Relaxing after a weekend the massiveness of which cannot be over-estimated, I was watching some of the SlutWalk coverage. More specifically, I was watching my Beloved Megan being interviewed on OneNews, and I happened to catch the article after that – a bit of panic-mongering over images in a magazine which, apparently, my children might have seen. OMG, not my children! So, photos of naked women, tied up. Dreadful.
Let me make it clear that I’m not disagreeing with the censor’s decision. They have guidelines and they enforce them. The definition of objectionable material contains the following:
- acts of torture, the infliction of serious physical harm or acts of significant cruelty
- sexual violence or sexual coercion, or violence or coercion in association with sexual conduct
- sexual or physical conduct of a degrading or dehumanising or demeaning nature
- physical conduct in which sexual satisfaction is derived from inflicting or suffering cruelty or pain
I find that last one interesting – it’s bad to portray someone gaining sexual satisfaction from receiving pain. It can only be listed as a separate point from the things already covered because it is considered that the pleasure makes it worse.
No. What upset me about the article were the words of Catherine Delahunty.
I see very passive young women being tied up like animals, and that actually does send out quite sinister messages.
Yes. I shouted at the television. I may have used the ‘fuck’ word.
Thing is, Catherine, you know what I find demeaning? What you just said. See, I don’t think for a second it occured to you that female subs would hear you say that, and be upset about it. I mean, we’re not real people, right? And our sexual appetites don’t really exist, they’re just invented for the pleasure of men.
Yeah. I was never invented just for the pleasure of men.
I like being tied up. I find it sexual satisfying. There are other things I like more, but I’m pretty sure you’d find those passive and sinister as well. I tell you what I don’t look like, and that’s an animal. (I mean, seriously, wtf? What kind of animal would you be binding like that?) When I’m expressing my sexuality, which yeah, is passive, I’m not less than human. I’m not to be pitied. I’m not an animal.* When I’m bound, I’m proud and I’m strong and I’m beautiful – even when I scream and I weep and I beg. I deserve to have my sexuality portrayed, just like anyone else.
I’m lucky in a way, because I’ve fought the long, sordid, guilty battle of self-acceptance. I’ve learned that it’s okay to feel the way I do, to stop fighting my own desires. I’ve been privileged enough to help others do the same. I’ve written, trying to bring understanding to the Vanilla, but mostly in the hope that other people will feel better about themselves, because I remember what it’s like to loathe my deepest pleasures.
The Doms, male and female, without whom that pleasure wouldn’t be possible? They’ve never hurt me as much as casual, thoughtless degradation of remarks like Catherine’s. And I’m pretty sure she’s not going to stroke me down, undress me and put me to bed and hold me while the singing in my skin dies away.
That my desires are wrong, that I don’t exist – those are the “sinister messages”.
*Alright, yes, this is open to dispute.