Why my sexuality brings me ethical dilemmas

I read a news article about a gang rape. A real gang rape. A terrible, awful, reprehensible, unimaginably cruel thing. How difficult could it possibly be to react with shock and horror?

But I am struggling with those emotions. I am struggling to feel righteous anger on behalf of the woman who was raped and anger at and disgust for her aggressors. Because somewhere in the back of my mind is a filmstrip, imagining the crime. Fantasizing about it. Indulging myself in it. I thought I knew, now, how to divorce myself from reality, how to behave so that real slavery is not titillating, nor real kidnapping, real torture, or real rape. I thought I knew how to make BDSM be, well, about BDSM.

But, you see, when I do that, my well of frighteningly erotic bedtime stories dries up. I have no stirrings in my nether regions. It never occurs to me to think that this time, maybe, I will have an orgasm. Yeah, I can compartmentalize. I can turn it off. But then it really is gone.

I’ve been telling myself my bedtime stories again, in the past few weeks, after quite a long while. They are stories that terrify me and make me nauseous but also on which I love to dwell—I think I almost take a masochistic pleasure in enduring them. And they are stories of obscene cruelty—I may consider myself submissive in “real life,” but when it comes to torturing fictional characters, or the thin, ersatz representations of such, I have a cruel streak a mile wide, and growing every day.

I have a feeling this is so very terribly wrong. But I also have a feeling that I don’t by any means want to stop thinking like this.

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