Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Posts Tagged ‘KFADEN

Create awesome or Create cliques, your choice

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending KinkForAll Denver.  I had been following the organizational efforts via the email list and so I knew that there was a bit of political chatter, but politics rarely bother me.  When it comes to speaking about sexuality, activism, or frankly most topics on a systemic scale I have a lot of faith in people’s desire to leave petty infighting behind and create awesome together.

KinkForAll Denver had a bit of pushback from the BDSM community.  Because KinkForAll is all ages and many sessions are recorded or live streamed this is not exactly unusual, however the nature of the clashes in Denver were perhaps different. I had hoped to find a gentler word, but honestly, I found the whole thing sophomoric.

KinkForAll is not a BDSM event, and given the sheer number of BDSM events already on the calendars of most metropolitan cities I have a hard time giving credence to cries of exclusion and oppression from within the BDSM scene. Furthermore, KinkForAll is a participant created event, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept it’s really quite simple: the people who do the work own the conference. Wanna own the conference and make it into your vision?  Do the work, book the space, fund raise, build relationships with sponsors, create the wiki and web presence, call community groups to invite them, get price quotes from printers, set up live streaming, beg borrow or steal graphic design and web templates, acquire and set up projectors, talk people into speaking, talk people out of speaking too much, be yelled at by everyone who thinks participant created means 5 dudes do all the work while everyone else critiques, support people who want to do shit but don’t know how to or need permission to through that and all the millions of other little things you may have been too busy throwing yourself a pity party to notice happened.

I describe myself as a moderate, and in most situations I am, but when I hear the BDSM community talk about feeling unwelcomed at KinkForAll, and after speaking with some members of Denver’s BDSM community, all I can say is “good.” BDSM practitioners did attend KinkForAll Denver, I’m one of them, but the noise created by a few people having an emotional reaction to not having their privilege card stamped at the door, a rare experience I gather, wasted time and energy that could have been better spent building, dreaming, creating, and sharing together.

Outside of KinkForAll I listened to members of Denver’s BDSM scene tell me how special and different Denver is.  The same way I’ve heard members of the NY, Boston, DC, and SF scenes tell me how special and different their scenes were.  Right now, I’m too disenchanted with The Scene to imagine a scene that’s not steeped in its own dogma, I haven’t heard it described yet.   But I learned something else, something that starts a glimmer of hope, it’s not BDSM that I’m finding hurtful and convoluted, it’s the scene.  And this makes sense, the scene is a structure, an organization that will, perhaps by necessity,  be bound to organizational maintenance, cliques, and egos.  BDSM, I am learning, doesn’t require dealing with the leather and latex crowd, it’s about having the sex you want with the people you love in the ways you enjoy.

So fuck the scene and the strife, forget the cliques, instead, take a look at these amazing KinkForAll Denver presenters and create more awesome!

Written by kinkinexile

February 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Posted in community, politics, work

Tagged with ,