“Kinks do not always line up with politics”—and that’s okay
I posted this Fuckbucket form on Facebook recently, and someone commented that they didn’t understand why the fuss, if the activity was specifically requested. Another person responded with the quote in this post’s headline.
Full disclosure: I know both commenters, so I’ve had or will have this conversation with them in person at some point. Outside of that, though, I wanted to explore that line “kinks do not always line up with politics”; it feels a little bit resigned, that our libidos cannot be trusted to crave the correct things, and it also echoes things that I read or hear pretty frequently about not being “a good feminist,” mostly in connection to BDSM between men and women.
I understand this concern, as a long-time feminist who possesses more than a few kinks that might seem, on the surface, to be reproducing power dynamics that are dodgy as fuck if not outright abusive when enacted in earnest out in the world. I have embraced and integrated these kinks into my life over the last several/many years, and I feel pretty damn good about them now, but I remember the first times I ran up against some of them, and I was like, whoa whoa whoa, you wanna do WHAT now.
I get it. Especially in the area of power exchange and gender dynamics, if the man is dominant and the woman is submissive, it can feel an awful lot like you’re perpetuating patriarchy when all you’re trying to do is having head-spinning good sex with the person you actually like or love and trust.
(Please see my previous blog post for related thoughts on another specific manifestation of this sort of play.)
So are you a feminist dude who just discovered how much you love to dish out controlling or brutal treatment in the bedroom when your girlfriend begs for it? If that makes you uneasy—I mean, good for having some mental checkpoints—talk with them about it, until you know that they really do want what they want, honestly. Process it yourself, on your own time, so you’re not making it weird for your sweetie, or interrogating them about what they may have already spent a lot of time and energy figuring out for themselves.
Do spend a bit of energy looking over your own behaviors and thought processes out in “the real world”; that kind of deeper self-examination can only make things better for you and your partners. But don’t overthink it. Remind yourself that your submissive lover is an adult, capable of making their own decisions about how they wanted to be treated (or mistreated) for their erotic satisfaction. (If you can’t trust them to know their own mind on this, and respect their desires and choices when they do, then maybe that’s a different problem that you need to work on.)
And then… trust them to use their safe word or signal. Adhere to your safe-word practices. Show them that you can be trusted to keep them feeling safe and listened to before, during, and after. If you do this, your kinks may not look like your politics, but to the people who matter—you and your partner(s)—they will actually align just fine.
<insert fun yet earnest appeal to become a supporter of mine over on Patreon. explain how monetary support, in any amount, helps keep me working on sex-aware projects like Smut Slam and my shows, and is what is going to help me get together that fucking podcast finally>