As I am getting out there in the BDSM world again, I have joined several communities. I can learn (you should always, no matter your role, be learning something in my opinion), I can share my experiences, I can discuss, meet people, get new ideas, promote my sites and work (in the respective groups set up for it, of course. I would not dream of breaking boundaries).
Overall, I have to say I’ve liked the experience. I have seen some pretty out-there things, stuff that I would never consider doing, much less know that others are partaking in. It’s been expanding for me because I learn to push past my squik factor and accept something non-normative. I still may come away with the opinion that it is not for me, however I also come away with a new perspective on what that thing is.
That is a good thing. One of the cornerstones of BDSM is that from a community standpoint it is open, welcoming, and nonjudgmental. It needs to be. Even though certain shady books have opened up the idea of BDSM to more people, it is still very stigmatized – especially some of the more hard-core activities. People who partake in the lifestyle still find that they cannot actively discuss it without worry – worry that they will lose friends, family (including children, which is unfortunate), and income. Having an open and welcoming BDSM community, whether local or online, is so important.
If you have ever been in a BDSM community, you also know that they are not perfect. Very probably, because we as humans are imperfect creatures.
Recently, I found myself very turned off by one of the BDSM communities I participate in due to … well … inclusion. Specifically, this dealt with the creation of a Dom group, and in the creation, the exclusion of Switches, for this particular group is a sizable number of Doms. At the end of the day, what the exclusion boils down to is sad and simple. You don’t participate in Kink the way I do, therefore I am excluding you from discussions about the Kink we both enjoy.” Now, I could see the argument for having a Dom-only, with no switch group on principal. Except that no impression was given that a Dom group would not be inclusive, especially when there is no equivalent Switch group created or offered.
Basically, it tells people who enjoy the kink a certain way that unless they go one way in their kink, they have no place in that kink. That is not right.
Yes, we all have our limits. We even have limits to what we will support. I accept body modification and I will even accept that people can safely enjoy things like knife play (but only safely, with proper care after, and ONLY informed and consensually). I will not, however, accept someone participating in play that can very much HARM another person or themselves. I also draw the line in any play with any party that cannot offer consent. I won’t support you or give advice to you regarding bestiality, even if it is not technically illegal where you are. The animal cannot actually consent to play. As an example.
To me, consent is the most important aspect of play. Even a full M/s relationship, where one person gives up the right to say no or even use a safe word is not without its consent, and you enter into that relationship with full knowledge of what can happen, and with your Master respecting what limits are set forth (if any, some people are good with no limits).
We are not, however, talking about consent and limits. We are talking about expressions within BDSM and to create a situation where people feel that they are being shunned because they don’t participate in D/s or M/s or T/b play the way you do – that should not stand.
And that’s my soap box standing for the day. Now to safeguard the electronic equipment against the thunderstorm.
Happy beatings everyone.