This would be fine at a club or maybe even at a park at night, but during the day in a park full of children, can’t we all admit it’s rude?

This post is one that has been welling up in my brain for awhile. I have been doing my best not to say anything, but sometimes I just can’t force myself to be silent on an issue. So here’s the thing- the internet is full of people with very little experience in the world of BDSM, but with really big mouths.

Sure, there are amazing people like Midori, who actually are helping to educate the world and make BDSM more palatable to the masses. I am thankful for people like that, and I never wrote anything before this blog because I always figured there were enough people like her out there, fighting for acceptance and teaching safe and fun ways to play.

However, there is a very dangerous group that is not helping, and they are mostly only online.

I want to stress that at munches and dungeons, I have only met sane people who do not speak of play without emphasizing safety and consent. I have been out and about all over the world, and all the people I have met have been wonderful and kind.

Yet on the internet, it seems people get stupid. The community of reddit has a forum devoted to BDSM, and don’t dare suggest there are logical limits to play in THAT forum! I can’t believe how much I have been chewed out for being the only sane person in a room of crazy.

Here is an example: The picture above shows a Dominatrix and her submissive out in a public park where children can walk around and be exposed to this blatant display of BDSM. I understand that a lot of people get off on throwing who they are in other’s faces. I know a lot of people are into exhibitionism and that is their kink. I respect all different kinds of people and their right to play.

However, when you play in public, you are exposing everyone around to your sexual fantasies. When the photographer who took this picture flipped out on me for saying it made the community look bad, I couldn’t believe how many people were ready to jump on the bandwagon and agree.

No one I have ever met at a dungeon would say such a thing. No one I have ever met at a dungeon would do such a thing. I assure you, as someone who has been in the kink scene for more than half my life, people hate us when we throw our lifestyle in their faces and no one who really cares about the community wants to breed hate for what we do.

I’d like it if we could all agree to keep BDSM in dungeons like the CSPC and in private homes. I’d like it if we could all agree that daytime, in a public park around children, it’s not cool to have your slave polish your boots.

Also, online there are a lot of people that talk about how totally okay and safe breath play and blood play and other such things are.

Now look; I’m not trying to tell you how to be kinky and I’m not trying to step on your toes. If you want to fuck a grandmother while sucking on your boyfriend’s toes and eating cheese- then do your thing (assuming everyone consents and is cool with it.) Seriously people- do your thing.

I remember when I was 16 and I saw my first hook suspension and I cringed. The skin stretched at least 14 inches off the guys’ back when he was lifted up and the blood that dripped down from the holes in his back looked so freaky… I was pretty horrified at first. But over time I started to think it was pretty cool and have seen several suspensions from groups like Life Suspended since then. A lot of kink can grow on you, like suspension did on me.

And some kink has never grown on me. Adult diapers and baby play is one example of stuff that, while I am not opposed to it, I wouldn’t seek out or watch porn of it.

However, I am never going to pretend that all kink is safe and okay. There is lots of stuff that I think should be discouraged. I don’t think we have to tell people that drinking blood from random people is okay. Yes, we’re supposed to be open and accepting. Yes, we’re a group of people on the outside of society and so we shouldn’t act exclusive and we shouldn’t judge people. That’s all very true. AND YET, some people do take things too far and it’s okay to say so. If those people are putting themselves in danger, or if they they are making the community look bad and making life harder for all of us, it’s okay for us to have a problem with that.

We should be kind to each other. We should do our best to remember that we are on the same side. And when someone is acting unreasonably or unsafe, we should be able to say so.

I see a lot of common sense and decency from people in person. Let’s not loose it in online groups, and let’s make sure to call out the trolls encouraging stupid things.

PS- Portfolio of photographer from above here:

32 thoughts on “Limits

  1. I am exhibitionist, have many examples on such on Fet, but one rule I have and it is golden, no stripping when there is kids near by or chance they might see. Same with any play as well.

    • See, that’s all I ask for! There’s a club here in Seoul called Club Desire and it’s just a place for us kids in Korea who like to show off to go and fuck in public. Nothing wrong with that. Swingers parties I’ve been to have been just as crazy, and so have the dungeons I worked at. My problem is when you try to force your kink on non-consenting people- particularly minors. It makes the community looks bad and hurts our fight for tolerance and acceptance.

  2. I dig this, and I agree about not involving the public in play without their consent.

    However, I’ve found /r/BDSMCommunity to be one of the better pockets of Reddit. Even on the post you use as an example, the top voted comment is one making the same point you are (of course that could be your post.)

    While yes, there are more than a few contributors to that (and every forum) that refuse to relinquish their unrealistic fantasies, I feel like that forum as a whole, sides with the reasonable and sane party in these matters.

    While I don’t know about how the image was obtained, and whether or not everyone in it consented to be in it. I do have to say that I understand the strong appeal it may have for some people. It is hard to keep such a huge part of yourself hidden. It would be tremendously freeing to live in a world where participating in such a scene was acceptable, don’t you think?

    • Sometimes I agree. Sometimes reddit has some good stuff. HOWEVER, there are too many examples of people literally freaking out when you suggest a limit be placed somewhere. I have been horrified at the amount of PM’s and comments I have gotten that were vicious and accusing me of hating the BDSM community for saying there should sometimes be limits.

      No, the people in the photo did not consent. It is a public park and those people were just there when the models went and sat down. It seems the photographer kind of meant to be offensive when setting this up- because they feel it’s similar to gay people holding hands. I do not think that is the case at all- and I think there are clear limits (like exposing children to two models dressed up as a Dominatrix and a Submissive).

      • . It is a public park and those people were just there when the models went and sat down. It seems the photographer kind of meant to be offensive when setting this up- because they feel it’s similar to gay people holding hands.

        I see their point, in as much that expressions of D/s can be more about affection than sexuality. But I don’t think that this sort of stunt is appropriate or smart move if you would like to see BDSM gain wider acceptance.

        I only pop in to comment occasionally, and usually only if a discussion is directly pertaining to my experience, but usually I see the mods and the the regulars doing a good job of promoting a SCC or RACK way of doing BDSM, but upon looking closer at that thread I don’t see any familiar user names.

  3. Personally, I think you’re being a little ridiculous. The people in that photo are not doing anything illegal or sexual or damaging for children to see. It’s pretty out there, but I don’t think you have a reason to be so mad. Do you think that kinksters shouldn’t wear collars outside the dungeon? That we should never admit out loud that we are into bdsm? That no one should ever wear tight clothing?

    • I didn’t say any of those things. Your all-or-nothing argument fails to take any of the subject matter here seriously.

      You can scream “Freedom” all you want and say you’re well within your rights to do so, but it’s a damn shame you’re doing it and it makes us all look bad.

      We all know that wearing the gear of a Dominatrix and having a man in a leather thong serve you in public crosses a line. To pretend that is not the case is pure hyperbole and it’s not helping anyone.

      • You seem to be the one with the all-or-nothing argument, as far as I see it.

        Would you feel differently if they were wearing more vanilla clothes? Is it the fetish gear in public that bothers you or the fact that he is polishing her boots?

      • Look lady, I am a Dominatrix and I have been in the scene for more than half my life. Nothing about this picture bothers ME. Stop acting like I have a problem with my own subculture.

        As I said, the problem I have is not with my subculture. It’s with you and everyone like you.

        BDSM is sexual in nature. That’s all there is to it. And no one under 18 or who has not consented should ever be part of a scene. When we play scenes, only consenting adults should be involved.

        If you force vanilla people and their children to be part of a scene you are playing, you are a fucked up person. Period.

        Now that said, I do not wear my Dominatrix gear in public and I would not take a submissive out in public because I respect my fellow humans. I understand that not everyone shares my kink and I will not force my lifestyle on anyone because I want people to think of my lifestyle in a positive way. I want us to get GOOD press. I want people to be okay with us.

        In Seattle, everyone is fine with kink. They have dungeons that are not secret and everyone can go to them. This is because the community is willing to work with the vanilla people to keep children and adults who have not given consent from having to be in scenes.

        At this point, you’re not willing to admit any fault on your own part and your argument doesn’t make sense. So, go away troll!

  4. I have to agree with the post. There is a time and place for all things in life. BDSM in a park around kids gives the community as a whole a bad name. They could have done this same shoot in a park without children and while I would think it was in bad taste it wouldn’t actually bother me. It is not our place to force our lifestyle on outsiders and especially children. Did the people in this shoot, not just the 2 subject, all consent to this? If not then it is wrong.

    • The photographer took the models to this park (in Brooklyn) for the purposes of showing off the BDSM lifestyle in public. The intent was to throw it in their faces and to suggest that they should be forced to accept other people’s sex lives.

      I get it. I wish that I could walk around as me on days other than Halloween. I really do understand the feeling of oppression.

      And yet, I know that throwing our sex lives in the faces on adults who did not consent and in front of children is not helping our cause. I keep my sex life confined to places where I know everyone there has consented to be involved in BDSM. I may invite vanilla people to BDSM play parties, but they only come if they are curious and comfortable.

      I would never do a public scene in a park, where children could see. I feel like that’s a little like rape of a minor. It may not be penetration, but it is very sexual.

      • What the people in this photo are doing is not a sexual act. No child is going to be damaged by having seen someone polish a woman’s boots. If he were licking them or something I could see your point, but what they’re doing would be totally innocuous, though still odd, if they weren’t dressed quite so outrageously.

  5. This is your blog and you’re entitled to say what you want without being censored, but it would be appropriate for you to edit out your use of the word “shemale” as it’s considered quite offensive in the trans community. Since you’re trying to be a role model, being respectful of people different from you would be a good idea.

    Also, today happens to be Transgender Remembrance Day, in case you need another reason to be respectful. Here’s a really wonderful article about it:

    • I was referring to the woman I know who chose not to complete her sexual reassignment and is currently living as both. I’m not sure what you think I was talking about or what you want me to say instead? Could you tell me what you think I meant and what the proper term for that is?

      • If you read the article it will help explain all of that. I would be surprised if your trans friend was okay with the use of that word, but regardless, most other trans people find the word offensive and wouldn’t assume that you had permission from your friend as a descriptor. As for what to say instead, I would avoid vilifying and stigmatizing anyone’s sexual preferences by calling out a specific type of individual doing specific things, and to that end you could either delete the entire sentence, or clarify the context and say that you’re talking about a specific person, not a group of people.

      • Oh, I don’t just mean in that sentence. I mean ever. You’re saying I should never use any kind of word to describe people who are in transition with any pronouns. Just give me a straight answer. What word would you use, in that sentence and in life?

  6. I’m not saying you should never describe trans people with pronouns, you should use whatever pronoun they prefer, and the way to know the correct one to use is to ask them directly. If you can’t ask and you’re in doubt, you just use their name to refer to them. But I was talking specifically about the word shemale, not about pronouns. It’s true that there is a pronoun in the word, but the word itself is not a pronoun, it’s a derogatory term for transwomen. So to answer your question very clearly, I would replace the word shemale with transwoman, if that’s indeed how she identifies.

  7. I understand what you’re saying, but I think you’re sort of going on a crusade against something that isn’t agreed upon. Maybe where you are from people feel that word is derogatory, but that is not the case where I am in the world…

    I’m just saying you kind of need to understand that people in different places prefer different things and you can’t know what those things are right off the bat.

    If you personally are offended than I am sorry. As a female who identifies as male, I know it’s hard when people misunderstand you. However, I don’t think you should try to speak for everyone everywhere on Earth.

    • Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I’m trolling. I am just playing devil’s advocate and having a conversation on the topic you presented in a public forum, and honestly trying to suss out the reason you seem so offended by the photo.

      Obviously it is wrong to involve non-consenting bystanders in one’s sexual activity. I think you are misunderstanding me, because that is not what I am arguing in favor of.

      I am arguing that bdsm is not always a sexual thing. I find it quite odd and surprising that someone who has purportedly been in the scene for so long has the attitude that you do, as it seems to me to be common knowledge in the rl scene that not all bdsm is sexual in nature. Even if it is all sexual *for you*, it is not always sexual for everyone, not by a long shot.

      I am also honestly curious where you draw the line. Would you consider someone wearing a chain locked around their neck in public to be inappropriate? Having my husband carry things for me or get on his knees to tie my shoes at a friend’s house? Obviously those types of things are not on the same level of outrageousness as what’s going on in the photo, but they are still active expressions of a bdsm relationship in a public place. Is it your opinion that *anything* like that should be kept in private?

    • I’m offended on behalf of my transwoman friends who would never want to be called a shemale, so thank you for your apology. I have to say, it’s interesting that you think it’s okay to use derogatory terms where you live because you think it’s largely accepted there, but it’s not okay for me to be in public in fetishwear in NYC, though it’s broadly accepted here. Double standard? Also, for the record, it’s fairly widely agreed upon in the trans community, which you would learn if you read the really compelling article on trans tolerance that I posted above.

      • I understand that you think your opinion is more important than mine, but I don’t think you’re showing any respect for my opinion so I can’t continue this conversation.

        I did read the article. I did not find it compelling.

    • “Shemale” and “tranny” are pretty big no-nos across MOST of the trans* community. From a cultural competency standpoint, those are words that are disrespectful to use. Seeing as you are not a transgender person, it would be wise to avoid using them. This isn’t just one person getting butthurt, this is something that is actually not okay.

      • Yup. I’m trans, and have lived in NYC, Oregon, L.A., Montana, Florida, California, Texas, and Kentucky, and known several transpersons in each of those places, and I don’t know of a single transperson who isn’t offended by the term “shemale”. Please, tell me where this magical bastion of political incorrectness is, so that I may go there to be mystified.

      • Well I’m not in the USA, so I’m really glad to hear all you Americans and your opinions and how no one outside the US is important. That’s good to know. I always like how people from North America think the ONLY thing that matters is North America.

        As someone who identifies as male and lives in a female body, I really haven’t ever cared that people get pronouns wrong or aren’t sure what to call me. I have never been offended by any of the language I use or others use, because I am not insecure.

      • I already said- you’re being insanely confrontational and rude for absolutely no reason at all.

        First- I don’t agree with you but I agree to disagree.

        Second- I changed the word that bothered you so a thank you would be more in order than more harassment.

        Third- I am male, and I live in a female body. I am not one of YOU because you’re a girl in a guy’s body, but I am allowed to have my own opinions on people who are not living in the body they want to have and all that that implies.

        And last of all- you’re all from the USA and you all think your country is the only place that matters. Have you actually read this blog at all? I think not. If you did, you would know that I do not live in the USA. You don’t know me at all- nor do you know that this blog is about. You’re making an issue where they isn’t one because you’re insecure and on some crusade. Well I don’t have to listen to your bullshit.

        Read the blog, or don’t come back. And by read it, I don’t mean one word. I mean go back to the first post, scroll through the whole thing, and then if you still think you have a right to tell me how to think and what I should say in my own space- you go right ahead and get on with your judgement. After all- I am sure you’re the only one who knows what is right and acceptable and everyone should live their lives according to your wishes.

  8. I completely agree.

    You might be able to say all the same stuff that you can say for gay people or vanilla people:

    1. But I was born this way.

    2. But it’s not about sex for me.

    3. But I have rights!

    And yet, vanilla people don’t wear their lingerie in public or have sex in public. Neither to gay people.

    It crosses a line, and that’s all there is to it.

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