Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back Away from My Kink

(I need to preface this post with a warning. If you are a member of my family, you probably don't want to read this. Stop now, go read something else. Maybe come back next week. Agents/editors, there will be a degree of TMI in this post. I'm sorry. Uh... that goes for everyone else too. If you are easily offended or don't want to know anything more about my sex life than that I have one, please step away from the blog. Thank you.

Also, there is cursing involved.)

Still here? Cool.

There's a lot of talk going around about BDSM right now. As happens periodically, a book (sometimes it's a movie) has come out that drags the lifestyle into the mainstream and people start talking about it. This is a good thing. It is an opportunity for learning and understanding. (For a prime example of this, check out Wicked Lil Pixie's place. She's been interviewing people in the lifestyle for a better understanding--without falling prey to what the news media does and looking for the extreme of the extreme.)

Unfortunately, it is also an opportunity for people to rant about things they don't bother learning about and that they don't understand. Yesterday, I followed a fellow author's link to her blog. It initially looked as though it was going to be a rant against 50 Shades of Grey. (Now, here's the thing--I haven't read the book. I read the first few pages and couldn't get past the writing to bother. Other people love the book. More power to them as far as I'm concerned.) It wasn't about that though. It was a rant against BDSM.

On the plus side, the author admitted that she doesn't understand it. But she then went on to say that as far as she was concerned, it was abuse. Period. Maybe she backpedaled after saying that, but I was already seething and quit reading the post shortly thereafter (as it also was incredibly long, so I didn't want to suffer through it for that amount of time). Here's the deal...

Abuse (from Miriam Webster):
1  : a corrupt practice or custom
: improper or excessive use or treatment : misuse <drugabuse>
3   : 
obsolete : a deceitful act : deception
: language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily
: physical maltreatment

Dear author of said blog,
I'm guessing, definition #5 was your argument for abuse. The problem with that is if the people involved (consenting adults, mind you) want and enjoy the aspects of BDSM (including spanking, flogging, collaring, or whatever happens to float their own personal boat), it would not--for them--be cruel and inhumane treatment (the definition of maltreatment).

However, your own post definitely fits under #4 in that it condemns people who do enjoy this lifestyle. So, there's your abuse. Congrats, it came from you. Personally, I prefer my floggings to be of a more physical nature from someone who cares about me and does it because I want him to. He doesn't abuse me. You did.

You also vilified a fair number of my friends. They might be people you know. They might not. It doesn't matter. You blindly and willfully got on your soapbox and shouted how wrong they were for liking to take or give up control. How wrong they were for wanting alpha males in their lives. How wrong they were for taking their sex with a side of discipline. And you did so by scoffing at one of the basic tenants of the kink community with your comment (paraphrasing to avoid linking back to your rant) about how you don't care about "live and let live" and not judging others. Oh really? Then it's perfectly okay for me to judge you and your sex life and relationships? Really? There's a saying we follow in the kink community that goes something like "It's not my kink." Personally, there are many things I don't enjoy, but if someone else does, it is their right.

You balked at collaring. That's fine. It's not your thing. Quite frankly, if my husband came home with a collar, I'd be a little taken aback. But here's the difference between your attitude of changing the locks and my kinky marriage--my husband and I would sit the fuck down and talk about why he wanted me to wear it, what it would mean to him, to me, and to our relationship. Guess which one of us would be less likely to head to divorce court.

You see, the world of kink isn't about abuse. It's about what feels good. If something doesn't feel good or right for you, you don't do it. You might try it on for size, but if you don't like it, you leave that out. And you talk to your partner about it. I've seen people ask questions about "how do I get my spouse to _______?" on kink websites. The most common answer is always something like "You can't make them, but talk to them about it." Kink is big on communication. Communication saves marriages.

And, as far as collaring and submission and servitude go, it's not my thing. I don't think I could ever do a 24/7 lifestyle. But, one of my very dear friends is contracted to a Dom. And she is the happiest now that I have ever known her. I'm not sure if that needs repeating, but here's the thing. Who the fuck are you to judge that? What gives you the right to stand on your soapbox and tell her that her path to happiness--that doesn't actually hurt anyone--is wrong? You're not her mother. You're not her sister. As far as I know, you're not even her friend. You're some author on a high horse who decided you're right and the rest of us are wrong.

Crazy statistic for you. There's a kink website I know (just one out of I don't know how many) that is rapidly approaching a million members. Now, if you consider the number of men and women who are of age and into kink that haven't joined (for whatever reason), that number's a whole lot bigger. Where do you get off telling a million plus people that they are wrong? That what they enjoy either in the bedroom or outside of it is bad (we're talking consenting adults here)?

I get that you are unhappy that those types of books--the ones with the alpha males and the BDSM and the kink--are selling. Hell, I write beta heroes rather often. A lot of people like the change, but a lot of others don't like them because those characters aren't "man enough." They dislike my heroine because she doesn't follow the "rules of romance." Whatever. They're the characters that are in the story and they belong there. And I like them. But I also like my alpha heroes. I also like my kinky characters. As an author, I get to put whatever I like into my books. Whatever fits. I'm in control there, but I don't get to control what other people want to read.

And neither do you.

You get to choose what's right for you. In your bedroom, your life, and your stories. But here's a heads up: my kink, my friends' kinks, BDSM books, alpha heroes... none of that affects you unless you want it to. Don't like it? Then don't do it. Don't participate. Don't write it. Don't read it. No one (unless you have an editor pushing for it--who you're allowed to say no to) is forcing you down that path.

So stop abusing those of us who do choose to travel it with your words and your anger and your hate.

Beware the kinky. A lot of us will bite back.

Have a lovely vanilla day,


  1. Great post. I do not live in the BDSM/Kink livestyle but I do love stories involving this. The way I see it, if the people are adults and consent to the actions, they are the only people it effects. They are not forcing anyone else to participate or doing anything to harm others so it is no one else's business.
    I really hate it when someone purposely chooses to bash a book/genre/etc. Some people go out of their way to read books that then know they will hate just so they an complain about it. It sounds like whoever this author was was doing basically the same thing. If you don't like reading about this lifestyle, DON'T READ IT! It is really that simple.

    Loved the post. Thank you so much.

    1. And that's just it. You don't have to be part of it to accept that it makes some people happy.

      As for bashing books about it... *blink* I'm thinking we can bash books about murder (which I also write in many of mine) first. You know... BAD things, that HURT people.

    2. This has ALWAYS been my contention! People have no problems watching--or letting their young children watch--murder and mayhem in super hero movies or on TV, but show some cleve or say a curse word and OH NO! Timmy will be scarred for life.
      REALLY!?! So it's WORSE to show a nipple than to show someone's head being blown off?

      Good post, Julie.

  2. An excellent post. I don't live in that world, but I wouldn't suggest that those who did are doing anything wrong.

    I think some people need to look inward before pointing at those who disagree with their way of life, or view of what the world should be.

    1. That's just it. People need to worry about their own self- and sexual-fulfillment. Stay out of other people's bedrooms...unless you're invited in, of course :P

  3. *tackle hugs*

    Damn straight.

  4. I used to comments in the my old job along the lines of "I bet you're into all that nasty stuff." with a look of disgust on their face. Why is it nasty? Who says it's nasty? And why do you assume this just because I wear thick black eyeliner and have spiky bracelets and a mohawk?
    Just to get a rise out of them, I would say "aye, the nastier the better".

    But the whole thing of complaining about it makes me think of all those people that complain about things on TV or that someone said a bad word (OMG!). Why read and/or watch if all you're going to do is complain? Nobody's forcing you to find out about the BDSM community ~ don't like it? Fuck off!

    And I'm with you on the abuse thing, I've heard this said before many times in the past and it downright pisses me off.

    1. Exactly! It's FINE if it's not your thing. No one is going to force you to play. And if they DO, that's not BDSM, that's rape. Different thing entirely.

      If they only knew that a sizable percentage of the kink community looks like soccer-moms and businessmen, they'd probably die of heart failure.

  5. Seleste, you nailed it right on the head! Whether people engage in BDSM or not isn't the point. (I don't, not my thing, but that doesn't mean I condemn anyone who does) It's all about those who don't take the time to understand the topic that they are rejecting. Unfortunately, we see too many examples of this in all walks of life...

    1. True. It's like shooting first and asking questions later. The arrogance of many many people just KILLS me.

  6. This was another thoughtful post and I'm so glad you posted it.

    I don't know why everyone is so concerned about what consenting adults do to each other or what someone does in their fantasies.

    1. YES! The only bedroom people should be worried about is theirs. Consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone need to be left the hell alone.

  7. There are lots of people out there that just don't understand and never will, they will see it as abuse and mistreatment because of their prudishness and ignorance.
    It is the furthest thing from it, it's powerful, cathartic and truly bonding (no pun intended) and intimate. I am sad for those who don't understand, nor want to.

    1. Love the pun <3

      See? I get that some people might not be into it, but to sit outside without even trying to learn and then condemn it? That just chaps my ass so bad. (er... pun semi-intended :P) And you're right, it can be a beautiful, powerful thing.

  8. Seleste, I stumbled upon this as I'm looking to questions for your across the beer bar interview with me and I say: Well Said. And I quit reading 50 shades for the same reason. The writing. but obviously we are in the minority. My Realtor series has the same elements and the bond created when a typically "strong heroine" learns the value of submission and trust to a strong(er) hero has hit a nerve with a lot of my readers.
    I'll say it again: well said.

    1. Thanks, Liz :) And thanks for inviting me to the beer bar even if I did answer the drink questions when barely awake :P

  9. I think people who don't understand the lifestyle should not open their mouth. How can you comment on something you have no idea about. It shows how a person with a closed mind and little understanding can spew this out. Don't diss it till you try it..

    1. But only with someone who knows what they're doing! Do not try it with the inexperienced if you don't think you'll like it--that'll pretty much guarantee you never do LOL.



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