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It makes me wonder if the whole "kinks are innate" rhetoric is actually tapping into our "self discovery" obsession, aka the same drive causing us to fill out endless quizzes to discover "which TV show character am I? period in history am I? which flavor of off-brand soda am I? for the love of god someone just tell me who I am"

that's exactly what it was, in my experience. right down to the quiz-like "which of these cookie-cutter identities are you". only the cookie-cutter identities were actually stages of progression in how deep someone had gone into the lifestyle or in a particular niche, how obsessed they were about it and let that identity stuff actually overtake their personality. With the later stages being the most heavily praised and glorified - to the point where when I read about it I actively wanted to be in it more deep.

there are a lot of parallels with gender ideology in that regard. It feels so similar and culty.

I just don't get how women (men, too) are persuaded to engage in this crap. Don't they feel a sense of shame? It must have offended their moral sensibility at some point if they initially refused. Unless they were worn down by pressure, you'd think they would be able to stay strong out of an interest in their own self-image, if nothing else. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did those things.

Don't they feel a sense of shame?

Well sure, in the beginning. But that's why it's imperative that we don't "kink shame". Once it becomes normalized, it's so much easier to stuff that tiny voice of reason waaaaay down at the back of your mind and ignore it. Sexual arousement is a powerful conditioning tool. I'm sure after pursuing that path for a period of time of your brain getting washed over with those feelings, PLUS the way it's put on an untouchable pedestal, is enough to get most people to very successfully simply not really have those questioning thoughts.

It's just hard to imagine. Anyone who grew up in a decent home knows that men aren't supposed to hit women. How can they look at their sexual partner afterwards and not feel bad? If a man did that to me, I'd hate him. I know orgasms are powerful conditioning, but I don't see how it can override everything someone's been taught their entire life about domestic violence.

I do feel bad for the kids who are being taught this shit is normal starting in middle school. This is why groomers want to get them young. Children are much more impressionable than grown adults.

BDSM is gaslighting us all so I'm sure some women from good homes do get preyed upon, but a lot of them just aren't from good homes. Child abuse and neglect is a real crisis right now, and when this kind of mistreatment is mixed together with social attitudes like misogyny, its hard for girls. The weak boundaries and self-doubt instilled in childhood provide fertile grounds on which to add more gaslighting and abuses.

Right now young girls from all homes are feeling social pressures to be kinky so the gaslighting is everywhere, no matter what home they are from. But I genuinely believe that it was the already abused, vulnerable women and girls who were the target of BDSM when it was still all underground.

Anyone who grew up in a decent home knows that men aren't supposed to hit women.

Totally agree. It's alien to me, too. But I think we can't underestimate the power of conditioning via social attitudes (what's considered 'normal' or is even protected).

This is exactly why pretending that all the choices exist in a vaccum, and that nobody ever gets influenced by things outside their control, is a terrible idea that is detrimental to society.