“You gotta go down deep down into the pain
Let it purge your soul like flesh to a razor blade
Dig down deep into the pain
Surrender, surrender, dig into euphoria”
– Steve Vai, “Deep Down Into the Pain”
“And, what is more, we know how an all-consuming passion for freedom in the world never fails to lead to conflicts and wars which are no less consuming. ”
– Pauline Réage, “The Story of O”
Much ado has been made over recent allegations of sexual abuse versus consensual “rough sex” in a Bondage, Discipline, Sadomasocistic (BDSM) relationship involving a Canadian celebrity.
A lot of people are beginning to talk about BDSM as a sexual practice and not just in a “50 Shades of Grey” sense. Due to this celebrity, the idea that people actually do those things that people read about in bodice rippers is finally being shown as a reality.
Heck stores such as Northbound Leather in Toronto and Dungeon Divas in Hamilton exist for this market!
A lot of commentators and bloggers are waxing poetically, throwing the words “rape culture,” “consensual” and “abuse” around like they are rice at a wedding.
Let it be known that non-consensual violence against another person, regardless of gender is never acceptable no matter what the person perpetrating the violence states. However in a BDSM relationship, rough sexual contact does not necessitate violence against another.
A Christian Feminist blog I read today likened all women in BDSM relationships as being victims of a male dominated rape culture. Many of the women I know who live openly and participate regularly in what could be considered BDSM relationships are educated, powerful and assured women in complete control of their lives. These women would be angered and insulted by this generalization.
The blogger continues to state that BDSM activities are “dehumanizing” and “soul sucking”. She also uses language such as “exploitative,” “evil” “oppression” and “wrong.”
Now I doubt she has actually talked to anyone who engages in BDSM activities and is viewing this type of sexuality through the very tinted lenses of a conservative Christian upbringing. She also is viewing BDSM strictly through a heterosexual view where a male “does things” to a female and again focuses on what she views as abusive violence being perpetrated on another.
Nowhere does she explain her opinion about a female acting dominantly towards a male in a consensual relationship, or in a homosexual relationship where one partner dominates the other. At the same time, she bemoans the pervasive violence in other areas of our culture.
To this end, she should be decrying the violence in Mixed Martial Arts, professional wrestling, football, hockey, television and movies. However these are all “acceptable” forms of physical force to conservative North American views, BDSM sexuality makes people uncomfortable and continues to lie on or outside the boundaries of what is acceptable to cultural norms.
Years ago tattoos and piercings were edgy and unacceptable. Hmmm, something that once looked painful and made people uncomfortable suddenly become mainstream and acceptable.
Yes, I am saying that it is far easier to challenge and criticize the ethics of what is considered to be a fringe extreme than it is to criticize the morality of football or Hollywood action movies.
Just because what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms and homes makes you uncomfortable makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t mean they are wrong. Nor are they perverts, although some of them may gladly accept that title!
And if you read “50 Shades of Grey” its sequels, watch MMA and horror movies and applaud the feminist values of Terri-Jean Bedford and write blogs like those I mentioned above, you just may be a hypocrite.