What you bring to the table
I’ve been thinking a lot about the skills we bring to our communities (and our activism work for those who describe themselves as activists) and what we learn from our work. Maymay got me thinking about this when he suggested that I use more links in my blog posts and then pointed me at his anti-censorship best practices talk. Of course Maymay is a technologist; it stands to reason that he wouldn’t leave one of his most valuable skill sets at the door of sex-education spaces. But moving beyond that, how do our skills in one arena influence our experience in another?
The first layer is pretty evident for me. I am a researcher, and so when I come to any space be it a tech conference or a sex space I approach it with the lessons I learn from Human Factors. That may be about the conversations I have, or where I position myself to best meet new people. It may not even express itself in the moment, but overall I walk through the world trying to observe, understand, and code human behavior. What does that bring to my work around sexuality? First it means that if you have a research or sex history question, or you want something archived I’d be happy to help. It also means that in most conversations about sex I wouldn’t know the right answer, but I can tell you who is working in the problem space, what I’ve read about it recently, and what other factors play into that. This is either appealing or way too nerdy for your tastes so keep that in mind if you’re considering flirting with me.
My standard-world skills impact how I approach BDSM and also give me a very specific path in sex activism and education, but what impact does that have on my experience of BDSM? The short answer is I don’t really know, but I’m trying to figure that out.
What primary skill set do you bring to your play and sex-related work? How does your standard-world identity impact your experience of BDSM? Do you prefer to blend or separate these areas of your life, and why?