SL Letter of the Day: The Morality of a Dungeon

Comments

1
Hear hear! WTF does it have to do with you DAQ?

While we do give to charity, my partner/registered-relationship-in-some-states/spouse/soon-to-be-husband-in-non-deranged-countries/boyfriend etc and I spent north of $15k on our 8 week overseas trip last year. It's our money and I don't care what anyone thinks.
2
I just hope this isn't like kitchen remodels where the more people spend, the less likely it is they actually cook.
3
I'd be happy to come over and flog a bicyclist.
4
@2
It's a shame, and you know it happens. My sister went all out with the granite kitchen island, and I got to hand it to her, when we visit she's chopping veggies, spreading out the flour for homemade bread..... she has her strong points and I have mine - My wife and I live like loser Goldie, where the home is a fucked up mess.
5
I'd be happy to flog the cook too.
6
You were wrong, Dan. I couldn't have guessed that you would bring economics into your answer.
7
Always tacky to count other people's money, and the writer likely has no idea how much or how little his/her friends give to charity.
9
Taking DAQ's thought out to its logical conclusion means we're all terrible people unless we're living in hovels, barely keeping body and soul together, and giving ALL our money away to the less fortunate, because even in that sad scenario, there are a whole shitload of people way worse off. So. The solution? Be kind, give generously, be thankful for your privilege and do good in your own little corner of the world.
10
What 6 and7 said, and I would add: why are you sex-positively (?) progressively (?) sticking your nose into other people's business? You don't want to convert your basement, fine, don't convert your basement -- don't convert it into anything. But don't throw shade on what other people do with their homes when it doesn't affect you. And, progressive-sex-positive-sweetie, it doesn't affect you. Even if you've been invited to take part in their play. Prying and judging like this erases you from the chalkboard of the progressive sex-positives and puts you on the one labeled "Mrs. Grundy".
11
You forgot the sales tax, which supports state and county government and social services. Depending where they live, that $50,000 may include $4,000 in additional revenue for the public good.
12
Louis CK has already got this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC4FnfNKw…
13
I'd also be happy to flog the tax collector.
14
@8: Stop it already! You're killing me!
15
What you are talking about isn't trickle down economics: it is just normal commerce. Trickle down theory assumes that rich bastards who get their taxes cut will have more disposable spending cash and thus engage in more commerce. They don't. It turns out that when you are rich you have more than enough disposable spending cash and that any extra money they get will be put into investments or buried in the yard. On the other hand, if you cut the taxes of average Joes, you do see a bump (since they will spend the money).
16
I wonder if the letter writer would like to be flogged.
17
If he's offended, there are plenty of local charities he can contribute his time to without spending a dime.
18
#15: yes! beat me to it. Dan should post your comment to the slog -- a good progressive like him should not be carelessly drifting into Republican framing like that.
19
#18, did I hear someone say "beat me?"
20
@4 Ha!
21
Yup. Spend your money to fulfill your obligations and after that, spend it on what will make you happy. For these folks, that's a sex room, and that's no dumber than having an expensive pet or vacation or paying off your mortgage early just for the warm fuzzy feeling of having no home debt.

When it comes to extras, it's far smarter to sped one's money on experiences than to spend it on stuff, and it sounds like these guys invested in their experience.
22
15, thank you. you said it better than I could. (not that high of a bar to get over, but still...)
23
Hmm. But being progressive kind of does mean you stick your nose into other people's business. Libertarians want us to leave each other alone, but progressives think that we can individually and collectively make the world a better place (progress!), and that will involve changing some shit, including the way other people act.
That said, Dan's answer to this is exactly right. Anyone else read Yoisthisracist? If you only complain about the sexism in hiphop, you're a racist. If you only complain about wasting money when it's being wasted on sex, then congratulations, you're a prude.
24
PS. Just say no to trickle down. It's a slippery slope, Dan. Soon enough you'll move onto harder stuff like "just pointing out that immigration can cause some problems, that's all".
25
@23: It does NOT involve peering into other peoples' consensual bedroom activities. $50,000 amortized over ten years of sexy sex or so is not really crazy. It'll last them longer than a new car and give them much more return in happiness.
26
And I'll believe that libertarians want to "leave people alone" when Ron Paul stops wanting gays to literally be arrested again for sodomy. He believes there is no concept as bedroom privacy, most believe in no rights outside of WASPy males.
28
Such an open-minded person. Nah. Prudish and preachy.

I get the impression that he wants to sex-shame his friends. Why, the nerve! Not only are they doing kinky things, they spent money to do them in comfort and style. After all, if he ruled the world, the only morally acceptable sexual acts would never require any financial transaction.

DAQ needs a new hobby.
29
Another way of looking at this occurs to me: why do I have to have so goddamn much money to be into BDSM??!

I'm really skeptical of needing a lot of outfits, accessories, toys, or otherwise spending a lot of money to have sex. Are there BDSM co-ops? That seems more democratic and inclusive. I'd also be more interested in porn that were cooperatively produced.

Capitalism out of my vagina!!
30
Since I’ve started to have sex again I’ve started spending on things I haven’t in a while. Condoms, gloves and lube. Grooming. Nailpolish. Sexy dresses. Underwear. Stockings. Restaurants. Possibly props for sexy photos.

And this is vanilla.

Sex costs.

31
Look at it this way- they're investing in their relationship, and how costly would a divorce/breakup be? Aren't stable relationships better for the people involved and preferred behavior of good citizens?
32
WHY IS NOBODY WHINGING ABOUT THE HARDWARE???

Unless they are for non-load-bearing activities, one should always use welded (or otherwise solid) eyes. The ones Dan linked to are clearly not welded closed, and could come un-bent, landing someone on their head.

Not to mention that one really ought to use bolts instead of screws. (You can inspect both ends of a through-bolt. Once a screw is in, there's no inspecting how it holds inside the wood.)

C'mon, Dan. You've got friends you can ask about this stuff.
33
@29: " Are there BDSM co-ops?"

Clubs, sure.

@31: I do not think this guy cares about their happiness.
34
Tom Townsend's winter overcoat all over again.
35
"There are people out there without enough to eat and just as many without a place to live."

Like the carpenter who did the job. Or his kids.

But somehow, it's just not charity when you get something in return, eh?
36
@14:

But it does!
37
To go all musical theater with the shit:

"Woman, your fine ointment,
Brand new and expensive,
Should have been saved for the poor.

"Why has it been wasted?
We could have raised maybe
300 silver pieces or more.

"People who are hungry,
People who are starving
They matter more than
Your feet and hair."

"Surely you're not saying
We have the resources
To save the poor from their lot?

"There will be poor always,
Pathetically struggling,
Look at the good things you've got!"

Yeah, that last bit was actually JESUS.

Well, Jesus as channeled by Tim Rice, anyway.
38
I'm still unable to put together "I am a generally sex-positive person." and "a contractor (who was apparently un-shockable)", but I think I've figured it out- this is the "sex-positive" version of "I'm not racist, but..."
39
If they're dropping that much money on a dungeon playroom, they're almost certainly inviting their friends and neighbors over for fun sex-themed parties. In "progressive" terms, they're investing their resources in building social capital and strengthening bonds of community. The payoff will be in the form of enhanced capacity for cooperation and consensus-building.
40
@29, that sounds like all kinds of things out of your vagina as well, but only in a good way.

Realistically, buying a lot of trappings -- pun only semi-intended -- isn't really so much about the fun of it, but more about the more materially superior aspects. Spending more than one needs to in achieving a desired result is never about the result itself, it's about impressing everyone else. The orgasms aren't quantitatively better, from an objective standpoint, it's just having more devices to achieve them than one's friends.

Let me see how many times I can rephrase the same metaphor...
41
@38:

Parsing is HARD. It gives me headaches.
42
@39:
That, too.
43
At least a kitchen adds equity to your home. Adding a 50k sex room probably decreases your home value. Maybe that's what they're after, those filthy masochists!
44
In a liquidity trap, sex dungeons are good for the economy.
45
Rich people who hire contractors to remodel their house for something that gives them pleasure aren't the problem. The problem is rich people who can afford to pay their employees a living wage but do not and, to add insult to injury, buy GOP politicians who have become obsessed with trapping people into a life of poverty. DAQ needs to redirect his/her outrage toward those who deserve it.
46
@ 38: Nailed it. "I'm Sex-Positive, But" statements are almost always bullshit.
47
@41: Derrrrp, this isn't a question of parsing but cognitive dissonance.
48
@40: "Realistically, buying a lot of trappings -- pun only semi-intended -- isn't really so much about the fun of it, but more about the more materially superior aspects. Spending more than one needs to in achieving a desired result is never about the result itself, it's about impressing everyone else"

You really don't know what it's set up to be. This isn't going to be some renaissance faire black death dungeon, it's possible this is going to be a mixed-use classy remodel that can be easily turned into whatever scenario they want. Hooks where you could suspend a person, securely and safely might not come cheap. You really have zero clue what is "needed", and if this is the only thing the LW has to complain about, they're not blowing money on other things regularly.

Perhaps you're projecting.
49
@29 BDSM is sex with props and costumes, so think of it more like theater

You can do theater with just the actors, script and stage. Or you can have incredibly elaborate Broadway productions. You can have local community theater with the props hand-made from cardboard.

If you like theater a lot and you have a lot of money, you probably have some incredibly nice costumes and props, but if you don't have a lot of money you've probably made a lot of props yourself and still have a great time.
50
I still think $50,000 is still an awful lot to spend on your sex life. Also a kitchen, but I haven't tried to remodel a kitchen yet.
51
"...and zinc-plated eye
hooks..."

A) The linked item I see is a screw-eye, not a hook.

B) I hope they got better than those for their 50K.

C) Please say you don't recommend those to people, Dan. Especially going into stud quality two bys blindly through dry wall, they ARE NOT SAfE FOR SUPPORTING BODY WEIGHT!!!
52
I find that those kinds of dungeons never get used. Growing up our rich friends parents had a secret sex dungeon, literally you had to pull a book off a shelf to get access. Easily it was the coolest thing ever, but the actual dungeon was just sad. Mirrored walls and ceiling, boxes of sex toys never unpacked (yet they didn't move to the house, they had always been there.) I found it funny that the room had more than 15 outlets, and for some reason a mini fridge is where the dildos were. But yeah, they never really used the dungeon (we would go in there all the time), and it always made me sad that they clearly aren't with it.
53
I agree with Dan.

As far as the rest of it goes, in the unlikely event that I found it necessary to judge, I'd want to know how much of the money went for basic remodeling of a basement and how much for specifically-dungeon-and-no-other-use stuff (especially stuff that can't move with them later.)

My guess is that a serious chunk of that change went more to things like walls and flooring, lighting and heating than to things like crosses and bondage tables. If they chose to include a bathroom (and who wouldn't, for that money?) and so on.

If resale is an issue, paint is pretty cheap.

We've got a playspace in our basement, and didn't remodel to do it, and spent next to nothing, since we didn't finish the walls or floor and get by with space heaters.

Honestly, a serious home dungeon makes FAR more sense to me than some of the "home theaters" I've seen.

@52, can't speak for anyone else, but we use ours all the time.
54
midwestkittie@29, as john t said @39, a nice dungeon is probably so that they can host parties for the local BDSM community. If you want an invitation, make yourself known as a friendly, cooperative person, and offer to come help set up before or clean up after (or cook during) a community party. Helpful, non-creepy people are great, and get invited back!
55
@Fenrox, how would you know what they did in there when you weren't there? A dungeon needs lots of outlets because who wants to trip on an extension cord when using the hitachi or violet wand on your partner? And why is it weird to want cold dildos? Sounds like nasty fun to me...
56
@51
Honestly, I'm at least as intrigued by the fact that the link is to a 100-pack of the screw eyes. Even in a $50K dungeon, that seems… excessive.
57
It's called being bitter.
58
@29 May be hard to keep capitalism out of your sex life unless you're an amazingly crafty polymath or intensely vanilla. However, if you're not going full-on anti-cap and just keeping it local, green and progressive is enough, you can do that pretty simply.

Maybe I'm spoiled living in a Sodom & Gomorrah location, but my local sex shop has lubes made in state, leather stuff made locally. (You may be screwed on condoms, and they do go into landfills, oh well.) And I've noticed a lot of good-quality sex toys are made in the USA, which is more than I can say for a lot of other hobbies' materials. It's niche and people are passionate about it, so there are lot of cottage industry-type providers out there.

If you can find people who don't mind sharing toys to collectively flog the Man, well, more power to you! But if you can't, you can find ways to make sure your kinky cash is growing your local economy and supporting pervy small businesses near you that share your values.
59
First of all, why can't I have friends like that? Secondly, someone is mad they haven't been invited to play. Thirdly, @ 37, thank you for the JCSuperstar. Now I'll have that in my head all day.

Prove to me that you're no fool
Walk across my swimming pool!
60
#58, as a Seattle progressive I always think globally and torture locally. It's amazing what you can do with an organic cucumber and a few carrots from the farmers market.
61
You're just jealous that no one invited you over for the dungeon-warming, aren't you, DAQ?
62
@2: an expensive kitchen you don't cook in is a status item. I can't see showing off a dungeon to family and non-kinky friends for that purpose. Come to think of it, if my dungeon was being used to elevate my status, that means my friends would be using it!
63
Plus $50k is low cost for a "regular" finished basement in my neck of the woods (i.e. taking 1000sq ft. of raw basement and putting in a rec room, bathroom, carpet, wall board, spare bedroom...).
64
Carpenter (also not easily shocked) here...

While I'm not into hardcore BDSM myself, I think it would a fucking blast to work on this job!! Kinky customers, timber framed flogging racks, custom whipping chairs, creating dark space....
One more kitchen remodel and I just might puke.
More power to em!!

65
This would actually be trickle up economics, demand side economics, or simply "economics". The trickle down part comes from the "theory" that giving freebies out to the already rich makes them spend even more and generates more economic activity, which it doesn't.
66
#65, I think which way the economics trickle depends on who's standing where.