Quitting The NYC Kink Scene

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.

free love idealism

tl;dr: the nyc kink scene killed my free love idealism and im still bitter, basically

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.

im a quitter

im a quitter

(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 existIt 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.



2 thoughts on “Quitting The NYC Kink Scene

  1. This article kinda makes me sad. As a BDSM educator and strong advocate of healthy BDSM practices, I think the scene you became involved in honestly wasn’t healthy (as you also mentioned). But I also think that perhaps you were searching for something in this lifestyle that you can’t just get from having sex with multiple, kinky partners, and that’s acceptance.

    In most local BDSM communities, there’s a sense of family and trust. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with a kinkster that revolved ONLY around our kinks and sexual desires. We talked about our jobs, families and personal experiences as well. But I also know that there are smaller scenes in my area where the main focus in being promiscuous as recklessly as possible.. and that’s just plain dangerous!

    For BDSM to work there are a set of principles that need to be followed, if people don’t abide by them and take each other into consideration, then.. yes, people get hurt and bad things happen. But I wouldn’t judge the ENTIRE NYC scene based on practices of one group of people involved. I’m sure there is a scene in NYC that promotes healthy relationships and BDSM activities, and if there isn’t one yet.. maybe you’ll see ASI there in a few years!

    • I know it was only eight months but they were a really active eight months. I met close to two hundred people and had somewhat close friendships with half of them. This is where my generalizations come from. I’m not talking about a clique of fifty that I couldn’t escape. But the scene I hung out with wasn’t the gay leather scene that has been in NYC since forever. It was the queer kink Fetlife scene that is really new. Surprisingly new.

      Most people leave as soon as they get in. I would be such an old timer for my two years of experience at this point. The scene is mostly popular by people who are just entering. People leave all the time, they can’t handle it, and probably because they have been hurt like I have.

      But thank you for responding. I do want to explore other kink scenes in the states and abroad. And yeah, despite my cynical blog I do not regret a moment I had in the scene. I have met some amazing people, including my current partner, and learned more about myself and the world from diving into the bdsm scene than anything else in my life so far.

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