Lifestyle Under Threat

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It’s been two decades since I got into the kink scene for the first time, and so much has changed. Sit back, relax, and let me tell you younglings about how things were back in the day.

In the 90’s, religious groups would advertise fake kink meetups so they could prey upon anyone who showed up. It was mostly Mormons, but Christians did it too. I grew up in Arizona, and there was a kink group called Arizona Power Exchange, or APEX. They advertised their meetups with fliers at popular counter-culture hangouts like The Graffiti Shop on Mill Avenue. Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop Mormon prayer groups from putting out fliers for fake events, and then telling any “sinner” who showed up how they needed to be saved.

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This is how I came to understand that kinky people were discriminated against by society, and it’s also how I came to hate Mormons. I actually wish Hell was real so those fucks could burn in it.

However, it wasn’t just Mormons and other religious nut-balls who preyed upon us. There were a lot of physiologists who saw kink as a disease of the mind. They claimed that things like rape fantasies made you “sick” and “dangerous.” They tried to lure people into special counselling groups and get them on medication, while lying to them about how unusual they were.

The cat is out of the bag, thanks to the Internet. In a new book called Everybody Lies, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explains that Google searches show us for who we really are, and most of us have rape fantasies and dream of violent sex. So kinky people were not persecuted for being different- as we had always been told. Rather, we were persecuted for doing something that everyone secretly wanted to do, because we were actually doing it.

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It’s ironic, because I remember fellow kinksters saying things like: “They’re just jealous; they wish they had sex like us!” Then we all laughed because it was a joke to us to imagine those bigots being in touch enough with their sexuality to negotiate a scene and play it out. And yet, it turns out it was true. They were always just jealous.

These days, BDSM is no longer in the DSM as a mental disorder. Psychologists and medical doctors are instructed to treat us normally. Sometimes, they actually do.

We got to enjoy the era of CollarMe.com and Fetlife.com and the rise of munches and fetish proms in every city. We got to enjoy kinky people simply going about our lives and being treated with only mild disdain, instead of being thrown in prison. And those younglings who came into the community during this time of openness and acceptance might not realize how dangerous it used to be to be kinky.

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However, our freedoms are under attack. Now that we are threatened, we need to remember what it was like before we were free to meet and be and who we were. We need to look back at our history, and remember that there are people in prison right now for things like having rape fantasies. (Yes, I know one. He was convicted back when kink was still seen as a disorder and we were still considered dangerous.)

They are taking down websites. They use the excuse that these websites “could be used for sex trafficking,” but we all know that is bullshit. My Facebook profile says I am a guy, and I get TONS of spam from hooker-bots on Facebook, so any website can be used for sex trafficking. If I can buy a hooker on Facebook, I can buy one anywhere (since Facebook is where all the old grannies hang out.)

In Congress, they just decided that it’s okay for states to ban gay couples from adopting. This is in spite of all the studies which prove that gay couples are often better parents than straight couples (since they don’t have their kids by accident.)

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If you are a youngling that never lived through a fake kink meetup put on by religious people who blocked the door to keep you from leaving and shouted hateful shit at you, then you might not see the writing on the wall. That is why I am telling you: Attacks on marginalized people like sex workers and gay couples are attacks on us. They are coming at us one subgroup at a time, and they are working hard to criminalize everything about who we are.

What we have built over the years is something I am so proud of. The kink community used to be full of exploitative Doms and abused women. And yet from that, we built a healthy community full of supportive networks of people. We built websites and clubs and spaces where kink could be safe. I am so proud of us and of all the things we have created for safe, sane, and consensual kinky sex.

Seeing the government begin to attack us again is terrifying. Having someone like Mike Pence in the White House is probably the scariest thing I can think of. I know everyone focuses on the buffoon in the spotlight, but he is deeply irrelevant. Pence is the one who is part of the Quiverfull Movement (a group of religious extremists whose ultimate goal is to force all women into the home and to force Christian values and straight vanilla sex on us all.) All the dangerous legislation against us is coming from Pence. And this is something we need to be talking about.

If you are kinky, then politics needs to matter to you. I know it’s easier to avoid it and to just not talk about it, but we can’t do that. We have to fight for the community that we have built, and fight against those who would take our freedom to fuck in fun ways away from us. You might think it can’t get that bad, but it was that bad twenty years ago. It can be again.

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Please vote. Please write to your elected representatives. Please talk to people about the community and how we are just normal folks like them (as opposed to terrifying criminal sinners.) Be open about who you are and how you follow laws. Remind people that CONSENT is our biggest rule.

And as an aside, I wrote a trilogy of books to humanize us. They are modeled after a vanilla romance novel (I read about 30 vanilla romance novels before writing them to get the formula right.) However, the main character is kinky. She starts out a little kinky, and then evolves into a polyamourous dominatrix. The point of the series is to teach vanilla people about consensual kink and how normal and non-threatening it is.

So, if you know a vanilla person who might need that lesson, please buy them The Jamie Johnson Trilogy. It’s not anything super-special to us kink folks (all the kink scenes are pretty tame and standard.) But that is because it’s intent is not to shock. Rather, it is to lull the vanilla folks into a sense of security because we’re just normal human beings who have a few whips and chains in our closet, and it’s not a big deal.

You probably don’t have time to write novels, but any form of activism you choose to do is equally valid. Just fight. Please. We all need to fight for our right to be kinky!

Where You Live Matters

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I live in Guam right now.

It is a tiny island in the middle of nowhere, and you have to zoom in a long way to see it on Google maps.

The island of Guam only has around 170,000 people on it, and many of them are military (so often only available for short amounts of time.)

This makes kink difficult for two reasons:

1. Kinky people are always a percentage of the population, so the lower the population, the lower the number of kinky people.

2. Tiny communities mean that everyone knows everyone, so events are difficult and terrifying for locals because no one wants to run into their aunt or brother at a munch.

This means that living on Guam has been kind of a bummer for us.

My husband and I are the sort of people who feed off the energy of other people. In the absence of our community (for munches and fetish proms and dungeon time), it is hard to feel kinky. Sometimes we start to feel like two normal married people, and it’s like huge parts of ourselves have gone numb.

I don’t want to disparage Guam. It’s beautiful. I have been able to make friends with sea turtles and enjoy empty beaches and quiet time (since we’re not overrun by tourists like most tropical islands are.)

I have no right to complain about living in such a beautiful place. I am able to enjoy coral, fish, and reefs filled with beauty and warm water that stretch on for miles. If you want to go on a vacation, Guam isĀ  great place to do it.

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However, as a kinky person, I do feel very much like I lost myself.

I have loved being in dungeons and at kink events since I was 14. I have loved the clothes, the people, and the play. It was all such a big part of my life for so long and it always felt good.

I remember thinking that it didn’t matter where we got sent after I was in Oregon, because one thing I learned teaching in South Korea is that there are kinky people everywhere. I never thought I would have to be without my community.

And then we came to Guam, and I realized that it’s too small for events and the few munches were spoiled by this one creepy guy, and this girl who was insufferable.

Note: Please don’t think I am being unfair. I don’t judge people lightly. I am a tolerant person and I mostly love everyone, but there are things that go too far. I will go into detail so that you can see what kind of behavior turns people off:

Creepy Guy: Refused to listen when others asked him to stop describing the complications he experienced during anal training right down to the color of his runny poop. Also hit on every single male and female that he encountered regardless of their orientation, relationship status, or interest. And, constantly talked about how desperate he was to be dominated by anyone.

Insufferable Girl: Cut everyone off no matter who was talking or what they were saying so she could talk about herself. Had nothing interesting to say about herself. Insisted constantly that she was beautiful and the best sub ever and needed to be bought cars and minks and shoes because of how wonderful she was. Literally interrupted everyone at the munch to go on and on about how wonderful she was and how we should all buy her things.

There are almost always a few bad apples at a public munch, so that in and of itself shouldn’t mean much, but the problem is that outside of those two, there were only six of us (three couples.) And we three do get together, of course. But it’s not the same as a community with events.

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We found out recently that we are moving to Oahu, and I admit, it’s not ideal. It’s another island and so there will be no road trips to the next state over for some fabulous event.

On the other hand:

1. There are nearly a million people there, so there are bound to be more kinky folks on Oahu than there are on Guam.

2. It’s less remote so it’s much easier to get flights from there to other places.

So, I feel like this is a step closer to having a community again. I can’t tell you how much that matters to me! The last three and a half years on Guam have definitely proven to me that I need my community.

I know that some people (who have access to a community of kinky people) will say “You’re better off without the drama.” And yes, I know there is always going to be nonsense when there is a group of people.

In Korea, I actually had a nemesis that I had no idea about until after I left. I guess I had planned an event in Seoul on the same weekend that she had planned one in Daegu (a city to the south.) Now, I did check the Seoul pages to see if there were any other events before picking a date, since I didn’t want to step on any toes. But it never occurred to me to check every obscure city in the country for events before planning my own.

This girl felt personally slighted because no one came to her event and she blamed me.

The rest of the time I was in Korea, though I had no idea, she was furious every single time I threw a play party, munch, or fetish prom.

In fact, she even came to one of my events once and (instead of confronting me about her feelings) was an enormous bitch to everyone. I think her name was Cat or something. I have no idea. But what I do know is, she hated me for years. And when I left, she threw a party to celebrate it.

So TRUST ME, I get that there is drama. I get that more people = more problems.

The universe has not given me the gift of being ignorant of how difficult a community can sometimes be. (Although in the case of Daegu girl I actually was ignorant since no one told me about it until after I left Korea.)

The point is, I know communities can be a hassle.

And yet, it means the world to me to have access to one.

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The thing is, community is so important. You look out there at society and all you see are normal relationships mirrored in every aspect of culture. They are all monogamous vanilla people just going about their lives being dull and boring.

For people like us, there is no model. I am bisexual. My husband is hetero-flexible. Neither of us are the slightest bit into gender at all. We’re kinky. And, we’re polyamorous.

People like us are not represented in the media, in culture, or in others that we meet. There are no goofy sitcom episodes about how a couple goes through a kink slump after living together for a while because comfort and BDSM do not always mix easily. There is no relationship guru radio show to call in to and talk about making space for kink in your life. There are not movies about poly couples happily chatting about their dates when they get home at night.

We are not reflected in what you see in advertising, media, entertainment, or your office Christmas party.

Without community, we are totally alone.

When we feel lost or need advice, there is no one to go grab tea with. I would give anything to have a fellow Dom to just get beers with from time to time and talk about shit. But this is Guam, and we are one of the most remote islands on Earth.

I have struggled with my isolation every day that I have lived on Guam, and I am so excited for it to be over.

So wish me luck on Oahu. I hope I meet amazing people there. But more than that, I hope you all appreciate your communities wherever you are, because it’s awful to be without one. Friends who are like you matters so much more than I can express.

Then and Now

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I started out in the scene in the way-back-when days. The Internet wasn’t really a think yet, and so it was really hard to put out information about events.

Sure, those freaks that were into judging the prettiest goat could just put an add in the paper for their booth at the country fair, because that sort of behavior is okay with society. But not us. The Kink Community was hidden away down scary dark alleys and in disreputable clubs.

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I remember when I first heard someone mention kink at The Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was fourteen. I was shocked that it was a thing that existed outside my head! Back then, all the periodicals were hidden behind counters and there was just know way to find these things out easily.

So I overheard the place they mentioned. It was called The Graffiti Shop. When I got there, I realized it wasn’t a kink club at all. It was a music and clothing store. But, it had a board where people could post fliers. Then I understood. The Kink Community in my city had no real way to communicate, so they would leave a stack of fliers for an event at The Graffiti Shop, and you would have to go get one and bring it with you to get in to the event.

The events would always be at really skivvy dive bars down really dark alleys, which was traumatizing. It took a lot of guts and a fair amount of stupid for a young girl to go through with making it into an event.

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I think the people were creepier back then. It might just be because I was a young girl then, but I feel like being pushed into the shadows can make people feel creepy. If society says there is something wrong with them, then they internalize that and act accordingly.

Of course, I could be reading too much into it. I guess I have been to some event even recently where there were a lot of “creepers,” (you know- those guys you do not want to get stuck talking to.)

Anyway I feel like there were legitimately creepier people back then, and not in a good way. It was all so clandestine and secretive, and I think that made it more dangerous. You would never report a rape at a club that was super-secret like that, right?

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So now we live in the future. I love the future! The Internet (for me) completely changed the Kink Community in the best ways possible! Now, you can go to events easily, and there are vanilla events like munches where you can just talk to kinky people without having to go through all the costuming and pageantry.

We have all kinds of resources. There are communities like the BDSM subreddit where you can ask questions and read about kink issues. There are websites for meeting people like Collar Space. There’s fetlife.com, which I think of as Facebook for kinksters. And there’s all sorts of kink porn that you don’t have to sneak behind a beaded curtain and have a very awkward interaction with a checkout guy for.

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The Internet let us come out of the shadows and into the light. It let us create a community, and have enough members in that community to support dungeons and play spaces and meetups.

I often muse at how great everything has gotten and how bad it really was before. And when I think about it, I can’t believe how glad I am that we live in the time that we do and have the resources that we have.

I will never be nostalgic for the past, and I will always look forward to the future.

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