Jim Prezwalski (part 1)
following interview was conducted with Jim Prezwalski just days before
he left for England in October, 1992. Jim, author of "The Kiss of the
Whip: Explorations in SM", had been an active member of the Tarheel Leather
Club for some time. The interview was not used in the final edit of "TLC:
Year With a Leather Club" because of the technical quality (it was recorded
using a built-in camera microphone) and because Jim did not appear anywhere
else in the footage for the documentary since he was in England when the
bulk of the material was shot.
on hearing of Jim's death in December, 1996, I began sorting through some
older materials from the project and decided to present Jim's interview
here on the Web site. It is presented from the original transcript, unedited,
so I extend my apologies to the reader for mistakes in spelling and grammar.
Jim's talents as a writer, historian, and theorist will certainly be missed
by the community. -- RAR, December, 1996
Stein (firstname.lastname@example.org) made the following
observation after reading Jim's interview on this page:
interview did illustrate, unfortunately, how easy it is for historical
inaccuracies to be promulgated and eventually accepted as truth. For instance,
he said that Bob Buckley invented the whole technique of erotic abrasion.
Actually, that's quite false. Chuck Barrow of Chicago Hellfire Club (also
dead) invented it and practiced it very visibly at numerous Infernos and
other runs before Bob ever started to attend. And Chuck taught it to me,
and I wrote about it for GMSMA and "DungeonMaster," and Bob read my articles
and decided to try it for himself. But toward the end of Bob's life, Chuck
was gone and I wasn't playing in public anymore, and Bob was the one most
identified with that scene -- which, certainly, he advanced with a number
of innovations and modifications from Chuck's original approach. These
days, of course, abrasion is accepted as a staple and all sorts of people
are doing it -- but why none of them are willing to do it on *me* is a
historical inaccuracy, or more of a lapse, concerns the origins of the
phrase "Safe Sane Consensual." I think it's pretty clear that it originated
with GMSMA, and specifically with Barry Douglas, and it spread across
the country thanks to the S/M-Leather Contingent at the 1987 March on
Washington, where we had a big banner with that slogan on it."
leave the reader to look to other sources on Leather history for more
information. Jim left for England a few days after this interview was
recorded, so I can overlook a few inaccuracies. -- RAR
Jim P. Interview
material (c) 1995, CCD. All rights reserved.
me a little bit about your background and how you wound up in Greensboro.
was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in the outer suburbs, very Catholic
background. My father was actually probably more repressive as a Catholic
than most of the people in my generation because he was raised by my great-grandmother,
who was the one who came over from Poland. She born about 1842 and didn't
die until 1957, so she had a rather firm hold over his religious beliefs
most of his life. So, I came from a pretty strict background. Went to
parochial schools, the first public school I attended was the University
of Michigan. I majored in Literature of the English Renaissance, but I've
made my living doing writing and photography and video work. The jobs
I've held--I worked three years as an anesthesia technician, five years
as an oral technician, and the rest of my life doing educational work
with video, photography, community relations. I didn't come out until
rather late in life--I was twenty-nine. I had been married and had three
children. Been with the same companion now for eleven years and he and
I have had a very stable relationship and, in fact, the kids think of
him in terms of another father and his parents are considered the third
set of grandparents. We've been open with the kids about our relationship;
we've not talked with them about what goes on behind the bedroom (doors)--straight,
gay, vanilla sex or Leathersex. So, I don't really feel we're really keeping
things in the closet. The kids do know that I like leather. In fact, my
son wants both my motorcycle cap and my leather jacket (laughs). But,
we've not gone into SM--they're just going into puberty now, so we'll
eventually cover those subjects.
you talk about your coming out experience and how you came to that realization
in your life?
I first came out of the closet and began to realize that I was Gay, that
was long and involved and there was a great feeling of liberation when
I finally did get out of the closet. And I lucked out, within six months
of coming out to my wife, that's when Mark and I met and I realize now
just how everything fell into place. With the Leather, it became pretty
apparent after several years, that there was something else. I just seemed
to have a fetish about leather and an interest in SM. Mark and I met in
'81--in '84, I was already buying "Mach" and "Drummer" and hiding them
where he wasn't aware where they were. And those weren't very good role
models. I recall reading the stories and there was alot of non-consensual,
non-safe activities in them. And we're not just talking about AIDS-safe,
we're talking about common sense-safe--there was alot of true sadism,
where one person was the victim and the other person was the victimizer.
And that just really reinforced the stereotype that I had always had.
There were some positive things there, of course, Larry Townsend's column.
out to leather and trying to do it when your only resources were the magazines
that you could pick up--"Drummer", "Mach"--and those are not exactly the
sort of reassuring magazines. Alot of the stories they contained were
rather hardcore, were rather not safe, not sane, not consenual and that
wasn't what I needed to hear at that point. All it did for me, was to
reinforce the stereotype that society had always put there, which is people
get together they just simply beat each other up and the stronger of the
two beats the crap out of the weaker of the two--domination and only domination.
And people like Larry Townsend's column and there were a few other editorial
or guest writers, did have something in there, but you're talking maybe
couple of pages out of a magazine that's a hundred pages. And, it wasn't
exactly the balance or the reassurance that somebody struggling with coming
out of the Leather closet needed to hear.
whenever, we would be out in the bars, if there happened to be Leatherpeople
there, there were always these snide comments that the other Gays and
Lesbians would make, which, of course, served to make you want to hide
the fact that you find that attractive. And everybody would always put
caveats on it, "Oh, I think it's hot, but..." and give you the warning
that "oooohhhh....be careful....they'll take you home and they'll have
locks on the inside of the door and you won't be able to get out." Everybody
has heard those horror stories. Looking at it in retrospect, that was
a nice way of keeping control, which is identical with the controls that
we all felt keeping us from coming out to the Gay life and it's very hard
for alot of people because they have to go through two closet doors in
order to feel comfortable with leather. And even when you come out to
Leather, then you've got all of those little subdivisions to get through
of sado-masichism and what you are interested in and what you're not.
you found a change in the leather publications since you went through
your coming out process and in the community itself in going away from
think over time, it's gone in two directions. It has gotten better, but
it's also gotten much worse. Leather before was small and intimate. Even
when I came out, five years ago, it was much tighter. The first IML that
I went to, was a big affair, but it's not double the size than it was
five years ago and they've moved the event to an even bigger auditorium.
So now, instead of seeing figures that big onstage you see figures that
big onstage, huge, tv screen monitors so you can see it. So, you're seeing
this growth of Leather as a market and that has alot of pitfalls because
people wind up seeing an image projected that is beyond most people's
ability to attain--it's looks or it's---Jacob Brenowski (sp?) is a scientist,
philosopher, and a writer--he made the statement that "propaganda is when
somebody holds up an image and says 'this is what perfection looks like--this
is what you must think, do, feel'"----and that's what alot of these magazines
tend to do. They'll inadvertently hold up this image. They're doing it
to make a profit, but it becomes a mold that you've got to conform to
in order to be accepted in the community. So, alot of beginners want to
fall into that pitfall of "if I buy this harness, if my chaps fit just
so, if I get my nipple pierced, then I will be a Leatherman or I will
be a Leatherwoman"--it doesn't work that way.
you compare what the Leather subculture is like in some of the different
areas you have been?
some ways, the major difference is level of paranoia--of who's going to
know that I'm doing this. I have friends in Chicago who are into SM who
do Leather, but yet will never wear their leather out in public; they
will carry them in a little satchel to the bar or they will carry the
satchel to a friend's house or whereever they happen to be going that
evening. By the same token, there are other people who will walk bare-assed
down the block in Chicago. In North Carolina, you just couldn't do that;
you'd be picked up. Part of it is the change of laws. In Illinois and
Michigan, it's simply stated that you have to have your anal and genital
region covered up, so if you've got your crotch covered and your butthole
covered, it's legal. Down here in North Carolina, they define your buttcheeks
as being obscene, so if you try that down here, you're technically set
up to be arrested. As far as other differences, I was lucky to connect
up with people in Chicago and the three cities that probably have the
oldest Leather communities in the country are New York, Chicago, and the
Los Angeles area. And Chicago was a very good city because it has that
tradition and tradition in this culture is trying to go back more than
ten years. In fact, there are some people who consider ways of doing things
or club etiquette, things that have been in existence for five years,
become traditions. Sort of an instant culture.
would you compare what you see here to what is in Europe?
Europe I can't really speak that much on. I've only connected up with
the SM group on this last trip to England and it's a bit different. England
has traditions that they don't necessarily see as being SM, that they
don't necessarily see as being Leathersex. There's a wonderful book out
called "The English Vice," which traces from meideval times up through
modern times, the British love affair with canings and burchings and whippings
and switchings. The British don't seem to consider these activities as
being something out of the ordinary. It's only within the last thirty
or forty years that there's been a real push to try and view these as
something other than normal occurances. In the eighteenth century, there
were whorehouses that were established in Britain where their only service
was spanking men--women spanking men. Floggings have always been a big
fantasy over in Britain. They seem to be publicly much more in love with
dressing up than we are. I was amazed when I walked in at one bar that
a single person had more piercings than, at that time, the people in our
entire club had totaled up. They're also much more in love with rubber,
which, when I think about it makes alot of sense in England--it's raining
all the time and your leathers will rot away. So, I'll have to give you
updates when we do find out.
know that it's very popular for alot of people, especially West Coasters,
to sort of turn their nose up at what goes on in England in preference
to the way people are Germany--this sort of attitude that the Germans
know how to do it and the English don't and I think some of that has to
do with a Nazi fantasy that still is in existence. But, the fact that
an occurance like Operation Spanner, which was where forty-some men in
the north of London had an informal club where they got together and they
made the mistake of videotaping activities and somebody edited these together
and passed them around to other people who were in this organization.
When the police were given a copy of that tape by a disgruntled member,
they were convinced by looking at the activities on the tape that they
had a "snuff film"--a film where somebody was being tortured and killed.
They spent close to four million pounds, which is about seven million
dollars in investigating this, interviewing all of the men, and, to their
chagrin, not only had nobody been killed, but nobody had to seek medical
treatment, that no one was left with lasting marks even though, apparently
there was blood and there were ritual cuttings and some heavy-duty verbal
abuse and lots of floggings and some whippings--but nothing done to do
permanent damage. Because they had spent so much, they would up taking
it to court. Now, it's in front of the House of Lords, trying to decide
what is SM--a what point does a hickey become SM because it does leave
a bruise. So, they've opened up a can of worms, which the fundamentalists
in this country are going to follow.
like Tony DeBlase offered their condolences to me when he found out I
was going to England to live and I wasn't sure whether he meant that because
of Operation Spanner and the homophobia that's there or if it was that
West Coast snobishness preferring Germany over England. As I said, there
was a tape that had the police convinced that they had a real torture
tape then maybe the Brits aren't as wussy as alot of people think.
me something of what you know about the history of Leather/SM/Fetish and
clubs in this country.
most people talk about the history and traditions of SM clubs, they're
only usually going back about ten years. There are people who can stretch
it back to the sixties, even rarer are people who can take it back to
the fifties, and there are a few individuals that have remembrances back
to the forties. I'm not very knowledgeable about what club arose from
what club. I think alot of us don't really bother with the oral history
in thatsense of this came from this or came from this. In a way, it's
almost the way dance steps in theater and ballet were passed down from
one generation to another--you don't know necessarily who was the original
person who came up with this particular practice or thought of this particular
technique. There are a few instances where I did meet somebody who invented
something. I was lucky enough to have met Bob Buckley, who was from Australia
and died recently, who was the one who really put together this whole
idea of abrasion techniques and really made an impact in Inferno a number
of years ago. But that's actually a rarity to be able to trace something
right back. My interests have been more reaching back to the source materials
going back to De Sade's works to the Viennese psychiatrists who first
labeled sadomasichism a perversion and going back to Masoch who was the
one who wrote probably more than any other author about was masochism
was. It's been interesting; alot has been written and discussed about
De Sade, not only within the Leather/SM community, and Masoch's philosophy
has been totally forgotten. All we have is the interpretation that's been
put on it by psychiatry.
are some of Masoch's philosophies in his writings?
Sade's probably the antithesis of what the Leather community in this country
is about. De Sade actually broke sadism down into two major groups--one
of which was the unthinking, the "dull witted" sort of sadism, as he put
it; that's where you simply react, like a husband that comes home and
beats his wife and children--that's a dull-witted sadism--he's dominating,
but he's not thinking about what he's doing. The sort of sadism that De
Sade was espousing was something that began as an intellectual activity
and it was total dominance of another person and that dominance was akin
to a slavery--you had to take over somebody against their will--there
was your soverignty, your right to dominate everybody and everything.
But, of course, that opens up this because everybody else has that equal
right, so you see within the stories that one person is someone and he'll
turn around after he finishes up with this person and he himself is now
victimized by somebody else.
De Sade is neither safe, sexually very unsafe since alot of the victims
are physically altered--male genitalia is cut off, vaginas are created,
people are maimed, people are killed--it's not sane--it's very crazy,
even though it is very logical and it's not at all consensual. De Sade
has a number of times, the whole thrill behind it is to impose your will
on somebody else and he has this character saying, several times in various
books, that if somebody came to us willingly and wanted us to do this
to them, we would turn them away, we would run away from them, which is
probably the basis of the old joke, "How does a sadist punish a masochist?".
Masoch, on the other hand, was really concerned with a completely different
De Sade felt that men could comprehend and dominate the world, Masoch
grew up on the beginnings of the Great Plains of central Europe and Asia
and those points just stretch on forever and that's somplace that you
really, at times, have difficulty seeing where the sky and the land meet.
His writing actually bears alot in common with the Great Plains writing
of the United States and Canada. A person is finite creature set within
infinity; that doesn't make the person irrelevant because even from a
distance, even though the person is microscopic at a distance, he's still
very plain, he's still very observable. So, it's not a negation of self,
the way psychiatry has always said that masochism is a turning off, it's
a putting into perspective, it's looking at the absurdity of life that
your task is not to try and comprehend the world, because it's beyond
your comprehension--it's too big, you're much smaller than it is, nor
to dominate it. All it is a way to try and come to terms with the world
around you and there's no guarantee you're going to succeed, because the
world itself is defective--that's the whole meaning of original sin, in
his view. He was actually very areligious, but still, that's the basic
concept is that sometimes you fail, not because of what you do, but just
simply because the cards are stacked against you. The whole idea of negotiation
with Masoch is trying to negotiate your way through life, but it's also
negotiation in that the person who wants to have a masochistic experience
has to find a willing partner and then has to convince that partner that
this is what he or she wants to do. In Masoch's writings, it's always
a she--that was his fantasy to be dominated and then to train that person,
to encourage that person, and that person in turn is trying to please
the person who is doing the training. And so, who's really in control--the
person who's going to be dominated or is it the person who is dominating?
Basically what we practice in this country is not sadism, but what we
practice is Mashochism. All those Tops out there, who like to think of
themselves as sadists, are really not sadists, the true sadists are the
ones who are the true psychopaths and we're actually something much more
benign than that.
are Leather, SM, and Fetish? How are they similar and how are they different?
I would say that Leather is the fetish; it's a fetish for an object. A
fetish is the endowment of erotic possibilities to something that is neutral--if
I suddenly fell in love with a television set, and I'm sure there are
people that there are people that's their favorite place to make love
is on top of the TV set, some people have "the table"--that is a fetish.
If you like having sex outside, that's a fetish. If you like the feel
of fur, that's a fetish. If you like the feel of long, silken hair, that's
a fetish. But, fetishes start blending into natural taste. Somebody who
strictly likes Black men or somebody who strictly likes men with long
hair or red beards, I like balding men myself,--is that a fetish or is
that a preference? We like to believe that things are black and white,
that lines are clearly drawn, and they're not. More often in common use,
leather is used as an umbrella term. Though there are people who strictly
like leather and so they kinda fall over here, and then you've got all
these other activities that fall underneath it, so you've got people who
like to have bondage fantasies, but it's possible that somebody does bondage
and does it only if made of leather. You have others that somebody likes
to be dominated by women and I know some Gay men whose best fantasy is
to have Lesbian women whip them--that also falls under what most people
consider Leathersex. We're not very clean about our definitions.
kind of fetishes do people have?
You could almost do a takeoff on Byron's poem, "How do I fetish thee,
let me count the ways." I think I have run across people who will eventually
admit to having a fetish for just about everything. I like to believe
that I'm beyond being shocked, but there have been times that I have been
hard pressed to keep a straight face, both from shock and from laughing
about what some of the fetishes are because they're...Even a basic plumber
could have done better than God at putting the whole sexual system together
and that's just the physical aspects of it. When you start getting into
the mental connections that go on, you just get lost in why people make
these associations. And fetishes don't really follow a logic. I have a
phobia for needles and, yet, I have a piercing fetish. If somebody comes
at me with a needle to draw blood, I'll faint. But, if it's during a scene,
I can both do piercings and I can get pierced and I find it exciting.
But, in another situation, I worked in a hospital for twenty years and
I never could get used to the fact that somebody would stick a needle
in me, but yet, in the SM fetish category, for some reason, I find it
intriguing--somehow or another, my needle-phobia is overcome.
are some of the other kinds of fetishes that you've seen?
Actually, one of the fetishes that's come down to us Masoch, that's
still an image in the popular mind, is drinking champagne from a woman's
slipper--that's a masochistic activitity; people have forgotten the meaning
behind that, that you're beneath the woman's foot, but that showed up
in Masoch's writing and, yet, it's managed to survive up through Hollywood.
You've seen that in movies in the twenties, that was one of the big things
back then. Well, let's see, everything from women's clothing to bodily
did you first come to TLC?
the only reason I moved down here was because my lover, Mark, had taken
a position here and during that separation, he was struggling with the
fact that I was getting more and more involved in Leather (train sounds)
I wouldn't have been down here if Mark hadn't have come. He was the one
that caught the ad in the paper for TLC. (break) Had it not been for my
lover, Mark, getting a position here, I would have never been in North
Carolina; I would have been happy to have stayed up in Michigan. Actually,
we'd been trying to move to Chicago. (laughs) and just seemed to be moving
further and further away. But, one has to go where there are jobs. Mark,
when he was down here, was struggling with the fact that I was increasingly
involved in Leather and he was not. And he still had all of these misconceptions
about Leather and some of the things he found very hard to understand,
that I could go to a play-party and Top a number of people and yet never
experience and orgasm myself, but feel satisfied and, in our sexual relations,
it's not unusual for me to "pop off" several times. Mark found this just
extraordinary--how could "Mister Insatiable" suddenly not cum and still
be satisfyed. He saw the ad and filled in the inquiry and met the people
and finally found that he had some others that he could talk with about
all of this. It gave him some contact rather than the flat, negative that
he was getting from both the Gay and Lesbian Community and from the straight
community. That support was really invaluable. It eventually led to his
jumping into Leather in a way that I've rarely ever seen anybody do.
were some of the things that attracted you to TLC and got you interested
in joining the club?
had, something that I feel has always been very unique about it is that
for a state that's mostly rural, there's a transition occurring where
North Carolina has alot of people moving in from elsewhere and the club
has representatives from different regions of the country, bringing with
them different philosophies--Franc, who came from New York, I'm bringing
what I know from the Chicago-Detroit-Cleveland connection, Stewart spend
time out in San Francisco--these people from other areas around the country,
mixing with the local population, people who were born and raised here
and it really is such a juxitiposition.
of the education seminars we had, was just an indication of how confusing
it can be at times, it was something as simple as what sort of light do
you use in your playroom and there's one group for here, saying, "You
use red light and here are all the reasons you use red light" and there
comes someone else saying, "Red light? Oh, you never use red light, you
always use a nice sharp blue light because you want the person to feel
cold and it's a sharp light so you can see what's going on and if you
hit somebody too hard you'll be able to see the bruise right away," and
there are valid reasons there are times you use both. I actually in the
playroom use a combination of both--red light is very flattering when
you start getting in your forties (laughs), it's a light that softens
things, it hides all the skin blemishes. Blue light, on the other hand,
makes all of that pop right out. But, depending on the activity, I like
the red light because it gives it that sort of security aura--we've all
seen "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", where the red lights come on and
it has that psychological trigger in people's minds. But, if you're working
on something like a good thrashing, a good whipping and you're trying
to be accurate about where you're placing the leather thongs, you need
a good light and you also need a light that's going to show you when you're
doing damage to the person so that you can ease up. You can't do that
under a red light, because a bruise is invisible when everything else
any rate, the point is that these different ways of looking at things
all sort of merge here and the beneficiaries of this are really the people
who are just coming out to Leather in this area--they're really, in a
way, spoiled getting what's essentially a big city education in a basiclly
rural state. Sometimes it's a little confusing because you have these
different ways of doing things and people in this sado-masochistic world
tend to speak from authority and it's sort of hard to back off from that
sometimes and see it as opinion and what's really tradition and what's
dogma and what's somebody's opinion.
of these regional differences, do you find some difference of opinion
about how "out" the club should be or what kinds of activities the club
should be involved with?
club is a social organization, it's also a political organization and
you have to operate on a consensus. Some people believe that the way to
run something is to totally dominate it, their idea of a manager is a
dictator. Most Americans don't like that, let alone a group of sado-masochists
who are rather adament about how things should be done and it takes a
bit of compromising. To be able to come out of two closets takes alot
of willpower and even the quietest person is very strong-willed in this
club. Alot of honing of political skills needs to be done and there's
also the regional differences do play quite a bit in the club. There are
stands and issues that one could address and be open about in Chicago,
but would spell the death knell down here. Whenever a decision whether
to protest, to make a public statement, be it a news release or showing
up in an event in leather, you have to take in the local sensitivities.
The rules that apply in San Francisco, are different from the rules that
are applied back in Detroit, and they're much different than applied down
here. A sense of balance, as well as a sense of bouancy, is needed so
that you're trying to keep your balance on an increasingly thin wire.
That wire is very wide, it's almost a road, in San Francisco and New York--it's
narrower in the Mid-West, down here it really is balancing and you really
have to balance off what people need, what people feel comfortable with.
You can't push through something that's going to make people feel threatened
in a club, here; you have to back off a bit. I know that I've frustrated
people in the club with some of my insistence on my not saying what ought
to be done, but just simply trying to get them to confront the issue themselves
rather than me leading them on. It sounds comfortable; alot of times you
find that you can make yourself much more unpopular by doing what Socrates
did, which is to assume that you yourself know nothing and so you start
asking other people questions, start questioning why they're doing things
and then you start seeing them squirm and then you also feel the heat
you had any problems balancing your involvement with the club with your
work life or have you run into problems with the "local sensitivities"?
since I've been down here, I've been freelancing, so that's sort of an
irrelevant question for me. I haven't had to deal with that. I've been
doing writing and I've been open about it, knowing that at some point
down the road, this will come back to haunt me. But, I learned when I
was up in Michigan, I ran a state-wide Gay and Lesbian TV show and this
was before I was really out and open at work, and I not only came out
of the closet, I blew the whole house away. I really learned that it didn't
really matter as long as I was secure with myself, I have my family--all
of my brothers, they know that I'm Gay and my parents know that I'm Gay,
some of them know that I'm into SM and it really hasn't mattered that
much. There were difficulties at first, but when you're secure with yourself,
people sense that--they can sense that righteousness about you and they
just get out of your way. They may talk behind you back, but that's small
stuff. I'm forty years old and I don't play games like that any longer.
I know that I'll never be able to run for a major political office in
North Carolina, first of all I'm a Northerner (laughs), that's not where
I'm headed anyway.
would you say to someone who knows nothing about Leather/SM to overcome
their prejudice? How would you explain it to someone like Jesse Helms?
would never, ever try to explain it to someone like Jesse Helms or Pat
Robertson. Pat Robertson was on TV today explaining that various demons
roam the earth and are given control over certain things and a demon has
the principality of New York and that's why sadomasochism is rampant in
that city. Those are people who believe that we are demons incarnate.
Those are the same people that believe that Gays who die of AIDS are deserving
of God's punishment--thank you Pat Buchannan for that lovely view. There
are people who will always view others as hatching from eggs, as somehow
different from humanity.
really, I think, has more to do with the misconceptions about sadomasochism.
That is on a two-fold level: one is psychiatry, starting with Kraft-Ebbing
who was the teacher of Sigmund Freud who taught that masochism was the
complete opposite of sadism and actually had some sort of personal hatrid
for Sader-Masoch. That's why he coined the term "masochism" was to destroy
a man's reputation, it wasn't so much a scientific theory as it was that
personal vengeance for whatever reason.
other "slam dunk" that medicene has done has been on the level of expropriating
all alternate definitions of what pain is. Pain is simply a mechanical
response--you get an injury, your body has a reaction and anything that
falls outside of that definition, medicene dismisses or medicene condemns.
I still suffer from chronic back pain, but it was so bad at one point,
that I could only walk on crutches and yet I was dismissed by my doctor
because, for a long time, they could find nothing wrong. And he literally
told me it was in my head and just walked out of the office and turned
his back on me. I will never forget that sort of thing. I fell outside
of his definition of pain--they could not find an injury, therefore, I
was sick, I was mentally ill. And that's the same sort of definition they're
using on us. But, that idea of pain being different from pleasure is something
that is a misconception in Western culture. Everybody's had the experience--eating
apple pie is a pleasurable experience--your salivary glands just start
juicing up--but, there have been times that we've all experienced that
we take that bite and the pleasure is so overwhelming that it hurts. There's
a very good instance of how these two pathways cross over. We like to
separate things, but alot of times they're just different intensities.
The proposal in Oregon that luckily was defeated that would have outlawed
SM, but would that have also outlawed burchings that one takes after a
good sauna? What's the difference between someone flogging somebody so
that their back is red and somebody taking a bunch of birch switches and
switching somebody's back until it's red? They're in two different contexts,
but you're creating the same sort of chemical and bodily reaction in different
areas, but it's the sexual implications of what's going on that scared
the bejeezus out of alot of people. But there's also this idea that if
you're dealing with pain, you must be dealing with punishment, therefore
you're dealing with evil and so we're all demons (laughs)
to Part 2 of Interview