As someone who has spent last weekend in a dungeon maybe I can give some clarification to this.
First of all, players in the BDSM scene have a creed of "Safe, sane & consensual". We understand that the type of play that we're doing comes with inherant risks, but so do all things, and so therefore we try to regulate it as much as possible. As in all things there are exceptions to the rule... accidents whether they be physical or mental and those people who use the guise of BDSM to get away with things that are normally unacceptable (such as ACTUALLY raping someone as opposed to pretending to rape someone).
The premise of any power exchange whether it be BDSM or the government or even a parent & child is that one has power over the other because the other allows them to. (As long as someone is willing to suffer the reprecusions, really what power do you hold over them.) This is what Den meant about the bottom having the power. What actually happens though is that usually negotiations take place beforehand in where both (or more) parties discuss what they each want from the encounter and how far they're willing to go. This may include a "Yes/No/Maybe" checklist of activities so the bottom can decide what they are willing to do and then the top can pick any of those that they'd like to do themselves. Thus they keep each other in check so to speak. The scene is only taken as far as the least of one of them is willing to go.
I think though, that if you're going to be against something because it has the capacity to harm someone then you should be against all things with that same capacity. Would you argue against sports with the same volition? Or television? My point being that BDSM is made up of fantasies. It gives a person a chance to act out (not upon) desires of their darker side without having to go there. I know that someone on one of these threads gave an analogy about two wolves in a heart, but if you don't feed one of them it will become ravenous and eventually kill the other.
Luny, that's not very good logic. A starving creature, no matter how desperate, is still at a supreme disadvantage to a healthy, well fed animal.
I've read through this thread and thought it through some, and I agree with TomD's assesment in general. Sexual role-playing I suppose is about as harmful as other forms. Most people, knowing that it's a game or fantasy, are able to seperate it from their normal life. There is still a percentage, however, that lose touch with reality, and that can become dangerous. But that is part of the inherent risk, is it not?
Praetorian, Since you believe that pain should only be used as a warning device, never for pleasure, I assume you stay far, far away from spicy chili, ice cold drinks on a hot day, and roller coasters?
And just to play Devil's advocate:
Luny, If a consenting adult asked for cocaine because they truly enjoy the sensation of having their brains turn to jelly, is the dealer therefor simply fulfilling a stated need, and not evil?
On the analogy: While the underfed animal may be at a disadvantage, it also has the advantage of desperation and having nothing to lose so is more likely to do something stupid. Maybe I didn't state it very well earlier.
On the drug-dealer analogy: I am somewhat undecided about this. While I do believe that everyone is free to do what they will with their own bodies, I think that the dealer is still to blame for the following reason... does he go out of his way to make sure that the consumer knows the risk?
Lastly I've had a thought: Pain and pleasure are much like hot and cold , two sides of the same coin. If you keep intensifying one you eventually get the other.
That depends on your own personal limits doesn't it? How about the reverse? Have you ever had so much pleasure that it hurt?
Posts: 176 | Registered: Mar 2002
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I agree with Tom. Almost slicing my finger off HURT like crazy, no pleasure involved. Sticking a pitchfork through my toes, ditto. Taking a soccer ball at over 50mph in the groin, ditto. Etc.
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