As for the link between Christianity and sadomasochism, well, considering the way Jesus died and the gruesome deaths of so many early Christians at the hands of Romans, what other choice did Christians have but to view suffering as evidence of divine favor and personal virtue? And I suspect that two thousand years of hearing about how Jesus suffered and died for our sins—whether we wanted him to or not—couldn’t help but have an impact on the erotic inner lives of the faithful. But taking sexual gratification from the infliction of pain predates Christianity—go read your ancient-Roman sex comedies—so you can’t pin all the kinksters out there on the Catholics.
Speaking of whipped saviors: Mike Gerle was International Mr. Leather in 2007—and he’s had it with the goody-two-shoeing of the gay BDSM scene. Leather bars are hosting more fundraisers than dark-and-cruisy beer blasts, and the guys entering leather-title contests seem more interested in raising money than they are in BDSM sex.
“This has got to stop,” Gerle writes on Leatherati. “If for no other reason, it is driving the kinky men I want to hook up with out of the few spaces we have left. This is cock-blocking on an enormous scale.”
My two cents: I think the demise of the anti-BDSM bigotry once so prevalent in the gay community and the advent of the internet have done more harm to the gay leather scene than all those Toys for Tots drives. Kinky guys don’t have to sneak into leather bars and pray that their friends don’t see them anymore; they can post personal ads at sites like Recon and GearFetish. And thanks to the destigmatization of kinks generally, and thanks to concepts like GGG, kinky gay guys don’t have to limit themselves to other kinky gay guys. They can date guys they’re into—vanilla or not—with a reasonable expectation that their kinks will be indulged.
Still, Toys for Tots drives and platitude-spouting leather-title contestants are contributing to the general lameness. In Minneapolis, a young gay kinkster, disappointed by the leather scene, decided to do something about it. Check out his blog at tynanfox.com for details.