How many more Eric Schneidermans and Jian Ghomeshis before we stop pretending violence is sex?

How can we claim to oppose abuse, while simultaneously presenting it as “sexy”?

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Back in October 2014, just after the CBC announced it would be dropping Jian Ghomeshi — the public broadcaster’s star — the radio host himself published a defense against accusations of abuse. Ghomeshi claimed he had “always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom” but that he “only participate[s] in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners.” He explained that he and a woman he was seeing had begun “engaging in adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance, and submission” and that they discussed their sexual “interests,” “safe words,” and “comfort levels” at length “before engaging in rough sex (forms of BDSM).” Ghomeshi played coy (after accusing the woman in reference of petty jealously, claiming the accusations were about nothing more than revenge after having been rejected), declining to offer further details, as “it is truly not anyone’s business what two consenting adults do,” adding, “sexual preferences are a human right.”

At the time, I found this all to be immediately revealing. Ghomeshi had clearly and intentionally adopted the language of the third wave “sex positive movement,” which claims that anything related to “sex” is beyond critique if “chosen” and “consented to,” even violence. To me, this demonstrated the trouble with our modern conversation around — and obsession with — “consent,” as well as the notion that violence and abuse can be “consensual.” People consent to all sorts of things that aren’t healthy and that are even quite dangerous, and it doesn’t necessarily make those things ok. That “sex” is considered a protected category is something worth interrogating.

This week, we are revisiting the notion of “consensual violence” yet again, after four women alleged that New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, abused them. Two of the women — Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam — claimed they had been “choked and hit repeatedly” by Schneiderman, and another said she had been “violently slapped across the face.” A fourth woman says that he slapped her across the face after she rejected his advances.

In response to these allegations, Schneiderman said:

“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”

Sound familiar?

Now, where might men have gotten the idea that slapping or choking a woman is acceptable so long as it can be construed as “sexual”? There is of course the obvious: mainstream media has long presented violence against women as titillating, offering gruesome scenes of rape and murder shot via the male gaze, and pornography has increasingly offered up every imaginable humiliation and pain as masturbatory material. But there is more: even women, we are told, watch and enjoy this, making it normal, harmless, and even empowering (we are “choosing” it, after all).

Truly, this was the most compelling and convincing argument — the one provided by women claiming to be feminist, who insist that violence, “games” of domination and subordination, scenarios and costumes emulating (and sexualizing) slavery and the kind of torture so-called witches were subjected to, and misogynist degradation were fun and exciting ways to “explore your sexuality,” and could very easily be “feminist” so long as we said so.

Indeed, it was this message that provided men with the golden ticket.

How could a man who enjoyed beating, choking, dehumanizing, and torturing women possibly be considered “feminist” or an ally? Easy: if the woman in question consented. He was in fact just helping her become more open-minded and in touch with her own repressed desires.

Like Ghomeshi, Schneiderman had painted himself as something of a feminist, speaking out loudly in support of the #MeToo movement and against Harvey Weinstein. The National Institute for Reproductive Health honoured him as one of their “Champions of Choice” at its annual fund-raising luncheon this month. When he accepted the award, Schneiderman said, “If a woman cannot control her body, she is not truly equal.” He introduced a bill making life-threatening strangulation a grave crime and criminalizing “an intent to impede breathing” — two forms of violence that abusive men commonly engage in, but that are often ignored, right up until those men kill their female partners.

I’ve written about the trouble with “male feminists” before, having learned the hard way that men who go out of their way to announce their “feminism” are almost always smarmy creeps. They are too-often manipulators and abusers, specifically glomming on to “feminism” as a means to justify talking over and at women, dominating conversations and weaseling their way into sexual relationships with those who don’t yet know any better.

To be clear, I am not naive about the fact that many of our personal behaviours and desires do not match our ethics and politics. Women who are feminist have not been socialized any differently than any other woman. We all live with contradictions and have likely struggled for years with attractions to assholes and desire or enjoyment of sexual practices that are far from egalitarian or respectful of our humanity. I don’t expect whatever might be considered perfection from myself or from any other woman in that regard.

Feminism is a practice, not a personality.

But there is a difference between feeling turned on by a thing that doesn’t align with your politics or ethics and advertising that thing as empowering, or claiming it is beyond critique because you “chose it” or “like it.” At no point is “liking” a thing a political defense.

As it always does when stories like this come out (as evidenced by numerous pieces responding to Ghomeshi’s self-defense), we are now seeing the “BDSM community” speak out to clarify that what Schneiderman did is in no way associated with what they do. In The Guardian, Susan Wright writes:

“As a member of the BDSM community, I think it’s important to clarify the difference between rough sex and assault. In today’s post-50 Shades world, we all know there are many people who enjoy kinky sex and they like being called names or roleplaying. So you can’t judge the difference between rough sex and assault based on the behavior itself. The way you determine the difference is consent.”

She also explains that you can tell whether something is “consensual or abusive” by asking if you can stop what’s happening. “As soon as someone wants to end the activity, it must stop, otherwise it’s assault,” Wright explains. But in fact this is not true. In Canada, you cannot consent to an assault that causes bodily harm (much to the chagrin of BDSM enthusiasts). This makes a lot of sense, because the notion that a person could consent to abuse is a dangerous one. If we put this in the context of an abusive husband, for example, does a woman’s choice to stay in the relationship, knowing he beats her, constitute “consent”? If a man is able to get his wife to sign a contract stating that his abuse was ok with her, should he not be culpable?

My unapologetically judgemental opinion is that a man who gets off on beating, degrading, or abusing women is not a man who truly believes in women’s humanity. I’ll go a step further: a man who enjoys hurting women is a dangerous man. I can’t imagine deriving sexual pleasure from intentionally harming another person. It is (prude alert!) sick.

What women want from men in bed is very much enmeshed with the circumstances that have surrounded them for their entire lives. We learn to be attracted to dominant men and to put up with disrespectful behaviour, to the point that we don’t even see it as such. We stay with abusive men, because we learn to be (and want to be!) compassionate, and because we are told and tell one another that men simply can’t control themselves sometimes. We are accustomed to behaviour that should be unacceptable, but that is fully normalized. We teach ourselves to enjoy practices that harm us, or, at very least, don’t help us. We have all sexualized inequality and sexual practices that, generally, serve men, but not women.

As feminists, is is our responsibility to push back — to question and challenge our own beliefs and behaviours — but as the group of people capable of hurting, harming, and even killing women (and who too often act on that ability), it is men who are responsible for not engaging in this behaviour and in these practices. Even if she tells you it’s ok.

To be clear, none of the women Schneiderman abused asked for his violence, or told him it was ok. Based on the account relayed to The New Yorker by Manning Barish, who was in a relationship with Schneiderman, on and off, for a few years, he was abusive in every way possible — emotionally, psychologically, and physically — certainly the abuse was not limited to “sex.” It was just regular old abuse. He would get drunk and threaten and beat her, he would pick at her self-esteem and condescend to her, and he exhibited controlling behaviours.

Selvaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, was in a relationship with Schneiderman for more than a year. She characterized him as a “sexual sadist” and told The New Yorker that he would tell her “to call him Master” and slap her until she did. He beat her regularly during sex. She added, “He started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property.’” Selvaratnam tried to rationalize the abuse, telling herself she could take it if it was only happening during sex. But, she said, “the emotional and verbal abuse started increasing,” and “the belittling and demeaning of me carried over into our nonsexual encounters.”

While, as a society, we claim to agree this behaviour is wrong, we, at the same time, have determined it is potentially sexy. Fifty Shades of Grey is a prime and easy example of the way we, as a culture, sexualize men’s controlling behaviour and abuse, but this trend did not begin in Hollywood.

What message does pornography send, if not that women actually enjoy being hurt and degraded. That they like being called “whores,” “sluts,” dirty bitches” and worse. That they like being face-fucked, being slapped, and being “pounded” in every orifice, by numerous men. The very explicit idea behind BDSM is one sexualizing the “master-slave” relationship, and embedded within it’s history and practice are racist and misogynist themes.

Schneiderman very clearly internalized all these messages — the ones men masturbate to daily. The ones we are told can be liberatory. “You’d really be surprised,” Schneiderman told one terrified and shocked woman, who he had slapped across the face. “A lot of women like it. They don’t always think they like it, but then they do, and they ask for more.”

The fact that we use “sex” as an excuse for violence reveals some very dark truths about our culture. We are told abuse is wrong in one context, but that once an erection is involved, it ceases to be abuse — it becomes “kink,” “play,” “fantasy,” and “fetish.” We all know who this narrative really benefits — indeed, men know it better than anyone.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • lk

    LOVE this entire article…especially the “prude alert!”…

    My favorite paragraph though:
    “What women want from men in bed is very much enmeshed with the circumstances that have surrounded them for their entire lives. We learn to be attracted to dominant men and to put up with disrespectful behaviour, to the point that we don’t even see it as such. We stay with abusive men, because we learn to be (and want to be!) compassionate, and because we are told and tell one another that men simply can’t control themselves sometimes. We are accustomed to behaviour that should be unacceptable, but that is fully normalized. We teach ourselves to enjoy practices that harm us, or, at very least, don’t help us. We have all sexualized inequality and sexual practices that, generally, serve men, but not women.”

    Yessss!!! Can we please, please stop acting like what we enjoy sexually is not shaped heavily by the culture we live in? We are exposed to conversations, images that shape how we think from the time we are born. Does it really make sense to claim that women are just born with a desire to be humiliated during sex? No.

    The bulk of bdsm is primarily about men dominating women..I bet you guys like Schneiderman would not be okay with his female partner calling him names or hitting/choking or slapping him.

    On one article where FC was criticizing BDSM & Porn, there was a WOC defending it and explaining that she was very sheltered as a child, not exposed to sex/sexual things but was turned on by fantasies of the KKK/raceplay. She was arguing that her desires were not shaped or influenced by larger culture.

    WTF? There is no biological reason for a POC to be aroused by racial slurs.

    I find it really strange that BDSM’ers defend sexualized violence and racism SO HARD and have the nerve to call it empowering and liberating.

    Violence is not sexy. Slavery is not sexy. Racism is not sexy. Let’s stop pretending it is.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks, sister!

  • lk

    Yes, to all this!

    “I’m vanilla. It’s fine.”

    Welcome to the club sister! I don’t like the term vanilla though…I feel like bdsmer’s use it as an insult…like we are boring for not being into violence or that nonviolent sex is boring.

    I like to think of us as normal and healthy.

    Sex is already exciting and fun….Nazi costumes/name calling and whatever else bdsm comes up with does not add to the joy of sex, it takes away from it.

  • Clotilde

    Be proud of being “vanilla”, own it. Let your vanilla flag fly.

    For some reason, “kinky” people just can’t stand for it; and try to invalidate you.

    Weird how wanting sex to be about what feels good and pleasurable, is now the new frigid.

  • I miss the days when you could straight up consent to being a chattel slave, which was of course a legitimate form of slavery no doubt actually good for people with insurmountable debts, unlike being kidnapped into slavery. /sarcasm, but only the first part of that sentence. Selling yourself into slavery *was* considered ethical slavery.

    • Kathleen Lowrey

      I read a fascinating book called _The Kindness of Strangers_ by John Boswell that discussed how common the practice of selling one’s own children into slavery was in Ancient Rome: it was the best option for really poor parents in times of famine, and sometimes parents would try to get the kids back later. It really was “good” under the circumstances (the alternative being your kids starving to death, and you too) but of course it wasn’t dressed up in some kind of ridiculous language of happy individual empowerment. It was straightforwardly: some people have everything, you have nothing, here’s what you do as a consequence.

  • Kathleen Lowrey

    Twisty Faster had a great line about “cornball” apologias for BDSM. That’s it exactly — the most retrograde, corny fantasies repackaged as edgy queer avant-garde what have you.

    I do think there is a funny way in which choicey liberal (the “BDSM community”, lol, like they have a curbside recycling policy and annual bbq) nonsense is self-destructive. The very mainstreaming of 50 Shades of Gray or the way this highly-publicized scenario (old white dude? with younger brown woman? having a slave fantasy? explain to me again the part that would totally blow my conventional mind?) is on the one hand extremely depressing. On the other, it contributes to the erosion of its own plausibility as something far too hip for mere squares.

  • Americus91

    Great article. Yes, when it comes to sex between two consenting adults – it’s not really anyone’s business. But really, if it comes to sexual sadism thrill seeking and masochistic sexual thrill seeking then it seems to me that important conversations must take place. And if people are being physically harmed to the point of needing medical care – then it does become other people’s business.

    Agreed upon safe words and what kind of kink you enjoy – and consent isn’t enough. What about discussion of the why’s underneath it all. Why does one have a sadistic streak and where does it come from? Why does one have masochistic streak? Is it their a lack of sex education in these areas or is it more a “Shhh we don’t want to go there, that’s not what we’re looking for?” It’s not as much fun perhaps if we look deeper into the human psyche? Because that would make each player in the game —human!

    I recall a movie I saw some time ago with Don Cheadle. I can’t remember the name of the movie but I found it really interesting. It was about a woman who had been gang raped as a teen and of course suffered severe trauma. I believe she became a famous or semi-famous singer? Cheadle’s character truly loved her – the beautiful mess she was – psychic wounds and all – and seemed to have to constantly save her from herself. She couldn’t enjoy sex – meaning orgasm – without reproducing the trauma in some way – on HER terms. So in the movie she was always picking up strange men, needing two or more at the time, then directing them what to do to her sexually.

    I have often wondered how much truth is there in this theory. Or is it yet another way to manipulate women into staying stuck in abusive patterns? Telling them it’s “empowering” vs. healing the trauma and re-learning to want and desire more healthy relationship and sexual patterns?

    I guess actually informing people, whether male or female to really do serious self reflection on their sexual desires and where they may stem from, where did the seeds that were planted come from exactly – is too big of an ask.

    So many people willing to actually do taboo things – yet so many shun actually talking about it in a real and significant way.

    And yes, this most certainly seems to benefit men way more than it benefits women- if at all.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ah, FC should do bumper stickers….

  • Hekate Jayne

    It comes down to the belief that we, as women, are in a default state of consent. And it is on us to prove that we did not consent.

    In other words, we have to prove that we DIDN’T do something.

    How do we do that? How do we prove that we DIDN’T consent?

    If we can prove that we didn’t consent, then we are protected. But we can never prove that we didn’t do something.

    Males say that we are in a default state of consent. Out alone? Consent. Drinking? Consent. Going back to his apartment for coffee? Consent. Smiling at him? Well, obviously, if you are smiling at him, that is the signal to go so CONSENT.

    Even if we say no, we don’t say it loud enough, so CONSENT.

    In every interaction with every male, we are in a default state of consent. ALL OF US. Including little girls, women in a coma, dead women. All of us.

    Males create the rules and laws. The law says that we have to consent. Males say that we consent. That is how it works because that is how it is supposed to work.

    • When consent is women’s default state, calling rape “sex without consent” functions the same as calling murder “suicide without consent”.

      • Meghan Murphy

        ^^^

      • Hekate Jayne

        I saw one of the 2nd wave feminists talking about this on youtube, I wish I could remember which one it was. But she was saying that calling rape “sex without consent” is a minimalization of rape and that males are manipulating their language to make rape seem not so bad. Or like we are somehow participating in rape, by withholding consent.

        She said that if you can’t understand this concept, imagine yelling “help, I am having sex without consent” as opposed to “help, I am being raped”.

        This is why language is so important. And incidentally, why I will never use “preferred” pronouns. Males are the original evil innovators of getting an inch and forcibly taking a fucking mile.

        Males really think that they can manipulate and change reality just by saying it is whatever they say it is. They think that repeating an obvious lie will make it the truth. Because they are stupid. And batshit crazy.

        • Jani

          I can’t stand the phrase “non consensual sex”. It’s rape.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “It’s kind of like being aware and appalled by our diet obsessed fat-shaming culture, yet still looking at myself in the mirror and feeling horrible about my body not living up to the impossible Hollywood beauty standard.”

    Yes!

    I’ve had numerous friends say that I shouldn’t hate my body or feel bad about my body because ‘you’re a feminist.’ Like, wtf?!?! I’m a feminist so I’m not influenced by the woman-hating culture around me?? It’s so ridiculous to me — this idea that feminists have ‘perfect’ brains, and don’t struggle with the same issues all women do. Gawd.

    • Tobysgirl

      The difference is that feminists don’t just sit passively by and accept that they hate their bodies and love gross men. Just being aware of these grotesque cultural norms is the first step in rejecting them.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The disconnect, even from so many ‘feminist’, is shocking, isn’t it…

    • OldPolarBear

      After all the awfulness in the New Yorker story of the descriptions, the sickening details, there was this:

      After the former girlfriend ended the relationship, she told several
      friends about the abuse. A number of them advised her to keep the story to herself, arguing that Schneiderman was too valuable a politician for the Democrats to lose. She described this response as heartbreaking.

      I can only try to imagine how that felt. It doesn’t say whether those friends were men, women, or some of each, but I’ll bet they all would have said they were “feminist” or “allies.” Liberal feminists, maybe. Every time I think I can’t despise liberals any more than I do, there’s something that makes it worse.

      I will say, however, that I didn’t hear this kind of argument being made loudly and publicly as much as with Al Franken. If that’s the case, there could be several reasons for it. Maybe there’s a change in attitude for the better since then, a realization that such arguments are despicable and morally repugnant? Or maybe Schneiderman just wasn’t as much of a household name, nationally.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Imagine ANYONE on the left (the Democrats aren’t really ‘left,’ but putting that aside….) saying that about a woman! Considering the eagerness with which they purge us from politics….

      • shy virago

        You’re absolutely right! Reminds me of Bill Clinton years ago. And Julian Assange,
        who Jill Stein of the Green Party in the U.S. calls a hero, and was the keynote speaker via skype at their National Convention in 2016.

  • susannunes

    It’s not just a crock, it is deviancy, a sexual perversion. Furthermore, assault is a crime.

  • Cassandra

    She ruined mine, too. 🙂

  • Hekate Jayne

    My husband and I have great sex that doesn’t involve PIV and hasn’t for several years.

    So, I might be the prudiest of the PRUDES, the vanillaiest of the vanilla, the most sex hatey of the sex haters.

    Also, he hasn’t ever hit me, for any reason. We all know this because he is still walking the earth. With all of his teeth.

  • Hekate Jayne

    It is poisonous patriarchal thinking.

    It is the “thought process” that I see dudes around me using all of the time, the rugged individualism, pull yourself up by your boot straps, your circumstances are all your own fault.

    When unemployment was in the double digits, male government kept cutting the benefits because lazy people were just refusing to work. The majority of food stamp recipients work full time, meaning that corporations are using government money to subsidize low wages, but male government says that we need to stop giving poor people food because they are lazy.

    It’s ALL choice. To the males that have all of the money and power, they lie and call it choice, even as they know that we don’t have a choice in many cases. As if I am choosing, right now, to not purchase a mansion. I am choosing to not have a million dollars.

    Males mistakenly believe that we have no choice. There are most definitely choices that we can make that will bypass them completely and/or protect ourselves. And their murderous, abhorrent behavior is quickly insuring that we are going to start choosing behaviors that will bring us some safety and peace.

    • lk

      “It is poisonous patriarchal thinking.”

      It truly is and it creates a world where we are upset with the wrong people.

      Instead of being angry with companies that make profits in the millions and billions for paying their employees low wages, we are angry with these employees for using welfare or for accepting the work.

      Instead of being angry with men for raping women, we criticize women for not avoiding rape.

      Instead of being angry with powerful men for using their position and influence to abuse women, we criticize women for not being “strong enough” to avoid abuse.

      Its mindboggling how we empathize with the abusers instead of the abused…On the fc story about incels, I was sort of frustrated how many people were feeling sorry for men like Alek. Because it just highlights how much we have been encouraged to side with the people inflicting harm, when we ought to be on the side of victims.

      Its ridiculous.

  • Tobysgirl

    And this is why I like dogs and cats and horses. Both of my new rescued dogs have been hit — one with sticks, the other with hands — and it’s the last thing they want to experience again. They just want love and tenderness and understanding. We are a really screwed up species in wanting to repeat the traumas we’ve undergone.

    • Hanakai

      Bless you. I hold in the highest esteem those who help the non-human animals.

      I love and have learned much from cats and dogs and whales and birds and ants and beetles and squirrels and mountain lions and gorillas and salmon and bears.

      “We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.” ~William Ralph Inge

  • Tobysgirl

    Yes, I have never understood the idea that violence is in the least sexy. It is the opposite of sexy, it’s the biggest turnoff in the world for a normal human being.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I don’t know what my sexuality would look like if I had been left to myself and what I might like or not like. How could any of us possibly know that?

    You and I were raised very similarly. You know what I mean when I tell you that my body was never mine. Any thought that I ever had, even way back as a little girl, even just innocuous thoughts, about climbing a tree was met with some adult reminding me DON’T GET DIRTY, DIRTY IS NOT VERY LADY LIKE. Or running, because running isn’t dainty.

    As a teen, dancing, which even though I am pretty sure that I really liked, was met with reminders that dancing can be slutty and make a male think dirty thoughts, and we don’t want to be responsible for making boys lust, you know. And only lesbians like sports, surely, you don’t want to play sports because those girls are manish, and boys don’t like unfeminine girls.

    I don’t know who or what I am. Not really. Like all of us, I have spent the entirety of my life as a woman adjusting to, out running, avoiding, living with male dominance and violence.

    That is not a life of any kind of choosing. Seeking peace and safety is a full time pursuit. And when I secure a little temporary peace for myself, I can’t know about the other women that are suffering in ways that I can’t even imagine and have any real enjoyment. Because they are me. Or you. They are all of us.

    Women are robbed of being individuals. Males steal that and then blame us for it. I am holding onto the hope that they may be a little bit human.

    But I am not holding my breath.

  • Erin

    There’s no way to know whether women would still enjoy kink in a society without misogyny, because we don’t get the chance to find out. But regardless of where they originate, if you act on your desires in a way that isn’t harming you or people around you, there’s no reason to deprive yourself of pleasurable, respectful kinky sex or to feel ashamed of your desire for it. I know I feel bored and frustrated without it!

    There’s an important distinction between pain and harm, and between dominance games and actual domination.

  • Adam King

    The problem with this analysis is that “vanilla sex” is an abrahamic invention. It demands hetero sex between married people and forbids any pleasure on the part of the woman. Taking any sort of pride in being “vanilla” is really just being proud to be a pawn of the abrahamic oppressors. Instead, realize that sex is a direct expression of the person’s identity. If you critique their sexual expression you are critiquing their very identity and questioning that identity’s right to live.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Sex is not ‘a direct expression of a person’s identity’. What a moronic thing to say.

    • Hanakai

      Dude, I do not have time now to write a full treatise on the meanings of the word sex.

      But you do need to be straightened out. Sex is first of all a physical characteristic determined by the chromosome set dealt by chance and Nature.

      Sex as you seem to be using the term refers to a behavior. The behavior is generally engaged in while unclothed and often in horizontal position and privacy. You get the idea, yes?

      Sexual orientation is not an identity, but a characteristic based on which sex or sexes to whom one is attracted.

      Some would say that sexual orientation is a component, or facet, of one’s identify. But identity is much larger than one’s sexuality. We are humans, we have physicality, mentality, emotionality, creativity, spirituality, activity, reflectivity, we contain multitudes.

      Only a man, whose whole universe resides in the penis and its business, could think that one’s sex or sexual expression is his “very identity.”

    • lk

      “If you critique their sexual expression you are critiquing their very identity and questioning that identity’s right to live.”

      Are you suggesting that we should not question sexual expression? Sex, like anything else in society, is and should be open to criticism.

      “Taking any sort of pride in being “vanilla” is really just being proud to be a pawn of the abrahamic oppressors.”
      Enjoying sex that is free of violence and degradation has nothing do with abrahamic oppressors.

      • Topazthecat

        I guess chocolate sex is violent woman-hating male dominated sick,harmful sh*t!

    • susannunes

      No such thing as “Abrahamic.” That is a b.s. phrase created by morons trying to be “inclusive” of three separate religions that Abraham had NOTHING to do with creating. Furthermore, BDSM is a sexual perversion, totally deviant, and completely anti-sex. Violence is not “love,” it is a CRIME. Sex is not an “identity.”

      • Topazthecat

        Not to mention that religons are sexist,woman-hating male dominated institutions based on the same sexist,woman-hating myths and lies that men’s other sexist,woman-hating male dominated institutions are based on like pornography,psychiatry,literature etc etc

    • marv

      Theological and sexual identities are both fake. God doesn’t exist and neither does internal essence.

    • M. Zoidberg

      Who the fuck are you, Adam? You’ve been spraying your dicklogic all over the place recently, and now you’ve become a bore.

      >>“”vanilla sex” is an [A]brahamic invention

      ^Citation Needed

  • Meghan Murphy

    How does the sexualization of domination, subordination, racism, misogyny, and violence help women, as a whole?

  • Hanakai

    Erin writes of being: “safely and respectfully tortured and controlled.”

    Safely tortured is surely an oxymoron if I have ever heard one.

    Sorry, something happened to you that got some wires crossed. I continue to observe that healthy organisms seek pleasure and to avoid pain.

    People gravitate toward those who are like them. Intellectuals hang out with intellectuals. Addicts hang out with other addicts. People who are damaged in certain ways find other whose are similarly or dovetailedly damaged.

    No one is stopping you from taking or inflicting pain. No one is trying to erase you. But the reality is a normal happy healthy organism seeks pleasure and to avoid pain. If you think pain is pleasurable, something is mis-wired in your psyche and/or neuroanatomy. You are free to do as you please, but seriously stop whining about erasure and trying to normalize the pathological. Most women do not want painful sex, they do not want men trying out or demanding painful sexual practices from them, they do not want a generation of men being taught that perversions and sado-masochism are normal behaviors to be expected. All you do by whining and publicizing is endanger other women and put other women in more danger of violence from sex partners.

  • Unree

    Shakespeare (no liberal or leftist) put your point brilliantly in Romeo and Juliet: “My poverty, but not my will, consents,” said the Apothecary to Romeo in Act V.

  • lk

    How can someone be safely and respectfully tortured?

    Torture by definition is unsafe and disrespectful.

    “You’re not doing women like me any favors by trying to erase my sexuality and agency”

    This article is not erasing anyone’s agency or sexuality..it is making a criticism of bdsm as a practice.

  • susannunes

    Violence isn’t “love.” Beating somebody to be sexually gratified is a perversion. I will judge you, and it is a perversion. We need to bring that word back, plus shame people who think sex perversions are okay. This is the type of sex serial killers and sexual sadists prefer. You are out of your mind.

  • JProf

    On the issue of consent:

    The brilliant Catharine MacKinnon has pointed out the multiple problems with the concept of “consent” as the standard for adjudicating claims of sexual assault and rape, and she has proposed that a better standard would be the concept of “coercion.” Her proposal comes from a video that I’ll link to below.

    In the video, she talks about how consent is basically rendered meaningless in the legal system and how it also puts the victim/survivor on trial. She makes a great analogy between the implicit assumption of the “consent of the governed” in modern democracies and the assumption of consent on the part of women who are sexually assaulted and raped. She says that in our current society, which is “saturated” with pornography, “a lead pipe over your head can sincerely be believed to produce consent to sex.” And what’s most relevant to this discussion: she states that “it is no surprise that the ‘rough sex defense’ has become increasingly used and effective.”

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrijeaqc04A (It’s a short video that is well worth watching, and as usual, MacKinnon is a great speaker/lecturer.)

  • marv

    ‘You’re not doing women like me any favors by trying to erase my sexuality and agency…’

    BDSM erases women’s sexuality and agency. Pleasurable violence is born from patriarchy.

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    True true! I don’t mean to say it should be ok or acceptable that we hate our bodies, as women, but more that, if I’m honest, there is stuff about my body I don’t like (I actually didn’t have too many body issues for much of my adult life, so I feel a bit lucky in that regard… Getting older is a bit tough, though), and the idea that because I’m a feminist, that would all be magically resolved, strikes me as a strange perspective. I think it’s connected to the individualizing of feminism, so people think it’s like a self-help movement…

    I am very glad to hear you love your body and will try to shift my perspective 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m not talking broadly about ‘kink’, I’m specifically talking about BDSM, which OF COURSE is completely connected to our culture/history.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No, every aspect of my ‘identity’ is not expressed when I have sex. That’s a crazy thing to say. Yes, who I am totally affects how I have sex (I’m a woman, for starters!), but that is not the same as ‘every aspect of my identity being expressed when I have sex’. All this hyperbole is not convincing.

    • Tobysgirl

      Meghan, since I do not IDENTIFY as anything in particular, I have thought of writing an essay contrasting identity with self. What do you think?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    “But I object to claims that it’s more flawed than mainstream culture around sex.”

    I mean, feminists are constantly criticizing “mainstream culture around sex,” because it’s rooted patriarchy/porn culture, is male-centered and heteronormative, and sexualizes violence and inequality. So I’m afraid that’s a non-point. This isn’t a contest to decide what is worse — we’re making connections and critically analyzing sex under patriarchy.

    I realize the ‘BDSM community’ (so quaint!) works very hard to convince people that it’s all about ‘consent’ and therefore ‘sex positive’, but the fact remains that sexualizing abuse, violence, domination and subordination is neither necessary, nor ‘good’ for humanity and for women in particular.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you know that many of the themes, tools, practices, outfits, etc in BDSM came directly from the torture/torture mechanisms used on slaves and ‘witches’? No? Ok cool. Thanks for the lecture.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “I wish our author would have taken the time to learn about BDSM before condemning it. You do realize there are dominant women in the BDSM scene, right? I am one of them.”

    This is pretty much the same response I get every single time I write about porn, BDSM, prostitution, burlesque, pole-dancing, and so on and so forth. Just because you disagree with my analysis doesn’t mean I don’t understand these issues. I am wholly aware that women participate in these practices and that many claim to enjoy them. This is not news to me. Radical feminist have been writing about all this for decades and we have been getting the same responses from liberals who can’t be bothered to read our analysis or think critically about their own sex practices/pleasure. Your sexuality is not being ‘policed.’ As feminists, we have to think critically about how we operate under patriarchy. Am I ‘policing’ myself, also, because I critically analyze the way my own behaviour is shaped by patriarchy?

  • Minerva Conatus

    I condemn BDSM, and I know a whole hell of a lot about it–when I was younger and dumber, I was in a relationship with a man who was very much into the “lifestyle”. I could write at length about all of the things that I saw, and that I learned, in that time.

    Abuse is still abuse, even if someone is “consenting” to it.

  • Minerva Conatus

    A person who tortures you doesn’t respect you.

    • Hekate Jayne

      A male that tortures you is a dude that hates you.

      I mean, dudes used to say that they hit us because they loved us. That shit did not fly.

      Now they convince women that they actually WANT to act out submission and subjugation, that women want to be hit, in fact, they can’t have sexual pleasure without violence.

      Stockholm syndrome.

      Also, just willful ignorance, really. These BDSM responses all sound like LALALALALA BUT HE SAYS I LIKE IT AND IT GIVES HIM A BONER LALALALALA DON’T WANT TO QUESTION TOO MUCH LALALALALA.

      Of course if you have dudes on one side demanding violent blow jobs and women on the other side asking that you think a little bit about what you are doing, the blow jobs win. And the women serving the boners are going to defend the males. They know where the power is.

  • Minerva Conatus

    What is the difference between violence and BDSM?

  • Minerva Conatus

    What is healthy about deriving pleasure from torturing another human being?

  • Minerva Conatus

    There is quite a bit of difference between being aroused by being hurt (which is also unhealthy, mind) and being aroused by hurting someone else.

  • lk

    I agree. TBH, my post was partly meant to be tongue in cheek and poking fun of the bdsm community, bdsm closet and the idea that anyone who doesnt want violent, degrading sex is a prude.

    I dont think anyone who rejects bdsm is a prude, I think rejecting bdsm is a sign of normal, healthy sexual desires.

  • Erin

    No… my male partners have not been out assaulting other women.

  • Minerva Conatus

    “Real dominants don’t do anything to a woman unless she has specifically
    asked them to and they’ve taken the time to get more details and go
    slowly enough that she can stop things whenever she wants to.”

    Those of us who have been in the scene know that this is not true at all. I know that you know that it isn’t true. Stop spreading misinformation to try and support your cause.

    • Wren

      This is how these abusive men get away with it, by claiming that she just has buyer’s regret. That these women defend this is infuriating.

  • lk

    Safe and respectful torture?

    That phrase makes NO SENSE at all. With or without consent, torture is vile, dangerous and painful. Why anyone wants to defend inflicting pain on other people is beyond me…

    “If you can only orgasm through BDSM, see help.”
    Yep. The whole idea that inflicting pain on someone is healthy is ridiculous. To get pleasure from someone elses pain just seems wrong to me.

    And I am so sick of this ridiculous idea that because something brings someone sexual pleasure, it is above criticism.

    • will

      “I am so sick of this ridiculous idea that because something brings someone sexual pleasure, it is above criticism.”

      Me too! They sound like selfish, self-centred children. And in a psychological sense, they kind of are.

      • Wren

        Yes, they are. That’s why everything they say is so fucking cringeworthy.

  • Erin

    That’s distinctly the vibe I’m getting in these comments. I’m glad for the chance to speak my mind, because it worries me that some women beat themselves up emotionally for being masochists, because of society’s efforts to shame them or guilt trip them for acting on their desires. So I’m grateful for the chance to put forth a conflicting view. And it’s nice to see someone else here who has had fun with kink!

    That said, the dogpile on my posts is getting pretty thick, so I’m out for now.

    • FierceMild

      Society doesn’t shame women for masochism it instills masochism in women.

    • Melanie

      I saw part of a documentary about BDSM recently that featured two women shaming and guilt tripping another woman for her sexuality and desires, under the instruction of their male dom. BDSM is founded on patriarchal attitudes towards female sexuality in particular – shame, humiliation, the idea that sex is dirty, that women should submit to men. BDSM is a part of the problem.

  • Minerva Conatus

    One interesting thing that I noticed is the fact that most women in the BDSM scene who “dominate” men are submissive to one man, while “dominating” others. In my observation, there are very few women who are purely dominants.

  • Hekate Jayne

    If you understood how patriarchal systems of power worked along with societal power dynamics, you would understand that misandry is not an actual thing that exists.

    But if you understood any of that, you wouldn’t be here explaining to women that are critiquing BDSM about how stupid we are and how we don’t know anything about culture or history.

    I know quite a bit.

    Like, I know that if you have ever lived with a male in your house that beat the ever living fuck out of you, or blacked your eye, or knocked out your teeth, if you have ever experienced male violence that you could not escape, that the last thing that you would do is sexualize it.

    And I know that for women that lived with that kind of male violence, that it is a slap in our fucking faces when you defend male violence for any reason, but it is especially insulting that you are defending it because OMG, IT MAKES YOU HOT.

    And I also see that you are pandering to males in an effort to endear yourself to them. I mean, after all, male violence is an epidemic, and while we try to stop it, or mitigate it, or escape it, you are in dudes’ faces, telling them that it’s ok to hit you, because being the coolest of the cool girls, it just makes you come so hard, tho! And you love it when they get a boner from being violent at you! Because you are cool, and misandry is totally a thing, and you don’t get along with women, anyway, because we are just catty Bitches.

    Maybe try reading the fucking post before condescending with a smarmy, superior tone. Maybe take your eye off of boner pleasing for a minute and fucking look around you.

    But that is asking too much of you. I mean, you have to get back to submitting to males. Totally voluntarily, of course. If you are lucky, maybe your master will allow you to make him a fucking sandwich after you lick his boots.

  • Melanie

    So any man who assaults, injures, rapes or kills a woman during BDSM just wasn’t a proper kinkster. It had nothing to do with the practices themselves or the attitudes underlying them. He just didn’t receive the proper training, he wasnt a ‘real’ kinkster. Convenient.

    • Wren

      Like someone’s not a *real* christian, or patriot, or disciple, or whatever. More of the same cultish mentality.

  • Wren

    To be clear: we are saying that your sexuality is not healthy.
    Is being obtuse part and parcel to being a sadist??

  • Wren

    “BDSM-ers are asking for the social sanctioning of the acting out and even glamorizing of the cycle of abuse.”

    Exactly. That’s why it’s so dangerous. Their false, convoluted distinctions between BDSM and abuse are disingenuous. It is also clear that these people have some kind of narcissistic disorder, claiming that they are more sexually evolved and part of a special “community.”

  • Wren

    OMG her point is incredible. Can’t these people just take up acrylics or watercolors??? The shit they say…

  • Melanie

    To be honest I don’t feel comfortable or safe around people who are willing to inflict violence on other people in certain circumstances. Even if the other person claims to like it or want it. I’ve heard some people who practice BDSM say that they take elements of it out into their lives with them. For example they might feel more assertive or better at communication. So why wouldn’t the more negative aspects filter out into their lives as well? If you say you’re a sadist then you’re a sadist. You enjoy inflicting discomfort, humiliation and pain on others. So by definition you don’t care about the feelings of other people. That’s my understanding anyway. How do you switch something that you claim is so deeply a part of you on and off?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I loved Twisty too early on and was similarly confused by her position on trans. It didn’t seem to fit with her analysis/approach/writing, generally.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right on, sister. Glad to have you here 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ew yes. My abusive ex told me MANY times OVER “sometimes women like to use rape fantasies in sex to process/recover from their trauma.” It was so creepy and so clearly a ‘suggestion’.

    • Melanie

      I read an advice column once about a woman asking for help for trauma from rape because it was effecting her sex life. You wouldn’t believe how many of these people came out of the woodwork to casually recommend BDSM as ‘trauma therapy’. “Maybe just give it a try?”. When I suggested that maybe it’s not a good idea to recommnd BDSM to a rape survivor and that therapy with a qualified professional would be more helpful I was called judgemental and ‘violent’. The pure irony. I’ve seen that a few times online. If it’s meant to be all about consent then what’s with the preying on women when they’re suffering trauma and at their most vulnerable? It makes my skin crawl.

      • Meghan Murphy

        It’s so messed up that anyone would think sexualizing rape will address the trauma women endure from being raped.

  • Meghan Murphy

    lol @ the idea that everyone who isn’t into ‘kink’ or BDSM is exclusively having sex in the missionary position. Gawd these people sure do lack imagination!

  • lk

    Me too, I try to engage in good faith on these posts, but when people trot out the same old tired arguments especially in defense of something as dangerous, sexist and unnecessary as BDSM…my patience wears thin.

    One thing I’ve noticed the supporters on here posting that I have not seen before is the idea that safe BDSM is possible with the right practice and training.

    LOL…is there some kind of mandatory training classes one can take to become good at BDSM? Is there a license one can get to learn how to choke someone without killing them? And how many hours of training is necessary to become good at accepting or inflicting torture? How many women are going to be severely hurt either physically or emotionally during practice?

    And there is something strange about having the kind of sex where you need training to do it safely…

  • Bleeps3

    What’s funny is people commenting about how they can’t tolerate the pain and humiliation of people judging their “lifestyle” of pain and humiliation.

    Buck up!

    • Melanie

      And we shouldn’t shame people for their sexuality, but BDSM is all about shaming and humiliating people – usually women – for their sexuality.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Hi, Deborah!

    Very glad that you are joining us.

  • Hanakai

    Actually, back in the olden days, the word prude meant proud. Indeed the word prude and proud have the same origin in old French. Around 1700, the word prude was used to mean ‘good woman.’

    It is the patriarchy that has stolen the word to make it a slur against women. Women need to reclaim the language and the power of words.

  • will

    I wish our commenter would have taken the time to learn about Feminism before condemning it. You do realize that feminists are concerned with dismantling sex class relations and the male violence against women that is integral to that, right? I am one of them. Your blanket condemnation of Feminism is built on a false narrative.

    “Final note, it’s always fun to have so-called-feminists police your sexuality ”

    It’s always “fun” when a women demonstrates in public that she hasn’t the first clue what feminism is and extra super fun when she implied that feminism is some form of Libertarianism for Ladies that exists to justify her personal whims.

    • Topazthecat

      Meghan really does get so many anti-feminists on here many hypocritically calling themselves ”feminists”,I’m really surprised she approves of their posts,unless it’s to demonstrate what anti-feminists they really actually are.

  • will

    His comments make him sound like a dumb, spoiled, 14 year old. I don’t for a second this he remotely capable of engaging with a single commenter here, let alone the actual topic.

  • will

    He might be an example of what happens to children’s brains on porn. Seriously, the mental erosion is so obvious.

  • will

    “I would hope that you vanillas would feel….”

    Slow down there, Presumptua! You have no idea what any of us criticizing your abuse games do for sexual pleasure. And you can piss right off with the name-calling.

    It is an inarguable fact that the psychological narratives of BDSM are firmly rooted in sexual repression and regressive power differentials. You can go play at being Lady Dark Farts with her ***original and edgy!!!*** whip and stilettos all you like, but you will never convince the informed and thoughtful people here that any of this silly predictable nonsense is progressive, courageous or healthy.

    • Wren

      “Lady Dark Farts”
      LMAO

  • will

    No one called you a terrible person. We’re just not buying your fairly tales.

  • will

    BDSM IS mainstream culture.

    That’s the part I find funniest: that your “community” seems to be under the impression that you are rebelling against something – that you are courageously enacting some deeper truth in the face of oppressive opposition. And all you are doing is playing out the most dominant and hegemonic narratives of our culture. BDSM is repressive and conservative sexuality purporting to challenge the status quo, kind of like a teenage boy driving recklessly.

  • Deborah

    Thank you!
    And I agree. I think it also speaks to the fact that so many people feel the bedroom is THE place to work out their issues. Because, you know, reflection and introspection is difficult and people can’t seem to tolerate being alone with their thoughts these days, let alone work on themselves. It’s easier to distract ourselves, and what better method of self-improvement that indulging your issues with pleasure? Like a child that wants dessert without dinner, honestly.

  • Deborah

    Okay, then, if one’s identity is expressed when having sex, then what does having violent sex or enjoying sexual arousal from the desire/need to inflict pain and humiliation on another say about YOUR identity?? What about inflicted pain and/or humiliation directed at someone you, supposedly, love? I would identify such a person as cruel and deranged. Does that about sum it up?

  • Morag999

    Yes. This is it. Another total reversal of the truth.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes! This is one of the most irritating things about dealing with these people. It’s like teenagers who think dying their hair and getting tattoos makes them interesting and unique. The obsession with sex, in particular, strikes me as rather juvenile.

  • FierceMild

    It’s not actually a mater of opinion. Taking sexual pleasure from hurting others is deviant and deeply maladaptive.

  • FierceMild

    1) What is violence?

    2) How does consent magically change violence?

    • Hekate Jayne

      Because the submissive has ALL OF THE POWER.

      Males assign women the real power, the power to control males with our sexy parts. See, males just APPEAR to be powerful, they insist that it is actually women that have the power. Males fight wars for us, while we sit at home, eating candy and painting our nails.

      So when a dude beats you while maintaining his erection, it is proof of how WE have all of the power.

      Yep, we totes have all of the power. That is why government is majority women, most businesses are owned by women, why males are paid less for the same jobs, why women control the bodies of males……?……..?

      Right.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Violent males enjoy inflicting violence. That’s kind of obvious.

    So when dudes explain to women about how violence gives them a boner, but they aren’t violent, not really, and he doesn’t think that you are a cunt, but it gives him a boner to call you a cunt, and play acting out violence is totally different, because real violence repulsed him, he hates violence, he would never hurt a woman because equality, violence is totally terrible, but I want to pretend violence while I fuck you, because you really like it, too. And while I am beating you, calling you names, restraining you, you have ALL OF THE POWER.

    Sure, it’s abusive when a dude hits you. But it isn’t abuse when you are gaslighted into believing it be SEXY.

    This reminds me of FGM, and how dudes will say BUT THE OLDER WOMEN CUT THE GIRLS, THO. CHECKMATE.
    And they conveniently ignore and obsfucate the societal force and threat of punishment to older women that would refuse to do it.

    Because there isn’t really any choice or consent without liberation. Male supremacy keeps males in a position of power, and we cannot consent freely while being ruled.

    And these girls that are defending BDSM sound like puppets. They refuse to address any points made and they refuse to read and learn our history. They sound like males, their arguments are male arguments. There is no logic or reasoning, just STOP ERASING ME, YOU IGNORANT PRUDEY PRUDE.

    And I am sorry for what happened to you. But I am glad to know you now, sister.

  • Wren

    Lol, yes I meant buyers remorse.

  • Wren

    She would have to whip the paintbrush across the face of the canvas and say, “you naughty, naughty picture!!”

  • Hekate Jayne

    Well, if you weren’t such a prudey PRUDE, you would know that he only assaults women that consent.

    And assault isn’t assault if a woman wants you to do it.

    Just like rape isn’t rape if the woman wants it.

    And courts, cops, male society all knows that she always wants it.

    See how that works? Males know that we are just filthy whores that enjoy a good beating and fucking. They are just giving us what we want, after all.

    Males aren’t violent. They only beat us when when we make them.

    Sounds right to me. Amirite.

  • Wren

    Would you consider writing an exposé about what you experienced and how you got out? It’s very important to have this viewpoint.

  • Hekate Jayne

    So that women can “pursue healthy sex lives while avoiding violence and abuse?”

    Do you hear yourself? How do you avoid violence and abuse by seeking out violence and abuse?

    Violence and abuse is the only way that you can enjoy sex, as you have repeatedly said.

    We are encouraging you to think critically about why that is so that you can actually avoid violence and abuse.

    But violence is no longer violence if you consent. Because reasons.

    You know, Meghan covered a story recently about a woman that was choked to death by a male fucking her throat. And he told everyone that it was just an OOPSIE. She wanted it rough and she consented and rough sex sometimes gets out of hand and oops.

    You know that was abuse and violence. All he needed to do was say BUT SHE CONSENTED, THO. Maybe she did consent. And maybe he couldn’t hear her fucking safe word because he was murdering her because he swears that the entire time he was killing her, he didn’t notice that she was fucking dying.

    So he got away with it. And he is far from being the only one.

    There is no “pretend” violence. Violence is uncontrollable by definition. Males murder us all of the time because they lose control of their emotions while they are just walking around.

    No one here wishes you harm. And if you think that we are mean, tough shit. We are blunt because we want you to hear us. You might think that we don’t know anything and we are just stupid older women that are trying to ruin your fun sexy times, which is exactly what males think, by the way.

    Males are lying to you. And we know it. And we want you to know it, too, and to understand it because while males lie about a lot of shit, this particular lie creates the environment wherein they can not only abuse you with impunity, but murder you in the process and you are actually helping them to do it AND get away with it, whether you recognize that fact, or not.

    Please think about what you are doing. The next time that we read about a woman that was murdered by her dominant, and he tells the courts and the media that it was a fucking accident, I don’t want to wonder if it was you.

  • Wren

    Totally. And it completely contradicts the widely accepted premise of a establishing reparative relationship as a means to heal trauma.

  • Wren

    You’re right: these people are complete cliches and so BORING.

    I can’t believe these people have so much time to waste. Meanwhile, I work 40+ hours a week, need to cook, clean, eat, sleep, read, watch good shows, listen to great music, shower, mow the lawn, brush my teeth, tend to my garden, dream of chickens, walk and cuddle the dogs, etc. Sex is great when it’s with someone who cares about me, but multiple partners?? BDSM classes?? Spending hard-earned money on leather paraphernalia?? WTF??

    My first and most visceral response to reading posts by these people is pure, excruciating embarrassment on their behalf. I feel sympathy for women who are caught up in a BDSM relationship because of their own traumatic past, but the women here who are promoting it and BRAGGING about how elevated and unique they are are just deeply pathetic.

    And one more thing, do they have children?? How can they be promoting this lifestyle, having multiple partners, going to these classes, etc, if they’re parents?? Wouldn’t they be worried about being exposed?? There’s no way that many professionals at a children’s protective services agency would buy this bullshit.

  • Hekate Jayne

    The very definition of sexy is that everyone talk endlessly about the pretend violence that can put a woman in the REAL hospital. Or grave.

    SEXY SEXY.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I am beginning to believe that these people are actually male.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Nine Duece is most excellent.

    Andrea Dworkin spoke a lot about this, too. Ally misandry on youtube has an old doc up about the marquis de sade, and Andrea Dworkin is in it.

  • Kiwipally

    “No true BDSMer”. NABDSMALT.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, I am so tired of the BS excuses that people come out to excuse violence.

  • Kiwipally

    Dude logix again – but I’m a guy and anything I say is therefore true! Sigh.

  • Deborah

    Thank you for sharing this insight. I always appreciate hearing from those who have been in the “inside”, as it were. Boy, if that doesn’t say it all. How did your then-boyfriend react to having egg promptly smeared on his face with that eye-opener? This “love each other” crap is just an last ditch effort to polish a turd.

    And just think, what is wrong with the picture when grown adults begin walking through life asking strangers to treat them like poo? Or when adults seek out classes that “teach” them how to beat someone up in such a way so as to avoid getting caught? In essence, that’s what is happening here.

  • Kiwipally

    Throughout history, torturers sought to find more “creative” and “artistic” ways of hurting people the most before those people died. 🙁

  • Kiwipally

    And then viagra came along and made things worse for women. And women still die in childbirth. Priorities!

  • FierceMild

    Your “pleasure” comes at the expense of someone else’s pain. That’s gross. Orgasms are no excuse for this. Get help now.

  • FierceMild

    So all of the women sexualized while being harmed oppressed, injured or killed by misogynist men don’t add up to as much harm as…misandry? Why am I not surprised you’re a complete conservative, after all, you think sex should be punished.

  • FierceMild

    I’m the same age as you; you’ve honestly never heard women objecting to porn?!

  • lk

    LMAO!!!

    BDSM University: Where violence, verbal abuse and racism are taught!!

    Here at BDSMU, we will teach you how to be your best dominant or slave self…we offer classes on:
    -incorporating slavery/genocides/holocausts into your sex lives
    -racial slurs to use against your partner during sex
    -how to choke/hit/whip someone (safely of course!)
    -how empowering/feminist it is to be called names and insulted
    -how terrible and awful sex is without violence
    -aftercare to help your partner heal from your verbal and physical assaults

    ……And if you kill or severely hurt someone during your lessons, no big deal!! When you get to court, just use the BDSM defense!!

    My question is how is a potential sub supposed to know if her dom has had the “appropriate training” to be able to hurt me, but hurt me safely. By the time you realize your dom doesnt know how to choke or slap you safely or respect your limits, its too late. And how is a sub supposed to spot a good dom from a bad dom..since they are both equally violent and controlling?

    • Melanie

      Weirdly there will be no protests about hate speech at BDSM University, no no platforming of men who call women misogynistic and racist slurs or dominate, assault and torture them. Because BDSM is like, so hot.

  • Melanie

    They’re always so talented, kind, respectful, thoughtful, gentle, open minded, great listeners, superior communicators, feminists …. Where exactly do you find all these amazing nice guys? Who just happen to want to beat, humiliate and torture you in their spare time?

  • Hekate Jayne

    Minerva, I kind of have a personal policy of not asking a lot of questions when someone shares a personal story, because I don’t want to pry into things that you might not want to talk about. So I assume that whatever you tell me is everything that you are willing to share and I don’t want to push you into telling me something that you prefer to keep private.

    So please forgive me if you don’t want to answer what I am going to ask you. And please ignore me if you don’t want to answer. But I have been thinking about your experience here, and I just cannot stop myself from asking this question because I just really want to know.

    When this salty bag of dicks was standing there with you, and the woman told him that she had literally just met Mr. Whipper mcDomiDick right before the class, what was his reaction? Did he do the dude thing of stammering around, in a pathetically flaccid little attempt to put a glossy sheen of male bullshit on it?

    I am picturing several different reactions from him. Shockingly, he looks like a fuckstick in every single one of them. But if I had to guess, I would guess that he said something like “but the instructor loves ALL women, tho! He will abuse ANY of them because he totally loves women.”

    If it makes you uncomfortable to talk about, then please just ignore me. And either way, forgive me for being nosey.

  • will

    Yes!! Sexual shame and repression are the foundation and fuel of BDSM.

  • Eva Jasmena

    You misunderstood me. I support making assault a criminal offense independently of consent. I was referring more to the tone.

    I do know that some participants in BDSM do so to act out past trauma even though in my opinion, that probably causes more harm than good. I just meant judge the action not the person.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “You actually really do need a lecture if you think the sum total of BDSM is practices from slavery and witch trials.”

    Oh please. Did you even read the article I wrote above? Pointing out that BDSM practices are rooted in a racist, misogynist history does not mean I think the “sum total of BDSM is practices of slavery and witch trials.”

    Why are you incapable of arguing in good faith?

  • Hekate Jayne

    Ok. Ick. What a total asshat, you dodged a bullet with that one.

    Do you ever wonder why males just destroy every fucking thing? It’s like they can’t handle any kind of positivity or an intimate connection with another person. And these things are a kind of drive or need in most of us, male and female. And women have the ability to innately bond with just about any and everything. Maybe it’s because people actually come out of our bodies, or something, so nature insures our ability to form meaningful bonds because we have to, or shit just goes sideways. I think it comes from the male viewpoint that everything exists as objects to serve them, they are the real humans, and women, children, animals, the planet, nature, all exist as resources for them to mine and use for their personal pleasure and benefit.

    And if they destroy it in the process, whatever. They have built destruction and love of death right into the bullshit that is masculinity. Sex is just one example of this.

    Males take sex and make it almost unbearable. Sex is an intimate activity, and as such, in order to enjoy it, there has to be trust, kindness, gentleness, and the ability to care about the other person. Unfortunately, males abhor those things and they can’t distinguish those attributes from weakness. So healthy sexual expression involves, at a bare minimum, not frightening the woman that you are with, and not hating her.

    Yet, males go on about “hate fucking”, and frightening us gives a lot of them a boner. And they have turned sex into a weapon of fear and control against us. And patriarchal society punishes us for having sexual relationships at all. It seems like males set out to control our bodies for their benefit, and in order to do that, they made up the entire lie about sex being dirty, shameful, disgusting, and a bunch of negative things, but they ended up buying into their own bullshit without realizing it along the way. In forcing us into shame, they fell into it, too.

    BDSM is nothing except a severe, sexual version of patriarchal society. I am with the sisters here when they say that it is males acting out female subjugation and submission and convincing women that this regressive viewpoint is somehow edgy.

    And CLASSES? Jesus. Can’t get a dude to take out the fucking garbage or take his kids to soccer without asking repeatedly. But I bet he runs to those fucking “beating women gives me boner” classes like his ass is on fire.

    And if a male does not enjoy performing oral sex on a woman, that is and always has been a deal breaker for me. If my body is too nasty for his mouth, then it’s way too good for his pathetic peen. My body has the potential to create life. I mean, it’s no “I can totally pee standing up”, but I still think that the female body is way more impressive.

    Also, I was right. F.U.C.K.S.T.I.C.K. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

  • FierceMild

    Yeahbut it’s still really laughable!

  • Topazthecat

    It’s really something isn’t it that in the very sick sexist,woman-hating,gender stereotyped pornographic male dominated society,it’s never ever considered ”empowering” or ”liberating” for men to be brutalized by men or women! And it wouldn’t be considered at all for Black people to be brutalized by whites or Jews by German’s they would so rightfully be outraged by it!

  • Topazthecat

    New Guardian article by Dr.Gail Dines Choking Women Is All The Rage It’s Branded As Fun,Sexy ”Breath Play”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/13/choking-women-me-too-breath-play?CMP=share_btn_tw

  • Meghan Murphy

    I watched the first and have been wondering if I should bother with the second season…

  • Elise

    Reposting as it seems the first message never appeared :

    Just wanted to share the justifications provided by Tariq Ramadan in the inquiry related to rape allegations by several women :
    http://www.lemonde.fr/polic
    Article is in French but I will translate some parts :
    “This interest of women towards him, which he describes in length, is fine for this fifty years old man. “It is an objective constatation I make, being sollicited because people like you, it is not embarrassing,” says Tariq Ramadan during his long interrogation, which the journal Le Monde was able to consult. And to add: “There has always been this in my life. I’m the one who is been looked for. I’m the one who’s being harassed””
    and
    “The judges ask him to react to the words of this former mistress – “He likes vulgar words, he likes to feel that he dominates, he told me he wanted me to be submissive but I was not into such practices. I felt that he wanted to deviate towards a hard, almost violent sexuality. For example, he pulled me by the hair. I told him I did not like it. He did not continue”. Ramadan’s response: “What do I retain from all this? A crucial thing: she tells me no, and I stopped”. Some questions later, he says: “For me, when we talk about violence, it is something we suffer without consent, otherwise it is not violence. “”
    Seems that whatever their background, men have the same excuses.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, radical feminists *do* realize this. We are, as far as I can tell, the only ones who have articulated a critical analysis of BDSM and who are consistently critical.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, radical feminists *do* realize this. We are, as far as I can tell, the only ones who have articulated a critical analysis of BDSM and who are consistently critical.