Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

On being and doing

One of the things I have been thinking about a lot lately is the nature of being kinky. Is this a sexual orientation or a way of classifying what you did last night? If you were alone on a desert island would you still be kinky?

The first time I went to a fetish club was when I was 17, and backpacking through Europe. For me kinky sex has always been a communal event. It was about the clubs, play parties, conferences, classes, and groups. I had the benefit of coming out in a college town, and of having patient mentors and a supportive community. And of course I have been lucky enough to play with some amazing people who never cease to challenge and inspire me.

So what happens when you divorce kink from community? From context and availability? One of the questions that I kept asking myself when I moved from my supportive college town to a rural rice farming community is “am I still kinky?” Am I kinky if I haven’t been to a play party in six months? What about if I’m not even doing this in the privacy of my own home? (Come to think of it, I’m the only foreigner in a 20km radius; there is no privacy in my own home.)

I think what I am coming to realize is that I would, in fact, still be kinky on a desert island. I’m also realizing that kink is important to me for reasons that go far beyond “it makes me wet,” although I will say that “it makes me wet” is all the reason I need. Kink speaks to honesty about sex and a comfort with my body, my partners, and my desires.

One of my favorite approaches to play is to make my partner tell me their secrets, make them beg for it…I might already know that you like spanking, and foot worship, but I want to hear it from you. It turns me on for a lot of reasons not least of which being the fact that I know how hard it is to ask for these things. I think it takes incredible strength to do so, and that’s a turn on. Of course it’s always fun to watch a bottom blush too.

One of the rewarding things about the kink scene for me is that I can bring all those scary things I shouldn’t want, lay them out on the table, and people will appreciate my honesty even if they aren’t interested in playing with me. In this we share common mores. We understand each other. We have a common language, and we understand the importance of naming these things.

“A desire that cannot be named or described is a desire that cannot be valued, acted upon, or used as the basis for an identity.”

Pat Califia in the introduction to Public Sex

“Basis for identity”…this to me is interesting because identity, or more importantly shared identity, is one of the things we use to form interest based communities, but then we use our participation in interest based communities to further define our identities. So I define myself based on my participation in the kink community, but I participate in the kink community because I am kinky. And now I have no community, so where does that leave me? I am clearly not a rice farmer. I am also a pretty poor bamboo broom maker; believe me, I’ve tried. But I am most decidedly still kinky. I still day dream about scary, twisted, bloody scenes. I still have long conversations with my friends and former play partners about the nature of BDSM. And I am involved (for some definitions of involved) with someone who attracted me because he has both an interest in bondage and in humanitarian aid work. This is what I mean when I say kink in exile. This is kink divorced from all the comforts and convenience of home, but it is still fundamentally kinky. I was born this way, and I am damn grateful for it. Welcome to my desert island.

Written by kinkinexile

June 27, 2007 at 7:54 am

Posted in community, exile, personal

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