Shades of Darkness: S&M and 1950s marriage | Street Jazz

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Shades of Darkness: S&M and 1950s marriage

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 2:05 AM

Often, watching a presentation through the lens of a camera brings home an essential truth that just sitting in an audience fails to do. And so it was when I videotaped a presentation on S&M back in the late 1990s.

Even more so, when it came time to edit the ninety minute program for television. The organization which had given permission to tape the workshop - it was but one among many workshops I taped that weekend, most of which were ordinary presentations/workshops - contacted me later and asked that their name not be on the credits.

Fine, I thought. My name is still going on.

I let some time pass before editing the program, for several reasons, not least of which being I wasn’t sure just how to proceed. Since it had pretty much just become my project, and I had no one to answer to, I had a lot more latitude in how I wanted to present it.

Parts of the conversation were fairly graphic in nature, and the presenters handed out worksheets which at one point I considered getting shots of and editing in to the program.

“Music to whip by” was the title of one. Thankfully, I have forgotten most of the songs on the list, some of which were favorites of mine.

Music to whip by? What? Were you people insane?

None of the above should be construed to suggest that I am some sort of prude, or that I haven’t indulged in . . . never mind. That’s not the point I’m trying to make here.

I have been thinking about my finished product, and the silly-ass previews for Fifty Shades of Gray, the “novel” of which Salman Rushdie said, “ I've never read anything so badly written that got published. It made Twilight look like War and Peace.”

Jackie Collins, you are now only the second worst writer in the universe.

I have been thinking about my old program - which will be re-edited and available online soon - because of what I realized as I watched the two women that day, and the essential truth about S&M, which I have gleaned over the years, not only from them, but from others I have known.

I was listening to two women describing the typical 1950s marriage. Excised of all the sexuality, it was the age old story of one person giving up all autonomy, their power, to someone else, who may or may not have their best interests at heart.

There might be love, or there might not, but there was spiritual possession.

With that in mind, I edited the ninety minutes down to eighteen, creating a character study, if you will, of what I saw as the spiritual emptiness of the S&M world, the loss of self.

It may well be the only presentation on bondage in the world in which sex is mentioned hardly at all.

Because once you remove the handouts (music to whip by - yech) and conversation about “safe words,” what you are left with is one person who revels in stripping away what is sacred to another human being - their humanity.

And the other person, man or woman, becomes like the submissive 1950s housewife, demure, head down, owned.

Possessed, body and soul.


On the Air with Quinn Montana

Author Quinn Montana is the guest on my show this week. Ms. Montana's book - "Worship Your Food" - grew came forth out of her desire to help people realize that eating well was not only possible but absolutely necessary.

The show can be seen online anytime at:

It can also be seen on Channel 218 on the COX Channel line-up in Fayetteville.

TV show times:

Wednesday - 6am/6pm

Friday - 6am/6pm

Quote of the Day

Artistic experience lies so incredibly close to that of sex, to its pain and desire, that the two manifestations are indeed but different forms of one and the same yearning and delight. - Rainer Maria Rilke

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