Sometimes it’s hard to think that you’re doing anything different or what might be regarded as out of the ordinary. Like-minded souls on Twitter and in the blogosphere are not quite an echo chamber, but they do tend to help normalise the idea that kink is ubiquitous.
And perhaps it is. When the tabloids run their salacious hit pieces they leave the impression that kink is defined by dangerous S&M, or that it’s an excuse by an abuser that the victim wanted to be abused. Yet those same tabloids will be hosting adverts for the likes of Ann Summers and their ‘Beginners S&M play kit”.
Kink encompasses everything from the couple who get out the furry handcuffs once a month to the ‘weirdos’ that attend fetish BDSM clubs for public play and extreme pain. Everything in between is somebody’s comfort zone and limit and all are valid expressions of kink.
There’s a stark contrast between public and private morality. The public morality maintains the hypocritical facade that anything other than heterosexual monogamous missionary position sex is a perversion. In private, very few live to that standard. Yet admitting to friends, family or work colleagues that there is a bit of kink in your private life is held up to the public morality test and consequent ridicule.
For most of my life, to be open about such things would have been social and career death. I remember that nearly 30 years ago the trigger to look for another job was being mockingly accused of being gay by a salesman because we were in Athens where I was working 16 hour days and he was on a ‘jolly’, he wanted company to tour the strip clubs – I wanted to go to bed. It was an innuendo that would blight, if not destroy a career. Whilst it’s possible these days to retort that you are gay without consequences, or at least with the law and tribunals in your favour, the public admission of kink in various circles is like that time thirty years past and there’s no specific protection beyond reporting bullying.
My circumstances, outlook and understanding have changed significantly in the last few years and whilst I will not go out of my way to shout from the roof tops, I’m not going to shy away if anyone explicitly asks having found me online.
I know I’m in the minority here. Public morality regarding kink is one of the big drivers behind how FinDom works. Most people are scared of exposure of their proclivities.
I was drawn to the word ‘deviant’. It’s used both scathingly by the tabloids and mockingly self-referential by some in the kink community. Checking Miriam-Webster confirmed some lines of thought.
In some ways definition #4 really nails it. We may laugh at ‘Life of Brian’ with “Kill the heretic”, but that’s where we still are with accepting kink. To the broader world we are heretics threatening social cohesion – “Not one of us” – and when discovered, we must be punished. I won’t go into the irony here.
On a personal level I rather tick a few deviancy boxes. Asexual, transgendered and very definitely a strong ‘S’ when it comes to BDSM. A lot of threatening terms to people in a society that still has rigid definitions and expectations of what it means to be a man and appropriate masculine behaviour.
Kink provides expressive outlets for who I am. It’s now up front and centre as part of my life. The result of conscious decisions at various stages in my life to pursue reality and consign fantasy to the bin.
One of the weirdest things to handle is that I find some other kinksters consider me to be extreme. The first time I heard this was in chastity forums and I’ve heard it since about some of my more recent activities – “Oh, I wish I could be like you. You’re where I want to be, you’re so extreme.”
It’s a disturbing thing to hear and well worth self-reflection. However, the key thing there is that kink is not a competition. Your experiences and limits are precisely that – Yours. Go and explore them, pushing the limits or staying within your comfort zone is your choice and not to be denigrated by anyone else.
Go and enjoy your kink, at your own level. Be safe, both with the activities you engage in and visibility with a still prurient society. Observe consent and limits and respect others of all persuasions.
I’m proud to call myself a deviant kinkster and to have good friends who know what that means.