BDSM Ė WHY ITíS NOT FOR ME.

 †††††††††† The acronym stands for Bondage, Domination, and Sadomasochism.It is a major area of interest for erotica enthusiasts.

 †††††††††† I went to a presentation a few years back about the BDSM lifestyle. It involved a look around an authentic cellar dungeon, complete with whips, chains, birches, and spanking stools. To illustrate the talk, a young attractive couple disrobed and demonstrated their art for our education.

††††††††††† As fascinating as the presentation was, it did not turn me on to the BDSM lifestyle, or connect with me in any way that I could find erotic. My appreciation of BDSM was entirely aesthetic and cerebral.

††††††††††† I was impressed that couples were willing to invest in a great deal of time, energy and money for their dungeon equipment, fitting whole cellars or spare bedrooms with accessorories that The Marquis de Sade would be proud of.BDSM is a very lucrative business.

††††††††††† I think for me, the problem was personal squeamishness. I am not disturbed in knowing that BDSM goes on. I know that, and I have never been offended by it on any moral level. My concern remains that the extent to which the hobby is taken up actually detracts from any degree of personal sexuality and intimacy.Many a romantic loving sexually active couple will wish to spice up their sex lives with a little slap and tickle. Perhaps they will hit on the turn on of trying one another to the bed with cords or sashes for the free partner to do what he or she wishes. Such experimentation is undoubtedly fun and while spontaneous, perfectly natural. It only becomes a moral issue if a/. It involves non-consenting adults. B/. Someone goes too far, and actual physical or mental harm ensues.

††††††††††† The problem with BDSM for me has its roots in the level of planning and preparation involved. Someone who buys and builds a dungeon, or joins a club that provides such facilities, is going to allow it to dominate his or her lifestyle. Sexual practice not involving BDSM would be likely to disappoint. A partner may be chosen because he or she is into BDSM, not on any other grounds.A potential partner who does not wish to indulge in BDSM would be likely to be rejected or abandoned.

††††††††††† At one time, finding a partner who shared a desire for a particular fetish was a risky business. Many men and women will have seen potential lovers freaked out and even terminating a relationship because they were asked to take part in bondage, or S & M activity.Nowadays, the Internet, and media magazine ads allow people to find clubs and individuals who state their sexual preferences up front before a meeting†† even takes place. It is much easier not to offend someone nowadays.

††††††††††† The concern I would have, in getting into BDSM, would be that I might lose sight of whom I was with. A partner, the girl I was with, if buried in latex, and wearing a mask, bearing whips and chains, etc, might be exciting to me, if she is role-playing as a dominatrix, but I would feel as if I had lost her to the stereotypical image in which she was portrayed. She could all too easily be substituted for another woman, or even a man, performing the same tasks upon me. The practice would take over from personality, and for me, in a relationship, I feel as if personality counts for a great deal.BDSM strikes me as a rather anonymous practice.The roles become so artificial, that it is the costumes and accessories rather than the people using them that begin to matter. I found that even watching that lecture, as the models performed, even in the nude, on the hobbyhorse, with whips, that I was watching the materials, and not the people. The man and woman involved might as well have been mannequins.

††††††††††† What happens, I wondered, when someoneís partner leaves the BDSM dominated relationship? Does another partner get sought out who shares the same fetish, simply hotwiring themselves into the apparatus where their predecessor left off?

††††††††††† The thing for me is that I want to experience sex with the partner to whom I make love.If she is just naked in bed, or the back of a car with me, then there will be nothing between us. If she, and I happen to be in wet clothes, (my own favourite fetish) I still think I will be aware of her personality shining through. If however, we are in a BDSM environment and experience, I feel that my attention will shift too much to props and environment. I would largely lose sight of the lady I was in the company of. I would feel as if control was lost, not to a person, but to the inanimate objects and artefacts used by each of us. I would end up remembering not her touch, but that of a lash, or the tightness of the bonds. My aversion to pain always makes me dislike being any kind of masochist, while I would not trust myself not to lose control and hurt someone if I was to take on the sadist role.

††††††††††† I am a lousy fantasist when it comes to sex. My strongest fantasy still involves just having sex at all, and that often happens to involve wanting to feel the experience of sex as it is; not wrapped in fantasies and props and costumes.

            I am in many ways too self-conscious. Even in dancing, I cannot let go of my self-awareness. I feel as though there are two of me; one dancing, the other watching and guiding the dance. In my limited range of sexual grappling, I have also been too acutely aware of myself. Passion is supposed to be about an abandonment of the senses; a loss of reason, an embrace of something purely emotional. I become utterly cerebral. I find myself still rationally aware of what is going on. I find it very hard to let go of myself.

I guess the reason I dislike BDSM is that the trappings and the punishments involved strip you of your senses. You become lost, not in passion, but in secondary experience, possibly even a degree of pain. It would involve a level of loss of control that I donít think I could handle. My aversion to it is therefore entirely one of personal cowardice, like a fear of taking a parachute jump.It isnít that there is anything wrong with BDSM. Itís just that BDSM brings out everything that is wrong in me. Perhaps one day, I will get over that fear.

There is currently serious government legislation against so-called 'extreme sex' which can criminalize adults consenting to be involved in BDSM and other sexual activity and I will make it clear that I oppose any such totalitarian opposition to what, despite my own squeamish appetites, remains perfectly good fun. To learn more, and hopefully support a campaign to protect people from such legislation, see the following website for the Consenting Adults Action Network. (CAAN)  http://caan.org.uk/

  Arthur Chappell

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