(Note: In the text version below, I summarize what I said in the video. It is not a transscript.)
Have you ever enjoyed a movie that made you cry? Have you ever screamed in a roller-coaster, and then wanted to go there again? Well, people often enjoy things that might not seem very enjoyable. For example, some people enjoy being controlled, humiliated or whipped… but only if it’s done by the right person, in the right way and in the right context. This is often called “BDSM”.
As I’m writing this, my twitterfeed and other newssources has exploded with outrage over a Daily Beast and Jezebel text called “Spanking for Jesus”. This text attacks a subculture called “Christian Domestic Discipline”. However, their primary evidence turned out to be fake. So this subculture may or may not even exist.
BDSM need to be gender neutral, and neutral to religion: Pushing or manipulating someone into doing BDSM very easily become abusive or otherwise destructive, and it is therefore not okay. If you ever feel that you *must* be dominant or submissive because of your gender or religion, there’s a big risk that you will push yourself or others into situations where at least one of you get hurt.
The daily Beast and Jezebel article could have been about this. It wasn’t. It was a load of paraphobia – prejudice and bigotry against sexual minorities, in this case sadomasochists. Sensationalism designed to take people who enjoy getting spanked and make them look crazy.
Both articles put their emphasis on a couple called Chelsea and Clint. Daily Beast attacks them on a personal level, while Jezebel attack a book they have written and self-published online. Both articles are trying to convince the entire world that this couple are evil crazy Christians. However, the book doesn’t support these claims at all.
In spite of being presented by Jezebel as the primary evidence for these two individuals (and by guilt by association, anyone else who might like spanking) being “fucked up”, the book doesn’t even mention gender or religion. It instead puts emphasis on consent, that you shouldn’t get into any of that kind of stuff unless you really want to.
After following the link from Jezebel, I have now read much of the book. Skimmed the rest, and searched for a lot of keywords. As far as I can tell, the book is equally useful for gay couples as for straight couples. It is equally useful for heterosexual couples who want the woman to have the dominant role as it is for couples who want the man to have that role. And it is equally useful for atheists as it is for Christians. There is nothing in that book that suggests that a christian woman ought to be submissive, or any oppressive bullshit like that. And I didn’t see anything like that on their site either.
Are Chelsea and Clint even Christians? I don’t know, I don’t care. It should be okay for Christian couples to enjoy domination dynamics, if they are into that sort of thing. What should NOT be okay is to pressure or manipulate anyone to participate. It is not okay to send the message that men and women SHOULD be dominant and submissive, respectively. These articles attack Chelsea and Clint without any evidence that they have spread any such message – on the contrary, the evidence points in the opposite direction.
What Chelsea and Clint are talking about is “Domestic Discipline”. Not “Christian Domestic Discipline”. Jezebel points to a yahoo group that looks rather creepy, at least the way Jezebel present it – it should however be noted that the most damaging part of the presentation is not part of the actual quote, but instead added by Jezebel. And that they don’t even claim that Chelsea and Clint are members: They merely imply this by context.
The Domestic Discipline Chelsea and Clint present in their book seem to be what most people would call a specific form of BDSM. They claim that it is not BDSM, and that is true in the sense that it is not those other things that ALSO are BDSM. Domestic Discipline is about domination dynamics in long-term relationships. Not about games in the bedroom or about playing around with strangers. They seem to think that the concept of BDSM is limited to such games. Which in some local subcultures may very well be the case, although it’s not true in general.