Article about BDSM scene not being any more egalitarian than anywhere else.

(112 Posts)
FastidiaBlueberry Sat 26-Jan-13 19:58:46

I suppose I'm not surprised by this. I don't have anything against BDSM sex per se, but I do think it's absurd to pretend that it's somehow less likely to involve abuse and coercion than any other kind of sex.

article here

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 28-Jan-13 17:09:59

Branleuse, briefly, the trouble with consent as a concept in vanilla sex is that "she didn't say no" (which is what no means no translates to) is such a low baseline. Enthusiastic participation is often seen as a better baseline. If you have gone through lots of details of your scene beforehand, then your participation may well be more likely to be enthusiastic.

(swap he for she above if you so choose)

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 17:39:27

Branleuse, I think the entire concept of consent is problematic - I don't just think it is problematic in the context of BDSM.

It is about framing. And socialization.

BDSM is presented as operating outwith that framing and socialization, when all it really does is fetishize it.

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 17:42:11

Andro that was a great post

JustAHolyFool Mon 28-Jan-13 17:46:06

Is BDSM presented like that, Beachcomber ? I really don't feel it is. I have had a lot of interesting discussions with others into BDSM about the problematic nature of it.

I've also met a lot of people who are not bothered about analysing it at all. And that is also fine. Sometimes I don't want to analyse every single aspect of my life, especially when it comes to sex.

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 17:46:43

Yes it does fetishise it, and I think thats ok. It is still just down to individual relationships. Its not a rule book.

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 18:00:21

Well BDSMers present it like that.

The fetishization of concepts such as consent, submission, dominance, boundaries, violence, abuse, torture, control, humiliation, power, obedience, etc. is very patriarchal. It is a fetishization of the power dynamic of male supremacy and of male supremacist framing.

And yet it is presented as being something unconventional and edgy. BDSM is like patriarchal conservatism taken to an extreme.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 28-Jan-13 18:04:01

Even when it's a man dominating another man?

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 18:15:45

Yes of course.

The concepts are still the same - just it is a man role-playing the oppressed class.

BDSM is a sexual fetishization of female oppression/male supremacy. Having a man play the female role does not change the wider socio-polito-cultural context. It just makes him be playing at and sexually fetishizing female oppression.

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 18:18:29

we are all a product of our society, this is true

Andro Mon 28-Jan-13 18:21:07

The fetishization of concepts such as consent, submission, dominance, boundaries, violence, abuse, torture, control, humiliation, power, obedience, etc. is very patriarchal.

How on earth is it patriarchal when you can be just as easily discussing a Domme and her sub (or two females in a D/s relationship) as a Dom/female sub pairing?

Let me also be very clear on one important point, D/s done right is not about abuse. Abuse starts where a safe word is ignored or where a person has been convinced that they have no right to stop what is happening, at that point the only difference between the abuser who uses BDSM and the abuser in a none BDSM relationship is the mechanism of the abuse.

Andro Mon 28-Jan-13 18:23:42

X-post...and I really don't agree.

Andro Mon 28-Jan-13 18:24:10

^^That was aimed at Beachcomber

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 18:26:37

I said BDSM is the fetishization of abuse.

Although it is very often just plain abuse - as outlined in the article in the OP.

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 18:29:20

Andro - it doesn't matter who is sub or who is dom.

It could be two women.

It is still a (very conformist) fetishization of patriarchal paradigms.

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 18:32:10

some of it is fetishiing matriarchy

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 18:32:32

they just love a bit of something or another-archy

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 18:37:55

What is matriarchy Branleuse?

Where does it exist and how does it manifest in terms of human society, culture and politics? What is its power dynamic, what are its power structures?

What would you say is being sexually fetishized when 'matriarchy' is being fetishized?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 28-Jan-13 18:49:01

Can we get a banner at the top of FWRC saying "One swallows doesn't make a summer and two women don't make a matriarchy"?

Andro Mon 28-Jan-13 18:56:48

When you look at the Mosuo people, the application of true matriarchy is a questionable as a patriarchy is. Female authority is absolute, no male can match it on any issue - it's the direct opposite of the more common patriarchal society.

JustAHolyFool Mon 28-Jan-13 19:05:40

"Well BDSMers present it like that."

Where's your evidence for that massive sweeping generalisation?

Beachcomber Mon 28-Jan-13 19:05:53

Right. So which aspect of Mosuo culture is routinely sexually fetishized in BDSM?

JustAHolyFool Mon 28-Jan-13 19:11:01

"I said BDSM is the fetishization of abuse."

I don't think that's true. It's a very emotive way of putting it.

I see what you're saying about power structures and yes, perhaps it is true. For many, BDSM has really deep roots, even pre-sexual. I enjoyed being tied up from a very young age (as in 5 or 6). And very often, for me, BDSM just feels like messing about, being silly, playing a character, in a way that we don't generally as adults.

It feels like a very sexualised version of the play we took part in as children. Really, most human relationships/dynamics are about power - I'm not sure why sexual practices get the most attention from some in the feminist community.

Andro Mon 28-Jan-13 19:22:38

Right. So which aspect of Mosuo culture is routinely sexually fetishized in BDSM?

The same ones you define as being examples of a fetishist version of patriarchal culture...if you choose to look at BDSM as the fetishization of patriarchy.

The roles in society are just reversed, the female is the power figure and the males have to behave in a certain way to achieve favour. Sexual relations are entirely at the female's discretion with the male having little control. Take that into the BDSM arena and it could be argued that the submissive role is a fetishization of male subservience, with the Dominant taking the role of the authority female - irrespective of gender.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 28-Jan-13 19:28:17

Sexual practices get feminist attention because (a) sex has been/is a way of expressing male power over female and (b) it's a very important part of our lives where typically men and women interact regularly (so the gender pay gap gets more notice than Morris dancing because it affects a wider population of women)

JustAHolyFool Mon 28-Jan-13 19:40:33

Hrm, not sure I'm buying that Doctrine . Yes, men express power over women with sex, that's true. But I think that sexual practices get undue attention really - and I think it's primarily because they are more interesting. For me, it's really the least interesting aspect of feminism, because it is way too emotionally complex for me to look at in a political way. Anyway, sort of off the point of the thread.

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