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[P]
BDSM: a sub-culture primer

By Bora Horza Gobuchol in Culture
Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:10:19 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Bondage, Discipline, and Sadomasochism (BDSM - also known as D/s (Domination/submission), sadomasochism, and bondage) is a sexual subculture that is treated two ways by the man on the street - as a source of tittering humor (Benny Hill romps, the movie adaptation of Anne Rice's Exit to Eden), or with confusion and disdain ("You like humiliating people? Tying them up? Pervert!"). The purpose of this article is to give some context to a misunderstood and hidden part of society, and (hopefully) clear up some misinformation.

Note: this article deals with sexuality in a frank and open manner - including sexual acts that you may find disturbing and/or indecent. If you object to such discussion, or if you are under 18, you may wish to turn to many of the other interesting stories available at k5.


While there are no hard statistics about how many experiment with D/s (since it remains such a hidden part of society), the range of books, organizations and trained psychological counselors for the D/s community suggest that interest in it is widespread. To many, the thought of tying someone up and doing all kinds of wicked things to them (or being the one tied up) is deeply exciting - yet very "wrong". Understanding what D/s is - and what it is not - may help clear up the issue.

There are two distinct areas of D/s - the psychological (the dynamic of Domination/submission) and the physical (bondage, the pain/pleasure response, etc.). One of the interesting things about "the lifestyle" (as some adherents call it) is that each area can be approached separately from the other. It follows that each of these areas has more or less appeal to everyone entering D/s - some will experiment only in one and never venture into the other. We will be discussing both in a moment, but first it might be useful to place D/s in a historical background.

A Brief History

In the Western world, D/s will forever and unfortunately be associated with the Marquis de Sade, the man who gave name to the term sadism and who first attempted to write about some aspects of D/s.

I say "unfortunately" because de Sade is the last man that the modern D/s community would wish to be represented by. Entirely self-obsessed, almost certainly a rapist (and at the very least one of brutal sexual temperament), spending a great deal of his life either imprisoned or in various asylums, the Marquis was nonetheless a passionate and literate defender of the individual, and had a keen understanding of the labyrinthine workings of the human mind. To de Sade, sadism and masochism (he enjoyed both) were the deepest explorations of the human self. He believed that only by peeling the psyche down via physical and mental anguish could one discover the core of one's being.

While de Sade might have been the world's most famous and excessive practitioner of this philosophy, he was certainly not alone. The idea of depriving the body and mind to better see the spirit is one central to many religions, seen in as many variant forms as Catholic flagellants, Hindu mystics, and Apache sun-dancers. In turn, these experiences are associated with a kind of ecstasy, in which the physical pain is both a root cause and effect. In some cases the line between this religious ecstasy and that of carnal pleasure is very blurred indeed - in the Western world, the Agony of St. Teresa is probably the best-known example.

The modern movement of D/s can be distinguished from its historical roots by the creed of "safe, sane, and consensual" (none of which could be applied to de Sade) and a humanist view largely separated from religious impulses.

Being such an intimate experience, there are almost as many differing interpretations of what D/s is and is not as there are practitioners. Motivations for experimenting with D/s are very different, and one's judgment of what makes "good" D/s will therefore be entirely subjective. Like any area of human interest, there are differing schools of thought, sub-branches, even schisms within the larger D/s community. With the obvious restriction of length, this essay attempts to give an overview of the modern D/s sub-culture as a whole, with its primary focus on what might be considered the mainstream.

Domination and submission - the psychological dark side

Part of de Sade's dogma was that the individual should take pleasure solely for himself - that this was in fact the central driving force to the human spirit. While typically excessive of de Sade, modern D/s does recognize that there is constant power-play in all human relations between those who are primarily Dominant and those who are submissive.

We can see this Dominant/submissive tendency in everyone around us. There are those that seem to naturally lead, take charge, and command, and there are others who are far more willing to follow. While upbringing, culture and life experiences can certainly shape this nature, to many it is something that one is "born with". To these people, Domination and submission is a part of everyday life - it is simply formalized, heightened and sexualized in D/s.

In the bedroom, many experience a thrill from being more dominant - the instigator, the leader - or submissive (one who is lead, commanded, positioned). Note that this only works if both parties feel comfortable in their respective roles. The rational mind recognizes that there is no fun to be had in sexual play in commanding someone who doesn't wish to be. (Acting at reluctance or resistance is another thing entirely, and can be understood to be part of the play).

In D/s, these roles are given various names. The Dominant partner is often referred to as a Top, Dom (Domme for women), "Master" or "Mistress". (The term "Dominatrix" is rarely used inside the lifestyle - a woman who makes money from her kink is simply a professional Domme.) The submissive partner is usually "bottom", "sub" and (in rare cases) "slave". While many entering the lifestyle will quickly find their niche, others may vary back and forth between one role and the other depending on their mood, partner, and circumstances. They are commonly referred to as "Switches", and are the equivalent of bisexuals in the continuum of D/s.

At this point it is important to note that to some, D/s is a part of their basic sexuality. Most of us identify ourselves as straight, homosexual or bi. A D/s adherent might say that they are "a straight male sub". For others, D/s doesn't run that deep - being submissive is a special treat for Friday nights, and not how they see themselves as a person.

The psych aspect of D/s is am endless subject of discussion within the community, often becoming overburdened with amateur psychology and self-rationalization. Perhaps the most extreme example of this can be found in the "Gor" cycle by John Norman - a series of fantasy works that started out as standard Robert Howard-esque fiction but became increasingly obsessed with promoting the idea that human males were naturally Dominant, and females submissive, with page after page of theory. This in turn spawned a whole sub-sub culture of Gorean D/s adherents, who follow the books as guides to life, much as extreme Tolkien fans might with their canon.

The greatest mis-understanding of the D/s lifestyle is that the sub must do anything s/he is commanded to do. This is simply not the case. A D/s relationship - whether it be for a short "scene" or a life-long commitment - is something that must bring pleasure to and fulfill both partners if it is to work. With new partners, a scene - a period of D/s play - is talked about and negotiated, and it is the sub that leads the negotiation.

Any sub will have things that are of interest to him/her, and things that are not. In the "not" category are acts that are psychologically repulsive or physically impossible (some forms of bondage or restraint might be very uncomfortable or dangerous, for example). These are "hard limits" - things the sub will not do. "Soft limits" are areas where the sub feels uncomfortable, but might be willing to venture into. These limits determine the possible activities of any "scene".

The physical aspect - Bondage and the pain/pleasure response

The pain/pleasure response can seem at first glance to be counter-intuitive, even contradictory - how can anyone take pleasure from pain? Some examples from everyday life might help to illustrate the phenomenon.

Many will be familiar with the "high" associated with extreme physical exertion. In reaction to physical stress the body releases natural opiates - primarily endorphin and serotonin - that act to dull the sensation of pain and often supply a feeling of transcendence and well-being. This phenomenon is primarily associated with exercise and sports, but almost any sufficiently stressful activity will do.

This same high is often in effect during sex. Many will be familiar with "hickeys", scratches, and other bruises from "the combat of love". During lovemaking, such effects don't seem particularly painful - in fact they are often arousing, a goad for more. Yet outside that context - if you were standing on a street corner, say, and someone bit you with the same force - it would most definitely hurt.

So context is all-important. What can be painful in one situation can be stimulating in another. Submissives don't have multiple orgasms when they hit their thumb with a hammer - if that were so, there would be no need for Dom/mes, and Home Depot would be a very different place. Context makes the difference. Being with someone that arouses you, or being aroused, can lead to a switching of associations between pleasure and pain.

That degree of association will vary naturally from one person to another, even from one day to the next (a woman's period, for example, can heighten physical sensitivity to an unbearable degree). Within D/s, riotous imagination has made toys of pain and pleasure from almost every conceivable item. Contrary to popular perception, whips are very rarely used in D/s, as they are extremely difficult to control. Floggers (similar to the cat-o'-nine tails, but usually with finer and many more tails), clamps and crops are popular. All have ways of being used safely - an under-appreciated side of D/s is that it requires study to do well. Sex is somewhat instinctive, but safe ways of binding someone to a bed are not.

Problems associated with D/s

Self-acceptance

Admitting submissive feelings can be extremely torturous. Men (culturally) and women (since the rise of the feminist movement) have been told to be strong, independent, and subservient to no-one. Integrating these cultural currents with the fact that one is turned on at the thought of being led around on a leash can be very difficult.

Legal acceptance

Professional Dommes skirt the law by the fact that their clients are often very well-heeled (and thus less of a target for a police force that does not wish to embarrass powerful members of society) and that there is no sexual interaction between themselves and their clients (at least not in the sense of direct genital contact.) As a private act between consenting individuals, D/s would appear to be on safe ground - but ongoing cases in Hong Kong, Toronto, Philedelphia and the infamous British "Spanner" case show otherwise. While there are no laws explicitly against D/s, authorities will often use a combination of bawdy house, prostitution and assault laws to charge D/s adherents.

D/s as a cover for abuse

Some men (and far rarer, women) will latch on to D/s as a smokescreen for their abuse. This can be particularly effective when their partners are submissive, and convince themselves that the abuse is "right" because "it's what I want". Central to recognizing abuse in a D/s relationship is the ability to see who is calling the shots - is the submissive stating the terms, or the Dom? Are there "safe words" that can be used by a sub to stop a scene that is no longer pleasurable, and are they respected?

D/s "sugar daddies" and "mommies"

Sexual desire has been a beguiling force down through the ages, since long before Salome. Sugar daddies can be found in the D/s community, leeched by subs through a form of undeclared trade - "I'll do x (submission) in exchange for y (money, goods, etc)". D/s can be such a strongly co-dependent activity that this particular dynamic can go unrecognized for years.

How do I know if my significant other is as interested in D/s as I am?

Approaching someone about D/s - even a life-partner of many years - can be a very awkward and embarrassing prospect. The good news is that someone with an interest in D/s has usually had such an interest for a very long time, even if it is suppressed. D/s adherents are the children who manipulated their childhood friends into tying them up during a game of Cowboys and Indians (or who was the one doing the tying), or who found out that they enjoyed being spanked. Being open and honest about these feelings is another thing entirely. Here are a couple of clues, however:

  • Do they use D/s terms in everyday conversation, in a joking manner? "Yeah, I should be spanked" in association with admitting guilt, for example.
  • A copy of the "Beauty" series on their bookshelf. Before she became feverishly popular with her "Vampire Chronicles", Anne Rice wrote erotica, principally under the pseudonyms of "A. N. Roquelaure" and "Anne Rampling". Rice has undeniable skills as a writer, and the "Beauty" series is probably the best fictional exploration of D/s available. ("9 ½ Weeks", after the initial enticements, shows what can go wrong in a D/s relationship.)
  • Victorian fly whisks lying around the house. Antique straps and canes. A riding crop, when you know she doesn't ride. Scarves left in curious proximity to the bedposts.
In conclusion - D/s can be a exciting, fulfilling venture, but it is not without its dangers and traps. Explored through a stable, loving relationship, it can deepen and heal trust issues. Approached with sensitivity and candor, it can vastly expand upon the range of expression available to "vanilla" (i.e. ordinary) sex. Because a D/s scene often requires careful approach and planning, it is not for "quickie" experiences. Often, a D/s scene can be measured in hours, including introduction, tension, climax and denouement, and can thus be a very effective alternative to a sex life that has grown predictable, quick, functional and stale. But because it can wade into deep emotional waters and be extremely physically stressful, D/s must be approached carefully, sanely, and most of all consensually.

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Poll
Ever tied someone up with their consent?
o Yes. 48%
o Yes, but only in a non-sexual sense. 6%
o No - I'm the one who gets tied up. 8%
o No, but I've thought about it. 25%
o No. What do you think I am, some kind of pervert? 10%

Votes: 209
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o Also by Bora Horza Gobuchol


Display: Sort:
BDSM: a sub-culture primer | 230 comments (189 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
What really gets on my nerve (3.36 / 19) (#1)
by Bob Dog on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 07:14:16 PM EST

with these s/m types is the whole "nudg, nudge, wink, wink.  Ooh we're so naughty" vibe they got.  Fuckin' repressed english schoolboys the lot of them.

Ah but (4.40 / 5) (#15)
by greenrd on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 08:24:22 PM EST

Who was it that said "Good sex is always dirty"?

Someone wise, I think.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Right. (3.85 / 7) (#34)
by qpt on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 01:30:40 AM EST

And what, my chastity-inclined friend, do you know about sex, good or otherwise?

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Woody Allen (5.00 / 3) (#90)
by carlossch on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 07:58:51 PM EST

"Is sex dirty? Only when done right."
Woody Allen, Everything you wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask (1972)

Carlos
-- He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots.
[ Parent ]

Maybe... (4.25 / 4) (#21)
by localroger on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 09:48:37 PM EST

Fuckin' repressed english schoolboys the lot of them.

Maybe this is why male sub/female dominant S&M is sometimes coyly referred to as "the English Vice."

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

I agree. (3.00 / 1) (#104)
by twgs on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:18:43 AM EST

Oddly enough I agree with you.  The thing I hate most about being a pervert is that it is apparently de rigeur for one to have an awful, awful sense of "humor", the sort of thing that I believe they used to call "ribald".  You would think that the only movie they were ever allowed to see as children was the "Rocky Horror Picture Show".  I for one am not "naughty" nor am I a "slut", nor will I pretend to be, not even for money.

[ Parent ]
*shrug* It's not compulsory (none / 0) (#219)
by Paul Crowley on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:46:35 AM EST

and for the most part it's not the way the people I play with play.
--
Paul Crowley aka ciphergoth. Crypto and sex politics. Diary.
[ Parent ]
Good Article... (2.90 / 10) (#2)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 07:14:37 PM EST

I still think it's perverted yet humorous, but this was educational and insightful nonetheless.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Favorite S&M factlet (4.52 / 17) (#11)
by localroger on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 08:11:03 PM EST

Submissives outnumber dominants by a huge ratio. The vast majority of people into this would prefer to be subs. It's a running theme in much of the literature, especially Coming to Power by Samois. When you do read something by someone who prefers to be dominant (like Pat Califia or Gloria Brame), they often reveal that much of the pleasure for them is vicarious. It's the submissives who have all the fun.

This has very interesting ramifications with regard to human nature.

Nice article, informative and wonderfully free of the self-congratulatory bullshit that often creeps into such expositions. My only complaint is that you mention John Norman; if S&Mers would put the Divine Marquis last in line to be their representative, I suspect a lot of them would put Norman in line just ahead of him.

+1FP when it hits the queue.

I can haz blog!

Hum... (3.00 / 3) (#43)
by CtrlBR on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 09:22:03 AM EST

How did you get those numbers? And more importantly do you have a gender distribution?

As in most anything sexual that I'm aware of men outnumber women (see swingers clubs, why do you think entry is free for women) and AFAIK dominant males outnumber the other categories, submissive women being the rarest (that's from looking at message boards and so on, I'm not actually in the scene, just curious...).

Perhaps it's just that men are more ongoing about their sexual needs or that submissive goes with soft-spoken...

If your numbers are true there must be a great deal of frustration going on there...

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

[ Parent ]
Re: Hum... (4.50 / 2) (#73)
by disappear on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:23:37 PM EST

As in most anything sexual that I'm aware of men outnumber women (see swingers clubs, why do you think entry is free for women) and AFAIK dominant males outnumber the other categories, submissive women being the rarest (that's from looking at message boards and so on, I'm not actually in the scene, just curious...)

Dominant males may or may not outnumber everything else. But submissive males aren't far behind that. There are also a fair number of submissive women, actually --- it's dominant women who are very rare.

Men do outnumber women, but not by as much as you might imagine. The kind of men who are in it just as a sexual and not as a subcultural thing are often shunned.

If your numbers are true there must be a great deal of frustration going on there...

Unlike, say, singles bars. ;-)



[ Parent ]
Studies (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by localroger on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:49:14 PM EST

How did you get those numbers?

I don't recally actually using any numbers :-) But in fact, there have been a number of studies done on this. One I remember was in an essay anthology titled S and M (I'd give the author but my house is taken apart for remodeling and Amazon's search doesn't locate it) where the researchers broke it down by heterosexual male sub, gay male, and gay female groups. In all of them the ratio of self-proclaimed submissives to dominants was about 10:1. And this is also reflected in nearly all the anecdotal literature.

That study did not include male dominant heterosexual couples because, as the researcher said, they can hide pursue their interests too easily without joining a subculture or making themselves readily identifiable at a distance. However, the anecdotal evidence suggests they are no different than the other three groups.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Topping is exhausting and demanding (4.66 / 3) (#107)
by libertine on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:30:53 AM EST

You also have an additional factor wherein the "good" tops, ones that are well trained, knowledgeable, and empathetic are going to find many more partners than someone who is into topping just for their own self aggrandizement or for strictly personal satisfaction.

Topping/domming is very time consuming.  It involves a great deal of giving emotionally and spiritually, often to partners whose (often unverbalized) feedback lead events forward.  Tops tend to get much more criticism than bottoms about their behavior, and this is why more tops tend to drop out of the scene.  Which probably explains the 10:1 ratio of subs to doms.  

If you take all of these things into consideration, this is probably why so many tops charge for their services in some way- it is the bottom that is really in charge, and who gets the most out of the relationship 9 times out of 10.  They use the safe words, they define much of the scene, and their demands and needs are met by the top.  Tops can pick and choose, but that is because there are so few people who want to be tops for very long.  Truthfully speaking though, a good bottom/sub, who respects and tries to meet the needs of a top, is more rare than a good top.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

Sadly... (3.33 / 3) (#65)
by Matadon on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:04:51 PM EST

...that doesn't seem to be the case in my experience. I'd be in bloody heaven if I could find sub females in my area...

--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]
And if you look at the poll (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by CtrlBR on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:42:48 AM EST

It seems like K5 is almost a dom discussion board...

Where are all those sub hiding?

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

[ Parent ]
Nature of questions (4.00 / 1) (#134)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:44:09 AM EST

Some of them might have voted "No, but I've thought about it" to include thinking about being tied rather than tying someone else.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Maybe we tried it... once.... (5.00 / 2) (#174)
by marxmarv on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:07:53 PM EST

and found out we liked being tied much much better.

That still merits a "yes" answer on the poll. I submit (heh) that a part II of this article, were one to come into existence, would have a poll asking "Have you been tied up (consensually)?"

THEN we'll see the subs coming out of the woodwork.

-jhp

[ Parent ]

Actually... (5.00 / 1) (#106)
by twgs on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:27:53 AM EST

...this is very gender-dependent.  The general consensus I've seen is that there are roughly equal numbers of so-called "dominant" and "submissive" men, but that "dominant" women are by _far_ outnumbered by "submissive" ones.  I can imagine few things more frustrating than being a heterosexual submissive man, which makes me quite glad I'm not one.

Another interesting vector might be age- from what I can tell, dominant-type women are far more common in my age bracket (20-30) than in the general public (and this is the other thing to note- as a 26-year-old, I find that most of the people in the so-called "BDSM Scene" are a HELL of a lot older than me; I am very much in the minority.  It seems like most of it consists of people who spent a miserable 20 to 30 years of their lives supressing their desires and have finally just gotten sick of it.)

[ Parent ]

D/s is Just One of Many Ways to Spice up Sex (4.07 / 14) (#23)
by alphabit on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 10:00:12 PM EST

How do I know if my significant other is as interested in D/s as I am?

Approaching someone about D/s - even a life-partner of many years - can be a very awkward and embarrassing prospect.


It's important to remember that D/s isn't the only way or even the best way to spice up your sex life.

The best way, at least in my experience, is to talk with your gf (or bf) about what they like, don't like, are curious about, etc. Two great ways to get ideas or just have wicked sex discussions are: (1) going together to a sex store* or (2) reading together through a couple's sex book. The world of interesting sex is huge and should be explore in tandem with your partner.

* A sex store, in case you didn't know, is not the same as a porn video store. ;-)

--
'It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.' -unknown
Communication (4.00 / 2) (#74)
by jabber on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:28:00 PM EST

How any two (or more) people can mash their genitals together without talking about their likes and dislikes is absolutely beyond me. Conversation about sexual tastes, curiosities, or interests is great foreplay. Conversation about dislikes, traumas or fears is magnificent bonding experience. The most fun thing, I think, is finding out what your partners "nervous giggles" are, and exploring those, slowly.

Communication is key. You should never, ever, be "intimate" with someone whom you do not know, and the best way to get to know someone is to talk to them. Sometimes the attraction is immediate, and you grind groins on the first date, and that can be ok, so long as you both respect each other as thinking, feeling people.

Ideally, in my very humble opinion, the best relationships start with a friendship, and end up in the bedroom. Too many start in bed and fail to end even as friendships. Drama and heartache is the wrong thing to fill your life with people. Talk to each other.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

D/s for Enhancing Trust? (3.36 / 11) (#24)
by alphabit on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 10:01:09 PM EST

Explored through a stable, loving relationship, it can deepen and heal trust issues.

I find that trust is usually best enhanced (or "healed", if you will) through means other than kinky sex. Maybe I'm just an old fashioned prude though. ;-)

--
'It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.' -unknown
You'd be surprised (3.83 / 6) (#29)
by Pseudonym on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 12:09:15 AM EST

I've known many abuse survivors who get into BDSM as a way of "reclaiming" their own bodies. More tend to use body modification (tattoos, piercings), but BDSM is more popular amongst this group than you think.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Well (2.40 / 5) (#36)
by Betcour on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 02:54:22 AM EST

As far as I know piercing is mostly self-inflicted violence, done by people who hate themselves and/or have impulses of self-destruction.

(I can hear the flame of tatooed/pierced people coming my way already ;)

[ Parent ]
Here, have some asbestos undies. (3.66 / 3) (#49)
by libertine on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 12:19:59 PM EST

Though I am not here to flame you.  Just thought that I would mention I am heavily pierced, and, no, I don't hate myself.

I don't hate you, either.  You are fully entitled to believe I hate myself, or want to destroy myself.

However, I got my genitals pierced in order to restore sensation down there.  It worked.  I am more happy (yay!  true happiness can be found in an orgasm that happens in UNDER 3 hours of coital embrace!).

My partner is also very pierced.  However, to see both of us on the street, you would never ever know it- all the metal is hidden by clothing.  We don't fight, we pay our taxes, and aside from loud, wild, crashing sex, we live quiet lives.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

do you set the metal detectors off @ airports? (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by r1chard on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:09:43 AM EST

Guess the security guards are used to this?

RG

[ Parent ]

Depends on the guards (4.00 / 1) (#183)
by libertine on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 12:21:18 AM EST

The ones down at the local courthouse are used to it.  That is because it is the most sensitive metal detector in the city where I live.  You see, implant grade steel doesn't usually set off metal detectors.  So, if you have had some recent piercings done, you head down to the courthouse and see if the alarms go off.  This way, you don't get searched at the airport, where people tend to be in more of a hurry.  Several pierced people I know do this.

BTW, I rarely beep, even with 6 large gauge piercings.  My girlfriend doesn't beep at all, even going through a couple of large international airports.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

Trust (none / 0) (#205)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:02:47 PM EST

It seems to me that if you have trust issues, the last thing you'd want to do is let someone tie you up and do whatever s/he wants to you. Personally, if I let anyone tie me up, I'd have to already trust her completely.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Most people do D/s without realising... (4.35 / 14) (#38)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 04:06:17 AM EST

Every relationship is highly dependent on trust, and compromise.  I have to trust that my girlfriend won't poison my dinner, she has to trust that I won't paint the kitchen orange and pink.  You have to compromise in that your girlfriend doesn't like spicy foods, but you want scotch bonnet chillis in everything.  A balance must be reached.

With D/s, each partner is highly dependent on the other.  Something that most people don't realise is that the Dom(me) and sub see themselves as essentially equal, at least while negotiating.  Arguably, the sub is the one in control - being in a vulnerable position, they can call everything off if they feel uncomfortable with something.  The idea is, though, that you work out beforehand what you're both going to do, so that this doesn't arise.  For this reason, D/s couples tend to have more satisfactory "vanilla" sex, because they are comfortable with talking about what they want.  This level of communication is often carried over into non-sexual aspects of life, and you tend to find that D/s couples are far more stable than their non-kink counterparts.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


D/s couples are more stable than non-kink? (3.50 / 2) (#62)
by meehawl on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 04:13:44 PM EST

you tend to find that D/s couples are far more stable than their non-kink counterparts

Do you have any research to back up that opinion, or will you whip me if I ask for some? I'd tend to think that relationship flux correlates most strongly with opportunity availability. That's why upper-middle-class people tend to have more sexual partners and more marriages than people from lower-middle-class sections of society. They simply have more opportunity, more travel, and more time away from their partners in suitable social environments.

Mike Rogers www.meehawl.com
[ Parent ]
Communication (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by jabber on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:16:53 PM EST

Since kink lifestyles require greater communication than vanilla ones, and since boundaries are explicitly defined, BDSM relationships tend to be more open to the stressors of life than regular ones. If one partner is turned on by someone else, it is not a taboo to voice such feelings - while in a vanilla relationship, this might be kept back for fear of a conflict.

Because of greater reliance on open communication, there is less resentment and dishonesty in a Scene relationship. After all, you'd better be honest with the people that are accustomed to holding knives to your privates, no?

BDSM relationships fail, certainly, since kinky people are still people. But when they fail, it is not usually for the same reasons as most vanilla relationships. They fail for irreconcilable differences in the ideal, or because someone broke the rules - like any other relationship.

Thing is, the things that pile up under the carper in a "normal" relationship, are much more likely to be aired out and addressed in the scene. Resentments don't really pile up if both partners are open and willing to accommodate each other.

The Vanilla world has much to benefit from the Scene. Truly.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

All relationships are power relationship exchanges (4.33 / 3) (#110)
by meehawl on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:12:01 AM EST

Since kink lifestyles require greater communication than vanilla ones, and since boundaries are explicitly defined, BDSM relationships tend to be more open to the stressors of life than regular ones. If one partner is turned on by someone else, it is not a taboo to voice such feelings - while in a vanilla relationship, this might be kept back for fear of a conflict.

I think everyone is in general so delightfully conceited as to imagine "their" way is the superior way.

I think most if not all relationships employ a continual renegotiation of boundaries and power exchanges. Whether you explicitly represent such communication using physical props and ritualised role playing, or implicitly elide it through various acts of sabotage and negation, the result is the same. They are styles of interaction, phenomenological not epistemological.

I've actually studied relationship psychology quite extensively and found no correlation with BDSM and relationship longevity. The strongest correlation I've seen is with Equity Theory and Relationship Satisfaction. I'm thinking of the work of Van Ypren and Buunk, especially. The theory has greater predictive precision for females over males, however. This may reflect a generalised opportunity imbalance in Western societies.

It's important to remember that pretty much all relationships are about the exchange of power. Modern psychology is based on this fact.

Sartre, however, denies that there is authentic communication. According to him, consciousness is not only the nullification of things but also the nullification of the other person as other. To look at another person is to make of him a thing. This is the profound meaning of the myth of Medusa. Sexuality itself, which Sartre holds to be an essential aspect of existence, fluctuates between sadism and masochism, in which either the other person or oneself is merely a thing. On this basis, the intersubjective relationship is obviously impossible. - Encyclopedia Britannica

Mike Rogers www.meehawl.com
[ Parent ]
Exchange of power (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by jabber on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:47:12 AM EST

You must forgive my ignorance in not having the same academic or professional experience as you. I am a simple caveman, after all, and my experience with relationship is purely amateur. But...

I completely agree that it's all an exchange of power. I'm curious though as to there not being a correlation between BDSM lifestyles and vanilla ones.

Does it not make sense that in a relationship where the exchange of power is explicit, not implicit, the communication and understanding of consequences would be greater? Would you not say that the degree of honesty required for a BDSM relationship to function is greater, and therefore such a relationship is less likely to fail due to deception or unresolved/unaddressed conflict? Am I assuming too much about the honesty and integrity of a typical BDSM relationship?

For example, if in a BDSM relationship, one of the partners does something of which they know the other will not approve, they can be certain that there will be consequences to restore balance. This may be a beat-down, an argument, a discussion, a break-up or the removal of affection - pretty much the same as in a vanilla relationship.

However, while this understanding is also present in a vanilla relationship, it will likely be implicit, rather than explicit. The punishment, when it comes, is less likely to be agreed upon, and more likely to not fit the transgression. It is more likely to be more emotional and less pragmatic, and to lack perspective.

This is to say, in a relationship where the exchange of power is a matter of course, and the exchange is clear to both partners, it tends to flow in quanta, while in vanilla relationships where the exchange of power is a subtext, how much power who has when is difficult to surmise.

To me, BDSM begins not with a leather whip but with the conscious acknowledgment that there is an exchange of power and control, that there are roles the participants play, either with consistency or as a switch, and that the parties involved consent to the given conformation of power at a given time.

In a BDSM relationship, I find, that power is more often given than taken, and to me, this is the main advantage of the lifestyle. Fewer hurt feelings when you give than when you are taken from without your consent.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Quality not form of communication (4.00 / 1) (#145)
by meehawl on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:19:04 PM EST

Does it not make sense that in a relationship where the exchange of power is explicit, not implicit, the communication and understanding of consequences would be greater? Would you not say that the degree of honesty required for a BDSM relationship to function is greater, and therefore such a relationship is less likely to fail due to deception or unresolved/unaddressed conflict? Am I assuming too much about the honesty and integrity of a typical BDSM relationship?

At least IMHO I think you are. It's possible in any relationship to use physical props well (BDSM use one set, "non-kink" use others, especially TV and the control of the remote), or to use them in an unthinking, ritualistic fashion that fails to communicate well on a meta-level

So I think some BDSM couples may indeed have excellent communication and relationship satisfaction, but not all. And the same is true for non-kink. I am not aware of a single longitudinal study that has shown a difference in relationship longevity among straight-identified relationships, regardless of the mode of their sexual play,kink or non-kink. Now, when you mix it up with non-straight-identified relationships, thenyou see significant deviations from the "norm".

Mike Rogers www.meehawl.com
[ Parent ]
Interesting. (4.00 / 1) (#147)
by jabber on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:34:02 PM EST

It may be that our definitions of BDSM and vanilla differ enough to make for the difference of opinion. To me BDSM is anything that explicitly entails the exchange of power in a relationship context. It need not involve leather, latex or studded dog collars, it simply needs to involve conscious, deliberate domination and submission for the purpose of enhancing the experience of the relationship for both partners. The "kink", I suppose, is a secondary characteristic of BDSM to me. I concede that this is not the widely accepted definition.

"Non-kink" is the sort of relationship where power moves reactively, not intentionally, for placating or responding to some action. Anyway, since the line is getting very blurry for me, I accept your academic conclusion.

Now, about that deviation from the "norm" when dealing with non-straight relationships... Educate me.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Cluster analysis (3.00 / 1) (#177)
by meehawl on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:51:51 PM EST

Now, about that deviation from the "norm" when dealing with non-straight relationships... Educate me.

Straight-identified relationships tend to cluster in predictable patterns when data from longitudical studies comparing longevity, expectation, rewards, and feelings of equity are plotted within n-dimensional space. Queer-identified relationships tends to cluster differently. Of course, there are major overlaps in the clusters between many sexual subcultures, and sometimes evidence of a greater quantity of intra-group variegation that inter-group.

Mike Rogers www.meehawl.com
[ Parent ]
Speak English, Man! (3.00 / 1) (#180)
by jabber on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:29:50 PM EST

Ok, so there's a difference. What is that difference?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

English (none / 0) (#202)
by meehawl on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:50:30 PM EST

Ok, so there's a difference. What is that difference?

I could tell you in plainer words, but then the International Cabal of Social Psychologists would have to kill you.

Mike Rogers www.meehawl.com
[ Parent ]
Thought so. n/t (none / 0) (#212)
by jabber on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:48:54 PM EST

.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Jabber covers it well in his comments... (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by gordonjcp on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:54:31 AM EST

... but communication is very much the key.  You can't have a proper D/s relationship without good communications.  It doesn't work that way.  If you just tie your SO up and set about them with a leather belt, then that's not kinky sex, that's assault.

D/s is not about bondage and pain, it's about exchange of power.  It's vitally important that both people know what responsibilities they have, and the only way to do that is to communicate.  This high degree of communications tends to affect other aspects of the relationship - you might be angry at your SO, but because you're used to communicating about some very personal things, in a very clear and unambiguous way, you can clear up any arguments you have quickly.

You can try D/s for yourself, without any silk scarves, dressage whips, thigh-length leather boots, or any other stuff like that.  Remember - exchange of power, right?  So, try this:  Go out some night with your Significant Other.  Usual sort of stuff, nice meal, cinema, pub, that kind of thing.  Make sure there's a bit of travelling about involved - at least a couple of taxi rides.  Before you leave, though, have them empty their pockets - everything.  No bags, no phones, no ID (it would be a good idea for *you* to carry that, though).  They are *completely* dependent on you - no money, no ID, no phone, nothing.  If they get seperated from you, they're screwed.
Now, consider the vulnerable position that puts them in, and the massive responsibility that you have.  Who holds the power?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
I never related it to D/s but (4.50 / 2) (#137)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:42:26 AM EST

I'm actually in that situation pretty often! When my GF and I go out, I hold the car keys, and we nearly always use my money. She has some money and her ID in her purse, but she doesn't like carrying it, so she puts it in the trunk of my car (and I have the keys). I've even used my "power over her", threatening to leave her stranded unless she apologizes for that crack she made about me in the car!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Home Depot (3.71 / 7) (#48)
by dreancha on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 12:13:03 PM EST

> and Home Depot would be a very different place.

... actually, I buy my rope in Home Depot. :)

d.

Rope to use (4.00 / 1) (#156)
by Pallandozi on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:42:56 PM EST

Go for solid braid nylon.

And test the packets. Some of the home depot ones are a lot softer than others.

:-)

[ Parent ]

Hi. I'm Jabber, and I'm a pervert. (4.43 / 16) (#50)
by jabber on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 12:29:15 PM EST

There are no numbers on how many people are into BDSM not because it's "under ground", but because BDSM is a continuum entailing virtually all human sexual/sensual/erotic activity. From the most extreme blood-play to having sex through a hole in the bed-sheet, it's as much about power and control as it is about pleasure.

Some people have a fetish about watching women in high heels step on insects. Others have a fetish about wearing leather. Still others are really into breasts or butts, but modern society doesn't call that a fetish, they're simply "breast men" or "ass men".

Society draws a line in the sand between what's kinky and what's "normal", but the winds of aesthetics and etiquette keep moving that line.

The only definition of "normal" or "vanilla" that I can accept, is that "vanilla" people are ones who do not realize that they are not alone in their exploration of sensuality. They lack the unifying vocabulary, they are missing the kink-compass by which they could pinpoint their location on the spectrum of BDSM.

That's not to say that people are at a fixed location, but they should be aware of what is other there. Ignorantly dismissing a potentially rewarding and gratifying lifestyle, just because "God said so" or because "nice girls don't do that" is depriving yourself of great fun. And, if you find you do not like it, well, simply don't do it.

So long as sex is Safe, Sane and Consentual, it is nobody's business but that of the people involved.

This is a good enough article, though not a great one. I voted for it, but can think of much better ways to add a little flavor to the "vanilla" people on this site.

In fact, this would be a great column series. Beginning with the terminology and basic definitions. Going on to a Kama 5utra primer on positions. Proceeding to light bondage, maybe a bit of power exchange. And then we could get into the really fun stuff, like the art of Japanese rope bondage, fire and hot wax, edge-play, interrogation scenes, and for the craftsmen among us, the how-to of making your own leather toys and multi-purpose dungeon furniture.

You know, tie-down rings make great decorative and practical accents on four-poster and sleigh beds, as well as on sturdy coffee and end-tables. Hooks in the ceiling can double as plant hangers and sling/swing supports. Once you open your eyes to the possibilities, you'll never walk through a kitchen supply store again without getting a little horny... The things that can be done with a spatula or a whisk... Oh my!

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

not very persuasive (3.00 / 3) (#100)
by jjayson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 11:40:53 PM EST

From the most extreme blood-play to having sex through a hole in the bed-sheet, it's as much about power and control as it is about pleasure.
Instead of trying to express power over another individual or control somebody else, why not have a positive outlet for your sexual tension? Expressing power and control over another human simply for pleasure is sadistic, oh wait, that is what the "S" stands for. I see no love in degrading or dehumanizing somebody.

Some people have a fetish about watching women in high heels step on insects. Others have a fetish about wearing leather. Still others are really into breasts or butts, but modern society doesn't call that a fetish, they're simply "breast men" or "ass men".
If it was only wearing leather, I don't think too many people would have problems. I know I wouldn't. the line is crossed in the actions. Just because some people like it, that doesn't mean it is healthy. the word fetish is misused, too. A fetish is an obsessive sexual focus that inhibits normal sexual function. I saw another definition that I really like: "An object that replaces people as primary object of love." Breasts can be a fetish too. I would loosen the definition away from just objects and say that anything that replaces people as primary object of love. BDSM is about the act, not about the person.

Ignorantly dismissing a potentially rewarding and gratifying lifestyle, just because "God said so" or because "nice girls don't do that" is depriving yourself of great fun.
You realize that will convince nothing. If somebody has a faith in God, then "God said so" is the only reason that you need. If the person doesn't have that faith, then they aren't going to say that. The same is true about some girl that considers herself a "nice girl." If somebody already has a reason in their ming, calling them ignorant and dimissing their reason does nothing but make you look like a fool.


-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
The act, not the person (4.00 / 2) (#113)
by disappear on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:25:03 AM EST

BDSM is about the act, not about the person.

The (not so) hidden premise behind this statement is that traditional notions of romantic love are superior to all other forms of love, and that those sexual acts are entirely about the other person, not our own desires.

I reject that premise: any act that is not pleasing to both partners is not worthwhile. That means that we are acting not only to please our partners, but ourselves. Which is fine. So long as it's a balance.

Furthermore, the best BDSM is about neither the act nor the person, but the relationship between the people. That is, it's not about you and it's not about me: it's about us. The term power exchange is commonly used. I don't like it, as it's pretty much a D/S term and excludes other activities, but it does describe an aspect of a relationship, not an act.

All good BDSM is about trust and communication: when I'm bound and gagged, my mistress watches my body language to know whether she should do more, leave things as they are, lighten up, or end the scene entirely. I place my trust in her, let myself relax, and we can both enjoy what's going on in perfect safety.

As to what the bottom gets out of the deal, a recurring question in the other comments, there's a certain expansive peaceful feeling that you can get. You can even get high on a good beating: a strapping or singletailing can get me high and make me go totally nonverbal besides. This state (often called subspace) is clearly related to both hypnosis and to religious trance states. I'd love to do more research on that topic, but the opportunity has not fully presented itself to do so.



[ Parent ]
Nope, it's the act. (2.33 / 3) (#117)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:12:04 AM EST

I will admit my bias. I strive to make love paramount in everything I do. You caught me spreading that obnoxious hippie word.

Yes, the enjoyment of both partners is to be sought after. However, you falsely claim that traditional romantic love does not both partners into account. It does, and it does to a greater extend than any BDSM scene could. In a loving sexual encounter, both people are bettered. In BDSM (especially power exchange) for this to be the case, somebody had to like to humiliated, tortured, degraded, treated as a slave or some other object, or dehumanized. The other person had to enjoy doing it. Either way, I find it sad and harmful.

Trying to say that BDSM is about the relationship is over generalization. It is only about the relationship in so much that the relationship allows the scene to happen. BDSM is about being whipped and humiliated. Trust is required, yes. But that is not the goal. If it is the goal, then I can still think of better ways to accomplish building trust. In deeply love-centered vanilla sex trust is biult by opening oneself up, there is no props to get in the way or form a wall around the person. Even the terminology of BDSM, calling an encounter a scene, describes the detachment involved in it.

You are getting a high from a good beating because of the endorphins and adrenalin released from physical pain. There are many more healthy ways of getting this feeling than having to be a slave.

In the end you are still left grasping at straws as to why BDSM is a healthy activity. If you remove the sexual tones of it, it would be viewed as a sickness. Cutters get treated for similar behavior. Add sex to a cutting incident, and nobody sees this anymore.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

Seeking enjoyment (4.50 / 2) (#132)
by Znork on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:19:41 AM EST

If one of the partners is interested in BDSM, traditional romantic love does not take both partners into account; only vanilla sex will never be completely satisfactory to that person, any more than sex in a relationship between a gay and a straight person would ever be satisfactory for both.

Mutual enjoyment and pleasure is the goal. Trust is a part of it.

If you remove the sexual tones from BDSM you'll still have a healthy activity (and some people do).

It's when you remove the consent part you get a sickness.

But then again, 'traditional romantic love' without consent is rather frowned upon too.

[ Parent ]

Begging the question. (1.00 / 1) (#204)
by jjayson on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:56:25 PM EST

Your argument assumes the BDSM is healthy is the first place to prove that it is healthy because it satisfies both participants.

If you remove the sexual tones from BDSM you'll still have a healthy activity (and some people do).
If you remove the sexual tones from BDSM, you either go to jail or the psychologist, just like a cutter would.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Healthy activities. (none / 0) (#216)
by Znork on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:15:37 AM EST

No, if you remove the sexual tones from BDSM you just have another thrill/experience seeking activity just like mountain climbing or bungy jumping.

It's not until you remove the consent that you have a problem.

[ Parent ]

Health and Sickness are relative (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by jig on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 10:42:23 AM EST

In the end you are still left grasping at straws as to why BDSM is a healthy activity. If you remove the sexual tones of it, it would be viewed as a sickness. Cutters get treated for similar behavior. Add sex to a cutting incident, and nobody sees this anymore.

This is where I have a problem with a lot of what passes for 'sick' in psychology these days. It seems anything out of the ordinary, or anything that's not currently socially accepted, is treated as a disease and given a label usually ending with syndrome.

Look, if you can show us any actual harm in BDSM, then go ahead and do that. But don't skirt around the issue and try to paint it in a negative light, because it's so god damn easy to paint anything in a negative light. You just have to know the right adjectives to use. 'Sick', 'sad', and 'harmful' are a few of them.

Can you show us where the actual harm lies?

-----
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get ye all

[ Parent ]

Don't look to the end, look to the means. (1.00 / 1) (#203)
by jjayson on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:53:57 PM EST

Look, if you can show us any actual harm in BDSM, then go ahead and do that. But don't skirt around the issue and try to paint it in a negative light, because it's so god damn easy to paint anything in a negative light.
I have taken the issues head on in the threads and have not gone around the side of any of the debate. It is not possible to show "harm" in the BDSM comminity, becasue of their warped nature of what they call harm. To the average person, marks and bruises left from whips and being hit are harm, but the BDSM advocates move the line and say that it part of the fun. When you start getting into bloodsports, people move the line even further in the name of sexual freedom. So I don't think that it is possible to look to the result when speaking about BDSM practices.

Even if it were possible, you don't even need to. The harm is the dehumanization which is a priori wrong. It is the only thing that you know with certainty. At some level much of D/s and power exchange robs a person of part of their humanity.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

I disagree (none / 0) (#220)
by jig on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:53:46 AM EST

The harm is the dehumanization which is a priori wrong. It is the only thing that you know with certainty.

This is not true. The only things I know with certainy are that my 'self' and my 'experiences' exist. Those are the only a priori knowledge I have.

Everything else must be derived one way or another. If you can't or aren't willing to derive it then... well... there is really nothing left to discuss.

I could just make a counter-assertion that being 'human', in itself, is of no moral importance, and since you say your assertion is of the a priori nature, you will not be able to argue against me.

At some level much of D/s and power exchange robs a person of part of their humanity.

Perhaps. Perhaps not. It depends on what you mean by 'humanity'. I assume your definition of humanity includes such thing as Dignity, which you might think the sub has given up. Others may disagree, and define humanity by the richness of possible experiences within it, to which BDSM might make a contribution, and therefore they may argue that you are the one dehumanising them by attempting to limit what they can experience.

-----
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get ye all

[ Parent ]
You Still Don't Get It (4.50 / 2) (#140)
by disappear on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:06:54 PM EST

I will admit my bias. I strive to make love paramount in everything I do. You caught me spreading that obnoxious hippie word.

So do I. But your definition of love includes keeping things that are not in themselves harmful from people who want them, simply because you think you know better.

That's paternal love, no matter your relation to the person involved. Paternal love is not between equals. If the person accepts your love and concern, then that's already voluntary power exchange. Are you one of us? ;-) If the person doesn't accept your concern, then you're trying to impose your will on them. That borders on abuse, and would certainly be considered abuse in my community.

In a loving sexual encounter, both people are bettered.

Can you explain what you mean by this? I can't refute it without first understanding it. While I've enjoyed quite a bit of good vanilla sex, I don't feel particularly bettered by it. (Nor do I feel particularly bettered by BDSM, eating chocolate, or for that matter exercise...)

In BDSM (especially power exchange) for this to be the case, somebody had to like to humiliated, tortured, degraded, treated as a slave or some other object, or dehumanized.

See, this all depends on your definition of those terms. I'll grant that someone might be 'tortured,' if by that word you mean hit, or have clamps attached, or CBT, or whatever. But real 'torture' is by definition nonconsensual.

If you like eating chili peppers, then the pain involved in doing so is pleasurable. If you don't like eating chili peppers, if somebody is feeding them to you, that's torture.

If you think I'm exaggerating, remember that in some pre-Columbian Indian groups, chili peppers were involved in social control, and actively used in torture for political reasons, and in religious ceremonies.

You are getting a high from a good beating because of the endorphins and adrenalin released from physical pain. There are many more healthy ways of getting this feeling than having to be a slave.

Despite that, I can enjoy eating chili peppers. And you don't have any sort of reasonable standing to tell me that "there's a better way to live," or "you can get those same feelings some other way." In fact, for you to tell me that there are better foods out there than Chili peppers is absurd.

In the end you are still left grasping at straws as to why BDSM is a healthy activity. If you remove the sexual tones of it, it would be viewed as a sickness. Cutters get treated for similar behavior. Add sex to a cutting incident, and nobody sees this anymore.

Why is it that if those chili peppers are in the bedroom you get your panties in a wad?

(And, for that matter, there are tons of people who don't think that cutters should be 'treated' the way they do by the medical establishment.)



[ Parent ]
Agh! (5.00 / 1) (#154)
by jenny fur on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:35:39 PM EST

why not have a positive outlet for your sexual tension?

Do you say that to homosexuals too? I ask because I heard the same kind of tripe when I was a teenager coming to terms with my (homo)sexuality. I didn't choose to like stawberries. I didn't choose to like to fuck the people that I like to fuck. I didn't choose each and every little turn on/off that I have. What I can choose though, is to repress who I am, and deny myself the opportunity to be as happy and fufilled as the lucky bastards to get to be:

a) vanilla, and
b) self righteous about it.

[ Parent ]

I said nothing about homosexuality (1.00 / 2) (#171)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 06:23:08 PM EST

I find it hard to condemn anything that happens lovingly. Read my other posts, my issue is that most of the D/s and power exchange scenes are antithetical to love --- they are degrading and dehumanizing.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Whatever (none / 0) (#224)
by jenny fur on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:43:49 PM EST

I find it hard to condemn anything that happens lovingly.

(vomit) One problem seems to be that you judge other peoples actions by your understanding (not their) of love. People that like BDSM like it because it makes them happy and fulfilled. Making people happy is a good thing.

most of the D/s and power exchange scenes are antithetical to love

That statement is just wrong, and illustrates your lack of understanding about what actually happens in these situations. Love is more than saying "I love you" and buying flowers. Real, deep, true love involves such a deep understanding of your partner that you can share the deepest parts of your heart without fear. There is nothing in opposition to love there, but it involves accepting life as it is: People are strange and complex animals, they have desires and needs that just *are* and they can't be removed by rationalisation, and that life is so very very short. I think almost any mutually deeply desired sexual act between people in love is a wonderful thing. It doesn't matter how odd it seems to me, I don't pretend to be able to second guess them or their relationship.

they are degrading and dehumanizing.

Yeah - bring it on Daddy! :-). Scenes != Real Life. I guess another thing to consider is the choice that people who yearn for BDSM have: they can either deny it (and, I suggest, grow old and die, with regret), or they can accept it, and experience another bit of hapiness that life has to offer. If a dom or sub beleives what you say, will anyone in the world be happier for it? If they accept who they are, there might be more suffering in the world, but there will be more happiness too :-)

[ Parent ]

I Normally Try to Be Polite... (none / 0) (#222)
by virg on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:19:26 PM EST

...but would you please fuck off about your inability to see love in sex play that might involve BDSM? You can talk all you like about how love and BDSM are mutually exclusive, and how you have better sex than the bondage players because yours is filled with love, and you'll still be just as wrong, and you'll still be pretentious to boot. I have been in both relationships, and I was wildly in love both times. You have no place to say how love works for me, and I'm sick of listening to you try.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
A series indeed. (none / 0) (#207)
by devon on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:35:16 PM EST

But we shouldn't limit it to BDSM. We should include every fetish/kink we can think of. Tickle, foot/shoe, scat, etc.

--
Call yourself a computer professional? Congratulations. You are responsible for the imminent collapse of civilization.
[ Parent ]
Ligottage (2.50 / 4) (#56)
by Alan Crowe on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 02:02:05 PM EST

There is no mention of restraints being used to prolong sex, in pursuit of a truly squirtaceous climax. Does the author regard being tied up to boost orgasm as not part of BDSM?

In the authors defense (4.00 / 3) (#58)
by Miniluv on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:03:10 PM EST

This is a primer, and he failed to mention your kink just the same as he failed to mention quite a few others. He wasn't trying to write an article on specifics, but rather convey some broader concepts about what BDSM is, in general, and give it some history and some depth.

As my comment noted, I didn't like the article, however he never tried to do what you're sort of saying he failed to do, so cut him a little slack at least.

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]

Yet some people came away with crazy ideas (4.00 / 1) (#182)
by marxmarv on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:44:53 PM EST

He wasn't trying to write an article on specifics, but rather convey some broader concepts about what BDSM is
But he failed to do this, and folks like jjayson seek to tar everything BDSM encompasses with a wide brush of disgust, degradation and moral outrage. He focused almost exclusively on the sadomasochism and failed to get much in on the power exchange which is at the root of S&M and related sexstyles.

But I'll give him credit (+!FP, to be exact) for writing and posting something.

-jhp

[ Parent ]

No no... you have me backwards. (none / 0) (#188)
by jjayson on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:29:18 AM EST

Power exchange is the act I have the biggest reservation against. The S&M part I wouldn't do and I don't see as positive, but I can really only say that is mostly an issue of taste for now.

This is all covered in the other threads I am (and you sometimes) are engaged in.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

I agree (4.00 / 1) (#192)
by Miniluv on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:45:29 AM EST

I thought the article was complete crap in terms of its ability to convey anything useful, and thus voted it -1. My point in regards to the parent comment to mine still stands though, that its no real crime to not have mentioned some specific kink in a piece designed to be a general primer to understanding the sub-culture as a general thing.

Beyond that, I wouldn't attribute anybodys painting of BDSM with a negative brush to this article in particular, but instead just to general social and cultural mores. People are not encouraged to sort out their own desires, especially sexual ones, and anything outside of missionary position is still anathema to the bulk of society, at least in public.

It has been my experience that a lot of people will loudly rail against BDSM, D/s, etc in public forums whilst sneaking home to read, view and even participate in harder kink than most of the leather community. Essentially its the old cliche of the uptight businessman slinking off to the pro Domme, or the prim businesswoman longing to go home and don her leathers and whip some ass.

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]

Best way to spice up your sex life. (2.11 / 17) (#59)
by jjayson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 04:02:52 PM EST

Giving into complete, unconditional love; being so open with your heart, your emotions, and your life that you cannot imagine going any further. It beats out kinky sex any time. The sub has the right idea of complete trust, and the dom takes advantage of the person. Nice relationship. This is also the preferred method of dealing with previous abuse and a myriad of other problems. Yes, call me a prude, but I have better sex than you.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
I have better sex than you (3.25 / 8) (#61)
by meehawl on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 04:10:04 PM EST

I have better sex than you.

Oh I sincerely doubt that.

Mike Rogers www.meehawl.com
[ Parent ]
Ignorance and apathy. (3.40 / 10) (#64)
by Matadon on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 04:56:33 PM EST

It always gets on my tits whenever I see some self-righteous moron talking about things that he/she/it knows nothing about. I'm a male top, and while I'm fine engaging in vanilla sex, I really prefer being both dominant, and meting out pleasure and pain in incredible doses.

I'm very good at what I do.

Why does this make a difference? With most women, it doesn't -- as a matter of fact, I hold back most of my talents when engaging in so-called vanilla sex (not that I don't get results). When I get a chance to play, the results speak for themselves.

Case in point: A girl I dated for a few months had been through a string of guys like you; we know them as drips or SNAGs -- Sensitive New-Age Guys. Not one of them could push her buttons the right way, because she craved being topped. She had spent her entire sex life without being brought to orgasm once, no matter how many times they tried.

Needless to say, I became her personal favorite in that department, and even had a complaint from the neighbors because she was very vocal when enjoying herself.

Outside of the bedroom, I'm just a nice guy.

--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

blah blah blah (2.87 / 8) (#66)
by jjayson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:35:25 PM EST

Articles on geek sites about sex are lame. It always degenerates into this "I can make her scream more than you can" shit. Like I believe you.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Geek sites (4.75 / 4) (#67)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:38:53 PM EST

How does this differ from articles on sex on non-geek sites?
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
not much (3.75 / 4) (#69)
by jjayson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:44:43 PM EST

Not much at all, but it seems that off of geek sites the stories are less bragging, more females, and the participants are more secure with their masculinity than to parade out in front of people the "I made a girl come for the first time after she tried for years" lines.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Um, dude, the point is over *there*... (3.00 / 4) (#68)
by Matadon on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:39:34 PM EST

You totally missed the point. It's not a matter of me being able to make her scream more/louder than someone else.

The point is that, until her kink was addressed, she wasn't going to enjoy sex anywhere near as much as she should have. That some pussywhipped little SNAG puttering on about love, caring, sensitivity and tenderness couldn't do the one thing that nails, biting, and drawn blood could: make her *come*.

I truly feel sorry for the women you've bedded if all you care about is being caring and sensitive all the time...

--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

yeah sure (3.00 / 8) (#70)
by jjayson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 05:54:51 PM EST

You take comments too literally. The act of screaming was symbolic of the whole of enjoyment of sexual intercourse.

You also assume too much of me. I am not some sensitive new-age guy. Not really close. When did love become a SNAG quality? You see, some of us understand the regenerative power of true love. Some of us also understand that it is far more powerful than any whips, chains, and degrading behavior. You seem to confuse love with being a total pussy of a man.

Also, I don't know how much more blunt I have to be: I don't believe the story.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

Melting (4.40 / 5) (#91)
by marxmarv on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 08:13:43 PM EST

Some of us also understand that it is far more powerful than any whips, chains, and degrading behavior.
And you have COMPLETELY MISSED THE POINT of the discussion, though admittedly the author did little to address this stuff.

The back contains many muscles. If you fold your arm back behind you, with the back of your hand resting just above your buttock, it's possible for a masseur to reach and stroke muscles deeper inside your back.

Chains, sensation toys, dildoes etc. are all just means to an end. The end is power exchange. You seem to focus your attention entirely on the act of causing another person pain and refuse to consider the possibility that true love and BDSM play are not mutually exclusive. When you tell your sweetie "You're so beautiful" it may trigger the exact same feelings as in someone else told "You're so obedient". Whereas you might rather melt when someone touches your face just so, and you sweetie may enjoy that reaction from you, another couple may agree that the appropriate reaction to that same gesture is for the sub to stand absolutely still and bask in that sensation. While a vanilla couple may have developed ways in which they work well as a team, so can a dom/sub couple (and it could be the same couple for all you know!). Pain can be just another foreplay technique that, just like any other foreplay technique, works for some and not for others.

If you're in Berkeley, you might do well to attend some of the Good Vibrations seminars. Occasionally they'll bring in a guest who discusses rough sex and loving BDSM (and I've seen it and felt it myself). You may also meet a few creepy jerkoffs just there to get their jollies, but there are as many in singles bars. If nothing else it might open your eyes to different lovestyles, for you do not by any stretch of the imagination have a monopoly on true love.

To quote another commenter, "It's all in the mind, folks".

-jhp

[ Parent ]

What a load ... (4.25 / 4) (#82)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:51:51 PM EST

...

The alleged fact that you seem to satisfy the needs of a certain group of women (the ones that require whatever you provide for them) does not give you any insight to judge other men that, who knows, may be pleasing more women than you.

The fact that you are so easy to insult others because they are different and are so proud of your capacity to inflict pain (even in a consensual way) paints you pretty well.
---
"Every duck should aspire to be crispy and aromatic." sleepyhel

[ Parent ]

Kettle, pot, black. (3.00 / 1) (#79)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:43:59 PM EST


---
"Every duck should aspire to be crispy and aromatic." sleepyhel

[ Parent ]
It's ALL in the mind, folks (4.25 / 4) (#85)
by buffy fan on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 07:01:24 PM EST

hmmm, you seem to have sparked something off there Matadon.

People - look around you at the stories, legends, role-models, etc we present in society. There really is a bit of everything out there. I don't doubt that there is some truth in Matadons story - equally, there are a lot of people out there who would freak at his exploits.

However, until you have seen the beauty in both sides, you really can't go judging.

BTW - what good is it to call him on it?
* If he were lying, he isn't about to confess on this forum.
* The girl might have been lying, but it does little good to second guess people like that, you just end  up paranoid
* If he was telling the truth, then you end up the loser.

I should probably drink less before posting.

Anyway, I hope you are all with your loved ones tonight.


[ Parent ]

well, gag her next time [NT] (4.00 / 2) (#122)
by CtrlBR on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:08:32 AM EST


If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

[ Parent ]
How do you know? (4.00 / 2) (#76)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:38:37 PM EST

Your comment is not only pretentious, but an overbroad generalization, and as such, must be distrusted.

Each person can find what is best for him or her self, what is good for you could be a disaster for others and viceversa.
---
"Every duck should aspire to be crispy and aromatic." sleepyhel

[ Parent ]

I see your point (2.25 / 4) (#84)
by jjayson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:54:27 PM EST

Yeah, love is not for everybody, how ignorant of me to thing so. Beating and torturing sounds fine to me. Taking enjoyment from being forced to do things against my will and being degraded are very healty for some people.

P.S., It is very bad etiquitte to rate comments poorly and also participate in the discussion.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

It is worst etiquete... (4.75 / 4) (#86)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 07:34:12 PM EST

to rate badly without explaining why (IMVHO of course).
---
"Every duck should aspire to be crispy and aromatic." sleepyhel

[ Parent ]
rating policy (3.00 / 1) (#178)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:33:25 PM EST

the comment ratings in this thread have been uniformly bad. Basically, I think almost every post in the thread deserves a '5' --- they're on topic, and part of an interesting discussion between people of different viewpoints; both sides are civil and saying interesting things.

Of course, someone is running through assigning '1' and '2' to posts they disagree with, which is .. disappointing.

[ Parent ]

Who, me? (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by J'raxis on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 01:39:05 AM EST

I gave a 1 or 2 to every one of jjayson’s posts because:
  • Numerous logical fallacies as some of the replies pointed out. Glaring post-hocs or straw men earn an instant 1 from me, and from that point on, I consider bumping it up to a 2 iff there’s something else useful in the comment.
  • The argument was him casting other people’s consensual choices under his own judgement and labelling it as inherently wrong. Something else that most likely will earn an instant 1 from me.
  • He repeated the same argument over and over. And over. Not only is that annoying, but he still reiterated the same “BDSM is dehumanizing” argument after both logical and factual errors had been pointed out.
— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Then why don't you point out the flaws? (4.50 / 2) (#186)
by jjayson on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:24:07 AM EST


  • No comment.
  • You shouldn't post a story about something if you don't want a dissenting opinion (with a few small exceptions). I am not trying to force my view on anybody, but I am expressing why I think power exchange is inappropriate. You argument that I should not make moral judgements is only a veiled attempt at censorship. Is this an inappropriate forum for me to have an opposing moral outlook and voice it?
  • I could say the same about the other side of the thread: they continually repeat the same claim that it is all consensual so it is fine.

You may not be the only person to think this way, but I have had a few people that disagree with you tell me that I am doing an admirable job defending conservative prudes everywhere --- somebody even went so far as to say I "owned" the thread. I am not claiming anything so bold, but it just shows that your preconceived views may be coloring your judgement of what you view as logical or refuted.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

arghhh... (none / 0) (#187)
by jjayson on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:26:13 AM EST

I am confused now. You are right, and I enjoy seeing explanations of why a comment was rated low. However, I also see the conflict involved with rating a thread you disagree with. I think it is time to change the way I view this issue.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Love for all... just not the kinky? (4.00 / 2) (#99)
by Josh A on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 11:15:03 PM EST

Love is for everybody, but you seem to be doing a fine job of ignoring that.

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
No, not at all. (2.00 / 4) (#101)
by jjayson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 11:51:06 PM EST

You are missing my point. Love is mutually exclusive with humiliating, degrading, and dehumanizing somebody (it is not the leather and and spike I care about, it is the attitutde). Anything feeling of mutual trust that you build though BDSM is dwarfed by the bond you build through love.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Not for me, thanks (4.75 / 4) (#114)
by disappear on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:34:59 AM EST

Love is mutually exclusive with humiliating, degrading, and dehumanizing somebody

Not for me, thanks. Certainly I don't want my lovers to humiliate me nonconsensually, but if I get turned on when somebody calls me nasty names is that mutually exclusive with love?

In fact, my primary partner calls me nasty, humiliating, abusive terms because she knows that it gets me off. In fact, she doesn't get any kick out of humiliation, but it's easy for her to combine with things that she does enjoy, so she does it for my benefit. Just as I'll do things that I don't entirely enjoy for her benefit.

Or are you saying that my fantasies are wrong, that I shouldn't have them at all, and if I do have them I should supress them rather than play with them and use them for my own enjoyment?

If you are saying that, you're imposing your arbitrary standard of morality on everyone else. Or you can't tell the difference between reality (in reality, my partner and I are equals) and fantasy (when we play, we do not play as equals).



[ Parent ]
Perception (5.00 / 3) (#131)
by Znork on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:55:20 AM EST

You are allowing your own emotions to interpret what others feel. Love may be mutually exclusive with humiliating, degrading and dehumanizing for _you_. So, dominance play obviously isnt for you, neither as dom nor sub.

But others who within a consentual framework indulge in such behaviours do not interpret those behaviours in the same way you do, nor do they find them mutually exclusive with love. The feeling of mutual trust can include both that which is gained through love and that which is gained through power exchange. An aggregate for those inclined towards it.

[ Parent ]

love & power (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by infinitera on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:30:26 PM EST

I think the key thing here is that if the person I loved were incapable of feeling my love, or returning it, without 'power exchange', then I would be worried and attempt to figure how the problem originated. If, on the other hand, this power exchange is something that adds to our already existing relationship, then as you say, it would not be degrading. But I am not for one second going to believe that wanting to be whipped daily to feel loved or unsinful is a healthy thing. Nor truly wanting to submit to the other, or dominate - ie, love being a master or slave, not just get excited or aroused by it.

[ Parent ]
BDSM is Love (for some) (none / 0) (#226)
by ymck on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 10:41:03 PM EST

Is it love to deny your lover that which s/he most desires? The thing that will put that smile on their face? You know the one I am talking about, when all day long they have that silly look on their face, mixed with that self satisfied humming.

For someone wired to like BDSM(and I do think it is a difference in wiring, either physical or psychological) that "humiliation/degradation" you speak of is exactly what they want, and for most, what they require in their mate. How can you say that can't be love? When for them, that is how they express their love for their partner?

[ Parent ]
Sigh... so closed minded... (4.00 / 3) (#108)
by Kintanon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:32:48 AM EST

You said:
Yeah, love is not for everybody, how ignorant of me to thing so. Beating and torturing sounds fine to me. Taking enjoyment from being forced to do things against my will and being degraded are very healty for some people.

I say:
A couple of points, firstly if it's consensual then you aren't very well being made to do anything against your will, are you? Second, Safe Words can stop the whole thing in a second.
Now to address some things you've said elsewhere, sexual preference of other people isn't really yours to judge. And enjoying small, or even large amounts of pain isn't necessarily a bad thing. As a martial artist I've taken a LOT of beattings in various situations, I'm a combat junkie. I get a high from fighting and part of that is the pain. It's not quite sexual but I ENJOY getting punched in the ribs, or taking a solid shot to the face. Is that any of your business? No. Is it healthy, yes. Me and my younger brother have an INCREDIBLY strong relationship with each other because we always resolve our differences by stepping outside and, fighting for 20-30 minutes and then finishing our discussion. You might think it's weird, I think your vanilla attitude towards sex is weird. Pick up a copy of the Kama Sutra and give that a go at least...

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

It's not the pain. (2.00 / 5) (#116)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:50:57 AM EST

You make two false accusations and don't understand the problems I have with BDSM. I come from a similar situation. I used to really enjoy getting into fights. I used to like the pain involved, too. What does this have to do with a loving relationship? Nothing. You fighting has nothing to do with a loving act. Love is paramount.

First, a sub is made to do things against their will, in a sense. If they wanted everything, then it wouldn't be a very interesting activity for them. They are told to do humiliating and debasing acts. Up fronts, limits are agreed to, but that doesn't change the inherent coersion and physical abuse associated with a dom.

Second, it is not the pain I object to, it is the dehumanization that often follows from power exchange scenarios. From this it also follows that I object to anything that places the act before the other person. This can happen in any situation, but it is almost guaranteed in BDSM.

Third, by your analogy, a husband a wife settling arguments by going a few rounds would be a way to build love. This fits your analogy better than how you describe it since it is the same situation, only the relationship between the people have changed. This shows that your analogy to your training and fighting is an inappropriate comparison. The bond you and your brother formed probably had more to do with love and trust you two built and not the brawls.

The Kama Sutra has very little to do with BDSM. You, and many othere in these threads, suffer from some strange attribution that sex without overt expressions of power is missing out on something. Maybe I should feel sorry for the people who think that, because obviously they have not experienced the life changing love-centered sex that I have. You can go through the Kama Sutra and never touch the degrading nature of BDSM.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

You seem confused... (4.50 / 2) (#136)
by Kintanon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:28:01 AM EST

Heh, me and my wife DO occasionally have fist fights or full contact grappling matches for fun. It's part of our relationship, and it helps get rid of frustrations, not necessarily with each other, but with anything.

As for the Kama Sutra, I never implied it had anything to do with BDSM, but it's certainly not the 100% vanilla sex that you seemed to be implying you advocated.

Kintanon


[ Parent ]

Kama Sutra (3.50 / 4) (#149)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:53:22 PM EST

As for the Kama Sutra, I never implied it had anything to do with BDSM, but it's certainly not the 100% vanilla sex that you seemed to be implying you advocated.
You are one trying to pigeonhole me. You introduced the term "vanilla" to the conversation. You implied that the Kama Sutra was outside of vanilla sex. You are trying to exclude everything that isn't BDSM is vanilla, and everything that is vanilla is outside the scope of the Kama Sutra.

Well, just because I object to the dehumanizing acts of much of BDSM doesn't mean I only have sex in one position with the lights out with my socks on. That is the opposite of my position. I advocate strong bonds of love and not not possible under much of BDSM practice. With love comes passion. This vanilla sex you seem to be implying sounds too disconnected for me.

The Kama Sutra does explain scratching and biting, but only withing the bonds of a love building practice and not to the point of pain. It even goes so far as to call them disgraceful.

[They] are noble in their character, not accustomed to disgraceful practices, and dislike pressing the nails and biting.
In a sentence: yes, the Kama Sutra describes "vanilla" sex.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Ummm no.... (4.00 / 3) (#161)
by Kintanon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:47:06 PM EST

You are saying that all non-vanilla sex is BDSM. That's not true, there is plenty of non-vanilla sex that isn't BDSM. And you can't say conclusively that a BDSM relationship isn't a loving, caring relationship. That's not something you can tell from outside the relationship. There are plenty of picture perfect on the outside relationships that are filled with abuse, neglect, and manipulative backstabbing. Just because something appears one way to you doesn't make it so.
Your previous posts seemed to be implying (note the language, I'm not saying you were definately saying it, because to me it was unclear) that anything outside the bounds of "Normal" heterosexual intercourse was damaging and unhealthy. I don't think that implication is correct. If I misinterpreted your stance please let me know.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Where did you get that from? (3.00 / 3) (#165)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:38:16 PM EST

My continual claim that much of BDSM, especially power exchange scenes, is antithetical to love. There is an debasing nature to many of the acts that are done and dehumanizing  attitude expoused. The enjoyment from either enjoying degrading somebody or being degraded is unhealthy.

Your previous posts seemed to be implying (note the language, I'm not saying you were definately saying it, because to me it was unclear) that anything outside the bounds of "Normal" heterosexual intercourse was damaging and unhealthy.
I never said that. I never even implied it. I think this stems from you wanting to label me as a "vanilla" sex person and attributing your own beliefs to it, instead of what I actually advocate.

You are saying that all non-vanilla sex is BDSM. That's not true, there is plenty of non-vanilla sex that isn't BDSM.
Why don't you stop trying to label me as a vanilla sex advocate. I advocate loving acts. I don't know what you want to call that. Love induces passion.

And you can't say conclusively that a BDSM relationship isn't a loving, caring relationship.
I never said the relationship wasn't loving. You are trying to generalize my statements again. I said dehumanizing actions are not loving, and much of BDSM is antithetical to loving. Just as yelling and screaming is not loving, but is still done by loving people.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
How do you judge? (4.00 / 2) (#173)
by Kintanon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 07:42:38 PM EST

You said:

I never said the relationship wasn't loving. You are trying to generalize my statements again. I said dehumanizing actions are not loving, and much of BDSM is antithetical to loving. Just as yelling and screaming is not loving, but is still done by loving people.

I reply:
How do you determine what is dehumanizing? At all times, during all forms of sex acts there are dominant leading partners and submissive following partners, these don't always stay the same from encounter to encounter, but they roles are always present in some degree. Is this dehumanizing to anyone? Where do you draw the line? It's a personal decision. You can't blanket statement BDSM as unhealthy, it's just not true.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Dehum (none / 0) (#201)
by jjayson on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:40:34 PM EST

Dehumanization is removing the personhood of another. This can include things like breaches of sovereignty, treating a person like an animal or object, or removal of some other quality of person.

It is not an issue of just being dominant or submissive, it is an issue of treatment. When the dominent turned to treating the submissive like a possession (like a man may do to his wife), when the dominent starts treating the person like a toy, when the dominent starts beating the person like an animal, or when the dominent removes the dignity of the person are all example of dehumanizing behavior.

It's a personal decision. You can't blanket statement BDSM as unhealthy, it's just not true.
Just becasue there is no bright line and it is a personal decision doesn't mean that it is healthy at any level. If it is so "not true" then you should be doing a much better job defending the practice.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Both. (4.42 / 7) (#78)
by Lynoure on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:41:23 PM EST

You can have unconditional love and a bdsm kink. They are not opposites, you know. :)

[ Parent ]
I don't see it. (2.57 / 7) (#81)
by jjayson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:51:18 PM EST

I find whipping somebody out of enjoyment quite qntithetical to love. They are endulging a fantasy, yes. But is that healthy? Usually people who like to get hit have been abused in the past. It is well known that these victims seek out similar abusive situations. Wether that means that one abused toe person will search for more of it or there is just a group of people that have a strange problem of liking to get abused doesn't really matter: it is more a psychological problem that probably needs to be helped.

If I liked cutting myself on the arms, I get treaded for it. For some reason, when sex become involved it magically becomes acceptable to some.

I can agree with very light BDSM playing, like tying someone's hand with a scarf and teasing, but whips and chains go too far to be healthy.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

There are some points... (4.20 / 5) (#95)
by bgalehouse on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 09:44:44 PM EST

There some arguments, some points, some statements which only work when you see a little bit of yourself on them. The statement that "everybody deep down searches for God and believes that they are more than a pile of chemicals" is a great example of this. We can debate whether this deep down belief is actually a fear of death or if it is something less evolutionary. But the statement only works because most people tend to see something when they look inside themselves.

Similarly, if you can't see yourself sharing and exploring your deep dark fantasies, it may be hard to see how this exploration might bring you closer to somebody. I once read a review of a San Francisco BDSM bar. The reviewer noted that the bar could be an interesting place, even for those not in the scene, because the regulars tended to be extremely stable people. Basically, the explanation offered was that people who have explored their kinks tend to be a lot less nervous about everything else. People who don't have dark fantasies, or who have trouble seeing them, might well have trouble seeing this argument. But I think that it would probably work for the majority of people.

And of course, the big difference between abuse and BDSM is, as the article describes, the bottom centered nature of BDSM. But perhaps the full import of this difference is another realization which is difficult without some personal referent. There is a big difference between a past victim subconsciously searching for punishment, and somebody ready to say "I want this".

[ Parent ]

I understand about fantasies (2.00 / 1) (#105)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:21:16 AM EST

I have shared all my deep fantasies a couple girls. I understand people have fantasies involving leather and steel, even though I don't have anything similar. I object when it becomes a degrading experience as power exchange often does.

Living in Berkeley, you cannot escape the Bay Area BDSM community. I have been invited to a fetish party, I have been to the Exotic Erotic Ball, and I have been to the Power Exchange club. I wasn't amazed at the people and I didn't see anything that couldn't be sought through more positive means.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

Well, (4.50 / 4) (#112)
by bgalehouse on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:20:03 AM EST

Sex clubs and parties are hardly the place to see deep and meaningful relationships. This is true with or without BDSM. So, the experiences that you mention are perhaps not examples of BDSM at its best.

As for degradation, I certainly hope that the parties involved do not find it so. Or rather, that they only find it so to the extent that the degradation is itself a turn on.

Your comments about "more positive means" makes it sound like you have a fundamentally negative impression of kinky activities. There are people who would say the same about alcohol, marijuana, premarital sex, skydiving, religion, and lord knows what else. All of these things have their good points and bad points. Within certain bounds, all of these things can be part of a perfectly healthy lifestyle. Or at least, plenty of people seem to think so, and seem rather well adjusted for their vices - I don't myself claim to have tried them all.

[ Parent ]

The "Power Exchange" club in San Franci (4.00 / 2) (#159)
by Pallandozi on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:06:17 PM EST

Um, actually that's rather a bad example of a BDSM
club.  Local players almost universally consider
it to be grotty and full of wankers.  I'm not at
all surprised it gave you the impression that
exchange of power is degrading.

Try "The Scenery" or "Castlebar".

[ Parent ]

I'm no expert (4.66 / 3) (#102)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 11:52:55 PM EST

but I'm sure some people are only into parts of BDSM, without being into the whole thing. Personally, I've never been into giving or receiving pain, but I'm very curious about what it would be like being tied & gagged. But, of course, it would require a very high level of trust, and the only woman that I'd trust to that extent is almost surely a "vanilla" person.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Abuse vs fullfilling fantasies (4.50 / 2) (#125)
by Lynoure on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 07:18:43 AM EST

How is fullfilling someone's fantasies somehow opposite of love?
Do you actually have any proof of most bdsm people being abuse victims? It has never seemed like that to me.
Different things are light to different people: one can be tied up as solidly with scarves as with chains and tortured worse with teasing and tickling than with whips.
IMO (almost?) all things that all people involved in find honestly pleasurable are ok. BDSM only turns into abuse when that is not the case.

BTW, do you also object to martial arts training? It's also physical, also sometimes painful and there is also a power structure of some sort (even stronger one than in many bdsm relationships). Do you find those people perverts?

[ Parent ]

You are missing the love discussion (3.00 / 4) (#146)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:25:02 PM EST

You are missing the key component to all of this: love. Sex is an expression of this. That is why you are not understanding my view.

How is fullfilling someone's fantasies somehow opposite of love?
When somebody has dehumanizing or otherwise unhealthy fantasies you help them work through their issues. Somebody has fantasty to be debased, you don't endulge them.

Different things are light to different people: one can be tied up as solidly with scarves as with chains and tortured worse with teasing and tickling than with whips.
I have no problem with somebody being tied up, it is the master-slave play and other power exchange scenes that degrade people.

Martial arts training, the focus is on training to fight. The focus of sex is a loving encounter.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

Love. (5.00 / 2) (#162)
by Lynoure on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:54:43 PM EST

I'm not missing the love aspect.
Where I come from, unconditional love in not judging. Calling a person you love sick simply because their idea of good sex is unusual is not an expression of love. It's an expression being judgemental.
I can understand not participating in bdsm if that is not your thing. Wanting to cure your loved one of bdsm is like wanting to cure people from homosexuality. I think "your sexual preferences are inherentry sick" thinking does much more damage to a person than their submission/domination kink does.

If their involment of bdsm makes them unhappy, yes, it is bad for them, however that is not the case with most people into bdsm.

[ Parent ]

Poor analogy (2.33 / 3) (#166)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:48:49 PM EST

Comparing BDSM is homosexuality is poor. Homosexuality is a choice you make on romantic love. Most BDSM behavior, especially power exchange, is a choice you make to debase somebody (sometimes yourself). You cure BDSM only in the sense that you cure somebody of liking to be mistreated. You don't cure them, you show them the regenerative power of love.

jabber has already pointed out numerous times that much of D/s isn't about sex, but about power and control. Sounds like la princesa's old issues of consensual rape all over again.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

No such thing as consensual rape. (3.50 / 2) (#167)
by Lynoure on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:43:19 PM EST

What in the world is consensual rape? Rape by definition is not consensual.

Jabber's opinions are his opinions, not mine. To me bdsm is about trust more than anything else. To some people it's about devotion, to others about endurance.

Can you explain how serving/pleasing someone one loves is debasing oneself?
I have understood that you think so, but what is the reasoning behind this opinion?

[ Parent ]

Consensual Rape was a story by la princesa (1.50 / 2) (#170)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 06:19:04 PM EST

that was shot down in the queue, so I don't really have the link.

What in the world is consensual rape? Rape by definition is not consensual.
It is unimportant, really. Consensual rape makes about as much sense as a submissive having all the power or a slave by choice.

Can you explain how serving/pleasing someone one loves is debasing oneself?
Living in the Bay Area, you cannot help but read the articles in the local publications about people willingly dehumanized: the man forced to wear ladies lingerie and walk into stores asking for sexual items claiming how degraded he felt, the woman being chained to a chained to chair while felating a man (chained so closely that the couldn't remove his penis from her mouth and was gagged by it for an hour), or the stories of similar people being tied up and asked to beg to be called degrading names or humiliate themselves by calling themself names and insulting themselves. I remember being in Good Vibrarions (a sex store with a female slant) once and seeing somebody show up in a collar in mostly leather being led around and told to go ask for a vibrator for himself at the counter and exclaim to everybody that he was going home to have it used on him for the first time (along with some other "harmless" other things he was made to do). The man didn't look like he was enjoying himself at all.


-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Oh, THAT. (3.00 / 1) (#176)
by marxmarv on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:45:57 PM EST

Did everyone in the store consent to that play? If not, it wasn't consensual BDSM. I'd be inclined to call it just plain rude or worse.

-jhp

[ Parent ]

That's not the point (1.00 / 1) (#200)
by jjayson on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:25:58 PM EST

The point was the the woman and man (dom and sub respectively) that walked in both negotiated to bounds of the scene before hand, but I seriously doubt that play was brought up specifically. In that, it was consensual. Hoever, that doesn't make it any less degrading of an experience. Trying to claim that it does would be the same as defening the broken house-wife that is mentall abused by her husband, but just doesn't realize it (or wish to admit it to herself or anybody else). People will let things happen to them, often under the guise of their free-will, but it doesn't mean it is so.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
But what if he got off on it? (none / 0) (#213)
by disappear on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:32:44 AM EST

I suspect that he was. I enjoy being "forced" to do things that I don't enjoy, in the right context. And no, it doesn't necessarily look like I'm enjoying them. But I am getting off on them.

If he gets off on it, is it less degrading?

Do you think that he shouldn't be allowed to get off on it, even if it's the one thing that works for him?

[ Parent ]

Siple answer (none / 0) (#214)
by jjayson on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:48:20 AM EST

Just because you like it, doesn't mean it is healthy. The cutter feels some relief from his activities, the habitual fighter feels a release of tension, the girl that seeks out abusive boyfriends thinks she enjoys the relationships. There are all counter examples. How far back do you draw the line before we stop and consider the person might not know what is healthy for themselves? This is all covered in other threads.

-j
"People live in apartments. That's what they're designed for. Bombs are designed to blow up things." -Parent ]
Your counterexamples (none / 0) (#225)
by disappear on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:35:20 AM EST

All have one thing in common: physical or emotional abuse.

That's not present in the above situation. It's also a really clear line, and I'm not sure what about that line isn't obvious to you.

You're right, I don't think we're getting anywhere with this. So I'll put up the canonical link regarding BDSM vs. Abuse.



[ Parent ]
Interpretation of senses (5.00 / 5) (#129)
by Znork on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:27:59 AM EST

You labor under the misapprehension that pain is by necessity a negative experience. It isnt. It's just another report of your nerves to certain stimulation. How you interpret it is up to the person doing the experiencing.

It's like a sauna. Some people enjoy the amount of heat which is far outside what is reasonable for our physiology; they interpret the heat as pleasurable. Some people dont enjoy it. Neither is right or wrong.

Some people like strong food. The sensations of that strong food produce are not necessarily something that is reasonably associated with 'pleasure' for everyone.

Physical pain is just the same thing. Wether or not you enjoy it is beside the point. Some people do, and take pleasure from it.

If you liked cutting yourself on the arms you might get treated for it, if you found it to be a problem for your functioning in society and it endangered you. If you just did it because you enjoyed it, you probably couldnt find anyone who _could_ treat you for it. If you did it for cultural reasons you'd have a hard time finding someone who cared. If you did it because you were suicidal and suffering from depression someone could likely help you with your depression, but that's a quite different thing.

As far as sexual behaviours go, you cant really 'help' people with them any more than you can 'help' someone to not like chocolate. Nor is there any reason to unless they have a problem with their preferences.

[ Parent ]

You are being too subjective. (1.66 / 3) (#143)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:08:02 PM EST

First, the part of BDSM that I object to is the dehumanizing acts, the play rape scenes, and most of what power exchange often becomes. Wanting somebody to tie you up and treat you like a slave and abuse you is not a health exercise, it shows a fundamental lack of self-esteem. Love cannot happen when one person dominates over the other. I say that objectively BDSM activities such as this are an improper avenue of expression.

Now that we got that cleared up. I less objectively have a problem with the pain aspects. I understand how some people enjoy pain, such as the pain from distance running or lifting. I even understand pain from things such as fighting, although it can often be the result of acting out agression. A cutter often does it and has been conditioned to feel bad about his actions. This is a proper response, because self mutilation is symptomatic of underlying psychologicaln problems. I can scarcely see a difference between the cutter and the person who like to be whipped. The only difference I see is that sexual tones have been added to the activity, but in the name of liberal sexual attitudes and relativism we stop seeing such actions as harmful. I don't really buy it.

Your comparisons to chocolate is weak.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

Differences (4.33 / 3) (#158)
by Znork on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:56:58 PM EST

I personally doubt that love can ever be expressed or experienced objectively, which makes it hard to express objective conclusions about how it is supposed to be expressed. In your subjective experience and expression of love I can accept that you cannot include love in domination. But that's you.

Self mutilation _can_ be symptomatic of underlying psychological problems. In a lot of cultures there are various forms of self mutilation that are not due to such problems. The activity isnt the problem, the motivation is.

Someone who does have psychological problems should indeed examine their motivations for involvement in BDSM activities, preferably with the assistance of a licensed professional who has experience dealing with that kind of sexuality. Both for their own sake and for partners. It may or may not be a problem, and it may or may not be something that is possible (or desireable) to change. But that is a small fraction of the people engaged in such practices.

As long as it's a mutually enjoyable activity that all parties engage in, on a consensual basis, for fun and pleasure, there just isnt a problem.

[ Parent ]

There are some objective qualities of love. (2.66 / 3) (#168)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:49:14 PM EST

Love includes equal respect for the sovereignty of another. The D/s claim is that there are always safe words so the sub is in complete control, but that isn't really true. The sub can stop the activity, but willingly engages in activities they would not normally do since there is a shield between them and the action: the dom tells the sub to do it, so it isn't in the sub's control anymore. The D/s advocates try to have it both ways. They claim that a power exchange occurs and that it is a great way to loose control, yet they also claim that all the control rests with the sub. When you love somebody you don't want to see them under your thumb of oppressive control and you don't want to see them degraded. When you love yourself, you have self-esteem and don't want to be dehumanized. These are objective measures of love.

As long as it's a mutually enjoyable activity that all parties engage in, on a consensual basis, for fun and pleasure, there just isnt a problem.
The problem with this is that some (most) people cannot say if they like something or not. They are more likely to "like" something because they are used to doing it, it is expected that they do it, or they would rather not admit (even to themselves) that they are engaged in activities they aren't really enjoying. Look at the porn industry. If you ever read interviews with ex-porn queens there are too many that say in retrospect they weren't ver happy despite what they thought at the time.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
Coach and athlete (5.00 / 2) (#175)
by marxmarv on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:38:55 PM EST

Love includes equal respect for the sovereignty of another.
How does signing a free trade treaty devalue the sovereignty of either nation who signs it? How does the desire to push oneself against or past one's limits, or the caring enough for a partner to assist them in doing so, devalue either one's sovereignty?

The D/s claim is that there are always safe words so the sub is in complete control, but that isn't really true.
I suggest that after repeating this claim several times that you back it up.
The sub can stop the activity, but willingly engages in activities they would not normally do since there is a shield between them and the action: the dom tells the sub to do it, so it isn't in the sub's control anymore.
Yet the sub agreed, in the main, to perform those actions. Think of a coach pushing an athlete to exceed their limits and you're on the right track.
The D/s advocates try to have it both ways. They claim that a power exchange occurs and that it is a great way to loose control, yet they also claim that all the control rests with the sub.
YM "lose".

In pre-scene negotiation, control rests with both (or more, but for simplicity's sake) parties to the scene. If anyone at this point doesn't like what's going on or feels uncomfortable with it, the scene is off. In the scene itself, control rests with the dom, though the sub has absolute control over whether the scene continues or not and is welcome (or at least free) to bring up any serious concerns mid-scene to get things back into a mutually satisfying space. Post-scene, control is equally divided. Review this in light of the coach-athlete analogy.

When you love somebody you don't want to see them under your thumb of oppressive control and you don't want to see them degraded.
Fallacy of the straw man. You're making up your own degradation and oppression. The top does what they do mostly because the sub likes it and it was what was agreed upon. Most relationships in the BDSM world don't involve degradation, nor oppression.

When you love yourself, you have self-esteem and don't want to be dehumanized. These are objective measures of love.
More straw man -- dehumanization is not generally practiced. The thing you seem to be missing is that doms can love their subs and most often do. Compare to the coach/athlete, parent/child, ... There are plenty of subs out there in powerful places who have plenty of self-esteem and just want to turn it off for a while.

The problem with this is that some (most) people cannot say if they like something or not.
Such people do not have the requisite level of communication required to play and shouldn't do so.
Look at the porn industry. If you ever read interviews with ex-porn queens there are too many that say in retrospect they weren't ver happy despite what they thought at the time.
There aren't that many ex-porn queens, and people will do things they don't like to do for money. Welcome to America.

-jhp

[ Parent ]

some clarifications and background (2.00 / 1) (#199)
by jjayson on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:14:58 PM EST

We are not coming into much meaningful new discussion, so I am willing to end this here. I am going to try to give you some more background on why I hold the views I do, then I will briefly go over some of the major issues from last post, then I will try to explain what I learned from all this.

As far as my experiences go, let me quote from two other posts I made.

Living in Berkeley, you cannot escape the Bay Area BDSM community. I have been invited to a fetish party, I have been to the Exotic Erotic Ball, and I have been to the Power Exchange club. I wasn't amazed at the people and I didn't see anything that couldn't be sought through more positive means.
Living in the Bay Area, you cannot help but read the articles in the local publications about people willingly dehumanized: the man forced to wear ladies lingerie and walk into stores asking for sexual items claiming how degraded he felt, the woman being chained to a chained to chair while felating a man (chained so closely that the couldn't remove his penis from her mouth and was gagged by it for an hour), or the stories of similar people being tied up and asked to beg to be called degrading names or humiliate themselves by calling themself names and insulting themselves. I remember being in Good Vibrarions (a sex store with a female slant) once and seeing somebody show up in a collar in mostly leather being led around and told to go ask for a vibrator for himself at the counter and exclaim to everybody that he was going home to have it used on him for the first time (along with some other "harmless" other things he was made to do). The man didn't look like he was enjoying himself at all.

Our main disagreement may come from how I view sex and romantic relationships. In college I had a problem with sleeping with too many girls, as a response to my premiscuity I have swung in the other direction and not I view romantic relationships are primarily centered on love and sex is an expression of the relationship.  From this understanding, anything that removes the couple from the love between then, I reject: such as the lists I gave above or as  some other poster mentoined having sex through a hole in a sheet which I find grossly objectifying.

Now, let me direct you attention a few posts back in this thread. My main issue is with such decribed dehumanizing acts that. I cannot make as strong of a case against the S&M aspects of BDSM. For those I can only say that from my view (and others like me), it is very abnormal to want to be whipped during a sexual encounter. Bondage itself I have no issue against, except for what it might do to promote other negative ideals that I already talk about, such as the descriptions I have read of a man tying up his girlfriend and urinating on her because he liked how it felt to know that she could do nothing about being degraded. Tying somebody up just to tie them up is one thing, but tying them up to treat them like a slave is another. Bloodsports are something else I think are abnormal and we do sent people like that to see help, but again for now I can only make claims about taste (and am unwilling to devote the time and effots to making a stronger case).

I think that your comparisons are still not even close. National sovereignty has nothing to do with personal sovereignty; they are too different for a meaningful comparison. The coach athlete relationship is not primarily a loving relationship, and coaching is not primarlity a loving act. This is a stark contrast to a relationship between a couple where it is primarily about love and sex is primarily a loving act. You continually make claims that the D/s relationship is like that to an athelete/coach or a parent/child, but I find them ridiculous. The conrete goals are completely different. A parent would go to jail for anything approaching the treatment of a dom.

Overall, I started being slightly more against the issues than I ended with. I started not really thinking any of it is healthy, but I see some light bondage just a matter of taste. I have tied up girlfriends with scarves and teased them, but it was simply to tie them up, not treat them any differently. I still find many of the act described in various stories to be misguided attempts at self-realization. Yes, you can build trust ina D/s relationship, but you can build if more effectively in other ways: the D/s trust is centered around the partner not going to far physically for the most part, but I find that emotionally giving trust much more difficult and rewarding.

Such people do not have the requisite level of communication required to play and shouldn't do so. There aren't that many ex-porn queens, and people will do things they don't like to do for money. Welcome to America.
You need to view the issues more holistically. The person that cannot tell if they like it or not does not have a commnication problem, them have a problem really looking at themselves (which is probably true of most people). The point of my example was to demonstrate that people didn't know any better or that there are often alternative reasons somebody mught say they enjoy themselves.

I have much more to say, but I'll leave it here.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]

Actually... (4.00 / 4) (#160)
by Nyarly on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:08:46 PM EST

This is the perfect highlight to what irks me about "the scene" - whatever that's supposed to mean. Anyone who identifies themselves by their means of romantic/sexual expression is disturbing. No more or less for the actuality of that expression.

So yes, there's the annoyance of "Oh, lookit me, the naughty sub!" But in my eyes, what's repulsive about that is identical to my issue with "Oh, lookit me, with such wholesome, fulfilling love!" There's several parts to this:

  1. I don't want yours. Even if I want something like that, what you've got, I don't want. There have been very occassional cases where, for the interests of everyone involved, I've had to actively not want what someone else had. But never when it's been waved around like this.
  2. At some deep level, I cannot avoid believing that you've lessened yourself in service of the expression. I'm big into the individual. And I idolize the successful interaction of individuals, be it sexual or professional, long term or short. But when you identify yourself in terms of your relationships, you diminish your individual self.
  3. Similarly, I believe you're lessening yourself in order to belong. In the case of a "vanilla" relationship, the "we're so in love" stance is the conventional ideal - and achieving that ideal appears to be more important than actually loving and trusting and whatnot. Or else you'd keep your gob shut. The whole BSDM "scene" is a counter-culture. It gives people who don't dig on the vanilla Holly Hobby ideal a place to belong instead, and participating in "the scene" strikes me as just as much a reversal of service as the Holly Hobbiness it's trying to replace.
Which is not to say at all that any kink or lack thereof is dirty or wrong or repulsive. Or that love and trust and sharing, etc are tawdy bunkum. And there's benefits to having a BSDM scene, in terms of safety tips and advice, the same as there's advantages to devoting portions of manditory education to "Sexual Education."

"The believer is happy. The doubter is wise" --Hungarian Proverb
[ Parent ]

BDSM is dying. (4.11 / 34) (#60)
by medharn on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 04:05:33 PM EST

It is now official. Sexcraft confirming: BDSM is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered BDSM community when I8P confirmed that BDSM market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all sexual preferences. Coming on the heels of a recent Sexcraft survey which plainly states that BDSM has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. BDSM is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [sexmag.com] in the recent Dominatrix comprehensive sexworking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict BDSM's future. The hand writing is on the wall: BDSM faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for BDSM because BDSM is dying. Things are looking very bad for BDSM. As many of us are already aware, BDSM continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBDSM is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core submissives. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBDSM submissives Jordan "Sissy Schoolgirl" Hubbard and Mike "Pony Boy" Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBDSM is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBDSM leader Mistress Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBDSM. How many users of NetBDSM are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBDSM versus NetBDSM posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBDSM users. BDSM/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBDSM posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BDSM/OS. A recent article put FreeBDSM at about 80 percent of the BDSM market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBDSM users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBDSM Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Crack, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBDSM went out of business and was taken over by BDSMI who sell another troubled OS. Now BDSMI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that BDSM has steadily declined in market share. BDSM is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If BDSM is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. BDSM continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, BDSM is dead.

Fact: BDSM is dying



The real 'medharn' has userid 32762.

oh deary me! (1.83 / 6) (#63)
by gauze on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 04:22:18 PM EST

You like humiliating people? Tying them up? Pervert!
There's nothing wrong with a PC that a little UNIX won't cure.
If i had to choose (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by zephc on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:14:51 PM EST

between Dom and Sub, it'd be sub, because I'm too lazy to put in the initiative to be a Dom

=P

It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it (4.00 / 2) (#92)
by marxmarv on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 08:35:50 PM EST

Domination is hard. </barbie>

Speaking as a sub who is trying to work his way into being a switch (someone who spends some time in either role), topping is a job. As someone once put it, "Everyone has a bubble of energy that surrounds and protects them. As a top, you're putting that bubble of energy around both of you for the duration of the scene." As a top, you're very much responsible for what happens to the sub, physically and emotionally. It is your job to enact the agreed-upon scene, to do to them what was negotiated, to be alert to any adverse reactions and to respond with approriate aid should the need arise. Often, if a top seems cold and distant, it's because they're watching out for you, checking your hands to make sure they're not turning blue or the like.

-jhp, who has consistently found that scene people give good hugs

[ Parent ]

It's *very* rewarding. (none / 0) (#218)
by Paul Crowley on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:45:29 AM EST

As a switch, I sometimes love the easy option of subbing, but it's amazing how rewarding being the Top can be once you get into it... the initiative comes to you in time.
--
Paul Crowley aka ciphergoth. Crypto and sex politics. Diary.
[ Parent ]
This makes me wonder... (3.75 / 4) (#75)
by Alias on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:30:38 PM EST

Is a strong desire for domination and/or submission really part of human nature?

And if it is, is it really a good idea to give in to it -- even in a consensual setting?

Stéphane "Alias" Gallay -- Damn! My .sig is too lon

Beats senile old men sending us to war (n/t) (3.33 / 3) (#89)
by marxmarv on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 07:50:39 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Yes, do it. (4.00 / 2) (#93)
by Josh A on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 09:05:08 PM EST

If humans do it, isn't it part of human nature?

And yes, give in to your desires, always. Or rather, don't give in to any denial of your joy. Mmmm hedonism. Yum.

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
I disagree (3.00 / 1) (#115)
by Alias on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:35:12 AM EST

My point is, I don't see that as part of the human nature -- whatever that is. Domination is definitely a natural trait (as in, one which can be observed in nature), but I see human nature as being something other than socialised animal behaviour. For instance, few animals have sex for the fun of it.

I don't think giving in to violent streak is a very good idea. Gving in to the desire to get hurt doesn't strike me as a very good idea either.

Stéphane "Alias" Gallay -- Damn! My .sig is too lon
[ Parent ]

That's fine (none / 0) (#197)
by Josh A on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 12:43:33 PM EST

I'm not sure you actually answered my question: if humans do it, isn't it part of human nature? And your post has brought to my attention another question I'd like answered: could you give me an example of an unnatural trait?

The first question is sincere--I merely want to know what you (and others) believe, and maybe some reasons why if you know them. The second question is a trap. :)

On the other subject, if your desires are to think in terms of good/bad ideas, and to condemn S/m behavior as bad, then by all means give in to them.

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
It's been bugging me for quite a while (none / 0) (#206)
by Alias on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:31:53 PM EST

I'm really ambivalent on the subject. As a witness to my state of confusion, I must state that it is now the fifth time I'm trying to type this replay. The last four times, I managed to score a hugely klutzy keyboard maneuver that killed my whole message. Massive yelling ensued. Oh, well...

On to the subject... I am pretty sure I did answer your question in my earlier post. The problem may be that we don't have the same understanding as to what "human nature" is. If it is the same as human behaviour, then pretty much everything humans do is "human nature". But that's not really the point, isn't it?

As previously mentioned, I'm in two minds about BDSM, or whatever you want to call it. On the one hand, I'm OK with it, as long as it's between "consenting adults" (and I leave the definition of these terms for another troll^W message altogether). On the other hand, and at a very personal level, I just don't get it.

I have a few friends who are into it and who explained me why they were, and what they found in it. And I don't understand.

To be honest, I'm quite repulsed by the idea -- not the pain / punition part, but the whole domination / submission business. And at the same time, I understand the sexual attraction of this. There's some part of me that says "Yeah, go for it man!", while another goes "Are you nuts? No way!" Currently, the Neinsager is winning...

My own rationalisation behind it, is that BDSM calls a lot to our "animal" side. I'm pretty sure it's what it does to mine -- even if it's most probably a wildly idealised one. My problem is, what I know about my animal side, is that it's not exactly the most pleasant fellow you can imagine. I feel it as a violent, brutal being -- one I'd rather not introduce to my SO... To sum it up, enjoy BDSM if it's what makes you tick, but it's probably a very bad idea to drag me into that.

(And yes, I know that I may be completely deluding myself, and that this rationalisation may be my neinsager of a brain lobbying my consciousness to keep the bad, pervert people away. Maybe.)

Stéphane "Alias" Gallay -- Damn! My .sig is too lon
[ Parent ]

How about some resources? (5.00 / 9) (#77)
by disappear on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:40:05 PM EST

As an active member of the scene, I'm rather shocked that somebody would post an intro like this without including resources for the curious.

The best resource for people interested in the scene are local groups. These local groups often have social activities, educational events, and play parties, among other things. There are many groups across the country, too many for me to list. This list is off of the top of my head, and is comprised largely of east coast pansexual groups because I live there and I'm more familiar with them.

There are also groups that defend the right of consenting adults to act in private: the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is the big name in this regard, though there are also local groups such as Baltimore AT-EASE.

Finally, while groups are the best resource, most people probably feel more comfortable starting with a book. Geeks may favor Jay Wiseman's SM 101: Wiseman takes a technical approach, has done lots of basic research, and is quite intelligent. The book is somewhat dry but full of useful information. My favorite intro book is Patrick Califia's Sensual Magic, which is in its second edition. It's much more inclusive, and is stuffed with short bits of very hot fiction illustrating various points.

There are tons more resources out there, of course. As with everything, compare notes from multiple places. There's tons of bad information out there... and good stuff, too



Patrick Califia? (4.00 / 2) (#83)
by localroger on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:52:43 PM EST

Are you sure that isn't Pat (no rick) Califia, the woman who wrote A Secret Side of Lesbian Sexuality back in the 80's and then a bunch of books on gay studies and Lesbian S&M?

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Pat went FtM, IIRC (n/t) (3.00 / 1) (#88)
by marxmarv on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 07:47:34 PM EST



[ Parent ]
No mention at patcalifia.com (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by localroger on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 10:22:58 PM EST

Though she does mention keynoting a FTM convention, that would be consistent with her general interest in gayness as a thing distinct from S&M. Somewhere she wrote something to the effect that "when a gay man and a gay woman get it on the result is not heterosexual sex." OTOH not much would surprise me coming from her...

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Pat Califia / F2M (4.00 / 1) (#111)
by disappear on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:12:54 AM EST

The second edition of Sensuous Magic is explicitly credited to Patrick Califia --- actually to Patrick Califia-Rice, as seen on Amazon.

A fuller discussion of his transition can be found in the afterword to No Mercy, a collection of his erotic fiction. (And it is hot stuff, too. Highly recommended.)

Finally, before his transition, she wrote a study of transgenderism and its politics called Sex Changes. It's an academic study, and perhaps of less interest to the casual reader, though I found it fascinating.



[ Parent ]
More resources (5.00 / 2) (#157)
by Pallandozi on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:48:58 PM EST

California:  http://www.soj.org/

England: http://www.informedconsent.co.uk/

The FAQ: http://www.unrealities.com/adult/ssbb/faq.htm

America: http://www.darkheart.com/usalist.html

[ Parent ]

pretentious (3.11 / 9) (#87)
by turmeric on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 07:41:50 PM EST

would you write 'homosexuality: a primer'? no, because that would be silly. just because you like getting spanked doesnt make you especially unusual, interesting, or unique, although clearly large numbers of people in their Mensa-esque quest for 'exalted otherness' will assume it does.

Homosexuality primer (3.00 / 3) (#94)
by broken77 on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 09:39:27 PM EST

I'd like to read one of these. Why don't you write one for us?

/me *ducks*

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Some people need one. (none / 0) (#227)
by ymck on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 10:46:22 PM EST

I think that Homosexuality: A Primer, would be quite enlightening for some.

[ Parent ]
Name the TV show! (2.66 / 3) (#96)
by j1mmy on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 10:03:54 PM EST

"... the safety word is banana."

Family Guy (n/t) (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by moosh on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:01:22 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Wrong (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by exZERO on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:49:37 AM EST

The correct answer is Mad TV, in a sketch of "I Love Lucy '98", where all four characters have an orgy with Prince.
<<Zero_out>>
[ Parent ]
Haven't seen it (3.00 / 1) (#120)
by moosh on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 03:34:47 AM EST

I was referring to a Family Guy scene where Louis and Peter are getting changed into bondage gear whilst discussing something about kids being in danger, something about kids.. I can't remember. Anyway, Louis says "The safety word is banana" and then gives peter a violent shove onto the bed. Perhaps the writers were making a reference to Mad TV?

[ Parent ]
Family Gay? (3.00 / 1) (#127)
by j1mmy on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 08:33:48 AM EST

Louis and Peter

I think that should be Lois. Louis is very much a man's name, and Peter's wife was all woman.

[ Parent ]

The Biology of Dominance (2.66 / 3) (#97)
by Baldrson on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 10:14:30 PM EST

The pain/pleasure response can seem at first glance to be counter-intuitive, even contradictory - how can anyone take pleasure from pain? Some examples from everyday life might help to illustrate the phenomenon.

I'd start trying to understand this by looking at the differential reproductive rates of those who take "pleasure" from punishment, with separate statistics for men and women.

Hypothesis: Pleasurable experiences of punishment received are an extended phenotype of a dominant person. Take for example the "consent" of the suicidal bee in the following passage from "The Extended Phenotype" by Richard Dawkins chapter titled "Host Phenotypes of Parasite Genes":

"Many fascinating examples of parasites manipulating the behavior of their hosts can be given. For nematomorph larvae, who need to break out of their insect hosts and get into water where they live as adults, '...a major difficulty in the parasite's life is the return to water. It is, therefore, of particular interest that the parasite appears to affect the behavior of its host, and "encourages" it to return to water. The mechanism by which this is achieved is obscure, but there are sufficient isolated reports to certify that the parasite does influence its host, and often suicidally for the host... One of the more dramatic reports describes an infected bee flying over a pool and, when about six feet over it, diving straight into the water. Immediately on impact the gordian worm burst out and swam into the water, the maimed bee being left to die' (Croll 1966)."
Prediction:

Men who are submissive/masochistic will have lower reproductive rates than men who are dominant/sadistic and will tend generally to have lesser genetic dominance than their partners. Women will have the opposite but weaker correlation with reproduction but the same correlation with genetic dominance (ie: tend to be genetically recessive compared to the doms with which they are typically paired).

The main problem with testing this hypothesis via this prediction is determining which relationships are in fact BSDM. There are a great many relationships that are not recognized by the parties involved as BSDM yet are clearly involving profound levels of partner abuse at the genetic level with subtle manifestations of BSDM drive within the relationship.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


you realize... (2.00 / 2) (#163)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:02:18 PM EST

that the link in your .sig doesn't go anywhere?

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
D/s is not the be-all and end-all (4.40 / 5) (#103)
by twgs on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:07:45 AM EST

Reading this article irked me.  Nothing against the writer, who gave it a game effort and I am certain meant well, but throughout the article he kept talking about "D/s" as if the term encapsulated any perverted activity one could participate in.  As a self-identified pervert with no interest whatsoever in the traditional roles of "dominant" and "submissive", I can't help but feel that such a summation is a bit facile.

The bigger problem, however, is that the writer is not the first to make this assumption, and that in fact it runs rampant on the Internet.  In fact, what I think is a far more interesting and germane topic of conversation is not simply the existence of what is clunkily termed "BDSM", as the topic is far too broad-ranging to make sense out (believe me, I've been trying for years), but the existence of myriad quasi-dysfunctional Internet communities based on the primacy of the D/s paradigm.  For instance, one thing that fascinates me about the Internet is the so-called "Gorean" community, who base their sexual and cultural beliefs on the often blatantly misogynist writings of a second-rate hack sci-fi writer who goes under the pseudonym John Norman, and in true sci-fi style has written a seemingly infinite series of books about a primitive planet where the men are men and the women are, well, chattel.

If that's what a person truly enjoys and they enter into it with informed consent, mind you, I have no qualms with it, but the size of these communities well exceeds what one would expect from any rational examination of the beliefs and mores of human society.  It is my belief that many people are involved in D/s, especially the on-line roleplay varieties of it, because they believe that it is an integral part of any deviant/fetishistic sexual activity, indeed often that it is the _only_ extant variety of deviant/fetishistic sexual activity.

There is also a parallel here, if one looks, between dogmatic religion and a more nuanced form of spirituality- the Gorean belief structure is very organized and offers hard and fast answers, rules of behavior, a "right" and "wrong" way to do things, which are often very important to someone engaged in a new and often confusing activity.  The fact that it seems to espouse some values which are, to put it mildly, difficult to accept- for instance, the belief in the superiority of males over females- is, at least at first, a lot easier than having to face a widespread array of questions centering around philosophy, sexuality, and identity, none of which have anything remotely resembling a clear consensus answer.

BSDM is like Tupperware (3.25 / 8) (#118)
by genman on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:49:16 AM EST

The BSDM scene somehow reminds me of how housewives used to get together and have Tupperware parties.  "It's not just plastic, it's microwave safe, modern, and fun!  Gosh golly gee!"

Something is just doesn't sit right with how the BSDM'ers want to normalize their behavior.  Personally, I've had had to hear the same shit over and over again about how great and wonderful and natural and fulfilling it is to be into bondage.  It's like we're witnessing the "Bondage pride" movement -- I don't care, fine, whatever, spare me your sexual deviancy (or normalcy, whatever you want to call.)

For me what does it are anime girls, in school girl outfits showing off their panties.  (Me, plus 30-40% of Japanese males.)  Sure, we make plenty of web-sites, but it's not like we're openly PROUD of ourselves.

Maybe someone could explain what all that energy is about.  I think interest and response to bondage mostly results from being physically abused when you were younger; either from parents or other kids.  I think the level of interest in BSDM (and tattoos and piercing) is proportional to the level of abuse one has had -- is that something to be proud of?

re: like Tupperware (4.00 / 3) (#138)
by voltron27 on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:55:49 AM EST

Greetings.

There are a few logical problems I note in your reply.

1) Don't forget we're not just talking about Subs, we're talking Doms and Subs. Some people (the Subs) get their kicks from being tied. Others (the Doms) get their kicks from doing the tying. So your point, "I think interest and response to bondage mostly results from being physically abused when you were younger," only seems to apply to Subs

2) "I think interest...," hmm, what's the operative word? Your point seems largely unfounded.

3) Why not be proud of it? I'm proud of many things in my life; having few sexual limits is one of them. Is there a reason I shouldn't be proud? Is there something wrong with being proud?

[ Parent ]

abuse (3.50 / 2) (#142)
by jjayson on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:41:01 PM EST

It wouls also apply to doms, too. Sexual abuse (or any abuse) is ofter called the gift that keeps on giving because people that are abused as children tend to abuse others later in life. It becomes a normal part of human interaction to them, either searching out abuse partners in the future or abusing others.

-j
"Even I can do poler co-ordinates and i can't even spell my own name." - nodsmasher
You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't
[ Parent ]
self-aggrandizement (5.00 / 4) (#144)
by twgs on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:14:04 PM EST

Rightly or wrongly, the impression I get from the tenor of a lot of these responses- and I'm just responding to this one because it's the most recent- is very similar to the people who oppose "special rights" for homosexuals.

I think what one has to realize is that one should not define any group- and that includes BDSMers- by its most vocal and active segment.  In this case you have the public scene, the play parties, etc., and then you have people like me who would not be caught dead at one of them, because it's not my style at all.  And one also has to realize that many of the activists are reacting against a lifetime of propaganda that has told them that tying up someone, whipping them, whatever, is sick, evil, and wrong, and if you are turned on by such things that you are probably a serial killer.  Does anybody here remember the "true crime" magazines of the 1970s?  Perfect case in point.  No offense to you, but the DSM (bible of psych disorders) has never, AFAIK, classified looking at cartoon girls' panties as a psychological disorder, yet both sadism and masochism were classified as disorders until fairly recently.  It was this atmosphere that's sparked off a lot of advocacy, as well as, parallel with it, the so-called "love bondage" movement, which is oft-derided today.

Personally I am not proud of being into bondage; I don't think of it as a virtue or something that makes me superior, or even as one of the more interesting things about me.  It's just something I enjoy.  If I were good at tying people up, I might be proud of that, because that's a skill, something that it takes work and practice to accomplish.  (I need way more practice.)  But being proud of it for its own sake, that makes as little sense to me as being proud for liking to play video games.

As for the assertion in your last paragraph, the subject is often mooted, but no causal link has yet been established (nor is it likely to, from all I've seen).  Some people into BDSM were abused as children.  Some weren't.  Some people _not_ into BDSM were abused as children.  Some weren't.  That's about the only conclusions anybody has been able to draw from the whole thing- IOW, AFAIK nobody's even established correlation, let alone causation.  Myself, I had a fairly idyllic childhood, except perhaps for being spoiled rotten, and I'm still a pervert.  I have friends who were horrifically abused as children and have no interest in BDSM at all.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I can't see as how tattoos and piercings have SFA to do with BDSM.

[ Parent ]

"Bondage Pride" (5.00 / 3) (#155)
by Pallandozi on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:40:30 PM EST

It's like we're witnessing the "Bondage pride" movement -- I don't care, fine, whatever,

If everyone felt like you did: "I don't care, fine, whatever" then there would be no pride movement. There would be no need for one.

Unfortunately there are some people who feel "These people are the minions of satan. They are all potential rapists, serial killers and child molesters; who just don't have the guts to go with their true feelings.". Such people desperately want to stop people doing BDSM ('save' them from it) any way they can.

It is because of those people, and the laws they try to get passed, that a pride movement has sprung up in response.

[ Parent ]

Depeche Mode (3.66 / 3) (#123)
by Quila on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 06:03:34 AM EST

"Domination's the name of the game, in bed or in life, they're both just the same. Except in one you're fulfilled at the end of the day. Let's play Master and Servant" Hope I got the lyrics right, going from memory.

I dont mind other people doing it.. (3.40 / 5) (#124)
by tonyenkiducx on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 06:27:44 AM EST

But when my girlfriend pulls out a riding crop, a huge dildo and a metal collar, I run for the hills! The thing I've found so far about people who are into that kind of thing, they tend to find people who dont do it boring. And allthough Im sure it IS fun, they tend to find normal sex isnt enough for them, which I think will stunt there ability to find a partner. You cant always ask someone if they like being beaten up on the first date..

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called utopia. And I see us invading that planet, because they'd never expect it
I don't mind folks who don't (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by Miniluv on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:58:21 AM EST

And I don't even pity them. I've met plenty of people who were into kinky sex, and plenty who weren't. I only dated the ones who were, since I'm into it too and even if its not an every night, or even every week sometimes, thing that doesn't mean I don't want it as part of my life.

Just like people who consider other things as important to them in finding a mate, if BDSM is important you move in social circles full of like minded people when searching for a mate. For people who're heavily into computers, say Linux as an example, they'll go looking for mates at events such as conferences, LUG meetings and so forth. Music fanatics might try concerts, live music bars, and similar.

This isn't to say that each group has their own little dating grounds, but instead that they will gravitate to similar places and end up meeting each other. They meet elsewhere as well, but they can assume a little more safely that people met at places which revolve around their interests share those interests.

As for asking on the first date, I usually talk about it before that. Yes, it's upfront and forward, and yes it "scares" a lot of people off, but it does save a lot of time and trouble. I'm not going to blow off someone who's never tried it, however I won't pursue a relationship with someone who never would.

Finally, a disclaimer to the above, I'm out of the dating pool and have been for a while, so its entirely possible a revolution in dating and meeting kinky folk has happened and I may be entirely out of touch at this point.

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]

Yee (none / 0) (#194)
by tonyenkiducx on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:20:24 AM EST

I appreciate that.. But it is a LOT different from being a linux user. I program for work, and a lot in my private time, but my girlfriend abhores anything programming related. And we can deal with that, and just do things on our own occasionally. But sex is not exactly something you can just brush over and do on your own(Unless you are a Linux user :P).

Then again, like most people, I have requirements for a girlfriend and if she doesnt meet them then its not going to happen. But I dont see someones sexual preferences as a requirement, after all its suppose to be there personality that comes first. What would you do if you fell in love with someone who was boring in bed?

If it works for you then I definately dont have a problem with it, but it just seems a little odd to me(As someone whose not really into it).

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called utopia. And I see us invading that planet, because they'd never expect it
[ Parent ]
Answers (none / 0) (#195)
by Miniluv on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:43:53 AM EST

You raise a good point, and Linux is the best of the set of completely useless analogies I could come up with. Essentially I consider sex to be both an aspect of personality and a requirement for the relationship, the same as you might consider an interest in good literature, rock music, premium weed, or any number of other things both an aspect of personality but also a requirement for you to maintain a relationship with someone.

I think its horribly dishonest to claim that sexual compatability plays no role in a relationship. Anybody who does claim that has been lucky enough not to be involved with someone they were incompatible with, or they are out of it enough not to have noticed (ignorance is bliss after all). Would you really be interested in your girlfriend if she couldn't get you off? Or if she could but it was the worst sex you'd ever had? I doubt it.

Similarly, to maintain a minimum level of sexual satisfaction I need to be able to tie my partner to the bed and do all manner of kinky things to her. Now, I could just find some dishrag of a woman who's willing to put up with whatever I want in order to bask in the glow of my love, or something equally silly, but that's not very satisfying to me. Instead I made sure that my prospective partners would enjoy it as thoroughly as myself, and we all ended up happier for it. I can this with complete certainty, as I've dated the dishrag type, and right after I finished "changing" her into my "perfect" submissive I realized how badly she bored me. Thankfully she came through the experience essentially the same as she went in, and we've maintained our friendship. She has also said that it was really pretty boring for her, the only excitement she derived was from the purely sexual aspect of our sex (i.e. the stuff not involving kink) and that she much prefers not mixing the kink in at all.

My wife is the other example, someone who suppressed those urges in order to be with her non-kinky exboyfriend, and she's much happier being with someone like myself, who enjoys the same fantasies as she does.

Does that make it a little clearer where I'm coming from?

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]

I.. (none / 0) (#196)
by tonyenkiducx on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:57:47 AM EST

suppose that makes more sense, and allthough I cant word it very well, I can see where your coming from. Except for the "I think its horribly dishonest to claim that sexual compatability plays no role in a relationship" comment. From your point of view Im sure you cant see a situation were that may ever arise. But personally I've never been that interested in sex, and while I find it enjoyable when I do it, I dont really consider it important.

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called utopia. And I see us invading that planet, because they'd never expect it
[ Parent ]
Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by Miniluv on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 01:33:06 PM EST

I suspect in regards to the importance of sex you are in the minority. I think we've reached a point of understanding though, so I won't go beating a dead horse.

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]
Beating a Dead Horse (none / 0) (#221)
by virg on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:39:09 PM EST

Whoa! That's a kink even I won't get into!

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Title: BDSM: a sub-culture primer or... (3.20 / 5) (#126)
by mtpa on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 07:43:30 AM EST

Evrything You Never Wanted To Know About Sex But Have Been Forced To Find Out

"If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, their brains start working" -Hich Hickers Guide to the Galaxy

Were you really forced to read it? (2.50 / 2) (#190)
by RyuMaou on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:50:59 AM EST

Okay, so based on the title you didn't know what it was? You were no doubt tied up and forced to read the article? You weren't fored to learn about this subject, you chose to learn about it. Your post was flame bait. D'oh, I just fed a troll!

[ Parent ]
Bit ignorant aren't you (none / 0) (#223)
by mtpa on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:47:13 PM EST

I as many here have expressed they're opinion that many sexual directions seem to be seeking public acceptance.Sex is something in my opinion that is you're private matter. What you do in your home is none of my buissness. Public media (this includes kuro5hin) thease days are filooded with sexual directions I don't care to know about, parcticed by a small minority, but making alot of noice. If you can't accept not all feel the same about the subject as you do fine, don't go acusing me as a troll. Look the definition of trolls, it that Jargon file link at the top when you post, suggest you read it!

[ Parent ]
It only -sounds- kinky at first, dear (5.00 / 6) (#139)
by jet_silver on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:58:32 AM EST

A lot of comments here tend to divide people into two camps, the kinky and the vanilla, and that's not real productive. As in everything I know about the way people behave there's a continuum, but for the sake of argument how about -three- groups: group A contains those who aren't kinky and don't want to know about it; group C comprises those who are kinky; and group B is those who Think Kink but aren't sure how to go about experimenting - and I believe the article's addressed to them.

Covering such a topic in a couple thousand words isn't feasible, so it seems to me Bora is encouraging the group B people to find out a little more, and I'll bet a few of them read this and go to a munch this week - which is all to the good. You won't find many proselytes in the scene and you should view them with suspicion anyway. D/s, like anything that's a matter of taste, is a personal decision and any playmate worth keeping will respect yours.

I only want to add that every decent text (Wiseman is particularly formal about this) emphasizes safety, and understanding how to maintain your personal safety in the D/s scene is something you should hear ad nauseam. John Warren's The Loving Dominant isn't mentioned in the text, but it's full of ideas for budding tops and you won't ever look at a garlic peeler the same way again.

Good article even though the topic is too big for it.


"What they really fear is machine-gunning politicians becoming a popular sport, like skate-boarding." -Nicolas Freeling

More book suggestions (5.00 / 3) (#153)
by Pallandozi on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:33:16 PM EST

"Screw the roses, send me the thorns."
- Philip Miller and Molly Devon

"The Topping Book" & "The Bottoming Book"
- Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt

[ Parent ]

We need another option on this poll (4.57 / 7) (#148)
by the original jht on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 01:39:37 PM EST

Namely, "No, but really could care less either which way" (were this slashdot, the option would be the "I like to whip CowboyNeal" option).  Because I see it this way:

For every BDSM devotee out there, there's a couple of folks who may be interested, a few who may be revolted, but an overwhelming majority who don't play, but don't really care if others do.  That would be my category, at least.

Just because I'm not interested in playing those sort of games with my spouse (or anyone else, for that matter) doesn't make me opposed to them.  It just means that my boat ain't floated that way.  I do like to believe that we're gradually moving into a society that's open-minded enough that most people are happy to let consenting adults do what they will.

Of course, I could be just horribly optimistic.

Though now that I think of it, perhaps Britney Spears could use a little spanking - c'mere, you little vixen... ;-)

- -Josh Turiel
"Someday we'll all look back at this and laugh..."

or how about ... (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by gauze on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:38:36 PM EST

people who just think it's dopey?


There's nothing wrong with a PC that a little UNIX won't cure.
[ Parent ]

*sigh* As usual, "switch" is ignored. (3.50 / 6) (#150)
by MsWillow on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:07:57 PM EST

With the discussion of D/s, there's a third category, switch, that's usually ignored. I'm a switch, and it took me forever to figure that out, because nobody seems to think of it.

A "switch", as you may guess, is one who plays both Dom/me and sub roles, and enjoys them both. Both have their perks, and I find that, by having been on both ends of the whip, I'm better at each role. I can be a better, safer, more aware Domme, as well as a better, more pleasing sub.

I first learned about switching online, where the vast majority of women I hung out with were subs. Basicly, two subs, together, just doesn't work ... so, going deeper into subspace, I tried being a Domme, because that way, I could bring my partner the pleasure she wanted. I found that I could be so submissive that I was even able to Domme her, because that was what she needed me to do. It worked :)

For me, though, it works best with another like-minded switch/sub. That way, we both switch back and forth, usually several times a night. The "power struggles" for Dominance can get ... interesting ... Sometimes I give in, just to enjoy the other role for a while, and sometimes, I fight for control just to take my "revenge" on my partner for being such an upstart :)

All in all, it's an interesting game, and one that few in "the community" will even mention.

Jeannette
(btw, yes, Patrick Callifia is FtM. Reading his erotica, I could not see any sign that a woman had written it, and when he finally came out aboiut it, I felt vindicated. Gender is between the ears, not between the legs, and between his ears, he's been a guy all along. Mind you, his erotica is still interesting, just not all that exciting for me, a lesbian.)

I'm an impure woman. The impurities, as in gemstones, are what give me color and character.

From the article.... (4.00 / 3) (#164)
by fluxrad on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 04:30:57 PM EST

While many entering the lifestyle will quickly find their niche, others may vary back and forth between one role and the other depending on their mood, partner, and circumstances. They are commonly referred to as "Switches", and are the equivalent of bisexuals in the continuum of D/s.

RTFA.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Oh, Please... (none / 0) (#191)
by RyuMaou on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:02:20 AM EST

You said:
(btw, yes, Patrick Callifia is FtM. Reading his erotica, I could not see any sign that a woman had written it, and when he finally came out aboiut it, I felt vindicated. Gender is between the ears, not between the legs, and between his ears, he's been a guy all along. Mind you, his erotica is still interesting, just not all that exciting for me, a lesbian.)

Now, look, "Pat" has become "Patrick" in recent years, but for the longest time Pat got really pissy about being referred to as a man. When he was a she, she was a bull-dyke and more than a little proud of it. Or, so I'm told by friends of mine that used to hang out with her. Now that she's become a he, there are all kinds of folks saying "See! I told you so!". But, honestly, not even *he* knew it when he was a she. Please, people, get over it.

Sorry, I've just heard a lot about Pat/Patrick lately and it really got on my nerves. Didn't really mean to go off on you in particular.



[ Parent ]
"Subculture" (2.28 / 7) (#151)
by ROBOKATZ on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:16:01 PM EST

This "subculture" elitest bullshit about a fetish is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

SM Pride (5.00 / 6) (#152)
by Pallandozi on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 02:25:29 PM EST

Once a year a group of English BDSMers dress up in
their finest leather; their boots and pony tails
and floggers, and they parade through the streets
of London carrying banners.

It is known as the SM Pride March.

Why do they go to all that effort?  Is it just to
get an "Ooh we're so naughty" vibe?  What are they
protesting about?  What is it about BDSM that they
think there is to be proud about?

I'll tell you.

It is about death and about pain and about
oppression.  It is about a society that would
rather let young men and women die than allow
simple 'how to' safety information to be published.
It is about gay men being sent to jail for
consenting to BDSM play - they called it "aiding
and abbeting grevious bodily harm".  It is about
the joy a couple get when after 30 years
of  marriage they finally talk to each other
and discover what they have been missing.

BDSM is not wrong.  For some people it is just
part of them.  It isn't a fad or a daring statement.
It is just the way they are and it can
be as filled with love as any other way.

That any activity done safely, with free and informed
consent, and with a sane caution as to how it will affect
everyone in the long run, is ok, is a simple
message.  It shouldn't need people marching
on the streets to keep it alive.  Unfortunately
in this case it does.  Because there are a load
of bigoted fuckwits out there.  Because the press
likes a nice juicy sex interest story.  And because
mothers lose their children, teachers lose their
jobs and houses get firebombed when those stories
get published.

http://www.spannertrust.org/documents/spannerhistory.asp

And we'd all go on the march if... (none / 0) (#217)
by Paul Crowley on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:41:52 AM EST

if the fuckers would start it at a reasonable time, rather than 11am! I don't mind travelling from Edinburgh to London to support SM Pride, but the idea I can get my makeup done and costume together in time for an 11am march is silly. Last weekend, as usual, I just headed straight for the festival and proudly shopped for new toys. I'll go on the march as soon as they change the kick-off time to 12pm! It makes you suspect that these days, it's the festival they care about, and the march is just a sideshow that has to be got out the way quickly.
--
Paul Crowley aka ciphergoth. Crypto and sex politics. Diary.
[ Parent ]
In the privacy of your own home (2.72 / 11) (#169)
by Weakon on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:57:25 PM EST

What people do in the privacy of their own homes is still fucking disgusting.

Now that is funny. (none / 0) (#209)
by Zapata on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:14:51 PM EST

It's funny because it's really true. It's the kind of statement that rises above the current topic and is applicable to most everything we do that requires the shades to be drawn or the house to be cleaned before company arrives. +5

"If you ain't got a camel, you ain't Shiite."


[ Parent ]
Terminology (5.00 / 2) (#210)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:05:10 PM EST

I also got a kick out of the way he phrased it. A sexual practice is "fucking" disgusting!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Nuts, I missed that one... (none / 0) (#211)
by Zapata on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:34:14 PM EST

that makes it even better.

"If you ain't got a camel, you ain't Shiite."


[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#230)
by Weakon on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 12:21:43 AM EST

Thanks, I do try to be funny on occasion.

[ Parent ]
Good job, just one thing... (3.00 / 1) (#172)
by Melankolic on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 07:33:01 PM EST

I don't mean to be rude, but it's "Sade", not "de Sade" Good article-- interesting and about a topic that needs to be given more attention...

Author response (5.00 / 6) (#179)
by Bora Horza Gobuchol on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 09:49:02 PM EST

Thank you to everyone who responded to my essay. I must ask your indulgence again in responding to the many points raised - some insightful, some misinformed - in my single post.

I knew when setting out to write it that this essay would be considerably more controversial than my last one, and thus more likely to generate extreme views. I set out with several limits in mind:

  1. The essay would be relatively short - not more than 2500 words. I didn't wish to make the article multi-part (as interesting as that approach might have been), in case one of the parts was voted down, thus ruining the continuity of the piece. My goal was to make the article informative, basic, and brief. For that reason, I couldn't dwell too long on any one topic. .
  2. I did not wish to write an apologia or a defense of D/s. Nor did I wish to give the impression of an elitist "more wicked than thou" tone (which I find rife in the D/s community). Some objected to the term "subculture", but I feel the definition of the term fits D/s perfectly: "an identifiably separate social group within a larger culture, especially one regarded as existing outside mainstream society" .
  3. I knew that some would find the essay distasteful (indeed, there was a suggestion early in the edit process to have the story moved to a section, rather than the front page). I also knew that any warning about its content would meet with its own set of objections. I took the second, safer path - despite which, some posters acted as if they had been forced to read the essay at gunpoint.
The posts that disappointed me most were those that stated that I was trying to make something "special" out of D/s. Of all of these, I felt tumeric's statement the most artfully put - that what I wrote was as pretentious as crafting an essay titled "Homosexuality: A Primer".

In response, I would say that if we were living in the 50's, I would write such an essay, in order to counter the misunderstanding, bigotry, and fear associated with the subject. We are not in that era, fortunately - but I see D/s being handled in our society in much the same way as homosexuality was fifty years ago. The evidence is below me - in those posts that equated, without any proof, that an interest in D/s lay with being abused as a child, much as it was once believed that gay men were "made" by their mothers dressing them in girl's clothes at a young age. Neither belief has any basis in fact (as a purely personal example, neither I nor my partner were abused), yet the belief continues, because it is easier to swallow than the fact that D/s is simply an innate part of some people.

When shining a light into a darkened corner of society, some people run like cockroaches. An attempt to introduce a reasonable, even-handed discussion of homosexuality in classrooms, in order to promote understanding and tolerance (in part by explaining that it's simply a way 10% of the population live their lives) brings screams of "They're teaching homosexuality to our children! What makes gays so special?" Much the same response is visible here.

Similarly, despite being very careful to state that D/s is consensual, some took the approach that somehow a Dom/me takes "advantage" of a sub. It might be useful to make this comparison: if your Significant Other really likes giving oral sex, are you "taking advantage" of her predilection if you let her do it to you? Would you try to force her to do something else, even if it disappointed or frustrated her? Or would you try to work with her? If the latter, how is that different from tying up someone who gets off being bound?

I wish to make it very clear - I am not promoting D/s as the "one true path to orgiastic bliss". I was not attempting to make D/s anything special or revered, nor imposing it on anyone, nor attempting to make it some kind of "umbrella" over kink (the debate over whether infantilism "belongs" as part of D/s, for example, doesn't advance anyone's understanding). I was merely attempting to shine a light.

One factor that could have lead to the "elitist" impression is the fact that I did not give many outside references - possibly making the piece appear monolithic and insular. I thought that the few references I did give would be enough to start anyone on a safe avenue of exploration. Neither did I wish to start an argument about which books belong in a D/s "canon". I am therefore especially grateful to those who came forward with book, group, and resource suggestions.



-- "Don't criticise. Create a better alternative."
Snitch (5.00 / 2) (#184)
by BDSMsnitch on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 01:25:59 AM EST

I am posting this under a bogus account because I don't want anyone figuring out who I am.

The BDSM (or D/s if you prefer) community has some honesty issues to work out. That is not to say that many people (perhaps even most) are not honest but rather a few bad apples spoil the barrel. Let me give you a few examples of people who are active in the local scene that are less than honest.

A high level regular tends to arrange encounters with his doggy for those who play with him, a topic that he does not believe warrants prior disclosure when playing with others. Another regular has a handful of diseases he has contracted over time which he does not bother to disclose (and will outright lie if asked directly), adding insult to injury he flaunts the protected sex practice of most of the community. Yet another regular, who mercifully seems to have vanished lately, has had legal problems in the past with kidnapping, assault, and stalking including prison time. I could list many, many more but the point is made.

The local scene has organized for fifteen years with the typical support group style organization with a couple local clubs with more or less the same faces. Some of them seem to be good people, many of them are trouble with widely varying degrees of severity. It is much harder to tell the difference than it seems at first glance.

My advice is to forget about the scene and stick with screw the roses, send me the thorns while working with knowledgeable people on an individual level. Or keep at the BDSM level and don't sleep with some of those bastards until you have time to learn the dirt. BDSM is a fantastic thing that becomes problematic when mixed with support groups. BDSM remains as safe as it ever was but the "community" also leads you to a high-risk environment for sexually transmitted diseases and mentally defective wannabes.

Have fun out there and keep in mind not everyone is truthful or interested in keeping things safe, sane, and consensual.

I am sure that if the right people read this they could figure out exactly whom I am and whom I am talking about. If you are one of them and this post bothers you, fuck you. This doesn't violate the Discretion Policy so just try and make it an issue of it.

Potential for abuse (none / 0) (#208)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:40:47 PM EST

One problem I see is an obvious potential for abuse. Especially for a newbie sub who doesn't know the ropes (sorry). A slick-talking top might negociate a scene, have the bottom tied & gagged, and then go beyond the negociated scene, perhaps "forgetting" to set up a "safeword" that can be used while the bottom is gagged. Technically, this is as bad in BDSM as it is for "normal" people, but that's not much comfort if you're the one who's being tortured.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Aren't their ways to check out things like that? (none / 0) (#215)
by morkeleb on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:36:13 AM EST

I'm totally naive about this - but you raised a point that crossed my mind when I was reading the article. Namely that as a scene - it would attract some dangerous sorts of individuals. I always assumed that at these clubs and things they ran background checks on people to see if they were registered sex offenders or felons or had any venereal diseases. So I take it that's not a common practice?

I guess I'll keep experimenting with the kinky stuff to just close friends then.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Some further information (5.00 / 2) (#189)
by Nice2Cats on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:37:37 AM EST

Some additions:

"DS" only refers to a subset of sadomasochism, as do "SM" (sadism-masochism, "pain"), and "BD" (bondage-dominance, "tying people up"). It is unfortunate that the original poster decided to use DS instead of "sadomasochism" or the internationally accepted short form "BDSM".

The extreme legal situation described here applies to Great Britian and the U.S. only, where the lack of a constitutional right to privacy and the 18th century trial-by-jury systems generally make life hard on sexual minorities. Sadomasochism is perfectly legal in the Netherlands and Germany as well as in Japan and France. The groups there such as BDSM Berlin e.V. in Germany meet openly and without the fear that is mentioned here. The best overview on the situation in Germany can be found at Datenschlag, which also has an extensive timeline on the history of SM (and, thank God, no popups). The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is fighting to change the situation in the U.S., but faces an uphill battle against Christian fundamentalists.

While we are in Germany: The idea that BDSM is a sign of mental illness goes back to the German proto-psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing. His book Psychopathia sexualis 1886 is now considered an example of how not to do science. The first hard statistical data was collected by another German, Andreas Spengler, in 1979. His Sadomasochisten und ihre Subkulturen showed that sadomasochists were not mentally ill loners like Krafft-Ebing and Freud had assumed, but in fact showed no abnormal behaviour outside of the bedroom.

Later studies have shown that the majority of sadomasochists tend to switch, and differ from the general population only in that they are in average better educated, though this might be a selection basis. Most funding goes to studies of homosexuals, who have a stronger lobby (and, to be fair, have been hit far harder by the AIDS epidemic).

The definitions of Sexual Sadism and Sexual Masochism were changed in the fourth edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association in 1994 so that consensual sadomasochism is not considered a disease today anymore than homosexuality is. There is a major push underway to get it kicked out of ICD-10, too. There are rumours that the "Journal of Homosexuality" is planning an issue on sadomasochism.

The U.S. subculture tends to see switching as a quasi-political question, which is reflected in the original article; in general, American sadomasochists tend to be more dogmatic than their European counterparts, who traditionally have also produced better literature: The classic novel is the French "Story of O" by Pauline Reage. The French have a whole host of philosophers who were sadomasochists, such as Michel Foucault or Jean-Jacque Rousseau. The best prose introduction the subject in any language is from Passig and Strübel "Die Wahl der Qual", which is in German and unfortunately has not been translated to English - it is funny, gives a good overview of the history of the subculture and research. If you read one book on the subject, read this one.



Interesting S&M Practices (none / 0) (#228)
by 2chance on Fri Aug 09, 2002 at 02:02:07 PM EST

I read about a "mistress" who was paid to take her client out into a public place, have a wild argument, and then kick him in the groin full blast with big black leather pumps.

And I've heard that some men like their mistress to administer an electric shock to their penis.

What life events can turn you on to BDSM? (none / 0) (#229)
by 2chance on Fri Aug 09, 2002 at 02:10:24 PM EST

Is one's desire for BDSM caused by nature or nurture?

The Happy Hooker cited a couple possibilities.

She noted that many of her S&M clients were autocratic managers whose jobs involved being very controlling and strict with their employees and that submission was a way of balancing the scales, so to speak. I wonder if there are certain professions where people are more likely to be interested in S&M?

She also noted a story about a man who requested that she dress up as a German SS officer and force him to engage in sexual activities. Apparently the reason this man requested this was because this is how he lost his virginity in a German war camp. Maybe people who were abused when they were young are more likely to be interested in S&M?

BDSM: a sub-culture primer | 230 comments (189 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
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