Just When You Thought They Couldn’t Get Skeevier…

My son, for reasons known best to himself, has taken to watching old Jon Stewart clips, and this morning he was watching a long one, a sit down between Steward and Bill O’Reilly.

Stewart comes off as the smarter, more moral one in the particular bit I saw, but I told my kid I still hated the whole premise.  Stewart was normalizing a monster — even giving him a little bit of his own thoughtfulness as cover.  It wasn’t news back then that O’Reilly was a stone racist and a grotesque boss, a harassing womanizer dragging a tail of NDAs behind him.

But while I watched a true PGO came to me: the GOP obviously has no monopoly on men who are assholes to women, but it does seem to have more than its share, or rather the share you’d expect, given both specific ideology* , and the broader authoritarianism that both depends on and breeds the certainty that to be white and male is to have the right to f**k — and f**k with — the women who are their due.

Hence Porter and Farenthold and Moore and a magazine writer who thinks mere lethal injection is too good for the wanton harlots who choose to have an abortion — and the male-led magazine that thought such views were “provocative” — until it became clear just how provoked the intended gallows-bound (and their friends) had become.  And of course, hence the omphalos of modern Republican moral degeneracy, the Shitgibbon himself.

But I have to say, the latest entrant into the GOP-Sleazebag sweepstakes actually managed to surprise even my jaded self.  Meet Mr. Benjamin Sparks:

A Las Vegas political adviser who worked on national campaigns and high-profile Nevada races sexually enslaved and battered his ex-fiancée before police responded to a domestic dispute, the woman told the Review-Journal.

The 46-year-old woman provided copies of emails, text messages and a signed contract laying out her duties as a “slave in training” to Benjamin Sparks.

Sparks isn’t some small-time local operative.  He was a 2012 Romney spokesperson, and worked for Goggle-Eyed Homunculus Scott Walker during the recall campaign.  And he really, really doesn’t like the idea of female autonomy:

According to emails, documents and text messages obtained by the Review-Journal, Sparks and his ex-fiancée signed a five-page contract stating that she would be his “slave and property.”…

Her specified duties were what you might expect, given that starting point and then escalated to the point of rupture. (Go to the link if you want the details.)

“Slave and property.” Dwell on that phrase.  I’ll wait.

Not All Republicans would be a true statement.  But too much Republican rhetoric, policy and conviction rests on a view of women that taken to pathological extremes, ends with Benjamin Sparks putting down on paper his belief that a woman could be chattel.

There are all kinds of reasons these shandes and goniffs need to get their asses handed to them this November. This is one. A big one.

Open this thread can be.

ETA: Several commenters have pointed out that consensual relations between adults aren’t the problem, and they’re right (as always, IMHO). The issue here for me is the way Sparks took what appears to have been one stage of initial consent and translated that into a one-off permission that gave him the right actually to treat his partner as property.

*Anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-non-discriminatory-treatment in work and society politics that are all underpinned by the conviction that women can’t be allowed to have full agency over their own bodies and their own decisions.

Image: J. Collier, Three grotesque old men with awful teeth pointing and grimacing at each other, 1810. (Via Wellcome Images.)






122 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Based on the conteent, this post should come with a safeword.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    Not All Republicans would be a true statement. But too much in Republic rhetoric, policy and belief is implicated in the underlying view of women that in the extreme of its pathology, allowed Benjamin Sparks to put down on paper his expectation that a woman could be chattel.

    Southern Baptists, anyone?

  3. 3

    Jon Stewart can go fuck himself. I remember his interviews where he practically drooled over John Yoo and Rumsfeld when they were on his show. And was particularly nasty to Pelosi and Obama when they were his guests.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Boy the way Glenn Miller played
    Songs that made the Hit Parade.
    Guys like us we had it made,
    Those were the days.

    And you knew who you were then,
    Girls were girls and men were men,
    Mister we could use a man
    Like Herbert Hoover again.

    […]
    People seemed to be content,
    Fifty dollars paid the rent,
    Freaks were in a circus tent.
    Those were the days.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Jon Stewart can go fuck himself.

    Heeeyyyyoooohhhhh!!!
    He certainly was a smarmy, nasty, POS to Ms. Pelosi.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    @NotMax: We’re living in a time where 30%+ of the population still believes all that, in an unironic manner.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Nicole says:

    It was only after John Oliver finished his stint hosting The Daily Show and Jon Stewart came back to the host chair that I realized how mean, angry and misogynist Stewart is. I needed to get a break from it to be able to see it. And then I couldn’t unsee it. I stopped watching soon after. His reaction to the Louis CK scandal did not surprise me. And I remember when the Anthony Weiner stuff first came out, he defended him.

    I really like Last Week Tonight. John Oliver is a foul-mouthed Mister Rogers for grownups. I swear, if anything bad ever comes out about him, I’ll just give up on humanity.

  10. 10
    Steeplejack says:

    But while I watched a true PGO came to me [. . .].

    What, pray tell, is a PGO?

    And you’re missing some bits here: “to be white and male is to have the right to f**k—and f**k withthe women who are their due.”

  11. 11
    Mike in NC says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Back during the height of the racist Tea Party movement, Stewart had as a guest former congressman Dick Armey and he proceeded to kiss his ass.

  12. 12
    Hildebrand says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Bingo. Stewart’s ‘High Broderism’ always bothered the piss out of me. His knavery when interviewing Pelosi and Obama was enough for me to comfortably ignore him going forward.

  13. 13
    germy says:

    Jon Stewart was particularly nasty about Helen Thomas.

    She made some comments about Israel that he found unacceptable, so he did a segment with a big, unflattering photo of her face. He was disgusting.

  14. 14

    @Nicole: I missed it, what did Stewart have to say about Louis CK? I never found LCK funny, and I found out about him only after JGC had written a glowing post about him awhile back. I thought LCK’s schtick was kinda unfunny guy humor.

  15. 15
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Steeplejack: PGO = Penetrating Glimpse of the Obvious.

    And thanks for the copy-edit. Fix’t

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    Anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-non-discriminatory-treatment in work and society politics that are all underpinned by the conviction that women can’t shall not be allowed to have full agency over their own bodies and their own decisions

    Small adjustment there. Editorial discretion, if you will. But it’s not that women can’t have agency. Patriarchy demands females be chattel.

  17. 17
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    To repeat what I said in an earlier thread: Up until the point when she said no and he kept pushing, I have no problem with it. Consenting adults can do what they want in the privacy of their own bedrooms. His real crime is belonging to a party that would deny that freedom to significant portions of the population.

  18. 18
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Steeplejack: Yeah, I couldn’t figure out what a PGO was either, and google was no help.

    It’s not a new epiphany that Republicans have embraced and elevated misogyny, but it remains shocking and revolting every time you are reminded by exactly how much.

  19. 19
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Tom Levenson: Thanks for the translation.

  20. 20

    @Nicole: I don’t recall him issuing any affirmative defense of Weiner at the time; TDS’ gag was that the Jon Stewart character would make futile attempts to postpone devoting talking about Weiner (the two having been college roommates IRL) until Weiner’s career collapsed – with Stewart and Weiner coming in for equal deprecation. Also, Stewart only handled the first Weiner scandal.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    @Tom Levenson

    Ah, the infamous OOA.

    Obscure Opaque Acronym.

    ;)

  22. 22
    Brachiator says:

    Slave and property.” Dwell on that phrase. I’ll wait.

    Varieties of BDSM and master/slave fantasy ain’t ideological, ain’t more Republican than Democrat.

    What makes this despicable and heinous was that the woman was into play, while the guy seriously thought that he could induce a woman to give up her ability to give her consent.

  23. 23
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Yutsano: The phrase “can’t be allowed” conveys, I think, that this view is enforced by oppressive (would-be) authority.

  24. 24
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @Ridnik Chrome:

    His real crime is belonging to a party that would deny that freedom to significant portions of the population.

    I can’t edit my comment anymore, but let me rephrase the above: He’s a hypocrite for belonging to the GOP, and a shit for the way he treated his girlfriend, and no, I’m not surprised at any of it.

  25. 25
    efgoldman says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    Jack Shafer deserves to be shot into a running jet turbine

    Too quick

  26. 26
    JR says:

    @Nicole: Colbert was great too, although I think he burned out. Not that I blame him.

  27. 27
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Ridnik Chrome: @Brachiator: Indeed. Consenting adults certainly includes BDSM and so on.

    But the “contract” and the guy’s evident sense of what it meant for him isn’t about consent, ISTM, certainly not as a continually renewable human understanding.

  28. 28
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Nicole: “a foul-mouthed Mr. Rogers for grown-ups” is such a wickedly concise and hilarious description of John Oliver. I iz in awe.

  29. 29

    I’m gonna have to push back on the implicit slut shaming in the post.

    Stipulated that Sparks is undoubtedly a sexist asshole, who almost certainly violated the terms of the master/slave agreement with his wife (judging by her violent reaction).

    But master/slave relationships are not inherently problematic — not my cuppa, but I know several people who are in them. (They’re also equally likely to have women as the dominant partner with men as the slaves.)

    When done right, the BDSM community places a huge emphasis on consent and on negotiating upfront what’s going to happen in a “scene.” Going outside those boundaries is grounds for the “bottom” to immediately call a stop to the proceedings, and public play spaces typically have safety monitors who will enforce this.

    (Non-kinky people could actually learn quite a bit from the communication techniques involved. Talking what works/doesn’t work for before having sex… what a concept.)

    With master-slave relationships — which represents a small percentage of the folks in the kink community — contra “50 shades” the master doesn’t lay down a set of rules that the slave accepts without question. There should be a fair bit of negotiation involved.

    That said, does kink provide cover for assholish behavior for some dominants/tops/masters. Definitely. Sparks strikes me as one of those Dominant Lord Domly Dom of Domdom types that healthier kink communities ostracize.

    But let’s focus on the assholish behavior, not the kink per se.

  30. 30
    efgoldman says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    it remains shocking and revolting every time you are reminded by exactly how much.

    It should, but it’s like being shocked and revolted every time the scorpion stings the frog.

  31. 31

    @efgoldman: fed feet first into a woodchipper on minimum speed, then

    He’s Chris Chinchilla with 100% more smugness and even less of a moral compass

  32. 32
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Missing bits, plural. You need the second dash to make your rhetorical point work correctly.

  33. 33
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: See above: yes to consenting adults doing whatever they damn well please. No to the way Sparks seems to have taken an initial mutually agreed kink and escalated based on the assumption that signing on as “slave and property” ended the need for further consent. At least that’s how I read the published accounts.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    @Sister Golden Bear

    The difference between a fetish and a philosophy.

  35. 35
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Steeplejack: Too right. Fix’t again.

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @Tom Levenson: Fair enough. It’s not really worth quibbling over a verb that more or less does the same thing just gives a slightly different context.

  37. 37
    different-church-lady says:

    These kinds of relationships have existed, in consensual form, for quite a while (or so I understand from various sources since the 70s, no direct experience to call upon here…) We have a valued commenter here (three letters, can’t remember what they are, you remember, I’m sure…) who I bet can speak to this, having had experience in a related field. The world is weird in weird ways, and if people genuinely consent to this, it’s not my business.

    So, what surprises me about this is not the sex-slave angle, but the fact that this guy drew it up in writing like an actual contract.

    And it utterly rips the mask of the whole “Party of Family Values” posture they tried so hard to sell for so many years.

  38. 38
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Yutsano: Sacrilege. If we don’t quibble, who will? If we only quibble, who are we? If not now when?

  39. 39
    Ruckus says:

    @efgoldman:
    He could be blown off the deck of a carrier in the middle of the Atlantic by a jet exhaust blast and the only thing found was his life jacket that came off when he hit the water from 75 ft up. If the fall doesn’t kill ya…….

  40. 40
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    Molly Ringwald’s observations (the Guardian) about viewing The Breakfast Club with her daughter are apt. The premise of too much that is offered is through a white guy’s vision of other people, and the effect is that those other people (women and everybody) don’t get their POV seen.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    I should read the stuff I sign more carefully.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @Tom Levenson: You need a comma after “now.”

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    @Tom Levenson

    Tonight’s episode, The Trouble with Quibbles.

    ;)

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    That March for Sanity really went to Stewart’s head. He was never the same after that.

  45. 45
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Green balloons?

  46. 46
    Yutsano says:

    @Ruckus: Sharks. I demand sharks. With frickin’ laser beams!

    @Tom Levenson: I did some proofing and light editing for a novelist once. It still amazes me we had a string of 6 e-mails all over one word. So oh do I know how to quibble.

    Plus I like shall. So there’s that too.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    I’ve always wondered, what do you do for a safe word if you’re wearing a ball gag?

    ETA: let’s assume you’re hands are tied so hand signals are out.

  48. 48
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Baud: FTW

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @MomSense: So soon. We’re not even at 50 comments.

  50. 50
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    Study ventriloquism first?

  51. 51
    Nicole says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Jon Stewart was asked in 2016 about the Louis CK rumors (Gawker had done a couple of pieces on it in 2015, I think it was; I remember reading them) and he was really dismissive:
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bro.....ioner.html

    Like the kid who asked him the question said, I’m really, really skeptical that he hadn’t heard anything before.

  52. 52
    efgoldman says:

    @NotMax:

    Tonight’s episode, The Trouble with Quibbles

    Newest Batman villain: The Quibbler

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I believe that writing it up is part of the entire concept of consent in these situations. Putting it in writing and signing is supposed to lend some limits to the entire concept of slave/master. I’d bet for some, and it sounds like this asshole, that as long as he’s got what he wants in writing, he’s good to do whatever the hell he wants, with no limits, no tapouts/safe words or any thing like it. A written contract is supposed to be protection for either of the participants, but like a lot of contracts, one side may not remain within the constraints of the contract. That contract becomes worth only the paper it’s written on.

  54. 54
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: what you said.

  55. 55
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Hence Porter and Farenthold and Moore and a magazine writer who thinks mere lethal injection is too good for the wanton harlots who choose to have an abortion — and the male-led magazine that thought such views were “provocative” — until it became clear just how provoked the intended gallows-bound (and their friends) had become. And of course, hence the omphalos of modern Republican moral degeneracy, the Shitgibbon himself.

    What’s even funnier to me about the the RWNJs that whine about “political correctness” and their free speech “right” to spew this horrific shit anywhere they please is that what did they expect? That Williamson dude was advocating to murder people. Did they expect women (and their friends) to just sit back and not say anything to a potentially existential threat like that? To tolerate such opinions is to normalize them and allow them to become “reasonable”. This isn’t a game.

  56. 56
    Ruckus says:

    @Yutsano:
    You may not see sharks but they are there. Just waiting for a nice morsel to find them.
    I’ve seen dauphins swim in the ships wake for quite some time in the middle of the Atlantic. We thought they were surfing the prop wash at 15-20 knots. Fun to watch.

  57. 57
    Nicole says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): What I recall, and it’s been a few years, so I may be remembering wrong, is that when the news first broke, he claimed that, having been Weiner’s college roommate, he didn’t believe the pictures of Weiner’s dick were real, because he’s seen him and he, as he put it, wasn’t that big. It was really weird.

  58. 58
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Fleeting Expletive:
    Don’t forget that in order for the goth girl character to become well-adjusted she had to get a makeover and get with the school jock.

  59. 59
    bemused says:

    I doubt it’s my imagination that there are many more Republicans in office, running for office, in powerful political jobs, etc. who are perverts, cheat on their spouses, had multiple marriages, commit corrupt and often illegal grifting scams and schemes than Democrats. There are or were three to four Republicans running for office that have felony records. If only there was a handy, comparison list someone has been compiling in the last ten years or so.

    Conservative christians just yawn or bring up Weiner, then Bill Clinton or further back, Ted and John Kennedy. That’s really reaching for equivalency when I’m reading about Republican dirtbags daily.

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    As The Riddler’s name was E. Nigma, I suppose The Quibbler’s might be Y. Y. Knott.

  61. 61
    efgoldman says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’ve seen dauphins swim in the ships wake

    French princes? Wearing crowns in the water?

  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    I’ve seen dauphins swim in the ships wake for quite some time in the middle of the Atlantic

    Now that’s a photo series would love to see.

    Magnifique!

  63. 63
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Ruckus: @efgoldman: @NotMax: With dukes paddling on behind.

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    With dukes paddling on behind.

    Again with the BDSM! A number of dukes like to be paddled on their behinds.

  65. 65
    Jay says:

    @different-church-lady:

    There’s supposed to be a contract, both parties are supposed to negotiate it, both parties are supposed to sign it, it should be witnessed, and when the relationship changes, ( or agreements have been reached to change the relationship) the contract should be amended and updated.

    In part, it’s foreplay, in part, it’s legal protection for both parties, in part, it clearly defines boundaries, in part, it defines kinks and the indulgence in specific kinks.

  66. 66
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:
    You are clearing the fences today. Fresh batch of coffee beans?

  67. 67
    randy khan says:

    Not my scene, either, but everything I’ve ever seen about these kinds of relationships from reputable people (that is, not in fiction) is pretty clear that consent is negotiated and must be ongoing (that is, whatever the contract says, the sub gets to say no whenever the sub wants). If this story is remotely true, it’s unlikely that there was much in the nature of negotiation, given that he started dating her one day and had the contract signed the next day, and it’s clear he paid no attention to the concept of ongoing consent. Stealing a concept from a Dan Savage column, he isn’t an ethical sadist

  68. 68
    gene108 says:

    I don’t hate Jon Stewart. I appreciate that he was one of the few voices speaking out against the right-wing news bubble that enveloped us after 9/11/01. The sad thing is the media was so bereft of independent thought back then a comedian on basic cable became a thought leader, whether or not he was all that intellectual to begin with.

    His schtick made such shows as Full Frontal, This Week Tonight, and The Opposition possible, as he showed there is a market in mocking conservatives.

  69. 69
    Jay says:

    @Baud:

    You hold an object in your hand, like a racquetball, that you drop, for example. Provisions must always be made for a “safety” to be given.

  70. 70

    @Nicole: It’s a literal invocation of the small-penis rule; I doubt that it was meant as a serious defense/exoneration of [ERECTIONS]. Oliver’s TDS run, at least, gave us the Mystikal “Danger” meme and “deja ewwwwwwwwwwwwww” (though I don’t know if either of them or Noah discussed the CSA element of the 2016 scandal).

  71. 71
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    I see in Cole’s twitter feed at right that he’s back from Black Panther, still basking in the awe of the experience. I sense (and hope for, to be honest) Yet Another BP Thread coming soon.

  72. 72

    @gene108: TDS >>>> SNL

    Also, my second response to Nicole is in moderation for some reason.

  73. 73
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jay: Guess it just goes to show how naive I am about this stuff.

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym

    Was deep down sort of hoping for a full-throated rant about people in the audience who chatter away during a movie.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    Before Stew-beef is written off as history’s biggest monster, have to say whatever his faults TDS during his stint did yeoman’s work in setting the Republican propaganda machine before us in a way it never had and frankly, isn’t done frequently enough today (Sam Bee and John Oliver get gold stars here). That was the heart of the show and the interviews were mostly throwaway time (like 90% of chat shows). The Glenn Beck sendups and the “go fuck yourself” chorus were other high points.

    He also quite literally got Tucker Carlson taken off the air, sadly temporarily but still….

  76. 76
    Tony P. says:

    The issue here for me is the way Sparks took what appears to have been one stage of initial consent and translated that into a one-off permission that gave him the right actually to treat his partner as property.

    It’s the “one man, one vote, one time” concept reduced to its essence. Republican gerrymanderers have no problem with it.

    –TP

  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    @trollhattan

    As Old Lodge Skins says in Little Big Man, “Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

    :)

  78. 78
    EBT says:

    This is why you take BDSM slowly, nothing wrong with signing a contract (I signed a similar contract in my own blood once). But not on the first date.

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Most of us are naive about this stuff, myself included. I’d bet that’s one reason the contract idea came about, because it’s supposed to be “pleasurable and fun.” I don’t get the entire concept given that I can’t believe it would be either in any way, pleasurable or fun.

  80. 80
    Steeplejack says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    Penis has reverted to being a forbidden word. FYWP at Balloon Juice: one step forward, one step back.

  81. 81
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:
    I was in a meeting when I read his extended Twitter rant from a meeting a month or so ago. Could scarcely contain myself.

  82. 82
    Nicole says:

    @trollhattan: I don’t disagree, but later in Stewart’s TDS run it really started falling into “both sides do it”ism. And I think Stewart had a double standard on interviewing men vs. interviewing women and went much too easy on right-wing guests.

    And I get that it’s a comedy show; not a news program, but I remember when Stewart went on Crossfire and accused Carlson of hurting the country. It seems to me it’s a cop-out to say something like that and then duck behind “but we’re just a comedy show!” when playing nice-nice with Bill O’Reilly.

  83. 83

    @Nicole:He was good during the Bush admin.

  84. 84
    trollhattan says:

    @Nicole:
    I think O’Reilly literally intimidated Stewart and even Colbert. Whatever their plans were going in, they seemed to vanish when confronting him, could be as simple as being physically intimidated by a much larger dude. I recall Colbert asking “But if you’re an act, what am I?”

    O’Reilly of course has always played coy with “I’m just an entertainer” when is suits him. Hell, when Rush Limbaugh was in Sac he basically invented his on-air character then decided is was the goddamn truff.

  85. 85
    EBT says:

    @Ruckus: I sure could give you the point of view of someone who does find it enjoyable.

  86. 86
    Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman) says:

    @efgoldman:

    Newest Batman villain: The Quibbler

    Leave Luna Lovegood out of this or Harry & Hermione will punish you.

    Though that might be what you want. 😀

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    Isn’t it a little early for Balloon Juice After Dark ?

  88. 88
    trollhattan says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Is always nighttime in St. Petersburg.

  89. 89
    Dev Null says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    I quibble, therefore I am.

  90. 90
    Nicole says:

    @schrodingers_cat: True; that’s when it was can’t-miss TV, for sure.

  91. 91
    Nicole says:

    @trollhattan: Yeah, I don’t cut them a break for that. What was O’Reilly going to do to them on air? Hit them like he (allegedly) hit his wife?

  92. 92

    @Corner Stone: I know really, we are drowning in TMI.

  93. 93

    @trollhattan: That sounds like a lame excuse, were they afraid that BillO was going to beat them up on set or something? He also had the option of not inviting him on his show.

  94. 94
    Jay says:

    @randy khan:

    Yup.

    There’s a big BDSM community out there, smaller local communities, and that’s where people should explore their kinks. The communities are not the least bit tolerant of people who don’t adhere to the safe, sane, consentual rules, and are very active in “outing them”.

    Both subs, dom’s and switches can be “unsafe” play partners.

    With out a copy of the contract, it’s not possible to define their consentual relationship. In the RW, it’s often impossible for someone to find a partner who’s “kink compatable”, on line has made it a bit easier. The best most people can hope for, is a partner who is GGG with their kinks, but many screw it up, by never/ignoring/sabotaging their GGG partner’s needs for romance and vanilla.

    Even in the BDSM community, it’s often hard to match kinks. I know of people who in the online age, moved across country or immigrated, to have a partner who matched their kinks.

    So, when people discover they have matching kinks, they tend to jump in with both feet fast.

    What I find “weird”, is the sub/dom relationship taken outside the bedroom. That is a very rare relationship for a Male Dom to be sucessful at, even for a short period of time because of the needs and behaviours of the sub. It’s something that Female Dom’s tend to only be sucessful at.

  95. 95
    Jay says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Sadly, rather than reading the 980 page deep academic exploration that’s the book Kink, or the 9,000 really great blogs and forums,

    Most people get their BDSM info from 50 Shades of Grey, or 9 1/2 Weeks, which are actually Male Dominance Sociopathic Novels.

  96. 96
    trollhattan says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Newsflash from guyland–physical intimidation is a thing. Was it a thing in those instances? No idea.

    And let’s recall how Hillary was able to keep her shit when Trump was stalking her on the debate stage. What the hell was that? That was physical intimidation and quite intentional.

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    EBT says:

    @Jay: I know a few M/M lifestyle BDSM relationships that are going V well. The problem seems to occur most when you get a cishet guy as the dom.

  98. 98
  99. 99

    @Baud:

    I’ve always wondered, what do you do for a safe word if you’re wearing a ball gag?

    ETA: let’s assume you’re hands are tied so hand signals are out.

    Assuming this is a serious question….There are various ways, and which method(s) are used should be part of the negotiations beforehand. E.g. “flashing” the hand, or stomping the foot three times (a la the “rule of three” wilderness distress signal); having the submissive hold something in their hand, which they drop as a safe word signal.

    The dominant player will also do check-ins to ensure that things are going OK, e.g. “Squeeze my finger twice if you’d like to keep going.” Likewise, they had to be extremely observant above how the submissive is doing, since the sub may be blissed out in what’s referred to as “sub space” — a mix of endorphin rush and trance space — and may not notice problems and/or being unable to communicate in general, since some folks get non-verbal. It’s one reason topping (i.e. dominating) is a lot of work, and is a skill the one needs to work at.

    But obviously the reduce ability to communicate makes this “advanced” play, and it’s always the responsibility of the dominant to ensure that things remain safe. Much kink play — even something like spanking — inherently involves the risk of unintentional injury. So “good” players on both end of the whip are pretty safety conscious, just like “good” rock climbers, sailors, extreme sports enthusiasts, etc.

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    Captain C says:

    @Baud: Have the bottom hold an object that can be dropped (and make a loud enough noise to be noticed) in such an event. So I’ve heard.

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    Jay says:

    @EBT:

    Yup, people pushing outside the boundaries, in violation of their partners trust, tends to end the relationships pretty fast.

    I know several Female Dom’s who have sucessful full lifestyle relationships, but no Male Doms. I know many of both sexes who have sucessful boudoir relationships, but live life as normal outside the bedroom.

    Funny thing is, I only know of one sucessful BDSM/GGG relationship.

  102. 102

    @trollhattan: Yes I know its a thing, as someone who is petite and female. JS being wimpy with conservatives guests and a bully with D guests was not a good look for him.

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    Jay says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    Very concise, informative, and well written.

    Nice!

  104. 104

    It’s fantastic that today’s smart, politically attuned kids are now the first generation to have ready access to film records such as Stewart vs. O’Reilly. It bodes well for the democratic party and for democracy in general.

    Mark my words: as the kids study the emergence of the fascist right since 1980, those kids are going to be appalled at the collaboration lent to it by democratic party officials.

    They’ll study the congressional leadership of democratic party that endorsed the criminal 2003 Bush-Cheney plot to war (as well as notable exceptions like Nancy Pelosi, that did not). They’ll draw a bead on those that stampeded in support of that war, and on the piss poor reasons why they trusted Bush-Cheney in the first place.

    They’ll certainly understand just why the tragic reasoning of those congressional democrats that did stampede will remain forever incomprehensible to vast numbers of other, wiser democrats, all of whom possessed the sense to have stood in opposition.

    They’ll scratch their heads in wonder, too, at what prompted Bill Clinton to state publicly that Richard Nixon taught him “what it meant to be an American”, and why it was that Barack Obama so often praised Ronald Reagan as his beau ideal of a president. And in the not-so-distant future, the country will be better off for all their wondering…

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    Baud says:

    @No Drought No More: You are really in need of some BDSM.

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    Baud says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: It was serious. Thanks to you and the other responsders.

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    trollhattan says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Ever see him interview Elizabeth Warren?

  108. 108

    @trollhattan: Before or after she became a senator? I gave up watching him regularly after the Rumsfeld love fest.

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    Citizen Alan says:

    @Baud:

    I switched off the March for Sanity when he had a montage of GOP politicians saying awful shit and he just had to include Alan Grayson saying the GOP healthcare plan was “If you’re poor, don’t get sick and if you get sick, die quickly” for balance. Never mind that it was 100% true.

  110. 110

    @No Drought No More:

    why it was that Barack Obama so often praised Ronald Reagan as his beau ideal of a president.

    The Lie that will Never Die.

  111. 111

    @Baud: Guess you need to get out the whip.

  112. 112
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    Can you blink “SOS” in Morse, or is it assumed you’re not only shackled and gagged, you’re also blindfolded?

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:

    The GOP needs to go the way of the NSDAP and the CPSU.

    Oblivion.

  114. 114
    jl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Baud still seems to be able to type comments. So, no sure what the issue is just right now.

    As for this GOP POS, I don’t have time to read all the comments, so not sure what the nit-picking is about a lot is OK between consenting adults. It’s clear to me from the link in the post that Sparks became very abusive, that the relationship was no longer one of mutual consent, and Sparks did not care, he just hurt her even more and beat her up. So, I see a big problem.

  115. 115
    Jay says:

    @jl:

    ” It’s clear to me from the link in the post that Sparks became very abusive, that the relationship was no longer one of mutual consent, and Sparks did not care, he just hurt her even more and beat her up. So, I see a big problem.”

    Yup, that is the problem. It happens in any type of relationship.

    It’s just strange that it so often happens in the “Party of Personal Responsibility”.

  116. 116
    PIGL says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): way too quick. I’d go all Cersie Lannister on his ass.

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    DissidentFish says:

    Just no.

    Men who get off on subjugating and dominating women aren’t a historically disenfranchised group. They’re play-acting a scenario that in reality harms millions of women every day. I wouldn’t pass laws against consensual adults doing what they do, but… do not ask for my respect. Just because you can find an adult women who’s down with joining in your extended rape fantasy doesn’t change the nature of the rape fantasy. Fuck that. Men who get off on dominating women are assholes, no matter how dressed up their “role-play” is in the appropriated language of liberation.

  118. 118
    afanasia says:

    @EBT: Maybe some of them (cishet-dom) are hazardous because they’re already too aggressive IRL, so their fantasies involve breaking agreed-upon safeguards. Which is despicable.

  119. 119
    The Other Chuck says:

    @DissidentFish:

    Men who get off on dominating women are assholes

    I take it you don’t think much of women who consent to it then? Anyway, all the “scare quotes” in the world aren’t going to elevate that opinion into anything more.

  120. 120
    thefax says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Jon Stewart also drooled over Huckabee and McCain. And fell for the ‘IRS scandal’ hook, line, and sinker. And continually expressed disappointment in Obama for not using his magic president wand to back everything better. And held a big rally in Washington DC where he refused to take on the Tea Party. And he practically campaigned against Terry MacAulliffe’s VA gubernatorial campaign.

    Jon Stewart never deserved the praise he got from the left.

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    Kathleen says:

    @thefax: Totally agree with that.

  122. 122
    Fred says:

    Ya know, abortion is a capitol crime unless, of course, the man thinks it is a necessary evil in which case it is a good thing but alas that loose morals wench needs the maximum punishment so others don’t stray (know their place).
    In short:The horizontal bop is a great dance for the boys but irresponsible and evil for the girls.
    Now doesn’t that make sense? I knew you all would understand.

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