I am deeply conflicted about this post, Publishers, Authors and BDSM…, by Mary of Mary’s Menage Whispers. Especially with regards to the following statements:
It seems that authors and publishers easily forget that in BDSM, SM means Sado Maso. Sado Maso is NOT romantic. In fact, living the lifestyle is NOT romantic too.
Fact: Whoever says there is no romance in BDSM has not seen the film Secretary.
Perhaps what also muddles this for Mary, and others, is misunderstanding the fact that the “S” & “M” in BDSM can mean multiple things. BDSM is complicated and layered like that. (We’ve written a book about just that.)
So who is Mary or anyone else to say what any person’s definition of any letter, or it’s related kinks, in BDSM really is?
But Mary is worried.
So why am I so obsessed on the label “BDSM”? Because it portrays a wrong information to women. They will may enter in the lifestyle and will be badly burned because hey! they read a BDSM story and in the BDSM story it was okay to do this or that. Predators will LOVE them. They will jump on them like vultures with fresh meat.
She says she’s worried about women being victimized in the BDSM scene based on anecdotal evidence; a personal story here, a news story there. But what really seems be be going on here is the perpetuation of the myth that women are victims to be preyed upon. That BDSM myth, while rampant, is just that ~ a myth. Since Mary believes in Wikipedia so much (she links and quotes from it often in her post), here’s a fact listed at Wiki that she apparently missed:
Several studies on the correlation of BDSM pornography and the violence against women recapitulate that there is no correlation. Japan is a useful example: a country which has the lowest rate of sexual crimes of all industrialized nations while being well known for its comprehensive BDSM and bondage pornography (see Pornography in Japan).
Mary’s assumptions about BDSM are not only incorrect, but insulting to women (who are potential victims) and men (as potential thugs) alike. *snort* We women can have our rape fantasies, the laws that protect us from actual rape, and our romantic BDSM stories too.
That might be enough ranting education for some, but while we are discussing this it’s important to note the whole issue of romance itself.
Romance, romantic notions, and the fairy tale notions it has inspired in many a person and our culture itself are far more dangerous than consensual BDSM play or BDSM lifestyle. The insidious, unexamined, unacknowledged, unrealistic and delusional expectations of romance has led to far more dangers, from those who would prey on another using romance as a lure to the daily lies in our lives; yet there are no cautionary words from Mary about such dangers. Not in her genre of menage romance (erotic stories of multiple men with one woman), not in romance in general ~ not even in the idea of fantasy itself.
I find it odd that a person who reads such stories doesn’t even bother to distinguish between the fantasies and realities of those stories. Surely there are dangers in menage scenes (just as there surely are BDSM elements inherent in menage stories of group sex ~ even if only in the power exchange play, not corporal punishment). Certainly there are legitimate concerns about the dangers of a woman being “alone” in a group of men. But Mary apparently has no problems giving the readers of menage romance erotica credit for being able to discern what is a fantasy and what is real life. Why isn’t she giving readers of BDSM stories, especially the female ones, credit for the same abilities?
Most people are aware of what is fantasy, what is real, and when the twain shall never meet. This is why books, films, phone sex, and the like exist; to allow us to safely entertain ourselves by delighting our genitalia, hearts, and the like by immersing ourselves in a fantasy which is all in our minds.
There are names for those who cannot separate fantasy from reality. Those names are not “submissive” or “Dominant,” not “Master” or “slave”, not “female readers of BDSM” or “women with fantasies of BDSM”. Those names for those who cannot separate fantasy from reality are the diagnosis of disorders and mental illnesses given by doctors and mental health professionals.