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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fox News reports: Bondage may make men happier

I recently attended a bondage class by the excellent, and incredibly knowledgeable Lee "Bridgett" Harrington on Speed Bondage. I learned a few great new tricks, a couple of extra ties, and a super-quick rope bondage chest harness. And, god, it reminds me how much I absolutely love bondage.

How appropriate then, that Lady Julia recently linked this article from Fox News stating that bondage may make men happier. The good things from the report:

…says Dr. Richters, men into BDSM scored significantly better on a scale of psychological wellbeing than other men.

“This seems to imply that these men are actually happier as a result of their behaviour, though we're not sure why,” she said.

“It might just be that they're more in harmony with themselves because they're into something unusual and are comfortable with that.

“There's a lot to be said for accepting who you are.”

At the other end of the spectrum – least happy – were men who reported being attracted to men but had never acted on their desire and didn't regard themselves as gay.

Researchers said the study helps break down the reigning stereotype that people into bondage and discipline were damaged as children and were therefore “dysfunctional”.

“We really found that BDSM is simply a sexual interest or subculture attractive to a minority, not a pathological symptom of past abuse or difficulty with 'normal' sex,” Dr. Richters said.

“They've just got a broader and more unusual sexual repertoire than most.”


I have very little to add to this except for yay, a positive portrayal of BDSM in an extremely right-wing, conservative media outlet! That has to be good, right?

Yet there is still a huge misunderstanding of what BDSM is or is not, and the incredible amount of misinformation out there can be damaging. Case in point, from the same article:

“There will definitely be more men and women who have sexual tastes in this direction but won't call it this,” said Dr. Juliet Richters, of the University of New South Wales.

“They might not like sex magazines but they just happen to like being tied up and spanked as part of foreplay.

“Ask them if they're into BDSM they'll say 'Yuck, no'.”


Bound to Be Free: The Sm Experience "Yuck no" to being tied up, but "bondage may make men happier" in the same vein? This is misinformation and misunderstanding at its best. Such hipocracy is an earmark of social stigmas. One very good book that I enjoyed a few years back was Bound to Be Free: The S&M Experience by Dr. Charles Moser and JJ Madeson (a 20-year veteran of the San Francisco BDSM scene). They talk about this issue at point-blank range, and is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in some more personal viewpoints.

Naturally, the best attacks on stigmas and misinformation is quality information. Now more than ever, the Information Age is best poised to tackle these issues. That's why this next point is completely unsurprising:

In women, BDSM was most popular among under 20-year-olds…


I am encouraged by reports like this. They validate to the rest of the world what I already feel every time I kneel in front of my girlfriend; that I am stronger through my self expression than I could ever otherwise be.

3 comments:

bitchy jones said...

In which case you are probably way better at doing bondage than me. God, how shameful.

But, you know, I blogged about this before. How could you (theoretically) sub to someone who couldn't tie proper knots - when you could? I know, I know Maymay, you wouldn't.

But this still interests me.

And is nothing to do with your post but then I am not overly interested in making men *happy* am I?

:)

Mistress160 said...

Glad you met Bridgett, she's great isn't she? I've learned so much from her.

Ms160
www.Mistress160.blogspot.com

maymay said...

Bitchy:

One of the things I think a good bottom and/or submissive should do is teach that which he or she knows to their top of choice. I have certainly taught my girlfriend a lot, and though it certainly does help that she is actually a lot better with rope than I am, I am still encouraged to share what I learn with her. After all, that makes her a better rope top, and that makes me a very happy camper!

Being submissive does not mean lacking knowledge. Instead, my knowledge and my intelligence is just another asset that I can provide service to my dominant partner with. And I should hope that dominant partner would be happy to utilize this asset whenever it serves them to do so.

All that being said, I don't sub to folks who can't actually tie me down, mostly because I can't actually stay still very well if I'm having fun doing...um, whatever it is we'll be doing. ;)

Mistress160:

Yes, Lee is fantastic! I actually met him back when he was a her in 2002, during one of her New York trips. Our first conversation was at a local club after I watched a suspension bondage scene she did, and was mesmerized. We spoke on the train ride home and have been in touch (though not frequently enough for my liking, understandable as that is) ever since. :) How do you know him?