Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Revisiting the Plantation Retreats Where Black Men Go to Serve Their White Masters: Did You Know That a Person Can Brand Their Human "Slave" With a Bar Code Which Can Be Searched Online?

One of the most popular posts here on We Are Respectable Negroes discusses a BDSM retreat where black men serve as the "slaves" of white male "masters". That piece was part of a larger discussion of questions related to role-playing, living museums, and questions of identity, race, power, and historical memory.

"Playing with Sex, Power, and Race: Did You Know That There Are "Plantation Retreats" Where Black People Go to Serve Their White Masters?" floats about and around the Internet until it gets picked up on a frequent basis, during which it is routinely met with shock, horror, and offense. Said essay does have a life of its own; the Google machine has favored it.

As such, both this week and last, "Playing with Sex, Power, and Race: Did You Know That There Are "Plantation Retreats" Where Black People Go to Serve Their White Masters?" has proven itself to be popular once again.

I often receive emails about how I discovered that retreat, and my thoughts on race and sex play more generally. Given the recent rise--pardon the obvious pun--in emails with those questions, I reasoned that it would be most efficient to answer them in a post here on We Are Respectable Negroes.

As I wrote here, I am not interested in passing judgement about how consenting adults choose to explore their sexuality. However, I am  very fascinated by how sexuality and notions of the erotic reflect a society's collective subconscious.

Redd Foxx was right and best when he said that when the lights are off, all that really matters is who wiped their butts. Such a policy is my civil sexual religion: a person's melanin count is the last thing I care about given the wondrous gift that is enjoying each other's bodies like a great roller coaster that we can ride for free....over, and over, and over again.

I also acknowledge how a person's skin color can be a source of sexual titillation and arousal for those who are differently inclined than me.

With those qualifiers in play and noted, here are some additional discoveries, questions, and thoughts on race play.
How did you discover the plantation retreat that you wrote about in "Playing with Sex, Power, and Race: Did You Know That There Are "Plantation Retreats" Where Black People Go to Serve Their White Masters?"

I go to many websites and follow these Internets where they take me. I also read and share my discoveries here on We Are Respectable Negroes with all of you so that more innocent eyes can be saved and preserved. Thus, my borrowing a phrase from Nolan's Batman movies, I reach down into the muck and mire so that you do not have to.

Have you discovered other BDSM plantation-slavery role-playing retreats? What about other online resources for those people who want to engage in "slavery" BDSM role-playing?

Yes. There is one in the United Kingdom which you can read about here. They also have an application process. The proprietors are quite interested in "owning" "slaves" who are not white. Blue Star Plantation's "slave master" and "overseers" also host a President Jefferson Davis event--yes, in honor of the Confederacy--where they have a race in which their slaves compete with one another for the approval and honor of the respective masters.

The online community called Fetlife has a dedicated group called "The Slave Register". It has approximatley 6,000 members who enjoy the lifestyle that is being a slave "owned" by another person. Some of the members are interested in race play. Many other members have not explicitly mentioned an interest in that lifestyle.

Have you discovered any examples of race play and slavery fantasies which you found particularly disturbing or surprising?

My instincts tell me that those folks who are really into that lifestyle are not posting online in regular forums. Likely, there is a very private subculture, one that exists outside of the eyes of "tourists" like myself.

However, I did discover that there is a website where you can register the UPC code of your "slave" in an online database. This is the natural evolution of the jewelry, brands, and other tattoos worn by submissives who are "owned" by their "masters". I was still surprised that people would actually register a UPC code, have it tattooed on their flesh, and then make the information accessible on a public database.

African-Americans were forced to wear "slave tags" during the centuries of our bondage in the United States and elsewhere. We were also branded with markings that showed our "ownership" by a specific master. It should not be surprising that some people who are engaged in race play or "master"/"slave" relationships would use current technology.

What do you think of race play more generally?

Do you. Have fun. I am not interested in introducing such dynamics into my personal relationships. I am a pretty direct person. Some of us choose to work out issues of power and trauma in our intimate lives. It is not for me. Consenting adults should be able to do as they wish. Does this mean that such types of kink and sex play ought to be immune from a critical gaze that locates them within an understanding of broader social dynamics? Of course not. As has been said many times--often too much for my taste--the personal is political.

What do you think of X site? Have you seen the Race Play Tumblr site?

There is lots of stuff out there which I am not interested in looking at. Sorry. Yes, I am a pretty curious person by nature. But, I know that there are some motifs and genres of erotica, adult film, etc. where there is overtly racist language coupled with gonzo style sex that is off-putting to me. These rules apply for white men on black women, black men on white women, and all other combinations in which some stereotypical depiction of race, sex, and the body is shown. Not for me. To quote the movie Boogie Nights, such things do not get my joy juice flowing.

I have seen the Race Play Tumblr. I do not know if it is an intentional parody, a pathetic effort to get paid off of the "race play" lifestyle, or a smart hustle.

For those of you who have not seen the site do click here.

I found most of it pretty funny...in a sad, tragic, and "what the hell?" sort of way. I also found this cartoon pretty damn laughable.

Perhaps, that is because I understand the idea of the White Gaze, and how such racist depictions of the black body are not "real" as they are projections of the white racial frame, and a twisted, white supremacist understanding of the humanity of black and brown people? Ultimately, the Race Play Tumblr is a window into white racism; it offers no commentary on the true humanity of black and brown people. What worries me the most is how some people of color have internalized such fictions about their humanity and sexuality.

What was funny about the Race Play Tumblr?

The videos on the site are comical to me. And yes, for many people, they would be disturbing. I get that. But, I did find the following description of one of the videos, and later mission statement of the website's founder's vision, very entertaining. There are many black men and other people of color who would get off from being humiliated in such a way.

I would think that black conservatives such as Clarence Thomas, Allen West, and C.L. Bryant would thoroughly enjoy being smothered by a white woman's genitals and butt, all the while being called racial slurs, to be very, very, very exciting.
You're the house servant of a nice white lady, Miss Livvy Rose, and she's been good to give you a great job inside cleaning & doing chores. Unfortunately she comes in; sees that you didn't clean up a mess on the kitchen floor earlier & admonishes you greatly. She's VERY dissapointed in you, calling all sorts of mean racist names, not just the N-word but many others to describe your race (not sure if I can write them here yet or not!) She makes you lie face up on the floor and sits on your face, smothering you & it's so hard for you to breathe! But she finds great joy in torturing her black slaves because that's what you were put here on earth for. She keeps laughing; sitting on your face in glee. Maybe now you'll learn to obey her better. 
Welcome to my TABOO RACEPLAY site... if you're a black male who find the words Nigger, Coon, Darkie coming out of the mouth of nice lookin white women turning you on... if you've ever had plantation slave sexual fantasies... if the thought of getting owned by a white (or other non-black) woman using your race as a humiliation factor... get on board! I started filming my own racial humiliation clips because I found the other ones for sale on CLIPS4SALE were very grainy, solo webcam models who don't fully understand the fetish but just yell a bunch of racist terms to the camera; not providing a story. I wanted real life stories in a modern age, to set a scene at least that could be somewhat believable... at least you could wish for it anyways.
Those of us who study white supremacy and racism in the post civil rights era often talk about public versus private behavior, and how white racism is much more honest and revealing when the pressure on white folks to publicly conform has been removed. The Race Play Tumblr, and those who are into that lifestyle, give support to such a theoretical framework and hypothesis.

Do you disapprove of race play and BDSM slavery plantations because you are a prude and are repressed?

I am not a prude. I say get your groove on folks. Have fun. I am a very, very sex positive person. As sexologist Dan Savage has said, I am "GGG". I do not have any guilt issues associated with human sexuality rooted in religion or similar mythologies. My parents gifted me with such sensibilities.

I just think that black and brown people who choose to work through racism and white supremacy by having white people abuse them are outside of my realm of understanding. I can understand the opposite, such power play makes more sense to me. But being submissive, in a sexual routine that plays with race, while living in a society that already dominates people of color for not being white, does not compute for me. I am open to learning and listening to those who enjoy such sexual practices.

What will the future of race play hold given the new popularity of slavery films such as Django: Unchained and the recent 12 Years a Slave?

I am not deep enough into thinking about race play as it relates to broader trends in popular culture to offer up an informed answer to that question. Of course, both movies will have their XXX versions. Yes, even the second one.

I am very curious about how race play, and BDSM related retreats, are fueled precisely by the twin lie and emptiness in the American popular imagination about the cruelties and wickedness of the American Slaveocracy. Maybe it is easier for some to get off by offering up an even more twisted version of the white supremacist lie that is/was movies and books such as Gone With the Wind?

But, human beings' capacity for self-deception and creativity never ceases to amaze me. There is sexual role-playing about the Holocaust. I doubt that there would be any taboos about more "realistic" BDSM slavery retreats in the aftermath of a movie such as 12 Years a Slave. And here is the frightening thought: I would bet money that those who are seriously into race play and the motif of the plantation probably know a great deal about the real history and barbarism of the American Slaveocracy. Likely, the idea of their expert knowledge, and using it as part of their sexual oeuvre, is exciting for them.


Bryan Ortez said...

never heard of this before, but one of my professors told me a sociologist can never be surprised. It's not surprising or shocking to me, but I do find it pretty disturbing that many whites and I suppose blacks also get off on subordinating black people within a historical context and use racial stereotypes and demeaning language as a part of their personal identity.

I start to wonder if some of these people are perhaps turning our history of slavery into a sexual parody or caricature. Maybe they think everyone was enjoying the one big BDSM sex show that was white supremacy.

I think it is detrimental to their understanding of the relationship between slave and white master in America.

chauncey devega said...

Depends on what one desires, i.e. in terms of that "understanding?"

OldPolarBear said...

Wow. I guess I kind of knew about the existence of this sort of thing, so I am not all that surprised that there's are actual places, but it's the first time I've read about them in much detail. I was finding myself feeling a little queasy. Better before lunch than after, I suppose ;)

Seriously, this stuff is pretty fascinating. However, I am saving clicking on those links until I am at home rather than at work! There was a film we watched some time ago about a black gay man who had been with a lot of white men and at one point he mentioned that many of them wanted to do this sort of thing. Recently, I was reading a black blogger who said that he had dated white men who at some point would ask if they could call him "my little n****r boy," and such like. I have to say about that, I just can't even. Of course, if the person of color and the white partner want to do that, consensually, then I agree with you they should be able to.

Speaking of 12 Years a Slave, I saw some little tag on some site somewhere that said "Coming November 1," but I still can't find any mention of upcoming screenings in the Des Moines metro. I guess there is some kind of marketing/release strategy going on that I wouldn't even try to understand. There was a nasty, hostile review in Des Moines Citiview, the local free weekly; I have no idea where the writer saw it. I hope it plays here.

Bryan Ortez said...

I just read a new word I hadn't thought of before: kinkphobia.

Maybe I have a little of that and I'll save my judgments for where they are deserved.

SabrinaBee said...

Can't imagine why any black person would want to participate in this. I guess as long as they keep it in their bedrooms and don't begin publicly advocating for the reinstatement of slavery then... to each his own.

chauncey devega said...

What do you think would drive a black person to this kink? Trauma?

chauncey devega said...

Do you have a link for the review from Des Moines?

SabrinaBee said...

I don't know CD. Can anything be so traumatic as to want to revert to this? Is there some kind of exchange taking place, materially or monetarily? Maybe an attraction to some sort of infantilization kink. I suppose it would be on par with dom/sub fantasy. But the whole connotation of this makes it much more distasteful.Or simply that you can talk a fool into almost anything, apparently. Could be one or a combination of any of these.

OldPolarBear said...


I don't know too much about this writer, although I recognize his name as being a regular in Citiview. I don't know his race, but I think the staff, publisher, ownership is pretty much white. He goes out of his way not only to slam 12YAS, but ALL of McQueen's films and McQueen as a director. He seems to victim-blame Northrup. There may be some overcompensating going on, like with the young men you heard laughing in the theater, i.e., "oh, man, I would never let something like this happen to me."

DanF said...

If BDSM is about power and submission, what could be more submissive or masochistic for a black person (especially a black American) than willingly being a slave to a white person? It may evoke a double or triple-take from most people, but I don't think it's much more complicated than that. And the enjoyment is probably only heightened by all the culturally taboo layers.

Bryan Ortez said...

I'm trying to rethink my initial aversion to this. Maybe it's sort of an empowering thing. At the beginning of the week you are subordinated to such a humiliating degree, but by the end you have liberated yourself by fulfilling the desire of a white woman or whatever the fuck, white men get to enjoy witnessing the formerly taboo 'miscegenation' and in the end no one is really hurt everyone has a good time.

i don't know. It seems so bizarre.

Bryan Ortez said...

he has his own webpage which declares he is the 'smartest film critic in the world'. wow.

One thing he points out in his review, which I find interesting, is "Solomon betrays his slave brethren by turning into a human template for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Solomon falls over himself putting his engineering knowledge to use for his plantation owner William Ford"

This reminds me of a story of a West African Muslim who is enslaved and sent to the United States. He petitions and tells as many people as he can, writes and speaks in Arabic, trains horses extremely well.. I think he was freed and became one of the first recolonized Africans in British held Sierra Leone.

OldPolarBear said...

I just realized this morning, he is not a local Citiview staffer, but possibly based in NYC and syndicated. He grew up in Richmond, VA ( http://www.colesmithey.com/about.htm ) I have not heard of him much other than in Des Moines Citiview.

skilletblonde said...

Unfortunately, sexuality is being defined through the gaze of white male superiority. And he has brought to the world the pathologies that goes with that privileged. Sex today is through the pornographic lens of white males. And it's not about achieving Eros. It's Thanatos. Therefore, of course he would like sexual roles that reflect his privilege. So...yes, he would love to be Massa again.

What troubles me is those who usually end up bearing the brunt in the reenactments, whether through porn, or some sex club, is usually women. Why sex should involve some form of degradation and pain, says a lot about men. Perhaps, it has do with males ability to have the ability to separate sex from intimacy. The fact that white males had no problem having sex with his black slaves and selling her, and his children- to another plantation is revealing. That nonsense that Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings had some kind of a romance is bull-shyte! The truth is he raped a 12 year-old girl. And trust me fellas, no matter what porn dictates, and that woman hating fool Sigmund Freud said, women do not like being raped.

Though consenting adults can do as they wish, I must admit I do not like that African Americans have involved themselves in such activities. Are we such abused people that even the act of sex must include humiliation?

skilletblonde said...

Yep. I think deep within the psyche remains that disturbing pathology to please Massa.

David Owusu-Akyeaw said...

WHO IS CHAUNCEY DEVEGA? I am the editor and founder of We Are Respectable Negroes.


angela said...

Hi , I'm a white female 46 years old.
i grew up in the Spike Lee , Super Freak Rick James era.
Of course back then when a black men fucked a white women he was known as a Super Freak.
I love all men red , yellow , black , brown , white
is a taboo I love called submissive slave , that only a black man can
fulfill. I have tried other races and its just not the same.

I like the roll of being submissive to a black man , letting him degrade and humiliate me
I also love a black submissive male slave , nothing rocks my world like
seeing a big huge black man in chains with a collar around his neck.
Being directed and told what to do.
He starts out as my slave but due to the raw sexual mastery
He actually has over his master , he soon breaks free

Can i get a big white submissive male slave sure , can I be a submissive slave to a white man sure.
But try as I may , its just not the same.
Anyway , I have no idea why I like being submissive white slave or why I like having a black male submissive slave
To be honest I think this all goes back to our parents telling us we couldn't fuck each other.