Feb 202013
 

As a free-standing piece of writing, “damsel in distress” is cryptic at best, and at worst, it’s unintentionally misogynistic. I didn’t intend to be cryptic, nor did I intend to be misogynistic. I didn’t intend to elicit criticism either, but still, I was surprised it didn’t garner more than it did. In hindsight, it might deserve more than it received.

I suspect the lack of criticism is because I’ve developed a readership that understands the various purposes this blog serves for me. Sometimes it’s a soapbox, sometimes it’s a journal, and sometimes it’s just a place to put the thoughts I don’t know what else to do with.

With that said, I appreciate all of the comments. I responded to some, and I want to extend some of my thoughts here.

jump to:  villain/victim | misogyny | projection

villain/victim ≠ dominant/submissive

The response that surprised me the most was paltego’s — you can read the whole thing, “Let me have just a little bit of peril?” on his excellent blog, Femdom Resource.

“I get where D is coming from with her dislike of the scene, but I think she misses the submissive’s perspective on it.” — paltego

If the thinking is that I missed the submissive’s perspective, that must mean my initial post was interpreted as the/a dominant’s perspective, as a sort of commentary on D/s. That was not my intent. The “damsel in distress” trope holds absolutely no connection to D/s for me. I wasn’t thinking of D/s roles when I got the urge to write about it.

In hindsight, I can see why paltego would have interpreted my post as a comment on D/s, and I can also see why he (or anyone else) might find the trope compelling or arousing. I have no issue with that — as long as we aren’t hurting anyone, we’re all entitled to our turn-ons.

But I do take some issue with the explanations that followed. Among them, this:

“It’s the victim’s job to be the object of the desire. With ‘object’ being a key word. The villain is charge and creates the danger. The hero is in charge and (hopefully) removes the danger. Both of them desire the victim, but in different ways. The victim gets to be desirable but, as an object, doesn’t get to have control. She looks for the hero because that’s his role and his choice, not hers. She fears her fate but doesn’t control it. And that’s hot. It turns me on just thinking about it.” — paltego

I understand paltego is referring to the trope as it holds symbolic meaning for him; he isn’t commenting on reality. I get that.

But the language he employs is precisely why the trope does not represent D/s for me.

His explanation seems to symbolically position the “victim” as the submissive. In this sort of general discussion, for me, a victim is not synonymous with nor symbolic of submissive. Not even close. And so, his interpretation doesn’t work for me.

As is my (annoying) habit, I’ve got to pull this one apart.

“It’s the victim’s job to be the object of the desire” [. . .] “Both of them [the villain and the hero] desire the victim, but in different ways.”

I disagree. The villain doesn’t desire the victim – the victim is not the object of the villain’s desire. The villain desires control, and so control is the object of his desire. The victim is merely a thing upon which the villain exercises control, and so, she[*] is secondary to the object of the villain’s desire. She’s merely a vehicle.

“The victim gets to be desirable”

The language here suggests the victim wants to be desirable, and therefore wants to be victimized. This doesn’t work for me because victims don’t want to be desired — I imagine their overarching want is to not be victims.

“as an object, [the victim] doesn’t get to have control”

True. However, a submissive gives up control willingly. A victim’s control is taken without her consent.

For those reasons, the villain/victim trope doesn’t work for me as an analogy for a dominant and submissive. As a hot image that suggests powerlessness? Sure. But not analogous to D/s. Perhaps pulling it apart and over analyzing it breaks the magic, but that’s what I do… I’m the destroyer of fantasies. :)

misogyny?

While I stupidly hadn’t anticipated a D/s interpretation, I did anticipate some question about internalized misogyny, and perhaps, rightly so.

“But how about instead of calling her a bitch, which is kind of fucked up, you think about the men who have put her there – not the villain, but the writers and directors and producers who dictate a cultural narrative that involves women being helpless?” P

LL_Railroad_Tracks_Tied

Of course it’s fucked up to call her a bitch — that’s why I wrote about it. This blog is where I work out my issues, P. Welcome! :)

As for why I don’t think about the men — the writers, directors, and producers who dictate the cultural narrative that presents women as helpless, I don’t care about them right now. I care about her.

I care about her because I’ve been her. Sometimes I am her. And I hate her.

For me, it’s not about the trope or the cultural narrative, it’s about me. I’m a narcissistic like that.

projection, or, “you spot it; you got it”

While I didn’t realize it when I first started drafting my rant against the poor woman tied to the tracks, I quickly realized it was psychological projection. Sometimes it’s called “you spot it; you got it” — it’s the psychological equivalent of “she who smelt it, dealt it.” It’s the theory that we identify and react most strongly to characteristics and behaviors in others that we possess or fear in ourselves. In that regard, Heather hit the nail on the head:

“We often react most strongly to certain qualities in others because on some level we recognize those particular elements present in ourselves.”Heather
woman-on-the-tracks-crop

I’ll just be over here… fumbling with the rope.

I abhor weakness and inaction more in myself than in anyone else. When I see it in others, my reaction is because I recognize it in me.

Oddly enough, I have no trouble keeping the ideas of weakness and victimization separate when it comes to others. I have some trouble with it when it comes to me. It’s narcissistic, but I hold myself to a different standard. I don’t mean to, it’s just the way I’m wired.

Here’s a hypothetical:

If my best friend called and and told me someone had mugged her and stolen her wallet, I’d never question why she didn’t fight to keep it. It’s not her job to fight for it, nor to fight back. It’s the other person’s job not to steal things.

But if I were mugged and had my wallet stolen, all I would think is: Why didn’t I fight back? Why didn’t I fight harder? I could have kept my wallet safe… why didn’t I?   

 


Images:

*The “tied to the railroad tracks” trope nearly always employs a female victim and male villain. For that reason, I’m going to refer to a female victim and male villain here. Of course, victims and villains can be of any gender identity, but for the sake of clarity, I’m sticking with the visual representation as presented in the trope.

  13 Responses to “revisiting the damsel in distress”

  1. I was very tempted to write another post to respond to this :). Instead, let me try and stick to a comment. It might be long however. When it comes to pulling things apart, I’m happy to slice and dice it with the best of them!

    When I talked about the submissives perspective I actually didn’t mean to imply your post was the dominants perspective. I read your post as a personal view, although it was obviously the personal view of someone who identifies as dominant. My response was meant to be read as “I get value out of this scene thanks to my submissive wiring, even if it personally annoys the hell out of you.”

    Now, when it comes to pulling things apart….

    “The villain doesn’t desire the victim – the victim is not the object of the villain’s desire. The villain desires control, and so control is the object of his desire. ”

    I don’t think you can untangle these two things. The villain doesn’t desire control over inanimate objects or random people or even a group of people. It’s specifically her he desires to control. He doesn’t just desire her and he doesn’t just desire control. It’s the combination. And he normally makes this very clear with lots of gloating and monologuing.

    I can’t say one is primary and one is secondary because removing either from the scene makes it fall apart.

    The language here suggests the victim wants to be desirable, and therefore wants to be victimized. This doesn’t work for me because victims don’t want to be desired

    At this point let me play the card all pedantic dissectors like to play – a dictionary definition :). There are several for victim but the following sounds the most suitable to me: One that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent

    That sounds pretty general to me. It doesn’t say anything about the victims state of mind, and I don’t think there’s anything that says a victim cannot also want to be both desired and a victim. After all a willing victim is a well understood concept.

    I certainly don’t enjoy (in the same sense) watching a realistic drama series where a kidnapped woman is portrayed as genuinely terrified and brutalized. But the sheer theatricality of the damsel in distress trope removes that aspect for me. If the villain really wanted her dead he’d just shoot her. And if she really wanted to get away she’d make more of an effort and not be so completely hopeless at fending him off. Instead they play out their parts much like a roleplay scene.

    However, a submissive gives up control willingly. A victim’s control is taken without her consent.

    I again question your definition of victim here. When I submit I choose to become a victim. I certainly don’t treat these as synonymous, as one can submit without becoming a victim. But I like being victimized (one acted on adversely). I like being the object around which the scene turns. They desire to control and hurt me. Not someone else.

    Out of interest – why was my response the one that surprised you the most? I’m intrigued by what was the surprising part about it!

    -paltego

    • I apologize in advance for the length. I have many talents, but being concise is not one of them. :)

      My response was meant to be read as “I get value out of this scene thanks to my submissive wiring, even if it personally annoys the hell out of you.”

      I get that. :) I have no issue with you interpreting the trope in the way you do, nor do I have any problem with what you value in it.

      Since your post mentioned mine and suggested I had missed a perspective, perhaps I interpreted it as more of a response to my thoughts than I should have. I understand now that what you wrote is a response to the image, and not really a response to me.

      With that said, I couldn’t help but to have a response to your words. I’m far more moved by words than images — in erotica, porn, and in life, but you probably already knew that. :)

      Because the language was dissonant to me, I wanted to respond to the language within the context you presented — a D/s context — rather than in the (admittedly unclear) context I first wrote from.

      At this point let me play the card all pedantic dissectors like to play – a dictionary definition :). There are several for victim but the following sounds the most suitable to me [. . .]

      First of all, I hope you aren’t using “pedantic” in a negative way! Meaning is important. REALLY important. If two people are discussing a concept, but don’t have the same understanding of that concept, the discussion doesn’t really mean anything. Anyway, I’m a big fan of dictionary definitions!

      As a fan of dictionaries, definitions, and meaning, I’ve got a whole deck of pedantic cards. I’ve also got context cards and common usage cards. :)

      What’s interesting about the line I pulled above is that you wrote that the definition you included is one that “sounds the most suitable to me.” I’m assuming that “to me” was intentional, meaning that the definition is most suitable to your understanding and not necessarily the most suitable definition of the general concept.

      Let’s take a few more dictionary definitions (a, b, and c from the OED; d and e and from Merriam-Websters). Of course, I’m pulling those that suit my argument. :)

      1. one who suffers severely in body or property through cruel or oppressive treatment.
      2. one who is reduced or destined to suffer under some oppressive or destructive agency.
      3. one who suffers some injury, hardship, or loss, is badly treated or taken advantage of, etc.
      4. one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment
      5. one that is tricked or duped

      Lots of the definitions include concepts like oppression, hardship, mistreatment, trickery, and taking advantage. Sure, you could argue that people consent to oppression and mistreatment, but in general (and in common usage), consent is not implied or understood as a component of victimization.

      I would also argue that submission and/or masochism within the context of D/s is NOT oppression, hardship, mistreatment, trickery, or being taken advantage of. Sure, that’s the language we use, but it’s not accurate. As a sub, you consent, and more important to my argument, you want to be used/abused. In that sense, using and abusing a sub isn’t mistreatment. Sure, a sub may not want a particular use or abuse, but she or he wants to be used and abused in general, and the particulars are part of the whole.

      [. . .] the following sounds the most suitable to me: One that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent. That sounds pretty general to me. It doesn’t say anything about the victims state of mind, and I don’t think there’s anything that says a victim cannot also want to be both desired and a victim.

      I concede on this point. There’s nothing in the definition you pulled, nor in lots of the definitions that exclude wanting to be desired.

      For me, it’s about common usage, and I think common usage of “victim” is linked to non-consent, even if it’s not explicit. Typically, we use “victim” to describe people who do not consent to being adversely affected. Typically, people who do consent to adverse affects are called something else. For example, in sport, we don’t often call the loser of a boxing match a “victim.” We don’t consider him the “victim” of a fight (or of his injuries) because he consented to be in the match.

      After all a willing victim is a well understood concept.

      Kinda, but it’s also often hyperbole. Because of common usage, it’s almost an oxymoron, and it’s often used as such. As an intentional rhetorical device, it’s often used to emphasize the idea that the “victim” isn’t a victim at all.

      I again question your definition of victim here. When I submit I choose to become a victim.

      You’re right to question my definition because we have different understandings of the term. (Yay pendantry!) I concede that yes, (by some definitions), when you submit, you do choose to become a victim.

      I just don’t like the language because of the larger implications. Because we most often use “victim” to mean someone who does not give consent, allowing room for consent opens up some dangerous doors. I dislike the concept of “consensual victimization” for the same reason I dislike “consensual rape.” Call consensual victimization or consensual rape something else — just don’t run the risk of muddying the waters between our collective understanding of consent and non-consent. While a murky line between the two may be fine (and hot) for particular individuals, the implications of a murky line for the larger population is dangerous.

      And if she really wanted to get away she’d make more of an effort and not be so completely hopeless at fending him off.

      And this is why it’s dangerous. I get that it’s a trope. I get that it’s theatrical. But it’s still a dangerous statement to put out there because it’s too similar to real life arguments. It can’t be spousal abuse because if the wife really didn’t like being abused, she would leave him. It can’t be rape because if the woman really didn’t want to have sex, she would have fought him harder.

      Instead they play out their parts much like a roleplay scene.

      Exactly! This language is far more comfortable to me. In my mind, a submissive’s consent means she or he is roleplaying a victim, not really being a victim. (Again, in my mind) It’s the same as when I dress up in pigtails, a plaid skirt, and bobby socks, I’m roleplaying the babysitter. I’m not really a babysitter. When I dress up as a nurse, I’m not really a nurse. When you play victim, you’re not really a victim… because you gave consent.

      Out of interest – why was my response the one that surprised you the most? I’m intrigued by what was the surprising part about it!

      It surprised me because I automatically exclude consent from my understanding of “victim.” In my mind, a victim is someone who does not give consent, so the ease with which you linked the two — victim and submissive — was shocking to me.

      Anyway, we’re just on different pages. You’re using one understanding of victim and describing it’s appeal to you. I’m using a different understanding and describing my concerns about larger cultural implications.

      Sort of related: I wonder how much of our disagreement/misunderstanding is because of gender?

      • This response is kind of late. I was away for the weekend and didn’t get a chance to follow-up. However, I can’t resist a good debate around meaning, definitions and culture.

        First of all, I hope you aren’t using “pedantic” in a negative way

        Absolutely not. I like a good pedantic quibble as much as the next definition obsessed blogger :)

        you wrote that the definition you included is one that “sounds the most suitable to me.” I’m assuming that “to me” was intentional, meaning that the definition is most suitable to your understanding and not necessarily the most suitable definition of the general concept.

        Actually no. I looked at Merriam Webster and picked the one that most accurately fitted the scene we were discussing. The first definition related to religious sacrifice (clearly not the type of scene under discussion) and the third related to being tricked or duped (again not what was happening, as all 3 participants are aware of what’s going on). So I quoted the second one, which seemed to match the damsel in peril situation.

        For me, it’s about common usage, and I think common usage of “victim” is linked to non-consent…..
        Because of common usage, it’s almost an oxymoron, and it’s often used as such…

        I think when we talk about common usage, it’s important to define the domain we’re talking about. Newspaper headlines? Common usage is certainly non-consensual. Kink forums? Opposite way around. Movies? Kind of complicated. They often play with complex motives and messed up emotions that can lead to sacrifice and willing victims.

        I just don’t like the language because of the larger implications. Because we most often use “victim” to mean someone who does not give consent, allowing room for consent opens up some dangerous doors.

        So I could divert here into the quagmire on the purpose of art and its moral obligations. But that’ll be a rabbit hole without end (to horribly mix my metaphors, as you can’t have a rabbit hole in a quagmire). So let me take a different tack….

        If you take the scene at face value there is no dangerous implication. The villain does a bad thing, the victim struggles and tries to get away, the hero saves her, the villain is foiled and the hero gets the girl. All is conventional and safe, albeit annoying to people who dislike the hopelessly helpless damsel.

        If you take the scene as a roleplay then similarly there is no problem. The villain desires to control the victim, but doesn’t want to actually harm her (hence his ridiculous and ineffective methods). The victim wants to be scared and controlled (hence the hopeless struggling). The hero wants to save the victim but not actually address the root cause (hence the villain inevitably escaping to hatch his next dastardly scheme). Everyone gets their needs met without needing to get too intimate with amtrak.

        To make it a bad example you’d have to have the victim ride off into the sunset with the villain. Or you’d have to assume some odd mix of these two interpretations.

        I’m certainly not arguing that the ineffective victim is a great role model for women or that you’re wrong to be annoyed by the scene. Just that I find it hard to stretch it into a dangerous non-consent type of consent as you suggest.

        the implications of a murky line for the larger population is dangerous.

        I have to admit this line kind of bugged me. I have an instinctive and strong reaction to anything that sounds like “It’s OK for smart individuals but the great unwashes masses need to be shielded” It’s a line of reasoning that leads to bland uniformity and a lowest common denominator view of what’s acceptable. But I’m again risking heading off into that quagmire on the obligations of art, so I’ll hang a left before I get my feet stuck.

        When I dress up as a nurse, I’m not really a nurse. When you play victim, you’re not really a victim… because you gave consent.

        I think the correct analogy here is you’re not really a nurse, and I’m not really a patient, but I am still a victim if you choose to adversely affect me with your carefully administered electroshock treatment :)

        I wonder how much of our disagreement/misunderstanding is because of gender?

        So I guess it depends which bit of the discussion you’re referring to.

        I’ve certainly read both male and female submissives comment on the attraction of these kind of scenes when they were young. So there’s not an obvious gender split there.

        However, of the more general ‘what is a victim’ question, that’s an interesting one. I’ve no idea what role gender would play there. Given the cultural tropes in play and the dramatically different way the genders are often treated, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a difference in perspectives on that question.

        -paltego

        • (pssst! Hey paltego… I swear I’m going to respond very soon. It takes me far longer than it should to put my thoughts together in some coherent way. Coherent is hard for me sometimes! Just wanted you to know that I will respond to your thoughtful response… of my response… of your response… ad infinitum) :)

        • Actually no. I looked at Merriam Webster and picked the one that most accurately fitted the scene we were discussing.

          And here’s the point of disconnect. :) You’re talking about a scene (BDSM, D/s, play, etc.). I’m not. The definition you selected best fits what’s in your head, not what’s in my head. It goes all the way back to my original post and your first response – the trope has nothing to do with D/s for me, but it has lots of connections to D/s for you.

          I think when we talk about common usage, it’s important to define the domain we’re talking about. Newspaper headlines? Common usage is certainly non-consensual. Kink forums? Opposite way around. Movies? Kind of complicated. They often play with complex motives and messed up emotions that can lead to sacrifice and willing victims.

          I have the same thoughts as above – I originally responded to the trope in a more common usage way. You responded from a kink perspective.

          I have to admit this line kind of bugged me. I have an instinctive and strong reaction to anything that sounds like “It’s OK for smart individuals but the great unwashes masses need to be shielded” It’s a line of reasoning that leads to bland uniformity and a lowest common denominator view of what’s acceptable.

          I get that. I understand how my thoughts on that could bug people. But in reference to what I’m talking about (common usage understanding, reality as opposed to role playing or scenes), I’m fine with the “lowest common denominator,” particularly when people have so much trouble separating fantasy from reality.

          While my reaction in the initial post had nothing to do with kink, I still have no problem with my stance as they apply to BDSM and the masses. I’ve read far too many stories of people new to BDSM being taken advantage of, and for that reason, I’m fine with appealing to the most vulnerable individuals.

          It’s not about intelligence, though. It’s about experience. I would “correct” your distillation of my thoughts to this: ” It’s OK for experienced individuals but the great inexperienced masses need to be shielded.” I understand that might still bug you, but I’m okay with it. Again, we have different perspectives.

          I think the correct analogy here is you’re not really a nurse, and I’m not really a patient, but I am still a victim if you choose to adversely affect me with your carefully administered electroshock treatment :)

          Ha! Ok… that’s not an even analogy anymore! LOL! :) There’s so much tacked on that it’s more like a nurse in a rabbit hole in a quagmire about shock treatment… next to the railroad tracks, of course. :)

          I’ve certainly read both male and female submissives comment on the attraction of these kind of scenes when they were young. So there’s not an obvious gender split there.

          Sure. I would imagine there isn’t much different, but I’m generally disinterested in whether people find the trope attractive or not. My question was about…

          the more general ‘what is a victim’ question, that’s an interesting one. I’ve no idea what role gender would play there. Given the cultural tropes in play and the dramatically different way the genders are often treated, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a difference in perspectives on that question.

          Agreed. I guess my thinking is that more women than men have been non-consensually victimized (in the way I mean victimized, in kink circles and beyond – everything from sexual abuse to purse snatching).

          For that reason, I imagine more women would have an issue with the term “victim” (the way I do) than men would. If a woman had been non-consensually victimized, she might be far less like to find anything appealing or exciting about the idea of being “consensually victimized” (in your understanding of the term). Of course, I have read lots of accounts of people who have said “consensual” play has helped them overcome nonconsensual victimization in their past, but these accounts are from people who identify as kinky – kinky people are only a small minority of the population. I’m talking about the whole population.

          Anyway, interesting discussion, paltego! Sorry it took me so long to respond. :)

  2. “If my best friend called and and told me someone had mugged her and stolen her wallet, I’d never question why she didn’t fight to keep it. It’s not her job to fight for it, nor to fight back. It’s the other person’s job not to steal things.

    But if I were mugged and had my wallet stolen, all I would think is: Why didn’t I fight back? Why didn’t I fight harder? I could have kept my wallet safe… why didn’t I?”

    We are not so different, you and I, though I am at the other end of the spectrum. Not so different in the sense that we can both forgive others for their short-comings, but find it difficult, if not impossible to forgive ourselves for the very same short-comings.

    In D/s, both you and I have each found their own method for over-coming this inability to forgive ourselves for being not as good as we would like to be. You have sought the path of control. When you have the ability to control, such short-comings are far less likely to take place in your world, because you are in control. Therefore, there is no reason to demand of yourself “Why didn’t I…” – You DID and you DO, because you have the control.

    At my end of the spectrum, I take a different path. I have accepted that I have have short-comings over which I have no control. So, rather than despair, I seek someone whom I declare greater than myself, outside myself, who forces me to forgive myself because I – just like you – I don’t forgive myself easily.

    • We are not so different, you and I, though I am at the other end of the spectrum. Not so different in the sense that we can both forgive others for their short-comings, but find it difficult, if not impossible to forgive ourselves for the very same short-comings.

      No, not so different at all. :) Although, I do wonder about our sort of personality trait and whether it’s more prevalent in people who identify as dominant or people who identify as submissive.

      You have sought the path of control. When you have the ability to control, such short-comings are far less likely to take place in your world, because you are in control. Therefore, there is no reason to demand of yourself “Why didn’t I…” – You DID and you DO, because you have the control.

      Yes, but, that doesn’t seem to stop the second-guessing… not one bit. I think I disagree that my short-comings are less likely to manifest in my world because I identify as dominant (and because of my personality). I think it actually makes a lot of them worse, more frequent, and more consequential than they probably are. I have the control, yes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t constantly question whether or not I’ve done the right thing with that control.

      At my end of the spectrum, I take a different path. I have accepted that I have have short-comings over which I have no control. So, rather than despair, I seek someone whom I declare greater than myself, outside myself, who forces me to forgive myself

      Perhaps this is my problem. :) I haven’t accepted that I have no control over my shortcomings… because I do! I have control (as we all do, to greater or lesser degrees). Also, there is no one to force me to forgive myself. Even if I had someone to do that, it wouldn’t work. I’m too stubborn. I couldn’t actually forgive myself just because someone told me to. I’m stubborn, and narcissistic, and it isn’t good for me. I’m working on it, but it’s slow going. :)

  3. I feel like I should get a prize for hitting the nail. Maybe a badge for my slave sash? Or what about that broomstick lace you’ve been working on? MWAH!

    • You should! I could make you a new slave sash out of broomstick lace, or perhaps, made a new badge out of broomstick lace? Hmm… I’ll have to think on that.

      Also, I’ll need to make some sort of prize for your Mama, too. :) She’s a smart woman, that Mama. She raised a smart woman, too. :)

  4. I totally got what you were saying with the original damsel-in-distress entry, but I didn’t comment on it I think because it gets confusing for me as well since it does have the whole kinky meaning for me as well. I guess it’s kind of like most of my fantasies – if you talk about them outside of the context of BDSM, they’re totally deplorable. My fantasies involve being a slave, an object, a victim, a battered housewife, an abused child. In a way, I think it’s because I’m so horrified and bothered by the reality of those roles that I get off on them.

    The damsel in distress is a deeply ingrained archetype, at least for me. She is a lot of fun to embody in play. She is also a pathetic role model. I hate her too.

    • I didn’t comment on it I think because it gets confusing for me as well since it does have the whole kinky meaning for me as well.

      Interesting! In hindsight, now, I understand how “off the mark” my post was in terms of anticipating reactions from a D/s perspective. It was silly of me to fail to anticipate it!

      In a way, I think it’s because I’m so horrified and bothered by the reality of those roles that I get off on them.

      I think I can understand this, even with different fantasies. The idea of abusing, of battering, of hurting — those are all horrific to me (to varying degrees), but still, thinking of them turns me on. They’re both horrific and hot to imagine.

      The damsel in distress is a deeply ingrained archetype, at least for me. She is a lot of fun to embody in play. She is also a pathetic role model. I hate her too.

      She isn’t so fun to embody in life. :) From a D/s perspective, I understand it. From all of my perspectives, I get it, and I hate her. As usual, D/s is an exercise in contrasts and disparate emotions.

      Thanks for the comment, Mitsu. :)

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