March 14, 2004 EhBC Online Discussion

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<ModBot> Welcome to or regular Sunday night discussion. Please refrain from sending "hi" and "bye" messages until after 10 pm. Also note that the discussion is being logged. If you wish to remain anonymous, you should change your nick. Tonight's discussion topic is "Balancing Sexual Submission with Sexual Equality". The discussion is unmoderated. Enjoy!
<BernieRoehl> Ah, good -- ModBot is working this week
<Hamilton_Aaron> So, should we get down to the topic?
<BernieRoehl> By all means.
<BernieRoehl> So, many people (mostly female submissives) have mentioned some difficulty in balancing the fact that in our society men and women are equals, with the notion of being sexually submissive to an opposite-sex partner.
<BernieRoehl> Discuss
<Hamilton_Aaron> Hmmm - the question echoes in cyberspace.
* BernieRoehl smiles
* Sweet1` doesn't see the problem
<Hamilton_Aaron> :-) Just that it was a bit quiet for a moment there.
<BernieRoehl> How so, Sweet1`?
<Sweet1`> the relationship is balanced according to needs emotionally or physically, so why the conflict?
* BernieRoehl nods
<delyssa> Well... does it not depend on how one defines equality... whether in sexual terms or not?
<BernieRoehl> True
<Sweet1`> i define the relationship as equal in having needs met
<Hamilton_Aaron> I doubt that's how most vanilla people would define equal.
<Sweet1`> why?
<Sweet1`> if each has needs to be met what difference does it make if it's nilla or bdsm?
<Hamilton_Aaron> Oh, no difference to me.
<Hamilton_Aaron> I just was thinking along different lines.
<BernieRoehl> No difference to me, either. I think Aaron's point is that this definition of equality suits us, but may not be shared generally.
<BernieRoehl> So if a submissive were to come along and say she's struggling with this, what advice would we give her?
<Hamilton_Aaron> Hey, who says it's only subs?
<Hamilton_Aaron> I deal with this question every day.
<BernieRoehl> Good point, Aaron
<delyssa> It would depend on her struggle, would it not? Is she struggling with how to feel that her needs are being met, or how to express them appropriately, etc.?
<Hamilton_Aaron> Of course, if I'm actually in domspace, I bring her back to earth pretty quickly.
* BernieRoehl smiles
<BernieRoehl> Yes, I agree delyssa
<Sweet1`> i don't know if i'd give the sub 'advice' as much as i'd ask why they see a problem, and define what it is they need, they can usually sovle their own dilemma that way
<Hamilton_Aaron> I rather find that in the long run it works out on its own.
<Hamilton_Aaron> Of course, that's assuming reasonable levels of communication.
<BernieRoehl> So it sounds like the consensus is that the problem... isn't a problem?
<Hamilton_Aaron> I wouldn't say that - a problem is whatever an individual perceives it to be.
<delyssa> Well, if the Dominant or the submissive views it as a problem, for whatever reason, is it not a problem then?
* BernieRoehl thinks it is -- at least for that person
<QTIP-away> on the level of whether to go or stay i consider a willing partner equal to me. it's the roles chosen and protocols agreed upon which play the meter to our dance
<Hamilton_Aaron> However, I would recommend discussion with their partner.
<Hamilton_Aaron> How's their partner supposed to know what level of submission is appropriate otherwise?
<Sweet1`> can you please explain that a bit further HA?
<Sweet1`> the level of submission that is appropriate?
<Hamilton_Aaron> Well, from my point of view (as a dom) it's always a question of how much r/l is appropriate for the relationship.
<Hamilton_Aaron> This is complicated by the fact that her daughter lives with us (even though she's of age & is scene-aware).
<Hamilton_Aaron> So usually I err on the side of vanilla, unfortunately.
<Hamilton_Aaron> Except when her daughter's out, of course.
* BernieRoehl smiles
<Sweet1`> ok, understood, thank you
<BernieRoehl> So it sounds like we're all pretty much in agreement on this topic
* BernieRoehl makes a note to choose more controversial topics from now on... *smile*
<Sweet1`> lol
<QTIP> or hand out free coffee ;-)
<Sweet1`> well, if you're looking for the devil's advocate....
<Hamilton_Aaron> hmmm - should we switch to another topic for the remainder?
<`abi> I recall when this topic *was* controversial...I wonder what accounts for the change
<BernieRoehl> By all means, Aaron
<BernieRoehl> Any suggestions?
<Hamilton_Aaron> How about that demo in the States at a university?
<Hamilton_Aaron> I heard they shut down the resident D/s group over it.
<Hamilton_Aaron> So, was the demo a good idea in retrospect?
<BernieRoehl> Well, "shut down" may be a bit strong, but there was some sort of official reprimand
<BernieRoehl> Good question
<QTIP> i'd like to see a link on that
<Hamilton_Aaron> The news certainly got a lot farther than it would have otherwise.
<QTIP> thanks
<lamby`> i believe there was a blirp on the ncfs site as well
<BernieRoehl> So, back to Aaron's question... was it a good idea to do the demo?
<Hamilton_Aaron> Ah. I see they survived the controversy.
<QTIP> living on the US side of the border and having had the opportunity to play on both sides, i'd have to say you Canadians are a bit more civilized and calmer concerning sexual matters. we're just screwy
<BernieRoehl> My answer is "yes", for several reasons, but I'd like to hear what others think
* BernieRoehl generally agrees with QTIP, but points to San Francisco for a counter-example
<Hamilton_Aaron> I'd say it was a good idea, even though not for the reasons they thought.
<QTIP> well there's New Orleans as well "black hole in the Bible belt" ;-)
<QTIP> and Key West
<BernieRoehl> True, and I'm told (by people who live there) that Austin is quite unlike the rest of Texas
<Hamilton_Aaron> The publicity was pretty widespread - and wasn't information dissemination their general idea?
<Hamilton_Aaron> Just didn't get disseminated the way they thought.
* BernieRoehl agrees with Aaron
<Hamilton_Aaron> But newbies would have found a starting point.
<BernieRoehl> I think anything that makes people aware of BDSM and gets them thinking and talking about it is (ultimately) a Good Thing
<QTIP> unfortunately...the bastions of what should be free speach here are now governed by political correctness
<`abi> Do you that 'bad press' might potentially scare off more people than it attracts?
<Hamilton_Aaron> Oh, political correctness is rampant here too.
<Sweet1`> well, there is the counter point Bernie, that BR and various other venues have been shut down because of the publicity drawn to bdsm
<QTIP> college professors have been suspended for classroom language which has hurt ppl's feelings
<Cassity^> its hard to get good press on what we do
<Sweet1`> awareness by the general public doesn't necessarily mean a good thing
<Cassity^> as many view it for the reality of it.. we are all here to exchange power and "inflict" pain.. no matter the end result.. cuz ppl dont care about that..
<QTIP> isn't bdsm type sex abuse? %^P~ inquiring minds want to know
<BernieRoehl> Actually, BR wasn't shut down. It was a bit smaller this year, but it went ahead
<Cassity^> consent means nothing in mass media
<Sweet1`> you know what i mean Bernie
<Cassity^> cuz they dont usually see/hear that part
<Sweet1`> that particular venue was shut down
<BernieRoehl> Right, but these attacks (I believe) will ultimately make us stronger. History has shown that the forces of social conservatism eventually lose their battles -- we just have to be patient.
<`abi> give them enough rope to hang themselves
<Hamilton_Aaron> Well, from the point of view of someone who would have been out ~5 or 6 years earlier if munches had been more available, I'm usually in favour of moderate amounts of publicity.
<QTIP> what do you expect from a country where the Attorney General has draped the naked breasts of the statue of Justice @ the Justice Dept.?
<QTIP> i don't think that statue was blushing
<`abi> how bad can a country with exhibitionist statues be?
<BernieRoehl> Well, all of that is true, QTIP -- but the fact that most people agree the Attorney General was being silly is a positive thing. It's not like people were applauding him -- the general feeling was "what a dweeb!"
<lamby`> i found it interesting...
<QTIP> well can speak of the right wing re: Ashcroft, and the left wing re: the administration of the college. both think they know best what should be shown and said
<Hamilton_Aaron> Why are you defining academia as left-wing?
<QTIP> honestly, i believe political correctness was the reason for Iowa's reaction
<QTIP> not fundamentalist religion
<BernieRoehl> Ah, but that's just it -- the left wing and the right wing feel that sex/kink/status-with-breasts are bad, but most of the people in the middle don't feel that way
<QTIP> the ppl in the middle are the ones who the folks at the edges battle over for votes
<lamby`> that if you do a search of the Iowa Daily...using Cuffs and University as search criteria...that this has received a grave amount of publicity...and if you think about that...without ever saying a work, Cuffs has managed to bring BDSM to the general public's awareness
<QTIP> it's America. it's an election year. please, lie to me. ;-)
<Hamilton_Aaron> Well, I think most of the electioneering is going after gay marriage at the moment.
<BernieRoehl> I think lamby's point is well-taken. The Cuffs incident has raised peoples' awareness.
<Cassity^> its hard to raise awareness when those within the community are still so set on keeping it hidden
<Hamilton_Aaron> It's not that hard to find a munch these days.
<QTIP> gay marriage is a smoke is mention of an amendment to the constitution. i say, let's ban banning stuff ;-)
<BernieRoehl> Exactly, Cassity. I attended a keynote speech at South Plains Leatherfest by Joseph Bean, and that was his point -- that if everyone chooses to stay closeted, things will never get any better
<timg> but something like Cuffs is the best way to raise awareness because it turned out to not be a big deal. that will make people think, "oh - that happened once. it turned out not to be a big deal"
* BernieRoehl nods
<Sweet1`> well, maybe to many Bernie, things don't have to get 'better'
<Cassity^> I know our april 4th party we are hoping to bring togehter the greater comminity to show those that are watching that what we do is done with allot of thought and "talent"
<shadoe> this lifestyle does not touch the "hot" buttons.. religion, politics.. i think the gay marriages are much more of an issue than a few people willing to beat on each other..
<timg> but what of the people who *want* it to stay closeted, Bernie?
<Hamilton_Aaron> I still think that our group is riding the coattails of the gay rights movement - if they keep progressing, we probably will too.
<BernieRoehl> Perhaps, but ask anyone who's lost their kids because they're kinky, and I think they'd say that changing society's attitudes is a worthwhile goal
<Cassity^> in the many many interviews and conversations i have had with the producer he says the same as i do.. we need to show the world that it is not just about beating each other..
<timg> those who want it to be their own private secret society?
<Hamilton_Aaron> It's all a matter of keeping people out of other people's bedrooms.
<shadoe> ergo.. i think we are more of a curiosity than anything else
<QTIP> look what happened when Ont wrote it's porn laws fasioned after those of McKinnon... the first shop busted was a womyn's bookstore when a major bookstore sold the same book just down the street
<QTIP> btw. Catherine McKinnon teaches law at U of Michigan
<Hamilton_Aaron> true, but I bet those'll get overturned eventually.
<lamby`> when you seek acceptance for WIITWD, then you will deal with public scrutiny and perspective...not unlike the walk the gays' walked years ago and yet today in many cases.
<BernieRoehl> Well, those who want to remain closeted will always have that option. Even though acceptance of being gay is at an all-time high, there are many people who still haven't come out
<QTIP> "porn is abuse"
<QTIP> i guess in Iowa, fully clothed sexual demonstration is abuse too
<Hamilton_Aaron> people weren't aware of what would happen once the McKinnon school of thought got into customs. They'd get much more of a fight now.
<Sweet1`> i've heard that argument over and over again, losing jobs and kids, kinda like the no limits debate and using amputation as an example
<`abi> except that it happens
<Sweet1`> not that often
<Sweet1`> and there are usually other factors involved
<`abi> if it happens you and you're that person....that's enough times
<QTIP> is self-censorship as damaging as gov. censorship?
<BernieRoehl> More often, it's used as a threat by one party to get leverage over the other in divorce/custody cases
<`abi> sometimes successfully
<shadoe> exactly bernie
<BernieRoehl> Don't misunderstand, Sweet1` -- if someone chooses to stay closeted, that's fine. But if *everyone* does, then we all lose our rights -- and that's definitely not fine.
<Sweet1`> ah, so we're not battling the legal system, we are battling blackmail
<shadoe> not often abi.. especially if it's a mother and children.. it's extremely hard to take children from their mothr
<QTIP> agreed Sweet1`
<`abi> we're battling blackmail which uses the legal system to score points ... and vice versa
<Sweet1`> rights to what Bernie? we can, and do, do what we want
<Hamilton_Aaron> Gays used to be battling blackmail - that's why they were excluded from gov't jobs - the gov't said it was worried about blackmail.
<QTIP> why i attend munches is to support those with similar tastes to my own
<`abi> point is shadoe...BDSM should not be one of the reasons that makes it possible
<Cassity^> freedom of self expression would be nice
<Sweet1`> no gays were fired, gays were beat up and still are, there is a different problem there
<timg> agreed, QTIP
<BernieRoehl> Not all of us have that option, Sweet1`. Some have to worry about losing their jobs, their children... they have to be constantly looking over their shoudler, so they don't have the right to live as they choose
<shadoe> true.. but if it's not that, it will be something else
<Sweet1`> how many bmdsers are beat up daily?
<shadoe> people always find "something" to use
* delyssa coughs
<`abi> so that's a reason to just accept it?
<QTIP> luckily, the lines of demarcation between the gay and str8 kinky community here have started to blur. we should support each other
<`abi> people will die of cancer too ... should we stop trying to fix it?
<Cassity^> should
<Cassity^> but do we..
<shadoe> i'm not implying that.. what i am suggesting is that we stop being afraid of admitting we are in this lifestyle
<Sweet1`> Bernie, how many in the last year were fired from their jobs because of bdsm?
<Sweet1`> i'd like to see some stats to that claim
<shadoe> and take the lumps where they may.. when we stop being afraid.. society will go find something else to pick on
<Hamilton_Aaron> Someone tried to out my sub / g/f at work recently
<`abi> I agree shadoe ... but I think that there are varying degrees of what people can afford to be open about
<BernieRoehl> I have no idea, Sweet1` -- nobody keeps those kind of stats. But if even one person was, I think that's too many
<QTIP> our str8 group is welcome to have demos at a gay leather bar here. good starting point
<Hamilton_Aaron> he got as far as "people in alternative lifestyles around here" and they essentially told him to stop talking
<Hamilton_Aaron> they didn't want a lawsuit or anything.
<BernieRoehl> And again, it's the threat of being "outed" in the workplace that keeps people in fear
<QTIP> i'm lucky. i'm union ;-)
<shadoe> lol qtip.. unionized does help
<`abi> that's it ... we need a BDSM union
<`TimberWolf> more union dues
<timg> . o O (would unions tend to be pro or anti-bdsm?)
<QTIP> i work with another guy who, in the summer wears his coveralls open to display the chain which connects his nipple rings in the hot weather ;-)
<`abi> perhaps we could just merge with the firefighters union
<Sweet1`> well, i'd be more concerned about lay offs, strikes, and workplace harassments, there are more people hurt by that everyday than firings from bdsm
<`abi> a little enlightened self-interest never hurt anyone
<shadoe> but in reality. i'm in a pretty conservative work environment.. and i can assure you, i'd have less flack than those that are gay thre
<Hamilton_Aaron> I suspect I'd take more flack, but I'm not about to try coming out at work
<shadoe> all i'd have to do, should they have any "issues" is agree to see their counselor.. after that they'd merely label me as weird.. or oppressed.. and that would be that.. they are much more offended by sexuality than my lifestyle
<Sweet1`> why would you want to Aaron?
<QTIP> reputations should be respected. most of our groups constantly remind others not to mention names when discussing play scenes or other meetings
<Sweet1`> why does anyone want to discuss their private lives at work?
<shadoe> exactly S1
<Hamilton_Aaron> Well, I don't want to - but if everyone were out, I think I'd take more flack than gays b/c of vanillas not understanding
<Seville{s}> Qtip....that's cause most of the groups these days a re pretty wussy
<`abi> I don't think anyone particularly does ... they just don't want to feel endangered in the event that someone else does
<QTIP> what about these college kids then?
<QTIP> what about gossip on campus?
<`TimberWolf> and lets not forget there are those in our community that have no concept of discretion
<Hamilton_Aaron> They can pass it off as a phase if they want to.
<Cassity^> the only problem is we cant control what everyone says.. or does.. we as organizers can only ask that ppl use their judgement when discussing events etc..
<Seville{s}> it wasn't that long ago when on the ehbc list one could discuss scenes that happened and it was pretty cool
<Hamilton_Aaron> I'd hate to see the paperwork on controlling what everyone says.
<Seville{s}> there wasn't this oppresive cone of silence over events
<`abi> that's what this is? ... I thought it was just a big dust bunny
<Hamilton_Aaron> From my POV, there's no cone of silence between people who were there.
<QTIP> some folks maintain scene names
<QTIP> i don't need to do that
<shadoe> so..perhaps if we weren't all so paranoid and embarrassed about who we are.... and what we enjoy.. there wouldn't be so many issues
<Northbound> there was a big brewhaha just rescently when someone thanked attendees by their nicks for supporting their fet night in a post
<Seville{s}> I understand that but these days it would be a huge breach of protocol if I went on a list and said that Timberwolf did a great scene beating shadoe
<Northbound> there was hell to pay for that one
<Seville{s}> I mean who the heck knows who they are
<`abi> I an extent shadoe ... but I think that everyone has to draw there own lines ... determine for themselves how out they can afford to be and how out they are comfortable being
<Cassity^> yup
<shadoe> exactly Northbound.. and what the heck is wrong with using polite protocal and thanking people.. nothing..
<`abi> the 'risk' factors differ everyone
<`TimberWolf> definately my sub would be a little surprised to say the least
<`TimberWolf> lol
<Seville{s}> laughing
* delyssa chuckles and grins at TimberwWolf
<Seville{s}> fair enough abi but long have we known each other?
<lamby`> i recently received an email...a post from a which the list member....did a copy of his entire email list, trying to warn everyone about a virus....
<shadoe> abi.. i understand completely what you are saying.. and those who are uncomfortable.. or have any fears.. should stay home
<ModBot> There are only about five minutes left in the formal part of tonight's discussion. Does anyone have any last-minute thoughts on the subject?
<Northbound> especially because they were using nicks, but it upset a large number of people
<QTIP> i respect those who want their names left out of a discussion and err in that direction
<lamby`> there was discussion regarding that other members...
<`abi> depends Seville{s} ... long enough for some things, not long enough for others
<lamby`> about the outing of the list...
<shadoe> they don't have to stop their kink.. but they shouldn't be shoving their paranoia down everyone else's throats
<timg> LOL! could we publish a list of nicks that are "out" enough to mention in posts?
<Northbound> maybe they didn't want others to know openly that they were at a particular event
<Cassity^> lol
<Seville{s}> smiling.....but I don't even know your real name what would be the deal?
<`abi> well, we could have a whole nuther discussion about which is my 'real' name
<Seville{s}> well timg the only nick I ever have is here...the rest of the time I just use my real name....perhaps that is nick enough
<Cassity^> lol
<Hamilton_Aaron> I don't think it's paranoid to not want names or nicks who were at an event mentioned.
<shadoe> i do Aaron
<timg> i used a nick for the past few years - but i just said "enough". i no longer care
<Hamilton_Aaron> E-mail can be forwarded a long way.
<shadoe> because if it's that important that you don't get outted.. then you should stay home
<Sweet1`> agreed
<`TimberWolf> abi has a real name?
<`TimberWolf> I thought she was like Cher
<Sweet1`> and if you don't want anyone to know you were at an event, don't go
<shadoe> you should not be blaming everyone else for not doing something you should take care of yourself
<Hamilton_Aaron> I don't stay home - but I don't want things spread around either.
<Seville{s}> if you can't afgford to be outed then stay home and never do anything that can cause a problem...cause 3 people can keep a secret only if 2 are dead
<shadoe> if you dont want to be outed.. then dont be public
<Hamilton_Aaron> That's a bit of a stark statement.
<`abi> yes TW .. and my second name is M-a-y-e-r
* delyssa sings the weenie song
<QTIP> tell me, do Canadians have any groups like the American Family Assoc. opposing kinky or otherwise sexual demos and conferences?
<`TimberWolf> lol
<Sweet1`> isn't that if the 3rd is bound by duct tape Seville? lol
<Hamilton_Aaron> How many people here would be comfortable with their parents knowing about this stuff?
<Hamilton_Aaron> not to my knowledge, QTIP
<Seville{s}> that assumes living parents for all
<shadoe> i would Aaron
* timg raises hand
<shadoe> in fact my mother did know
<QTIP> some day i'll have to share what my vanilla sister told me when i came out to her ;-)
<Northbound> my kids don't know
<Seville{s}> are you offering to be bound S1?
<timg> my mom was into it first
<shadoe> and my son attends munches with me
<shadoe> i'm not embarrassed about "me"
<`TimberWolf> "Duct Tape Seville" now there is a nick name
<Hamilton_Aaron> I guess a lot of relatives hear once people have been in for more than 3 years.
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