Sunday, September 5, 2010

If You Had To "Come Out"

Recently, I have found myself looking around the variety of scene related activities we indulge in, or observe others indulge in. This has caused me to consider whether there is a hierarchy of "acceptability" and, if so, what it is.

The easiest way to articulate the question is to consider yourself in a situation where you had to reveal some personal knowledge of kink to a vanilla audience.

Fetish fashion is an easy reveal. Burlesque wear, corsetry, strappy shoes and dommy jackets are all pretty mainstream now, not just the domain of Agent Provocateur and the Sunday Times Style magazine.

So, really, kinky looking gear is no reveal at all.

Spanking, and particularly the schoolgirl roleplay aspect, is probably a little too close to personal bedroom play for many people. It risks a quick categorisation as "pervy" rather than kinky, and would probably stymie further discussion.

Waxplay. Everyone has played with candles in childhood, and many adults can't resist messing with candle wax when in a restaurant in boring company, or when summoning up the courage to pop some question (isn't that why those restaurants have elaborate candles?). So, for most people, a reveal about wax play would probably result in a "so what" reaction.

Explaining D/s power relationships will seem very non-PC to many. Most men are now expected to be "new age", so revealing an acceptance of power exchange dynamics could be interpreted as voting for reactionary stone age political ideals. This dismissive position overlooks the fact that virtually all relationships contain some element of power exchange. Saying so will move the whole debate away from kink and into the much more fraught domain of politics. Introducing any concept of "domestic service and discipline" will only, by definition, bring the argument closer to "home".

If we try to discuss issues of alternative sexuality or gender assignment, we will probably get the "yes, fine, so what ?" response about same-sex relationships. This is followed by a boring discussion about inheritance tax. At the other extreme, we must refute the assumption that our (shaky) knowledge of the more clinical specifics of gender reassignment must have come from a late night Discovery documentary.

Cosplay, and other dress related behaviour, is very closely mimicked in the vanilla world. From the long standing female impersonator of music hall and pantomime fame to any hen party out for a Saturday night pre-wedding bash, there's not much clothing novelty left that we can claim for ourselves Latex is an advanced form of dress kink, and probably can't be explained without going into the whole discussion of one person's fetish being a complex relationship with a specific sensory trigger. That reveal will precipitate a request as to which obscure Social Science subjects I'm studying.

Needle play, C&BT, Electroplay and chastity restraints are all a bit deep and complex to use as a launch pad for a reveal to vanilla friends, so what am I left with.

Oddly, it's rope.

Shibari and its cousins.

Probably the least mainstream, the least often replicated in "ordinary" life and, oddly, the least open to cries of indecency or violence or general immorality. Superficially its decorative, macrame with humans, and should have a special appeal for the 1960's generation. At a more advanced level it's a circus act. A suspension is a personalised trapeze, not that different from a mountaineer's belay.

When I first discovered my kinky side, I don't believe I was even aware of Shibari. Strange that now, if asked to come out to vanilla friends, rope might be my starting point.

What do you think?

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous13/9/10 20:35

    I've (half-seriously) joked that if my parents ever discovered and/or had the audacity to question me about our DD/BDSM/kinky activities, that my reply would center on the fact that Chris likes me to spank him and do they really want more details than that?

    I only half-joke about it because, along with the very serious "This is really none of your business, this is my sex life" reply, I absolutely believe my parents would have a real issue with the notion that Chris spanks me (and ties me up, puts a collar on me, has me kneel at his feet, doesn't let me wear much or anything at night, spanks me in front of others, etc.). I think it would forever tarnish their view of him and me and, in some sense, create suspicions/paranoia of domestic abuse and cause them to worry about our daughter. (I can't really explain that without writing an essay on how my mom thinks and the connections/assumptions to which she leaps, often unjustifiably.) I can see many other people for which I would also be tempted to snarkily reply "Chris likes a little slap and tickle" or a more tactful version of the same, thus assigning him the bottom role. I really do see accusations of domestic violence as a real risk and would rather embarrass him than see him arrested.

    On the other hand, as a parent, I want to provide my daughter with a healthier outlook on sex than I got, and should I be questioned about anything *she* might discover, I believe I'd follow the line: "you know about sex, right? well, sometimes grown-ups use things - 'games' and 'toys' - to make sex more fun. When you're older, you'll find out more about this, but for now, how much do you want me to tell you?" At that point, she's likely to run away with her hands over her ears, anyway. I'd probably use a more 'adult' version of that explanation to explain why kink (in general) is attractive to me as a way to spice up the ole sex life, very deliberately excluding anything about discipline or anything related to ownership, obedience, public play at parties, etc.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that it depends on the audience. Chris and I (sadly) don't play much with rope (*sob*) so I couldn't start with shibari anyway.

    Thanks for the careful consideration, and for providing a platform for me to write a comment as long as your original post!

    s

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous13/9/10 20:37

    I've (half-seriously) joked that if my parents ever discovered and/or had the audacity to question me about our DD/BDSM/kinky activities, that my reply would center on the fact that Chris likes me to spank him and do they really want more details than that?

    I only half-joke about it because, along with the very serious "This is really none of your business, this is my sex life" reply, I absolutely believe my parents would have a real issue with the notion that Chris spanks me (and ties me up, puts a collar on me, has me kneel at his feet, doesn't let me wear much or anything at night, spanks me in front of others, etc.). I think it would forever tarnish their view of him and me and, in some sense, create suspicions/paranoia of domestic abuse and cause them to worry about our daughter. (I can't really explain that without writing an essay on how my mom thinks and the connections/assumptions to which she leaps, often unjustifiably.) I can see many other people for which I would also be tempted to snarkily reply "Chris likes a little slap and tickle" or a more tactful version of the same, thus assigning him the bottom role. I really do see accusations of domestic violence as a real risk and would rather embarrass him than see him arrested.

    On the other hand, as a parent, I want to provide my daughter with a healthier outlook on sex than I got, and should I be questioned about anything *she* might discover, I believe I'd follow the line: "you know about sex, right? well, sometimes grown-ups use things - 'games' and 'toys' - to make sex more fun. When you're older, you'll find out more about this, but for now, how much do you want me to tell you?" At that point, she's likely to run away with her hands over her ears, anyway. I'd probably use a more 'adult' version of that explanation to explain why kink (in general) is attractive to me as a way to spice up the ole sex life, very deliberately excluding anything about discipline or anything related to ownership, obedience, public play at parties, etc.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that it depends on the audience. Chris and I (sadly) don't play much with rope (*sob*) so I couldn't start with shibari anyway.

    Thanks for the careful consideration, and for providing a platform for me to write a comment as long as your original post!

    s

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for such a considered response. In the words of the song, its so good they named it twice.

    You are, of course, right. "Slap and tickle" is the acceptable version of what we do, and is probably evidence that we're not that strange really, just the visible tip of a bloody big iceberg. Some of that iceberg is below the waterline of a bedroom door and even more of it in the depths of unmentionable personal fantasy. Aren't we so lucky?

    ReplyDelete
  4. i thought this was a very good comment too. i sometimes say to people, "Oh, everyone has their own little something that turns them on!" - and it's absolutely true, the plainest vanilla couple couldn't deny it. They just don't want the details! - and, neither do i!
    It's true that issues of male/female submission horrify people and with good reason sometimes as we all know. But most men like to be seen as strong figures, and women like that in them...'nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello,
    I just discovered your blog and this post grabbed my attention. I recently did come "out" to my mother. I am 49 years old and only let the kinky side of myself out in the last five or six months, at least on the Internet. A few weeks ago, I plucked up the courage and decided to let my mother in on my little secret. One of my concerns in doing so was similar to something Serenity mentioned above - I did not want her to fear I was in, or looking for, an abusive situation. I think that it helped that I am not involved with anyone at the moment, so there was no other person who could wrongly be "blamed." (However, I am talking to a few local tops and will likely take the next step from virtual spanko to the real thing.) Anyway, she was actually happy I told her and not horrified at all. No bolt of lightning or anything. A few things make sense to her now – like she understands why I made us watch the limo-spanking episode of Weeds about 600 times. I like your blog and thanks for letting me share.
    Judy

    ReplyDelete