Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Response To Another Comment-box Question

"Do you socialize much with non-kink people?"

No. All my friends are kinky to some degree. It’s not like I’ve ever told myself that I couldn’t be pals with someone non-kinky. It just doesn't work out that I do.

For one thing, I don’t meet a lot of non-kinky people. It’s a function of having a well-developed subculture. You see, when I moved here to Seattle in 1992, I was most definitely looking for other kinky people. And I found them. That’s the main social circle I have been in ever since. The BDSM scene here in Seattle is a culture that you can stay very busy with and meet a lot of people in, and I do.

I have participated in some secondary social groups, like other sex workers, and non-kinky polyamorous people. However, most of the sex workers I’m pals with have wound up being somewhat kinky anyway. The non-kinky poly people I have hung around with, while nice folks, have always been either really New Age/vegan/boho, or hardcore SF/gamer/geek. Both those cultures are interesting places to visit, but I’ve decided I don’t want to live there.

(Occasionally I do take hostages, though. Hi, Scarlett!)

I don’t think of this as a kinky country club. When I speak of the kinky country club mentality, I mean people who only want to be around other kinky people who have exactly the same kink they do. Exactly. For example, masculine-het-male-masters and their girly-female-slaves who want to socialize exclusively with other masculine-het-male-masters and their girly-female-slaves. That means they really don’t want to socialize with male switches or submissives, or female dominants, and certainly not butch-dykes or swishy gay men or cross-dressers or trans people.

The het-male-masters example is merely one example, I’ve seen all kinds of kinky people do this. But if you come to a party at my house, you are going to meet a variety of kinky people, and I like it that way.

What I like about the Seattle kink community is that it seems to pretty easily accept other sexual minorities. Many of my kinky pals are also poly, and those folks that aren’t are certainly poly-aware and poly-friendly. Gay men and lesbians have their own subcultures within the larger kinky community, but I’ve never been to a Seattle kink event that didn’t welcome them. Female bisexuality is such a non-issue as to never even be commented upon. And in my observation, kinky people also treat male bisexuality with respect – if not with appreciative enthusiasm. I have seen that be less true in other sexual subcultures.

Being a sex worker is still a little iffy, depending on exactly what kind of sex work you do. Being a pro domme is considered higher-status than some other forms of sex work, and that means I get very little shit – especially now that I’m rather a local diva. Not everyone was quite so supportive and accepting back when I was an escort. I occasionally roll my eyes at how a few people I met way back when changed their tune about me when I became fashionable. I do not forget stuff like that. But overall, kinky people respond much better to sex workers than the average person on the street.

As a kinky/poly/bi/sex-worker, I’m a very sexually other person. That informs a lot of what I do with my time and how I perceive the world. When I stop and think about difficult it would be to communicate with someone who didn’t share any of my understanding about love, sex, relationships, and didn’t know any of my cultural references or have any comparable experiences… Wow. I mean, what would we talk about? Books and movies?

Not every single one of my friends is as actively involved in the kink community as I am. Miss K, for example, is much less participatory in the kink social scene than she used to be. But she did spend a lot of time in the scene, so even though she doesn’t go out to events anymore, she gets the whole culture/social-dynamic thing, and she knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Jane Duvall used to refer to this as “living in the love bubble”. She meant moving exclusively in a world that honored who you were and respected your choices. It may be that someday I have to go outside my love bubble for my social life. But right now, I don't, and I’m happy about that.

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