Fifty Shades & The “Philadelphia Incident”
I’m not really sure if this is the best place to voice these opinions and concerns. And I’m not really sure if it’s my place to be voicing them at all. This whole topic isn’t easy for me to discuss (it’s very personal) but…
READ THIS. Thank you.
Also, did not know BDSM was illegal in the states (really???). Silly Canadian running around thinking everything’s sane/cool.
it’s a state-by-state, county-by-county thing. I know in Mass it’s p. much illegal to host a BDSM event at a “venue”, so ppl have house parties. In NYS it’s generally ok, but no sex or nudity at places that sell alcohol or are publicly accessible, which is why all sex parties are pre-registered events and BYOB. There are several known but I wouldn’t recommend promoters in NYC who have regular public play parties, remember a year ago it was publicly acknowledged an fetlife that there are cops-on-duty at many of these parties [plain clothes and dubious as to professionalism was claimed], and that, if BDSM was flat-out illegal, ALLLL the lawyers and law students in the NYC scene would be much less worried about where their handstamps are placed and that they’ve declined photo ops.
A lot of the legal presadent basically say that in the US court of law, they cannot ensure that you consented to getting tied up or beaten or cut open or yelled at and called names and kept in shackles and made to crawl around the house while cleaning and eat off the floor— the court can’t rely on verbal agreements and non-legally binding contracts to prove consent. Certain states have written it that all these activities are illegal, but most have no specific laws against it, just highly biased courts. [I’m no lawyer, but this is the jist from 10 years sifting thru this info & last 3 years of being active in the community, which I’m not any more due to burn out and general loathing.]
Also I REALLY have to take exception to some later bits of this—in the US, like everywhere, but very prominently US v UK, the local community may vary greatly. In NYC, mentors? Fuah, y’gotta be kidding. There’s classes and there’s leather communities, but being new in the NYC scene is relatively hands-off and most of your welcoming committee will be 1/2 people to avoid, 1/4th people who are only tediously interested in befriending you, and 1/4th ppl who are friendly and want to legit help you and have a good time. And most of them are pretty new, too. Other communities may be very insular and not accepting of how you do your kink; while others are more accepting of everyone. Not everyone wants to mentor you, the ones who immediately do are to be suspect, and most of the time ppl’s hands are tied as to tell you who to avoid, you’r a noob and you see on the listings “oh the NYC Fetish Horde is hosting a party at RedSilk Lounge I think I’ll go!” and your not a total noob so you go to the munch before to meet people but ahhh, everyone’s going to this party and basically it’s the Fetish Horde friends & apologizes club and they won’t tell you that the guy running it sells LSD and ignores ppl who’ve had their drink drugged and all his buddies have been accused of raping or narrowly raping somebody! you only learn this after controversy happens and ppl’s posts get removed on kinkyliving-dot-org for speaking up about it!
Honestly I have no clue about this Philidelphia incident but it’s NOT uncommon in the kink community. It’s VERY COMMON, despite all the sexpos publications in the last 20 years trying to teach people how to negotiate and realistically achieve their desires. It doesn’t matter how many times you read the new topping/bottoming book or BDSM 101 this can still happen. Truth it happens more easily to people who don’t have access to those books, just The Story or O, The Novels of GOR, most any-even-kink-approved-kinky-erotic fiction of which 50 Shades is just one more notch in the belt of…..because kink fantasy IS dark, depraved, weird, and socially unacceptable, but kink reality means looking at these desires and figuring out what to do with them in a manner where everything is agreed on and no one is scarred for life, at least not without accepting that risk fully.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a kink-positive world. Our pop!kink school teaches us that BDSM IS rape, it is torture, and you’re sick in the head to want it, even if you say “no” you still want it and deserve it. Our BDSM legit school is a subcultural knowledge passed down thru hard-to-find books [I’ve tried, they’re not in your Barnes N Nobel] and rapidly aging alt.net & web 1.0 sites. web 2.0 sites are hook-up sites at worst, hard to find blogs and facebooky websites at best, and even then for every blog or post you find, there will be 20 disagreeing with it.
Short, people just don’t have access to this info, they just have access to the fantasy. Call 50 Shades poorly written, but it’s noting new. When was Story of the Eye or 120 Days or Sodom published? But while I can find de Sade in most bookstores, why can’t I find Dossie Easton? Ppl say a lot about how the BDSM community “isn’t like the fantasy”, and ppl try, but more ppl get hurt anyways because they don’t have access to the reading or community, and even the community it’s self is not without it’s creeps and abusers.
On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, American Atheists erected a billboard on the corner of 33rd Street and Broadway, the heart of a Muslim community in Paterson, New Jersey, with the wording: “You know it’s a myth, and you have a choice” in both Arabic and English, with the word “Allah” on the left side.
But are you serious though.
They have the right to do this, but this is intentionally annoying, preachy and self righteous.
This is some serious assholery right here, and the fact that it is targeted at a marginalized religious community just makes it that much more insulting.
atheists: you don’t gotta be douchebags. you have a choice.
reblogged for kittykatstark’s totally great new billboard idea
Brilliant counter to that insulting nonsense from American Atheists.
idk guys, believers have a history of billboards that are all god-this-god-that [this ad is also in a jewish neighb and they have a christian one too that came first] catholic billbs around yuletide reminding us jesus is the reason North european pagans had winter holidays, etc.
Personally? I don’t see any reason to politely fold my hands in a world where believers control our politics, our values, and folks nag you down to admit you have “spiritual beliefs” or else “ISN’T YOUR LIFE SO EMPTY AND DEVOID OF PURPOSE??” because where do you get your morals from, yeah??
And in a world where we swallow platitudes like spoiled milk and treat religfolks all nicenice because “it’s none of your business” nevermind that being “godless” is still any of their justification for why they are right and all others are wrong
I think this is pretty nadsy.
On the self-piercing thing; a thread old as time within the body-mod world.
I am pro-self piercing. I see a lot of other people/blogs blithely stating that they are against it, as if it’s any one thing or doesn’t come without caveats.
Self-piercing does not mean it was done by your 12-year-old…
That is just ridiculous, all of that.
Self piercing is bad, no matter what. If you’re not a licensed professional, you should not be piercing yourself, or others. Even a lot of professionals don’t like piercing themselves.
There’s no way you can fully sterilize needles for a piercing to be completely safe. That’s why professionals spend so much money on sterilization materials. Why else would they if they could just sterilize it like any other random kid could do?
Self piercing, done by a non professional, is bad. Just bad. No matter what the circumstances, or the precautions.
So, you can’t fully serilize needles, eh? That’s why you can buy sterile needles and even piercing needles from reputible suppliers pre-autoclaved, right? [check BME’s shop].
Also, you realize that making blanket moral arguments [“bad” v. “good”] is also including LOTS AND LOTS of VERY WELL-KNOWN people in the modification world. A lot of early practioners didn’t have certification, some piercings were just too strange and intimate for folks to get done professionally, some people got into piercing at early ages where they are often legally denied access to safer, healthier means of body modification [which doesn’t mean I don’t advocate waiting on things to do them in ideal conditions; but MILLIONS of baby girls have survived their aunt’s sticking sewing needles in their ears, I’m not worried about a lobe, much less one that’s done with a sterile hollow needle for piercing and clean gloves on a clean ear. Self, friend, or professionally done or not]
Here’s something: Doctors routinely trust patients to stick needles into their own flesh for injections, obtain sterile needles and discard the used needles; clean the sites prior to injection and properly take care of the site after. Sure this is done at 20+ gauges usually, very easy to heal, but also, completely on their own with little training. This happens in living rooms, bathrooms, etc across the world.
If someone gets sterile needles, uses clean gloves and preps with alcohol, puts sterile jewelry in the piercing, the only thing that that person lacks v. a profesional is probably an eye for placement and very intimate knowlege of the body. This has it’s downsides, but considering that most piercers are tutored in piercing by more experienced piercers and are not all med students, I don’t think there’s much that one can’t inform themselves of. Keep in mind, too, that a lot of “extreme mods” you see were often pioneered by modfolk doing experiments or doing it DIY; and I don’t think that should be taken as outand out endorsement but it is a truth as much as it’s always risky, professional or no, to do some things.
Here’s another thought: Many of the diseases you can get from [re]using unsterile equipment are the same that you can get from having unprotected sex. You get tested, use protection, and it’s trusted you will probably not get an STI; in body-involved materials, you always go sterile, you always deal with reputable sources, your chances of getting a blood borne pathogen are extremely rare, if possible at all. Most people engage in riskier sex than DIY piercing can be with little effort.
I’ve seen a lot of people do very extreme things with their bodies, they inform themselves of the risks and of risk midigation, they prepare themselves and the things they need, and more often than not, the body is far more resiliant even when they do ignore the risks.
Something that me and my partner have been talking about around this self-rightious tumblrngicalism is that it puts into severe question about why you care what someone else does to their own body. If one believes, as we both do, that the individual has a right to bodily autonomy, why are folks outright concern-trolling other folks who are practiscing as such? The most you have a right to ask is that someone does it in an informed manner that won’t hurt them, provide resources so that they stand a chance against that less, and consider all their options…after that, it’s not really anyone’s place to make morally hysterical arguments against what they want to do with their lives. Further, it seems that many people are either agressively or passive-agressively trolling a specific girl, who I’m taken to believe is a minor, threatening her with bodily harm because she’s not following The Way of body modification [hahah. ha] I don’t endorse everything that she did, or everything that anyone does [some things are just really uninformed and from places of childish stubborness, in my opinion], but I’m not going to beat anyone up over what they do or have done to their bodies. One, it sets a precient of negatively judging ANYONE who alters their bodies without a “professional” class of people overseeing it [including people with current or historical self-harm, and trans people, and many alt.lifestyle and BDSM people] with a sense of holy unquestionableness towards it [anyone think why people want to not be pierced by a professional? maybe it’s a lack of them in their areas, maybe they are survivors or abuse and it’s triggering to be put in a vunerable position, maybe they have lifestyles that are not supportive/supported of/by body modifcation practitioners, such as some religious folks or some alt.life folks…]
Here’s the skinny cow: “ALWAYS SEE A PROFESSIONAL” is a PLACEBO MANTRA, there is a lot of grey space that isn’t being addressed, such as what consititues a pro in one’s area, the quality of the pros in question, the nature of the modification, and the person and their reasons for their modification.
Seeing a professional is good advice, but is hardly a hard and fast rule. It doesn’t stand in the human history of body modifcation, and professional quality materials are avalible from reputable sources. Get everything as “sterile” or use the “autoclave my order” option I’ve seen on several sites.
In the end, if folks are making informed decisions about their bodies, it’s the most you can request, but it’s still their body, they have the final say on what they are willing to risk having done to it.
Practically every day in class, I want to say this. Even from guys I otherwise like and like their work. But I’m always met with hopelessness. They’ve been drawing this character that way for years, they won’t change it; they’ve been drawing this comic for months, they’re not going to go back and change this character’s appearance. or they either Nice Guy it and fluffle around the issue apologetically, but never change their ways; or confront it in the manner of “it’s all fake anyways!”.
It’s just like the people who are seniors and still use cheap-ass microns [in one size] to ink their work, people who still won’t look at references or work over photos to get their poses and perspective right. They’ve found their comfort zone, their “good enough”, and it’s a steep uphill battle to even pass the argument.
I guess what I’m saying: if I feel like I’m talking to a wall with fellow students, I only am now understanding how set in their ways most long-term professionals must be.
I’ve been hearing about this young rap group from LA called “Odd Future” for months. Supposedly incredibly “talented” rhymesters with “amazing” live shows, but the first…
Victorian Maiden, I think?
Also, it is amusing to me that sometimes, second-wave feminists burst onto the Gothic & Lolita communities on Livejournal and start roaring about how we’re just GIVING INTO THE PATRIARCHY BY BEING SO FRILLY WE OBVIOUSLY JUST WANT TO BE APPEALING TO THE MENS AND ARE TAKING FEMINISM BACK 90 YEARS.
Actually, the facts are these:
- There’s a significant queer community there, so no, we are not all actually interested in teh mens - and there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that anyway. The problem is not attraction to men, but the expectation that we all should be doing something about this apparently given attraction in a specific way.
- I have actually, seriously never ever seen such a community where there is a consistently huge apathy towards men’s opinions of your appearance. When considering outfits, the main concern is primarily what you think. If you consider other people at all, then you will probably consider what other Lolitas might think. If you consider your boyfriend (and indeed any significant others, but we’re dealing with the idea of the male gaze here so boyfriend), that is your personal concern. In my 8 years in the EGL community, there have been quite a few threads regarding what a Loli’s partner thinks of the fashion, and I’ve mostly seen Lolitas asking the Loli in question what they think feels right, not, “Oh well what does your boyfriend think?”
- Men, unless they are dressing in Lolita themselves, are not much of a presence in the community, either in number or thought. Sometimes there is an embarrassing flinging of drool whenever a man does appear on the scene (MY BOYFRIEND!!!1), but I have seen suspicion being aroused in equal measure.
- Unfortunately, because of Lolita’s beautifully parodic exaggeration of normatively feminine sartorial language, some men and second-wave feminists are under the erroneous assumption that we dress like this to satisfy the male gaze. That’s why Lolis are suspicious sometimes of non-Lolita men who come into the community - they must take care to appropriately express their admiration of a beautiful style so they don’t come across as creepy chasers who are just cruising for some frilly arse. It doesn’t mean they have to pen painstaking letters: a simple, “Your clothes are nice and you co-ordinate them very well” or something is sufficient. It’s not hard to not be creepy!
- A look through magazines aimed at a Gothic & Lolita audience will reveal a lack of concern with appealing to the male gaze. I can only definitively analyse the European and North American localisation of the Gothic & Lolita Bible: there aren’t any articles like ‘50 Impossible Ways to Please Your Man (because you should be interested in men, and be interested in pleasing him in specific ways)!!!!’ - there are no articles to do with attracting partners, any articles to do with manners are tongue-in-cheek, it’s mostly quite straightforwardly presenting the latest lines by brands, how-tos, and featuring famous creative figures associated with Gothic & Lolita fashion. There’s no implicit, “If you buy this, you will appeal to men,” message - it’s mostly, “If you buy this, you will have more frills,” and whatever happens after that is up to you.
- Please Get Your Antifemininity Out Of My Feminism and stop being the Feminist Fashion Police. I dislike so much the idea that you have to somehow be ~*just right*~ between the prudish maiden intacta and the bad fake “choice” feminist teetering about in heels. Piss off, seriously. Some of us slip through the gaps in your binaries, okay?
I absolutely do not want to present the Lolita community as a perfect egalitarian kooky little lace-trimmed corner of the internet. It’s really, really not. It’s infested with -isms and regularly has fail regarding… um, everything. But there are pockets of warmth in there. And, anyway, the fact remains that ~*pleasing teh mens*~ is not the primary goal which unites Lolitas the world over: it’s frills. End of.
[Image: A row of drawn figures of the women of the X-Men teams. Storm, Jubilee, Shadowcat, Psylocke, Rogue, and White Queen in a row. They are all the same size and shape, with only costuming, hair and skin color changed between them to represent the characters.]
Minimalist X-Girls by one of my good friends Mike/Xayden
Honestly, the fact that they don’t have faces creeps me the fuck out. Because they’re NOT minimalist—they’re stylized but with a fair amount of detail, and I like the art style, but then they DON’T HAVE FACES. Gross.
And that’s not even getting into the generally problematic portrayal of women in mainstream superhero comics.
Their bodies are all the same. With no faces, the only thing that differentiates them from one another is their costuming and hair. And that’s…. yeah. They’re interchangeable and that’s creepy.
I wish I had art skills because I’d love to draw these characters with body diversity as well as size diversity. I don’t just mean making some of them heavier (maybe even fat), but making some of them flat chested or wide hipped or short or stocky or very curvy or more muscular than smooth/bikini-model esque.
I also long for a comic series that does this. Because part of the reason I don’t really read comics is that I really have no patience for another source of “entertainment” that regards me and people who’s bodies don’t look like white bikini models to be non existent or only fit for villains (notice that villains like Kingpin, the Blob, and others are LARGER people). TV shows and movies and books already do this enough, thanks. I just don’t have the mental strength to fill my brain with images that remind me that you’re only awesome if you’re a size 2 with IMPROBABLY FIRM AND GIGANTIC BOOBS (I have big breasts and I require one hell of a bra when I want to go do athletic things).
Which is why even though I love the X-Men series in theory and liked the movies well enough, I haven’t picked up a comic book since sometime in 2003. Because I don’t expect Marvel comics as an entity to grow a conscience and hire some artists who know how to draw a b-cup or a big booty or wide hips or even, heavens forfend, fat people and to write plotlines that reflect such people as being just as fantastic and heroic and interesting as everyone else.
And I suppose the above poster doesn’t watch films, either, because you know Hollywood blah blah MGM Universal blah blah. Or read books because Harlequin blah Diet/Self-help books blah blah blah. Or read magazines because after all, Maxium etc….
Marvel =/= “Comics”, Fuck, Marvel =/= Superheros, either.
Marvel started the “Minx” line [ Correction via relissoawesome: “Minx was a DC project, largely backed by Karen Berger and Shelly Bond.” ], which had a lot more female representation, variety of bodies and stories [though not ages as they were marketed towards tween-older teen age girls] yet…a lot of that line “failed”, because people like the above poster are more willing to give up on a whole medium for fairly superficial reasons. Yeah, I said it: superficial, “I don’t like this specific book/line of books” or even “this specific book/line of books has something I disagree with morally/politically/philosophically so I am disinclined to read any other books.” I use books with a purpose, because it sounds ridiculous when you think of all the different types of books that are out there. Comics is exactly the same; and by rejecting the medium you are perpetuating the problem, the kinds of representations you want to see aren’t reaching the sales quotas, because the target-audience-you is so fickle as to not maintain interest long enough to be in the right place to buy it. The retail sources don’t stock it as much because it doesn’t sell as well, and the company puts less time in funding and green-lighting projects like that because it doesn’t appeal to the audiences they’ve learned to rely on. Additionally, smaller presses have limited runs and distro, and the lack of a wider market makes it harder to break into wider distribution. Sorry for the momentary lapse into capitalism, but that’s how businesses work right now. Marvel and DC are more than willing to run their business into the ground marketing to the audience they’ve learned to rely on, chalking up lack of growth due to the death of the print industry and general lack of interest. In effect, the concept of staying out of the medium entirely totally destroys the desired objective. You can’t say the current state of female representation in mainstream superhero comics offends you and then refuse to support all comics entirely. Comics aren’t one single thing with a single purpose and single message, and the industry won’t change if you only see it as that.