LGBTQ + K: A Case For “Kinky” As A Sexuality

“Gay, bi or boring?”, it’s a question posed too often to me.

I’m flummoxed for the words to use here. I’m not gay, I’m married to a man. I’m not bi either, after all, I’ve never bedded a woman. I suppose then that puts me in the bracket of… boring?

I’m almost aghast at the possibility. We probably have enough sex toys in our bedroom by now to be able to own a share of Lovehoney and BDSM is a part of our everyday lives. Maybe there’s not a daily spanking or a ritualistic flogging, but the dynamic at least is ever-present.

To be honest, I couldn’t imagine a day without this in my life and if I’m being completely honest, then neither would I want to. Having this dynamic, this sense of vulnerability and trust that I have with my husband, this relationship gives me an added sense of purpose beyond my “housewife” role. Because of him, I’ve grown in confidence, I’ve exceeded my expectations of myself and found things that even I didn’t know that I could do, that I wouldn’t have tried, had it not been for him.

Smiling at myself dreamily in the mirror, I run my fingers softly over the loose silver bracelet that hangs on my left wrist – my day collar. It’s soft, sweet and subtle, and yet for us, it’s a constant reminder of who and what we are. My husband wears one too, made of onyx and stainless steel beads. Both bracelets were handmade by me.

To the untrained eye, we seem like any other couple, though perhaps more mischievous and playful than some. We mock and tease one another all of the time, with me goading him into… what, exactly? It’s just playful here, or is it?

Particular Tastes

I first became aware of my tastes for more assertive men in my teenage years. It began with a school crush, a young man by the name of Carl. Carl spoke with an air of confidence, he smiled rather than giggled and he was never afraid to strike up a conversation. I was in love with him before I even knew what love was. There were a lot of boys in my school, but Carl was different.

I began writing out the most sordid of fantasies including bondage and consensual non-consent, and Carl. I stashed them away in a hiding place and read them again most nights. If I’d seen Carl earlier in the day, I couldn’t wait to get home to my filthy ideas. I had to imagine what Carl might do with me! 

I remember sitting on my bed one day and wondering what on earth was wrong with me. Why this? Why being tied up? Why couldn’t I think of nice fantasies like all of the other women, why not Aladdin or Prince Charming? Why not Ben from A1 or Robbie Williams, why not the nice guys? I was frightened, confused and alone. Maybe, if I just tried hard enough, I could have some normal fantasies, too?

It didn’t work. Even if it did, it only worked temporarily because my imagination quickly escalated the ordeal.

Think more normal!

I spent a long time loathing myself. I spent a long time believing that it was wrong to want rough sex, sex that I didn’t really want, but with and for a man that I truly desired. Even if my fantasies bought me shame, there was no denying that they felt good.

The Missing Piece

After school, I began dating in my college years. I met several young men, several nice young men, all the kinds of men that I was supposed to want. Many of them were sweet and kind, some of them were funny, there was just one problem – none of them were anything like Carl.

When I’d teased Carl before, he’d laughed with me, he’d played and he’d engaged, and I loved that about him. He’d tell me off sometimes too, and my heart would flutter a little bit faster back then. These boys though, they didn’t bite like Carl did. If I teased them, they’d just laugh with me. I needed more than that – much more!

It wasn’t until I finally heard about and understood BDSM that I understood the thoughts that I was having. A sense of relief washed over me – finally, I wasn’t alone. I was confused at first, but at least I had an answer.

Once I knew what I liked, it became a defining point for me. The men and people who understood me could be closer, and those who judged me or weren’t interested would soon be forgotten about. It didn’t need to be a key focus in all conversations, just a little bit of understanding, a little bit of common ground.

A Generation Gap

For many people today, “kinky” is at least something that couples do to liven up their sexual repertoire on a Friday night. In the modern era, it is widely accepted as something that is at least performed behind closed doors in homes or at events. Tragically though, not everyone has been so lucky.

The year was 1995, as my parents at down to breakfast, there was an unexpected knock at the door: Social services had arrived.

In one of the biggest moments to ever rock my family, my parents had been seen at a local BDSM event and the event had been scandalised in the news. Those in attendance lost relationships and jobs, and others saw threats to their families and homes. 

For my parents, they came after my brother and me.

Squirrelled away in our bedrooms, my brother and I were none the wiser of the things that were supposed to have happened to us. My parents, who loved us and protected us with every ounce of their being, were accused of being child abusers and paedophiles. The things that they’d been seen to be involved in were argued as grotesque and their behaviour possibly criminal, and so it might be necessary to protect us “vulnerable children”.

My parents fought long and hard to rid themselves of that experience, and they stopped attending events thereafter, too. Even as I keep writing and promoting for the acceptance of kink as a sexuality though, my mother still worries about my future. So tarnished is her memory by this event that she fears something similar happening to me. 

A Different Kind Of Love

I can remember well the discussion I had that one fateful February. I was completely bamboozled: What do I get my husband for Valentine’s Day? Chocolates, roses and cuddly bears had never been our thing, we did things… Differently. In the end, I settled for a coffee mug that reads “who needs hearts and flowers when you have handcuffs and silver balls?”. For him, there was no better gift.

But BDSM isn’t always about sex. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that probably only 15-20% of our relationship is. The rest comes in that feeling of knowing that he loves me, protects me and cares for me. It comes in the energy that I display when I bounce out of bed to run errands that make his life easier for him. It comes in knowing the pride he has for me in running our blog or the sense of duty that I have as I slink into bed before 2AM each night, all too mindful not to break our rules. For me and I am sure for many other people, none of this is sexual.

So why is it so wrong to be kinky?

Prejudice At Pride

Perhaps the most damaging thing of all is that despite our collective effort during the Stonewall riots, today, some of those whom we fought for don’t want us anywhere near their event. Our event. Because even if they don’t want to accept it, kink belongs at Pride, too. 

As Chingy L so expertly writes here, there was a time in which the BDSM community was an integral part of liberating the LGBTQ+ community from oppression. In the 1980s, the LGBTQ+ community and leather community were one of the same, and as such, they worked together to fight for acceptance, freedom and love. Now that the LBTQ+ community has been liberated, though, the kink community finds itself largely alone.

Compared to the LGBTQ+ community, we get a mere day- the third Friday of every year- to celebrate our kinks and fetishes. Unlike Gay Pride, International Fetish Day is not publicised, it is not promoted and it is certainly not sponsored by national businesses. Even if kinky people too want nothing more for themselves than to be accepted, loved and liberated from oppression, we are still to be stifled away from public view.

“Think of the children!” they cry. We did, and we love them – what about them?

Do you really want the next generation to go through what my family did?

The argument that kink is just sex is biased, it is derogatory, it is misinformed and it is incredibly damaging to our relationships with the LGBTQ+ community. It could similarly be argued that being lesbian or gay is just a sex thing too, except that for anyone who is lesbian or gay, of course, they would know that it’s just not true. Sex can absolutely be an integral part of a relationship, but it doesn’t mean that that is all there is. 

And what about kinky, sexy behaviour at Pride?

That is for the people of Pride among themselves to decide. Maybe leather and collars could be accepted, but puppy play (as is the usual criticism of the kink community) might not be. It is not for a few individuals to decide what is right or wrong, it is for the event organizers and attendees themselves to decide how best to make Pride more family-friendly. Family friendly, that is, not totally kink-free.

I want to conclude this post by talking about some of the things that are illegal or immoral if they happen to an LGBTQ+ person, but are perfectly acceptable if they happen to a kinky person. These include:

  • Bullying them in any way
  • Firing them, because of their gender or sexuality
  • Making them homeless, because of their gender or sexuality
  • Attacking them, physically or verbally (it’s still classed as an assault by law, but it’s not considered a hate crime just because you’re kinky)
  • Excluding them
  • Making jokes at their expense
  • Making jokes about their relationships to their face
  • Making jokes about people who are LGBTQ+, if you’re not LGBTQ+
  • Spreading malicious rumours about them
  • “Outing” them to people they don’t wish to be outed to
  • Exposing them in the media without their consent
  • Mocking them on the internet/social media
  • Giving them unfair treatment
  • Denying or failing to provide them with adequate health or social care services that are appropriate and fitting to their gender or sexuality
  • Hosting interventions into their relationships because people have “concerns”
  • Trying to help them “get better” because “this isn’t normal”
  • Fining them or sending them to jail for the way that they identify – An unwavering number of Dominant people end up with assault/rape allegations because a rough sex/BDSM session didn’t go quite how their partner had imagined
  • Judging them in a court of law because of their gender identity or sexuality – submissive people are sometimes treated as “asking for it” by jurors and defence attorneys if their sexuality is known
  • Denying evidence submitted in a court of law, because of their gender or sexuality – A BDSM contract is not treated as legal (even if not legally binding) proof that the activities within a relationship are consensual. As a result, some people wind up with unfair accusations in court which the legal recognition of a contract could help to dispel.
  • Denying that their relationship exists, because of prejudice against their sexuality
  • Denying them the right to legally marry wherever and however they choose –  collarings (often seen akin to a wedding by kinky people) are not legally recognised for people who would choose to have one to honour their commitment, over a traditional wedding ceremony
  • Calling child protection services on them, because of their gender identity or sexuality

And there’s probably more.

If you know a kinky person, please love us. Despite what we do, most of us are kind, compassionate people with a devilish sense of humour and we can be perfectly normal, perfectly civil members of society. All the time we make room for prejudice, we make room for hate. This Pride month, please speak up for your kinky friends and be sure to include us, too. Together, we won’t let hate win. 

Scetched rainbow heart on white brackground, for Pride Month

 

9 thoughts on “LGBTQ + K: A Case For “Kinky” As A Sexuality

  1. I totally understand what you mean. Looking back, I have distinct memories of having fantasies of being kidnapped. I was so young, I didn’t understand what sex was, but it was always there. I was lucky enough to have a boyfriend in high school who realized my tendencies and gave me an outlet to explore it. But even now, in my 30s, I’m still learning things about myself.

    That’s awful what happened to your parents. I worry about that as a parent myself. It’s why I write under a pen name. It’s ridiculous, really. I’m in the healthiest relationship of my life and my daughter doesn’t know anything of my kinky ways. But I still worry.

    I had no idea there was an International Fetish Day. Huh!

    My Master and I have talked about doing a collaring separate from a wedding, and that’s very likely the route we’ll take if/when we get there.

    Thanks for sharing. I am bi, but it’s definitely something to think about!

    1. Yes! Now that you mention it, I can remember playing soldiers and spies with my neighbour and brother as a child and I (a spy) got kidnapped and beaten with sticks. My mother was horrified, but I just remember doing all that I could to get kidnapped again and again, because getting kidnapped felt good, rejuvenating and refreshing. I also remember playing doctors and nurses (minus any awkward parts!) and I would always die if I wasn’t constantly at the centre of the doctor’s attention, so there were probably signs even before Carl.

      I think what happened to my parents is less likely in this day and age, although perhaps more in certain groups, rather than on the whole. As an example. when Matt worked in the office (telecommunications), he accidentally said “spank you” to a female colleague, instead of thank you. He meant nothing by it whatseover, it was just a pure and simple Fraudian slip that fortunately raised a lot of laughs and got him tormented for the rest of the day about his perceived kinky ways. I think a lot of the time these days most people are accommodating, especially after Fifty Shades, as long as you keep it tasteful. I don’t think we’re anywhere near collars and leashes in public (certainly not in the UK, anyway) or kneeling around friends, but I think if you told most people that you were kinky, it’s not going to have the backlash that it perhaps would have had before. Even as a mother yourself, I think these days, child protection services would want to see evidence of neglect and mistreatment before they acted too harshly on a report. It’s still distressing of course, and I think that’s why we still have work to do. If LGBTQ+ people can have children without fear of being reported to the authorities then I believe that kinky people should be allowed to, too. After all, most kinky people would agree that it takes a seriously sick and twisted individual to involve a minor in our activities and upon hearing any mention of it, the BDSM community would most likely band together to make sure that person never saw the light of day again. If there’s one thing I like about the genuine BDSM community, it’s that kindness, acceptance, respect and honour are at their core and I even once had a would-be Dominatrix kicked out of an event because she’d been stirring muck about me, even though she had never even met me. The House Mistress had thrown her out before I had even arrived! She (the house Mistress) knew and remembered my parents so she knew that what this woman was saying wasn’t true. I was almost in disbelief when she told me because I wasn’t even aware that anything had happened until I arrived, but I felt incredibly touched too that the community would protect me like that, especially when I’d normally be on my own in the everyday life.

      Yes, Perverts Wear Purple Day is a thing! I went to the aquarium a few years ago with my purple Little Miss Naughty keyring proudly on show. Not even sorry 😉

      I think it’s a personal tastes thing. If that’s what you want, that’s great. If you just want a wedding, that’s cool, too. However, I think there are some people who would want a collaring over a wedding, and that should also be an option. A bit like having a registry office wedding and then a humanist ceremony afterwards, or before, I think people should be able to have a collaring ceremony either as their main ceremony, or as another ceremony on top, whichever they prefer. If we’re having legally binding same-sex civil partnerships and wedding ceremonies, then I think that all consensual adult commitment ceremonies should (or should have the option to be) legally binding if we want them to be, whether we personally approve of them or not. That could be argued for polyamory too, but I can see how that could also become more convoluted and harder to argue in cases where a partner has multiple partners with multiple partners of their own. Maybe with time, though!

      No worries. I’m bicurious myself but I think of sexuality like word bubbles, rather than a scale. For example, you could have ‘heterosexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian’ in one bubble, ‘kinky, vanilla, curious’ in another, ‘romantic, romantic, quasiromantic’ in a third, and so on. What I mean by that is that I don’t believe sexuality is just one thing, that you can be bi or straight and not kinky or whatever, you can be anything of all of the groups, and only you get to decide how that looks. For me personally, I am a bi-curious kinky sapiosexual romantic tomboy. The only label that I refuse is cis. I simply don’t agree with it. To me, a woman is a woman, whether or not she was born that way.

      1. It’s funny when we look back at our childhoods and see things we didn’t realize were in us all along.

        I hope that isn’t still happening to parents today!

      2. Oh we do, I’d never thought of it before and then you said about kidnap and it was a real “oh my god” moment, haha.

        I’d like to hope not, too. I think usually not anymore, especially not now. during covid. I think most services wouldn’t bat an eyelid now unless you have something to show for your claims, it’s just not worth risking lives over. I think most people keep their dynamics mostly or completely from their children anyway, for obvious reasons 🙂

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