Caution - Mature Subjects - Grownups Only!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here's a life lesson for you...

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It would seem to me that in most cases, if a 49-year-old man intended to sexually abuse a 16-year-old girl and she stabbed him, the cries of “self defense” would be deafening.  Under most circumstances, if a 16-year-old girl was sent to jail for 2 to 2 1/2 years because of stabbing a man who attempted to sexually abuse her, there would be public outrage.

So why silence now?  Is it not self defense when you’re working as a prostitute?  Are we back to the legal system’s “prostitutes can’t be raped” theory?  Does this dehumanizing, misogynistic and rape apologist myth now apply to children, as well?

Even worse, the prosecution openly admits that the girl’s claims of kidnapping and attempted rape are credible:

he man she killed seemingly without a doubt had intent to sexually harm her.  The prosecution accepts that the girl’s story is credible.  And both the defense and prosecution admit that if the case had been allowed to go to trial, she would have likely been acquitted. 
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And what does this teach you, children? What example does THIS set?

It seems to me that this does not reflect well on either prosecution or defense, and in the particular case of defense council, I cannot help but think that an ethics review is in order.

Oh, and an appeal based on the clearly improper advice of council is damn well in order.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yeah. It's Like that.

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It occurred to me, as I sat there watching an interracial couple banging, that jacking off in a hotel room was not unlike the larger experience of campaign reporting. You watch two performers. You kind of like it when one of them gets humiliated. You know they’re professionals, so you don’t feel much sympathy for them. You wish you could participate, but instead you watch with a hidden envy and feel vaguely ashamed for watching. You think you could probably do as good a job or better. You sometimes get a glimpse, intentionally or not, of society’s hidden desires and fears. You watch the porn week after week, the scenes almost always the same, none of them too memorable. The best ones get sent around the Internet.

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Blogging, of course, is a particularly unrewarding form of solitary vice.

What's even worse is that this silly post will be my money shot for the month, because it has "jacking off" and "Porn" in it.

I'm just too jaded to take this any further, other than to say that the mindless ejaculations of Palin Supporters DO remind me of the mindless ejaculations of the fans of Hot Wife Porn over on flickr.

Except that it seems somehow less degrading to everyone involved.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ownership Culture, BDSM and The Ethics of Power

I Speak from Authority

It's probably obvious by now that I have a certain bias toward power exchange relationships.

Ownership Event Invitation card
BDSM and the ethics of BDSM are part and parcel of my core understanding of interpersonal relationships. It's especially useful to me because BDSM makes a fetish - so to speak - of explicitly stating relationships that are more commonly (mis)understood on a dynamic, ad-hoc basis; often assigned arbitrarily and without much attention paid to competence. As an Asperger's male, that makes me absolutely nuts.

This tendency has been particularly conspicuous in political life of late, and most particularly on the Authoritarian end of the political spectrum. There are many people who are drawn to power - both in the sense of submission and in the sense of having others bend the knee - with almost no attention paid to donating power responsibly or using it wisely and well.

More below the fold...

I deal with a great deal of irony in my personal life, as I'm a reflexive anti-authoritarian - with the need to be in authority! Yes, I know, it's absurd - but my way to deal with that is to chuckle in a deeply masculine way and state with more than mere hubris that, yes, I damn well AM an authority - on that which I'm talking about. When I don't know, I smile and nod wisely, with an air of interested skepticism conveyed by a slightly raised eyebrow.

But as a person who has that need to be an authority, I am pretty much obliged to explore the extremes. Childhood was my introduction to one extreme, so now I'm doing the utterly predictable - attempting to find a way of recapitulate my childhood from the other side. Or so any family therapist would say.

Accurately, I'm afraid. But the difference is that I've learned that mindless mimicry of one's formative examples is a very, very bad idea. At the same time - that's who you are and that's how you think. It behooves one, therefore, to think very carefully about how to think that way in ways that bring approval, success and the ultimate proof in this context - a life-long relationship.

That, by the by, takes two. And it is in this sense that a power-imbalanced relationship must be equal, for everyone involved has an equal responsibility to maintaining that particular balance of power.

I have to say that I've learned almost nothing about "being in control" from Dominants - not because of who and what they are, or because they lack competence and wisdom, but because I'm so not that guy. The most important thing I did learn about it from one well-known lifestyle and scene dominant was that in many ways it IS about compensating for one's flaws, flaws that one might get away with in a more "vanilla" context. His issue was that he was an reflexive asshole and abuser. His kink was messing with people for fun - and he'd come to not like the consequences. At the same time, it was who he was.

So, while that's primarily the single lesson I've learned from other "tops," it's a critical one; the one that makes all the "hows" and "why's" I've gleaned from submissives useful to me.

One must stand and lead from the place one is. One may be a "Reiker," a "Janeway" or a "Picard," and if one is IN command, one must lead from that essential nature. You can put on a character for a scene, for an evening, or even (I know to my own cost) a few years - but since it's not your life, it won't last. Trust me on that.

This is not to say that it's not fun to step out of one's comfort zone or even entirely outside of reality. Hell, I absolutely recommend it! But for "The Lifestyle" to work, it really has to come out of your gut, your essence and your nature. For most of us - and by us, I include all of "us" that are willing to admit being more than somewhat kinky - life is far less exciting than people outside of the relationship probably assume.

That's because "The Lifestyle" has to allow for all the things life includes - children, clogged sinks, jobs, family, community - all things that tend to take you out of "head-space."

But ordinary, successful vanilla heterosexual, monogamous marriage does not depend on "head-space," either. And that is really what we are talking about - without, of course, insisting on the aspects of heterosexuality, monogamy or vanilla sex.

Which, by the by, matter far less than you might think. Successful relationships may arise out of such things - but the grow into far much more, to the point where the things you thought would be critical are no longer issues at all. That's what happens when everyone in that relationship is coming from that core of authenticity.

Of course that rather requires that you are honest with you and yours about what that core is.

Me, I'm a caretaker personality, a socially clueless male autistic and a sadist. What I'm not is "dominant." I like being in control - but I don't at all enjoy having to control someone. I'm not into walking into a room and taking charge. I can do it - but there has to be a damn good reason. I don't particularly enjoy confrontation or competition, because I simply do not do that "male culture" thing.

That's because, frankly, my hind-brain treats such things in very stark terms, and if forced into conflict with a competitive male, it won't be symbolic. It took a lot of years, bruises and a few close calls to sort this one out. The way I do it is to draw sharp lines. "Mine." "Not Mine." Those lines work for me, and anyone within those lines had best understand that this is a non-negotiable, bedrock thing for me.

No doubt John Bradshaw would have much to say about this - but here I am, and that's what I am. My solution is to not change who I am, but to be who I am as best and as ethically as I possibly can - and so far it seems to be working for me well enough to indulge my tendency to speak from Authority.

As I said, my life is a great big old pile of rusty irony. I'm committed to the concepts of human rights. I'm an anti-authoritarian. I snicker aloud when my fellow man claims that his stiff penis - or penis substitute - gives him the inherent right to rule. I become incensed when such men drag God into it.

For myself, I see no isolated "right." I see a drive, mutual but asymmetrical needs and a consequential duty; these give meaning to the word "right." As in "it's my job to be..."

If you must rule and if you expect to spend any time doing it, you had best learn to lead wisely and well, to the general betterment of all "under your hand." And those "under your hand" are most comfortable when their position is as natural, comfortable and fulfilling for them as it is for you.

That means that there is no place within my concept of "ownership culture" for perps and victims. If your kink is to be debased and discarded - well, I'll accept that it's your kink - but don't expect me to participate.

Nor will I tolerate perpish behavior toward me and mine. There's nothing in BDSM or even within Ownership culture that justifies being an arrogant, incompetent asshole - and in practice, your odds of a successful Saturday night are one heck of a lot better outside of this culture if you are.

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"Top" illustration: Ownership Event Invitation
by Ownership

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Good way to get help in a store?

My comment was "That's udderly unethical." The first priority was to make a cheap and satisfying pun. But the question itself is indeed worth asking?

My feminist friends will say that she's objectifying herself (if they don't use the term "prostituting.") For myself, I think that the males involved are behaving as quite predictable objects. And we also have to question whether it's a reaction she could physically avoid provoking.

I find I am not immune - and at an age where I really "should" be. Common wisdom, of course; I'm of the general view that much "common wisdom" is uncommonly stupid.

But I'm minded of Papa Heinlein's comment, paraphrased: "If I ever stop looking at pretty girls, push me over; I'm dead."

Several articles and television programs have fueled this thought, particularly one I saw last night on the effects of testosterone on both men and women. It's behavioral effects are profound, but one of the more interesting things about testosterone production in people (and estrogen, I suspect as well) is that it's levels also fluctuate according to things such as social status, competitive success and whether or not one has fathered a child - or indeed, whether or not one has recently held a baby!

My lifelong observation of human behavior and it's rationalizations have led me to believe that the current social insanity that the United States suffers from is in large part due to our touching belief that we can rise above the promptings of hormones and hind-brains, when in fact our fore-brains are at best equipped to steer us safely toward fulfilling those urges without screwing up or screwing over others.

"Buxomdream" will always produce the reaction she's blogging about in a certain proportion of males. It's no doubt been one of the foundational truths of her life since the girls popped out and said "hello."

From looking at her stream, the use of "appropriate foundation garments" would just make things worse for the unwary male.

By being accepting of herself and aware of the effect her breasts have upon men, she's also creating a dynamic that allows those so affected to realize that they are reacting and behaving on a primal level, and that it's ok, as long as everyone involved is having fun.

Let us also remember that certain men, by virtue of genetics, have attributes that make them extremely attractive to certain sorts of women; traits such as height, symmetrical features indicating a high testosterone level, broad shoulders - well, pick any "most eligible" from US or People, and whatever one's sexual preference, social status or life priorities, one WILL have to figure out how to work that to some sort of advantage with good outcomes - or one will pay the price in drama.

Ultimately, we all have to live with the genetic lottery results we are gifted and cursed with - and whether it's a curse or a gift (trust me on this one) is very much a question of our own choices and our awareness of how those "lottery results" affect how we fit into the culture we live in.

Any morality that makes us less aware and therefore more likely to cause harm to others out of moralistic judgement of ourselves or others in relationship to ourselves is unethical, and of course immoral in a much broader and profound way than any system of morality is likely to admit.

"An it harm none, do as ye will" - that conditional clause is a stone bitch.

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