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Archive for November, 2008

What is bdsm?

Now that  I’ve hit my quota of eyecandy for the day, it’s time for some thinking. Dear more-experienced-people-than-me: what is this bdsm(&m) lark, anyway?

Just a small question. I’m sure we can get to the bottom of it before bedtime.

All the terms are so fuzzy, and interlinked, and subjective, and sometimes we throw them round interchangeably when they’re not interchangeable, submission not being the same as masochism and domination not being the same as sadism, etc etc yada yada. I’d really like to know what you lot think about these terms and how you self-identify. If I can understand how you tick, it may help me figure out how I tick.

For example. Doms: is it you dominating that does it for you, or him submitting? And vice versa for subs. Sadists: is it the being sadistic that does it for you, or the seeing-him-in-pain? Masochists – is it the being in pain, or the having someone hurt you? Or is the pain just part of the submission? Part of the domination? Do you dominate in order to hurt, or hurt in order to dominate? Etc.

Incidentally, I can’t be the first person to wonder about these questions, so if anyone knows any discussions along these lines that have happened elsewhere, I’d love it if you’d point me at them.

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Really more Wolverine

Not that I’m obsessive or anything.

Well, it looks like I can’t embed Yahoo Video on WordPress without a plugin, which I can’t be arsed to look into, but I can link. Linky linky. Here are the videos I promised Ranat a few posts back:

Wolverine stabbing himself in the chest and then letting Rogue suck the life out of him

Naked bloody Wolverine

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Johnny Castle

Another boy from the wrong side of the tracks relying on his body to make a living. Dancing is Johnny’s only marketable skill, and he’s poorly paid even for that. He depends on the ‘generosity’ of wealthy, powerful older women, who only want him for his body, paying him to dance with them, and sometimes a little bit more. They toy with him and then cast him aside at will. Meanwhile, all the ‘respectable’ employees despise him, seeing him as a piece of trash who’ll never amount to anything. Even Baby’s kindly doctor father assumes he’s a piece of scum who knocked up his partner and sent her to a backstreet abortionist. But however badly they treat him, he still has to swallow his pride and cowtow to them, because he just can’t afford to lose that job. His anger and resentment bubble away just under the surface, but can’t dispel his deep-rooted shame and feelings of worthlessness.

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Eh?

So, my mouse strayed (lovingly) over the picture of Sharpe in the previous post, and up popped a little preview window (as the image was linked), along with some text link ads. They read: Intimacy… Older Women… Calligraphy… Apprentice… Eros…

Ladies and gentleman, that’s how the adbots see my blog.

And it all seemed perfectly reasonable, too, except for the calligraphy bit. Eventually I remembered I’d been burbling about Hero, which of course is partly set in a calligraphy school, but it did initially give me a moment of wtf?

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Major Richard SharpeRichard Sharpe is a big, tough, rough-and-tumble, suffering (half anti-) hero. He’s been constantly crapped on since day one. His mother was a whore, he grew up in an orphanage, and joined the army (his body being his only means of making a living, and we know how I feel about that) hoping to die there. He was made an officer after his reckless, self-destructive courage saved Arthur Wellesley’s life, and then had to convince the (equally rough and sordid) men in his unit he was worth following. (There was contempt. There were fist fights. It was glorious.) His fellow officers, all bluebloods, do their best to humilate him and point out the shame of his background at every turn. He’s been flogged for a crime he didn’t commit (the most brutal and shameful punishment available), seen his first wife murdered, and his second wife, a seemingly sweet thing whom he rescued from an abusive uncle, left him for a ‘proper’ officer, taking all his money with her.

Women all round the world used to tune in every week to see what horrible things were going to be done to him next. We revel in his suffering as much as his toughness.

Plus, you know, Sean Bean (who I could quite happily listen to just reading the phone book). He manages to bring some necessary vulnerability to the role – the character isn’t half so attractive in the books.

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You know, h/c is such a popular genre of fanfic (and not just the slashy variety) that perhaps we can conclude that mild sadism is actually very common in women. H/c is the socially acceptable face of sadism: the variety where we’re not the ones doing the hurting. Is that social rule the only thing standing between society’s ideas of ‘normal’ and ‘sadistic’?

Imagine we could for a moment wave away that deeply ingrained instinct that we (us, personally) shouldn’t hurt people. All those teenage girls who suddenly developed mad crushes on Neville Longbottom when he fought on through injury during Deathly Hallows (spawning a million h/c fanfics – and let’s not forget the emotional pain of his tortured parents); all those middle-aged women reading romance novels where the hero fights his way through his enemies to arrive bruised and bleeding at his true love’s door; all those who loathe corporal punishment but still thrill to remember that Sharpe is a flogged man; would they all suddenly discover themselves to be fully-fledged sadists? Is there a difference, and if so, is it one of quality or of degree? Does it matter whether we’re the ones wielding the whip? Does it matter why he’s being hurt? And if so, how much does it matter?

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As YouTube stymied my naked-bloody-Wolverine plans (we’ll see if Yahoo video are less fussy), today I present for your delectation pretty men getting it on in a puddle.

The plot, if you care, is that pretty man A is an assassin and was hired to grab pretty man B and bring him back to be killed. But when he got him back to his boss, A discovered that B wasn’t a wrong’un, but was being killed because he had helped the police. A promptly had a fit of conscience, and helped B escape instead, getting shot in the process. The two went into hiding, and B has been nursing A back to health (that’s right, Ranat, hurt and healing), despite A’s attempts to drive him away. Many longing glances have been cast surreptitiously by both parties. I’ve included a few at the start for mood. Or something.

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