The words we use are really important. How we phrase what we want to say can make or break a conversation. How many times have we all heard someone say ‘I don’t mean to be rude but …’? As we know, most of the time the comment that follow is rude, and usually unnecessary. When it comes to kink the phrase is usually ‘I’m not judging but …’. Guess what? If you feel the need to point out that you’re not judging, then you probably are. I am aware that sometimes that judgement isn’t meant with any malice, but depending on who hears, it could well be misconstrued. Especially if shared in writing across the internet.
When we join the kink scene, for many people it is the first time they are in an environment where they are accepted exactly as they are, without having to omit some part of themselves. Yet so many of them same people will, within this safe environment, vilify other people’s kinks.
I read something today where someone unknown to me posed the question: ‘What kink made you go ‘OMG people actually get off on that?’ Then proceeded to say they weren’t judging but they’d just read up on Queening and they couldn’t believe people get turned on by that! Maybe I was being sensitive, seeing as I’m a huge fan of this, however the reason it resonated with me was how many times I’ve heard similar conversations about different kinks. As I say I don’t know this person, maybe they are the sweetest loveliest person, and just explained their question poorly. The replies poured in though, lots and lots of replies with what kinks other people found ‘icky’ or ‘weird’ or ‘gross’. Kinks that will be very much a turn on for plenty of people.
My own personal rule of thumb is, I don’t know what kinks people are still coming to terms with, I have lots of kinky friends. Many of whom are very open about their kinks, but that doesn’t mean they are open about them all. I have kinks I am interested in, but am yet to explore that I don’t talk to anyone but Bakji about. So when I hear someone go ‘No way, that’s gross/makes me feel sick/is plain weird’, I can’t help but wonder if someone else in the room has just had their kink made fun of and maybe in that moment they will decide never to tell anyone about it, just incase it isn’t well received.
Obviously some kinks are more likely to cause this than others. I personally am not into Scat as a kink, and as far as I know I do not know anyone who it. Will it stop me being your friends if you are though, not in the least. Will I be open to listening to why it interests you, sure thing. Could I engage in it with a partner? Not at all. I can still be supportive of someone engaging in it with another consensual adult though, if it’s not hurting anyone what difference does it make to me? I understand it is a very emotive kink, but for someone, somewhere it is a very realy part of their kinky life, who are we to judge that?
I’ve been in a conversation where foot fetishism was disparaged by someone, at the time I was only just becoming curious about it, but I knew for sure at least one other person present was really into it. I personally couldn’t care less if people who I’m not intimate with don’t like my kinks, but for people who are less confident or who are seeking validation from their peers, these kinds of comments can be really damaging.
These kinds of comments by non-kink folk are a large part of why people don’t come to munches, or why they hide their kinks from partners. To actually make your way into the community and find yourself still on the receiving end of these comments must be really disheartening.
I’m not saying I’m perfect and have never placed judgement on kinks I’ve come across, of course I have. As a person with thoughts I am making judgements all the time, what I do with those judgements though is what is important to me. What I try really hard not to do is voice negativity. Positivity though, hell yeah, I’m all over judging you positively and saying so. Cute picture on Instagram? I’m saying so. Have you inspired me? I’m saying so. Has your kink got me wanting to try something new? I’ll tell you so. Have you made me curious? Questions will be heading your way. Am I going to point out that I don’t like your shoes though, or can’t really get my head around you kink, no chance.
I think this was probably the ethos behind the acronym ‘YKINMK’, ‘Your Kink Is Not My Kink’, often followed by ‘But That’s Okay’, and other variations thereof. However more and more I am seeing ‘YKINMK’ used as way to point out someone isn’t into that other person’s Fetish. Almost as if they’re sat at their keyboard after stumbling across a picture and it’s really not there thing, and instead of just moving on, they feel they have to say something, they can’t just say ‘Wow that’s odd’ or ‘Can’t believe you’re into that’, because that would be rude and kink shaming. So instead they say ‘Your Kink Is Not My Kink’, just so everyone knows.
This honestly baffles me, I’d guesstimate 90% of the pictures I see on Fetlife hold no interest for me, for a myriad of reasons, when I don’t enjoy them i just keep clicking and perving until I find one that makes me hit the love button. And no, I don’t mean my personal love button you perverts. Okay sometimes it’s my personal love button, but can you blame me? Some pictures I find are really hot.
I really would love for anyone who wants to join the scene to feel like they will be entering a safe space to discuss all their consensual kinks, whether they are popular or more unique. I’d also love for people already in the scene to feel like it’s okay for them to open up discussions about new kinks they might have developed.
This is part of the reason I jumped at the chance to be involved with the #ProudToBeKinky Podcast. It is a great platform for us to be able reach people who might otherwise be doubtful that they will fit in if they join the kink community. Especially if they have seen a comment from someone somewhere saying ‘I can’t believe anyone would actually be into that’, while trying to find validation or information for their kink.