I've just heard that Jon Jacobs died on Sunday, 14th November (as reported in Gloria Brame's weblog.) It's no secret that I had public disagreements with Jacobs in his later years, and misgivings about his mentorships, but I don't want to talk about that here.
My first contact with discussion of BDSM was in reading the alt.sex.bondage newsgroup from 1993 onwards. Up until then I'd managed to find fiction and dubious accounts of SM in psychology textbooks, but nothing written by people really doing BDSM. Jacobs and his sub Polly (under various names) were almost single handedly defending what they called DS, but which quickly became known as "Total Power Exchange" (a phrase coined during discussions between Jacobs and S.S. Davis), and which is equivalent to the "Enslavement" which is now talked about. It's true that they went about this in a counter-productive manner, but the core concepts, stripped of the divisive terminology and rhetoric, are the basis of many relationships today.
Jacobs and Polly were involved in bitter arguments about these concepts in alt.sex.bondage, and withdrew to mailing lists and publicised their ideas via their Submissive Women Speak website. Again, many people - in particular many female submissives - found the first validation of their desire to be enslaved in Polly's essays.
During the alt.sex.bondage period of the mid nineties, they seem to have participated in the public BDSM scene to some extent - even to attending the new "munch" events that alt.sex.bondage had invented. 1993 also saw the publication of "Different Loving", largely edited by William and Gloria Brame, using interviews collected by Jacobs. Due to the journalistic and partially academic way in which "DL" presented this material, it has become one of the few books actually written by BDSM people that are quoted and referenced by people outside of the scene.
Jacobs' later years seem to have been marred by increasingly bad health and even isolation, and his death was at the relatively young age of 59.
Despite our differences, especially about his belief in
effects of the public BDSM scene, I had much to thank
him for, including his writings which gave my lili the
courage to go out and look for someone like me to own her.
Edited Tue 22 Jan 08, 11:56 PM
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