Disgust dates from the late 16th cent.: from early modern French desgoust or Italian disgusto, from Latin dis– (expressing reversal) + gustus ‘taste.’
Reversal of taste. An interesting concept. What is taste? Foremost it is the ability to discern food and beverages that are pleasing to the palate — which is itself a derivation of taste. When we say someone has ‘good taste’, we are not talking about a specific item to eat, but more of a sophisticated and civilized style of life. Someone who is glamorous, elegant, discerning. Someone who thinks IKEA is beyond the pale. To whom farm-to-table involves helicopters and couriers.
So how does this relate to BDSM?
“What a disgusting habit!”
“You’re the most disgusting person!”
“Why do you read those disgusting blogs?”
I doubt anybody anywhere has ever said to someone involved in a D/s relationship that they have good taste. Outside the community that is. I’m talking about parents, relatives, co-workers; people that may equate fetishes to disgusting. Male penis in female vagina is normal: anything else is disgusting. But who decides what is in good taste? Community standards? Whose community?
To say something/someone is disgusting actually states that it is dangerous; dangerous in the way lack of taste can cause illness and even death through food poisoning. We instinctively know when food has gone off and through our upbringing and indoctrination, have expanded that wariness to all things that don’t fit the societal norm. The fact that we can’t detect someone else’s cultural norms, doesn’t even register in our minds.
“How can you eat that disgusting thing?”
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.