Check Your Privilege Folks

Slave girl laying on bench

Slave girl laying on bench

Quick question for all of you from the kink community: How often do you pay attention to where you are on the power continuum when you’re just plain communicating (in person or otherwise) with others in the community? We all know that our positions on that continuum are highly important when we play, but based on how people interact with just me, I’m guessing it’s not necessarily something folks think about. And no, that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Obviously, when you’re dealing with novices, it’s easy to understand how a more experienced lifestyler would end up automatically being the Alpha in the conversation. However, there are situations where even experienced people can end up being bowled over by others, particularly if you’re talking about subterranean folks – the ones who have been engaging in BDSM and kink without being involved with the community at all for years, like me. Tymber Dalton got into how that can end badly, with her extensive writing on the Michael Makai/Charles Segaloff situation. It’s difficult to call out “foul” on someone with that kind of presence in the BDSM world, but it makes an important point we shouldn’t ignore. Trusting the wrong people is one thing, but inadvertently exerting control over someone else is another issue.

Personally, in spite of many years of experience, I find myself putting myself in the position of a novice when it comes to people who are active in BDSM and Kink communities, primarily because I was one of those subterranean folks. Sure, I can go on ad nauseum about D/s dynamics, and my own little corner of the kink world, but I have a horrible habit of playing too nice with highly active community members out there. I also know I’m not the only one.

However, unlike a novice, I’m fully aware of what I’m doing, and if I did bang my head on something hard every time I caught myself doing it, I wouldn’t be capable of writing a coherent sentence, ever. Instead of knocking myself into a state of stupidity from severe brain damage, the better solution is to say what those novices usually can’t.

When you are talking to someone else in kink world, and it seems like they are pausing a lot before they agree with you, you might be getting a response based on your own influence as opposed to actual agreement. During those pauses, the person really is running through a thought process that involves trying to figure out if agreement is the best way to keep you interested in talking with them. Pauses like that during negotiations for a play session would cause most to move on to the next item, and mark “no” next to that activity. Sometimes general conversation with others about kink, without any plans to actually do anything, can go about the same way.

No, this isn’t something to obsess about, and really should only apply to people who have an obvious reason to think like a submissive would when dealing with a chosen dominant. Novices are obvious. The not so obvious are people like me, who might be concerned about other matters – like not wanting to make enemies of the wrong people. That would explain why I was at least polite and respectful toward Makai myself, even though my instincts did scream that I should keep my distance. Bottom line is it’s a good idea to keep how people view you in mind when you’re talking with them, especially if they agree with you a lot. Make sure it’s not about how they feel about you, instead of what they really think about all those things.