"If it's provable we can kill it."
Or, brain drugs + total freedom = addiction
Published on September 5, 2007 By EmperorofIceCream In Misc
A warning in advance. This article deals with issues of deviant sex and deviant sexuality and discusses them graphically, with no consideration (other than this warning) given to the more tender sensibilities of some among us. If you're offended or disturbed by such things - read no further.

Since I've recently had cause and inspiration (I wish the two always came together so easily, but they rarely do), I've been writing on the topic of Sado-Masochism. I've never really liked the acronym 'BDSM' - it takes in too much: everything from sex in fluffy handcuffs, to forcing fish-hooks through your lover's nipples, attaching fine chain, hoisting her onto her tippy-toes, and beating her until she can't scream anymore.

Sade wrote juvenile pornography of the most tedious kind - but was a writer and thinker of great talent on every other topic. On the other hand, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, author of Venus in Furs and from whose name 'Masochism' is derived, wrote pornography that reads the way silk feels when its drawn along the skin. And the content of 'Sadism', 'Masochism', 'S&M', 'BDSM' , (up to and including the egregious nonsense of the movie 8mm, which is a good film that has nothing at all to do with what I'm talking about) bears little or no relation to how these two infamous men lived their lives and thought about their lives.

So there's absolutely no point in going to the original sources for insight. Neither of them have any real relevance to what Sado-Masochism has become. There's any number of contemporary sources, only the most famous of which is 'Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns.' And Googling (much as I hate the thing, it's endlessly useful) BDSM will produce links to any number of discussion boards, BDSM groups, any and all of which might serve as sources to confirm or deny, applaud or condemn, the things I'm going to talk about. 'BDSM' is all things to all those who engage in it - which is why I no longer think of myself, or my relation to Sabrina, as participating in what is generally understood by most when they encounter that acronym.

I cut words and designs into my wife's back with a scalpel. She is the subject of my discipline and surrenders herself to its pains because in that abandonment there is for her no longer any responsibility of any kind. I, on the other hand, am exhilirated both by the power I have to make her suffer, and in the infinitely fine line I tread between killing her and letting her live - so that I can, later, do the same things again, and again. You can wrap it in all kinds of theory, all kinds of 'reasons' and 'causes': but that's what actually happens.

She abandons everything except her will - which is immense. Which is what so few 'dominants' understand, that their so-called 'submissives', their 'slaves', abandon everything except their will; and that it's usually their will to manipulate their 'Masters' into doing exactly what's wanted of them when it's wanted. It's called 'topping from the bottom' (bottom being the role of the submissive/slave and top being that of the dominant).

Why would anyone want to suffer pain? Pain has its own rewards. Pain is a physical reaction to injury and it generates physical responses in the body subjected to it (you can taste pain, all you have to do is lick the sweat from the body of a woman you've spent half an hour beating. It tastes like nothing else on earth and I love it). In particular, it produces endorphins. Endorphins are... wonderful, as I know from the experience of being tattooed many times, one in particular that took three hours of continuous work to complete had me stoned out of my mind.

Brain drugs + total freedom = addiction. And that equation works for me as well, but from the side of Object, not Subject. Whether the chemicals involved are the same or not I don't know and don't care. But there is for me a moment of utter ecstasy that has nothing to do with bodily release. It occurs entirely in the head and has none of the characteristics of fuzzy warmth and relaxation that generally follows orgasm. Imagine every molecule of the brain turned instantaneously to ice, while in the same instant having a million million volts of electricity forced through it. That's something like it, but only a little. And after it's first occurrence in a face-to-face experience I knew I'd be a life-long addict.

So where is 'submission' and 'slavery' in the midst of all this chemically induced euphoria?

Both can be emotive terms. In America especially, 'slave' and 'slavery' identify a state of life that's now considered to be the pinnacle of horror, inhumanity, indecency and injustice. Anyone who would willingly consign themselves to such a state is generally held to be sick, simply and finally. Perhaps so. But the term 'slavery' as it designates a Black African in bondage in America has nothing whatever to do with 'slavery' as it's practiced in the BDSM community at large (whose motto is - 'Safe, Sane and Consensual').

The term 'consensual slavery' is not merely nonsense. It's nonsense on stilts turning cartwheels. You cannot, consensually, become a chattel slave. That's the equivalent of saying that you have decided to stop being a human and start being an artichoke. Humans and artichokes are both carbon-based life forms, but that's where the resemblance stops, and the one thing cannot become the other. I suppose it's perfectly possible for some to believe that he had become an artichoke. But if so that person would be crazy.

Having said that, if reincarnation is real I'd quite like to be a rock in my next life. But that's in my next life, if I have one, and I feel no temptation to start thinking of myself as a rock in this one.

So present day 'slavery' is either complete nonsense - or something entirely different from the historical chattel slavery with which the present day term is mistakenly identified. BDSM slaves are, almost always, highly intelligent men and women capable of negotiating contracts that limit their 'slavery' to exactly what the 'slave' wants to do, at what times he or she wants to do it, under conditions that perfectly suit him or her. These contracts are extended forms of 'safe-words', extended and written on paper (though sometimes written in the blood of the 'slave', it has to be said). Safe-words have exactly the same function: they limit the 'Master' to what the 'slave' will allow.

There's all of that. And then there's myself and Sabrina. We have a contract - it's a marriage certificate. And that's the only contract of that sort that we have. We don't have a safe word, have never used a safe word. If you have a safe word you don't have trust, and there is no genuine submission without trust. Sabrina is in submission to me - or I'd have to beat her unconscious before I could choke her. And there's no fun in choking the unconscious (unless you're twisted that way, of course).

How did I gain that trust? I wooed it from her. I charmed it from her. I seduced it from her. I fucked it from her. And finally I demonstrated that, in the end, when I tell her No, you can't have that - then she can't and won't get it. And that's also what submission is, the recognition that someone really can make you Stop. No matter how much you don't want to.

As to positive requirements, I'm too lazy to organize my own life, unless I absolutely have to, let alone someone else's. So in the sense talked about (endlessly, and in the most flowery ways) by BDSM 'slaves', that of freeing the 'slave' from choice and responsibility, I'm an utter failure as a 'Master'. She's my Chancellor, my amanuensis that does those things that I simply am too lazy to do for myself - just as I told her she would, long before we met face-to-face. I don't think she believed me, then. Because until we met she'd never been diligently responsible in anyone's interest but her own.

True dominance and submission blend into each other, collaborate with each other (perhaps collude is a better word) are full of gray areas, that are at odds with the starkness of the terms as used in BDSM communities. But any real relationship is full of such complexities - whether its terms of affection are measured in boxes of chocolates and bunches of flowers, or in blood and razor blades.

on Sep 05, 2007
Very illuminating! Thanks for letting me peek, however briefly, inside this world.
on Sep 05, 2007
Stupid double post, sorry!
on Sep 08, 2007
The particular paradoxes of any given life are just that - particular to that life. Which isn't to say that they aren't intertwined with paradoxes of the situation that we are in - just that they are not necessarily the same.

I don't doubt your passion for self-destruction is a part of our relationship - but neither do I think it's charcteristic of most BDSM-type experiences. At least, not with your intensity.

But, in general, there are two things that explain the apparent paradoxes of the 'Master'/'slave' relationships in BDSM.

The first is this: "IF YA GOTS DA PUSSY YA GOTS DA POWER". Anyone with a vagina between her legs can rule the world as soon as she realizes that men think with their dicks, not their heads.

And the second is this: The Gypsy's Curse. And The Gypsy's Curse is simply this - "May you find the cunt that fits you." Because once you do, you're bound hand and foot and fit to be roasted over a slow fire. Find it, and you'll smile in the flames.

So far as I know, there's no equivalent curse that can be applied to women - generally.