Rebirth of Reason

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 9:30amSanction this postReply
S.O.L.O. Afeared!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!
The Truth now beeth known to Thee:
    eS Oh eL Oh is Afraid!
And not of the enemy, the parasites, the would-be rulers of the world.
No - battling those you have down pat!
SOLO is afraid of it's own most ardent admirers, arguers and enjoyers: ME :-)
Read here what made the infamous and battle-hardened Linz gasp in terror:
"Hell, girlfriend!
What am I going to do with an S&M article. Even for SOLO's liberal standards it's scary ..."
Cautionary Adv(ert)ice!
Jailbait, Bloodfainters and Politically Correct members of the Constituency take heed:
If you are not yet Sweet Sixteen do not cock-tease our Gutter Sluts,
if you Swoon over the delicious Aroma of your Sap of Life do not dine with Vampires,
if you read this article make sure you tear it to pieces in discussion
'Lest ye shalt no longer be a member of the Flock' ....
All others read the personal, pleasurable, inspiring truth about: SadoMasochism
PS: my apologies to Linz - this was too good an opportunity to pass up a laugh :-)
you may denounce my complete lack of philosophical argumentation and total ignorance of political astuteness



The innocent start of a lesbian sadomasochist and it's implications for an egocentric (almost-)objectivist!


In my second year of university I changed from Munich to Bayreuth where I met my first 300% Lesbian. Studying English Literature at a German university is sth of a woman's domain. But she was definitely a very different class of woman and it was a joy to be openly lesbian with her in class. This open joy was not only of personal benefit: one of our professors was so impressed with our knowledge of women's (and lesbian) literature, that he got us our own classroom and the first 'Lesbian Literature' course at a German university!

See how innocent it starts - now what does all this have to do with sadomasochism?

Bear with me: having been somewhat of an expert on lesbian literature in those days, she asked me quite innocently if I knew any lesbian SM literature to add to the reader for our course. I didn't and with my usual zest for lesbian literature I dove in ... a few weeks, and many gay and women's presses, later (you couldn't buy lesbian books at Amazon in those days!) I had three books unearthed (there are several dozens out now since SM has become something of a fad - one of my favourites is the 'Leatherwoman' series by Laura Antoniou) and I felt confident we could present a wide variety to our 'students': from Orinda's (Katherine Phillips 1631-1664!) poems 'To My Excellent Lucasia - On Our Friendship' to Pat Califia's 'Macho Sluts' (girls, you are in for a ride!). Two of those books have become a sort of classics of lesbian SM literature: 'The Lesbian SM Safety Manual' by Pat Califia and 'Coming to Power' from the Samois group.

Both titles already indicate the main focus of lesbian SM: Safety and Power. And both have become my most basic (and non-negotiable) principles of SM (almost everything else is negotiable - try and make me ;-)): the Safety of my body - no permanent damage ... and the coming to my own Power - my own sexuality in this case.

So how does this tie in with SM again?

My two most enduring SM fetishes are blood and knives - in this case fetish is only meant to indicate what objects have sexual connotations for me, not the 'fetish' some sadomasochist can build around objects or actions to the almost total exclusion of everything else. The metallic taste of fresh blood - so remindful of the knife that drew it, the sharp, yet clean pain when a scalpel-edged knife opens your skin is sth that arouses me just by thinking about it, not to mention smell it, feel it on my body. Why you may ask? Who cares I can only answer - it get's me wet like a tropical thunderstorm! And nobody found a better answer yet and all psychological explanations are just placebo for the sick who bought into the garbage that SM is an illness. I did not feel sick (nor does the psychiatric society define SM as an illness - used to be a crime in more or less recent times, though) - just as I did not feel different being a lesbian; you still have to show me the genus homosexualis to prove I'm a born dyke - how about the genus sadomasocalis?

Now I do agree with you, that both my fetishes are essentially harmful to my body: knife wounds have to be extremely superficial not to leave permanent scars, and blood is my life-support per se, so I can't afford to waste any of it. So how do I realise my fantasy of kissing a lover who's tongue is hiding a crescent-shaped knife, how do I rub my cheek against her's, when her cheek-bones cut open my skin, how do I press my body to her knife riddled contours without bleeding to death? I don't! I put the safety of my body above my sexual desires. I find lovers skilful enough with a knife not to leave any permanent scars. I learn to live on an extremely low diet of blood as I cannot waste too much of my own (or anybody else's for that matter). Adhering to my principle of safety makes me appreciate skill (my lover's with a knife) and value (of my own blood) even more than an abundance of butchery and orgies of blood could ever do ... that's where the sadists and masochists of the wars and torture go astray - sometimes less IS more!.

And that's why I felt this article is necessary: because that's what I get compared to! Even if it is only in words ...

Let's get some history out for the uninitiated: the term Sadism derives from the French Marquis de Sade who wrote pornographic books detailing his 'sadistic' pleasures and who died in a lunatic asylum (there's a marvellous film 'Quills' with Geoffrey Rush as de Sade - worth seeing any time, even if you don't have any interest in SM!). The term Masochism is derived from the Austrian Graf von Sacher-Maso who enjoyed being pushed around a bit on the sexual battle-field. Put those two together and you'll start wondering how so many healthy sadomasochists could survive to this day with such a history!

Sadomasochism is today used for a wide variety of sadistic and masochistic pleasures - most have a definitive sexual component to it, even if in most 'scenes' no actual (i.e. genital) sex takes place. That's another part I enjoy in SM: you get to have sex without even taking your panties off ;-) The extension of SM and a cultural integration took place when the Bondage and Domination gang got on board - now being called BDSM. These girls get their rocks off on being told what to do, mostly by 'scene-play' where erotic fantasies of domination of having power over somebody are played out in a safe and consensual context.

This brings me to the second distinction to the butchers of our world: SM is consensual! Nothing - Absolutely Nothing - happens if I don't agree to it, if my bottom (the subservient part - the top being the boss of course ;-)) does not agree to it, does not get aroused by the power or pain I wield over her - or vice-versa - you'd be surprised how many switches (changing from top to bottom, sometimes even in the middle of a scene) we have! Topping from the bottom  (link is in German - an answer to a spam mail I most thoroughly enjoyed :-P) is one of my favourite 'scenes' in SM, where I can start out as a sassy little slave who wants to try just how far she can go to challenge the power of her mistress - if this challenge is not consensual, the enticing little slave she had turns into one nasty bitch which is hardly erotic ... of course it takes a strong woman to take my power ... and so we come to my second basic principle of SM:

Power - Power is one of the most elusive and yet one of the most far-spread principles in our lives. Everything is dependant on how much power I have and how much power others have - right? So we force our power over others, take theirs away, to make ourselves more powerful ... yikes what a crappy place to start! With the power of a parasite ...

Power is not Power OVER, but most decidedly Power FOR in SM - the power FOR her/my enjoyment/lust/turn-on, the power FOR her/my favourite fantasy, the power FOR her/my emotional/sexual/mental/physical fulfilment! If I try to force my power OVER a lover, she'll react as she would with any thug in the streets: she'd lash out at me as hard as she could - and rightfully so ... this wielding of power, even the basic understanding of the differences in power, is one aspect that sadomasochists have down pat. That doesn't mean we don't sometimes abuse our power, but it certainly means we have to deal with that power and it's abuse in a far more rational/objective, even emotional way, because it makes us what we are. We have to understand it to become sadomasochists and not butchers who play bullying games be it in wars or in politics or in our social and personal miasmas we call relationships.

This is also the point where objectivism comes in for me: the understanding of my own power, how much value it has for me and the exercise of that power in a 'safe, sane and consensual' (another SM bon mot) environment is the key to a rational life beyond the sexual battlefields. Power is a value I can use in just about any area of my life, FOR my work, FOR my relationships, FOR my physical health, and of course FOR my sexual fulfilment, which is one of the greatest driving forces in my life. It is this sexual power that has best helped me understand the power-games going on in many of these other fields and has enabled me to wield my own power - FOR the fulfilment of my own life. Pity Any did not have much to say on this topic, though her work simply abounds with references to 'power' ... the several mentions of 'sadist' and 'masochist' fall into the usual negative pattern of males not knowing how to use their power ('... man the sordid cheat who pursues science because he is a frustrated voyeur, practices surgery because he is a sublimating sadist, and creates the David because he craves, secretly, to mold his own feces...') and females not being strong enough to take their power ('... like most women, and to a greater degree than most, she is a masochist and she wishes for the happiness of suffering at Roark's hands...') ... only reference to 'sadomasochism' I found is in 'JAR 13 - Notes While Writing: 1947-1952': '... man cannot escape from joy as the altruists want him to; he can only pervert it into horror and sadomasochism ...'

So let's not escape joy, let's celebrate it, 'lest ye all shalt become sadomasochists' :-))

As for that famous rape scene in Fountainhead: sorry girls - no need to get your panties in a twist over it ... it was lacking some of the most basic qualities of an SM scene and did not turn me on at all. Ironically I often compared it to another scene in Atlas where Dagny shoots the guard standing in her way to rescue Galt from the laboratory: in both scenes I understand what Ayn wants to tell us and why she set them up as she did, but in both scenes, the two D's seem a bit wooden, not really 'present', almost out of context, just to make a point ... the closest similarity to SM for me in Ayn's work is Dagny's 'next-morning-in-Wyatt's-house' scene (AS I IX - The Sacred and the Profane as238) with '... bruises ... with dark beads that had been blood ...' after '... hours of a violence they could not name now ... which was in their eyes ... which they wanted to name ...' try SM for starters; where Hank insults her to be worse than a dirty whore, his bitch as he says on other occasions and she confidently replies: 'that's what I want' - now that's a lover-girl to my tastes :-) ...

Let me finish this article with a very personal side to Power to counter some of the 'clinical pathology' slurs I often encounter when people learn that I was molested as a child by my good ol' dad. That I turned to SM because of that abuse - that I have not 'faced' that horror and am still wallowing in my victim role - that I secretly enjoyed being molested ... That's like saying 'Thanx Dad for making me a sadomasochist and a dyke by abusing me' - now that's really sick.

This abuse was sth I could not deal with as a two or three year old girl, so I blocked out any conscious memories for years to come. Many mental and emotional break-downs and total blackouts followed over the years until I learned to deal with this abuse in my twenties. Learning not only to accept myself (and love myself), but more importantly learning that I had power - power FOR my healing, power FOR my safety, power FOR that little girl to come out again, instead of power OVER a defenseless child. This understanding of power helped me open my eyes and face an experience I cannot remember in physical details, but which my memories as a child have burned into my whole body. This power I learned to take and wield - and wield consciously with eyes wide open as a sadomasochist. It is only one positive by-product of my SM inclinations, that no loving and supportive relationship with myself or others could have given me.

What makes SM sick is NOT having the power FOR your own inclinations and trying to get some power OVER them. Don't even try - it's a waste of time and effort ... use your power FOR your own feelings, for your own desires, your own achievements and you'll soon find out what a waste of power it is to have power OVER someone/something who/that has almost no power at all ... just like all the 'sadists' of the non-consensual kind are - rapists, war-criminals, power-hungry politicians, exploiting employers, abusive spouses, etc. - they are all trying to exercise power OVER someone/something because they have no power FOR someone/something, least of all for themselves ... even the (sexual) arousal they do feel in their domination games is nothing but a weak and twisted shadow of the real arousal power can bring you ... frankly girls: they are really boring!




'One of my favourite pastimes is stretching boundaries - one of my favourite ecstasies is breaking them!'



Post 1

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 7:02amSanction this postReply

I do find S&M to be sick. I think that people such as yourself are merely substituting pain for pleasure (and love). I do not enjoy either giving or receiving physical pain in the bedroom or otherwise. However, I do not mind giving a playful slap to the bottom. Although, the pleasure in that has more to do with the woman’s bottom than the slap itself and is not intended to cause any pain.


I do believe that things are different from a woman’s perspective though because, due to the nature of the sexual act, women both need and enjoy the act of voluntary submission. However, I think that Rand (who obviously did fantasize about receiving physical abuse during sex) took it too far for my taste – and most of the sex scenes in the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugs involving physical violence are not enjoyable reading.

Post 2

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 9:07amSanction this postReply

Exactly.  I tried to make the point about sadomasochistic themes in Rand's work awhile back... but all I got in response were the sounds of crickets chirping.

The sadist is ultimately desperate for significance... He or she does not feel effectual, and craves a genuine response which indicates that his or her presence has actually registered and affected another person or persons.  In many ways, also, it's about the need for authenticity and intimacy, a fear that the other person doesn't have the same weaknesses that the sadist perceives that he or she herself has... and breaking the other person down completely to a state of similar perceived weakness is how that kinship is realized.

It's sad that this is how things go down so often... But I also think, honestly, that S&M goes on everywhere, in much less overt ways than actually involve whips and chains and all that... think of how many situations and institutions in life are really just disguised excuses for putting people through some sort of seemingly unnecessary torment and/or rigmarole;  in human life, these overtones pervade so, so much of our interpersonal life, when all we really crave is authenticity and real intimacy.

In case you're interested, I have put a book on the SOLO reading list called Evil:  Inside Human Violence and Cruelty, by Roy Baumeister, Ph.D.... Chapter seven in his book is called "Can Evil Be Fun:  The Joys of Cruelty", and it's an excellent expose on the whole phenomenon.

The book is not gratuitous or anything like that; it's actually very comprehensive and serious in its treatment of the subject.

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 8/25, 9:16am)

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Post 3

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:15pmSanction this postReply
Yeah - sure ... and I used to be pretty blonde het doll, too, just like Barbie, and believed that dykes are dirty women who can't get a Ken, and only wanted to pervert nice girls like me because they were themselves so awful ... this is exactly the kind of reasoning why I wrote this article, why I fight to reclaim something that has been buried under centuries of clichés ...
Marcus: if a woman's bottom is the aim of your intents, ask yourself why it then has to be a slap (or a pinch, which is also considered 'harmless violence') instead of a caress ... what the implications of a 'painless' slap are: the constant reminder, that next time it might not be painless ...
... as for women enjoying voluntary submission because of the nature of the sexual act: you can't be serious ... you do still believe in the missionary position, don't you? not that it isn't fun from time to time :-) ...
... so how would you know what I'm substituting for if you never tried my way? if you can only see your needs, your desires, your pleasures? ...
Orion: finally there's one cricket chirping back from the wilderlands :-) ... I don't want to tear down your book suggestion, as I haven't read it and am not going to read it for one reason: I have read so many 'authoritative' books and medical/psychiatric reports with very similar titles that I won't bother denouncing them all ... however if you want to discuss a specific point from that book, feel free to quote topics and I'll certainly answer them ... or try my own book suggestion: 'Samois: Coming to Power' for a very different approach to a one-sided topic ...
... as for your other points: yes there are the sadists you describe - too many of them I'm afraid, and that's why I wanted to show another side of SM that is seldom seen beneath the smear-jobs on sadism (and masochism) ...
... my personal experience (and that of other SM women I've known) shows exactly the opposite: if you want to receive sexual (and emotional) pleasure/gratification from sadomasochism, you already have to have a strong ego, an unshatterable sense of your personal value, to start with; otherwise your first SM scene will break you (physically and emotionally) and you'll end up like the creatures you describe: desperate for significance even if it is only as a slave, a toy ... desperate to bring others down to your own broken level ... if on the other hand you enter an SM relationship with a healthy and intact ego, you seek pleasure, affirmation, reciprocation of your desires, your strength, your power - not have them broken down to someone else's level ...
... the best part of your post for me is your confirmation, that indeed these powergames are very pervasive; they infiltrate our relationships, our jobs, our religion, our philosophy ... and that's another 'objective' advantage of SM apart from the sexual gratification I receive from SM (tastes differ - I'm not out to convert anybody): having been in the pits of powergames way beyond what any politician, employer, lover, priest or philosopher would dare play with me (at least none of those ever tried putting a knife to my throat - that's when you really start valueing your life!), I have learned to recognise their power-mongering much faster when it crops up around me; have learned in a safe (and pleasurable) way, what it means to smear SM as dirty and sick and then turn around and play powergames with me ... Don't! ... I'll slap you so hard you won't know which side you started on ...
Let me rephrase my article: personal tastes differ and what I find pleasureable you may find disgusting - but that's a value-judgement everyone has to make for themselves - you can't make up my mind and you certainly can't make up my pleasures ... what I'm trying to get across though, is the fact that there are more ways to have pleasureable sex than the heterosexual missionary position ... and I won't get into another smear-job on that one ;-)
My second point is that SM is not only about sex, but mostly about power - the same as politics is about power, as relationships have to deal with power, as a rapist who seeks power - power is an almost universal aphrodisiac ... but not every man is a rapist, not every politician is a fanatic dictator and not every sadist is a sick bastard ... take a look at your own powergames and find out how much of a sadist you are yourself and how much you make yourself cower/acquiesce before other's powergames you perceive as stronger ... how many 'harmless' powergames you play every day under the guise of a smile, a diplomatic expression, a threatening or subservient posture of your body, your face ... safe and consensual playing-out of power-roles helps you at least understand them better, if not changing them for your empowerment ...

Post 4

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:24pmSanction this postReply
The sadist is ultimately desperate for significance... He or she does not feel effectual, and craves a genuine response which indicates that his or her presence has actually registered and affected another person or persons.  In many ways, also, it's about the need for authenticity and intimacy, a fear that the other person doesn't have the same weaknesses that the sadist perceives that he or she herself has... and breaking the other person down completely to a state of similar perceived weakness is how that kinship is realized.
I'm tempted to ask how Orion knows all this ;-)

I agree Rand's sex scenes are somewhat sadomasochistic, and I'll admit that I personally do find them very erotic. While these negative psychological attitudes that Orion and Marcus have described may or may not be true of some or even most BDSM types (I'm not acquainted with any so I don't know for sure), they are certainly not true of Rand's characters and I don't think they are necessarily true of all sadomasochists. Looking particularly at Roark and Dominique in The Fountainhead, in conventional terms Roark is the dominant/sadistic partner and Dominique is the submissive/masochistic partner. Yet to me it is clear in the novel that both Roark and Dominique are in some respects dominant and in others submissive.

Lindsay will probably say that I'm over-intellectualising this ;-)


Post 5

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:27pmSanction this postReply
PS: any other 'objectivist' sadomasochist out there? would like to hear about your views on SM and Objectivism ...

Post 6

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 1:44pmSanction this postReply

Okay, you do have a very important point, which I will now expound upon.

As I may have said in this forum elsewhere, I think that most things come in two forms, including sadism... and what I'm about to say next, I say in all seriousness, so first-time readers should be patient:

Sadism comes in two forms:  ethical and unethical.  Yes, I firmly believe this to be true.  What I've described in the previous post is the unethical form of it. 

The ethical form revolves around fairness and justice, and serves a therapeutic purpose; basically, the ethical sadist can be described as the avenger... the punisher... the "Dirty Harry"; or in a less hostile form, the "Annie Sullivan".  In this form, some truly metaphysically, philosophically corrupt or evil person wreaks a malignant effect on society.  Perhaps "knownst" or unbeknownst to them, they need to be stopped, and utterly. 

The ethical sadist steps in and uncompromisingly "opens a can of whup-ass" on them, and takes great achievemental pride in partaking in their complete and utter defeat, and in the agony of that defeat.  However, the ethical sadist also enters into this situation with a positive, productive form of malice in mind:  they know that the corrupt individual can only be freed -- and regrow him/herself -- if they are re-introduced all the way back to square one:  to a broken, infantilized state, from which they can grow in a more rational direction... and with a sense of respectful admiration for the one who would not compromise what was right. 

I think that this rationale describes what ultimately has to happen in the War on Terrorism, and how it cannot be successful when compromised by those who do not understand this process.

In addition, I suppose that you could describe an "ethical masochist" who also understands the truth of this, but from the other perspective:  They know that their way is intractable, and that they need to be broken of it.  Such a person would seek out this form of healing treatment.

If you look at Ayn Rand's sense of sexuality from this perspective, I think you might describe it as typically of the second variety, although Kira's lustful admiration for the overseer who gratuitously brandishes the whip upon the peasant folk in We, the Living, does seem more like the unethical type to me.

And there you have it.



*L*  Well, since you are "tempted" to ask (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), I'll just answer anyway:   

My negative view of the unethical variety, as espoused in the previous post, are the results of extensive personal research and reading I've engaged in, as the result of the devastating psychological effects that a very unethically sadistic and malicious former girlfriend had on me, some time ago...  I was naive, and did not understand really what had been done to me, or why.  As a result, I think I've earned an informal Master's or Ph.D. in "Mind-fuck-ology".

On the other hand, my positive view of the ethical variety, as I've just described here, developed from all the heroic archetypes that I've grown up with, as well as a reluctant -- yet I suppose inevitable -- induction into that other world of initially unsettling -- but honest --private requests of the fairer sex, behind closed doors.  

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 8/27, 1:25am)

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Post 7

Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 3:59amSanction this postReply

"Marcus: if a woman's bottom is the aim of your intents, ask yourself why it then has to be a slap (or a pinch, which is also considered 'harmless violence') instead of a caress ... what the implications of a 'painless' slap are: the constant reminder, that next time it might not be painless ...

... as for women enjoying voluntary submission because of the nature of the sexual act: you can't be serious ... you do still believe in the missionary position, don't you? not that it isn't fun from time to time :-) ...

... so how would you know what I'm substituting for if you never tried my way? if you can only see your needs, your desires, your pleasures? ... "


So, what if I do only engage in missionary position? What would be so bad about that? Am I less of a person than you because I don't fantasise about being cut with a knife by my lover as a turn on? Are you so superior because you have tried these things?


Do I need someone to urinate on me, to rule that out as a turn on?


No I don't, because unlike your infantile world view - a mature adult doesn't have to act out these things to be able to tell whether or not he/she likes them.


My point about bottom slapping was simply that it is about a sign of affection. If my lover told me that she didn't think it was, then I wouldn't do it.


I don't want to distress her in any way in the bedroom or otherwise. But obviously from your comments this is the type of emotion you thrive on!!!!! Causing distress and getting on off wielding power over another person. If anything this displays an acute inferiority complex on your part!!!!


Playing with knives and pain during intercourse is obviously (objectively) not a sign of love or affection. And if you think that they are - you really are sick!!!!!


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Post 8

Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 7:35pmSanction this postReply
The take of this non-vanilla neo-Objectivist on Vera's article, the subsequent debate and SM and sexuality in general:

Marcus, you raise an interesting example with slapping. Is it pain? Is it pleasure? Could you or she be finding pleasure in pain? Isn't that just a little bit naughty?! It may be a less extreme example than Vera's but it's still playing with pain and transforming it into pleasure. An interesting aspect of SM is the way it refuses to limit the realm of pleasure. In turning pain into pleasure, it demonstrates how we can control our bodies for our own satisfaction. Even pain is not immune from being used as a tool for human enjoyment. Even political relations of oppression and submission can be mimicked, played with and eroticised. Turning pain into gain, you might say.

The reference to the missionary position is appropriate. I think there is a problem with anyone who doesn't want to go beyond that. It would be like only eating bread and drinking water and never experiencing the cuisine of the world. You're not experiencing so much of what life - and the human body - has to offer. The body has many other erotic potentialities than just what's between your legs. SM is just one form of what could be called non-orthodox sexual practices (i.e. kink) that seek to create new pleasures. As long as they're "safe, sane and consensual" there shouldn't be a problem.

SM takes the power-play of real life and mimics it, turning the tools of power so often used against sexuality into erotic forms. So domination and control become not a means to oppress the dominated, but a means to please the dominated. And then, is the dominated really without power? For without his/her submission, no domination would be possible. The inter-relation of master and slave is exposed, and the master's dependence on the slave revealed. When both practitioners return to 'the real world' they will hopefully remember the radical implications of where the real power lies.

Marcus, your vehemence against Vera seems overdone. Cutting may be an extreme example - but then again, is it really so extreme? Think of all the ways people manipulate their bodies to be sexually attractive and all the pain it entails: shaving, waxing, applying make-up, body piercing, going to the dentist, going to the gym. Pain in order to achieve pleasure. Is that sick?

I might add that if you think anybody has experimented with pushing pain during sex is sick, then a vast number of people out there are sick. Including people who like a simple slap on the backside. 

Post 9

Friday, August 27, 2004 - 1:00amSanction this postReply
Cameron, Marcus, Vera: 

I'm glad somebody brought up the whole body-piercing thing...

Too many of the piercers that I've talked to, have a seriously difficulty with me saying that their recent penchant (before ten years ago, virtually nobody did it but marginalized dreg people, now everybody's doing it) for body piercing involves sadism or masochism.  They just go nuts when you even try to bring it up. 

I honestly feel that ever more increasingly, we are living in an emerging sadistic age due to an increasing worldwide entrenchment of irrationalism-promoting instutitions and a resultant population of irrationals, and that the inherent frustration and anger that is being felt by all, compels increasing numbers of people to channel their sense of fear and helplessness into a need for sadistic control.  Since our laws do not allow lashing out (unfortunately, in too many cases), then people must lash in.   

And that to me, means that more people must psychologically re-invent themselves as two separate people:  "master" and "slave", in order that they can distance themselves from what they feel compelled to engage in.  And what they feel a need to engage in, in the name of re-asserting their cannibalized sense of power, control, and dignity, I suppose you could call auto-sadism.  They split themselves off, into a "master" side, which gets to enjoy the sadistic "pleasure" of torturing and mutilating, and a "slave" side which gets the abuse.  

I'm not sure if these people actually identify psychologically as the "slave", or if they really just only become all "master", and distance themselves psychologically from their body, which becomes the empathetically unfelt "slave", in order that they receive the abuse without the horror of self-realization.    

Seriously... I mean all this; after quite a long time of examining the issue, to me it seems the only thing that explains things, and if I'm right, all this body piercing is an indication of just how utterly pervasive the rot in modern society really is, in order for people to be engaging in all of this. 

Once again, I blame the emergence of the sadistic age on the only untouchable institution which actually is sadomasochism, and which has always attempted to convert all other institutions and individuals to also become sadomasochistic:  religion

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 8/27, 6:02am)

Post 10

Friday, August 27, 2004 - 2:38amSanction this postReply

I agree with what you're saying about religion, but I also think you're conflating SM as a consensual sex act with sadism as a more general and not necessarily consensual activity (by which I mean taking pleasure in inflicting cruelty on a recipient who does not consent and does not enjoy it - school teachers getting off on caning kids, the piercing example where one participant feels a turn on that the other is unaware of, etc). Regarding your idea of "ethical" sadism, what your describing amounts in fact to justice, and to that extent of course is to be praised, but precisely because it is justified I don't really think of it as sadism.

Within a specifically sexual context, I'm generally sympathetic to Cameron and Vera. I'm not sure I'd want to be involved with cutting, heavy bondage or anything like that but provided both partners have the right psychological attitude I see nothing wrong with a bit of "slap and tickle" or with the kind of rough sex that appears in Rand's books.


Post 11

Friday, August 27, 2004 - 5:53amSanction this postReply

Well, when I hear the term "sadism", I generally think of someone getting pleasure from someone else suffering in an unwanted and/or undeserved physical or psychological way, either at the first person's hands or otherwise... (I regard this as a highly negative and indefensible attitude, yet seemingly to me the most ever-popular way to live these days.)

However, I also know that fairness administered upon those who worship unfairness, feels painful and unwanted to those persons.  So, to the unjust, justice is sadism.  That's the warped perspective that I account for, when I talk of "ethical sadism".  (Recall that those folks have an almost completely inverted world-view, so what is upside-down for us, is rightside-up for them.) 

But even so, their way is untenable, even for them... because no matter how much they will protest that their way is just different and not morally evil, they betray themselves when they are staunchly unwanting of the same treatment that they give to others.  These people will typically ask for mercy, yet will turn around and have no compunction whatsoever about showing a total lack of mercy to others.

In other words, these people really boil down to nothing more than hypocrites and parasites.  And my keen understanding of these folks is the result of having spent four years with one, and having been victimized by one.  In retrospect, she was a deceptive sadist from a family of deceptive sadists...

The sour apple never falls far from the tree, no matter how much that apple seems to resemble some other fruit when you find it.  It's just another one of nature's clever -- albeit nasty -- little strategies for survival:  exploiting a potential host through camouflage. 

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 8/27, 5:59am)

Post 12

Friday, August 27, 2004 - 7:46amSanction this postReply
Cameron - thanx for the excellent analysis - sometimes when you're too close to a subject (as I certainly am) you cannot quite grasp the objective points about it ... you've done it brilliantly :-)
Orion - I understand where you are coming from and to a certain extent I even symphasize with you for the misery you suffered at a sadist's hands ... but the people you describe have nothing in common with the sadomasochists I know. Can we agree that we talk about two very different groups of people, who for lack of differentiating vocabulary get summed up under one topic? Or am I to understand that your view-point is that sadomasochism in all it's forms is 'perversity reinvented' to harm others and yourself?
Marcus - if you don't like it, nobody forces you to read this ... you were the one who insisted that I am substituting violence and pain for pleasure and love ... I just turned the tables on you handing back some of your own medicine ... if you do not enjoy it you can say so and I'll never think any less of you or try to persuade you into 'depravity' (which for you it would be) ... but stop insulting those who do enjoy it! As I said earlier: to each their own pleasures! And as long as no one get's hurt (not my slaves and mistresses and certainly not myself!), you are not the judge of my 'sickness' ... for some more 'objective' points on SM see Cameron's post ...

Post 13

Friday, August 27, 2004 - 9:00amSanction this postReply

As long as it's fully informed and consensual, I have no problem with people doing who knows what behind closed doors.  

But their activities better have no harmful effect on anyone but themselves.  If they do, well... vengeance is mine, sayeth me.

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 8/27, 9:01am)

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