tlc: year with
a leather club

a documentary by Randy A. Riddle

rand

Interview Transcripts:
Jim Prezwalski (part 1)

 The 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.

Recently, 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

Update, January, 1997

David Stein (gorgik@aol.com) made the following observation after reading Jim's interview on this page:

"The 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 puzzle. <g>

Another 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."

I'll 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

The Jim P. Interview

All material (c) 1995, CCD. All rights reserved.

RAR--Tell me a little bit about your background and how you wound up in Greensboro.

JP--I 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.

RAR--Could you talk about your coming out experience and how you came to that realization in your life?

JP--When 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.

Coming 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.

Plus, 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.

RAR--Have 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 stereotypes?

JP--I 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.

RAR--Could you compare what the Leather subculture is like in some of the different areas you have been?

JP--In 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.

RAR--How would you compare what you see here to what is in Europe?

JP--Well, 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.

I 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.

People 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.

RAR--Tell me something of what you know about the history of Leather/SM/Fetish and clubs in this country.

JP--When 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.

RAR--What are some of Masoch's philosophies in his writings?

JP--De 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.

So, 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 bit philosphy.

Whereas 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.

RAR--What are Leather, SM, and Fetish? How are they similar and how are they different?

JP--Technically, 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.

RAR--What kind of fetishes do people have?

JP--(laughs) 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.

RAR--What are some of the other kinds of fetishes that you've seen?

JP-- 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 fluids.

RAR--How did you first come to TLC?

JP--Well, 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.

RAR--What were some of the things that attracted you to TLC and got you interested in joining the club?

JP--It 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.

One 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 is red.

At 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.

RAR--Because 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?

JP--A 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 back.

RAR--Have you had any problems balancing your involvement with the club with your work life or have you run into problems with the "local sensitivities"?

JP--Well, 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.

RAR--What 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?

JP--I 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.

Medicine 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.

The 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)

Go to Part 2 of Interview
 

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