We walk a thin line in some of our fantasies. An example that springs to mind is the use of military uniforms and fantasy scenarios. Uniforms symbolise power, a power that has to be respected and obeyed without question. The penalty for not obeying is swift, often severe and occasionally arbitrary, depending on the nature and mood of the person exercising that power.
It’s therefore not surprising that uniforms and accutriments reminiscent of the most oppressive regimes and belief systems often turn up in some fantasies, particularly those which involved BDSM. This fuels the belief of those who do not understand it that BDSM is in itself intrinsically sympathetic to totalitarian and uncontrolled sadistic behaviour.
Power exchange and the exploration of sensual pleasure can be extreme in its application, but that does not imply a lack of control, far from it. Control in such situation is everything and without it, what begins as an exploration of sensuality, becomes an exercise in exploitation.
It’s just another way in which those who do not understand sexuality beyond the most vanilla of its expressions sometimes seek to demonise that which they do not understand. Granted there are people who disguise abuse as BDSM, but thankfully these are few and far between. Unfortunately propaganda is a powerful thing. During the last two world wars it was used by every country to inspire their citizens to great feats of selflessness and self-sacrifice and to instil a hatred of the “enemy” to ensure a united country/alliance and therefore the ultimate victory of their ideology.
Even today propaganda persists and is used as a tool by our governments. After the tragedy of 911 I remember seeing a BBC TV special about anti-terror technology. It was absolute bullshit, but meant to reassure the population that the atrocities of 911 were unlikely to be repeated because of the apparent new security measures that had been adopted. I was appalled at the time, but looking back I can see how the powers that be could think it was a necessary piece of propaganda to help reassure the population.
The problem with propaganda is that it’s intrinsically biased. It’s therefore very easy for the media to depict what they decide are non-normal sexual practices as deviant and damaging. Just as they did in early 2008 with Max Moseley. The Internet makes the dissemination of this sort of propaganda all too easy.
Deliberate propaganda aside sloppy writing and bad research mean that gleaning information from the Internet about sexuality is fraught with danger, so beware! The fetish apocalypse that could befall society were we all to explore our sexuality would only destroy barriers, not humanity.