Imagine my surprise when a recent post in which I waxed autobiographical about my former life as a rock star devolved, in the comments, into a discussion on BDSM.
I kid, I kid! I wasn’t really surprised. All posts on feminist blogs eventually devolve into discussions on BDSM. There’s a Usenet term for this phenomenon. It’s called Geekwad’s Law.
Although I remain somewhat unclear as to what always and without fail prompts people to espouse the hotsy-totsyness of their nerdy whippy-leather fucking games whenever I type the word “sex” in a blog post, and although I am admittedly without much in the way of my own cunt-whipping credentials, my inner culture critic is moved to remark—all patriarchy-blaming aside— that sadism strikes me (ha! ha-ha!) as a rather pedestrian hobby. I further suggest that BDSM, like most counterculture “scenes,” is perhaps overly self-congratulatory on its supposed transgressivitude, since its constituents clearly demand the most banal ritual conformity, to a degree that possibly surpasses even that of junior high school. Which school, as you know, wrote the book on banal ritual conformity.
BDSM reminds me, among other things, of Dungeons & Dragons, and the dog show circuit, and those dudes in the park with swords and chain mail, and indie rock musicians, and guys who wear Star Trek uniforms to work, and people who deconstruct “American Idol” episodes in internet forums, and toddler beauty pageants. Except that BDSM probably involves a bit more stylized rape than most of those.
Am I mocking your “lifestyle”? I sure am! Although this should come as no surprise to even the casual reader, since I have made it no secret that the founding principle of I Blame The Patriarchy is opposition to all dominance models in the social order.
Whether or not it is true of your particular sexyclub, there can be no doubt that a lifestyle of ritualized dominance and submission carries with it a high risk of true abuse; few people exist in the world who are capable of finessing such a thing into the art form its proponents believe it to be. I know this because few people exist in the world who are capable of finessing anything into art, and there is little evidence to suggest that a scene based on so inane a pursuit as orgasm should be any different.