What are the most difficult aspects of having a sexuality that involves kink or BDSM for you personally?
It’s not easy living in a society where sexual repression is the norm, and being kinky, non-heterosexual, or non-monogamous are so deeply misunderstood that even fairly open-minded folks come with a truckload of misconceptions all of which have to be disassembled before a real discussion can start. I’d love to be able to say “my girlfriend feels unappreciated, what do I do?” or “My husband is out with this boy he likes and said boy’s girlfriend and I’m lonely.” when I call my mother, because she gives very sound relationship advice and I like involving her in my life. But since she’s amazed that I “let” my husband have female friends without supervision, I sense that conversation is off the table.
I don’t like being in the closet. It’s not that I think everyone needs to know about my sex life, but people do ask about bruises or joke about my “dominatrix shoes.” I’m really bad at lying, though less particular about telling the truth. . . from a certain point of view. This means that I say things like “oh, I’m getting into boxing. Turns out my partner is great at MMA. He sort of uses me as a human punching bag.” All of those sentences are true, but the phrasing implies a completely vanilla sparring match, not me holding on to a cross while getting beaten for an hour.
Being kinky isn’t particularly difficult or stressful for me other than that, though. I think having kink from my very earliest relationship prevented a lot of the emotional issues that seem to crop up for some people. I have emotional issues, of course, just none that obviously spring from BDSM.
What misconception about kinky people would you most like to clear up?
People are not defined by their roles. Within the community, I’ve heard people express shock that someone identifying as submissive could organize events or provide useful advice. (It’s almost as though they can think just like people!). I watched a man shake his head and say a couple obviously doesn’t have a “real” D/s relationship because when the sub asked for a drink, her dom brought one to her. Your identity is what you make it. Your relationship likewise. I’m not saying people are bad at kink if they fit neatly in a certain prepackaged definition of BDSM, but if they think that their way is the only way, they suck. They also suck if they don’t understand that no identity or relationship should ever be dehumanizing. (yes, I know people kink on that. There’s a difference between objectifying someone consensually for a scene and not respecting him as a person at all. The first is kinky. The second is sociopathic.) There are many assumptions and preconceptions that seem awfully common in the scene. I’ll get to that in the next question.
Outside the community, there’s the idea that we’re freaks. Maybe that’s true. We like some freaky things. We desire and indulge in the stuff of nightmares. But we aren’t evil or broken (at least, not in any greater proportion than the general population). We’re different, and difficult to categorize, and worth getting to know.
Any kinky/BDSM pet peeves? If so, what are they?
Oh, so many. So, so many.
The assumption that switch=confused or in denial. Stop it. Just stop it. Yes, that guy just beat on me for an hour. No, that doesn’t prove I’m a “good little sub.” Keep grinning when I roll my eyes and I will prove it by kicking you so hard you can’t say “safeword.”
The default assumption that male=dom, female=sub. See above. I will hurt you. It will not be sexy.
The default assumption that top=dom and bottom=sub. Sometimes these correlate. Sometimes not. Stop assuming already.
The assumption that sub=your sub. Even if you correctly identify a submissive person, you don’t get to just start being Mr. Domly Dom at them. This is just as insane and creepy as assuming that you can walk up to a girl at a bar and just start being her girlfriend with no conversation, building of rapport, flirting, seducing, or. . . oh darn, what was that last one? Oh, right: consent.
The assumption that doms>subs. This one just. . . grr. I wish all the Subby Subs would just up and disappear for a bit so the Domly Doms would have to realize that they need someone to be the dom of.
The assumption that males>females. This comes out in odd ways. Like forced feminization and sissification. I’m sorry, but you want to show how sick, worthless, objectifiable, submissive, or sub-human you are by dressing or acting the way I do every day? See the problem yet?
The assumption that het male subs<everyone else. Guys? There are dominant women out there who want to do wonderful, terrible things to you. I promise.
The assumption that female doms=male sub fantasy delivery services. Guys? I know you’re excited, but if you want a woman to be Ms. Domly Domme for you, could you maybe not start by burying her under a fetish list, calling her “mistress” when she hasn’t asked you to, or cheerfully announcing your worthlessness? As an alternative–and I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out–start by finding out what she wants.
The assumption (not kink-specific) that no=maybe, later, keep asking, keep asking some more, maybe try whining next, etc. Seriously, stop it. It’s creepy. If I tell a man I’m not up for beating him at a party because it conflicts with a scene I planned a week before, he has a few choices. He can say “okay,” and move on. This is a good choice. He can say “but you could do something real quick right now, your scene hasn’t started yet.” I will take a deep breath and say “no,” again, because he’s really new, but it’s a not-so-good choice. Then he can go around the party and whine to everyone who will listen that I’m a mean meanie head who won’t play with him. This is a bad choice, unless the desired result is to be added to the mental list of people I will never, ever play with.
The (related) assumption that anyone with the correct kink orientation who is single or poly is obligated to play with you. Yes, I did cane Midas Boy. No, I won’t cane you. Maybe I’m not in the mood, or don’t find you attractive, or think you’re a snotty, whiny child because of the way you acted last time I said no. Maybe I got put off when we tried to negotiate and you said you’d do anything. Maybe you just plain creep me out because of that thing you said about your wife. Maybe I just left the canes at home tonight. It doesn’t matter. I don’t have to play with you if I don’t want to, and I don’t owe you an explanation either. Go away. I’ll respect you more if you’re graceful about it; it’s pretty much the only way to improve your odds next time.
The assumption that kink events have to be all kink all the time. Some people get this. It’s fun to hang out in the social area of a play party and talk recipes or linguistics or board games. Some people think this is weird and want to interrupt by shouting “why are you talking about peanut butter? Look over there, that girl is on fire!” Yeah, we know she’s on fire. She was on fire last time, and the time before. It’s kind of her thing. These cookies are new to party repertoire. Also, interrupting is rude.
Any unexpected ways kink has improved your life? If so, what are they?
Er…no? I mean, I like kink, doing kinky stuff makes me happy, therefore my life is improved. That’s not so unexpected. It’s not like I exercise more or better to improve my kinky skills (I should, but I don’t), or have more confidence outside of a kink context because of it. This is a strange question.
Talk about something within kink/bdsm that you’re curious about/don’t understand.
Two questions in one! Whee! I am really quite curious about fire play. I’d like to learn to do it. Not sure there will be an opportunity any time soon, but I’ve told the fire top I know that I’d be interested if he has the time.
I don’t understand quite a few things. CNC–consensual non-consent–outside of certain intense roleplaying scenarios just freaks me out. I’ve read about an intense CNC Nazi torture scene, and witnessed a kind of cute Salem witch trial one. I get that. I can’t imagine doing it, but I get it. That isn’t a dom pretending to rape a sub, that’s a group of people acting, a semi-improv theater of torture that ends with things being okay because the tormentor is not really an evil Nazi. The role is discarded and both parties know that the things that were said and done in the scene are gone with it. CNC without that element of roleplaying just scares me. How can someone want to even pretend that his partner’s consent doesn’t matter? Why would either party want to? How at the end of things can either of them be sure how much of that was real? It’s just too frightening for me to think about.