Facts & Info

When Good Kinks Turn Bad

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Those of us who are kinky strive to live and fuck ethically.

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Sex is catharsis, and if some turn-ons are dark or “perverted,” that’s why we give it sexual space for expression and exploration, instead of repressing it and letting it take over our daily lives. We work out our traumas or just our basic biologies in the bedroom, where such matters are subject to consent, community, and intimacy.

When I find myself getting uppity about kinks that I find repugnant or don’t make sense to me, I try to remember “live and let live.” When someone equates violence or rape or other crimes with kink, BDSM, porn, being gay or trans, I get pissed off and point out how many crimes are committed by people who have ordinary sex lives.

But every now and again something comes up that reminds me to take stock, to make sure my sex life corresponds with my ethical and moral values.

It’s the Ed Buck scandal that has given me pause.

Buck is known for his human rights activism and major donations to the Democratic parties, often pictured with major members like Hilary Clinton. Last year he put kink in the news when a black man in his playground-dungeon living room was found dead of a drug overdose.

Tongues wagged, but others said that judgement was homophobic and kink phobic, that this was a tragedy and Buck wasn’t responsible.

It just happened again, to another black man. Now LGBTQ and racial activists are keeping vigil outside Buck’s home, holding signs up that say “Black Lives Matter.” Other black men, including gay sex workers, are coming forward and saying they participated in racially humiliating sex rites and were injected against their will with extreme doses of methamphetamine and tortured in a BDSM dungeon of sex toys.

I’m angry that a predator is giving kinky folks a bad name, but thankful for the opportunity to reflect on kinky ethics.

Consent is always key. And it must be real, not contrived or coerced or assumed.

We don’t “talk people into something” or assume their reluctance or curiosity constitutes a yes. We explore our kinks with people who are safe to say yes or no, and free to change their mind at any time about anything.

Paying someone for sex services isn’t consent.

There is nothing wrong with paying for services that someone is selling. But accepting payment doesn’t mean someone agrees to anything you want. Accepting money for an act doesn’t mean that person can’t change their mind.

Tread carefully with racially charged or rape and abuse fantasies.

I will not deny agency and freedom of choice to people of color who want to participate and explore in slavery, or racial humiliation dramas or anything else they want, anymore than I will deny that some men want to be whipped and some women enjoy rape play.

What we can do is be extra cautious about considering how and when to participate and with whom. Trust and intimacy, or carefully drawn contracts might be especially important when it comes to kinks of this nature.

Drink and get high in moderation.

We can all be more mindful of our limits and our motivations.

Never defend a predator or sexually violent person just because they’re on “our team.”

Women don’t defend female killers. Men don’t defend rapists. Black folks don’t defend black criminals. Italians don’t defend mafia hits.

There is no need to minimize the guilt of someone in our political party, gender, sexual orientation, or kink community. We did nothing wrong. Ed Buck and his sleazy circles DO NOT represent my kink world. Period.

Tell us what you think!

Tell us what you think!

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