For some disclosure … in my early adult life, I flitted from job to job, not really sure what I wanted to do. During this time, I found myself out of work and desperate. A close friend of mine had an interesting proposal. She needed a personal secretary, someone to answer phones and help keep her books. I would get some valuable experience and she would have the help she needed. It just happened to be this friend was a professional Dominatrix. From her, I was introduced into the BDSM sub-culture (or the Scene) of the 1990′s, not as an active participant, but an inside observer. I developed an interest in it that remains to this day.
BDSM has a wide interpretation. At its most basic, it is Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, and Sadism/Masochism. Each pairing has its own meanings and its own connotations. These connotations are not always good. We tend to think of sadism as cruelty or submission as weakness. While these images and meanings may play their part in the Scene, they do not define it or its different aspects.