Kinky folks exist, we walk among you, and most of the time you’d never know! But what happens when the personal proclivities and bedroom shenanigans of kinksters seep out into ‘the real world’? How much is too much? How do we navigate kink, consent, and common decency?
Intention vs Impact
Sometimes kink in public makes me angry because the kink community is already so misunderstood, hated and feared, that foisting such activities on the public, no matter how subtle, can hurt the community and increase the divide. That is to say nothing of consent, which cannot be given by an unwitting public. No matter how well-intended or benign it seems, isn’t it a huge overstep of boundaries? Does that mean that all social boundaries and societal norms are perfect? Certainly not, but getting freaky in public is not the way to change people’s hearts and minds. Public play may be a pet-hate of mine but does that mean all non-vanilla stuff has to happen at home? No.
Context is Everything
At sex clubs, sex parties, orgies, whatever, go nuts. The difference between these events/spaces and everyday kink in public is huge: awareness and consent. If you go to a BDSM club, you should expect to see kink in action. If you are in the grocery store, you don’t expect to see anyone getting their kink on, but go to PRIDE and you will see more than you may anticipate. If you’re having a casual Tuesday evening at an orgy, logic decrees: there may be kinky shit happening around you. But a trip to the mall with the kids? That should not include a random, surprise kink experience.
Kink Life Ain’t Fair
“But what if my kink is getting kinky in public and the taboo of being seen?” Sorry – again, no shame, but that is just not a reasonable request. Find a way to role play that scenario, ‘be seen’ in a sex-friendly space, or find more subtle ways to express yourself in public without infringing on anyone’s consent. Public spaces are not the place to play out your fantasies or walk your human pet on a leash. Full stop.
But how do we normalize kink if it’s always hidden?
I am all for it becoming more mainstream and being more accessible to people, but only to people who are interested. It is simply not our right or responsibility, as kinksters, to recruit people into that kind of play or that lifestyle. People will find it all on their own, we all did.
Okay, if you must
If you really feel that you’re being oppressed by not being allowed to play in public, if you really feel that your civil liberties are being squashed, if you really feel that your identity is something you need to wear on your sleeve, why not dress the part? I’m not suggesting public nudity or exposing yourself, but wearing a collar or cuffs or showing off a strappy, bondage inspired bra under a sheer top may help scratch that itch. You will still get some of the incredulous or negative attention that you may want from public kinkiness, but BDSM style and themes weave their way into fashion all the time, so what you wear can be a great compromise to express your kinky side.
I personally have no desire to express my private self, publicly. The fact that it is a secret taboo is almost a kink in itself! For folks that want to kink out loud’n’proud in public spaces, y’all may need to wait awhile until the world catches up. Until then, be safe, have fun with other adults, and keep kink consensual.
Where do you land on the kink-in-public debate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.