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June 01, 2016

If you’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey or waded through Pornhub’s wilder category pages, you probably think you know all there is to know about kink.

Hate to break it to you, but unless you’ve mixed with a few kinky people, you’ve probably never heard of the weirdest fetishes known to mankind.

Human sexuality is weird. In the South African kink community, you’ll meet people who like being tied to a cross and whipped bloody. You’ll see plenty who dress up like dogs and run around in packs. I even know a few who are turned on by the idea of shrinking. Yep. That’s what I said.

Dominatrices, sadists, and the sluttiest of sluts are walking among you wearing skinny jeans and ties. We’re your boss, your date, your best friend’s boyfriend… Hell, we’re even your parents and teachers. You wouldn’t be able to tell a kinkster from a vanilla person in a line up, but we’re probably not what you imagined anyway.

We Hate 50 Shades of Grey

Admitting that you enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey to someone in the kink community is committing social suicide because we despise that damn book. It’s been five years since it was published, and we’re still mocking it. Most of us are nothing like Christian Grey for two reasons:
  1. We’re not kinky because we had an awful past. We’re kinky because we feel comfortable enough with our fantasies to make them a reality.
  2. We don’t like people who coerce others to have wild sex. We prefer…

Enthusiastic and Informed Consent

We take consent so seriously that we could talk about it for weeks on end without doubling back on the same subject matter. We like our safety. We like enthusiastic consent even more. You’re far less likely to be groped at one of our parties than you are at the corner bar, and many of our events are alcohol-free. Consent under mood and mind altering substances is a slippery pastime, so we try to keep things clean.

You’ll Find More One Night Stands on Tinder than in Our Community

Some of us might fit into your preconceived ideas of what a kinkster looks like. You might track down an orgy or two if you try hard enough, and many of us are polyamorous. Most of us aren’t all that promiscuous, though. I’m kinky as hell, but don’t even try to approach me for a casual hook-up. It’s not going to happen. I’m looking for romance. Sure, the man I choose is going to like tying me up and spanking me, but he’s also going to have to buy me flowers and take me on dates. Just because I’m kinky, doesn’t mean I’ve never read Cinderella.

We Can be a Bit Cultish

Like every other community on the planet, there are arrogant and annoying people in the kink world who like telling everyone else how BDSM is supposed to be done. Some of them want The Old Ways back. Some of them have the misogynistic idea that all dominants should be men and all submissives should be female. They do give the rest of us something to laugh at other than 50 Shades of Grey, though, so maybe we shouldn’t complain.

We Have No Time for Abusers

BDSM is legal in South Africa, but getting outted as a kinkster can lose you access to your kids or cost you your job because people tend to judge us. (How surprising) We’ve learned to police ourselves because of that. Most of us keep lists of abusers so that we can warn newbies about those they should avoid, and most of us ban known consent violators from events, which is why, if you’re looking for a kinky partner, you’re far safer doing it from inside the community than on Tinder. We also have some pretty snappy safety tools for you if you’re dating. Reference checks and safe calls are the norm with us, and they should be the norm with you, too with SA crime stats being what they are.

We’re a Family

The kink community is supposed to give like-minded people a place to learn and grow, but I love it for a different reason: kinksters are socially aware and open-minded.

They tend to be accepting of differences, and they’ve given up trying to pretend to be something they’re not. The kink community is more family oriented than the home I grew up in, and when I go through dark times, it’s kinksters who carry me through. A Journal of Sex Research study found that one in six people has a kink, and one in three have tried out at least one fetish.

Kink isn’t the exception. It’s the norm. It’s intimidating at first to experiment with all the weird stuff that exists in your sexual fantasies, but once you realise how normal they are, that fear vanishes like yesterday morning’s fog. Maybe you should try it. You’ll never be the same again.

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