Day 17: What misconception about kinky people would you most like to clear up?
Oh man…the misconceptions….THE MISCONCEPTIONS! Where do I even begin? Here is a list of misconceptions, feel free to add to this in the comments. I’ll probably keep adding to this as I see fit.
• People who engage in BDSM have psychological problems. This is so wrong on so many levels. A lot of Narwhals believe that those who identify as Master/Dominants/Tops are abusive and look for those who are weaker in order to take advantage of them and that those who identify as slaves/submissives/bottoms have a long history of abuse and tend to be push-overs. While these do exist, they majority of people you’ll meet that engage in BDSM are absolutely normal. In some ways, they are even healthier psychologically: they are able to express their sexuality and needs. Most people cannot claim that. Another myth that tends to go hand in hand with this is that those in BDSM tend to abuse drugs and alcohol. I can honestly say that at any BDSM event I’ve attended, I have never seen someone over-indulge in alcohol to the point of being drunk. Drugs are pretty much frowned upon and are strictly prohibited at events. I strongly believe that if you need drugs or alcohol in order to play or engage in BDSM, you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
• All Males are Masters, all females are slaves. Ah, if you were to believe everything you see in movies, internet, and books, all BDSM relationships are hetero normative and the male is always the dominant and the female is always the submissive. This could NOT be further from the truth. The BDSM community has a healthy mix of non-hetero normative groups and couples. A few months ago, one of my favorite tumblrs featured a lesbian couple who were engaged in a power exchange relationship. I thought it was fantastically hot. Also, the internet and books would have you believe that all females in situations like this will default to being the slave. SO MUCH BS. A fair amount of those who identify as women connect more to being a Top or Dom(me). and lets not forget about switches :) They are super prevalent in the community as well.
• BDSM is all about hurting someone. When ‘BDSM’ is mentioned, most images conjured by the mind are dark, dank dungeons, beating someone until they cry, and sex. BDSM is so much more than that; it can be a power exchange, it can be a lifestyle, and it can be completely non-sexual. My friend, EroticWetAtomic, can attest to this; she has a power exchange relationship with her fiance, but there is very little play, meaning she doesn’t get whipped or beaten by him. BDSM, to me, isn’t about pain or suffering, it’s more about the power exchange that occurs. I personally do not love being beaten - I mean, I like a good whipping every now and then and I find bruises to be sexy, but I am not typically one to enjoy being paddled or spanked. I also tend to Top in a way that is more stressful than painful. There’s also a spiritual aspect to kink (aka woo). I don’t know much about woo, but I know it’s there and very real for some kinksters.