Hi guys :)
Today is the International Day of Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, so it's time for the annual Hop for Visibility, Awareness and Equality. That's the old Hop Against Homophobia, which then became Hop Against Homophobia and Transphoba, which then became Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia. With the new, all-inclusive name, I don't foresee any more changes ^.^ I stepped away from hop management from health reasons this year and handed the torch over to Cherie Noel and co,
What I want to talk about today is BDSM/fetish/kink as a sexual orientation. I know. Most of you are probably furrowing your brow right now and getting ready to hit the back button, but please hear me out. First off, not all of the people who practice BDSM or some other fetish or kink are BDSM/fetish/kink oriented. Some are just doing it for fun and it's not deeply rooted in their internal selves. It's a hobby, something to spice up the sex life, and a way to meet new people. But then there are the others...
Late last year, Iceland finally removed BDSM and other fetishes/kinks from the list of mental disorders, following in the footsteps of the other Nordic countries. After 50 Shades of Grey, this didn't really shock anyone. What surprised people was that the group, BDSM in Iceland, sent in an application to become a member association of the Icelandic National Queer Organization (Samtokin 78). The younger generation of equal rights fighters (indifferent of actual age) was all for it, but many of the people who first founded the organization were dead against it. They didn't see how BDSM had anything in common with gays and lesbians (a lot of the same people are still not happy about bi, pan, trans, intersex, and asexuals being allowed to enter their organization and always refer to it as The National Gay and Lesbian Organization). At first glimpse, they seem to be right. I even had a problem with it at first, because I'd never considered it as an orientation before.
This caused some BDSM oriented people to step out of the closet to explain how it's an orientation, like I will explain to you how it's an orientation for me:
I have two fetishes/kinks. One of them is bondage. I was six years old when I started having fantasies about bondage. That was the age I knew that people got naked under bed covers and hopped up and down. I didn't know more details, but in my fantasies, one of them was tied up. I have no idea how those fantasies started. I don't remember seeing pictures of people being tied down during sex. Of course, I'd seen old westerns where people were tied up with rope and it was interesting to me, but there wasn't anything sexual about it. I've never been sexually abused, and I have the world's best parents and family members. This seems to have come out of the blue.
Of course, I never talked about it. I drew pictures of it, but hid them (I found one of them not long ago and hope that Mom never saw it >.<). Somehow I knew this wasn't natural and I repressed it for 32 years. Even in my 17-year relationship with my ex, who's a very open person, I barely dared to entertain thoughts of bondage because I didn't think it was natural. It's just like how I barely entertained the thoughts of me being anything but heterosexual, even though I later accepted that I'm pan. I was ashamed of my kink, I didn't choose it, and if given the choice I wouldn't have it.
The other kink is something I've had since my teens. It's not something I'm willing to discuss publicly, because I feel it's more private than the bondage. I'm still very much in the closet with this one because there's so much more stigma. They didn't cover it in 50 Shades of Grey, after all.
So I was in the closet about these two kinks that I didn't choose. They were always on my mind. Always. Especially after I became sexually active. But I suppressed them until I met the people in BDSM in Iceland and saw how perfectly normal they were. I honestly expected to see them walk in in leather and chains and masks and leashes. But they showed up in jeans and knit sweaters and were so nice. And these people, who had very similar tales to tell were being discriminated against in a very nasty way. That's when I decided that maybe it was okay for me to be me - to fully be me - and step out of the closet. I stopped suppressing who I was and I now embrace both kinks with other people. I now know that I'm not abnormal and this isn't something I need to be ashamed of. I've embraced myself as I am internally. Maybe one day I'll be able to step fully out of the closet and reveal that other kink, but then maybe people don't need to know the specifics, only that I am kink oriented as well as pansexual.
The naysayers fussed over the term BDSM/Fetish/Kink orientation, saying it was something BDSM in Iceland made up to try to get in. They're wrong. It's a term that has been popping up for the past few years as more and more people are realizing that this is indeed an orientation. I always explain it by saying that even when the term "homosexual" and "transgender" didn't exist, homosexuals and transgender people still existed. The term BDSM/Fetish/Kink orientation may be new, but the orientation isn't.
Despite fetish oriented people coming out with their stories, naysayers still insisted that this clearly couldn't be an orientation, because it's about sexual behavior instead of who you love. But again they are wrong. People who are BDSM/Fetish/Kink oriented and are not suppressing it are more likely to be in a relationship with another person of the same orientation, because they can be themselves. If said couple are dom/sub, their relationship sometimes reflects that. They are also less likely to identify as hetero, because their orientation is about the fetish, not the gender of the person they're with. A study showed that most fetish oriented identify as bi or pan, because it's about the fetish, not the gender. If you ask a hetero person who's fetish oriented if they could choose to have vanilla sex with a person of the opposite sex for the rest of their lives, or BDSM sex with a member of the same sex, it's not unlikely that they'll choose BDSM with a same-sex person. It's not because they're too perverted to choose the vanilla with a person they're naturally attracted to, it's because this is how their sexuality is wired. What attracts, for example, is the dominant or submissive or kinky personality, not the gender.
|The Leather Pride flag, also used for BDSM.|
I know, it's still hard to understand if you're not oriented like this. But I'm certain that in fifteen years or so, this sexual orientation will become as accepted as all the others. They're already ahead in Norway, where BDSM has been a member of the Norwegian LGBT Association for 20 years now. I'm hoping that BDSM in Iceland will be welcome within the Icelandic National Queer Organization. The naysayers are yet again trying to find a legal ground to null and void the decision to let BDSM in Iceland become members of Samtokin 78. This will be the second time, if they succeed, so we'll need to vote for the third time. It's weird that we're fighting for acceptance within the LGBTQ+ crowd, not the people standing outside - who are now beginning to wonder why the older generation of equal rights fighters are so vehemently discriminating against the BDSM oriented people. And that they're using all the arguments that were used against them to do it. It's stressful, it's ugly, and it's hypocritical. Here are some of the arguments:
What about the children?
It isn't natural. It's sick. It's perverted.
It's all about the sex.
We don't need to know what you do in the bedroom.
It's sexual behavior, not an orientation.
It's a choice.
Sure, buddy. My choice is whether or not I embrace and practice my kink, but that I have it is not my choice. I didn't choose this, just like I didn't choose to be pan, or have blue eyes, or have long hair. No, wait, the hair length is a choice.
Wait a second... It's fetish. It IS all about sex. No, it's not ;) When I practice my secret kink, I don't get orgasm. This isn't about the orgasm for me. Some fetish oriented people are left tied up in a corner and stay that way for a lengthy period and don't get an orgasm, because it has nothing to do with sex for them. They get into a different state of mind when they're tied up like that. People in dom/sub relationships may have sex, but then there are periods where they don't have sex but still maintain the dom/sub aspects of their relationships. A person gets high from being spanked but doesn't get orgasm. A person gets high from spanking but doesn't get orgasm. Fetish orientation is so much more than just the sex, just like homosexuality is so much more than just the sex and, heterosexuality is so much more than just the sex. Now that I've embraced myself fully, I doubt I'll go into a relationship with a person who isn't kink oriented, and not because the bedroom will be vanilla (I sometimes like vanilla), but because a kinky personality is what I'm attracted to. It's extremely hard to explain, but it's time to start trying.
So, yes! Prize! I almost forgot. I'm going to do a tongue-in-cheek and offer up an ebook version of 50 Shades of Gay (that's GAY not Grey), by Jeffery Self. Just because. I'll also throw in an e-copy of one of my books. What you have to do to qualify is comment on this post and leave me a way to reach you (email, or facebook link). The contest runs from May 17th to midnight on May 24th. I will draw and contact a winner on May 25th.
But there's more. Check out all these participating blogs, read their stories, and win their prizes. Happy hopping ^.^
>>Disclaimer: The photos that go with this post are purely meant as humor. I really don't think that every person who is against BDSM in Iceland becoming associated with S78 is a prude. <<