Bob Plant on Foucault on Sadomasochism

Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that S&M necessarily involves malice (or that its practitioners naturally harbor some ‘deep violence’), but rather that the possibility of such non-strategic eventualities has a productive function here. That a specific game could degenerate into mere domination — where the other stabilizes the power relation by barring one’s ability either to instigate role-reversal or to halt the game–is not merely always possible, but also pleasure-generating in its possibility. In other words, the possibility of transgressing the rules of the game–or of letting the game ‘play us’ –brings its own special pleasure to the proceedings.

Bob Plant, “Playing games/playing us : Foucault on sadomasochism”

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