Here's a topic I've been meaning to write about for quite some time now. The internet is filled with opinions and theories and discussions about kinky stuff; why it's good for us, why it's bad for us, why it's perfectly healthy, why it's perfectly sick. I don't expect or intend what I write here to shed new light on the topic. I only wish to express my own opinions on erotic art, and in so doing, give you folks some insight into why I do what I do.
Erotica, dark fantasies, kinky, bondage, peril, pain, domination, the list of words and phrases we could use to describe this collection goes on, and often the word or phrase we use is emotionally loaded to tell you what we think and feel about it. People who look at my work and call it, "violence against women" are clearly people who feel negatively about my work, and frankly, I think they miss the point.
Saying that some of my work depicts violence against women is not wrong. The mistake is in assuming that what I depict in fantasy is what I support in reality. Here's a paragraph I wrote to one of my friends here on DA that summarizes what I think it all means.
"When an image (or story) of a victim suffering or even dying seems erotic to us, I believe it is because on some level we are seeing that victim as a hero, and there is a great psychological benefit we receive in identifying with the suffering of a hero. This happens not only in the fringe media, but in the mainstream media as well. If you have friends who are Star Wars fans, ask around and see how many of them think that the scene of Luke Skywalker being tortured by the Emperor's Force Lightning is totally hot."
And part of a note to another DA friend...
"I find dark fantasies to be quite healthy. While "outsiders" see this as a glorification of violence, I find that it is usually the victim that is glorified. That's why we make her beautiful, and in a way, she is the hero. There is a psychological benefit to imagining the hero suffering and even dying. The benefit varies, but as an example, sometimes when we put ourselves in the position of the hero/victim, we are dealing with our own suffering, and making ourselves the heroes in our lives.
"It's found in mainstream media quite a lot; the hero suffers and may even die. In spite of the suffering and even death, we want to identify with the hero and see ourselves as heroic. In the mainstream media, the hero is usually fighting for a cause, but not always. When we cross from mainstream to erotica, we are adding sex. Why? Because our sex drive is a very primal and powerful motivator. Making it erotic affects us on a visceral rather than intellectual level, and so the benefits can go much deeper. It just requires that we be able to set aside our cultural taboos first.
"As long as it remains fantasy, it's healthy. Luke Skywalker being tortured by Force lightning is exciting because brings his heroism into sharp focus, but we wouldn't want that to happen to a real person. When we start wanting real people to suffer, then we are getting into mental illness. Well, unless it's consensual pain, but that's another story."
I would like to quote George Carlin. "There are no bad words. Bad thoughts, bad intentions, and words."
That's how I feel about the pictures. There are no bad pictures. If I make a picture of violence against a woman and my intention is to encourage violence against women, then this would be a bad intention behind that picture. Of course there are those who will say that the pictures are harmful regardless of what my intentions are, but I believe those people have not examined the issues closely enough.
I'm into quite a few kinks; bondage, torture, and several forms of death including strangulation, vore, drowning, other forms of asphyxiation, and stabbing. Obviously some of these are things I'm into only in fiction, but some are things I like to act out with a consenting adult. The unifying theme in all of them is peril. There are plenty of kinks I'm not into, including forms of degradation involving excrement, fisting, and women using high heels to crush goldfish. I'm not into those, but I can understand why some people would be, and I can see how it can be healthy. I may look and say, "Eeuw," and feel a little sick, but I don't think it's wrong; it's just not for me.
I think my earliest discovery that I was into some kinky stuff was when I was introduced to the covers of some old "True Detective" type magazine covers. I didn't understand at the time why I was turned on, and wondered whether something was wrong with me. Eventually I got around to accepting it by telling myself that it might be wrong, but only in a small way, and maybe imagining it was a way for my dark side to satisfy some need without actually acting out on it. I finally came around to understanding that this explanation was wrong. I didn't have some desire to hurt women. In fact, I generally found myself identifying with the woman being hurt rather than with the man or woman doing the hurting.
So what I'm saying is, it's not enough to say that these kinks are harmless. They are actually helpful and healthy. I don't consciously do it for mental health reasons; I do it because it's a hell of a lot of fun. Lot's of things are like that. Dancing may be good exercise, but most of us do it because it's fun.
The health benefit is just a bonus.