Friday, July 20, 2012

Darker Shades of Rage

This one gets even more down and dirty, and personal, so proceed with caution friends and relatives.  And faint hearted strangers...

I thought I had gotten all of my rage out in the last post about the 50 Shades phenomenon, but then I saw this...

And then I decided to write a sequel.

It's kind of hard to put my rage into words that wouldn't get bleeped on network television. While I love those words, and use them often, I try to be a little more elevated with my vocabulary on this site. Just know that under all of this is a very heartfelt f*ck you.

The reason this, and the whole 50 Shades thing, makes me so mad is this continued idea that there's something wrong with people who are into bondage and dominance play without the holy sanction of reading these books. Liking to get spanked does not inherently make someone a bad person. Or a mean person. Or in need of a therapist. Or a potentially violent sociopath. It just means that the pain/pleasure centers in our brains play really nicely together. It has virtually no bearing on our moral compasses or our interactions with the world.

Additionally – nothing takes the fun out of a BDSM scene like someone worrying that they're not being “nice” enough. Stopping all the time to question the other person, tentative spanks, and extremely loose knots ruin the illusion and the moment. The pain and the implied danger are what make it fun. Constantly hearing “Oh my god, was that too hard?” does not. That's why you have safe words (or gestures if you're gagged.)

So Shady Ladies, or Wicked Christian's Bitches, or whatever your fandom has named itself, if you do find this new world you've entered into arousing and you want to play in the scene being condescending and judgemental about it is not the way to gain entree. There's quite enough anti-kinkster feeling floating around without people attempting to bring it into the community.

Oh – and to further shatter your illusions- the best place to find men willing to dominate you isn't Wall Street, or in the mythical handsome billionaires club. Generally those guys are the ones keeping all the professional lady-doms in business. The best place to find the guys willing to tie you down and spank you – Renaissance Faires and Sci-Fi Conventions. That's right ladies- those Star Trek nerds you mocked in high school, they're the ones with the best dungeons and toys. In fact last week at Comic-Con I can guarantee you that hotel rooms across San Diego were host to scenes of Batman tying up Wonder Woman and flogging her until she invoked the safe word. (Which was probably Superman. Nothing takes the power out of little Batman like hearing the name of that Kryptonian goody-two-shoes.) So run with that image next time you pick up your “naughty” books.

I realize I've devoted a lot of space to these books, and over-shared about my own personal life, but I really feel strongly about the things I brought up here. Growing up in a fairly conservative area and knowing that the women who led the pack in a lot of slut-shaming and pearl clutching are now shelling out cash for these books and acting like they discovered BDSM is pretty insulting and hypocritical. I've had these women ask me why I would ever want to read The Sexual Life of Catherine M, or inform me that the library would never stock something like Juliette. And clearly, from the title of the companion book I just presented, there is still a stigma attached to my interests. That somehow because I came into my kinks pre-Gray they're still evil and wrong, because I didn't go about it in the majority-approved fashion. And sometimes choking on hypocrisy makes me really angry.

I'll close once again by saying that if these books do actually open up some honest and non-judgemental dialog about sex and kinks and pleasure that will be great. Unfortunately I just don't see that happening. But what do I know? According to the Macleods, I'm not a nice person.