Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Nov 5th, 2020


Hey kids, sorry I was away. I hope you missed me. I actually was ‘away.’ I went south from my N.J. burb. But don’t worry, I was as safe as I could be. I realize I have to get back to a more regular schedule here with THE SEX FILES, but the pandemic has slowed me down some, got me off my game a bit, as I know it has all of us. Priorities seem to be shifting every day, and I, like you, am trying to adjust to what I keep calling anything but normal ‘new normal.’ Luckily, the world of wacky sex happenings has not stopped, or in the case of what I am going on about this week, reporting about the world of sex happenings hasn’t stopped.

Have you yet caught the HBO docu-series The Vow? Oh man, is this ever a delicious romp! So yummy, in fact, that The Vow has been renewed for a second season, and just last night, I caught Showtimes’ offering of this same story (they start from much later in the proceedings). This is sex cult, megalomania, big money, branding ladies, the stuff of a high order. There are well-known actresses involved, royalty from various countries, even the Dali Lama gets in there (blissful and unaware as he is of who he is meeting and how he is being manipulated).

What gets me though about these kinds of shows (beyond the simple fact of how people can be so easily duped by vapid talking heads looking for money and blind devotion…sounds like both of our political parties, huh?) is that every time words like mistress/master, sexual submission, sex slave are used pejoratively in the mainstream (and certainly, in this case, it seems to be all bad stuff this NXIVM group—pronounced “Nexium”—was into), kinksters of the world have to defend themselves once again.

S&M practices, kink play, and non-vanilla sexual pursuits are not anything like what Keith Raniere and his Albany-locked group, NXIVM, were into. I have been to enough kink event weekends, visited enough suburban dungeons, written about this stuff extensively, and count among my friends some dyed-in-the-wool kinksters to know that they are some of the most well-adjusted people I have ever met. They just like to wear a ‘onesie’ from time to time and sit in a corner with a pacifier in their mouth and coloring-book or enjoy having their woman strap on a seven-inch dildo while she pulls the chain wrapped around the base of their penis and fucks their ass now and again.

As much as Fifty Shades of Grey, a fictionalized attempt to bring sexual play/kink to the mainstream, does not reflect all kink experience (and lots of kinksters complained it didn’t reflect anything near their typical experience) when we see/hear stories of sexual abuse couched in terms like mistress/slave or people talk about giving tribute or serving some sort of penance, we shouldn’t think this is in any way akin to what people who play safe, and sane do.

I offer this observation all the time: real perversity for me lies in the many couples I see playing power games through passive-aggressive behavior and pretty much holding grudges that they use as an excuse to emotionally torture and destroy their partner’s self-esteem, not in one person wanting their lover to follow them into the bathtub so they can be pissed on or another enjoying a night out where they might have to roll up the back of their school-girl skirt (man or woman wearing that skirt, by the way), expose their white cotton panties and take a good hand swatting in front of a group of onlookers.

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