Personal and sexual politics are reaching a fever pitch these days. Despite the fact that we’ve come a long way in the last hundred years or so, suddenly we are seeing an intense clap back at anything considered outside of the norm. By definition Kink is outside of the norm, so it is unsurprising that kink shaming seems to be on the rise and pearl clutching is at an all-time high.
What is Kink Shaming?
Kink shaming is when someone passes judgement on another person’s kinks, sexual preferences, or proclivities. It can also be a form of character assassination by implying that someone’s sexual behaviour informs their personality or morality. No matter how you slice it, kink shaming is shitty and rude.
What Does Kink Shaming Look Like?
False equivalencies: “Some kinks are about rape, therefore kink supports rape culture.”
- There are bad apples in every group but the kink community at large focuses on consent and communication with a very low tolerance for abuse.
Erasure: “Kink is a pathological flaw and should be hidden away and eradicated.”
- Having sexual kinks is valid and incredibly common. Elements of kink and fetishism are rampant in popular culture and often ignored or glossed over unless they become too overt.
Misinformation: “If you call your boyfriend ‘Daddy’ that means you have Daddy issues.”
- Anti-kink rhetoric is always quick to correlate trauma and kink. Can past traumas inform one’s kinks? Sure, but they are not necessarily the source. In many cases it’s difficult, if not impossible, to define exactly how a kink took root. Some people are very aware of how their kinks began, and the reasons are not always negative at all. We like what we like.
The Opposite of Sex Positivity
Being sex positive means accepting and embracing not only your own sexuality but accepting and embracing that sexuality is an important, healthy, part of life. This includes kink. You don’t need to be kinky yourself, but sex positivity includes accepting that kink is not a pathological issue and is completely acceptable between consenting adults.
What It Does to People
Sexual shame is something that most people carry. It can have a significant impact on a person’s self esteem and their ability to explore their sexuality. Everyone has the right to explore their sexuality in peace and safety, provided they are not forcing it onto anyone else. Appropriate sharing of kinks, or references to preferences, are not fodder for harassment and humiliation. If you encounter something kinky and make jokes about how weird a kink or fetish is, be mindful of who is listening/reading. There is no need to moralise what consenting adults do in private. It’s not your kink? That’s cool. It’s also not your business.
If you think it’s fair and reasonable that you’re not humiliated or terrorised for what turns you on, consider that the same goes for others. It costs you nothing to not comment, keep your opinion to yourself, and move on.
Have you been kink shamed? What are your thoughts on this topic? Share in the comments below!