"perverted" sex: "normal" for many?
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Am interested to hear from ALL LTers. Yes, even the fundamentalists. I believe my views (and those of Sue Bright et al) are becoming slowly the majority. But all tooooo slowly.
I have heard of a lot of people in the lifestyle who, like you, experienced physical/emotional trauma in their childhood. It's not uncommon. However, my partner and I are exceptions. He and I both had idyllic childhoods, mine even more so than his. Neither of us was abused in any way, and we grew up in homes with both parents who are still together today.
In cases like yours where "perverted" sex is preceded by trauma, I think it's a fine line between regressing to familiar unhealthy behaviors and transcending those behaviors to find a healthier mean. I don't mean to say that you, or people who have been abused and practice BDSM, are unhealthy at all-- but some are. I keep thinking about The Secretary, and how it is supposedly a BDSM classic. I would say that the kind of relationship the main characters had wasn't safe, sane, or consensual at all!
Anyway, sorry for wandering a bit off topic. Yes, I totally agree that we need to get rid of the notions that all unusual sexual proclivities are disorders. I was a psychology major at one point and was disgusted to find out that the DSM-IV lists sadomasochism, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and others as disorders!
That having been said, there are whole societies extant where the father "breaks in" the daughter and vice versa. Read Margaret Meade or any good ethnologist or anthropologist's works.
It's obvious from post #5 you're not ...
that being said, boundaries are set BY INDIVIDUALS and I shall never, ever want to punish any two adult people from having mutual sexual contact with each other.
It's quite possible that the fantasies and fetishes that arouse people haven't really changed very much over the centuries, and that any impressions to the contrary are the result of people sensing a less judgemental atmosphere at present. The current availability of books giving graphic detail suggests this is so, as does the fact that their increasingly discreet availability on 'respectable' parts of the internet such as Amazon. Descriptions of anal activity are now commonplace, whereas they were recently taboo.
Some of the topics touched on in this thread represent the major remaining boundary of acceptability. However, the over-riding principles usually required of sexual activity: consensuality, and the absence of harm, whether physical or mental, provide boundaries that are proven firm and secure, and probably adequate, given a legally enshrined framework of consent.
There will always be, I suspect, a debate whether erotic enactment of childish behaviour amongst consenting adults - tantrums and subsequent chastisement, for example, or 'scholastic' role-play - may encourage subsequent straying into illegality, but there is a strong counter-argument that recognises the benignly therapeutic nature of thoroughly adult activities of this type.
We should not shy away from discussions of this. For the 'moral climate' to swing back towards the Victorian era would not be helpful, in my opinion.
I agree with the need to avoid judgmental words such as 'perverted', and 'kinky', without implying that particular 'unusual' practices are 'normal'.
Another point arising here: Are we converging on 'acceptable' as being equivalent to 'not illegal'? I'm strongly against practices that would corrupt minors, but I'm less certain about consensual activities between adults, whatever their blood relationship, in the way that I can see a clear dividing line between the erotic causing of pain and other (non-consensual) forms of violence.