Letter to the editor:
The recent article “My journey into a BDSM dungeon,” recounting the activities in a local sex dungeon, was intended as a celebration of the accompanying consensual sexual encounters.
Despite assertions that this grim sexual exploitation is “beautiful,” “healthy” and “loving,” the hard truth is that no one comes out of a BDSM dungeon a better person, focused on truth, love or beauty.
A genuine desire for another’s good is never the motivation behind the infliction of sexual pain and shame upon another person. Choosing to receive or impose pain for the fulfillment of emotional and sexual desires is ultimately unloving and unsatisfying—harming another person for pleasure will not satiate the deeper source of discontent.
Getting a pleasure high from giving or receiving abuse calls for spiritual and emotional counsel, not affirmation.
The necessary understanding that the purpose of BDSM is not for the benefit of the other person, but rather for corrupting, selfish gratification, reveals the greater issue that mutual consent has no bearing on whether the actions are right or wrong.
Two people’s agreement to use each other to indulge their individual, destructive desires does not magically transform their actions into constructive, benevolent practices. Regardless of consent, the mutual pursuit of sexual sadomasochism remains a harmful practice for the physical, emotional and spiritual health of all involved.
Contrasted with the contention that any sexual choice is right and good provided that both parties are willing, I put forward the countercultural conviction that right and wrong are independent of opinion. That there is an absolute designation of right sexual choices, of beauty, and of apt subject matter in the student paper. And that a BDSM dungeon is none of these.