When Master and I went to the lingerie party I mentioned in my previous post, I wore a shibari rope dress (with underwear overneath, of course). Master also had me on a leash a good portion of the time. (Sometimes he let me run loose! >:3) I got lots of compliments about my outfit, and I noticed they tended to fall into two categories: those who said, "Your outfit is really cool/neat/cute!" and those who said, "Hey, that rope dress was done right! Great job!"
There were a surprising number of the latter comments.
That's what I really love about the college I'm attending - there's a good number of people with the same interests as Master and me. Even though wearing BDSM-inspired clothing/lingerie is trendy these days, there were a number of people there whom I could tell weren't just wearing it for the looks. It was a sign of who they were. It felt reassuring to be in the presence of all those other people who knew where I was coming from.
Then I saw an episode of G4's Wired For Sex series. This particular episode was about the Internet's influence on the proliferation of fetishism, with a smattering of cybersex as well. Obviously, it couldn't devote time to all the fetishes out there, so it focused on balloon fetishists and furries. In fact, if I recall correctly, most of the episode was about furries.
What really got me, though, was when they addressed the "darker side" of fetishism. One person they interviewed said, "The downside of this freedom provided by the Internet is that it allows all kinds of fetishes, even if they cross into the realm of evil. Say, for example... child pornography." The narrator then went on to recount the tale of a woman who was murdered while having her fantasy played out. While this was all going on, the episode showed stock videos of people tied up and in hoods, cages, ball gags - all sorts of typical BDSM activities.
What in the hell does BDSM have to do with child porn?! Oh sure, you can devote half an episode to the furries because they're just funny people who dress up in cute costumes, but BDSM? Too scary! Just lump it with the kiddie porn - no one knows the difference anyway! Jesus Christ.
When I told Master about my grievances with the episode, he said, "Well, you're going to have to get used to it. For most of society, BDSM is a very scary thing. You're part of a minority now."
I didn't bother telling him that, as a queer woman, I was already part of a couple minorities. At least it's no longer socially acceptable (for the most part) to openly discriminate against those minority groups. Hopefully BDSMers will receive the same acceptance (more or less) some day.