When, in her influential account of feminism's 'Sex Wars', B. Ruby Rich assigned 'political correctness' the role of casus belli, she matched it with an equally notorious opponent. 'Nowhere', she argued, 'has this Manichean struggle between updated bourgeois respectability and its opposite become more attenuated than in the debate over lesbian sadomasochism. 1 As Rich herself notes, that sexuality is a rather odd choice for the 'bad girl' part in these conflicts. Heterosexual sadomasochism seems a far more prominent practice, and lesbian feminists have been outspoken in its condemnation, seeing in it the inherent condition of all heterosexuality.