BDSM, or Alternative Lifestyles
What It Is That We Do
Masters & Johnson estimated that 10% of the American population practice some sort of BDSM play. That was when? In the 1950's? Dr. Alfred Kinsey estimated that as many as 50 percent of all adults experiment with some type of rough or painful stimulation during sex. Most contemporary sexologists agree that about 10 to 15 of the adult population regularly engages in kinky sex. Joy of Sex author Alex Comfort has advocated bondage as a way for couples to increase sexual pleasure. In the past couple of years there has been a social site launched similar to Facebook. Currently it has over 1,000,000 subscribers. Worldwide. And growing every day.
So, what is BDSM play?
Everything from light spanking & being tied to the bed for some erotic role playing to more intense practices. Some role playing can be a lot more intense. But you must fundamentally understand ALL BDSM PLAY is between CONSENTING ADULTS. We have what we call a "safeword", a safety mechanism that can be used by either party in a "scene" that indicates something is wrong, and that the scene must stop. Immediately. If either party cannot stop a scene, it is not BDSM play, it is abuse. When confronted with abuse, we, the members of the "Leather Community", are the first to call the police. We do not tolerate abuse. BDSM is NOT abuse. It is interaction between consenting adults (18 and over - depending on your jurisdiction).
Scenes can encompass any number of aspects. Most have some sort of physical component. Many involve an exchange of power: "I give you permission to do this to me." Other possible inclusions are emotional, mental, and yes, even sexual. Sometimes all of the above.
What makes BDSM play different from your average high school, college, or pro football game? BDSM play is safer. FAR safer. We take our safety quite seriously. In the twelve years the Crucible has been around, I can count on two hands (with fingers left over) the number of injuries I've been witness to or heard about in BDSM play, and they were all minor. As the current football season gets underway, wait for, and count the deaths that happen every year. From football!
What makes BDSM play different from football (or any other contact sports)? Quite simply, it's sex. No, we're not talking about a team and its cheerleaders, that's another issue. BDSM play has a large sexual aspect to it. It's kinky sex. There *are* those who practice BDSM play for whom sex has no part, and there ae many, but for the most part, that's what it's about... kinky sex. Horrors.Consenting adults are enjoying a free and fulfilling sex life. Something simply *must* be done. Call your local newspaper... or neighborhood blogger.
about sex. People don't seem to have a problem with Tyson and
Holyfield beating each other. But dress up like a French maid and give
someone a little spanking and all hell breaks loose."
What sort of "issue" are we really talking about here? Simple:
Freedom of choice. Freedom of religion. Freedom of "...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." Remember those words? Today, many don't. Some may not like it, but it's also freedom of sexual choice.
It's a Constitutional issue, this freedom idea. It's a bill of rights issue.
The First Amendment:
The first amendment comprises *three* parts. Freedom of speech is but the second part. That means (to me anyway) that the founding fathers thought the first part more important.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof [part 1]; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press [part 2]; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." [part 3]
This is crystal clear. It guarantees freedom of religion... further, it guarantees freedom *FROM* religion!! "...prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." means I have the right to choose to NOT exercise a religion, exactly as much as I have a right to choose Catholicism or, oh say paganism. You can't say: "You have the freedom to worship any way you wish... as long as it's one of the following sanctioned faiths." Understood in this freedom is the option of choosing: "None Of The Above"
Religious fundamentalists would very much like to *impose* their beliefs on the rest of us. Fundamentalists here, as well as fundamentalists abroad. Currently we're fighting a war in Afghanistan against this very kind of religious fundamentalism. Why is it so easy to do when it's against Islam, but unthinkable to ponder with Christianity?
Religion needs a safeword.
Fortunately, we live in the United States of America, not Afghanistan, or Iran or Saudi Arabia. We are governed not by the Bible (or Koran or Talmud), but by The Constitution. The founding fathers thought so much about the separation of Church and State, they wrote it into the Constitution. And were quite vocal about it:
government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on
the Christian religion."
that will trade a little order for a little
freedom will lose both, and deserve neither. If a
nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects
what never was and never will be . . . A democratic
society depends upon an informed and educated
citizenry. Information is the currency of democracy."
Thomas Jefferson (attributed)
American citizens are also guaranteed the right of freedom of assembly, and that doesn't mean: "Freedom of Assembly - as long as what you're doing is OK with the neighbors."
BDSM "events" like the ones that the Crucible promotes are for consenting adults, are held in private spaces, behind closed doors and locked gates.
We are not bothering you. Leave us alone.
Here are some quotes from some of the people who practice BDSM:
to love differently than to hate routinely"
"There is no greater evil than the sin of intolerance"
"Hate from your church will not remove love from our dungeon"
"We don't tell you what you may or may not do in your sexual life, what gives you the right to dictate ours?"
What kind of people are we?
Perverts? From the point of view of the ultra-conservative Bible thumper, perhaps. From the point of view of law enforcement who have to prosecute serial killers, pedophilic priests and corporate CEO's, hardly.
We are (the list grows as more e-mail to ask "Were's my profession?") doctors, laborers, lawyers, plumbers, politicians, genetic physicists, chemical engineers, school teachers, accountants, bus drivers, police officers, service personnel, carpenters, house wives, musicians, etc. etc., and even clergy. We are American citizens, no more, no less. We've served our country to protect our freedoms, and we will not let you take them away. Nor will we let you make us second class citizens simply because we practice a sexual life different from yours. We don't have to.
It's in the Constitution
For more information about YOUR sexual freedoms, please contact and support the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the Woodhull Freedom Foundation
Various (edited) quotes from Come Hither: A
Commonsense Guide to Kinky Sex:
"Sex behaviors that occur by consent are acceptable, valid, and normal expressions of adult sexuality. You may not approve of them, you may not want to engage in them, but they are a normal phenomenon and nothing to fear."
"Throughout history, hundreds of millions of people have regularly and safely engaged in sexual variations."
And here's some further information about BDSM from Gloria G. Brame, PhD, MPH http://www.sexualhealth.com/content/topic.cfm?topicID=137&thetopic=Sexual%20Activities