Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Typology of Coping Strategies - maybe it's simpler

OK, my last attempt was way too complicated!

I still think coping strategies revolve around D&S (the "evil" power relationship) and S&M (the "evil" acts themselves), but I think they all fall into three categories:
  • Cool: Has no qualms about playing at evil from time to time.
  • Distancer:
    D&S- Uses fantasy or e.g. BDSM culture to provide permission and context.
    S&M - Regards S&M acts as e.g. nurturing, or acts of trust, or quasi initiation.
  • Identifier:
    D&S- Identifies with his/her role, and adopts a morality to justify it, e.g. female supremacist.
    S&M - Would honestly say, "This is the real me."
This gives us 9 possible combinations, which we could write thus: CC,CD, CI, DC, DD, DI, IC, ID, II.

It's very hard online to tell if somebody's D&S coping strategy is to Distance or to Identify; the long postings about small penises and female supremacy could be one handed typing (distancing), or genuinely held beliefs.

Similarly, the rhetoric accompanying an S&M act may be entirely misleading. The lady with the whip may enjoy teasing her "victim" by talking about giving pain as a form of nurture, or she, or her fantasy persona, may be a distancing. Also, it's hard to know if somebody is cool with acts of sadism and masochism, or actually identifies themselves with them.

Even with this simpler typology, the potential for confusion and crossed wires is immense.

Strangely, in my erotica fiction, most of my characters are ultimately are II; they identify with both their role, and the S&M acts themselves.

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