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"Leather, BDSM ‘lifestyle’ provides security, stability"

on Monday, 01 November 2010. Posted in Media Updates

QNotes

Leather, BDSM ‘lifestyle’ provides security, stability
QNotes

When most folks think leather or BDSM — that is, bondage, domination, sadism, masochism — chills might run up their spine. Or, perhaps, feelings of disgust flash through their mind.

It’s that initial, gut reaction that most upsets Pam Payne. She lives in and around Hickory and operates a mentoring program and four-bedroom “halfway house,” so to speak, for people in the leather and BDSM “lifestyles” who find themselves in flux or in need of some extra help. She is a part of the BDSM lifestyle herself and she says her way of living is about much more than images of sexual power, pain and perversion most people ascribe to it.

“It’s not purely a sexual identity,” Payne says in rebuttal to arguments about her life and family. “I’d say its a balance of 50-50 — people who just want to belong on a level that doesn’t exist in the vanilla world.”

“Vanilla” is how Payne describes mainstream society, whether gay or straight.

She says most people in the BDSM lifestyle simply long for acceptance and relationships that matter. “I want to be able to do this for you, give this to you, serve you in this way and, in return, I want you to take care of me in this particular way,” she says, describing a typical relationship which she says is built over periods of months — sometimes years — and depends on negotiation and contract.

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