Why might left-wing people have more bdsm fantasies than right-wingers?

There was a study released a few days ago on the sexual fantasies of Americans. You can find a link to an article by the researcher here. The study took in 4,175 people across the 50 states, and asked them about people, places and things that turn them on. 

We won’t dwell on the “people” side of it, except to say that a lot of people wanted to fuck Sarah Palin, which is weird. So, IMHO, are the people who want to do Hillary. I was also surprised by the fact that Bill Clinton was fancied by more people than Obama. That’s got to be the weird American race barrier, because otherwise that seems kind of inexplicable.

Democrats fucking

Anyway, the interesting finding was that Republicans were more likely than Democrats to have fantasies about partner-swapping, orgies and other non-monogamous sex, while Democrats were more likely than Republicans to fantasise about bdsm. 

The article in Politico doesn’t tell us how the researcher, Justin Lehmiller, selected his sample. He also doesn’t tell us what the actual numerical differences were, between Republican and Democrat fantasies.

That’s why my heading includes the word “might”. Ordinarily I’d take the whole thing with a grain of salt, but I’m prepared to at least discuss it because it falls into the category of “possibly suss research that happens to fit in with my own anecdotal experience”.

Republicans fucking

Anyway, Lehmiller’s explanation for the difference he claims to have found is  the attraction of “taboo.” Republicans are big on “family values”, so non-monogamy is forbidden and hot, for them.

Democrats believe in equality so the inequality of dominant/submissive roles is forbidden and hot for them.

I don’t think that’s it.

In practice, bdsm isn’t the place you’d go if you want unequal relationships. You want “traditional patriarchal Christian marriage” for that shit. Bdsm insists on equality as a starting point, from which you negotiate unequal power, and it insists on explicit consent. And the power is never really unequal. If the submissive isn’t getting what he or she wants, their Dom will become their ex-Dom in about the time it takes to speak the words, “Fuck you!”

If you believe in clear consent, bdsm is one place you’ll find that. Someone could argue that that’s what draws left-wing people to bdsm. I suspect that only plays a minor role, though. 

But there are good reasons why conservatives don’t much like bdsm. In particular, bdsm is anti-authoritarian. In bdsm people play “power difference” for sexual pleasure. Conservatives tend to think that’s very disrespectful to the rightful authorities. Particularly men of the church, who prefer their power over sexual matters to be non-consensual and unquestioned.  

Anarcho-syndicalist giraffes are way sexier than either donkeys or elephants.

I think the reason why Democrats are more likely than Republicans to have bdsm fantasies is pretty much the opposite of Lemiller’s “taboo” theory. That is, social acceptance off bdsm is relatively new and it is still happening. But it’s got a firm toe-hold in the culture.

Just as Democrats were faster to pick up on gay rights and dignity issues, they are more likely to feel that governments should keep out of bdsm consensual sexual activity. In the process, they are making bdsm less taboo.

That is, Democrats are more likely to fantasise about bdsm hotness (if that’s the case; note reservations about the research) not because it’s their “forbidden”, but because for them it’s less forbidden.

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