in BDSM is the sign of a sick society intones:
I promise i'll never comment again on this node because it's gone waaaaaay over the top....

You people want to hurt and humiliate each other!

You sick fucks!

And i think a great many of us feel that way. If we don't say so out loud it's because the "more liberal than thou" posse will be right on our cases and we can't be bothered with it. Safe, sane, consensual? My ass. ...

Enough from me.

Gracefully(sic) bowing out of the flames (s)he chose to start.

Goddamn right it's enough. (And by the by, not all people who engage in leathersex are liberal.)

This rant goes well beyond my personal tolerance for insensitivity and self righteousness. the author is as much entitled to an opinion as any, however I, for one eidn't come to e2 to be lectured about my sexuality. I will take on particular points:

Any kind of Freudian analysis of domination resolves to either megalomania or compensation

For starts, more than one practicing therapist has come to the viewpoint (which I first heard expressed by ram dass (Richard Alpert)) that "The patients of (freudian, rogerian, ...) therapists invariably showed symptoms consistent with the discipline of the therapist.

In other words viewpoints matter, and the analysis which focuses on the analyst's view ahead of the subject's (or patient's) reality is probably somewhere missing the point. This is not to suggest that analysis is useless, rather to point out it's limitations, and to emphasize that 'perception is reality'

1. Domination is all about power-complexes and wanting to humiliate somebody else ...
2. Submission is all about wanting to be powerless, getting off on not taking responsibility for your own actions

Yes there are people I talk to who subscribe to this view, sometimes it's clear thay haven't 'gotten' what I express on the subject. That is not to imply that people who disagree with me are wrong, they have a viewpoint.

Similar viewponts could hold that my bisexuality is 'wrong'. Some gay or lesbian queers hold that bisexuals are 'fence sitting' or 'holding onto heterosexual privilege', some homophobes would label me as bad for being 'queer' and some other 'het?' people might label me as 'interesting to fuck because they like the idea of a threesome. I could (and sometimes do) label all of these as sick, exploitive or clueless. I also try to keep in mind that these are just labels, and others may not use the same ones.

For my viewpoint, most of these labels began with the freudians. (And the cynic in me is quick to note that some fraction of the therapy profession has been quite willing to incarcerate people like me and / or make a living curing them.)

And the worst thing is that you know you're fucked up and twisted but rather than admit it, you try to convince everyone else that you're completely natural.

Ahem. Ok for starts I personally subscribe to rack not SSC, some people who practice leathersex choose watered down language to describe what they do when speaking to outsiders, believing that this is a key to quicker social acceptance. While I am not against gaining some degree of mainstream acceptance, I don't think this is an objective which would justify telling half-truths.

I have done my time in therapy it serves its purpose I have solved some problems there. I worked hard at that and have made progress against a lifelong inclination to depression. I think I understand a little about the process of therapy, and the limits of psychoanalysis.

I also like to play on the edge. I identify as willing to undertake nontrivial risk. In the words of Joseph Bean I will risk 'life, limb or sanity in 'play'. This could be simply labeled thrill seeking, however I actually see myself as risk averse. (On a motorcyle I wear leather (or similar synthetic protective gear, ride sober, and smart, and aware of the limits of the equipment and my own judgement.)

So why take on 'risk' in sexual play?

Whether playing on the top or bottom I am taking responsibility for my own exploration of self. I find pleasure. (It is every bit as possible to tickle or caress with a bullwhip as it is to create searing pain.) In simple biochemical terms SM can create very high levels of endorphins. Done 'right' (usually involving build-up, and a rythm which mimics or combines with the rythm of repeated orgasm), this is a means to expanding body awareness.

The wu I'm ranting about focussed more heavily on what I would call the dominance and submission aspects of leathersex. In particular the wu focusses on humiliation. While I've been focussing on SM and sensation aspects, the potential to access sensitive places in the psyche are also an aspect of leathersex. Humiliation play is in fact a very touchy subject in the scene, and for many players in their personal views.

DS can imply accessing places that are very sensitive and some find it to be a good way to work through past trauma or other issues. This does not necessarily imply repeating or wallowing in the past. IMX while most people (in and out of the context of leathersex) may continue to revisit themes, that places which had priorly carried much angst either evaporated (hence becoming less interesting for future 'play'), or possibly becoming places where I could take simple joy, where before there had been fear.

Finaly, much of the strife and drama I have observed in people's personal lives has had *everything* to do with power exchange, and that is often happening without openly negotiated boundaries, limits or objectives. The skeptical observer might consider this to be a polyannaesqe view (that 'we' in bdsm do things differently or better) I will suggest that (s)he actually walk a mile in that person's shoes before entertaining criticism.