September/October 2001
SM: I want it Dark, Dangerous & Scary

by Soul of Darkness

I wanted to put my thoughts on paper about s/m. I think we lose that in all the technical discussion and the safety and so forth. I think we end up with something sanitized that doesn't really touch anywhere near to the fantasy many of us have. And I think a lot of us do one thing at play parties and clubs so we don't get a "bad reputation" or have people consider us unsafe and do something else entirely in private. We don't want to be black listed as not being Safe, Sane and Consensual.

It's a matter of what s/m is all about, for me, and in my way of thinking. Bottom line, there is no such thing as safe when applying physical and mental stress to the human body. You can make something safer, but not safe. And lots of us don't want to feel safe, we want to feel that we are walking in dark places, doing dangerous things, going to the edge and coming back. Its part of what we like about s/m. Why sanitize it? Why water it down? Yeah, strive to ensure that you will not cause permanent injury to your partner, or kill them. Yeah, make sure that you can save your partner's life if it comes to that. For those who don't know, Kristy is a trained EMT, and I am a trained combat lifesaver, the military equivalent of an EMT, we don't take the dangers lightly. Don't do stupid things like playing death scenes with loaded guns.

But, I like the danger of s/m; I like the power of s/m. I'm not into it for sensation and sensuality and eroticism, that's what sex is for. I like to feel my blows land on her body. I like to know that it hurt.

I also like it when it's got to be causing high levels of pain and yet she's asking for more, begging to be hurt. Let's be honest about s/m and bondage and safewords, instead of mouthing politically correct slogans. For some it's a prelude to sex, kinky foreplay. For others it's about sado-masochism. I'm in the second group. In truly intense s/m situations the bottom is often flying on endorphins, or in other pain spaces, where they couldn't safeword if they tried. There is no way that the bottom, at this point, could decide what they can handle or not handle. When bondage is added to s/m the power belongs to the top, it moves beyond the realm of mental and fantasy to a true reality. Even if the bottom were to safeword, the only thing restricting the top's power now is his own sense of honor and ethics.

Many relationships do not recognize the validity of the submissive being able to stop what is happening. That power belongs, in those relationships, to the dominant partner.

Many of us, Kristy and I included, don't use safewords. We don't like them, don't want them, and believe that in many situations they can create problems, rather than resolve them.

I will agree that safewords, negotiations and limits are good ideas for the casual s/m partners, or the first time with a new partner, or someone you just met at a club. I use safewords in those situations, although mostly because the groups I am a member of requires them for scenes done at parties. I like to scene heavily, I don't do the erotic, bunny flogger scenes. I do canes and heavy floggers and whips and knives.

So what's the reality for me? I have no desire to be a kinder, gentler "Alan Alda" top. And I think what I'm saying speaks to a lot of other people. I think many of us, maybe most of us, got attracted to s/m because it's dangerous, dark, heavy, scary stuff. Somewhere along the way we lost a lot that when we became Safe, Sane and Consensual