Article about BDSM scene not being any more egalitarian than anywhere else.(112 Posts)
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.
Interesting musings snowshapes.
I agree with you snowshapes. I find the use of 'slave' situations or torture or anything military/nazi absolutely horrifying . Do these people have no respect?
And it is all so rapey. (When it isn't actually rape)
Nine Deuce wrote some good articles on the subject of BDSM a while back.
What she writes about the men who wanted to do BDSM with her is very revelatory of the mind-set.
I mean BDSM is presented as subversive when there is nothing subversive about it at all. It is horribly conformist.
It kind of makes more sense that a man, used to power, might give up his socially dominant position for sexual kicks, but exercising it? I do find that problematic.
I read that there fewer women are keen to be dominant IRL, which is why there's such a pay to play thing for submissive men.
However, there are dominant women - and do you have a problem with that because they are ... what, imitating a M/F power dynamic and supporting it as valid?
Is this a bit about what is a truly valid choice for women, and do they have agency to make that choice?
I'm quoting someone else here but this says it for me;
BDSM is the fetishisation of the power differential that exists between men and women. It is a patriarchal practice and as such, deserves scrutiny from a feminist perspective.
No one is saying you cant engage in it if you want to, and no one is saying you dont really really enjoy it. But feminist it is not. Its getting off on your own disenfranchised position in society, and dont expect feminists to not say so.
Have read, will come back and comment at a sensible hour
hi, I realise there have been many other things going on on this board, but I have been thinking about this, and said I would come back to your comments.
Beachcomer, I read the blog, thank you. I tend to agree with the analysis, but the sample were self-selecting in so far as it is people who were involved enough or interested enough to seek out an ad and respond. I'm wondering about the many people who get involved in their own homes and relationships and don't need to seek out a partner.
One More Chap, my initial response, which I didn't get around to posting, to your question ' do you have a problem with that [F/m, M/m, I presume] because they are ... what, imitating a M/F power dynamic and supporting it as valid?' - was no, I have a problem with it because it is violence. But then when Beachcomer mentioned BDSM being 'rapey', it clicked that this is my main issue with M/f.
To the question of agency, I always find this a difficult one. Everyone can exercise agency, even in the most degraded and poor circumstances. The point is about the circumstances and context in which agency is exercised and what it means on various levels.
And questioning whether it is a valid choice turns the debate around, because if you say, no, I don't think so, it sounds like you are denying women a choice or doing down the choices they do make. I would question what that choice actually means, how much of an informed, self-aware choice it really is at an individual level, but far more, my issue would be with a man (because it is mainly men) who makes the choice to hit and sexually degrade a woman for pleasure, however that pleasure is defined.
So, yes, late back to this, but something I have been thinking about for various reasons.
Yes, there are some abusive people to be found on the BDSM scene. But I would really struggle to name any kind of social group or hobby group that could be absolutely guaranteed free from predators, bullies, manipulators and people with harmful-to-others personality disorders. (I have direct experience of individual radical feminists being thoroughly unpleasant...)
BDSM is something that some people are very interested in and others not interested in at all (except, in some cases, being very interested in condeming and preventing it). It's something I've been involved in for 20 years; I'm a dominant, not a submissive and my understanding of the submissive(male or female) mindset is not from direct experience. However, some people I have talk to like the escapism aspect, others like the challenge aspect, others still are into the physical sensations. (Why do some people like extreme sports or rollercoaasters or horror films, for example?).
Mind you, FWIW and this is only a personal assessment: over about the last 10-12 years the number of male dickheads appearing on the scene and appearing to use 'Oh it's BDSM' as a justification of abuse seems to have increased. However, conversely, the growth of the scene via websites and chatrooms and discussion forums has also led to people being able to reach out to one another so that a woman being abused by a nasty 'male dom' can be advised by other people that he is a dickhead and she can LTB, without a whole load of additonal judgmental scaremongering that percieves BDSM itself as the problem.
"Yes, there are some abusive people to be found on the BDSM scene. But I would really struggle to name any kind of social group or hobby group that could be absolutely guaranteed free from predators, bullies, manipulators and people with harmful-to-others personality disorders."
Indeed. But then your last paragraph pretty much explains what's special about BDSM--that the whole setup lets some people dominate over others, and so a man who genuinely hates women might join in, thinking he has free rein (Hah!) to put his ideas into action. "We're not like that really" may be true, but it's not a game I'd want to play. Too many reminders of people's worst side.
Sgb but other social groups don't involve acting out the abusive behaviour. Anyway surely the scene is a magnet for abusers?
Not particularly. Over my 20 years or so of involvement, I have found most people to be non-abusive and decent human beings. I've heard it said (though have no data handy) that the percentage of abusers on the scene is about the same as off the scene. After all, plenty of abusers have no interest in BDSM whatsoever.
It's also worth bearing in mind that a lot of us reasonable human beings on the scene deplore abuse as much as non-BDSM people do, and that we act to help people who are being abused. As someone said upthread, if you are pestered or assaulted against your wishes in a BDSM club, it's usually easy to get your attacker reprimanded and evicted from the premises, whereas in a 'straight' nightclub the bouncers tend not to want to know.
AFAIK if someone doesn't stop at the first sign of the sub using a safeword, that person will very quickly lose any potential partners as ignoring safewords is not tolerated.
Having said that you shouldn't put yourself in a situation with someone you don't trust. Just like with anything else. And why the assumption we're all into pain? I may be a sub but pain really doesn't enter into it for me and God help anyone who doesn't respect that. I'm not there to be abused.
Sometimes I think I have more power as a sub. After all, you have to be willing to give up power and can just as easily take it back if I choose!
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