I want to give some signal boost to True Stories productions’ documentary-in-progress Black Pervert: the f***ing history of a double minority, both because I like to support BDSM history projects in general, and because POCs deserve more representation and recognition in kink. I look forward to seeing this.
BBC News has an article on the first above-ground BDSM group in India, the Kinky Kollective.
The participants are members of the The Kinky Collective, a small group of heterosexual and transgender people, trying to connect to other Indians active and open about their BDSM preferences on various online communities and social networking websites.
The group’s two functions are education for people interested in kink, and spreading awareness to outside groups and agencies.
(I’ve been ragging pretty hard on the Fifty Shades trilogy and related phenomenon. At more than a few social events for kinky people, I’ve gone on rants about my opinion of it to anyone who will listen, and a few who won’t. One friend called me on this and made a spirited defence of the series. I asked her if she wanted to do a guest post on the subject, and she obliged.)
So being a kinky person myself, enjoying and learning in my own journey of BDSM, I of course heard all kinds of negative comments about the 50 Shades books. I heard so much negativity in fact that I had no intention of reading the books. A friend of mine though had bought the books and so I decided to borrow at least the first one and see what I thought.
The National Coalition on Sexual Freedom is running a survey on consent in BDSM, and they plan on closing it in two weeks. I think this is a worthy cause towards gathering data on an important issue.
I have some quibbles with the design of the survey, as some of the questions about personal rights extend well beyond the realms of BDSM. For example, one involves how much you believe a person can consent to being killed, which is far more likely to come up in the context of debilitating illness than anything resembling BDSM.
I’ll be at the Master-slave Conference 2012 on Labour Day weekend in Maryland, presenting on Sunday afternoon, 2:00pm to 3:30pm.
Origins of consensual Master-slave relationships in the 18th and 19th centuries
This presentation will explore the relationship between Atlantic slavery and erotic writing in the 18th and 19th centuries. The social relationships of slavery were used as “a mine of sentiment” by Romantic writers in both Europe and the Americas, and popular media used slavery as an element in stories of melodrama and Gothic romance, which in turn informed sexual fantasies. These fantasies are most fully realized in the consensual Master-slave relationship (and secret marriage) between gentleman barrister Arthur Munby and maid-of-all-work Hannah Cullwick in the late 19th century.
The rest of the time I’ll be taking meetings and recruiting contributors for a project I can’t discuss in detail yet. Networking, I’ll admit, is not my forte, but I’ll do my best.
It’s supposed to be 30 degrees that weekend, and I’ve heard stories about summer near Washington DC. Not the best climate for leather and latex.
If you see me, say hello.
On the way, I’m passing through Seattle. Depending on how the time and finances work out, I may drop by the Centre for Sex Positive Culture.
While the fifteen-minutes of this story have apparently passed, I want to bring up an editorial post on Canadian alternative news site Rabble.ca about the RCMP case: Private fantasy, public reality: The RCMP, BDSM and violence against women, by Meghan Murphy.
How could a man who so clearly enjoys degrading women fairly assess a case that is explicitly about violence against women, about dehumanizing women, and that played out as it did (in that the disappearances of women from the Downtown Eastside were ignored by the police for years) because the women who were going missing were viewed as worthless?
Salon.com has a post on what the role of Fetlife should be in preventing or controlling abuse in the Scene.
Ribbonfarm raises an interesting point about the status of subcultures in the mass surveillance age, and that got me thinking about the status of BDSM as a subculture.
Contrary to popular belief, subcultures are not vague constructs. They have a precise, if negative, definition: a subculture is a pattern of social order that is not worth codifying and institutionalizing for the purposes of governance or economic exploitation, under normal circumstances. So subcultures have historically relied on their obscurity, illegibility and unimportance to ensure autonomy and security.
The subcultural web is now being made legible and governable under the harsh light of Facebook Like actions. Just in time too, since the returns on coarser forms of political and economic exploitation are now rapidly diminishing.
The world of subcultures are about to be comprehensively explored, mapped, tamed and domesticated. The larger the subculture, the faster it will fall.
The Fetish Show has an interview with Nancy Ava Miller, who helped found a lot of the earliest above-ground BDSM organizations like TES and PEP and Society of Janus that began in the early 1970s. It starts around the 8 minute mark.