In the masochist's world, clients have a need to be punished, and pay a dominatrix to cater to their whims. It's a win-win situation in which both parties are satisfied. In the sadist's world, pain is inflicted on those who seek to avoid being hurt. The sadist selects victims according to their vulnerability, unlike the dominatrix, whose paying customers are usually socially prominent and/or occupationally powerful men.

Thus, I believe the relationship between dominatrix and client should be termed D&M (for domination and masochism) instead of S&M.

Martha McLoughlin
Cranford, New Jersey

Forum on Family Court

"Surviving Family Court," a seminar to familiarize parents, foster-care youth, and caretakers with self-advocacy and courtroom presentation skills, will be held on Saturday, May 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Nadeen Lawe Lounge, Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn. For further information, call 718-953-4390.

Letters should be brief, and phone numbers must be included. All letters are subject to editing for clarity, legal, and space considerations. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, The Village Voice, 36 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003. Or fax to 212-475-8944 or e-mail to editor@villagevoice.com. E-mail letters must include phone numbers.

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