So, in case you didn’t know, I’m still fairly new to kink. There was a large, several year gap between my “Hey, that seems interesting.” phase to the “Holy SHIT why didn’t I try this sooner” phase that was mostly filled with school, relationships, moving, several bouts of self-discovery and just a whole lot of trying to sort my life out. (it’s really hard to figure out what kinda kinky fuckery you want to get into when you’re in the middle of figuring out who you are and why you wanna get into it) I felt nervous almost every time I went to a play party, because I didn’t know what to expect or what would be expected of me. Which is why the first party once I moved to my current location was pretty crucial.
So, I went with my partner, and we tried to mingle. We picked one of the annual parties that has a bunch of different spots set up to demo all sorts of play and had a blast. We got to watch some fire play (which I’m still sure my partner wants to try on me eventually), some more impact play (the first time I got to use a flogger!), and generally had a good time. The only awkward bit was that I’d asked to ‘try out’ the toys at the impact play table, but it was assumed that I meant I wanted to be the one swinging. Turns out, we had the wrong colored name-tags on and hadn’t clued into it till about halfway through, but I was still kinda annoyed that he hadn’t asked if I wanted it used on me or not. It was a small interaction to him (and now I know to make that intention up front when I ask things) but it had a larger impact on my already-nervous brain than he probably expected. This is why I always try to keep the fact that other people are here and possibly nervous in my head as well, which is why it always bugs me to hear people kink-shaming at a play party.
Kink-shaming is when you shame or show disgust for something based solely on it not being your kink. Things like “Ewww, why would anyone ever want to do watersports.” or “I don’t see how you could let someone control you at all times of the day. That’s abuse.” (I will also point out that if this is done without consent, or without the option to take back said consent it -is- abuse, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now.) It’s also a shitty thing to do, especially when you’re at an event with other kinky people. Everyone is into all sorts of interesting and varied things, and just because it’s not something that you’re into, doesn’t mean that it’s bad or wrong. I also feel like it’s a little hypocritical for you to be 100% okay with caning, spanking, and power exchange and then give people crap for liking needle-play. Not to mention that you could be talking pretty terribly about a kink that another person at the party has, making the experience worse for them since the whole point of going to a kink space is to be accepted for the things you want to do.
So, now that you know about kink-shaming what can you do? Obviously simply telling someone that you think watersports are gross is rude, but what if you’re just REALLY not into it. Well, then you’re in luck. Just because someone is into a kink your not into doesn’t mean you have to participate in it. Shocking, I know, but still very true. You can totally negotiate with someone that you know enjoys something that you don’t and just…not do that thing. And if the person is insistent that they can’t scene with someone that doesn’t do that specific thing, then just don’t scene with them. It’s also considered a “dick move” to try and force someone to do a kink with you that they’re not into, so this swings both ways.
Another option when confronted with a sexual preference that you don’t share or find “weird” is to learn more about it. Personally, I like this way the best, as there are a lot of misconceptions around kink (and sex in general) that can be cleared up with a little bit of information and conversation with people who DO like that kink. If you’re concerned about ageplay because you think it’s too close to pedophilia, you might be relieved to know that it’s not the actual idea of having sex with a child that does it for a lot of people. Or with CNC (Consensual Non-Consent) that you believe that the person just really gets off on trying to sexually assault people, and not that they love toying with something that feels dangerous. So try to find out more about a kink before you decide you know exactly what it is. You may even find there’s something in there that you like and would have never found out without asking.
With these options and the knowledge that you can actually hurt people by just assuming that other kinks are terrible, you should be more than ready to be a welcoming addition to your local kink community (Yes, there is one nearby. I would almost always bet money on it). It’s rough being kinky with the continuous dumpster fire that may be your national political system, but that’s one thing that brings us together. We’re all considered “Deviant” or “Weird” by society at large, so there’s no reason we should be shitty to each other, right?
If you have any opinions on the matter or wanna add your own alternatives to kinkshaming, go ahead and share them below. If you want to vent about a time you were kink-shamed, go ahead and do that too. It’ll help others see that they’re not alone and give a good idea of why this shit isn’t cool.
Have a great and kinky day,