Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

So long, and thanks for all the fish

I’ve been pretty anti-BDSM community lately and I figured this merits some explanation.  Specifically, it merits explanation in light of my own history.

When I joined the public BDSM community, I was 18, most of my friends were doing it, and I joined the way I would join any other social clique, which is to say, I didn’t join the BDSM community for the kinky sex, I joined for the Tuesday afternoon coffees, the book club, and the expanded pool of roommate options.  I want to separate out the sex from the community because I think there are two important pieces of information in that.  The first is that I am anti-community, as in anti- clique, anti-shroud of secrecy and ingroup/outgroup dynamics, anti-othering, and anti-boarder policing; I’m not anti-kinky sex.  The second is that I want to frame the BDSM community, based on Dr. Newmahr’s framing, as not the place you go because you like kinky sex, but the place you go when you like kinky sex and have nothing else going on. The BDSM community is, much like a gardening club, a community of interest.  However, what I think makes the BDSM community toxic is that, unlike other communities of interest, it is also isolating.  Your gardening club encourages you to talk to others about your interest, your BDSM community informs you that it is the only place where it is safe to talk about your interest regardless of if this is true for you and in fact if it is safe for you to speak within the BDSM community either.

I do not trust groups based on secrecy and the mores of the BDSM community value secrecy.  I do not believe that isolationism is healthy, and I see the BDSM community promoting itself as the only clique you need join.  And when I see people draw the lines informing me that those people over there are “weekend warriors,” “tourists,” or “not serious players,” I see a group that is insecure and struggling to define itself.

A couple of weeks ago I was at a party, it was lovely, a leg of lamb was roasted and consumed, and as happens in the valley people with NDAs had vague conversations with other people with NDAs.  I had a conversation about Fetlife privacy with a woman who holds federal security clearances. Her take on the matter – it didn’t even blip the radar on her clearance process, it doesn’t matter.  Lets look at this for a moment: the BDSM community is obsessed with the idea that what it does is a) scary b) secret c) dangerous and d) forbidden.  A woman who is not only actively kinky but has performed in pornography discounts all of this because it didn’t mater for the sake of a federal background investigation.  And incase you’re unfamiliar with the investigation process, another woman I know had her investigation delayed by over a month because she forgot/failed to report a couple hundred dollars she earned while babysitting in the year prior.

I don’t trust actions that lack transparency, apparently, that’s one thing I have in common with the US government.

But from there, lets move to the kinky sex and ask the question I’ve been asking myself for a month now: if I hate the BDSM community so much, why am I still talking about it?

There’s a couple reasons, one is because hate is not the opposite of love, it’s indifference, and I haven’t gotten to indifference yet.  One person I am close to described what I am going to as analogous to a religious person becoming an atheist – first they are filled with indignation and fury, outraged that the religion that had a grasp on them for so long still holds the hearts, mind, and wallets of others, and then, slowly, over time, they let go not only of the religious leanings, but also of the anti-religion backlash.  They realized that their new-found way of life need not be threatened and they move on.  Someday I will not care about the BDSM community, but breakups take time 🙂

The other is that I really do enjoy kinky sex – as one non-kinky friend aptly put it, it’s my sexual orientation – and the BDSM community would like to have you believe that it holds the monopoly on kinky sex.  The reality, I’m finding, is that there are plenty of kinky people who don’t go to BDSM community things out there in the world providing both a model for how not to deal with BDSM fiefdoms and still get laid, and opportunities to meet new partners.  But this mental shift also takes time.

So with that, I am going to continue trying to make a space for myself that is nurturing, grounding, and sexually fulfilling and user this space to share, think out loud, and perhaps talk about the substance but not the group dynamics of what I do.  After all, this is a sex blog 🙂

Written by kinkinexile

August 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm

%d bloggers like this: