Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Toward a new expression of sexual freedom

Words like this make me lament that life circumstances prevented me from engaging with maymay in 2009 and 2010 even though we were acquainted before he moved to SF

Somehow, despite all this upheaval, our sexuality communities are trapped inside aristocratic institutions that more often act with an interest in risk-avoidance instead of value-creation.

This from a post about Kink for All, a sexuality conference that started in NY and is going to Denver in February.  I’m going to Denver to check it out.  Secretly I am going to see if I could pull it off at home.  Maymay highlights a point that is not lost on the wider BDSM community – why aren’t young people engaged in the community?  Who are these people who buy the toys but never go to the events?  Why don’t they come share this awesome spirit of community, learning, and exploration?  How do we hook them?  Or more frighteningly, what do they know that we don’t?

My question is this: how do we bring the hacker ethos and the free information ethos (as in beer, and speech, and puppies) to sexuality communities?  And more over, should we?

To the latter question, I say yes.  Because the forces that gave us the public library and the bill of rights are awesome and way way cooler, in my opinion, than the forces that gave us swinger clubs with high membership dues and low representation of bisexual or submissive men.  Because hacker culture is nimble and adaptable, because it restructures quickly around the current needs and because it has room for both the engineer hero and the awesome power of transient community building, and that is a power I want to capture and bring into my sexuality community.  So yes, I want a sexuality community that takes your radical self-resilience and raises you shared resources.

As for the how?  I don’t know yet, but I think maymay is onto something.  I think it starts with breaking formation – I want to take alt sex out of dungeons and hackers out of their prototypical basement caves.  Maymay structured Kink for All around observer-participants, open access to the mic, and free access to the conference.  I think there is one more thing to add, and it’s hard because we don’t want to say it, but I think it’s something my non-sex cultures have that my sex culture lacks:

People will say what you do not agree with and you have to be ok with that.  People will use methods you’re unsure about to meet goals you care about and you need to let your emotional reaction go.  The world will not coddle you, not everyone knows your triggers, people do not enjoy walking on eggshells; that’s ok.  Be excellent to each other, expect difference, take what you can and leave the rest.  Nuance isn’t always paradox and it if it looks like hypocrisy check again, it may well be, but it may also be a different way of looking at things.  Define your win condition, be excellent to each other.

I need something from you:

  • I need you to come sit with me, and talk with me and tell me what sexuality community looks like for you.
  • I need you to listen, not to me, but to someone who is different from you…take the other to lunch
  • I need you to stop waiting for permission and do the thing you want to see done.  Ideally, if we can, I want to do it with you because there is power in shared resources.
  • I need a space in which to bring 50-75 amazing people together sometime in May or maybe June to talk about sex and hackers and internet privacy
  • I need to find people who care about this, who are willing to sit in a room together and start the discussion
  • I need you to start breaking formation, to call people out when their language belittles submissive men, trans people, sexual women, etc
  • In short, I need you to wake up, show up, and make some noise.

 

 

Written by kinkinexile

January 20, 2012 at 10:16 am

10 Responses

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  1. I wonder if part of the under-representation is indicative of needs being met in micro-doses (reading blogs, keeping up with BDSMCommunity on reddit). It’s possible that gathering 50 people in a physical location is, in and of itself, not the preferred method of information transmission by a generation accustomed to having endless information available at will, 24/7. I applaud your efforts, and wish you much success, and I hope things change in the Bay Area to be more inclusive, as they seem to be in the smaller, less hierarchical communities of Austin and Central IL (my only samples).

    Galiana Chance

    January 20, 2012 at 10:52 am

  2. Who are these people who buy the toys but never go to the events? Why don’t they come share this awesome spirit of community, learning, and exploration? How do we hook them? Or more frighteningly, what do they know that we don’t?

    I know several of these people, and what many of them know is that they just aren’t particularly interested in public events or parties. They happen to like kinky sex at home with their partners, and don’t feel any need to discuss it with anyone else. As much as I support healthy and inviting public spaces for BDSM (practice and discussion), I’m always surprised at the assumption that if they existed, everyone who does BDSM would want to be in them. By the same logic, if there were healthy and inviting public spaces for sex, everyone who has sex at all would go to those. In practice, I think those of us who are even inclined to share the details of our intimate lives with people we aren’t intimate with are a minority, and I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with that.

    None of this is to disagree with the need for a better space for those of us who do want one. I just object to the notion that there’s something wrong with the folks who don’t (or that it can only be because the spaces aren’t good enough yet).

    Fizz

    January 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    • Fizz says:

      None of this is to disagree with the need for a better space for those of us who do want one. I just object to the notion that there’s something wrong with the folks who don’t (or that it can only be because the spaces aren’t good enough yet).

      Thank you.

      I’ve been struggling to write about this for a little while, and I haven’t been able to articulate myself well enough to post yet, but I feel like this is key.

      I actually wrote a more in-depth response to this, but it got really long, off-topic and a little too vulnerable for me to leave as a comment. It’s posted here if you’re interested: http://thirdxlucky.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/959/

      But, in any case, thank you.

    • Thanks for the post and for Fizz’s comment. I have a few different thoughts —

      When you talk about “low representation of bisexual or submissive men”, I think we can think of it as two different issues. One is their low representation within the kink community (in all its forms – online, in events, dungeons, whatever). The second is the high barriers in society towards sex positivity and kink in general, including towards bisexual and submissive men in particular.

      I completely agree with Fizz’s comment — nothing wrong with keeping your sex private if that’s what makes you comfortable. Since as you point out lots of people do that, I personally think it’s worthwhile to focus on the second issue, even if it seems impossible to make progress on. (I admit I’m biased – I’m not sure what creating a new positive community would really achieve. I think the only scales that matter are the personal+friends, and the universal.)

      Now, I like your idea of using the hacker culture for this! I’m not sure I understand it. Hacker “culture” – what does that mean? But the idea of literally using software, like hackers do, to make change, seems reasonable. Here’s a specific idea: Maybe something like a human sexuality map? I’m imagining an app on facebook that lets you place pins showing what you like on some kind of “sexuality map”, and then shows you the map with anonymized copies of all the pins placed by, say, your friends and your friends’ friends. This immediately shows people that their own community of friends has sexual diversity, and encourages them to really think of their own sexuality. (Lets say the map then encourages you to place additional pins for yourself once you see your community’s map.) I think these are the most salient barriers here.

      What do you think?

      Itai

      January 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm

  3. […] started as a response to ‘s Toward a New Expression of Sexual Freedom. And specifically to a comment by Fizz. But it got really long and off-topic and vulnerable to a […]

    Bloggity Blog Blog Blog…

    January 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

    • Thank you, and Fizz as well, for sharing those thoughts! When I first moved back from Thailand I was very hurt in a lot of ways but when I went to a play party and for the first time had the “I’m bored and mildly turned off” response to a room full of people having sex I thought I had gone mad.

      kinkinexile

      January 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm

  4. People will say what you do not agree with and you have to be ok with that. People will use methods you’re unsure about to meet goals you care about and you need to let your emotional reaction go. The world will not coddle you, not everyone knows your triggers, people do not enjoy walking on eggshells; that’s ok. Be excellent to each other, expect difference, take what you can and leave the rest. Nuance isn’t always paradox and it if it looks like hypocrisy check again, it may well be, but it may also be a different way of looking at things.

    I need a space in which to bring 50-75 amazing people together sometime in May or maybe June to talk about sex and hackers and internet privacy

    Please keep me in the loop about this. I would really love to be a part of a conversation like this. (And especially if it happens in SF in June, since I’ll already be out there for Open SF.)

    • Hey Rebecca,

      If I do this not the weekend right after OpenSF but the one after that would you stick around town for two weeks?

      kinkinexile

      January 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      • Hm. I’d like to. I would have to do some finagling with my job, but that’s a possibility. It’ll depend partly on whether Dakota and I get Burning Man tickets. In other words: Maybe. Let me get back to you. 🙂

  5. […] over on Kink in Exile, the post Towards a new expression of sexual freedom. Focusing on the same sorts of issues, How to improve the scene, How to make it open and […]


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