Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Creation of the other

Five years ago I wrote this.  I was mystified at the time by what I described as a “splintered scene.”  After five years, I understand the social underpinnings in the BDSM community’s need for us vs. them.  It is identical to the religious right’s need for that language and to the left’s need for it as well.   Defining the other makes us feel safe.  This is why yesterday’s playground nerd is tomorrow’s bully, and why I am not at all surprised that homophobic men are aroused by gay porn.  Othering is protective and rules make people feel safe.  I don’t think the other actually matters even, as long as they are different enough from you and have distinct enough characteristics that you can position yourself as *not* them.  They can wear funny animal costumes, or they can have wider noses or they can wear their keys on the ‘wrong’ side, doesn’t matter.  The other gives the BDSM community power because it forces people to band together and police eachother’s behavior; it’s the same power that insular nations enjoy, and much like a xenophobic nation I don’t want to see it rise to the top.

What interests me, is that the answer may not be making space for “others” in the BDSM community as I had previously thought, but rather, mainstreaming the whole deal and washing away the borders.  Taking the other to lunch is a vital first step in bridge-building, but it still leaves room for us vs. them…and what’s more it creates room for a model minority…


Now, sleep.  Later, thoughts on how BDSM and main stream sources support people in having the sex they want with the people they love in different ways.

Written by kinkinexile

March 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Posted in blogging, politics

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