So a bunch of threads I've read in various places lately that have had some anti-BDSM overtones, there's one thing that I keep seeing people saying, which goes something like, "Clearly I don't know about this subject to actually argue about it [with actual kinky people]." Which sort of has me thinking, as one of the things that I've been having a lot of conversations about lately has been, more or less, "If I could just impart this knowledge, I wouldn't have to fight about this ..."
So it struck me that it might be useful to try to assemble a few things that kinky folks think would be useful to have compiled as 'before we fight, you should know' or something like that. Not getting the words quite right there, but I hope I'm making some sense.
The ones I've thought of while reading some of the discussions that are sort of general are:
* being a top/dominant/sadist does not intrinsically mean being interested in abuse, rape, violence, or non-consensual pain.
* being a bottom/submissive/masochist does not intrinsically mean being abused, a doormat, or having embraced a sense of personal worthlessness.
* top-dominant-sadist and bottom-submissive-masochist aren't tidy little categories into which kinky people can be divided; there exist people like dominant masochists or people who bottom without submitting, to pick two of a wide variety of potential combinations.
* people who can happily adopt both sides of a typically paired (as in top/bottom) role exist.
* some people get off on being deviant/transgressive/"kink on sin", yes, but many people -- certainly the overwhelming majority of the ones I know, though I would not presume to speculate about whether that's true in general -- get off on what they get off on without reference to whether or not it is something that offends the mainstream.
* an understanding of what it is to be kinky derived from public reports of play parties, photography of the Folsom Street Fair or a Fetish Flea, or news reports about acrimonious divorces with unsigned "slave contracts" involved is at best woefully incomplete, and at worst an offensively cartoonish caricature of the lives of kinky people.
* while some people tie their kink to gender in some fashion, a large number of people don't, and trying to force their behaviour to fit a gendered lens will produce gibberish.
* gay kinksters exist; kinky-people-of-color exist; disabled BDSMers exist; also Christians, feminists, members of various political parties; in short, kink coexists with a wide-ranging variety of other adjectives and affiliations.
A few more personal ones:
* if your response to my identifying myself as a submissive is to ask me how I can reconcile that sort of humiliation with a certain set of values, you either need to learn that your assumptions about what submission entails are flagrantly incorrect or get over your belief that providing good and competent service (and being well rewarded for it, at that) is intrinsically degrading.
* I feel treated more like an equal in my relationship with my liege than I did in the relationship with my ex whose egalitarianism precluded comfort with kink involving power.
* a little light bondage combined with a spooning snuggle is one of the most comforting things in the world to me (when I mentioned this to a friend the other day she commented that they sell weighted blankets for kids with sensory integration problems and nobody calls that indoctrination into bondage).
* my kinky sexuality is thoroughly integrated into my spiritual life, and no, it does not cause me problems with god.
* if your political agenda demands that my sexuality serve it, I am likely to back away slowly and consider you extremely creepy.
* I don't find the idea that when utopia happens people like me won't exist to be terribly utopian.
So. Anyone want to add to these lists?