I only lasted eight months in the kink scene before I called it quits, two years ago. I mean, I have gone out a couple of times since, and kept in contact with my close friends, and like I occasionally lurk fetlife.com (the kink social network. Yeah we have our own. ) but that’s far from active. And I didn’t replace the scene with something new, I am back to my roots, to my true self… which is introversion. For me, it wasn’t the bdsm that was the experiment, it was being social four times a week.
I joined the scene because I was in a secret M/s polyamorous relationship for three years and couldn’t handle the loneliness that comes with such a huge secret. Though my vanilla (non-kink, like Muggles) friends were rebels, I still felt too weird to be relatable. But when I joined the scene I surpassed my need to be accepted for bdsm and poly. I found acceptance in my sex-positive feminism, trans* gender fluidity, and homosexuality too.
I had complete acceptance and support and love and attention. It gave me a special elation that I don’t expect to find again. I was infatuated, more so with the entire kink scene than anyone in particular. I would proudly say that I was dating the kink scene, that I was the kink scene’s lover, that everyone was beautiful and nothing can go wrong — until reality hit.
I left the scene because . . .
(A) The conversations bored me. If you aren’t in the scene, then maybe conversations about orgies, being cut open, being a sex slave, and starting porn work might seem endlessly exciting. Well, sorry, but these conversations actually aren’t that great. At some point I think, what about the rest of the world. There are only so many conversations on what it means to be a sub one person can take. These conversations made me closed off from meeting new people and more interested in learning the real meaty stuff from the friends I already made.
(B) I realized I willingly invited a rapist into my apartment to have sex with me without even knowing his name. Two years ago, when I quit, there was a major outing happening on Fetlife over community rapists. I entirely support this movement however Fetlife’s admins and moderators do not. There is still a conflict going on between Fetlife and the NYC kink scene over the outings. In one of the outings this particular kinkster was mentioned multiple times and I became rightfully horrified. Even if he never came over, I still would of been disturbed. I learned in these outing that there are many abusers that float around the scene. Realizing this sorta ruined my free-love idealism.
(C) Heartbreak. I have had the same conflicts come up multiple times in my different relations leading to some serious hurt feelings. Though I call it heartbreak, I am not just talking about my ex-romantic relationships. I am talking about other partners and friends as well. There are some really unhealthy habits in the nyc kink culture. People try to have as many partners as possible, often retiring their old partners when they find something new and shiny. Besides being a gross thing to do to someone, this is dangerous behaviors. Hard limits are frequently forgotten and real connections are forced, leading to some really awful scenes. The binge-eating on scene partners comes from a complete misunderstanding over what polyamoury really means (loving multiple people). The scene degrades this word to excuse their hook up culture with a pretentious-intellectual name. And fuck it hurts.
(D) I’m a quitter. I didn’t like the kink scene so I quit it. For a while this made perfect sense but recently I’m realizing how awful that actually was. The community doesn’t just exist. It is a group-made institution that is frequently shifting and growing with the contributions of many different leaders. There is nothing about my personality that screams ‘leader’ however I didn’t even try to fix the holes that I saw in the scene. I was hurt by them and I left. This is where I was wrong. I can’t expect a community to change to my ideals if I don’t put them on the table. At this point I’m so removed from the kink scene that even writing this article is intrusive. I think sometimes of going back and being louder about my qualms. But if I stay a quitter forever then at least I hope I inspire someone else to either help the nyc kink community or whatever community that they belong to.
- BDSM/Kink/Fetish Studies PCA/ACA (asubmissivesinitiative.wordpress.com)
- INTIMACY ISSUES IN THE NYC SCENE (indelibility.wordpress.com)
- Successful Polyamoury (omgrey.wordpress.com)