Jul 152009

Racialicious has a transcript of a chat about Raceplay BDSM and how that relates to race relations in the rest of the world.

Andrea: Then the question comes back: “But *why* would you want to do that? Can’t you just look at lynching picture and get the damn point?” (I’m being facetious…and to some folks, quite blasphemous. But I’m going there….)

Mo: Why is because I live viscerally. I obtain a profound benefit to living the reality as deeply as I can emotionally. In the race play scenes I have done that involved black / white dynamics, do you know what the scariest thing was? That I ultimately gave up. I am NOT of the resistant blood. I’m a quitter. I was afraid, I gave in. That is a lot to have about your nature revealed.

Andrea: What did it reveal?

Mo: That I am, at heart, obedient. Even in a scene where I had disassociated and genuinely feared for my life, I gave up. I’m genuinely, at the core, submissive in a way I am certain does not translate to my present-day self! I hoped it would be quick and over fast.

Andrea: Obedient…to whom?

Mo: Obedient to authority.

Andrea: I think I’m getting it…grokking it.

Mo: *LOL* Win! We all like to think we’d be Kunta fucking Kinte–

Andrea: ‘Cause that’s the narrative we’re fed from yea-high. “We gotta be strong in the face of whitey, y’all”

Mo: Sure, go ahead and be strong in the face of whitey. But if you get hot because whitey has beaten your ass and taken you down…but you endured….then you have a whole new lease on life, man.


Mo: I am not recommending that people run out and play aunt Jemima Uncle Tom games with any random [White person], for the love of Ganesha. I’m saying that, if this intrigues you, think about why. And I am saying it if repulses you, think about why–really think. Don’t do some knee-jerk bullshit.

And Black folks in the US are not known for being sexually liberated. Which is why the hypersexualization of our imagery over the years is a double helix of irony.

Sexual practices are one of the key ways of forming group identity, by projecting unacceptable practices onto the Other group and by policing practices within the group. This doesn’t only work down the social hierarchy, it can work upwards as well. E.g. white stereotypes of black promiscuity and sexual excess, but also black stereotypes of white deviance (homosexuality, BDSM, and genderplay). This narrows the range of acceptable sexual behavior for everyone. If a white man believes that black men are rampant sexual juggernauts, that belief precludes those own behaviors in himself.

Andrea: …. why do you think communities of color, specifically Black communities, feel the need to police their desires…to the point they won’t explore sexual/erotic practices that some folks deem “racially incorrect”? And, more importantly, play police for The Race?

Mo: There is certainly the aspect of our very conservative and deeply religious background. We have a strong church-based community–that isn’t something that is easy to shake. The fact is that we have put ourselves in a position where we have to “prove ourselves” in order to survive. From jump, we’ve been at a disadvantage here. So now that we’ve reached a point where we actually have a fighting chance, people don’t want anything that may jeopardize or mitigate, in THEIR eyes, our position of moral superiority. It is the idea we are “above” that.

Andrea: ::nods head:: And we do that by saying certain sexual practices, like BDSM and race play, are the things that “white folks do” or “what white folks want us to do.”

A lot of this discussion seems to be concerned about, not the people directly involved in the race play scene themselves and whatever physical or psychological harm they may be doing to each other, but to a hypothetical third party observing the scene and being affected by it. In this schema, A (likely but not necessarily a POC) observes B. (a mixed couple or group) doing raceplay and C (white or POC) observes B. A fears that C will see B do something that A doesn’t want, but cannot control C’s actions. So, A tries to control B’s actions in order to control C’s actions.

I have gotten shit from black dominants about race play–even as they top white submissives.

I’ve had people who I know for a FACT do race play fuck me over in public for doing it in public. But it is OK for them to do it, just not OK for people to know about it.

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