Kinky Folks, We Better Work

Hey my kinky peeps! I love you. I do. But, as a community, we have got some work to do.

We are not inclusive as we should be. We are still racially segregated, separated by sexual orientation, and segregated by kink. I am not saying you have to be attracted or want to partner with people outside your circle for a romance, but we need a more unified community.

We have to do this because we are all under attack. Don’t believe me? Think you there, as a white hetero Dom dude will be protected by your white maleness? It will hurt that much more when you find out you are wrong. The agenda of the incoming administration is not only one that attacks minorities and queers, its going after birth control, job protections and bodily autonomy. So, you may think your job at some IT firm is solid, but how about when your boss finds out you are kinky with three partners?

Going Full Nerd for a Second

Okay, I am going to get geeky on you here for a second. I actually wrote my dissertation on civic identity and engagement. One thing I spent a lot of time studying was Japanese Internment in the United States. I wanted to know how the US Government could argue that US citizens should be rounded up, imprisoned, stripped of belongings and rights because they belonged to an ethnic group.

My theory is that there are several types of citizenship in America. We have basic legal citizenship meaning that someone can satisfy the legal requirements to be considered a citizen of the United States. This however, does not confer a large number of rights to them. Think Blacks during Jim Crow: they were legally citizens but were relegated to separate facilities and prohibited from voting in most places.

The second type of citizenship is having access to the political structure. This includes both unfettered voting and the reasonable ability to run and possibly win elected office. Since we have stripped the Voting Rights Act, many minority groups do not have unfettered access to voting. Blacks and Hispanics are specifically targeted for disenfranchisement.

Finally, we have inclusion in the collective consciousness of American citizenship. By this, I mean that when we picture an American, most people will picture a given type of person. If we cannot picture a type of person in the description “American” that group runs the risk of being targeted for harmful legislation. I call this type of citizenship “social capital citizenship.”

This idea of social capital citizenship comes in part from an essay by Judith Bulter who looked at the coverage of people affected by 9/11. Most media reports focused on heterosexuals. They emphasized either married or the children of people who died in the Twin Towers collapse (she looked specifically at the NYC attack). There were almost no mentions of queer folks, Muslim Americans, or single people. The media coverage was effectively defining who was “American” and there were lots of groups not represented.

It is groups who are not included in the collective notion of America that are targets for harm by the government.

Back to Kinky People

Kinky folks are not monolithic. We are very segregated by sexual orientation. Many munches, education groups, and dungeon nights are specifically targeted at either hetero nights, gay men, or on a very rare occasion, lesbian play nights. The cross over between gay leathermen and kinky folks is not a very tight Venn diagram.

We are also very racially segregated. I have written about it before on this blog. There are cyclical discussions about the racism fostered on Fetlife and by groups like Queens of Spades. If you spend time looking at the K&P page, it is largely White folks. There are a handful of pics of Asian women (almost never Asian men), some pics of Black men (most often dominating a White woman but almost never with a Black woman), and a tiny fraction of people of Middle Eastern descent.

We also segregate by kink. Specifically, rope folks, littles, and furries tend to be segregated. Rope folks tend to self-segregate and have a different type of kink than those of us into impact play or electrical, wax, etc. Non-rope kinksters tend to say things like, “Fucking rope turds think they are superior because they tie knots.” Littles and furries are often not welcome in play spaces and are seen as “creepy” or “annoying.”

The problem is by rejecting and not including a wide group of kinky folks across community activities is that we create an idea that kink is a smaller, less inclusive community than we really are. By segregating ourselves we break social bonds that could help protect us.

We Need to Do Better

We need to start focusing on creating spaces for all kinky folks to connect. I understand the need for some segregated play nights. Sometimes I really enjoy a women’s only play night. It is a different energy and I like a space where I am not getting perved on by men. It is more freeing.

But, we need to make our munches and education events much more inclusive than we tend to be. We need to support male and female D-types in the same support groups. We need to embrace male and female subs (and all genders in all groups). We need to make sure our reading groups and discussions in support groups and education and outreach crosses multiple communities.

If we don’t we run the risk that when part of our community comes under attack we won’t ban together to support each other.

Right now, the incoming administration is working to strip funding from HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention and redirect it to “gay conversion therapy.” Even if you are not gay and do not have gay friends, this is going to hurt kinky folks. We are sluts. We are proud sluts. We have to keep each other healthy so we can be safe sluts. Stripping HIV/AIDS funding and prevention will mean that many of us will have to start paying for HIV tests. This cannot happen.

We are a bunch of kinky folks doing things in bed (and in the kitchen, and the great outdoors) that horrify many folks in this country. If we want to keep doing our naughty, dirty, wonderful sexy things to each other without government intervention, we need to grow our community connections.

So, get on it. Invite a rope person to your group of D-types who mostly do impact play. Invite your lesbian friends to a munch which has been dominated by heteros. Reach out and invite littles to your class on titty torture. We have to band together. And look, we are a community that is VERY comfortable with different types of bindings. So go connect.

 

 

 

 

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