Sunday, January 14, 2018

BDSM on TV is Not Going Mainstream

The many looking down on the preferences of the few. Because it sells.

Don't believe the hype, it's a sequel. There is no kink genesis on TV, nor does prolonged exposure to on-screen BDSM lead to more acceptance in general. We're entertainment, that's all folks!

The Mick, Sabrina, house boy, slave servant
The Mick's Sabrina indulging her superiority complex, a priviliged life only money can buy.

There is one universal fetish all kinksters share: mainstream acceptance. That ain't ever gonna happen, just live and let live would be a pretty decent deal. And no, those proclaiming there's no deeper bond than the one between mistress and her slave are not helping "da cauz". Fifty Shades to the rescue perhaps? Woohaa, that is just as likely as 20 dommes for every slave.

Most kinksters instinctively recognize all of this, but there is a new hope: BDSM on TV and how it will lead to mainstream acceptance. This much coveted price generates so much desperation, it turns devious dommes into fully functional masochists. Just let go of the impossible dream.

Kink on TV serves two purposes. The first one is for the audience to identify the freaks, baddies and those undeserving of whatever. Why? Because TV viewers are lazy and nothing is more easily digestible than stereotypes. The second one is because it's sensational: "ratings baby." Look at those perverts and how we are morally superior to them! Never mind all those bored women reading Fifty Shades. "They're the perverts, not us!" Keep on living the dream, sweetie. If anything, Fifty Shades has made things worse.

The first Fifty Shades novel was published in 2011 but it is too easy to attribute the surge of kink TV to that. "The mistress always spanks twice" is a 2010 episode of the TV show Castle. Rick is a successful crime writer and an amateur detective. Don't agree with their premises that: "Kink isn't just for weirdo side characters anymore" but GQ is certainly right that this episode is surprisingly kink-friendly.

Kate Beckett: Only a handful of bondage shops in the city do custom work.
Richard Castle: "Only a handful of shops"? Okay, what aren't you telling me?
Kate Beckett: So much, Castle. So very, very much.

Two years later the kink community's most famous TV dominatrix made her screen debut in "Scandal in Belgravia." As I argued before, show runner Steven Moffat didn't do her justice by having "the woman" rescued by Sherlock in a later episode. It takes about one or two years for the average Sherlock episode to be produced, so it wasn't influenced by Fifty Shades.

So Sherlock falls in love with a dominatrix. They say, falling in love with your domme is always a bad idea, just search the web. Unfortunately those claiming that, forget it's about two people and the way they connect. After all, wasn't Irene Adler's last text before she was about to be beheaded to Sherlock? Good thing there is The Big Bang Theory, in which the women dominate the men, or so I argued. By then Fifty Shades was firmly established as the horror story of all those in favour of non-abusive kink. To my own surprise, the very next season the show did a dream sequence in which Sheldon has a nightmare about Penny and Leonard having fun in his bedroom, which they turned into a "sex dungeon." Quelle horreur.

There have been lots of other examples over the last few years, mostly hidden, but let's turn my finely tuned kink TV radar to the current television season and give you three examples of the non-acceptance of kink on the small screen.

The Simpsons in general is a bit of a mixed bag. In an older episode, Appu, tied to a chair, marvels about the erotic joys of soft rope. The current season opens with an episode called The Serfsons, where the family is thrown back to the Middle Ages. Looking at a store front, we see the Cold Stone Screamery next door. A dominatrix, wearing a medieval helmet, whips her bound slave. It has nothing to do with gaining mainstream acceptance, more like a cheap shot at those who are different - and perceived loosers, the slave being Mole Man.

"Don't look to the left Marge"

A similar thing, albeit under very different settings happens in The Mick. With their fabulously wealthy parents off to prison for financial fraud, trashy aunt Mickey has to take care of three spoiled kids. The eldest daughter is a narcissistic prima donna, most likely the archtype of a potential domme in the minds of most TV executives

Spending the weekend at their great-grandmother's mansion, daughter Sabrina unleashes her superiority complex on the house boy. Why is never really answered, but it makes for some fun scenes. The first one is her using him as a foot stool. Because she can. The second one [pictured below] is where she ties him to the bed and drips candle wax on his chest. Perhaps this is how vanilla folks see kinksters, but above all it shows that the real price for the producers here is not the crazy kinky acts, but ordinary folks judging, laughing about and feel superior to kinksters. When the house boy looses his job, he asks Sabrina if he can call her. Don't, she says. After all where's the fun in bossing around the servant if he's no longer in your employment? Mainstream acceptance? Forget about it.

Sorry Sabrina, Femdom's Golden Rule of Acceptable Disobedience:
A slave is always allowed to take of his socks, even if mistress says no.

Billions, a show about financial fraud, over the past two years, has become the poster child for mainstream acceptance of BDSM. Don't be fooled. The only reason the show features kink is because it sells. That very notion is reinforced by the many articles heralding the 'brave' choices the show makes. Make no mistake, kink has nothing to do with the story line, it is completely irrelevant to it.

The first episode of Billions opens with a dominatrix putting out her cigarette on a man's chest and peeing on him. Even though the show has received rave reviews, I don't care for it much. It's another example of 'freaks sell'. You may not like it, but with the kink community being a fraction of one percent of the general population, we are a tiny minority. One of the reasons I don't discuss my preferences with the people I love, is because they cannot understand how it makes me happy. Instead they will worry about my safety and mental health. So why would I tell them and have the people I love, worry about me?

On a bigger scale, anything that people cannot understand or that is alien to them, they mock and make fun of. Of course [evil] corporations know that all too well and turn it into an opportunity to make a quick buck. Kink is the perfect example. Mainstream acceptance is never gonna happen. It's human nature. Just like human nature tipped the scales of diversity towards kink for me.

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