Learning How to Fight

I take it back. I do know why I keep doing this. I do it because it challenges me, and because in the process of defending my sexuality, I become more secure in and at home with who I am and what I desire. Participating in those comments threads gets me reading other bloggers and gets us starting our own conversations. I participate because it makes me happy to support other kinky folks when they are being ridiculed or condemned, and it makes me happy to hear the voices of other kinky folk who have *my* back as well.

I also do it because sometimes, I need to remember why the anti-kink folks see BDSM the way they do, and to better understand their position so that when I find myself under attack, I can better defend myself in a way that might actually get through to them. On the Internet, I pretty much think it’s always a waste of time to try and change someone’s mind about this stuff. But I feel I can use these online skirmishes to practice my own defense for the inevitable battles I will have to fight with friends and loved ones. I’m not particularly out, at the moment, but someday, the time will come when a family member finds this blog, or a friend asks me about the o-rings secured to my loft bed frame, or a roommate comes home early and hears whipping noises coming from my room. And I realize that the more secure I feel in my ability to verbally defend myself, the less scared I’ll be of someone finding out about my sex life and the more open I’ll be able to feel with my friends.

One thing that I’ve come to realize is that simply shrugging off demands to “examine my desires” isn’t the best way to deal with things. Oh, don’t get me wrong — it’s what I want to do, of course. My gut reaction to those who suggest that I haven’t “examined my desires” is a resounding “fuck you,” because let’s face it: most of us have done a hell of a lot of self-examination (and often a lot of self-hating) when it comes to our sexuality, and to suggest that we haven’t done so really trivializes the process we have all had to undergo in order to be able to speak openly about our desires in the first place.

But as right and justified as I might be to respond in this way, it doesn’t really get me anywhere if I’m earnestly trying to argue about this issue with someone.

So. First of all, I want to look at some of the responses that I most frequently hear from kinky folks when attacked by anti-kink people: consent, choice, and pleasure. (To be discussed in my next post…)

3 comments so far

  1. d on

    These “debates” would be more interesting in person. Of course, radical feminist “theory” is ultimately just faith based morality and thus cannot really be argued with.

  2. Joy on

    I couldn’t agree more d. One might have a more productive conversation with a brick wall.

  3. ranat on

    “I also do it because sometimes, I need to remember why the anti-kink folks see BDSM the way they do, and to better understand their position so that when I find myself under attack, I can better defend myself in a way that might actually get through to them. On the Internet, I pretty much think it’s always a waste of time to try and change someone’s mind about this stuff. But I feel I can use these online skirmishes to practice my own defense for the inevitable battles I will have to fight with friends and loved ones.”

    I feel very similarly about my participation in those debates. No one there was really there to actually see someone else’s point of view and maybe have their minds changed (on either side), so it would be pointless to actually try to alter the mindset of many of the anti-BDSM camp. Through participation, though, I can hone my argument into something that is much more concise and concrete than it was originally, and put that in my quiver. Because unfortunately we’re going to need our arrows yet.

    It’s also a little uncanny for me to read many of the anti-BDSM arguments, considering they were the same arguments I espoused for many years, albeit sans blistering hate-rage. I really can see where many of the anti-BDSM/radfem camp are coming from, and why BDSM would seem so scary and abusive at first glance. But the world is way, way, way more complex than just one person’s, one group’s, or one culture’s ideas.


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