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Too much

February 21st, 2002 · No Comments · Uncategorized

<dead-horse option=”beating”>Not to diminish the Kiwi Pope and his fine web journal, but a man befuddled by the task of matching his socks or putting on a tie isn’t going to fret much about the lack of means to link to specific stuff written there, either entries or comments. And we love him for it. I think. That being said, you now understand the reason why I have to quote things occasionally, instead of just making a little link.</dead-horse>

Johnny Payphone makes this comment in reaction to what James wrote about >SM:

Now, everybody enjoys a little this’n’that in their lovemaking. But some people remove sex from it almost entirely, and just like to be tied up, tied down, beat up, beat down, or whatever. It becomes a lifestyle for them. And, while I of course respect the right of anyone to do whatever the fuck they want in their homes with their partners, it does seem like a bit of escapism to me. I mean, I like sex, but I’m not about to move off to some orgiastic island. Religious people feel the need to worship but only the nuttiest (they would say most devout) of them abandon the rest of their life to join a monastery. I like sex but I don’t go to sex clubs, I like some of the sensual aspects of BDSM but I don’t go to the dungeons, I like the outdoors but I don’t live in the woods, instead, I work these things into the context of my normal life.

Ignoring that huge excluded middle there, I know many people feel this way. It’s essentially the “what I do is normal and balanced, but what those people do is a bit too extreme and out of balance.” In the SM View definition in a new window scene, this is called “My kink is okay, but your kink is not.”

I’m not pointing out Johnny Payphone for making this statement, because he’s not a judgmental type of guy. I just want to point to the statement itself, because I hear it and variations of it quite a lot. I’ve even made it myself at times.

It’s definitely true that there are people who are out of balance, that’s clearly not the issue. People can drink too much, play Clan Lord too much, use the Internet too much, or get too caught up in a religion, in Amway, or in SM. But I really think the one test of balance is simply if the activity in question adversely impacts other areas of the person’s life, then there is a problem. I know people who are very active in the SM scene, both as players and as community members, and I often wonder how they do it. What they do is too much for me. But are they not normal? Are they out of balance? I don’t think so.

It’s like the old George Carlin joke. People who drive slower than you are morons, and people who drive faster than you are insane. Same holds true for devotion and passion for any activity. People who aren’t as involved as me aren’t “for real” and people who are more involved than me are “nuts.”

The example of religion is a good one. When are people “too religious”? For me, when a person’s religion starts to get on my nerves, I tend to think the person is a bit of a nut. But, I’m careful with that gut reaction, because it’s really not fair. I don’t feel the profound faith and belief that the person feels, so I’m in no position to judge. And rarely do I know enough about another person’s life to accurately gauge any adverse effects their “extreme” devotion might have on other parts of their life.

I agree that you can take anything “too far.” But usually when I judge someone “goes too far”, I have to remind myself I’m almost always making this judgment relative to my own interests, and I better be careful about placing value judgments around my own tastes and preferences.

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