Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

I have a question…

I am young in my community, and it is very interesting to me that there is a lot of nostalgia about the good old days.  Pat Califia practically wrote an ode to the days before safer sex; Laura Antoniou’s fiction reflects one “true” way to do BDSM in which anything the top says goes.  My question is where is this coming from?  What are we missing in our rush to focus on safety and best practices and what do we gain by it?

Also look at how the community has grown.  Are we regretful that our actions must now be considered within a whole new context that involves media sources, legal ramifications, and political agendas?  Are we grateful that we no longer have to spend years of our lives thinking we are sick, and alone because evidence of BDSM is all around us?  Does the community mentoring we now engage in through workshops, dungeon rules, and community norms parallel the kind of one on one mentoring associated with the Old Guard?

Is kink no longer special when it isn’t secret?  Is it no longer sexy when it isn’t dangerous?  Would most of us still do this if we didn’t have limits?  Actually, now that I ask that last question I realize I can’t answer it…I can’t imagine consensual kink without limits.  How would that look?  What would separate it from abuse?  Something must I am sure because kink was separated from abuse long before someone came around and gave a speech about SSC, but how do we play with each other without first establishing the context of our play?

Written by kinkinexile

December 12, 2007 at 3:30 am

Posted in community, history, politics

3 Responses

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  1. That’s a lot of questions, but they are good ones. I am entirely unqualified to answer seeing as how I am also young in this community. It is certainly interesting to note that even within this subculture, generational culture gaps exist and cause friction. I’ve felt grated by a few “old guard” “leathermen” who have talked much about “molding” my because of my age and orientation, and despite my awareness that it wasn’t intended negatively, I didn’t like it.


    December 12, 2007 at 6:57 am

  2. I wish I could comment more on these ideas, because they are very, very interesting – however, I’m young in this world to the point of not being born yet.

    However, in any context history is very important – you can say that about politics or social patterns or any big ideas in society at large. The same, I’m sure, goes for the kink universe.


    December 13, 2007 at 1:43 am

  3. As someone who did spend years of my life convinced that I was evil and was destined to be a serial-killer-rapist, anything that reduces that self-perception as “sick” in the next generation of kinky folks, has to be a good thing in my opinion.

    For me, personally, I think I’m hardwired this way, I’d do it whether it was totally underground or totally mainstream, it wouldn’t make any difference to me whether it’s secret or open. As for “not dangerous” – it’s always dangerous; but the risks can be understood and controlled better. And yes, the danger is part of what makes it sexy!

    The limits question is difficult. I think the distinction between kink and abuse is always that the top has compassion for the bottom. Whether there are limits set or not, there is that compassion that sets limits, where an abuser feels no such mediating emotion to hold back his or her violent impulses.

    Going back to my fears growing up, that I would become a violent rapist – I have compassion for my fellow human beings, so it was never really going to happen. But my desires and fantasies are what they are, and with no limits set, I would gladly take them as far as that can allow (fantasies that involve permanent injuries, for example, could never pass that test).

    You then ask “how do we play without establishing the context of that play?” and that is something else – how can you play with someone if you don’t know how they feel about it – unless you don’t care about how they feel? And if you don’t care, then you have no compassion, and that would be abuse. Whereas if you do care, then at the very least, you are communicating all the time during the play (even if not before).

    So says my heart, at least.


    December 19, 2007 at 5:35 am

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