As someone who has had some

As someone who has had some experience in the BDSM community, I have at best mixed feelings.

I'm not sure where the incredible defensiveness comes from. There is BDSM imagery in advertising, music videos, and movies. There are no raids of BDSM clubs. Kinky folks aren't persecuted for their practices, as gay folks have been and still are.

There are many (apparently) healthy relationships with a D/s dynamic. There are dysfunctional relationships as well, and the dysfunctional relationships can be very scary. There is abuse in the BDSM community, and people inappropriately reliving past abuse experiences. But because the community is so afraid of being painted as abusers, there is very little action.

On the one hand, there's the argument that BDSM D/s is just another style of relationship. That, I think, is true. But why do I so often read how these relationships are better because they are "liberating" or that they are more honest because "all relationships are D/s relationships?" I fully support everyone's right to do what they want in their lives, even if it is sometimes harmful. But I don't buy the poetic bullshit about the merits of D/s over vanilla relationships.

And the author has a point, although it is hardly original: BDSM scenes are often based on patriarchy and experiencing what would be, in another context, acts that would be investigated by Amnesty International. Does that mean that it is a destructive social force? I think not, because it isn't widespread enough to really make an impact. Is it a possibly destructive personal force? I think, from my experience, absolutely, for many people.

To be clear: I am not agreeing with the ultimate conclusion of the article, because I think it doesn't take into account the complexity of human experience or the variety of human interaction. But the question raised is at least worthy of serious consideration.


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