Twisted sister

By DAN SAVAGE  |  January 19, 2006

My sister, whom I’m quite close with, has been getting into S&M. Recently she announced that she has acquired a slave. After much thought and discussion on the matter, I am still having a very hard time coming to terms with it. The problem I have is that she treats him like a slave 24 hours a day. They are planning a “collaring.” I’m the first person to admit that I don’t understand all this. For this reason, I have had conversations on the topic with my sister, but our last conversation ended in her hanging up on me and we haven’t spoken since.

My husband and I are complete equals in every way and I just can’t imagine how I can feel comfortable watching my sister humiliate and degrade someone by ordering them around like a slave. I sure wouldn’t sit back and allow someone to treat her that way! We are all expected at my mom’s house for the holidays, where we will be staying under the same roof. My mother is not comfortable with the situation either. I realize that I don’t have much choice but to suck it up if I want to have a relationship with my sister. My sister compares my feelings to the way gay people were treated when they first started struggling for social acceptance. It makes me very angry that she is so impatient with me. She told our father about her new relationship when he was in town last week.

Sister & Mistress

This advice may come too late, S&M, so please accept my regrets if your sister and her slave have already come and gone. But just in case everyone is staying at mom’s place through New Year’s Eve — and your sister is still ordering her slave around in front of the whole family — I wanted to address your sister directly: KNOCK IT OFF, MISTRESS FUCKWIT.

Asking people to accept BDSM — the pastime, the lifestyle — doesn’t give you the right to force other people to take part in it. Your slave is no doubt humiliated when you treat him like shit in front of others, and doubtless this humiliation turns him on. BDSM subs are like that. So, MF, when you humiliate him in front of your family members, you’re forcing them to play an active role in your sex life. That’s not asking for tolerance, that’s demanding participation. And that’s not okay.

You brought up gays and lesbians, and our struggle for acceptance. Sorry, MF, but the comparison is not apt. Not once in our struggle for social acceptance have gays and lesbians demanded the right to have sex in front of our relatives. We want to be accepted by our families, tolerated by strangers, and treated equally by our government. But people who don’t want to watch us have sex aren’t compelled to.

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