If there was one fact about BDSM, just one, that I could communicate to the culture at large, it would be this: at just about every BDSM play party I've ever been to, there has been a bowl of M&Ms.
Those M&Ms may be, as last night, part of a nice spread with cheese and fruit and cookies. They may be the dessert to a full dinner with hot meat and veggies. Or they may be jammed in the back corner next to some ripped-open jumbo bags of chips and 2-liters of Coke. But they'll be there.
(And they'll be all dumped together in a big open bowl, which is kind of gross if you think about where people's hands have been. Next time I help host a party, I'm putting out individual M&M packets.)
These M&Ms are, in some deep way, symbolic of the essential humanity and normalcy of kinksters. We may be freaky perverts, but we still like candy just as much as anyone else. And we still like to stand around the candy bowl talking and joking. And we're still considerate enough of each other to remember to put out candy. The little M&M bowl stands as silent and delicious proof that even the most bizarre-seeming parties with people running around in diapers and chastity belts getting beaten and shocked and lit on fire are still parties, still places people go to relax and connect with one another.
Every time I see "S&M" represented in the media, I look for that M&M bowl. Or if not literally, something akin to it, some small indication that the same person can be genuinely and seriously kinky--and damn sexy about it--and also be a "gotta leave by 12 because I have work tomorrow" real person. TV bondage clubs never have M&Ms.
Then again, I shouldn't make this all about my subculture. Humanity and sex in general have never been easy bedfellows in the media. For some reason being a real, everyday human has just never been an attribute of sex symbols. I don't think a truly sexy sex person is supposed to eat at all, much less eat M&Ms.
Last night Rowdy was punching me and I was literally roaring with the feeling, deep guttural groans as he shoved me up against the wall and his knuckles slammed into my shoulderblades. It hurt, and it shook my body with the sheer intensity of the moment, the realization of the strength in our bodies and the realness and deepness of pain. It was delicious.
And then we went downstairs and ate some M&Ms, because those little suckers are also delicious.