close to saying that there’s no need for feminism, and if that’s the case you can consider yourself unwelcome on this blog, because that idea is too absurd to even warrant consideration.

  154. Pharaoh Katt February 23, 2009 at 12:12 AM #

    On that, ND, I agree with you completely. Women are paid less for doing the same work. Even in female-dominated industries, men are more likely to be in charge.

  155. Trinity February 23, 2009 at 12:19 AM #

    Um, James… please don’t cherry-pick facts to look at to see how men and women stack up against one another socially.

    If you really want to try to make a case that women are no longer oppressed, you’d need a LOT more facts than that.

    (And you’d fail, because it’s just not the case…)

  156. James February 23, 2009 at 12:23 AM #

    Well I’d agree that there’s a massive amount of work to do, I just don’t think that a movement which won’t strike at the source can cope with the tasks ahead.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 12:24 AM #

      And what, we’d like to know, is the source?

  157. James February 23, 2009 at 12:27 AM #

    The gender binary.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 12:29 AM #

      Oh, so you’re a radical feminist now? I agree that the gender binary is the problem, as it’s the basis on which women and men who threaten male supremacy are singled out for oppression. You’ve given me a hard time for focusing on porn, etc., but how do you think we’re going to destroy the gender binary without showing people that it exists and that it’s the foundation of oppression?

  158. James February 23, 2009 at 12:37 AM #

    You talk incessantly about the Patriarchy, a system which has been left pretty thoroughly mangled throughout the Anglosphere. Very rarely (if at all) do you or any other radical feminist attack explicitly the concept which has seemingly escaped unscathed and lately seemed to grow even stronger. Just think of all those Men Are From, Women Are From spin-offs. Yes, the biological essentialists are hardly ever singled out. It’s the pornographers you’re after.

    And meanwhile, back in the mainstream, the essentialists are so totally in dominance that they’re proclaiming transexuals as evidence for them being right.

    But apparently we can tear down a system which senselessly divides humanity through a movement which only really welcomes one half of that senseless divide. No contradiction there whatsoever. Bound to work. No question.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 12:41 AM #

      Dude, I discuss the gender binary all the goddamned time. I’ve even got a category about it. If you don’t think that patriarchy is still at play, then tell me, where did your last name come from? Who runs most of the religious outfits and governments in this world? Where do our laws come from? Where do our cultural values come from? Who do you think BENEFITS from the gender binary? And if you think adding a third option is the solution, you’re kidding yourself. The solution is to get rid of gender roles based on genitalia AND THAT’S ALL.
      Everything I ever write is suffused with my displeasure at the strictures of gender roles. Porn happens to be the most glaringly obvious manifestation of what’s wrong with gender roles. Duh.

  159. James February 23, 2009 at 12:49 AM #

    Dude, I discuss the gender binary all the goddamned time. I’ve even got a category about it.

    I can’t help but question your commitment. If one gender is denied access to a march is the gender binary being defied and flouted or revered and honoured?

    If you don’t think that patriarchy is still at play, then tell me, where did your last name come from?

    Touchy subject there, darling. I’m considering getting it changed, actually. Nice meme, though.

    Who runs most of the religious outfits and governments in this world?

    England isn’t a religious country, I don’t see why I should care much about that. I went to a Catholic school and there wasn’t a damn person there who obeyed Ratzinger.

    Where do our laws come from?

    Parliament, a body increasingly featuring ministers who are both female and in every way as incompetent as their male counterparts. A body where the largest party was headed for over a decade by a female.

    Where do our cultural values come from?

    lol, I already have an essay to write tonight…

    Who do you think BENEFITS from the gender binary?

    No one except the most rigid of conformists.

    Everything I ever write is suffused with my displeasure at the strictures of gender roles. Porn happens to be the most glaringly obvious manifestation of what’s wrong with gender roles. Duh.

    You not liking the binary and feminism being a movement capable of tackling it are two entirely distinct things. Feminism is inherently geared towards accumulating supporters from one half of a system which needs to be overthrown entirely and as such will never succeed. You can’t approach a problem of division radically while being so respectful to the confines it demands of you.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 12:55 AM #

      1 – I don’t hang out at marches, so don’t bring that shit up with me. But anyway, women marching for women’s rights have the right to decide whether men ought to be there. We’ve got reason to distrust your motives, you know. And there’s a difference between thinking that gender roles are a problem and pretending they don’t exist when they still do.
      2 – Don’t call me darling again.
      3 – Religion has lasting cultural effects, even in England.
      4 – Our legal tradition is a long one, and the basis of your legal system as well as most legal systems on this planet derive from patriarchal societies (not that ours isn’t one). You ought to be wary of arguing about law with me.
      5 – Men benefit from the gender binary, because they’re the half of the binary with the gender-based privilege.
      6 – You know almost nothing about what feminism is about, so please stop pretending to expert status. If you think you’ve come up with a better attack on gender roles than four decades’ worth of capable feminist theorists, then let’s hear it.

  160. Trinity February 23, 2009 at 1:00 AM #

    “I can’t help but question your commitment. If one gender is denied access to a march is the gender binary being defied and flouted or revered and honoured?”

    O.o

    What. The. Fuck.

    I got nothin’. Wow. WOW.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 4:10 AM #

      Trin – Feel free to post that quote you took from my interview with Pisaquari here and try to pretend that it’s somehow “incongruous” like you did over at somebody’s LiveJournal page. No, I’ll do it for you:

      I won’t pretend that that scene is or was free of gender expectations or sexism, but I think identifying with a counterculture that tended to look askance at received “wisdom” was probably a big factor in my developing feminism and radicalism. When I was young I basically assumed anything anyone told me was bullshit/stupid/uncool, which is silly and pretentious, and really kind of funny, but I think it served me well in the end.

      Yeah, the punk and indie rock scenes aren’t free of sexism. But the people who are involved in them do tend to end up questioning things they might otherwise not have. What I ended up questioning, among other things, was gender roles, and I remember at the time being a little confused when I took a look around me at the goth kids who were dabbling in BDSM and saying, “What’s so revolutionary and counterculture about that shit?” in exactly the same way that I did about the scenes I was involved in. You see, I took the perspective that scene gave me and turned it on everything around me, which led me to question a lot of things, including just how iconoclastic a lot of the people around me really were. So, where’s the contradiction?

  161. delphyne February 23, 2009 at 1:00 AM #

    It’s not a gender binary it’s a sex hierarchy – men above women. Men maintain their power over women through rape, violence and sometimes murder. Because of those actions they hold, as I already said, almost all the power in the world.

    If James thinks women are anywhere near being free of male oppression in this world he’s an idiot.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:04 AM #

      Thanks, delphyne. That is exactly what it is.

  162. J.Goff February 23, 2009 at 1:02 AM #

    Feminism is inherently geared towards accumulating supporters from one half of a system which needs to be overthrown entirely and as such will never succeed.

    Oh, James, fuck off. Some of us might disagree over certain aspects of theory, but not all of us have as much invested in defending male privilege as you seem to.

    You can’t approach a problem of division radically while being so respectful to the confines it demands of you.

    If this is so, then you yourself are incapable of making any argument against feminism, being mired in patriarchal society, itself, a radical and anti-common sense notion of the world. As such, your asininity is not true.

  163. James February 23, 2009 at 1:07 AM #

    1 – Fair dos. I’m not blaming you, just pointing out a way in which radfems end up supporting instead of undermining the Mighty Binary.
    2 – k whatevs
    3 – I guess? We aren’t a Christian culture any more, is the point. Read CG Brown’s The Death of Christian Britain if you ever get a chance. I imagine you’d really like it – his argument runs that the death of the “Pious Woman” concept as a dominant ideal led to baptisms etc crashing through the floor, since it was women who largely took charge of that sort of stuff. Mixture of linguistic turn and quantitative evidence that is highly convincing. There are remnants, fine. But they’re just that.
    4 – Parliamentary sovereignty ftw.
    5 – The First World War was just dandy for them, eh? Privileged as fuck is what I’d call trench warfare you were forced into by the state.
    6 – I never said I was an expert, and I never challenged the analysis of your four decade’s worth. I just said that a movement which attempts to cleave through the binary while consisting of only one half of it won’t get anywhere. For obvious reasons.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:08 AM #

      6 – It isn’t our job to convince men we’re right, it’s their job to stop being assholes. Men can get on board or fuck off for all I care, but I’m not going to coddle them and pretend that what I’m pushing for is anything other than an end to male supremacy.

      You’re an MRA.

  164. James February 23, 2009 at 1:11 AM #

    It’s not a gender binary it’s a sex hierarchy – men above women. Men maintain their power over women through rape, violence and sometimes murder. Because of those actions they hold, as I already said, almost all the power in the world.

    Except Secretary of State?

    If James thinks women are anywhere near being free of male oppression in this world he’s an idiot.

    I’m not going to retaliate, just say that it’s interesting this insult got through the filter which supposedly exists to stop personal attacks. I’m not offended, however.

    Oh, James, fuck off. Some of us might disagree over certain aspects of theory, but not all of us have as much invested in defending male privilege as you seem to.

    This doesn’t make any sense. Rudeness is not a replacement for rationality.

    If this is so, then you yourself are incapable of making any argument against feminism, being mired in patriarchal society, itself, a radical and anti-common sense notion of the world. As such, your asininity is not true.

    Is this just an overly lengthy way of telling me you disagree with my position without explaining why?

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:13 AM #

      James – One woman in high office? Really? You think that disproves the whole thing? Why don’t you check out the ratios of male to female heads of state, members of governing bodies, etc. Then look at who wrote the documents and laws that govern our countries. Then maybe have a look at who’s in charge of the entertainment and advertising media. Seriously, you’re an MRA and you don’t even know it.

      Look, I understand you’re new to this subject. Things seem a lot easier when you can just compare one apple and one orange, but it really isn’t that simple.

  165. James February 23, 2009 at 1:13 AM #

    6 – It isn’t our job to convince men we’re right, it’s their job to stop being assholes. Men can get on board or fuck off for all I care, but I’m not going to coddle them and pretend that what I’m pushing for is anything other than an end to male supremacy.

    And you can’t see at all how this fierce assertion of the divide couldn’t help promote and re-inforce the binary?

    You’re an MRA.

    Hm. I want rights for a concept I’d like to see entirely abandoned?

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:15 AM #

      No, you’re just like MRAs in that you think the existence of one instance of a woman doing something bad or holding high office completely counterbalances the fact that male supremacy exists.

  166. James February 23, 2009 at 1:18 AM #

    James – One woman in high office? Really? You think that disproves the whole thing?

    Well my country was governed by a woman who used the position of Prime Minister in perhaps the most centralised fashion it ever received. So yeah, I consider an ideology that says women are devoid of power is a little faulty.

    Why don’t you check out the ratios of male to female heads of state, members of governing bodies, etc. Then look at who wrote the documents and laws that govern our countries. Then maybe have a look at who’s in charge of the entertainment and advertising media.

    Heads of state? Well I do believe I was referring to the Anglosphere, rather than the rest of the world in my earlier posts.

    Seriously, you’re an MRA and you don’t even know it.

    Again, there’s no way that being in favour of “Men’s Rights” and the abolition of the gender binary can be squared, so I believe that you’re incorrect there.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:19 AM #

      Fine, the Anglophone world – we’ve never had a female president. The end.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:20 AM #

      Do you even know what the destruction of the gender binary would mean for the world and for you, personally?

  167. delphyne February 23, 2009 at 1:20 AM #

    “Except Secretary of State?”

    Like Nine Deuce says ONE. When the next 44 presidents of the USA are women, when all senior positions in the government, religion, media, industry, academia, religion and the military are held by women in the numbers that they are held by men now, then you can talk about how men and women are equal.

    I’d say you were a troll and an MRA who needs to get the attention of women by acting stupid on a feminist blog.

  168. James February 23, 2009 at 1:23 AM #

    The most obvious problem would be that without having powerful concepts to bind newborns two we’d risk birthing infants directly into an existential crisis.

    I imagine that that could be gotten around by some sort of “Human” identity, but that would require a lot of work. It’s tricky stuff, but I consider it worthwhile if the end is eradicating prejudice.

    For me? Well, I could grow my hair long to keep my neck warm in winter without any nagging from my sisters.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:25 AM #

      That’s exactly what I thought. You’ve got a nebulous concept that you barely understand that you throw around in sophomoric attempts to discredit theories that you haven’t the slightest grasp on.

  169. James February 23, 2009 at 1:24 AM #

    Uh…But Ireland is part of the Anglosphere.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:26 AM #

      How many female heads of state have there been in English-speaking countries? And how many male? And why are we excluding the rest of Europe? Because they don’t speak English? And why the rest of the world?

  170. James February 23, 2009 at 1:26 AM #

    Like Nine Deuce says ONE. When the next 44 presidents of the USA are women, when all senior positions in the government, religion, media, industry, academia, religion and the military are held by women in the numbers that they are held by men now, then you can talk about how men and women are equal.

    When did I say men and women were equal?

    I’d say you were a troll and an MRA who needs to get the attention of women by acting stupid on a feminist blog.

    I’d say that you need to appreciate that unusual arguments can be staged in good faith.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:28 AM #

      This is not an unusual argument, James. I’ve heard it a thousand times.

  171. James February 23, 2009 at 1:31 AM #

    How many female heads of state have there been in English-speaking countries?

    Well right now England’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, a female. She’s head of state for Australia, New Zealand & Canada, which is quite a substantial proportion of the English speaking world.

    And why are we excluding the rest of Europe?

    I don’t know a huge amount about feminism in those countries, I’m afraid.

    And why the rest of the world?

    Well what I am talking about is the effects which feminism has had upon societies that it has been a substantial movement within. If we’re going to discuss countries were there hasn’t really been a strong feminism then it’s likely that they’ll be like ours, pre-feminism.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:32 AM #

      Nice way to skirt the question. And the Queen has no real power. I’m talking about real heads of state, not figureheads of state. Let’s get a REAL ratio, if you really want to pursue what I think you know is a stupid little argument aimed at nothing but irritating people with nonsense.

  172. James February 23, 2009 at 1:35 AM #

    Nice way to skirt the question.

    Ok, well if you know a lot about European feminism then please fill me in.

    And the Queen has no real power. I’m talking about real heads of state, not figureheads of state.

    She has a massive amount of power, it’s just not utilised thanks to convention. She is our head of state.

    It’s not a situation I’m that keen on, but it’s what the situation is. You have a President, we have a Queen.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:36 AM #

      For fuck’s sake, your PM is the analog of our president, not your queen. Answer the question (which will mean you’ll lose this argument) or let it go (which means you concede).

  173. delphyne February 23, 2009 at 1:36 AM #

    Ours are the unusual arguments James. Yours is the typical dull and obtuse defense of male supremacy.

  174. isme February 23, 2009 at 3:43 AM #

    “I do find it ironic that the criticisms that radfems aim at MRAs (that they’re whiners without a case) are pretty much exactly what is said about feminists by their critics, though.”

    There is some truth in that, yes. Any movement is going to attract people they really could do without…but where there are feminists I want to yell out, MRAs I generally want to set on fire.

    Most infuriatingly about MRAs is that they aren’t without some justified concerns. False accusations about rape, for example. Innocent people (including men) being falsely accused of serious crimes (including rape) by people (including women) is obviously a bad thing, I can support people opposed to that. It’s hardly the worst problem the world has, but just because X is more important doesn’t mean you can’t talk about Y. But then they are likely to claim that a massive amount, or even the majority, of rape accusations are false, made by vindictive women and destroy the cause. I suppose PETA works in a similar way.

    “But apparently we can tear down a system which senselessly divides humanity through a movement which only really welcomes one half of that senseless divide.”

    Well, yes, that is an issue. It’s been said that men can’t be feminist, which, to my mind, is bound to cripple the cause.

  175. Trinity February 23, 2009 at 4:22 AM #

    ND: What I said in my post is that, well, that quote could just as easily be something I’d say about finding the SM community.

    What I’m finding incongruous is how, when we say “hey, look, we don’t think the BDSM scene is perfect by any means, or that BDSM is inherently feminist. But it did give us valuable tools to question societal expectations around women’s sexuality to find ourselves in places where everyone was encouraged to negotiate and be honest. So we don’t quite get the flogging of the THIS IS JUST LIKE PATRIARCHAL HETERONORMATIVITY dead horse, thanks.” we’re treated as though we’re silly children missing something obvious, when it’s perfectly fine-n-dandy to say “hey, the punk scene ain’t perfect, but it’s part of what made me the feminist I am today.”

    If we even so much as hint that discovering an alternative to patriarchal heteronormativity’s very rigid scripts helped us to become feminists, we’re treated as if we said “SM is feminist” and advocate for “any choice” no matter how anti-feminist.

    Why is that, hmm?

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 4:25 AM #

      I grew up and saw through the bullshit of that scene and am thus no longer involved in it. It might have given me some tools, but those tools ended up showing me just how little it differed from the mainstream bullshit it claimed to be fighting against. To wit: the men were still all about competition, only it was over who listened to the most obscure bands; they still used and devalued women, etc. In fact, now that you mention it, I am starting to see the parallels with the BDSM scene.

  176. Trinity February 23, 2009 at 4:31 AM #

    Fair enough, but now… you asked me a question and I answered it. How about you answer mine:

    “If we even so much as hint that discovering an alternative to patriarchal heteronormativity’s very rigid scripts helped us to become feminists, we’re treated as if we said “SM is feminist” and advocate for “any choice” no matter how anti-feminist.

    Why is that, hmm?”

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 4:34 AM #

      You may not be saying that BDSM is feminist, but a lot of people are.

  177. Trinity February 23, 2009 at 5:20 AM #

    “You may not be saying that BDSM is feminist, but a lot of people are.”

    And a lot of people are not.

  178. delphyne February 23, 2009 at 1:04 PM #

    You certainly give the impression that you think BDSM is feminist, Trinity:

    http://sm-feminist.blogspot.com/

    Or at the very least you think the two concepts can be hitched together.

  179. Trinity February 23, 2009 at 3:39 PM #

    “Or at the very least you think the two concepts can be hitched together.”

    Not the same as saying SM is inherently feminist.

    And I think you missed the part where I didn’t name the blog and it’s actually created and owned by Verte. Even if I wanted to change its title (which I don’t… notice that it’s to pro-SM feminist safe space, that is, a safe space for pro-SM feminists), I couldn’t.

    Get your facts straight before you make assertions that aren’t true.

  180. Faith February 23, 2009 at 4:26 PM #

    “You’re free to think I’m creepy and rude, as you like, but please stop making things up.”

    (arches eyebrow)

    um, ok, I haven’t got the first fucking clue what I “made up”. But, whatever, I couldn’t give a fiddlers farking fart, quite frankly.

  181. Trinity February 23, 2009 at 6:59 PM #

    “um, ok, I haven’t got the first fucking clue what I “made up”. But, whatever, I couldn’t give a fiddlers farking fart, quite frankly.”

    Here’s what you made up:

    “And since I suspect you want to know so you can try to use the comments as ammunition to bash the meanie rad fems, I’d say it’s definitely in the realm of obsessive.”

    I never said anything to the effect that I was collecting deleted comments as information. You’re making up that I would do that, and I see no reason why you should. Isn’t there enough we actually disagree on for you not to bother supposing strange things I never did or said?

    I *have* criticized restrictive comment policies in the past, because I don’t think they’re productive. But it’s a leap of logic that befits Bill O’Reilly to get from that that I would post or cite deleted comments.

  182. Faith February 23, 2009 at 7:26 PM #

    “You’re making up that I would do that, and I see no reason why you should. Isn’t there enough we actually disagree on for you not to bother supposing strange things I never did or said?”

    I didn’t say that was what you were actually doing, Trinity. I said I -suspect- that might be what you were doing. And with your behavior towards radical feminists in the past – in which you seem to almost seek out reasons to get pissed off at them – it was a reasonable thing to suspect.

    Like it or admit it or not, your behavior towards radical feminists and in response to them tends to be pretty damn creepy and borderline obsessive. For instance, on this very blog, how many of the comments on the over 300 comment threads that have recently been run up belong to you?

  183. Faith February 23, 2009 at 7:33 PM #

    “Not the same as saying SM is inherently feminist.”

    Perhaps not, but the 64,000 dollar question:

    If sm is not feminist, how can it be feminist to engage in it?

    The matter at hand is whether or not “pro-sm feminists” is an oxymoron.

    See, I have no objections to someones saying that sm is feminist because any act that a woman engages in consensually is feminist since women expressing sexual desire is feminist. I don’t agree with this assertion. I don’t believe any consensual sexual act is inherently feminist, but this argument makes sense. The argument that SM is not feminist, but its feminist to engage in it…not a lot of sense there to me. Even taking into consideration the “choice” argument.

    Nope, just don’t see.

    So either SM is feminist, or it isn’t. Or SM is feminist sometimes, and sometimes it isn’t.

  184. Trinity February 23, 2009 at 7:46 PM #

    “If sm is not feminist, how can it be feminist to engage in it?”

    That doesn’t make any sense. Brushing my teeth has no specifically feminist OR anti-feminist significance. If I say “brushing my teeth isn’t feminist” I have not thereby said it is feminist OR anti-feminist.

    SM isn’t feminist. It isn’t anti-feminist. It is neutral.

    Some people’s ways of practicing it are anti-feminist, but then no one in this whole weeks-long flamewar has denied that. We’ve only objected to the assertion that what we do must be anti-feminist because a thirty year old theory says it is.

  185. delphyne February 23, 2009 at 8:12 PM #

    “Not the same as saying SM is inherently feminist.”

    Which is why I said that you appear think that the two concepts can be hitched together. Why do you think that, if that is what you think?

    “And I think you missed the part where I didn’t name the blog and it’s actually created and owned by Verte. Even if I wanted to change its title (which I don’t… notice that it’s to pro-SM feminist safe space, that is, a safe space for pro-SM feminists), I couldn’t.

    Get your facts straight before you make assertions that aren’t true.”

    What assertion am I making that isn’t true? You blog at a place called SM Feminists. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t create the title of it or the space, by blogging there you support it. You spend a lot of time attacking people who criticise BDSM for it’s anti-woman and harmful aspects. You think that S&M and feminism can work together apparently.

    If all this is incorrect, why don’t you actually tell us your position instead of giving politicians’ answers which are irritating as hell.

  186. delphyne February 23, 2009 at 8:21 PM #

    Fucking hell, you call me creepy and imply I’m a stalker Trinity but you’ve actually got blog labels for me and Nine Deuce when you post about what we’ve said over at SM Feminists.

  187. Faith February 23, 2009 at 11:18 PM #

    “SM isn’t feminist. It isn’t anti-feminist. It is neutral.”

    Uh, sorry. Saying something so heavily loaded as BDSM is just a plain neutral act just seems utterly ridiculous to me.

    Again: Sexuality is a major part of feminism. Sexuality has been used as an instrument and a weapon against women for centuries. Saying that a lifestyle which often involves women calling themselves slaves and their men “master” while they get choked, pissed on, shit on, poked with needles, strung up like cattle on meat hooks, and passed around their “masters” friends to be fucked and “used” and humiliated has no feminist connotation…I mean, really, what in the holy fuck???

  188. Lane February 24, 2009 at 4:14 AM #

    “Saying that a lifestyle which often involves women calling themselves slaves and their men “master” while they get choked, pissed on, shit on, poked with needles, strung up like cattle on meat hooks, and passed around their “masters” friends to be fucked and “used” and humiliated has no feminist connotation…I mean, really, what in the holy fuck???”

    Faith,
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  189. Trinity February 24, 2009 at 6:49 AM #

    “Sexuality is a major part of feminism. Sexuality has been used as an instrument and a weapon against women for centuries.”

    EXACTLY, SO STOP. DOING. IT.

  190. Faith February 24, 2009 at 4:40 PM #

    “EXACTLY, SO STOP. DOING. IT.”

    Trinity,

    I’m happy to engage you as long as you remain civil. If you can’t come up with anything constructive, please spare us both the time and effort.

  191. Trinity February 24, 2009 at 4:48 PM #

    “I’m happy to engage you as long as you remain civil. If you can’t come up with anything constructive, please spare us both the time and effort.”

    You are doing it. You are acting as if we’re either being disingenuous or too stupid to see the obvious for not agreeing with you. That’s not discussion — it’s not even debate.

    You’ve asked us to explain the same thing over and over, and have responded in exactly the same way every time we’ve answered you.

    We’ve told you over and over that, for many of us, there is a middle option between “feminist” and “anti-feminist.” You respond to this over and over with “but is it feminist or is it not?” as if to force us back to what we have argued is a false dichotomy.

    If you want to claim that it isn’t a false dichotomy, great, but you need to actually argue for that position. We’ve argued ours, and now the ball is in your court.

  192. Faith February 24, 2009 at 7:39 PM #

    “You are doing it. You are acting as if we’re either being disingenuous or too stupid to see the obvious for not agreeing with you. That’s not discussion — it’s not even debate.”

    Trinity,

    I haven’t got the faintest clue what it is that you think I’m doing. And I’ve made my position clear that I think arguing BDSM is simply a neutral act is patently absurd…which means that I have already stated, in essence, that it’s a false dichotomy.

    The argument that BDSM has no feminist connotations is simply absurd. Completely. Totally. Utterly. That I even have to state that seems somewhat bizarre.

    So, I don’t know…unless you have something else constructive to add to the comment that I left, I don’t see where I have anything else to say about the matter to you.

  193. Trinity February 24, 2009 at 9:33 PM #

    “I haven’t got the faintest clue what it is that you think I’m doing. And I’ve made my position clear that I think arguing BDSM is simply a neutral act is patently absurd…which means that I have already stated, in essence, that it’s a false dichotomy.”

    I’m saying “make arguments to that effect.” You’re simply sputtering “this is obvious” over and over.

    I think that means we’re done here.

  194. J.Goff February 25, 2009 at 1:56 AM #

    And I’ve made my position clear that I think arguing BDSM is simply a neutral act is patently absurd…which means that I have already stated, in essence, that it’s a false dichotomy.

    What dichotomy would that be? “BDSM is not a neutral act” versus “it is a neutral act”? “BDSM is anti-feminist” versus “it is anti-feminist”? Also, I think that saying that people are calling it “simply” a neutral act is an incredibly simplistic way to read what the people you are arguing with are saying. Nothing is, in reality, “simply” anything.

  195. Gayle February 25, 2009 at 2:32 AM #

    “Saying that a lifestyle which often involves women calling themselves slaves and their men “master” while they get choked, pissed on, shit on, poked with needles, strung up like cattle on meat hooks, and passed around their “masters” friends to be fucked and “used” and humiliated has no feminist connotation…I mean, really, what in the holy fuck???”

    Yes, indeed.

  196. J.Goff February 25, 2009 at 4:31 AM #

    If one thing is patently obvious here, it seems that each side is speaking what it thinks to be perfectly reasonable truths, and each side is unwilling to read the other side’s perfectly reasonable truths as perfectly reasonable. So, mayhap it would be best if both sides forgot that the other side existed, and kept up fighting the good fight on their respective websites.

    Of course, not saying what would be appropriate one way or the other. Just my opinion. I have aspects of myself that I have found to be judged wanting on the basis of my own submissive personality, and not on who I am. We are all imperfect in our way, and I, sometimes more so than others.

  197. Thorne February 25, 2009 at 7:16 AM #

    What you are saying about BDSM is hate speach and is as dangerous as any other hate speach directed against any other minority.

    All any intelectually honest feminist has to do is substitute the word homosexual for Bdsm and this will be clear.

    Like an evangilist attacking dungeons and dragons or pagens attention and support is gathered from the feminist community by attacking an allready disenfranchised and vulnerable group.

    Any group that engages in this kind of attack against weaker disenfrachised groups will have reasons for doing so that are consistant with their own ideals, but in doing so they embrace ideals that include hate speach.

    Thinking that you have a good reason for hate speech and intolerence should really be a red flag, even if you really really think you are right.

    • Nine Deuce February 25, 2009 at 2:48 PM #

      Give me a break, Thorne. Hate speech? Please. What I’ve seen over at Under His Hand qualifies as hate speech more than anything here. And you don’t get to co-opt terminology reserved for the most heinous of oppressions to justify a lifestyle choice.

  198. delphyne February 25, 2009 at 1:23 PM #

    “Saying that a lifestyle which often involves women calling themselves slaves and their men “master” while they get choked, pissed on, shit on, poked with needles, strung up like cattle on meat hooks, and passed around their “masters” friends to be fucked and “used” and humiliated has no feminist connotation…I mean, really, what in the holy fuck???”

    I also agree, wholeheartedly.

    It is very insulting that Trinity is pretending that Faith isn’t making any arguments when she has been making them throughout this discussion and there is this one right here.

    BDSM didn’t arise in a vacuum. BDSMers didn’t suddenly say one day “Oooh, I know I’ll have a master and slave relationship where one of us abuses the other because nobody has ever thought of that one before”. Domination, people being forced to submit, slavery, torture, rape, male oppression of women, sexism (“you little slut”, “you like it”, “whore”), masochism all exist in the real world. BDSMers have appropriated those things from the oppressed (and probably from themselves in quite a lot of instances) to get their kicks. The reason they experience such strong feelings around this stuff is because this stuff is real and oppressive – people actually do get hurt or destroyed by these things in the real world. Pretending that they have “rights” to it and nobody else can criticise their celebration of inequality, sadism and male oppression of women is one of the most dishonest things they do.

  199. Gayle February 25, 2009 at 4:48 PM #

    “What you are saying about BDSM is hate speach and is as dangerous as any other hate speach directed against any other minority.”

    Oh, the irony!!

    “I think that means we’re done here.”

    Halleluiah !!!

    • Nine Deuce February 26, 2009 at 4:33 PM #

      Gayle – No shit, right? It’s incredible to hear the language of the oppressed co-opted by people who fetishize oppression.

  200. Thorne February 25, 2009 at 6:56 PM #

    I am not co-opting anything. People in the BDSM community lose their kids, they are arrested, and they are disenfranchised on a number of levels if they admit to who they are.

    You can call it a lifestyle choice if it makes you feel better when you attack us. It is exactly what Anti gay people do. You say you are “tired” of hearing the comparison. You said you only wanted to hear from gay people on the subject, and you did, and you ignored them.

    You have hundreds of posts from people identify as kinky telling you how they feel, telling you that it is their sexual identity, that it is who they are. You chose to ignore it because it is in line with your political agenda to do so.

    You are hurting real people with your hateful speech. What part of ouch do you not understand? Rolling your eyes and saying “hate speech? Please” is not an argument. We are a disenfranchised community under constant attack and you one of our attackers. Hate speech is not in the eye of the speaker.

    The kinksters who have taken the time to explain their feelings are under the delusion that you really wanted to know how they felt when you asked. They are confused because in their minds they see femanisists as allies and are confused by your attacks.

    Let me make something clear kinksters. The feminarchy hates you. They hate you because of who you are and there is nothing you can say to change their minds.

  201. Gorgias February 25, 2009 at 7:43 PM #

    “Give me a break, Thorne. Hate speech? Please. What I’ve seen over at Under His Hand qualifies as hate speech more than anything here. And you don’t get to co-opt terminology reserved for the most heinous of oppressions to justify a lifestyle choice.”

    Using the term “lifestyle choice” doesn’t exactly do much to distance yourself from the homophobes, ND.

    You don’t see how similar you guys sound?

    I don’t care what your theory says, my statistics say that 24% of kinky people have lost a job over their sexuality and 3% have lost a child. Do you deny this? I don’t care what your theory says, my personal experience says that I’m liable to experience the censure of my family and abandonment by my friends if I were to be completely out of the closet about my sexuality. Do you deny this?

    It looks pretty damn similar from where I’m sitting, as a queer submissive. Save that the gay rights movement has done some good for the world, and I’m less likely to experience censure over that part of my sexuality than I am for my kinkiness.

    • Nine Deuce February 25, 2009 at 8:16 PM #

      Like I said, I’m not going to speak for lesbians or gay men, but I find the idea that what I’ve said is hate speech a little ridiculous. And I’M NOT THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN ALL OVER THE PLACE TELLING EVERYONE THAT BDSM IS A CHOICE. I call it a lifestyle and a choice only because everywhere I look, BDSMers do so.

  202. James February 25, 2009 at 8:27 PM #

    I don’t think that it’s so much the method of the attack as the targets. The former are pretty similar between feminist porn-haters and evangelical porn-haters, but the latter are effectively identical.

    • Nine Deuce February 27, 2009 at 5:07 PM #

      No, James, the method is not similar at all. If you’d EVER read anything we’ve written on the subject, you’d know that. You’re irritating and I’m not posting anymore of your trollish bullshit anymore.

      • James February 27, 2009 at 8:01 PM #

        Yeah, that was a typo. See at “February 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm” where I say:

        “Shit, I meant dissimilar. Grr…”

  203. James February 25, 2009 at 8:31 PM #

    Shit, I meant dissimilar. Grr…

  204. Thorne February 25, 2009 at 9:55 PM #

    People also talk about the gay lifestyle. Even Gay poeple. They talk about it that way when they are not being attacked or super careful about their language because the issue of how ingrained, core to your personality, and inate an desire is only becomes important when you are being attacked by haters.

    Lifestyle is a happy word (from the 60’s before that people just had lives) linked to jet setters and optimism. When people use it to describe themselves it is because they are happy.

    The issue of if what pleases you sexually is a choice or not only come up whe someone tells you how you feel is wrong and god, or feminist theory, say you are a bad person for feeling that way.

  205. Gorgias February 25, 2009 at 10:37 PM #

    “Like I said, I’m not going to speak for lesbians or gay men, but I find the idea that what I’ve said is hate speech a little ridiculous. And I’M NOT THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN ALL OVER THE PLACE TELLING EVERYONE THAT BDSM IS A CHOICE. I call it a lifestyle and a choice only because everywhere I look, BDSMers do so.”

    Calling it a lifestyle is not the same as saying that the desire for it is a choice.

    The situation, so far as I can tell as a kinky queer person, remains the same. Nature, nurture, whatever, point is, none of us chose to like people of the same sex or to like kinky sex. Like homosexuals, kinky people can choose to engage in relationships that are less fulfilling both sexually and in many cases emotionally or spiritually, and whether or not to indulge in one’s sexual desires remains a choice. While the desires are unchosen in a fashion similar to homosexuality, this does not undermine the defense that it is a choice to engage in such sexual activities. Claiming otherwise would be like claiming that, since homosexuals claim that their lifestyle is not a choice, every instance of homosexual sex must be rape.

    @ Thorne: I think she’s ignoring most of the queer people who have posted about the comparison because most of them are also kinky. Which really makes me feel sooo unmarginzalied.

    • Nine Deuce February 26, 2009 at 4:24 PM #

      Like I said, Gorgias, I’m not speaking for lesbians or gay men here. I’ve had a lot of comments from lesbians who are very upset by the comparison, but I suppose they don’t matter?

  206. RenegadeEvolution February 26, 2009 at 3:27 AM #

    Yet, Faith, you yourself if not currently, did engage in BDSM. Your taking others to task over how not feminist it is, whilst being cheered on? Delicious really. Shrug. I’ve never called anyone master in my life, yet I do not find myself in a place to lecture the kinky about the evils of their sexual proclivities.

    I’m curious, do you still engage in BDSM or not, and if so, how do you reconcile that with your feminism?

  207. isme February 26, 2009 at 8:26 AM #

    “What you are saying about BDSM is hate speach and is as dangerous as any other hate speach directed against any other minority…

    …thinking that you have a good reason for hate speech and intolerence should really be a red flag, even if you really really think you are right.”

    True. Though, like you said, the anti-BDSM posters really, really think they are right, and strongly believe BDSM should be hated. I don’t think you’ll surprise many people by pointing out their use of hate speech when talking about something they hate, and admit that they hate.

    All you can really do is try to convince them that BDSM isn’t harmful or otherwise hateful.

  208. Faith February 26, 2009 at 4:41 PM #

    “Yet, Faith, you yourself if not currently, did engage in BDSM. Your taking others to task over how not feminist it is, whilst being cheered on? Delicious really. Shrug. I’ve never called anyone master in my life, yet I do not find myself in a place to lecture the kinky about the evils of their sexual proclivities.”

    I don’t see how asking questions about whether or not BDSM is feminist or not amounts to lecturing. I haven’t told a soul here or elsewhere that they can’t or even gone as far as to say that they shouldn’t engage in BDSM in their private lives (porn is a different matter, but I’m not getting into that here). I don’t get how BDSM can be a simply neutral act. That makes no sense whatsoever. None. Call it a feminist act if you must. I don’t agree that it is (at least not all the time)…but that argument makes some sense at least. Saying that it has no relevance to feminism…totally bizarre.

    As for the people “cheering me on”…they are they’re own people. I did not ask them to “cheer me on”.

    “I’m curious, do you still engage in BDSM or not, and if so, how do you reconcile that with your feminism?”

    No, although I’ve questioning SM since before and after I engaged in it.

  209. Thorne February 26, 2009 at 6:06 PM #

    “Gayle – No shit, right? It’s incredible to hear the language of the oppressed co-opted by people who fetishize oppression.”

    Did your read the part where we explained that we can be jailed or lose our kids? have you heard of the spanner case? Does it amuse you to play “this group is more oppressed than that group”? Our community has real life problems hate speach being the least of them.

    We do not fetishize oppresion. What we do is power exchange. Power exchange does not magically turn evil whe it is MF instead of FM or FF or whatever.

    I get that you want to make the point that the kink community is just and excuse for a bunch of male sadists to justify their abuse of woman. I get that the hundreds of comments by men and woman and the ocean of websites that explain otherwise will make no impression here.

    I am also not taken in by the wide eyed, “all we are doing is questioning bdsm. If you lifestyle is ok why does it bother you when I we question it?”

    It depends what the questionis doesn’t it?

    Is it just innocent inquiry when someone wants to know if gay men are more likely to abuse children, and then asks the question over and over?

    • Nine Deuce February 26, 2009 at 6:27 PM #

      Stop comparing your situation to the plight of homosexuals. And stop comparing my arguments to those of asshole homophobes. There is something to the idea that M/f BDSM fetishizes women’s oppression, and you aren’t going to take attention from that by setting up a false and easily discredited analogy.

      Why are people getting fired for being into BDSM? Ever heard of sexual harassment? Talking about sex at work isn’t cool, whether you’re straight, gay, into BDSM, or celibate. It’s just not appropriate. And to be honest, if I were a parent, I’d be concerned if my child’s other parent were into BDSM because I wouldn’t want my child exposed to it. It’s absolutely ridiculous to think you ought to have the right to normalize that kind of behavior in front of children who haven’t got the critical thinking abilities to understand what’s going on.

      We all know that the vast majority of child molesters are straight men, which has been shown in study after study. I’m asking the questions about BDSM because what I’ve seen on a lot of websites amounts to serious emotional and physical abuse, and because I have, whatever you guys want to claim to the contrary, read women’s writings about being upset and frightened by the treatment they receive. The fact that I’m not yet convinced that what you’re into is cool and meshes with feminism doesn’t make me dishonest, it just means that I’ve yet to be convinced that black is white and up is down.

  210. Trinity February 26, 2009 at 7:07 PM #

    ND —

    I’m done with arguing on this one, but I just wanted to correct your statement that kinky people are fired because they sexually harass people at work. The situations I’ve heard about where people’s job security was threatened, it was because something they’d carefully kept secret happened to leak, not because they’d been bragging.

    In one case, someone just happened to have heard about a fetish convention from a friend who worked in a hotel and had a good laugh over “those people.” Then he realized, seeing an abbreviated entry in an employee’s datebook, that the employee was likely going to that same event. Drama, and a firing, ensued.

    In another case that readily comes to mind — the whole Jack McGeorge flap a few years back — the Washington Post discovered that one of the UN inspectors headed to Iraq to find WMD was an active part of his local SM community, and wrote an article on him.

    He didn’t harass anyone; a reporter Googled him and found that he uses his real name in the community, and thought it made for a juicy scoop. Where’s the sexual harassment? Or do you think he was propositioning Kofi Annan? ;)

    Now, I personally would never put conventions, even with abbreviated names, on anything I suspected might fall into coworkers’ hands, ever. But that is someone making a mistake covering her interests up, not someone harassing coworkers.

  211. Trinity February 26, 2009 at 7:10 PM #

    (er, emendation: McGeorge did offer to resign, but his resignation wasn’t accepted.)

  212. RenegadeEvolution February 26, 2009 at 7:32 PM #

    Gee ND: What other types of people should not be able to breed either?

    And its not the talking about sex that always gets people fired, you know. Some people get blackmailed and other such lovely things.

    • Nine Deuce February 26, 2009 at 8:52 PM #

      Ren – I’d prefer if no one bred, really. Blackmail sucks, etc., but I’ve personally had a boss who was all about letting me know about how into BDSM he was and how I really needed to get down with it, which I think he needed to be fired for (though he wasn’t).

  213. James February 26, 2009 at 7:50 PM #

    There’s a difference between “being concerned” and having the right to have the child taken away from them. I think that you are applying the diminutive to this injustice to a rather startling extent.

  214. antiprincess February 26, 2009 at 8:34 PM #

    “think of the children,” ND? really?
    I expected better from you.

    tell you what, then – I’ll just bring my little boy around by your house, and you can raise him, to spare him the horror and indignity of the possibility of being “exposed” to the tragedy of my life as a kinky person.

    seriously? did you expect that remark to go unchallenged?

    because, NO, in the real world, we don’t waltz around all day in leather thongs squeaking “yes, master! yes master!” in front of people who have no business being involved in our sex lives. in the real world, we love our children and do our jobs (if we’re allowed to) just like all the rest of y’all.

    all of you non-kinky people out there: do you let your children witness your sexual behavior, as a general rule? what makes you think we do?

    • Nine Deuce February 26, 2009 at 8:50 PM #

      AP – It isn’t “think of the children,” it’s actual concern for people in full-time M/s relationships with children. Do you really think it’s possible to keep from kids, in any case? Kids are nosy, and I knew where every “secret” thing in my parents’ room was when I was 6.

  215. Faith February 26, 2009 at 8:53 PM #

    “because, NO, in the real world, we don’t waltz around all day in leather thongs squeaking “yes, master! yes master!” in front of people who have no business being involved in our sex lives. in the real world, we love our children and do our jobs (if we’re allowed to) just like all the rest of y’all.”

    To be perfectly fair, there are at least some people who do exactly that. I remember one case in particular in which a man had his daughter (or maybe daughters??) taken away from him because he was raising his daughter to be a submissive. I don’t know if actual physical sexual abuse was involved but he had been basically training them to be a man’s submissive when they became of age…

    • polerin February 27, 2009 at 3:07 PM #

      And that’s abuse, and just as wrong in my eyes as someone teaching girls that they need to Obey, and be good little walking womb’s.

  216. Charlie February 26, 2009 at 9:20 PM #

    Here’s what I see going on here:

    1) Some kinky people lose their jobs, families, support systems and children when people find out about their sex lives. These same things happen to some queer people. There are some real similarities there. They are not identical situations, any more than sexism and racism are identical. There are simply some areas of similarity. It’s important to neither ignore the similarities nor to claim that they are identical.

    2) Some kinky people do engage in activities in ways that are rooted in, reinforce, and model patriarchal roles for sexuality. Other people do similar activities or entirely different activities while critically examining how heterosexual normativity and violence towards women affects them and how they make sexual choices. Similarly, some people engage in non-kinky sex in ways that are rooted in, reinforce, and model patriarchal roles for sexuality while others do the same things while critically examining how heterosexual normativity and violence towards women affects them and how they make sexual choices.

    3) We don’t really know what percentages of kinky/non-kinky people critically reflect on the ways that their choices are influenced by patriarchy. As far as I know, nobody has researched it. It’s clear that this percentage is neither 0% nor is it 100%.

    4) It’s hard to tell what motivations somebody has from their actions. Two people can do similar things with entirely different motivations.

    5) It’s especially hard to figure out what motivates someone when we’re triggered or when we’re convinced that we KNOW the truth. Intellectual rigidity is incompatible with curiosity.

    6) Some people on this blog have no interest in opening up and listening to each other. Other people would like to, and find it challenging to stay open to dialogue when there’s so much anger being vented all around them. A lot of folks on this blog are getting triggered and are responding by attacking other people.

    7) Yelling louder rarely helps people change their minds. Neither does making sweeping statements about what sexual decisions people make. Projecting motivations onto people and then refusing to listen when they respond doesn’t do it either. All of those things are happening here.

    9) Anger is an incredibly powerful tool and deserves its place. That doesn’t mean that it’s OK to hurt people, either with our words or our actions. Attacking people is violence, whether it’s with words or fists. A lot of the language I see here looks rather violent to me.

    10) I see very little compassion anywhere in this thread. Compassion doesn’t mean that you let people walk over you. Setting boundaries can be compassionate. Holding people accountable for their actions can be compassionate. I would like to see more people explore how fierce compassion can help us to actually change things. That might include actually listening to each other.

  217. Trinity February 26, 2009 at 9:31 PM #

    “I’ve personally had a boss who was all about letting me know about how into BDSM he was and how I really needed to get down with it, which I think he needed to be fired for (though he wasn’t).”

    Yuck. In that case, yeah, I agree. People should not be exposed to details of their bosses’ (or coworkers’) personal lives.

  218. delphyne February 26, 2009 at 9:50 PM #

    One of the sadistic men who posted on here takes the woman he abuses out on a leash to the supermarket. Then they wonder why people look at them and whine about it as if they were completely unable to see how that would look from an outsider’s point of view. Passive aggressive twonks. It’s totally in people’s faces – that’s part of the point, it’s about attention seeking and getting a reaction.

  219. Erin C. February 26, 2009 at 11:05 PM #

    I have at times been very wary of BDSM and BDSMers, in part because of my contact with a would-be ‘Net friend who was into it and was also very much of the opinion that my decided lack of being into it meant I wasn’t “healthy”, while simultaneously saying that no, oh no, she wasn’t pressuring me toward it or anything, and wasn’t I a horrible person for interpreting it that way. She was of that opinion regarding many aspects of my life, actually, and very inclined to tell me so at every opportunity.

    But that’s just it — the fact is, she was a jerk, and the reason I felt queasy about a number of aspects of her BDSM relationship with her husband (she was the domme) was more about her jerkitude and less about her BDSM. Reading decent, non-pushy BDSMers talk about their lives has increasingly led me to realize that it’s not BDSM that’s the problem, it’s those BDSMers who are jerks — and more generally, PEOPLE who are jerks, because there is quite obviously no shortage of vanilla jerks.

    It seems to me that the boss who evangelizes BDSM to his employee is primarily a harassing asshole not because he’s a BDSMer but because he’s bringing up sex with an employee, which is awful and beyond inappropriate. The subs mentioned in other threads who by their own words have been beaten down and manipulated into being subs (or into the level of submissiveness they’re practicing) — are victims of BDSM that is abusive, not BDSM in and of itself.

  220. RenegadeEvolution February 27, 2009 at 12:54 AM #

    ND, Faith- These are EXCEPTIONS. And there are exceptions in EVERY group of people. Do all the other non-exceptions deserve to be fired or lose parental rights because of them?

    • Nine Deuce February 27, 2009 at 5:11 PM #

      No, Ren, and I was never saying that people who aren’t exceptions deserve to lose their kids.

  221. Sladegirl February 27, 2009 at 4:11 AM #

    I’m working as a nanny. I suppose that my employer should fire me, then, because of what I like to do with my fiance, behind closed doors. I’ll probably end up teaching her impressionable little boys that women are inferior beings who need to be subjugated for their own good. In between story time at the library and gymnastics practice, that is. Really, ND, do you think so little of us that you assume that we’re all out screaming at the top of out lungs about our sexuality? Some people like to speak loudly and stridently about their medical traumas, which I personally think should be kept far, far away from children, but most have the good sense not to share unless someone who really wants to know asks them. I like to think that most people behave that way about private things. Just because we’re kinky doesn’t mean we’re devoid of good sense.

    • Nine Deuce February 27, 2009 at 5:13 PM #

      I’m aware of that, but in reading around on BDSM blogs, I found a lot of troubling stuff about kids being raised in houses in which the parents were in a full-time M/s slave relationship, and I have to tell you that bothers the shit out of me. And it should, because it means that the child won’t have the chance to develop their own ideas about whether power and sex ought to be mingled. (But then I suppose that none of us really get that chance.) Look, I’m not saying that people involved in BDSM are any MORE patriarchal than the mainstream community in general, just that it’s more obvious and, in some cases is taken to an extreme that is frightening to those of us who don’t like being female in a misogynistic world.

  222. Faith February 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM #

    “These are EXCEPTIONS. And there are exceptions in EVERY group of people. Do all the other non-exceptions deserve to be fired or lose parental rights because of them?”

    I don’t know if cases of people into BDSM parading around in front of their kids or teaching their kids to be into BDSM are the exception or not. I do know that instances like that aren’t the rule and I’m happy to acknowledge that not all people into sm are such abusive morons and assholes. I do have difficultly believing that anyone who is openly into BDSM in front of their kids deserves to keep them. I have difficulty believing that anyone who is openly sexual in any capacity in front of their kids deserves to keep them. And in 24/7 relationships where one partner is obviously strongly submissive to the other – even if they aren’t overtly sexual in front of the children – yes, that concerns me greatly.

    However, no, I am not of the opinion that people deserve to lose their jobs or their children simply for being into SM.

    “One of the sadistic men who posted on here takes the woman he abuses out on a leash to the supermarket. ”

    The case I mentioned up thread, if memory serves me correctly, the man was busted because he was actually leading his teenage daughter around in public on a leash and collar. I’ll try to find the article at some point today but that was a couple of years ago so who the fuck knows if I can find it again.

    • Nine Deuce February 27, 2009 at 4:38 PM #

      I agree with Faith on this one. I don’t think anyone needs to be fired from their job over their sexual preferences, or have their children taken away, unless they’re being inappropriate. So everyone calm down and quit trying to pretend I’m a psycho.

  223. Charlie February 27, 2009 at 2:53 PM #

    Yes, there are always going to be some people in any group who are rude, mean, clueless, or don’t get/care about boundaries or other people’s comfort. That’s not limited to any particular population and there is no group of larger than that it immune to it.

    I think that raises some interesting questions- what is the percentage of folks who are like that in a given group? What are the characteristics of a group that increases or decreases that number? I’m sure there’s some research about that somewhere. Organizational development theory is a large enough body of work that I’d be surprised if someone hasn’t done it.

    However, the most outrageous people tend to be the ones that other people associates with that group. I’ve heard plenty variations on “why are gay men so flamboyant?” And I always have to point out that it’s the flamboyant ones who fit the stereotype and are therefore more visible, but there are plenty who aren’t. There are flamboyant BDSMers, and for that matter, there are flamboyant radical feminists. Judging a group based on the actions of the most flamboyant members happens a lot and while that seems to be common, that doesn’t mean it makes a lot of sense.

    However, I think it’s also worth noting that while some BDSMers really need to learn better boundaries around their sexualities, I think that there are lots of people (including many who comment on this blog) who really need to learn better boundaries around their anger. And no, I don’t think that that means that anger or sexual energy is bad- they’re some of the most useful things we have. I think that means that we need to be mindful about how we express them and the impact they have on other people.

    PS 92- I like the little monsters and other images that are showing up on the posts. Although I’m wondering how you picked which images are for which people.

    • Nine Deuce February 27, 2009 at 4:37 PM #

      Charlie – I didn’t, WordPress just assigns them.

  224. RenegadeEvolution February 27, 2009 at 6:58 PM #

    Faith/ND: Whose ideals on sexually inappropriate are we going by here? I’m curious. And if we are going to start rounding up the children who are being raised by people who might do/say sketchy things in front of their children…hell, we are going to need a lot more funding and probably a whole nother government agency to do so.

    • Nine Deuce February 27, 2009 at 8:45 PM #

      Ren – I think we can agree that there’s no such thing as appropriate sexuality in front of kids. I also think we agree that there doesn’t seem to be a solution (other than a wholesale restructuring of our cultural values, that is).

      • RenegadeEvolution February 27, 2009 at 9:12 PM #

        Actually, I don’t think we can. People walking with thier arms around one another, or kissing (not talking making out like teenagers in the back seat, but not just the peck on the cheek either), or things of that nature can be sexual. And I don’t think they are damaging to children.

        • Nine Deuce February 27, 2009 at 9:23 PM #

          I know, but you’ve said yourself in many places that adults ought to leave kids be to be kids, and I think having an obvious D/s relationship in front of them doesn’t allow that.

          • RenegadeEvolution February 28, 2009 at 12:15 AM #

            Humm, I am not so sure how much more “obvious” a D/s relationship, wrt to power imbalance, would be than a deeply religious one or very traditional one, really.

  225. Faith February 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM #

    “And if we are going to start rounding up the children who are being raised by people who might do/say sketchy things in front of their children…hell, we are going to need a lot more funding and probably a whole nother government agency to do so.”

    Yep. I’m not unaware of how difficult it is to make the determination of whether a child should be removed from their home or not. I’m of the opinion that children raised in households where a severe power imbalance between the parents (whether consensual or not) is extremely toxic. However, I’m not at all sure that I’d support removing a child from the home unless actual abuse is taking place. Perhaps if it can be assured that the child will go to a safer, healthier environment, but I’m certainly not advocating yanking children out of their home willy-nilly.

    “Humm, I am not so sure how much more “obvious” a D/s relationship, wrt to power imbalance, would be than a deeply religious one or very traditional one, really.”

    Agreed. And I’m no more a fan of deeply religious households or very traditional ones that 24/7 BDSM relationships. I cringe just as much thinking about poor kids being raised by bible-thumping wife-submitting billy graham loving christ lovers.

  226. Laurelin February 28, 2009 at 7:40 PM #

    submission in the name of BDSM; submission in the name of religion.
    same difference.

    but then again, I am often told I miss nuance…

  227. Laurelin March 2, 2009 at 6:04 PM #

    Actually, the knee-jerk reactions of some BDSMers and their refusal to accept criticism, along with the pathetic idea that sexual activity is sacred, makes me think BDSM is just another religion, really.

    But hey, I’m a non-believer. After all, I know what the creed did to me.

  228. Immir April 17, 2010 at 11:42 PM #

    Considering how logical and right on 9D is, people still manage to misconstrue everything and come back with irrelevant arguements.

  229. Nine Deuce February 23, 2009 at 1:49 AM #

    We are not arguing about the constitutional differences between the US and the UK (which doesn’t have a Constitution, duh), we’re arguing about whether the ratio of male to female heads of state says anything about the sex hierarchy.

    You’ve become a boring irritant. Piss off.

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