HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE HIM

Daniel Harris, The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture (Hyperion, 1997), p. 192 (citations elided):

Even today, [sadomasochists] continue to insist that “true S/M is not cruel; it is a loving fulfillment of a partner’s needs”; that “the giving and taking of abuse” is not an act of violence, “it is an act of love”; that “fascism is in no way implicit in sadomasochism”…. Nothing dramatizes more clearly the wholesale emasculation of everything the leather community once stood for than a simple change in terminology: The shift from the word leathermen, which was used in the 1970s, to the word leatherfolk, which… conjures up images, not of the Marquis de Sade flogging French milkmaids and deflowering innocent children, but of a quaint tribe of macrobiotic vegetarians in tie-dye caftans singing protest songs at peace rallies. […] [L]eather was paradoxically feminized, becoming a defanged movement of starry-eyed soul-searchers who, while beating their lovers black and blue, delivered “every stroke [as] an act of love” that left them “warm with the feeling of having created this ecstasy in another man’s life.”

All I can say is: No way I’m showing up at a flogging in a caftan.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2004.12.28 18:47. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
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