The Slippery World of Kink Shaming
Over the years I have seen the term, “kinkshaming” enter our lexicon. Someone says they really like something, and someone jokingly says: “Don’t kinkshame me!”
I am all for kink acceptance, and I am a big proponent of, “Your kink is not my kink and that’s OK.”
However, what I’ve been noticing is that people in the kink community are so afraid of being labeled as kinkshamers that they will not stand up for things that are problematic or unsafe.
They are too afraid of being seen as close minded, so they will act like it’s not their problem. They will act like the ‘community leaders’ should just simply notice the issue and solve it.
This is just what I’ve noticed being active in the community for 6 years and running my own munch. Although my most of my evidence is anecdotal, you can pick up a lot of this from following the Kinky&Popular writings section on fet.
Getting back to the point:
The first issue is that people are slow to point out problematic behaviour. Whether it’s abusive behaviour, or dangerous behaviour. I feel like we are too afraid to be seen as ‘judging’ anyone that when something does become dangerous we are too afraid to say anything.
In a community full of already marginalized individuals, I probably should have expected this to happen. Personally, I don’t want to judge others for my kinks, so why should I judge others?
There was a man who consented to be eaten by a cannibal in Germany. Is murder a kink? He is actually harming someone, and I don’t feel like that is acceptable. Yet, when I turned the discussion towards this topic at the local kink club where I used to live, most people were affirming of it. Naturally, they were a little disgusted and shocked. However, they ultimately were like, “well, as long as it’s consensual.”
I feel a little disgust for the apathy shown towards other human lives in this regard. This should be a pretty obvious “no.” It doesn’t matter what your kink is, you should not be allowed to murder people.
What about less obvious examples?
For example, some say that race play perpetuates racism. I don’t find anything wrong with this type of roleplay. Role Playing of any style is fine, as long as it’s safe. However, stuff like incest, ageplay, and racism are a little problematic for me.
Incest doesn’t hurt anyone, and you’re not really having sex with your sister. You’re just pretending. Ageplay doesn’t mean you’re involved with a younger person, you’re just involved with a person pretending to be different (or they just have a Little personality.) Race play doesn’t mean you’re automatically a racist.
You’re probably wondering why I feel it’s even problematic then? I think it’s just by nature of execution.
When you are engaging in ageplay consensually, you’re not doing anything wrong. Same with rape/abduction fantasy, race play, incest play, and whatever else you can think of that doesn’t involved murdering someone.
The perception of these fetishes is what’s wrong with them. It takes a certain kind of person to pretend to be racist, or to pretend to be the father of a pretend nine year old. Right? Well, no, not really. It could be anyone for any reason. I can’t explain to you why a kink is someone’s kink.
It’s role play. They are attracted to an aesthetic. Even if that aesthetic might be problematic, an aesthetic doesn’t have much value on its own. If they were actually racist, or engaging with minors that would be a different story.
Why are these types of kinks problematic then? Will I ever answer that?
These kinks normalize behaviour that would otherwise be considered bad. These sorts of things are honestly more dangerous for the people who aren’t kinky than who are. The person who has legitimately wanted to rape someone, and uses this an excuse to go do it because his OkCupid date listed “kink friendly” in her profile. The person who has racist feelings towards someone, and uses hearing about this kink to go out and act like a real racist in the name of being kinky.
Perhaps I am being alarmist, but with the mass amounts of misinterpretations of kink I’ve seen stemming from the popularity of “50 Shades of Grey” I can’t be too careful.
I want people to be safe. That includes all people. I don’t want kink giving abusive people more of a reason to be abusive.
I identify as a Little and a Middle. It’s just part of my personality. I have dated four other Littles, and we all get along just fine. We weren’t hurting anybody, and there was nothing wrong with watching cartoons or doing coloring books with your girlfriend.
Sometimes people’s individual kinks are fine, but I think it is good to recognize when that particular kink in general might be problematic. Even though a certain kink may be problematic, that doesn’t mean that is has to be. Education and kink awareness can go a long way. If you want to help with that sort of thing you can always donate to NCSF