I’m a genderqueer identified male-bodied masochist and submissive who critically analyzes kinks. This blog originated as a critical kink blog, but has sort of morphed into my personal tumblr, so it also deals with my feminist politics, left market anarchism, and prison abolitionism.
Here’s why I reject the idea that one should never “kink shame” and that all fetishes are valid:
Subjects should not be off the table for critical analysis simply because they turn us on. Racism, sexism, authoritarianism, and emotional abuse do not magically become totally okay because of consent.
Opposing “kink shaming” is dangerous because it establishes a sphere of action and thought that is not subject to critique. Furthermore, the sphere it puts outside the realm of criticism is a very important sphere. Sexuality is a realm of human interaction where abuse and violence are rampant. It is a realm of human interaction that deals with our deepest emotions. It is, therefore, a realm that we should be able to think critically about.
Declaring that preferences in this sphere cannot be critiqued is a terrible idea.
This blog exists to analyze racism, sexism, transmisogyny, rape culture, pitfalls for abuse, and other dangers associated with various types of kinks.
I will not make my own fetishes exempt to criticism. Here’s hoping we can have good discourse.
So, I just want to signalboost this person’s blog because, whoa, AWESOME.
And because I want to ask a question: Where is everybody else? Where are the other radical rolequeer folks who are engaged in exegetic critique of their own kinks and still playing with power in ways that feel both hot and liberatory? The kinksters who, without self-flagellating over it (except maybe literally), are working to be honest, transparent, and conscientious about the way their complicity with oppression culture manifests in their erotic lives? I know you’re out there. I want to know what you’re thinking. Even more importantly, I want to know how you’re playing.
See, I have this project. It’s to explicate the ways that “D/s” and other erotic power games can become a tool or training ground for resisting oppression culture:
My ideal model of BDSM is a bit like an erotic Theater of the Oppressed for two. (Or three or however many people you’re playing with.) BDSM is a sandbox in which to learn more about how oppression, discrimination, violence, violation, abuse, etc. feels – so that we can more easily recognize it when it happens to us, or when we are doing it to someone else, in the wider world.
This project involves three parts:
3. Build something new: Rolequeer Play.
If BDSM is the erotic fetishization of oppression culture, then rolequeer play is the erotic fetishization of liberation from oppression. And it should function in a very similar way to what I describe in The Invisible Girl:
If I play with oppression in my sex, if I consciously learn what it feels like in my body, then it becomes easier for me to see and feel oppression working surreptitiously in the world.
Except that, in rolequeer play, we’re not working on developing our somatic sense of what oppression feels like; we’re practicing resisting oppression and learning what that feels like. Rolequeer play is all about breaking power dymanics.
The erotic climax in a rolequeer scene is when someone safewords, when the bottom says “no” to the top and means it, when the top makes themself obsolete, when the bottom takes the top’s power away or the top freely gives it to them, if there’s even a “bottom” and “top” to begin with. Rolequeer play is two people submitting to each other simultaneously, Submissive solidarity within the context of a scene, Submissives retroactively withdrawing consent from Dominants they’ve played with and infiltrating Dominant headspace to become double-agents, and Dominants getting excited when that happens. You might be a rolequeer if: you think it’s incredibly hot to watch someone remove their own restraints.
Steps #1 and #2 of this project are well underway. Step #1 has mostly been an extension work maymay has been doing for years. (But one of the reasons I was first drawn so intensely to this part maymay’s work was because it put words to something I’d been living and thinking about for most of my life.) Step #2 is mostly still a big blob of inchoate thoughts, but they’re starting to get better articulated in some of mymore recent posts.
Step #3, I’ve been doing a lot of work on in private. In addition to writing a lot of rolequeer porn, maymay and I have spent the past year deconstructing and reconstructing our kinks together, asking questions about why we’re turned on by the things we’re turned on by, and then figuring out ways to reframe traditional D/s fetishes such as “orgasm denial,” “mind control,” “service,” “pet play,” etc. in ways that still get us both hot but don’t rely on hierarchy to function.
I don’t feel comfortable sharing many details about that publicly. Yet. But we are documenting the fuck out of our process. (By which I mean “sexting.”)
If you are doing the same, and you feel comfortable sharing what it looks like for you, I’d love to hear about yours.