Monday, December 14, 2009

BDSM and the problem of evil: Incompatible coping strategies

To recap, I've observed that BDSMers cope with playing at evil in several ways... (I've revamped these a little)...

They each comprise a pairing of context - how they place BDSM mentally - and a style - either distancing themselves from the evil, or accepting it:
  • Fantasy Acceptor: e.g. "Rape me in a car park (since it's only a game)."
  • Fantasy Distancers: e.g. "I'm a Celtic slave and she's a Roman Widow (so we know it's only a game)."
  • Experiential Acceptors: e.g. "I enjoy doing this. What of it?"
  • Experiential Distancer: "This isn't sadistic punishment, it's a ritual of trust etc etc. (Evil? Moi?)"
  • BDSM Acceptors: e.g. "Men/Women deserve to rule over women/men. (I'm not kinky, I'm righteous.)"
  • BDSM Distancer: e.g. "I'm into BDSM. This is what BDSM folks do. (Our power relations are nothing to do with the real world.)"
This has practical implications, since not all coping strategies are easily compatible.

I've found that Experiential Acceptors make for the best play partners, since you get a 100% authentic experience (bounded by time, of course) - they just get on and enjoy being boss.

The snag is that I've tended to preserve my self esteem by being a Fantasy Distancer.
Experiential Acceptors simply aren't interested in pretending to be Amazon Queens, or don't have the acting talent. At length they get pissed off and the sessions ebb away. My solution is to create scenarios as close to our real world as possible - and that seems to work very nicely, thank you.

Of the others, I only have direct, if disastrous, experience of Fantasy Acceptors. These always seemed to offer the possibility of shared fantasy. However, I quickly found that they would go places that icked me out, and in turn they took my squeamishness as a rejection.

What remains are types observed on the Internet.

The "BDSM Acceptor" turns me on. What could be more scary than to be in the power of a female supremacist? However, we'd be totally incompatible. First, I don't agree with any kind of sexism, and don't really respect people who are sexist. Then, there's the problem that she'd be very unkeen on doing anything that fulfilled my S&M fantasies, for the simple reason that I'd be enjoying them. Wires would be fantastically crossed.

I'd have no problem with a "BDSM Distancer", except I'm not really interested in the paraphernalia. Leather and latex don't speak to me of my fantasy worlds, and they reek of pandering to a male-driven aesthetic.

A "Experiential Distancer"... well, I'm afraid I'd find her rather cloying. My fantasy is about descending into the darkness. Trust is involved... nay, required, for that kind of trip. However, it's not about trust. I don't take a whipping to prove my love, or please my mistress, I take it because I'm a slave (and because it shows I'm a slave).

Looking back up at the list, I wonder if the two styles are always incompatible. We've already seen what happens between Fantasy Distancers and Fantasy Acceptors. BDSM Distancers and Acceptors would also be ultimately doomed, because each would always be chafing at the limits and demands of the other - hence some of the arguments we see in BDSM forums. Experiential Acceptors would see Experiential Distancers as cloying, but the Distancers would see the Acceptors as plain sociopathic or self-destructive.

When relationships cross between contexts, then things get more complicated...

I suspect Fantasy people tend to treat BDSM as a sort of fantasy, but would hit a brick wall with an BDSM Acceptor who wanted it for real, 24/7.

Experiential Acceptors would be happy with both kinds of Fantasy people, and BDSM Distancers as long as they didn't make too much of a fuss - which could be a drawback for the other side of the equation.

Experiential Distancers probably usually embrace BDSM culture, and express themselves ostensibly as one of the two BDSM types. However, I bet they're often at cross-purposes with both...

So, I think to build a kinky relationship, you have to know your coping method and that of your partner, or face the unerotic consequences.

4 comments:

KinkyDirtyBitch said...

I have been reading your blog for sometime now and thought it was about time I thanked you for offerring an insight and useful tip and advice.

I have recently started to explore more areas of BDSM, in the last 2 few weeks started offering a Real-Time Domme service to my clients with paticular emphasis on chastity and Tease and Denial.

One of my clients has recently been locked in the CB-6000 Male Chastity Kit, which has given me a real buzz and feeling of entire control.

Anyways hopefully you will keep the posts coming and will attempt to comment more and let you know how your advice has helped me.

Thank you again.

Hope you had a great Christmas and Happy New Year chick.

mwah x

Giles English said...

Good for you, and thanis for the kind words. Did you get a chance to read my novel?

BisexualEV said...

I actually found this post very interesting... I never really thought of it like that. I admit I really can't stand BDSM acceptor types, as you call them, since it tends to form an absolute that applies to all individuals. "I like dominating women, so all women must deserve to be dominated by me!" is really annoying. It honestly doesn't seem like acceptance... It seems like another insecurity, one's inability to comprehend that being a dominant person is right for one's self, but not for all men or women. I can see the other types having compatibility issues with each other, but none of the others seem outright suggesting their beliefs should apply to all others.

Giles English said...

Thanks! In better, simpler typology mooted in the next post up, I called these D&S Identifiers, as in they *identified* with the domination/submission dynamic.

Even odder - to read about online - are if they are also S&M Distancers (i.e. "ID" in the new typology), since they then claim that all the beating and bondage is in some way nurturing and test of trust etc, or proof of love.

That said, S&M distancers seem to function very well indeed. So, it's horses for courses, I guess...:)

Follow by Email