Day 11: What are your views on the ethics of kink?
Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused.
~Annie Lennox and David Stewart~
The ethics of kink. Well, suffice it to say that I’m a pretty open minded person regarding what people do to each other, particularly behind closed doors. I do consider the following points important:
Kink is about Consent. The most important aspect of BDSM is that it’s all consensual. It may be consensual non-consent, which gets tricky, but the underlying factor is that we want this.
I think this is particularly hard for beginners. It’s really fucking hard to admit, for the first time, that you want to do kinky shit. For me, this hesitation caused extremely stupid situations to occur. Risk-taking led me down a few paths that, looking back, were incredibly unsafe.
So, ethics of consent? It’s really really really important to be able to admit what you want to your partner. For beginners, it’s also really important, especially (though not exclusively) for the dominant half, to not coerce activity that might make the play uncomfortable.
That said, I admit to having the following exchange with a dominant before play:
Dom: I’m going to piss on you.
Sadey: I don’t want to be pissed on. It’s a limit.
Dom: Not up for discussion.
Was that coercion? Nah. I’ve been the ‘victim’ of coercion, and trust me, it’s much more annoying. The exchange above was negotiation. It happened before a scene. We weren’t in D/s roles. We were two people figuring things out. Which leads me to…
Kink is about Honesty. In order to be honest with our partners, we must be honest with ourselves.
When I finally admitted to myself that I wanted to be tied up and smacked around, I was much more willing to admit what I wanted to my potential partners. For creepy guy, this worked. He was open minded enough to bring kink into the bedroom.
Kinky people will not get what they want automatically. Sure, in some instances, a dominant might recognize submissive behavior in a sub, and introduce BDSM and powerplay. But realistically, it’s up to all of us to come out and say what we like. Sexual partners are not mind-readers. Is it hard to admit what we want? Maybe, at first. But it gets easier.
Along with basic honesty about what we want, we gotta be sincere about what we don’t want. This requires great thought. I’m debating and reorganizing my thoughts on this, being post-Nate. What do I want from future partners? What don’t I want?
I’ve been talking with a few dominants. Hearing what they want is helping me reorganize my thoughts. The thing is, I used to be a submissive that would look at what a Dom wants and think, “How can I make myself want that?” Now, if I’m not into something, I kinda think, “Eh. Fuck that.” So how sub am I, really?
Anyway. Point being, honesty rules.
Kink is about Realistic Expectations.
I recently read The Reluctant Dom. It’s an excellent read. It will make you cry. But the premise of that book, and of the overly talked about Fifty Shades, AND the popular movie Secretary, is that people use BDSM to solve their bruised, damaged pasts.
Kink can help us emotionally, but I believe it is often perceived as an alternative to therapy. So where is the line drawn?
In the interest of honesty, I struggle with this one. Pain, in particular, helps me deal with unhappy emotions. But our past demons? I think we gotta solve those on our own, or with the help of a therapist/family/friends. Or, even, with the help of a partner. But not necessarily in the context of kink.
This is tricky, and there is no firm rule. BDSM play is bound to bring up emotions. I think it comes down to expectations. What do we expect from our partners? Is the dominant willing to work through issues with a submissive? Vise versa?
Consider a submissive who wants to work through some emotional issues in a scene. Yet, s/he’s afraid to admit that to the Dom. That’s not being honest, and is frankly putting the Dom into a position that s/he may not consent to.
I’d love to hear thoughts on this. It’s an interesting topic.
Want more from the 30 Days? I skipped Day 12 for now, but here’s Day 13.