Kink shaming, sex shaming, and double standards

{Originally posted on my tumblr on Sun Jan 5 2014}

[I suppose my last few posts could be seen as a sort of series on ‘while we’re working on a new approach here are some issues I have with the old one’].

Sometimes, seeing what the people I disagree with are saying is helpful to me in figuring out my own ideas. As such, I occasionally like to go and read the writings of the radfem and such kinds of anti-kink people. A common strategy I’ve noticed while doing this is that of announcing that kinky people are way too concerned with their own orgasms. Here’s the most recent example I’ve found, which puts it as

your ‘wah my orgasms tho!’ sex pozzie bullshit.


Which – well, that certainly seems like an awful thing to be doing.

(sidenote: personally, I’m anorgasmic and as such clearly can’t put my orgasms before anything. But since I’ve yet to see anyone having the idea that kink is OK, but only for anorgasmic people, I’m going to take ‘orgasms’ as standing in for a more general ‘pleasure you get from it’).

But on the subject of awful things – here are some other things I’m doing, and am likely to continue to be doing, regardless of what decisions I make about my kinks.

In all these cases, I’m putting my wants before people. Is that less awful?

And yes, these are things a lot of people criticize, but I don’t tend to see it get the same kind of yelling, or the same kind of ‘therefore you are horrible scum’ attitudes, let alone advocacy for violent execution.

On a similar note, it is very widespread in our society to enjoy movies and video games about things like war, pirates, bandits, and terrorist attacks. Most of the media we consume and enjoy will have sexism, racism, ableism, transphobia, etc.

And yet, again, while there is certainly criticism, it is usually accepted that people do this, and most things addressing it are about how to do it.

And this despite that in both these cases, my complicity with the badthings goes beyond psychologically perpetuating – I’m directly financially supporting them.

Overall, the particular negative attention and emphasis placed on kink doesn’t seem to make much sense.

Unless you look at it in the context of a culture with an already existing and strong idea that orgasms and related pleasure are evil and sinful and dirty in ways that clothing and movies and educational choices are not

And then I think it does make sense.

(Important note: The idea here is in no way that people should feel more bad about their computers, food, movies, etc. The idea here is that given how full of badthings our world is, a lot of things are going to be connected to badthings. And we can (and I think should) fight the badthings in as much as we can, and be aware of the connections. But we should also live our own lives in which our own boundaries, wants, and needs matter and are valid. And I think this applies to kink as much as to the other things.)