Quote Originally Posted by bruce terry View Post
Cate- Good point about the darker side, and I keep looking for a whips-and-chains image that moves me positively toward an appreciation of the negative, but no luck so far.

Can an erotic (forget pornographic) art image only be 'art' if it is positive in nature? Your right - no - not if you are totally objective, and that brings us back to Mapplethorpe, where if nothing else we quickly learn what our own personal definition of negative is.

I'm not about to suggest what you should find sexually arousing, but to help understand the "whips and chains" thing, if you don't know someone already who's into that (and you probably do, but just don't know it), find someone who is, and have a talk with them to understand it a bit more. I've got a good friend who is very into the whole BD/SM scene, and is very open about it, so I have a better understanding of it now, and while most of it leaves me cold, I can see how it would work for someone. The BD/SM scene is incredibly diverse, far more than I ever thought before my friend and I started talking about it, and a lot of what people think of as "kinky" is really nothing more than invoking your creativity trying to please your partner. To give a really mild example, my friend would laugh at the notion that using whipped cream is "kinky", unless you're a food fetishist. My point is that for folks into that scene, the "whips and chains" thing is NOT negative to them. Better to have someone who understands it better than I explain that one. Where's Morten when you need him?