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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Critique of BDSM

Summary of Points

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Each point elaborated on below


1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

11.
12.

13.
14.
15.
16.
17.

18.

19.

Defining BDSM.
Against the outlawing of BDSM.
People who are sexually aroused by BDSM should not feel ashamed of
their desires, since these desires are not freely chosen but were
conditioned into us by living in a sadomasochistic culture. Many critics of
BDSM have themselves felt sexually aroused by BDSM role playing or
pornography.
A secular critique BDSM.
A sex-positive critique of BDSM. It is not anti-sex to be anti-sexualization
of dominance, degradation, abuse, oppression.
A kink-positive critique of BDSM. There are other forms of kink besides
BDSM, and these are unproblematic.
BDSM and the question of ethics.
Countering the claim that criticism of BDSM is akin to homophobia.
BDSM as one of many symptoms of living in a world which is capitalist,
patriarchal, racist, etc.
BDSM is often sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, classist/capitalist, ageist,
etc.
a. Sexism
b. Racism
c. Homophobia
d. Ableism
e. Classism/Capitalist
f. Ageism
BDSM validates the desires (if not the actions) of real abusers.
BDSM roles can leak into real life interactions (i.e. act dominantly or
submissively towards ones partner outside the bedroom, and towards
others in general). There is a private sphere / public sphere connection.
Why its problematic for people who have an authoritarian role or
personality in real life to engage in BDSM in the role of a dom/sadist.
Why its problematic for people who have a subordinated role or insecure
personality in real life to engage in BDSM in the role of a sub/masochist.
Why its problematic for people who have a subordinated role or insecure
personality in real life to engage in BDSM in the role of a dom/sadist.
Why its problematic for people who have an authoritarian role or
personality in real life to engage in BDSM in the role of a sub/masochist.
The issue of consent. Given previous psychological wounds many people
carry into BDSM, the presence of free choice should be critiqued, even
if the presence of consent is not denied.
Beyond consent. Much like a crack addict consenting to purchase crack
from a dealer, consensual practice of BDSM can still be destructive to
participants.
Predatory doms. Some doms/sadists are consciously manipulative, and

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calculatingly exploitative. They seek out subs with low self-esteem,


knowing that people like this are more likely to want to sexually act out
their self-hatred in the form of BDSM, or can be easily persuaded to
consent to BDSM. The subs self-hate is considered erotic.
20. Conclusion.

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1.

BDSM is an abbreviated acronym, which in its full form should really be:
BDDSSM. It stands for: bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism,
masochism. It refers to the sexualisation of these activities and dynamics.
The dynamics of domination, degradation, violence, oppression, slavery, or abuse
are acted out by consenting partners for their sexual gratification. Or, people
may consume pornography that depicts dynamics of dominance, degradation,
violence, oppression, slavery, or abuse.
Light spanking, biting, hair-pulling, and other mild acts done without the
intention of establishing dynamics of dominance/submission, or of causing pain
or degradation, but rather as an expression of passion, out of the enjoyment of
the sensation, or some other benign motivation are not considered BDSM in this
group.
But the same mild acts done with the intention to establish dynamics of
domination/submission, or to cause pain or degradation, are considered BDSM.
For mild acts, whether or not something qualifies as BDSM depends on inner
motivations, desires, intentions. For moderate or extreme acts, these are always
considered BDSM because they are inherently degrading, painful, or dominating
and it cannot be argued that these intentions are not present.
There is wide variation in the specific roles that get acted out, but they are
always characterised by dynamics between two broad roles: the top and the
bottom. Tops are dominators (doms) and/or sadists. Bottoms are submissives
and/or masochists.
There is also wide variation in the specific scenarios that get acted out, but they
always falls into two broad dynamics: that of the willing victim and that of the
unwilling victim.
The willing victim dynamic can include, for example, acting out roles of a master
and his (or her) obedient slave, or a father and his 8 year old daughter who
enjoys sexual abuse. The unwilling victim dynamic could include the straight
homophobe beating or raping the fag, or again a father and his child-age
daughter but in this case she screams and resists his sexual abuse.
There is pre-consent in BDSM that the dom/sadist is not supposed to heed the
sub if s/he screams in pain or terror, says no or stop, or utters other sounds
and words which normally communicate displeasure or refusal.
The proscribed moral code in BDSM is to decide ahead of time on a safe word
(such as eraser) which the sub can say if s/he wants to refuse or stop an activity.
The replacement of screaming, or of words like no, stop, with the safe word is
not only for the subs protection, but also so the fantasy enactments of slavery,
rape, etc. can feel as realistic as possible. If it didnt feel real, they might not get
off.
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2.

We do not believe that the state should outlaw BDSM practices between
consenting adults. We do seek to critique, raise public consciousness, and change

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the social conditions which socialize some people into finding BDSM sexy.
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3.

We believe that people who are sexually aroused by BDSM should not feel
ashamed. After all, its not like we freely choose our sexual desires. What turns
us on is largely shaped by our conditioning, and it so happens that we live in a
sadomasochistic, oppressive, hierarchal culture. To paraphrase Andrea Dworkin:
*The question is not Why are some people into BDSM? but Why isnt
everybody?*
In fact, many of those who are strongly critical of BDSM have themselves
experienced sexual arousal at pornographic images of BDSM, or have even
participated in BDSM with a partner or partners. Defenders of BDSM hear this
and argue that these people have internalized BDSMphobia just as LGBTQ
people have internalized homophobia, and that they should learn to cast off their
shame and embrace their sexual desires. This is akin to saying that people who
have racist beliefs should embrace their racism. But like those turned on by
BDSM, those with racist beliefs should not feel ashamed, since its not their fault
they were born into a culture that conditioned them to be racist, but they should
nonetheless work to deconstruct their racism and purge it from their mind.
Since we do not have much control over what turns us on, we should not feel
ashamed of problematic desires. But not feeling ashamed of problematic desires
doesnt mean we should embrace them, defend them, and fail to critique them.
And what we do have control over is our actions, what fantasies we choose to
indulge in, and whether or not we defend BDSM. Also, by indulging in
non-BDSM sexual fantasies and acts, we can retrain our sexuality to respond to
respect, equality, and pleasure instead of degradation, domination, and pain.
This position should not be compared to the homophobic position that LGBTQ
people can and should retrain their sexuality to heterosexual. There is evidence
that our sexual orientation towards a particular sex or sexes is inherited at birth
and even if it isnt inherited, attraction to the same sex (or someone of
ambiguous sex) is unproblematic and thus there should be no attempt to change
this sexual orientation.
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4.

We are critical of BDSM not because we are religious fundamentalists, but


because we are fundamentally opposed to the idea that domination and abuse are
sexy.
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5.

We are critical of BDSM not because we are anti-sex, but because we are
anti-dominance and anti-abuse -- even in fantasy form.
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6.

We are not against kinky sex, just BDSM. There are many ways to be kinky
besides dominating and degrading.
*****************************************************************
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7.

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We believe that it is problematic, unhealthy, and dangerous to sexualize and


celebrate dominance, degradation, oppression, slavery, or abuse.
We find the sexualization of violence and slavery troubling because people
should work on feeling outrage and compassion in response to those things, not
on feeling pleasure and desire in response to them.
Bdsm nurtures those parts within ourself that fetishize abuse, and it reinforces our empathetic
disconnection and compassion deficiency. So much of the suffering (both real abuse and the failure
to act to stop it) in this world stems from disconnected empathy and deficient compassion, so we
should not be doing anything that so strongly reinforces that. We should be doing the opposite
instead, working to build and strengthen our compassion.

More concerns related to the unethical aspects of bdsm are discussed in later
sections (see 10 19).
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8.

Those who defend BDSM often claim that those who are critical of BDSM are
similar to homophobes who take a moral stance against homosexual or queer
sexual attraction and activity. This is a preposterous comparison which offends
many queer people who are critical of BDSM, including myself. Homosexuality
is erotic desire towards those of the same sex. BDSM is erotic desire towards
fantasies of domination, degradation, violence, abuse, oppression, or slavery.
There is a world of difference between the two.
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9.

As leftists and progressives, we understand that dominance and abuse are


rampant in our society via the forces of capitalism, patriarchy, racism,
homophobia, imperialism, dictatorships and pseudo-democracies, abusive
families, and so on. Moreover, dominance and power-over is generally glorified
by the mass media and most cultures via the worshipping of the rich, of macho
men, of people of high status and influence, of exploiters, etc. We understand
that the sexualization of dominance and abuse by some people is just one of the
many unfortunate symptoms that people experience as a result of living in a sick
and toxic world.
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10.

BDSM is often sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, classist/capitalist, and any


other form of oppression or bigotry that can be imagined. This is why it is so
alarming and problematic that it is the norm in communities of progressives, even
feminists, to be uncritical of BDSM, and often downright advocate it as liberating
and transgressive.
Why is it that we condemn it when people express bigoted views and yet we
think its fine when the same bigotry is eroticized? Is sexism suddenly OK if it
makes a guys cock get hard? Is racism suddenly OK when it makes a womans
pussy wet? Is homophobia OK if it leads to orgasm?
Few BDSMers are into all of the things listed below, but most are into at least
one.
a.

BDSM and Sexism: Men dominating and controlling women is considered erotic.
Men physically abusing women is considered erotic. Men raping women is
considered erotic. Sometimes it is women dominating and abusing men, or men
dominating and abusing other men, or women dominating and abusing other
women. But even in these cases it is often still male dominance and abuse against

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females that is eroticized. The female dom/sadist degrades her male sub with
gendered language, calling him a pussy, slut, bitch, little girl. And it tends to be
the macho male as the dom/sadist and the sissy fag as the sub, or the butch
dyke as the dom/sadist and the femme as the sub. Furthermore, it is a fact that
amongst males and females into BDSM, females are much more likely than
males to be subs, and males are much more likely than females to be
doms/sadists.
b.

BDSM and Racism: There is a category of BDSM called race play. Racial
oppression is considered erotic. Violent hate crimes are considered erotic.
Hateful, hurtful slurs like nigger, kike, spic, sand-nigger, chinc, are
considered erotic. A White master ruling over a Black slave is considered erotic.
A nazi officer torturing a Jewish concentration camp prisoner is considered
erotic. A border patrol cop catching a Mexican trying to cross the border
illegally, and then raping them as payment for letting them cross, is considered
erotic. The lesbian therapist, activist, and researcher Melissa Farley writes in her
essay 10 Lies About Sadomasochism: My silence about lesbian
sadomasochism ended when I saw two anti Semitic sadomasochists at a womens
festival. One woman who wore a yarmulke was being walked like a dog with a
chain around her neck by a woman in Nazi leathers.
c.

BDSM and Homophobia: Gay bashing is considered erotic. Homophobes raping


gay men as punishment is considered erotic. Homophobes raping lesbian women
to show them that all they need is some good cock to go straight is considered
erotic. Hateful, hurtful slurs like fag and dyke are considered erotic.
d.

BDSM and Ableism: There is a big demand amongst doms/sadists for disabled
people. Amputee fetishism is huge. Wheelchair fetishism is also quite popular.
What is considered erotic is the helplessness of the disabled person. Of course it
is not at all sick or immoral to be sexually attracted to disabled people. But thats
when this is a true attraction based on the persons humanity, and the disabled
persons helplessness is not eroticized. In fact, a respectful attraction recognizes
that disabled people are not helpless. Fetishization of disability is very different
from genuine, respectful sexual attraction. Fetishization objectifies the disabled
person and enjoys thinking of them as helpless and perhaps even in pain.
e.

BDSM and Classism/Capitalism: The boss sexually harassing an employee is


erotic. The boss giving the employee an ultimatum: either I rape you or hire you,
is erotic. The man of the house verbally abusing and spanking the maid is
considered erotic. The purchasing of sex, using money to rent the control and
ownership of another human being, to turn a human being into a commodity, is
considered erotic.
f.

BDSM and Ageism: There is a category of BDSM called age play. The
dom/sadist stays in the adult role and the sub pretends to be a child. Child
molestation is considered erotic. Incest is considered erotic. Parents or adult
authorities physically beating or verbally abusing their children is considered
erotic. Parents dominating and controlling their children is considered erotic. The
geriatric nurse assaulting or raping the elder is considered erotic.
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11.

As mentioned, it tends to be the norm to approve of BDSM amongst


progressives, feminists, hipsters, and those living in major urban centers in the
West. Approval of BDSM sends the message that dominance is ok, that
wanting to dominate and degrade others is ok. It validates the sick desires (if not
the actions) of those interested in engaging in BDSM type acts without consent.

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For example, think how much less ashamed wannabe child molesters would feel
if they know that society approves of the BDSM scenario of "age play", where
one adult pretends to be a child getting molested by the other adult. Is it not a
mixed message to send that sexually abusing a child is wrong, but the fantasy and
desire to do so is unproblematic? Wannabe child molesters are more likely to
become real child molesters if they receive such mixed messages.
There are already many cultural forces influencing people to abuse others. Do
we really need to add to this?
The desire of batterers to rule over their partners, and to subdue their partners
with violence, is also validated. Again, they may not receive approval for their
abusive actions, but the message is sent that the desire to rule over someone else,
and to hurt them if they are disobedient, is unproblematic. We all know that the
first step to overcoming a problem is to admit that we have one. How likely will
batterers be to admit their desire to dominate is sick, if society is sending the
message that its not?
And on the other side of things, batterers can tell themselves that their partners
dont mind being controlled and hurt: She doesnt mind it. I heard lots of
women like being treated this way, anyways. It gets them off.
Do we really need to be giving abusers any more ways to excuse their
behaviour?
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12.

Just because BDSM involves role-play and fantasy does not mean that it should
be beyond critique. The claim that people into BDSM can keep a rigid separation
between their sexual desires and their behavior in their daily social interactions is
unlikely. People who enjoy acting out sexual fantasies of victimization and
domination have absorbed and internalized the sickness of this world. The vast
majority of them will never attempt to act out these sexual fantasies
non-consensually, but one has to wonder to what degree their interactions with
others, relationships, choices, political opinions, etc. carry echoes of their sexual
interests -- even if ever so subtly.
Again I will quote from Melissa Farleys article Ten Lies About
Sadomasochism:
The sadistic sexual relationship sets the tone for the rest of the relationship.
Submitting and giving in during a disagreement, for example becomes a
sexualized act. And real physical violence can and does occur as a natural
extension of the inequality of the sexual relationship. Hitting someone is usually
a sadistic act. Assault and rape do occur in lesbian relationships - and they are
normalized by the patterns laid down sexually.
These dynamics do not just leak into how a dom/sub couple treats each other
outside the bedroom. It can also leak out into how they interact with others in the
community. Would not sexual doms/sadists be more likely to treat others in a
way that is controlling, dominating, rude, authoritarian, narcissistic,
self-absorbed, without compassion, even subtly or blatantly abusive? And what
about subs? Would they not be more likely to accepts harmful mistreatment in
real life? To be passive in the face of oppression because they feel falsely
empowered through submission rather than truly empowered through resistance?
Melissa Farley writes:
Sadomasochism has everything to do with sexism, racism and class in the real
world. It is very much related to internalized self-hatred. One Samois member
wrote: To be a good bottom [masochist], to please my mistress, is a very
powerful feeling. Those lessons I have learned in my bed, I can take into other
aspects of my life and see how that makes me powerfulto enjoy every moment
of what Im doing. (Linden et al., 1982)
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************
13.

It is harmful for people who have an authoritarian role or personality in real


life to engage in BDSM in the role of a dom/sadist.
The desire to dominate, degrade, and hurt others usually comes from a persons
own psychological wounds. People who are into BDSM are more likely to have
been abused, especially during childhood. And abuse teaches victims that
relationships can only be hierarchal, can only be between dominator and
dominated, abuser and victim. Or even without abuse, the experience of living in
a racist patriarchal capitalism is enough to teach these lessons and do
psychological damage.
There is an internal sense of helplessness which they seek to repress by
dominating others. There is an internal sense of fear of victimization that they
seek to repress by becoming an aggressor. There is an internal sense of
worthlessness that they seek to repress with a front of grandiosity and
infallibility. This dominating, aggressive role is acted out sexually and
consensually in BDSM, but may also be enacted outside of the bedroom in
relationships with others in the community. As I said in section 12, those who are
sexually aroused by domination and sadism are more likely to be prone to
treating others in a way that is controlling, dominating, rude, authoritarian,
narcissistic, selfish, without compassion, even subtly or blatantly abusive.
These people are in serious need of healing. They are in serious need of
understanding that power need not be about power imbalance; that there is such
thing as healthy power that is shared in relationships of equality; that you dont
need to have power over someone else to have power within yourself.
Acting in the role of a dom/sadist prevents such healing, and it prevents such
lessons from being learned. It just deepens old wounds and reinforces old
lessons. And it may also strengthen personality traits that make these people
prone towards controlling, rude, selfish, uncompassionate, even abusive behavior
in real life. Whether their subs are acting as obedient slaves or as unwilling
victims, it is reinforced to the dom/sadist that others have no legitimate feelings,
and only his/her own feelings matter.
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14.

It is harmful for people who in real life are insecure, submissive, or have low
self-esteem, to engage in BDSM in the role of a sub/masochist.
As with the desire to act in the role of the dom/sadist, the desire to act in the role
of the sub comes from psychological wounds. As mentioned, those into BDSM
are more likely to have been abused, especially in childhood. And even if they
were not abused, the experience of living in a racist patriarchal capitalism is
enough to do psychological damage and to teach us that relationships are by
definition hierarchal.
The particular psychological wounds which attract someone to the role of a sub
vary. Therapist and trauma specialist Judith Herman, on page 56 of her book
Trauma and Recovery, points out that the desire to be coupled with someone
who is dominant might be due to a sense of extreme helplessness and fear. Thus,
there is a desire to be with a partner who they perceive as "strong" and in
control.
Another reason might a sense of internalized shame and self-hatred and thus a
sense of needing to be punished.
Another reason is a sense of worthlessness that makes them doubt that anyone
could ever truly love them. They thus believe someone can only love them if
theyre an obedient slave. A sense of worthlessness can also create a fear of
abandonment. And what better way to guarantee you wont be abandoned if you

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are owned by a master?


There are many other such reasons that could be listed, but in all cases there is a
link to psychological wounds.
These people are also in desperate need of healing. Yet taking on the role of sub
just perpetuates or even deepens their psychological wounds.
In terms of self-esteem, how can it help their self-esteem to be called insulting
names? To be hit and hurt? To be ordered around? To act out scenarios of rape in
which their pleas of No! or Stop! are ignored?
In terms of fears of abandonment, how can this be healed by sexual role playing
where approval is dependent on submission? How will they ever learn to believe
that someone can love them for who they are as a separate individual with their
own desires and opinions, if they have only experienced love for being a
submissive or a slave?
In terms of a sense of helplessness, how does it help them to heal when they are
being ordered around as a slave? Or, at the more benign end, being pampered
and taken care of as if they are a pet (so long as they are a good and obedient
pet)? Both are forms of control and domination. Both reinforce their sense of
helplessness and incompetence and fear of taking control of their own life. A
healthy, healing relationship would be one in which their partner encouraged
them to exercise their agency, to be free and take self-control, both inside and
outside the bedroom. Allowing them to act as a sub may keep these subs inside
of a zone that feels safe and comfortable, but it does not encourage them to grow
and become independent and confident. It stifles their confidence. It teaches
them that the only way they can be powerful is by merging with their
all-powerful, god-like dom.
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15.

When critics of BDSM draw attention to the ways that a person with low
self-esteem and insecurity has these issues reinforced by acting in the role of a
sub, the defenders of BDSM are quick to point out that people with low
self-esteem and insecurity sometimes take on the role of the dom/sadist. They
claim that it is healing and liberating for an insecure person to act as a BDSM
dom/sadist. They claim that this can help such people gain confidence and
self-esteem.
But acting in the role of a dom/sadist does not heal any wounds. These wounds
were caused in the first place by an oppressive, hierarchal society and sometimes
also by abuse. In both cases the lesson learned are that relationships are
inherently hierarchal. And acting in the role of a dom/sadist reinforces this
lesson, and it teaches that the only solution to powerlessness is to become a
dominator of others.
I will repeat what I wrote in section 13, as the same thing applies here: These
people are in serious need of healing. They are in serious need of understanding
that power need not be about power imbalance; that there is such thing as
healthy power that is shared in relationships of equality; that you dont need to
have power over someone else to have power within yourself.
*****************************************************************
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16.

When critics of BDSM draw attention to the ways that the submissive role
reinforces low self-esteem and insecurity, the defenders of BDSM are quick to
point out that some subs are actually powerful people in real life, even cocky
and authoritarian. Many of them are men in positions of authority such as the
CEO of a big company. For the sake of convenience, I will refer to these people
as CEO subs, although I recognize that many of these powerful, confident subs
are not CEOs.

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Defenders of BDSM argue that CEO subs are just looking for an escape from
the burdens and pressures of authority. They claim that by acting out the role of
sub, they get to experience a type of freedom that is, freedom from
responsibility.
But is this a benign escape? By definition, CEO subs have positions of
authority in real life, and often have dominating and authoritarian
personalities. And we know that authority is often oppressive. The boss, the
patriarch, the banker, the politician. The most famous CEO sub was Hitler, the
genocidal dictator. Do we really want to take the pressure off people in
authoritarian roles like this? Isnt that just enabling them?
The fact that some CEO subs are attracted to the sub role for the
aforementioned reason proves that hierarchy is destructive to both the oppressed
and the oppressor. Of course the oppressed are much more wounded by these
dynamics, but it seems that even the oppressors suffer to a degree. If oppressing
others wasnt dehumanizing and destructive to the oppressors, then why would
we find CEO subs who are looking for escape?
But there are multiple reasons a CEO sub might be attracted to the sub role.
Another reason is to escape the guilt they might feel for oppressing others in
real life either obedient subordinates (workers, etc.) or unwilling victims
(abused children, etc.). CEO subs act out scenarios where they experience
subordination and degradation as pleasurable. Through this they can convince
themselves that those who they subordinate in real life dont really suffer. That
in fact they may enjoy their subordinated position. By experiencing the fantasy
of subordination as pleasurable, they distance themselves from feeling any real
empathy for the brutal reality of subordination that people experience. They can
narcissistically project their own pleasure onto their real life subordinates, and
those overlook the actual pain of these people. Guilt becomes unnecessary.
The role of CEO sub is even harmful to the person who enacts this role. The
tendency of the CEO sub to be a cocky, dominating, authoritarian person in
real life is a result of the same psychological wounds described in section 13. I
will quote from that section to make my point:
There is an internal sense of helplessness which they seek to repress by
dominating others. There is an internal sense of fear of victimization that they
seek to repress by becoming an aggressor. There is an internal sense of
worthlessness that they seek to repress with a front of grandiosity and infallibility
And, as stated in section 14, acting in the role of a sub just perpetuates and
deepens a persons feelings of helplessness, fears of victimization, and low
self-esteem. Therefore, BDSM prevents the healing of, and does further harm to,
CEO subs.
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17.

Given the psychological wounds and previous traumas that people carry into
BDSM, the presence of free choice should be critiqued, even if the presence
of consent is not denied. Free choice is an idea promoted by ultralibertarians and post-modernists who dont recognize the profound impact that
society, culture, and our personal life experiences have on shaping everything
about who we are. Does the victim of child sexual abuse, who has been taught
that she is worthless and that her sexuality is degraded, freely choose a life as a
prostitute or porn actress?*** Does the war veteran suffering from
post-traumatic stress disorder freely choose to drink to oblivion everyday? Do
people who have been raised in a racist, patriarchal, capitalist, pseudodemocratic society freely choose to act out sexualized scenarios of
domination, degradation, oppression, and abuse?
*** In a study of 200 San Francisco prostitutes, 85% reported being sexually
abused during childhood. (Farley et al., Prostuon and Tracking in Nine Countries: An
Update on Violence and Posraumac Stress Disorder; 2003.)

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18.

Even if the issue of consent is not called into question, a critique of BDSM looks
beyond the issue of consent to the issue of harm. Because that is what
participants of BDSM are consenting to the harming of themselves and their
partners. (The ways in which BDSM is harmful to participants was briefly
explained in numbers 13 16.)
How many women in the past, and even today, are happily married to
controlling patriarchs truly believing that it is a womans natural place to be
ruled over by a man? This is a consensual relationship. But it doesnt change the
fact that its a sexist, unjust relationship.
Often kids consent to physical abuse as punishment from their parents. They
believe and say: I deserved it. I was bad. They hit me because they love me and
want me to learn right from wrong. But this doesnt change that they are victims
of physical abuse. True, they are under age, and so cant consent to be hit.
But there are even some adults in abusive relationships who say and believe
similar things.
BDSM defenders might argue that not only is there consent, but there is also
pleasure whereas in the above examples there is not. But there is also pleasure
experienced in smoking crack. And much like a crack addict consenting to
purchase crack from a dealer, consensual practice of BDSM can still be
destructive to participants. It may be that they mean no harm, and it may even be
that they care about their partners wellbeing very much. Yet both doms/sadists
and subs/masochists are perpetuating or even deepening their own wounds and
each others wounds, just as drug dealers do when they consensually sell drugs to
an addict, or when the addict consents to injecting heroin.
*****************************************************************
************
19.

And there are also predatory doms/sadists who knowingly take advantage of
subs/masochists. They prey on those with low self-esteem and do not care that
they perpetuate and deepen the damage.
These doms/sadists are consciously manipulative, and calculatingly exploitative.
They purposely seek out subs with low self-esteem, who have been abused in
childhood, because they know that people like this are more likely to want to
sexually act out their self-hatred in the form of BDSM. They also know that
people like this are so insecure that they expect to be rejected and abandoned by
loved ones, and so they can be easily persuaded (manipulated) into consenting
to BDSM for fear that if they dont, their partner would leave them, and then
who else would ever want to love them? (And even when doms/masochists
arent trying to be manipulative, many of those in the sub/masochist role only
consent out of fear of abandonment.)
These types of doms/sadists tend to be extra turned on by the low self-esteem of
the sub, and turned on by the knowledge that they are deepening these
self-esteem wounds.
Defenders of BDSM deny that these predatory doms exist, or that if they do exist
they are a tiny minority who are condemned by the rest of the BDSM
community. But there is evidence that these predatory doms, though perhaps
they are a minority, are not a small one. Many of the personal ads on CraigsList
for doms seekings subs are clearly posted by predatory doms. Heres just one
example which I am including not because its the worst I could find but because
its so short:
http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/cas/1025196474.html
Hit and Run - m4w - 29 (downtown)

11/05/2014 16:23

Sex-Positive Leftists & Feminists Critical of BDSM

11 de 11

http://antibdsm.blogspot.mx/

Reply to: pers-1025196474@craigslist.org


Date: 2009-02-07, 4:38PM EST
Rough, sexist prick wants to treat you like daddy used to.
You must be clear about your wants and needs, and be fragile and feminine.
Reply XXX
*****************************************************************
************
20.

Approval of BDSM by progressives is counter to our overall goal of an


egalitarian, classless, casteless, and truly democratic society. We should see
BDSM as a symptom of the lack of such a society, and like any other such
symptom, we should mourn it, not defend it or celebrate it.
Posted by Annie Onymous at 18:35

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