SM: A View On SadoMasochism
by Don Miesen
This essay is copyrighted by Don Miesen and is reproduced here with
permission by the Society of Janus. It is divided into several
sections, which can be read sequentially:
This essay attempts an introduction to SM, or
Sadomasochism. It is based on my own 16 years in SM, with about 200
personal encounters; on the stories of some close personal SM friends; and
on the accounts of perhaps 400 people met through The Society of
Janus (an SM education and support group). I have tried especially to
answer the questions usually asked by newcomers to SM, as well as to offer
my own ideas about what SM is, and its place in the order of human
Aspects and Examples
SM is the neighborhood kids playing cops and
robbers, and the contented excitement of the victim--all tied up and the
center of attention. SM is when the belt hits--first it stings, then it's
SM is the woman doctor from out of state, whom you keep chained up all
weekend, and your friends come to help you abuse her in every possible
SM is trying to piss in bondage, while your mistress holds your cock,
and makes comments. SM is the quiet typist by day who becomes a
whip-wielding dominatrix by night. SM is the sweat, and wondering if
you're going to pass out, and finally letting go.
SM is Sunday brunch at an SM bar, and even though you're a straight
couple, the leathermen know you're into it too. SM is a pair of tiny gold
handcuffs on an expensive dress at the opera. SM is putting your boyfriend
into a French maid outfit, to serve lunch to you and your girlfriends, who
are into women's lib.
SM is screaming, "That's ONE, SIR! THANK YOU, SIR!" at the top of your
lungs. SM is the gratitude, all your life, to the person who helped you
come out. SM is trying to explain the massive frame and eyebolts to your
landlady. She listens with flat eyes and you know your lease is ending. SM
is finding the perfect pair of boots.
SM is your new slave, blindfolded, masturbating, and telling his secret
fantasies, while you watch and listen to every marvelous detail. SM is
sleeping with your hands and feet bound, and the dreams! SM is the man at
the party who asks to try on your handcuffs, "to see how it feels."
SM is the proud African youth in National Geographic, with skewers
through his tongue and cheeks, and knowing that you both know the pride.
SM is forgetting to take off your steel cockring, and it sets off the
alarm at the airport. SM is how hot her ass feels when you caress the
SM is putting up with a picky, uncertain submissive, novice-new, who
doesn't know how to say what he wants to say; but finally he says it, and
takes your breath away with the magnificent totality of his submission. SM
is hearing people talk about how bad SM is, knowing nothing about it, and
you want to giggle, because they're so serious.
SM is your slave holding up her hair, without being told, as you put on
her collar. SM is the perfume of sweaty leather. SM is the anniversary
when your lover has a gold ring put through your labia (and no
anesthesia); then she holds you and say you're hers forever; and you'd do
anything for her.
SM is Errol Flynn chained up by pirates. SM is the uniform in your
closet, waiting for Saturday night. SM is being taken downstairs, and you
see it's soundproof.
SM is hurting the one you love, just exactly right. SM is wondering
what the other executives would say if they knew about the welts and the
sticky panties underneath your conservative suit.
SM is wishing you could afford one of everything at an SM shop. SM is
how warm and tingly your nipples feel when the clamps are perfect; then
the little bite more, and how your nipples adjust to enjoy that, too.
SM is the humiliation of discovering that your new slave is far more
experienced than you are.
SM is spotting an ancient gay masochist on the bus: short haircut,
polished boots, tattered levis and jacket, heavy chain and padlock around
his neck, tattoos sprouting out of his collar and cuffs--quiet, upright,
proud, centered, and content.
© Copyright Don Miesen, 1981.
Copyright © 1974-2003 Society
unless otherwise noted for materials used by permission.