The one time Roiphe suggests something almost clear and relevant is when she says BDSM is an escape from everyday situations:
"Is there something exhausting about the relentless responsibility of a contemporary woman's life, about the pressure of economic participation, about all that strength and independence and desire and going out into the world? It may be that, for some, the more theatrical fantasies of sexual surrender offer a release, a vacation, an escape from the dreariness and hard work of equality."
Congratulations, Roiphe, you nailed it on the head! It's an escape! That's what fantasies are: a vacation from your usual way of thinking or living. But a woman doesn't have to live a high-stressed, overly responsible existence to want to enjoy the fun of BDSM. As a feminist who works from home as a freelance writer and who gets to work from foreign countries and even the beach (I know, you must be jealous), outside of the occasional deadline and editor breathing down my neck, my life is without many major stresses — nor is my life boring in anyway. However, if we're to be candid, I do love to be tied up, spanked, tossed to the ground and ravaged. Why? Because it's fun, I love it and I'm a feminist so I'll do whatever I damn well please and still respect myself for my decision and desires.
What do you think about Katie Roiphe's piece? What role does S&M play in contemporary women's lives?