Can't Sleep - No Clowns
Two quotes, if I may:
In vino veritas.
S&M is cops & robbers for grown-ups.
Okay, pretentious bit over; you can come out now.
There is some truth in these phrases, just like there is in the sexy costumes that come out at Hallowe'en. When we wear a mask (or assume another character) it gives people an opportunity to come out and play, so to speak. So Holly, when you mention someone being "forced" to do something, it is much more a case of being allowed to do it. The best tops can find a limit the bottom hasn't been to before and explore that together. That takes time.
A good bottom is something quite revered in my circles, as they are the ones who can let themselves go completely; but to get to that point is a lot of work. Not only do they have to feel safe (both physically and emotionally), but they have to be in a situation where they can turn off their mind and release control to someone else. That means the someone else is assuming all the responsibility once play begins, so the top has to trust that their bottom has been honest with their limits before they begin.
Turning over that control is part of the "powerful men do it" legend; another aspect is that it's... well... macho. Type A personalities want to be tested. They want to confront their limits in whatever field, and S&M is pretty much the ultimate in finding out how much you can take, be it in physical punishment or psychological abuse or some combination of both.
Of course, a lot of people do some variant of role play and don't even know it. Could be as mild as a nickname or hand cuffs, or it could be so-called "angry sex" - having had a partner who would go out of her way to make me angry was both frustrating and alarming. I was simply too young to know what was happening, and I finally split up with her. Looking back, I hope she found a safe outlet with someone nice and more experienced than I was, and I hope she realized what it was she was looking for.
Good god - did I wander off topic much?
As for sport themes, what's it say about me where one of my favorite porn themes right now is Ultimate Surrender, where two women wrestle and the winner fucks the loser? There doesn't seem to be a male version about, though you'd think that would be a natural...
About "BDSM's media image", the only show I can recall with a positive portrayal of kinksters is the original CSI: we seem to be actual humans there. Weird, that! 8)
But the real fun for media imagery is with the bottoms. They love to point and laugh at people in positions of power turning into pathetic fuck-sluts in private. The opposite is used for a quick joke too (the mousey librarian becoming a spike-heeled dominatrix), but it's usually a point of humiliating some storyline villain by exposing him (usually him) as a kinkster sub.
I let it stop there, as I didn't want to force people to scroll just when they're looking at a comment. It's a bit of a concentrated version, but more or less what I think.
Miss anything important?