France: Stop Sex Terrorist Gay Bashing

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stop Sex Terrorist Gay Bashing -
or: Does Religion revoke Enlightenment?

Gay bashing is part on the series on BDSM and society

As a feminist sadist Sir Cameron is very sympathetic towards the LGBTQ movement. Not only do I think that the kinky community has a lot in common with it, the LGBTQ movement as a whole also functions as a showcase on how BDSM eventually could be integrated in Western society and figuratively can come out of their dungeons. The current gay-bashings in France and elsewhere sort of function as a test case for the market; whose barometer readings unfortunately forecast stormy weather.

The current attacks on same-sex-couples in France are very disturbing. The rise of violence against gay and lesbian people seems directly related with the attitudes of the French people with regard to the legalisation of same-sex-marriage. More serious injustice is being done daily, and no one protests against it. But when a loving couple wishes to marry, the streets get flooded. Why is that?

Why is it, that so many years after the Enlightenment sexual liberty is still a prospective condition for many who have alternate sexual orientations and urges? Why have the major discoveries in science with regard to genetics, foetal development theory and evolutionary psychology not changed the world? Why do we allow ideas that are meant to bring order to the world, instead bring chaos?

I think we can identify at least three causes: 1) conservative politics, 2) fundamentalist religious doctrine, 3) repressed sexual instinct.

In France the mainstream of the people and the politicians are no longer opposed to same-sex marriage. In good democratic fashion they attempt to change the laws according to the will of the majority. The opposition has of course the right to have themselves heard, which they did in the form of public protest and debates in the media. However, the battle now moved to the streets. This perhaps indicates that there is something so terribly wrong in alternative sexuality that it prompts some citizens to go against their own democratic principles – if they have any. The voice of the people seems not to be reason, or a functioning electoral representation; instead in practise the voice of the people is blind relentless violence and hatred.

As such violence is part of democracy, but it continues to stand for an element that is endangering its inner dynamics; such hatred against sane and consenting persons that wish to fasten their relationship of love in a legal marriage is extremely worrisome. As if our culture is not under enough threat because of economic decay and the menace of terrorism.

Perhaps I am a little bold here, but it seems to me that we can find more than just a few similarities in terrorism and violent gay-bashing. I repeat in a slightly altered form:  1) a culture of political correctness that is not able to state matters of fact in a clear and undisputable way; 2) fundamentalist religious doctrines that contain elements that are intrinsically directed at undermining the democratic order; 3) repressed sexuality, leading to neurotic people monitoring others instead of enjoying in the share of happiness that others are blessed with.

Having been part of a very exclusive and strict Christian movement for decades, I know from personal experience that one can look at Scriptures for guidance. The problem is not the text and their ancient context as such, but rather what we do with it today; how we read such texts and what we think what is meant by it for us in our present time is largely dependent on the religious community you participate in. I do not think that there is a direct relationship between a certain religion and the current outbreak of hostilities in France, but rather that conservative doctrine creates a certain sub-cultures; an environment in which hate, fear and condemnation of freedoms of others are flourishing.

It is the task of such religious communities to engage in their social duties; behave like democratic citizens, respect the laws that provide freedom of partner choice and channel the religious energy that arises from inner conflicts into a vessel of good purpose. Unfortunately, religions tend to have a blind eye with regard to issues that go against their view on truth. Nowhere is this more obvious as when it is about sex.

Sexuality is something that we share, a form of communion, and if this is done willingly and with mutual respect it can be a source of great joy and intimacy that empowers us and gives us a positive feeling about being loved and cared for. This grossly goes for all people, all races, all genders, all sexual orientations and all urges. As such, it is utterly human to have sex; our species even depends on it. Repressing sexuality, by laws, doctrines or violence, reflects an attitude that basically wishes to place one conviction over the other, often in the name of truth.

The truth, however, is that the majority of the people in the Western world have reached a position of laissez faire - to use a good French expression. Live and let live; and for sure, what does it bother the people in the next town who we are sleeping with? It is neither their concern, nor their responsibility, but ours. In a democracy we make laws that enable the freedom to equally exert our legal rights; we protect the weak against harm and enable those in need to help themselves.

The fear that allowing same-sex couples to marry will lead to perversions is simply wrong and cannot convincingly be backed up with evidence. Perversions rather are our cup of tea, yet the BDSM community is neither the result nor the cause of the LGBTQ movement, nor the other way around. If there is one connection, it is that of having been repressed in past and current times; a repression that goes hand in hand with sex-negativism; a lurking dark power preying on our enlightened freedoms.

Like in the time of the witch hunts - that were aimed at suppressing women to enfold their intellectual and social qualities in a way that suited their feminine virtues - the repressive institutions today have internal battles on matters of morality and correct exegesis of historical texts. A common enemy is required to disguise their own deplorable condition and the lack of argumentation against what they battle; a battle now fought by some with primitive fists showing a regression from reasonable argumentation.

Like during the witch hunts, the actual gay-bashing is pathetic display of repressed sexual emotions. The inquisitors ‘penetrated’ the witches with their tools and question so they would come up with middle age porn stories of intercourse with animals, demons or the devil, or – unimaginable! - with themselves; in case you ever wondered why witches are often displayed with brooms between their legs.

Now again, the alleged perversions that are projected on those with undesired behaviour are used for masking the inability of religious movements to adequately deal with modern instances of women rights, LBGTQ sexuality or female positions of power. At the same time it is tried to mask the ongoing trail of sexual abuse and rape of children and women. This not only still continues in Christian or Moslim culture, also in Hindu India we see the seeds of intolerance rise up in the name of the good and holy.

Therefore, it is not the LGBTQ and BDSM community that causes perversion; it is the perversion of the good and holy by a negative bunch of back-seat drivers that defend archaic ideals with archaic methods that is a truly pervert and disgusting thing.

Stop the sex-terrorists!

Yours truly,

Sir Cameron

Is BDSM reasonable?

Monday, April 8, 2013

‘Is BDSM reasonable?’ is part of the series on BDSM and philosophy

Now that’s a tricky one, isn’t it? Then reason is such a loaded word; praised beyond reason by ruthless people and unreasonably feared by the faint of heart. But, as BDSM is a consensual praxis for the most of us, a closer look at its appeal to reason is not an unreasonable thing to do, and for those who think the topic is a bit obscure; welcome in the world of the obscure, dark, hidden and secret thoughts.

Before loosing ourselves in rampant ideas regarding the status of reason, let us just look at another reasonable praxis and see if we can exchange some powerful insights; let’s try if we can score a hit by taking a closer look at that what have been regarded as the bastion of reason and the true enemy of superstition; science itself.

Reasons for comparing praxis
Normally, Sir Cameron takes the approach of the individualist; using sciences like theology, psychology, sociology and philosophy to shed light on particular questions that have to deal with defending, explaining and justifying that what we do as an genuine and sane activity between people that care and take care.

Perhaps we can say that this method, which is frequently applied in this blog, is one that works a lot with analogies: using images, mechanisms and compliances to transfer the obvious from one environment towards another. The reason for that is that it is important to show that we are entitled to our urges and that we often experience rejection as discriminatory because the argumentation behind the rejection – if any is given – more often as not rests on a view on the world and humanity that has not much to do with how things actually are.

The use of the concept of rationality has a double reason; firstly, if BDSM turns out to be a reasonable praxis because it is exercised by reasonable people, we have earned ourselves a right to speak and to be heard - unless irrational superstitions lead others to decline us our rights – and, secondly, if BDSM turns out to be a reasonable praxis in itself, we can beat those who oppose us because they think that their views on sexuality have a primacy over ours. I am sure we kinks gladly show it to them - oh boy!

In reality, we luckily have a relatively free praxis for BDSM scene play. This is warranted by our constitutional rights and the conviction of many people that we are free to do what we sexually desire, as long as others do not get hurt. This last notion is problematic of course, but sanity and consensuality are two weapons that can be very liberating. And to be liberal, is after all, a sensible thing to do, yes, almost a reasonable thing.

The rationality of the BDSM experience is to be found in the way it functions in praxis. If general ideas on what is to be seen as humane are respected in BDSM praxis, it is only logical that such praxis is accepted, even when people still can have other preferences; acceptance goes both ways. The clue is therefore to figure out what is reasonable. A good start would perhaps be to take a closer look what science itself does tell us.

Reflections on what makes scientific praxis reasonable
One of the most significant considerations when deciding if a particular praxis is a reasonable praxis is to look at its reliability to produce real instead of false convictions. This mechanism to produce empirically verifiable claims is what makes a praxis rationally accessible and to a certain extent also self-supportive.

If we turn our eye to the philosophy of science, we can see how scientific praxis reflects on its own rationality. The perhaps most known and certainly foundational principle is that of objectivity. Science is regarded objective because it is focused at real things. Because of that it also accepts intersubjectivity as tool to come to objective or generally valid theories which can be tested. Objectivity is not just one important opinion or that of a group; it is a goal of its participants. All members of a scientific community carry their own subjectivity with them; together they try to figure out what works and what not.

This aspiration is accompanied by a few other principles or mechanism. One of them we already saw; figuring out what works and what not; this is the requirement of repeatability. The critical nature of science is not absolute, as scientists know they start with subjective persons, often with humorous and crazy persons too and the mad scientist is usually an ingenious one. In order to see if even hilarious claims against all likelihood proof to be probable, scientists test readily and repeatedly. The predictions of a theory must be such that they can empirically be tested, again and again. What we cannot test, we can (scientifically) not know.

Another important mechanism is that of self-correctiveness, which most clearly can be found in the willingness to accept falsification as paramount to scientific testing. To accept that a theory can be - or likely is – wrong, reflects a break with foundationalist theory that required truth as a foundation for scientific knowledge. This is also the heart of the conflict with institutions of faith; science looks for autonomy by applying a principle like self-correction; which is a discipline that religion often neglects and history shows numerous examples of how theologians battled science regarding convictions that today even the most fundamentalist believer no longer holds; so after all, there is hope that humanity is still open for reasonable arguments, we can improve and that feature is utterly characteristic for science too; it is progressive in nature.

Concluding we can say we found a number of treats that govern the rationality of scientific beliefs: objectivity, repeatability, self-correctiveness and progression. Now let us look how these elements can be worked out in BDSM theory.

Elements of reason in BDSM praxis
One of the key elements in defending BDSM as rational is to be found in presenting plausible convincing arguments on the humanity of what we do. Huge aids in this respect are psychological and sexological surveys that provide supportive data. With supportive I mean that such data shows how things (objectively) are. When e.g. 66% of the interviewed men fantasize about having sex with younger persons that are (of course) of age, we simply know that on average two third of the male population of the society where the survey was held actually have such thoughts (that would be a fat 100 million US male citizens). In this light, playing BDSM role play with younger persons in a school uniform is just a way to safely and rationally play out a wish that is so overly present.

Of course, one can argue that some wishes better remain unrealized, or that such play is sinful or wrong or immoral, but the wish itself – it seems – is rather normal and perhaps the denial of being allowed to have this wish, or resisting in having it come to life in a fully legal and consensual way, is the thing what is abnormal, strange or lecturing.

So, surveys, BDSM theory and experiential reports from inside and outside the leather scene can shed light on objective needs. The curiosity wherewith particular needs are investigated, tested out in play and then shared, show a progressive attitude where learning from one another is seen as beneficial, despite the subjectivity of personal experience. The predominance of fixed truths or methods is known to be delusive; discovery is part of our natural kinky curiosity and great fun on top of that.

The delusiveness of trying to label any fetish, kink or urge is – in theory - rejected because of the awareness that we are all very individual as sexual beings. Nevertheless, patterns, role play and rituals form an essential part of BDSM praxis and - as such - confirm that a social codex is still present; just as technique and skills are highly in esteem. Learning what works by experimenting and exchange of knowledge in this regard form ways of improvement of our relationships, scenes and skills.

The fact that we wish to experiment, improve on ourselves and the way that we are perceived by others shows that self-correctiveness is the flip side of consensual kink. A safe, sane and sound context enables us to trust on reliable mechanisms to control what we are doing. This is also an objective need in order to let things work properly.

Just as science is a tool by which we learn about the world we live in, so BDSM is a tool to learn something about ourselves and the people we meet on our way. Good science is rewarding, because it gives us tools to understand, improve and admire.

Similarly, Sir Cameron, as a sadist, from the dungeon of his heart wishes to understand and explore his partners, to improve on them, enrich them, train them, use them, so in order he can admire them even more as the wonderful specimen of kink extraordinary that they represent.

Welcome to the brave new world of rationally practised BDSM and fetish!
Trick or treat?

Sir Cameron

The divided Goddess engendered

Thursday, April 4, 2013

‘The divided Goddess engendered’ is part of the Gender-Series

The Goddess. I am sure we are all sort of familiar with the symbol of the Goddess. Of course appearing in splendid beauty, the Goddess can symbolically denote for many properties and characteristics in our thinking. Culture does certainly play a role in how we regard a Goddess, as e.g. during the times that Roman Catholicism was dominant in Western culture, only the Queen of Heaven was allowed to be worshiped; she is a guide, an admired spiritual example as well as the Virgin that was worthy to become the blessed Mother of God, a chosen one from amongst women.

Not being raised in a tradition of Mary-devotion myself, I may have missed an essential thing while growing up in an overly male accented religious group. Nevertheless, all my live I have felt attracted to devote myself to the feminine. As bringer and bearer of life, women are certainly sacred, but the feminine should not be reduced to reproduction, sexuality or whatever one-sided view; in fact, I increasingly feel inclined to see that the whole division between man and woman is practical, but risky, as it inheres a dynamics that can be hurting to all of us: division.

This risk may not be obvious when you look around in Western culture that has been washed clean by three waves of feminism, but many of us still think and act as if humanity can be regarded as existing as two species or in two forms; man and woman. We of course would not explicitly say that either males or females are lesser, then it is clear that having different appearances – or better perhaps instances – originate from the wide genetic pool we all crawled out. Thus, so seen, that what we call sex or gender is nothing as a regrouping of properties – internal, biological, external or social. In this statistical distribution we find clusters or properties or functions that we give names and labels to, either as a classification deriving from our culture, or as a way of self-identification.

Freedom of expression is one of the acknowledged human rights and living in a culture that is rapidly opening up to more diversity with regard to gender and sex is exciting; even when intolerance levels with regard to transgender and transsexual persons are still high.

A look in the dressing rooms of your local BDSM community still shows that many from us are not always in the position to be who they are. Certainly most of us can live with that, but it would actually be better if we had more freedom of expression. But just like peace on earth, the Kingdom of God or fully established feminism, this will still take a while to become, if it ever will.

On the other hand - and that is a really positive message - we can have our sacred places where we are one as we are; mostly in our minds or in the shelter of our home, but increasingly in our playrooms too. Unfortunately, also there, is the way of being sacred not always visible and are we being dragged into – not normality – but into the dominance of gender-duality. E.g. I never encountered a forum or a website where – in the dropdown box – one could identify as cis-gender or state an orientation like queer (but hey, programmers think binary!).

For those who feel, live and experience gender-duality as their reality, may feel estranged by those with whom they cannot identify. As a matter of fact, them being a cluster of properties too, perhaps we can and should not wish to expect identification. Yet, support, respect and acceptance for the variance we as humans display together should be self-evident, like St. Paul says: “but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”[i]

So, now we are very much into identifying ourselves and others being themselves too and then acknowledging that we are different: but what is that Goddess divided?

Already as early as in the Midrash[ii] the original man (Adam ha-admoni) is seen as not being man of woman, but as being male and female equally. There are androgynous ideas to be found in all religions, particularly in the mystical or non-dual interpretations of it. The God or Goddess would then be identified with the dominance that female or male properties play in the respective culture that seeks their Gods. It can therefore be argued that calling God a Goddess might be just as arbitrary sexist as the other way around.

Nevertheless, let us - for the sake of argument – put the whole issue of cultural and philosophical anthropology at rest and assume that our gender-identity is indeed ‘constructed’ around concepts, properties and feelings. What we would get then would be a theoretical distribution of un-endless little steps in graduations of being male or female. Normality would then only be the largest clusters, without having the claim of being exclusive, encompassing or better (I still fail to see how numeral frequency justifies moral judgements).

This way of thinking regarding gender-identity can be equally applied toward sexual deviations – like BDSM and Fetish - or sexual orientation – like homo-, bi- or transsexual. And here too, the Goddess is divided and expressed in graduations as the (fe)male principles live in each of us.

In the Dominion of Sir Cameron’s thoughts, a ‘female’ cross-dresser that shares a splendid Havana with us, is neither to be labelled as a transgender, lesbian, bi-sexual – even when he might be all of it – nor can we arrive at his sexual preferences by her appearance, it is first and for all a person, a friend perhaps, with whom we enjoy a good time.

Sir Cameron sees such a person as someone exploring both the male and female principles in itself, choosing to find a temporary foothold and from there make a valuable experience; it is the manifestation of the divine presence of Shakti, the Shekhinah, or the Mother Goddess, who dwells in each of us.

Labeling everything in opposing pairs has a long tradition, just as right and wrong, just as we and them. Yet, founding sexuality on a mere external biological base of two different sexual organs is very limiting to humanity; humanity is not mono, or dual, humanity is plural, rich and divers.

When we play our roles in the scenes and rituals we perform, let us celebrate this Goddess, in us and between us. You, us, the world; we all need this flow of feminine energy to feel complete and maintain us as we are.

Let’s celebrate her. And him too.

Sir Cameron

[i] The reference is to Philippians 2:3b
[ii] A Jewish reflection on the Tanakh; Gen. R. viii. 1.