Friday, 20 June 2008
indulgence with a side of kink
Ah yes, here we have some vegan deprivation. Life is so hard. *SIGH* Spaghetti and truffle. (spaghetti, truffle, olive oil). Garlicky greens with lupini beans. This is a photo I took in Florence, and this is what you get, since the ones I took here were far less pretty, though the last of the truffles were just as yummy as the first of the truffles. Plus, I didn't have actual slices of truffle to arrange on the spaghetti here. I was kinda down to crumbs.
And, since I haven't posted a good rant in a while:
Earlier, I read an account of a friend's vacation, where she stayed in a leather-themed hotel. I got peeved that BDSM seems to almost always mean leather (though there are lovely ethical alternatives), and then dropped it, since that rant is a bit old in my head, since I don't have any interest in playing with people who want to play with me and dead skin at the same time, and since I have so much work to do that I want to curl up in a little ball and go into Deep Denial. Also, I like to pretend that nobody I know and respect would be into leather. It's a sanity thing. But then today I was listening to this as I got my dinner ready (the May 27th show), and I got to thinking about leather in the context of kink again, and since I was cooking, it's not like I could have spent that time working, right? (parents, siblings, and those of you who like yer sex AND yer vice cream vanilla should stop now...though there's nothing wrong with a little vanilla vice cream). Now, where was I? Yeah, leather. Replacing leather was the only hard part of going vegan for me. (No, I don't miss cheese.) Leather is such an obvious signal and shorthand for kink of various kinds. It gets bound up with sex in our heads and is a standard component of even the tamest toys (like harnesses). But anyway, eventually getting rid of all my leather stuff was also the point where I went from being half-assed about living in line with my ethics to actually being consistent. And since then, I've been completely flabbergasted that kinksters the world over continue to play with leather. Why? I mean, I'm not particularly surprised that most people keep eating animals, and despite my disagreement over whether or not we should use animals for our own ends, I can understand how animal exploitation is so very embedded in every aspect of life that it's hard to see. But kinksters tend to spend a lot of time talking (and hopefully thinking) about consent. I mean, one might get off inflicting or taking pain, humiliation, service or what-have-you, but any BDSM website will tell you that the difference between BDSM and abuse is consent. So, when exactly did those animals consent to being owned by us and then skinned so that we could (unnecessarily) use them? How did they agree to be in our scenes? Are our libidos really so important that we should be able to kill for them? (mine's not, but hey, i've been called strange on a number of near-nekkid occasions...) I mean, most people agree that no matter how much something turns you on, you don't get to indulge it if it hurts somebody against their will.
Getting pleasure out of hurting someone is sadism, pure and simple. If that's done in a consensual and safe way, it tends to also involve someone who is a masochist (and has the option to stop), and I think it's all good fun. If it involves killing sentient beings who clearly would rather not be tortured and then skinned, then it tends to involve someone who takes on the (involuntary) role of victim, and it's a gross abuse of power to say the least. If we're all going to go on about respect and consent, then perhaps we should respect everyone, not just those that we're legally bound to. The fact that we fetishize the skin of others to the point where we're willing to kill them for an orgasm and don't even think of it like that shows how very deeply the abuse of animals is embedded in our society. Also, it's icky dead skin. Eeeew (that's my refined and academic argument). So, bring on the pleather.
music to wear pleather and grind to: Nick Cave. Yeah. Pretty much anything by Nick Cave.