Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Permission

A couple of years ago, a friend told me my blog had power.  We were sleeping together, so maybe he was trying to butter me up.  His argument was that because I was a woman writing non-porn about chastity and orgasm control play I had a pretty strong grip on the ears of a very niche market.

This blog was never intended as a political platform.  It was intended as a way to connect to people – the true and original promise of the Internet.  But the last couple of years, it stopped being fun, and sexy, and connective.  It became about the things I was angry about rather than the things I loved.  That’s fine, I needed that space and I believed, and continue to believe, that those things I was angry about needed to be aired in the public square.

Once, a few months ago, I was expressing dismay over something or other to a very wise woman.  Her response: cycles, big and small.  Everything goes in cycles.  I needed the space to express my anger and outrage because I was expressing my grief, because when I left the BDSM scene it felt like a big deal, like it mattered.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  In some ways the experience left a mark – I have about as much interest in a BDSM play party as an ex-Mormon might have in Sunday prayer, which is to say I’ll cross the street and cast a suspicious glance over my shoulder on my way to somewhere, anywhere, else. But I just don’t care about the scene anymore.

I realize every time I say this, I consciously fight back something very akin to survivor’s guilt.  How can I possibly not fight the BDSM Scene to the ground, light the torch myself and watch it burn?  These people actively protect rapists!  But you know what, so does the Catholic church, and while I admire every single person who stood up and spoke out and brought that shit down, I also think that the right thing to do is whatever the survivor needs to do to be ok.  And hope springs eternal: I really do believe that the BDSM scene will die out on its own.  The value proposition of the BDSM scene is “this is the only place you can feel accepted.” I have to imagine that when Cosmo runs regular articles on how to tie up your boyfriend, and every grandma has read 50 Shades of Grey, this simply won’t feel true.  Not in the way that gets people to give up other hobbies and isolate themselves in this subsection of a subculture until they can’t stand “those vanilla people” anymore.  A girl can hope.

And even if my hope is unfounded, I’m done.  I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, which is to say my core battle has been, from the very beginning, for a world where everyone has access to the sex they want with the people they love. When I threw play parties, I wanted that.  When I trained as a sex educator, I wanted that. And believe it or not, when I was fighting tooth and nail to bring down the BDSM Scene, I still wanted that.  I wanted – and continue to want – a world where people are not held hostage by some sex-based subculture that goes around spewing lies about how it’s the only source for the sex you want.  That’s your abusive ex telling you no one will ever love you again, remember your abusive ex?  That’s what “how will you ever meet someone if you don’t go to munches” is.  It’s just as bad as the slut-shaming over culture, except when the alt.sex scene hurts you, there’s not a counter-culture to turn to.

But for me, sex was never meant to be political.  It was about healing.  It was about helping my partners heal by telling them over and over as many times as it took that what they wanted was available to them and they deserved it.  It was about telling my readers the same thing (though in more general terms).  A lot of things have changed, and change is hard.  Somewhere in all this, I lost access to the sex I wanted, I lost my right to beautiful wonderful things.  Loving kindness starts within – I can’t tap into the part of myself that acts as healer if I’m carrying a torch.

I need permission to stop feeling guilty and bad for the sex I want and the sex I’m having.  And because there is no authority over my sex life I am giving myself that permission.  And just like I said no to the slut-shaming over culture, I will learn to say no to joy shaming activist cliques.   It’ll be fine.

Written by kinkinexile

September 11, 2013 at 12:14 am

Posted in headspace

2 Responses

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  1. […] I guess the piece I’m struggling with is not defending the sex I want to have as “just as good/kinky/legitimate” because it doesn’t matter. […]

    Struggling | Kink in exile

    December 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm

  2. But for me, sex was never meant to be political. It was about healing. It was about helping my partners heal by telling them over and over as many times as it took that what they wanted was available to them and they deserved it.

    This is beautiful and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter (as they said in the old days). 🙂

    Isla Sinclair

    December 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm


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