“One’s opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute.”
With every passing day, BDSM — consensual violence — becomes both more intriguing and controversial. To those in the so-called mainstream, BDSM is simply an excuse for patriarchal oppression cloaking hatred of women in a media-friendly guise of ritualistic violence. Certainly the top-rated streaming television shows and some movies of recent times offer up plenty of female nudity, torture and rape, all in the name of artistic prose. There is certainly no excuse for the revelations brought forth by #Metoo, nor for the feeble defense offered by those in political and legal power. Yet, the abuse and exploitation of the weaker by the stronger is a story older than human civilization. Men have always been adversaries of women.
Or have they?
Are women fragile creatures in constant need of protection and guidance? Are men ravenous beasts always seeking another hole to plunder? Is BDSM all about male pleasure and cowering females?
Those are the wrong questions. The notion that everyone is identical with identical motivations and desires is bullshit. That doesn’t stop politicians and marketers [Is there a difference?] from exploiting the fears of the unwashed masses by goading them into turning on those not of their tribe. [Tribe being a loosely defined term based on all sorts of factors.] The freaks usually get the brunt of that anger.
Even within the BDSM community, tribal boundaries make uneasy bed-fellows of participants. While it’s true that BDSM may stand stalwart at the barricades against the thunderbolts cast by vanilla hysteria, the gulf between those that enjoy spanking as foreplay and those using knives as an erotic boost is as vast as religious wars. Hyperbole? We are all guilty at times of mocking those who choose a different lifestyle.
Our fetish is normal, those other people…? Yuck!
But what if we weren’t adversaries? What if we didn’t troll someone by sneering “You’re not doing it right” or “What do you mean you’ve never tried spanking?”. What if we sought to understand each other? What if instead of turning away from our differences, we made an effort to communicate and listen? Men and women don’t have to be adversaries, anymore than ethnicity should divide neighbors into ‘us’ and ‘them’.
D/s is a true partnership between equals who find things that both enjoy in a loving, respectful and most importantly, with honesty in a relationship with full knowledge, consent and trust.