Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Question From A Reader

This may seem like an off question, but would ever consider waterboarding a client? With consent, of course!

You have been very clear on your stance on breath play for obvious reasons; It isn't predictable enough to be safe. In the news we read that waterboarding gives the sensation of drowning with non of the side effects (like visible scars). Politics and the constitution aside - is President Bush the break-through Dom of breath play?

My first instinctive response was: No. And I’m mildly disturbed that someone would even ask.

But perhaps this deserves a longer, more thoughtful answer…. So let me tell you a story. I remember, many years ago, getting into an argument with a co-worker at a strip club. She was a tall girl, and noted for her bad temper and willingness to get physical.

Now, I do not fight. My brother and I scuffled now and then as kids, but other than that, I have no experience of non-consensual hand-to-hand combat. And I myself do not have a hair-trigger temper, of the type that results in unplanned confrontations. Historically, I will walk away from stuff like that. So when Roxy balled up her fists and started cursing at me about stealing her customer, normally I would have just left the dressing room.

However, this was during a period of time when I was bottoming a lot, and doing some pretty physically heavy scenes. And I can recall clearly staring at Roxy, with her eyes all narrowed and her jaw thrust out, looking as mean as she could, and thinking, You skinny bitch, you don’t scare me. What are you gonna do, hit me? Hah. I have been hit by much bigger and stronger women than you lately. Fuck you.

I relayed that last sentiment out loud to Roxy, several times. She raised her fists higher and took a step towards me. Some other person in my head took control of my mouth and said, “Oh, come on, bitch, start something. I’ll punch you right in those silicone tits, pop them like water balloons.”

Part of me thought Jesus, I can’t believe I said that. But I didn’t feel afraid, even though I could feel my heart hammering.

We stood there, fists cocked, and stared at each other for a long moment. Naturally all the other women in the room had fallen silent and were watching us intently.

I have no idea what Roxy saw on my face, but whatever it was, she didn’t like it. She spit out another string of profanity, turned on her platform heel and left the room. And I locked myself in a bathroom stall and put my head between my knees for a little while. I really don’t like angry people.

So the moral of the story is yeah, I do think BDSM can be a way to explore things that would otherwise be hurtful or frightening and thus make them less scary. And the experience of coming through those situations okay can give you a different perspective on real-life scenarios. I can see how someone might find something worthwhile in that.

However, there’s a difference between fistfights and government-sponsored torture. To me, even if waterboarding were safe - which I doubt that it is, who knows how many people have died while undergoing this? - it would be like doing Nazi play. It would be bringing something negative and all-too-real into my dungeon. I don’t want to do that. I don’t even want that hint of negative energy there. That sounds like I’m all spiritual, and I’m actually not, very. But I believe our emotions have power, and I find the idea of doing waterboarding as part of a BDSM scene deeply distasteful. The only break-throughs President Bush has made is in bad leadership of the country. The whole subject is something to be both sad and angry about, not eroticized.

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