Far too often tops, Doms, and sadists are portrayed as the boogeymen of the sexual landscape. And that's just not true.
Do monsters sometimes skulk around in their ranks? Do irresponsible people disguise themselves up to look like perfectly consensual people, using our toys, our games, our roles? Yes.
But we should never mistake the two. Never assume that they are the same.
Because they're not. Done right--done responsibly--tops, Doms, and sadists are the complete opposite of the monsters the world fears. We have to stop assuming that they aren't. We have to stop confusing the two.
And, given the film that's coming out this Friday, the internet is ablaze with far too many people, from all sides--from fans of 50 Shades as well as its haters--making that mistake.
Just please, for whatever reason you're doing it, stop.
Maybe try to learn and really think about the things you don't understand. You don't have to like it. You certainly don't have to do it. But no one has the right to misrepresent us. To make us less than we are so you can feel more comfortable in a complex world you wish were simpler.
I feel for the mother who wrote in. I can imagine the horror she feels in this moment. But the best way to alleviate that fear is to learn about the things that scare you. Research it with an open-mind and with your child's best interests at heart.
Because you can't change this about him.
But you inevitably will be a guiding force on how this part of himself manifests in the future. Choose the path you set him on carefully. It impacts more people than you can imagine.
Please read this whole thing, but these are my favorite parts:
" 'I'm a woman,' said Mistress Matisse, a writer, professional dominatrix, and sex-workers-rights activist. 'I'm also a sadist. Within the context of a BDSM scene, I derive intense psychological and sexual pleasure from hurting people, and over the last 20 years, I have dished out a great deal of physically intense sensations to a lot of people. BDSM is not just about pain, but that's the part I like best.' But Matisse is what you want your son to be when he grows up: an ethical sadist. 'Never in my whole life have I intentionally hurt someone without his or her informed, enthusiastic, and ongoing consent,' said Matisse. 'Inflicting pain is my pleasure, but it's a pleasure I'm in control of at all times. I feel respect, affection, and occasionally awe toward the people who let me push their bodies to the limit. We often laugh together as we play. There's a tremendous intimacy and trust on both sides. [...] So it's entirely possible to be a happy, well-adjusted, loving person who's also a sadist,' said Matisse."
"Dr. James Cantor gets the last word:
There's also the question of what violent porn means. Different branches of feminism disagree on this. Some feminists claim that images of humiliating or violent sex with a woman demeans all women. Others claim that BDSM sex is empowering: What women do in BDSM sex play is just a role, a role that they completely control and can put on or take off at will. There will never be a scientific answer to this question; it's entirely a value judgment. My personal experience, however, is that there are few women who are more empowered and few men who are more respectful than those within the BDSM community."