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Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Miseducation of Mistress Maeve

As a radical sex-positive feminist type studying at a conservative college with lots of Catholics, I had a field day challenging my schoolmates and even some professors — particularly in gender studies classes. I remember one sexuality class where the professor asked us to imagine an invisible line drawn across the room — all the way to the left represented totally pro-BDSM activities, all the way to the right was totally anti-BDSM. The professor — who, in my estimation, had huge balls to even attempt this class at my college — asked us to stand on the line wherever our opinions of BDSM fell. Mind you, he wasn't asking us about our own sex lives, he was merely asking us what we thought about bondage, sado-masochism, dominance/submission, etc.

Can you guess what happened? I took my spot all the way over to the left with my male friend (who also happened to be one of the handful of out gay men on campus), while 90% of the class stood as close to the right-hand wall as they could get, glancing over at us pervs on the left. Good times...

As I remember, a few people stood somewhere in between left and right, looking nervous and unsure. I couldn't decide whether they were just trying to be politically correct or if, deep down, they were secretly wanting me and my male counterpart to sling them up and slap them silly. Repent! Repent!

The whole scenario was a horrible exercise in generalizations, but at least it got us all thinking about how we do or do not judge other people and their activities. I guess I just think people should be able to do whatever the hell they want, as long as they're not hurting anyone (especially the defenseless, like children, animals, etc).

Where do you stand? If you were asked to stand on the line, would you be to the left, right or somewhere in the middle? Feel free to get more specific — are some acts okay in your book, while others are out of the question? Where do you draw the line?


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