Our 6 Favorite Parts Of The New York Times Article On Kink & BDSM

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The New York Times did an in-depth (ahem) story on kink, domination and BDSM. Here are our six favorite parts.

A choke collar is just the beginning: the New York Times explored the world of kink, domination and BDSM in a very entertaining article.
The New York Times, arguably the most important news source in the country, maybe even the world, will sometimes delve into cultural inquiry pieces, and these can be cringe-worthy or hilariously outdated. Not so with their story on kink, bondage and BDSM (bondage/discipline, domination/submission, sadism/masochism). Okay, I could have used a little bit less "it's crazy how normal these kinky people seem when they're not being kinky," and fewer references to "Fifty Shades Of Grey," but otherwise it was an excellent piece.

Here are the top 5 highlights from the New York Times' careful dip of the toe into the world of bondage, domination and kink.

1. Playing with fire. The Times gave a very straight journalistic account of a trip into "Paddles," a BDSM club in Manhattan, which included this little gem: "Tucked away in one room, a man and woman were sharing fire play, which involved accelerant placed on strategic points of the woman’s body and set ablaze in short, dramatic bursts." The way they describe it, that could practically be a medical procedure.

2. There's a term for sexy time while wearing a diaper. AB/DL sounds like an accounting formula. It isn't. Nor is it the ratio of at-bats to time on the disabled list. Nope, it's "Adult baby/Diaper lover." So, now you know that.

3. Actual good journalism. As much fun as it is watching the New York Times be very respectful and avoid innuendo, you also have to appreciate their thorough journalistic coverage here. Kinky people face issues that you might not anticipate. There's the "coming out" issue (one interviewee describes her parents flipping out) but more unexpected are the legal issues:

It’s understandable that kinky people would seek the anonymous refuge of the Internet; their preferences can be made an issue in custody battles (even if both parents have participated) or contribute to employees losing their jobs. Valerie White, a founder of the Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund, a nonprofit advocacy and education group based in Sharon, Mass., points to one man whose ex-wife sought to change the terms of their joint custody when she learned of his interest in kinky sex through his blog (the parties eventually settled).

4. Some people get off on waterboarding. Somehow I find this harder to understand than getting beaten (and that fire thing actually sounded kinda fun). The U.S. government has stopped using the controversial torture technique, but that doesn't mean you have to!

The Eulenspiegel Society offers workshops and demonstrations on activities ranging from caning to waterboarding (“Bringing the infamous torture technique out of Gitmo, and into your dungeon,” the organization’s Web site states).

5. To kinky people, other people live in the "vanilla world." "Normal" people have all sorts of names for the different ways people can be something other than normal, so that they can feel secure that they're the weird ones and we're not missing anything special. That's not the only way to interpret "normal":

“In the vanilla world,” Dr. Ferrer said, you wait for your partner to mess up before you set the rules. “In the dominant/submissive relationship, you’re constantly talking, constantly communicating,” she added. “In the D-S community, there is such a high level of communication that the couples last so much longer.” 

I hadn't thought of this before, but all things BDSM require a high level of trust and communication, which are the two biggest things you need in any relationship. This is sounding surprisingly wholesome.

6. The Mets' fan whose safety word is "Yankees rule." The New York Times sprinkled in a lot of examples of different kinds of kink in this story, but the one safety word  they gave made me wish that they had a long list of those.

"When she plays with others, Deb, a lifelong Mets fan, uses the phrase 'Yankees Rule,' which she could only utter under extreme duress."

Does everyone choose something that they would refuse to say otherwise? I'm so curious.

 

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