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Jack. Off-scale IQ, complex history of Explosive Ordnance Disposal in the Marine Corps, time with Secret Service, links to CIA, serious authority on things like small arms and nerve agents, dungeon master. Often mistaken for Pillsbury Doughboy

Jack. Off-scale IQ, complex history of Explosive Ordnance Disposal in the Marine Corps, time with Secret Service, links to CIA, serious authority on things like small arms and nerve agents, dungeon master. Often mistaken for Pillsbury Doughboy

Years back, as I was writing my military column Soldiering for Universal Press Syndicate, I needed expert opinion on the M16A2 rifle. A friend put me in touch with Jack McGeorge, of whom I had never heard. He turned out to be an ex-Marine of exceedingly high intelligence, ran something called the Public Safety Group specializing in the prevention of terrorism, and was a regular television commentator on such things. He was also president of Black Rose, the main S&M club in Washington. I had heard of such groups, but never encountered one.

Jack and I became friends and he eventually invited me to a kinky party in his place in the Virginia suburbs. I went with some trepidation. Surely there would be burly bikers with missing teeth, severed limbs lying here and there, and such. Sadomasochism was about as sordid and taboo as anything could be, a realm of weirdos.

Not…exactly. It turned out to be more Halloween than bloodbath. Jack’s basement was tricked out like a dungeon. As I went down the stairs to see what was happening, a hulking transvestite with a lantern jaw and five o’clock shadow was coming up, dressed like Tom Sawyer’s Aunt Polly. I sensed that it was going to be a baroque evening. It was.

Below, various men and women were chained, tied, hand-cuffed, suspended, and otherwise rendered immobile, being gone at by other women and men with riding crops and paddles. Some were dressed as cops, Nazis, Batwoman and so on, and some just weren’t dressed. If you wanted bizarre, this was the place. (I worked this scene into my splendid cop novel, Killer Kink
of which you need twelve copies.)

What was much more interesting after the first few minutes—the bizarre gets boring quickly if you aren’t involved—was upstairs. Guests were standing around with drinks in hand, talking politics and current events. It could have been any cocktail party at Caligula’s place in Georgetown. They usually referred to themselves not as sadists and masochists, these I think being too ugly and grotesque, but as “tops” and “bottoms.”

Of what sort were these people, whom I got to know somewhat there and in other venues?

Preposterously, they were ordinary. Other than that, I mean. In age they ran sort of twenty-one (they were carefully legal) to fifty, about evenly split between men and women, and all over the social and professional spectrum: a truck driver, a librarian, military officers, programmers, highly educated and not very, singles, dates, husbands and wives. In conversation they seemed not even slightly crazy. They did not seethe with obvious hostility. They seemed to have known each other for years and to be friends.

I thought this was lots stranger than wearing funny clothes and uncomfortable shoes.

Interesting data point: they were intelligent, I guessed overlapping substantially with Mensa. Maybe to be kinky you have to start with enough string.

When Jack had asked me to this circus, I had used my press credentials to get into the library of the American Psychological Association to read about S&M. What I found was fascinating both for its scarcity and inaccuracy. There was a lot of drivel citing Freud and Kraft-Ebing, neither of whom seemed to have known anything about psychology. They took a dim view of kink. Kinkiness, said the references, was a rare paraphilia. Few women were involved, almost always as masochists. Kinky people were profoundly disturbed folk. They might be dangerous, and needed to be institutionalized.

All wrong.

As I later realized, there were two very distinct types of S&Mers, which I came to think of as the serious and the hobbyist. In my years of wading through the drains of cities as a police reporter, I had encountered real sadists if often only by reputation. For example, the Ted Bundys who tortured women to death and the federal sadists of the CIA. The kinks of Jack’s basement were utterly different. They had normal consciences. They had elaborate safeguards to make sure that nothing bad happened. For example, “safe words,” which, when uttered by the bottom, brought the proceedings to a stop (“Shakespeare!”). These people liked each other. Weirdly, it was the bottoms who decided what was going to happen and what the rules were.

If you liked ornate stories, these were the people to know. On one occasion a bunch of them, and I, went to New York to a kinky club called The Vault, which was like a factory’s subbasement in a Dickensian nightmare. Late in the evening, when the theaters let out, well-dressed people came. There was an elegant bar in the middle of this grunge. I remember a couple of men in pricey suits, suntanned in mid-winter, obviously money. They had drinks in hand and were chatting, with their trousers around their ankles. From time to time a woman in biker’s leather came by and whacked hell out of them with a paddle, after which they said, “Thank you, ma’am,” and went back to chatting. Bond prices, I imagine.

How common is kinkiness? I could never decide. One thing is sure: It is way, waaaaay too common to be dismissed as a psychological outlier. Grotesque, non-hobbyist torture of criminals and prisoners runs throughout history. I learned that every city has its sexual underground with kink clubs for heterosexuals, for homosexual men, for lesbians. Sex shops do a brisk trade in cuffs, dildos, and the other accessories of the field. Clubs begin to pop up openly. There is something called the “S&M Starter Kit” for the suburban adventurous. Yet in most places kinkiness is a conversational third rail. You can talk about homosexuality, but mention kink in Washington and you might end up on the no-fly list.

The kink underground is decidedly not a site of mistreatment of women by men. In Jack’s basement there were plenty of women whacking their boyfriends. They were not man-haters. They just liked whacking their boyfriends.

People in sexual minorities tend to exaggerate the prevalence of their tribes. For example, homosexuals sometimes say that ten or fifteen percent of the population is gay. Sure, and I’m Marcus Aurelius. Yet my best guess, which is about all it is, tells me that kinkiness, though perhaps seldom put into practice, is a tendency much more common than homosexuality. For example, those in Jack’s Circus said that a woman who has fantasized about being raped assuredly has kinky tendencies. (Which does not imply a desire actually to be raped: In fantasy, she gets to be completely in charge.) The internet is awash in kinky porn, some ugly and scary, some hobbyist.

I bring all of this up because this column sometimes appears on web sites partial to evolutionary psychology, a field holding that our behavior results from natural selection. A lot of it makes sense. But I cannot figure out what possible reproductive advantage may attach to being masochistic. Nor could I divine why people were kinky.

Neither could they. They had theories, most of which seemed to me silly. For example, it was held that people who wielded power during the day somehow needed to balance this by having no power at night. I saw no evidence of this.

The evolutionary question is intriguing. What Darwinian pressures select for cross-dressing? On the web there is “cuckold porn,” in which men like to watch their wives copulating with other men. The selective advantage? The advantages for survival of suicide, which remains in the population?

Many have asked why homosexuality does not disappear, since the selective pressure would seem to be powerfully against it. Greg Cochran, an ardent evolutionist at the University of Utah, has thundered to Darwin’s rescue by saying that a virus causes homosexuality, the only evidence for its existence being–homosexuality. Well, I too can be an evolutionary biologist. I figure there’s a virus, T, that causes transvestism, a virus S to cause sadism, M for masochism, and C for cuckoldry-watching. Another for suicide.

And a virus that causes sun spots.

Sexual peculiarities, if such they be, tend to come out of hiding in times of social decay and the loosening of traditional morality. We see this in the infinite attention given to homosexuals, Lesbians, trans-this and bi-that, and the rest. But do these tendencies become more common, or just more open? I do not know.

Afterwards I saw a few of the participants socially around DC for a bit, but they dropped off the beer-and-ribs list. Jack was briefly famous as a member of Hans Blix’s team that went to Iraq to look for forbidden weapons. I saw him occasionally until he died during heart surgery a few years ago. Sic transit gloria mundi.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Science • Tags: Sexual Identity 
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  1. At first I thought ‘cahins’ in the headline was some exciting new term I’d never encountered before, but as I read the essay, I realized it was simple ‘chains’ misspelled. Oops!

    Aside from that, this essay straddles a very fine line between seriousness and absurdity with considerable aplomb. Most informative and entertaining.

  2. C’mon. No one going into the USMC could possibly have an off scale IQ. Just ask any Sailor.

    A virus is probably what causes people to join the military. Given the possibility of getting killed in combat, it’s probably not eugenic to get your bright people killed in useless blood letting. So, I would say, the viral theory of queerness is probably just another attempt at a kludge to get Darwinism to work. Rottsa ruck, sez I.

    • Replies: @Rich
  3. OmegaTou says:

    Non-ideal traits are likely to be recessive, and/or are part of a gene that provides a benefit strong enough to overcome the negative selective pressure.

    Civilization has also altered the evolutionary landscape. Terrible vision is so easy to correct that the negative selective pressure is greatly reduced.

    Also, there is a misconception that natural selection is a process that selects the “best” traits. The reality is that it selects the “good enough” traits.

    On top of all of that, you have environment, and past experiences also influencing behavior. This has always been a huge hurdle in studying psychology, there are too many variables to keep track of. Even just the genetic variables are not static. Environmental factors can affect gene expression.

    Though I agree the virus theory is quite a stretch.

  4. Rich says:
    @Quartermaster

    To the weak and effeminate, a man brave enough to face death must seem strange, but that’s why the weak and effeminate, in any just society, are treated with disdain. It’s only in decadent societies that pansies can think it’s cute to ridicule those who defend them, and get away with it.

  5. Hunsdon says:

    Looking back, I think I have quite enjoyed every column of Fred’s that I have ever read.

  6. Tony says:

    Well Fred it looks like the truth is starting to seep out now. You ever stay at the YMCA? You like Greek food?

  7. TheJester says:
    @Rich

    We have to realize that every society needs a fine balance between the brave and courageous and the weak and effeminate … or, we can’t have horror movies. In a parody of life, there would be no one left to scream to warn us of approaching danger so that the brave and courageous hero (this is never a heroine) can come to the rescue.

  8. @Rich

    And just who are the Marines and other branches of the military defending us against?

    The Russians?

    The Chinese?

    Don’t be a fool. The Russians just want to dominate their neck of the wood, just as the Chinese do (just as the U.S. does). Yea, there are some terrorists (often growing out of groups that have at least some legitimate beefs with the U.S. gov’t.) out there but does that requires a massive military. Of course not.

    Grow up and move past the Red Dawn-level of thinking. We’re not under any external threat and really haven’t been since the War of 1812.

    Our fighting soldiers aren’t brave warriors defending us from invasion. They’re either clueless kids or adrenaline junkies who want to prove something to themselves. That’s fine, but I’ll be damned if I treat them as heroes because they’re not, at least not in the sense of sacrificing for their people. (They may have shown remarkable bravery in defending their fellow soldiers, but that’s no different than any gang member standing up for fellow members of the gang.)

    And lest you think that I don’t have a clue what military men are like, I will point out that my family is chock full of career military people, some of whom saw combat. Now, take a guess about who clued me in when I was young about the reality of the military and the men who serve.

  9. Cameron says:
    @Rich

    When is the last time that the military actually defended us?

    However, I do remember that, at least ever since Clinton slithered into office, our military, often as hidden snipers, or shooting from helicopters, or dropping bombs from miles above the victims, or as sheltered, cowardly drone operators thousands of miles from danger, have been destroying countries that did not threaten us, while wounding, displacing, torturing and killing millions of innocent, civilian men, women and children too weak and unarmed to defend themselves–human beings who have harmed no one.

    Is that facing death?

    Such “brave men” don’t appear “strange” to those with the ability to reason and understand reality–those more intelligent, peace-loving human beings whom you characterize as pansies.

    War Is a Racket”–Smedley D. Butler, United States Marine Corps Major General and (Pansy?) two-time Medal of Honor recipient.

    The “brave men” are seen for what they are: strutting, blood-lusting, psychopathic killers, a huge number of whom show their own true weaknesses by ending up homeless on the streets, unable to support themselves, or by committing suicide when they finally face what evil they have wrought–mayhem, destruction and dreadful sorrow on the grandest of scales–all as a consequence of their own swaggering, ignorant “heroism.”

    What lion-hearts our military!

  10. Rich says:

    Citizen of a Silly Country – “Who are the Marines and other branches of the military protecting us against?” Really? You believe we live in a civilized world were the vicious or the strong wouldn’t like to walk into your town and take what you have? Are you really that naive? Read a history book, please. Maybe if you’d spent a day in uniform, instead of listening to the tales of acquaintances, your opinion might be different,I don’t know, but the men I served with were, for the most part, better than those I’ve known who’ve never served.

    Cameron – I’ve read General Butler’s book and it was indeed very informative and interesting, but what the good General was writing about was the politics of war, not the brave men who volunteer to stand up and defend their nation. It’s a distinction you may have trouble with, but good Soldiers and Marines do exist and are paying a high price to keep those of you too timid or too sophisticated to stand up for yourselves, safe from those who would take away your freedom.

    • Replies: @Cameron
  11. Cameron says:
    @Rich

    I’ve lived more than 82 years and was drafted myself into the military in 1959 where I was witness to the kind of heroes/automatons we were asked to follow and worship then and whom we’re asked to worship and thank for their service today. It’s not a question of timidity or sophistication on our part as you aver. It’s a condition of intelligence and common sense, an awareness, a knowledge, that very many of these “heroes” can’t wait to get into combat and, in their colorful vernacular, “kick some ass.” Yes, “kick some ass” of innocents who have done nothing to deserve what continues to be perpetrated upon them by these “heroes.”

    In all of my years I don’t recall a single time that our country was attacked by any other country unless the attack was provoked, e.g. Pearl Harbor, and 9/11, and there is overwhelming evidence that both of those attacks were false flag operations. Even 9/11, if you can force yourself to believe that our country’s government was not behind the attack, you cannot show me which middle eastern country might have been behind it, rather than 12 miraculously talented individuals with box cutters who were unable to fly a Piper Cub.

    Of course, there was The Gulf of Tonkin Incident in which North Vietnam attacked us. (Pardon me; I can’t stop laughing). Do you recall how the sane members of our society were derided as traitors for denying the necessity of that war? Remember the “heroes” who fought to defend us against North Vietnam’s “aggression?” How could we have survived without that heroic defense?

    We can go back even further than my lifetime delving into the causes of other wars we have fought in. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I believe Wilson forced us into World War I by announcing that the Lusitania would be carrying munitions to England, causing Germany to sink the ship, giving us an excuse to enter the war which in turn lengthened the war, causing unneeded additional deaths and destruction. The Spanish-American War? The Mexican-American War? Even the Civil War was forced on the South by Lincoln. The War of 1812? We wanted to annex Canada; tried and failed.

    The only foreign “enemies” who have ever threatened to “take away my freedom or yours” are the people who have been motivated by our own aggressive behavior.

    But who are those who actually are taking away our freedoms? Perhaps your tapped cell phone has that information. Maybe a TSA thug can tell you. How about Edward Snowden? He may have some information about his former employees and that his government has forced him into exile for telling us how unfree we are. Maybe Bradley/Chelsea Manning, who rots in prison for letting us know how evil many of the “heroes” who are defending our freedoms are?

    Anyone who still believes the myriad lies our government still spews out today about “aggressive enemies” like Russia, China and Iran is living a life of delusion, completely unaware of our own evil provocations and Russia’s, China’s and Iran’s desire for peace. I somehow don’t feel safer being “defended” by a military composed of deluded psychopaths anxious to get into combat. The deranged veterans who have entered our police forces are prime examples of the “heroes” whom we are asked to thank for their service.

    If our military were defending us against these miscreants in our government, then perhaps I’d call them heroes. But it’s these very criminals whom they’re defending voluntarily.

    You say “. . . what the good General was writing about was the politics of war, not the brave men who volunteer to stand up and defend their nation.” These “far-from-brave-men” as I recounted in my first comment*, are defending not you and me, but these very political criminals. General Butler derided fighting for them, but you are proud of them.

    So I don’t think you can prove that we require a standing army consisting of a huge military (which is prohibited by The Constitution) necessary to defend us.

    These are not heroes in any sense of that word. Anyone whose eyes are open to the history of our country and is aware what has been going on within our own lifetimes knows that at best these men of the military are fools and at worst they are evil.

    *

    “I do remember that, at least ever since Clinton slithered into office, our military, often as hidden snipers, or shooting from helicopters, or dropping bombs from miles above the victims, or as sheltered, cowardly drone operators thousands of miles from danger, have been destroying countries that did not threaten us, while wounding, displacing, torturing and killing millions of innocent, civilian men, women and children too weak and unarmed to defend themselves–human beings who have harmed no one.”

    • Replies: @Rich
  12. Rich says:
    @Cameron

    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but I wonder if you would libel any other entire group, calling them “blood-lusting, psychopathic killers” who “end up homeless”. None of the veterans I’m associated with are homeless or psychopathic. You must run with a strange crowd if the veterans you know fall into this category. As a draftee you fall into a different category, you were forced into a discipline that, obviously, you weren’t fit to enter. Do you justify your weakness by disparaging those who volunteer to defend their country? Were those Americans who carved a nation out of a wilderness, protecting settlers from savages, psychopaths? We’d still be kneeling before King George if men hadn’t stood up to fight for our freedom. I realize there a lot of movies that portray veterans as evil men, but that’s mostly fiction. Obviously, there are good and bad people in any trade and the military will naturally have a few bad apples, but the American military has almost always acted with both restraint and magnanimity during and after war.
    For a man to volunteer to face enemy fire is the definition of bravery. I believe you are wrong in your characterization of the American fighting man.

    • Replies: @bluedog
    , @Cameron
  13. Evolutionary psychology is not going to shed any light on this phenomenon nor on any other, for the simple reason that Darwinism is philosophically untenable and evolution never, in fact, happened. No evolution, thus no evolutionary psychology.

    My theory to explain Fred’s observations about kink? It’s really just a simple MacGuffin. People need a little drama, a little situational tension, in order to know where they stand in life, and most of us aren’t getting that in our workaday drudgery. If we had more serious lives, if we had to worry more about our survival, if we had more worthwhile goals to pursue, if natural leaders were given more opportunities to lead and natural followers more opportunities to follow, then there would probably be a lot less kink and it actually would be limited to neurotics like Freud suggested.

  14. bluedog says:
    @Rich

    Well there is an interesting book out there called “Kill Anything That Moves” written by Nick Turse, on Americas involvement in Vietnam, and their slaughter of civilians in what was called the free fire zones, and at the end he said somewhere in the jungles of Vietnam America lost its soul and he was quite right.!!!

    • Replies: @Rich
  15. Rich says:
    @bluedog

    Nick Turse used false statistics, his claim that 2 million civilians were killed by American military action is an outright lie. The US prosecuted any soldiers who deliberately killed civilians, the communists gave them medals. From 1957 to 1973 the National Liberation Front assassinated 37,000 South Vietnamese and kidnapped another 59,000. Targeted for assassination were medical personnel and village leaders. Prof Steven Rosefielde estimates that between 200,000 and 900,000 civilians were killed by the North Vietnamese Communists. The men who fought in Vietnam vehemently deny the accusations of Mr. Turse, who appears to be an anti-American activist.

    • Replies: @Cameron
    , @DJFJr
  16. Cameron says:
    @Rich

    “I wonder if you would libel any other entire group, calling them “blood-lusting, psychopathic killers” who “end up homeless”.”

    I don’t think it’s libel to characterize a huge group of men, whose sole aim it is to murder innocent people for no reason other than to extend the power of their rulers (Smedley Butler’s politicians and war industries), as blood-lusting murderers, when that’s exactly what they are.

    “None of the veterans I’m associated with are homeless or psychopathic”

    Perhaps that’s because you’re not homeless yourself and you’re blind to what’s obvious to any open-minded citizen. The streets are full of homeless veterans. And what would you call killers of innocent, completely defenseless men women and children if not psychopaths?

    “Do you justify your weakness by disparaging those who volunteer to defend their country?”

    My weakness? What an absolute distorted view of civilization and enlightened existence you have! Is it weakness to find fault with killers who claim to be defending our freedoms when what they’re actually defending are those politicians and other warmongers that General Smedley Butler accused. You read his book but obviously absorbed or learned nothing of value. Why did you bother? What freedoms is our military defending? Since Clinton, the Bushes and Obama became our rulers (and actually decades before them) have our freedoms increased or radically diminished? You are deluded if you believe our freedoms are being defended by these men whom you thank for their service.

    “Were those Americans who carved a nation out of a wilderness, protecting settlers from savages, psychopaths?”

    If you want to change the subject and start a discussion of our ancestors’ destroying an entire civilization because it differed from their own and because our ancestors and their politician/rulers wanted their land which the pioneers invaded, I’d be happy to do so at another time, but please don’t insert a red herring to bolster your very weak argument.

    “We’d still be kneeling before King George if men hadn’t stood up to fight for our freedom.”

    Every honest student of history knows that we have fewer freedoms today than we did under George III. And speaking of “kneeling,” before a king, did you see the photo of Obama bowing before the king of Saudi Arabia? Is that what our military is fighting for?

    “. . . the military will naturally have a few bad apples, but the American military has almost always acted with both restraint and magnanimity during and after war.”

    The victors always write the history with supreme proficiency. Our military are as expert at rape and pillage of the losers as any army. Remove your rose colored glasses. Don’t all the lies our government is spewing out today tell you anything about past lies. Aren’t you aware by now that governments, especially ours, are incapable of telling the truth? Are you so naive? Haven’t you learned anything about wars and the victors in war? Do you know absolutely nothing about government propaganda? As just a minuscule example, just ask yourself why the residents of Okinawa want our military out of there, and have wanted them out for decades. Is it because of their “restraint and magnanimity,” or because of their history of rape and lawlessness? Do you remember the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam? And read “bluedog’s” reply to you.

    “For a man to volunteer to face enemy fire is the definition of bravery.”

    I see I must repeat what I wrote twice before, but which, like General Smedley’s book you seem to be incapable of understanding:

    However, I do remember that, at least ever since Clinton slithered into office, our military, often as hidden snipers, or shooting from helicopters, or dropping bombs from miles above the victims, or as sheltered, cowardly drone operators thousands of miles from danger, have been destroying countries that did not threaten us, while wounding, displacing, torturing and killing millions of innocent, civilian men, women and children too weak and unarmed to defend themselves–human beings who have harmed no one.

    Is that facing enemy fire? No those examples are foremost exemplifications of cowardice!

    • Replies: @Rich
    , @bomag
  17. Rich says:
    @Cameron

    Your mind is closed on the issue, so I won’t argue with you any further. Whatever our disagreements on the issue of the American Fighting Man, I agree with you about the ridiculousness of our elites and their thirst for more war. I, too, would bring home the troops and fight only if our nation were truly threatened.

    • Replies: @Cameron
  18. Cameron says:
    @Rich

    And how many Americans and Vietnamese would have been killed and permanently maimed had we never invaded Vietnam? How much suffering avoided?

    “The US prosecuted any soldiers who deliberately killed civilians, the communists gave them medals.”

    Only one person was prosecuted for perpetrating the My Lai Massacre of civilians. Wikipedia:

    “The Mỹ Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass killing of between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968. It was committed by U.S. Army soldiers from the Company C of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division. Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated.[2][3] Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but only Lieutenant William Calley Jr., a platoon leader in C Company, was convicted. Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but served only three and a half years under house arrest.”

    So much for your assertion:

    “. . . the military will naturally have a few bad apples, but the American military has almost always acted with both restraint and magnanimity during and after war.”

  19. Cameron says:
    @Rich

    Yes, my mind is closed when it comes to judging obvious evil. I know it when I see it. Do you?

    • Replies: @DCBillS
  20. I’m into that sort of thing myself, to a certain extent, and it’s also been my experience that kinky people are often completely normal otherwise. I’ve noticed the tendency towards above-average intelligence as well.

    I think many if not most kinky people can remember being sexually aroused by scenarios involving spanking/whipping/dominance/etc. since puberty, and probably having a certain fascination with it even before puberty. This suggests a biological cause, no doubt having environmental influences as well but probably not in any straightforward predictable way related to parenting, etc. In my own case, I’ve described my childhood as “Norman-Rockwell-esque” before, and really have no idea where these inclinations came from. Other kinky people I’ve known have said the same thing.

    I think it really is the case that women are more likely to be into the submissive/masochist role, but submissive men are indeed quite common. I think true female dominants are relatively rare (by “true” I mean that it’s really her orientation/inclination and not just something she is doing because her man wants it). Hence there is a supply and demand imbalance which is the reason why female professional dominants (i.e. “Dominatrixes,” or is it “Dominatrices?”) can make a living in practically every city in the country.

    From an evolutionary psychology perspective, I doubt kink is something that’s been actively selected for, but rather is just a potential side-effect. The human brain is large, complex, has a significant degree of plasticity, and takes a long time to develop. This provides great adaptability which is obviously an advantage for humans, but sometimes the wires can get crossed. An analogy I’d heard before was that it was like the greater tendency of cheetahs to get a broken leg. It’s not that broken legs have some survival/reproductive advantage that’s been selected for, broken legs are just a potential side effect of being able to run at 55 miles per hour (which does have a real advantage in being able to catch prey).

    S&M encompasses a variety of very primal instincts related to pain, fear, humiliation, power, and sexual arousal. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that those things can end up interconnected somehow. Why it happens more with some people than others is a good question… maybe it just comes down to chance.

  21. Harold says:

    Evolution? Pshaw! God made us kinky!

  22. gruff says:

    ​”Sado-masochism is a sexual by-product of a culture intent upon the pursuit of power. It is an important and tragic reminder of the fact that the process of human desensitization which produces the callousness of the torturer, the cruelty of the concentration camp, the ruthless morality of the totalitarian state, is not inherent in any form of political economy, but in the demand of ordinary men and women for material security as the chief end of life.”

    – K. Walker and P. Fletcher, Sex and Society (1955, UK), chapter 12, p 218 of the 1965 Penguin edition​

  23. DCBillS says:
    @Cameron

    Is there a word that means the opposite of chickenhawk? It would seem to describe you quite well Cameron. I can only hope that I get to meet you if only in another world. Only that horrible overused word so popular among the illiterate (awesome) can come close to your ideas. Have a good day, a good week, a good year, a good life Cameron. We desperately need more like you.

    • Replies: @Cameron
  24. bomag says:
    @Cameron

    Uh, Cameron, you should preface your remarks with the phrase “Flame On!”

    There is, indeed, a lot of ruin in our institutions, but be aware of the number of bad deeds versus the capability. If the US military was really in the business of killing innocents, it could pile up industrial quantities.

    • Replies: @Cameron
  25. Cameron says:
    @bomag

    If it wasn’t our military who killed the millions of innocents in the former Yugoslavia, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Vietnam who was it?

    And please remind me again, who perpetrated the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, and after the revelation of this massacre of these helpless civilians and who had carried put this monstrous operation, what was the punishment meted out to the perpetrators? A good investigative project to occupy your time. It will only take moments on Google.

    Wasn’t it General Colin Powell who ordered the slaughter of thousands of fleeing Iraqi troops anxious to get out of the war? http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27e/069.html

    This may interest you, as well: U.S. War Crimes During the Gulf War:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2002/09/02/us-war-crimes-during-the-gulf-war/

    And just as a mental note, it was Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, who said, “It was worth it” when confronted with the 500,000 children who had died in Iraq as a result of our military’s action. And that preceded our invasion of Iraq during the Gulf War!

    I believe your problem is that you haven’t yet realized that living your life with a perpetual blindfold and earplugs limits the amount of information that can penetrate the skull and reach the cerebrum.

    There is so much more information readily available about our military and its crimes that one wonders, if you haven’t actually been living with a blindfold and earplugs, when is it that you returned from your prolonged sojourn to the outer planets?

  26. So Fred, you never did tell us if you got any kink zizz wheel out of the deal. How about it?

    And don’t come off with that saw about “a gentlemen never kisses and tells”.

  27. Dave37 says:

    Is Fred saying life is like a goldfish bowl? Wouldn’t that makes us all voyeurs?

  28. DJFJr says:
    @Rich

    I cannot remember who said, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”, but he hit the nail on the head with that one!

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