Deborah Ryder is 47, although with her slim body and radiant complexion she does not look it. Since she was very young, Ryder has been a masochist. Her many published works include Half Dressed, She Obeyed —a collection of erotic fiction representing the most powerful female masochistic writing since Pat Califa's Macho Sluts.
Born in and still somewhat emotionally attached to Yorkshire, England, Ryder lived in London for some time, then migrated to Scotland when multiple sclerosis forced her into giving up her career in a finance company. Ryder is a member of the Outsiders—a club for people with disabilities seeking partners. She believes that no one should have to give up sex simply because they are disabled.
I am a masochistic woman; I write books on the subject of submission/domination and have formed The LADY O Society for submissive ladies. The need for such pressure-groups indicates an unhealthy society. We, the few who know ourselves well enough to accept and enjoy our own sexuality, are not obsessed with sex; we enjoy it, in whatever form appeals to the individual. Unfortunately this enjoyment is foreign to the repressed and repressive majority.
At the root of the problem is the belief, common to most governments, that they have the right to regulate the minds and bodies of their citizens. Birth-control, fertilisation, abortion, embryo research, harmless drugs, possession of defensive weapons, holding a party, watching a video - you could be next in line for the dawn-raid. Human rights mean nothing to the British government, which advocates "Victorian values". In Victorian times, the ruling class could have anything it wanted, whether eleven-year-old virgins, pretty boys or bitches with birches. The majority of the population lived in terrified respectability; the poor slept in the streets. Only one aspect has changed. Instead of "what will the neighbours think?", it is now "will the neighbours shop* us?"
So, no more excuses, justifications or rationalisations. We are the way we are because we enjoy it. The real reason why we cause such trepidation is because pleasure is - subconsciously if not consciously - regarded as wrong. Science has proven that no supernatural intervention was necessary in the world's beginning or to direct any event since then. But most people still need a psychological crutch. They need to believe in something because they are incapable of having faith in themselves. And, to perpetuate these belief-systems, they make rules; they forbid things. Sex, having always been a fairly widespread human activity, is an obvious target.
The TSNs (Thou-Shalt-Nots) have had it their own way for centuries. Things are not so different now, but there is a vitally significant, if small, transformation. When orthodoxy demands human sacrifice ("kill the unbeliever!"), there are a few who ask "Why?" The movement towards relaxation of censorship is inexorable. Always remember there will be setbacks. No one wins all the battles. We shall win the war.
Being different does not damage the quality of anyone's life; and that should be the criterion. Sexuality disdains the "politically correct", which is just an updated version of "thou shalt not do anything enjoyable". We dare to enjoy; we dare to live. It is not surprising that the repressed majority envy and therefore hate us.
Mainly through economic factors—since economic factors are the prime motivation for anything concerning humans —the political situation is changing in many parts of the world. And because the new regime has not delivered Utopia, there has to be someone to blame. Those who are "different" are the obvious target. If everyone was on the same wavelength, if everyone swung together, Utopia would be around the next corner, wouldn't it? But a few are spoiling it: the few who do not conform. The TSNs must put the blame on others because they cannot face the fact that they themselves bear a large part of the responsibility for the world's ills. The TSNs are the spiritual descendants of those who burned witches at the stake and forced Jews into gas chambers. But they wouldn't go so far nowadays, would they? Give them half a chance! Do you know how many people were murdered or seriously injured last year because their skin was the "wrong" colour or because they were gay? Several thousand in Europe alone. I do not have the facts and figures for other parts of the world, but why should they be different?
And consider another murderous machination by those whose religion is bigotry. Such pressure-groups are making objections (in some cases going so far as legal action) against sex-education for young people. Condoms must not be provided. Only the celibate deserve to avoid AIDS. In the long-term, this will backfire on the bigots, since they seek to deprive their own children of the knowledge that would keep them safe; and it is a fact of life that someone brought up in an overly-religious atmosphere will go out on the tiles as soon as he/she can. In the short term, this is just another maneuver by the forces of repression. We should be used to that.
Although we recognize this oppression, there is not much that we can do about it. Even activities in one's own bedroom are subject to the sanction of the law. There are a few pressuregroups to reassure each member of the persecuted minorities that he or she is not alone. Recently-formed, The LADY O Society intends to provide this reassurance for submissive ladies. We know the loneliness and isolation of this way of life. Whenever a new member says 'I thought I was the only one in the world', she reaffirms the need for such an organisation.
The feeble excuses for censorship are based on a claim to protect the weak. Who are these people who are so indecisive that they would be inflamed by seeing a video of a crime and would promptly go out and do it? If a person is going to rape and/or kill, the problem was in his head long before he read a book or saw a film. Yet we so often hear of the criminal who pleads "pornography drove me to it"*. He has been caught; his advisors are seeking to mitigate his sentence. Offer the Establishment a different target (a target which they never tire of attacking) and reduce the offender's culpability at the same time. Neither the accuser nor the accused is interested in the validity of the excuse because neither wants its fallacy exposed.
As a world-wide trend, it has been noted that the more liberal the society, the fewer the sex-crimes. This may be partly as a result of fewer sexual activities being criminalized, but it is mainly an indication of a generally healthier attitude to sex. Improve Law and Order—Legalize Pornography! The world is approaching the twenty-first century, but the law-makers of Britain and other countries have yet to emerge from the Dark Ages.