Let’s start this with a few facts we all know.
I am outspoken and opinionated.
I am often snarky.
I don’t suffer fools, and if people screw with me (or my friends), I don’t hold back.
However. Despite what some may think, I do not revel in insulting people or hurting feelings. Not my thing, and not my intention.
A while back on Twitter, I said something flippant about a particular sexual/spanking position that I find deeply humiliating as well as impossibly uncomfortable, physically. I believe I said of all the NO positions, this one was the NO-iest.
Some people chimed in and agreed. It’s one of those things you love or you hate, I guess. But then I got called out for kink-shaming.
I was taken aback.
The first thing I did was check in with a good friend, whom I know happens to love the position in question. I asked her if she felt offended or shamed by my comment. Her reply: “Not at all. I know you don’t like it.” But yeah, she still feels comfortable in telling me about scenes where she’s experienced it, because she knows I’m happy for her pleasure and I’m not holding her in contempt for doing things that aren’t in my house of kinks.
Okay, so I felt marginally better. But this has been eating at me ever since.
Granted, speaking of houses of kinks, I’m well aware that mine is more of a studio apartment. I am basically vanilla with one very deep, dark and rich chocolate swirl. And I know I’ve said this many times before: I wish I had more kinks. I wish more things pushed my buttons. More fun! More variety! More people to play with and relate to! But we are who we are. I have managed over the years to find plenty of satisfaction within my limited kink base.
But does saying I don’t like this or that equate to telling others that they shouldn’t do it? That what they’re doing is wrong? I have never understood this.
If someone tells me that they don’t enjoy spanking, I don’t feel judged. If they say it makes them feel uncomfortable or childish or whatever, I don’t feel judged. Now if they were to say to me that it’s lame and stupid and babyish and that people look ridiculous engaging in it, yeah, I might bristle. But that’s a direct attack.
So what crosses the line between expressing a preference and kink-shaming? It seems the placement of that line differs greatly in various people’s opinions.
Is it because the topic of kink is so deeply personal? I mean, just as an experiment, let’s replace a kinky activity with a food.
I happen to hate avocado. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone loves avocado, avocado is Food of the Gods, and I’m a freak.) Yes, I said it.
However, I did NOT say:
I hate avocado, and I think everyone who likes it is disgusting.
I hate avocado, and if any server even thinks about putting it on my food, I’ll have them fired. And then shot at sunrise.
I hate avocado, and you are dead to me if you disagree.
(Now don’t go quoting any of the above out of context. I can just see the reactions now: “Did you see what Erica Scott said about avocado?? What an idiotic bitch!”)
Sometimes, a preference is just that… a preference. Sometimes, saying I don’t like something means just that: I. Don’t. Like. It. I don’t mean it’s bad, you’re bad, it should be outlawed. Some things trigger and upset me. I think we all have those — kinks are deeply visceral for many of us and touch off many emotions. There are things I don’t want to see. That is on me. It’s not saying I want the activity eradicated.
A few years ago, on FetLife, I referred to myself as a “spanko purist,” because spanking is pretty much my sole fetish. I got ripped so many new ones over that, I could take a drink of water and look like a sprinkler. Jesus Christ… one person even likened me to Hitler. I didn’t mean it that way at all. I simply meant that my kink is singularly focused. Not that it’s superior. I mean, WTF?? Well… rest assured I do not use that term anymore. But I’ll never forget how ugly that situation felt.
Often on FetLife, people have referred to branching out into other kink activities as “evolving.” (sigh) I’ve been doing this for a long time. I tried a whole lot of things. I went to a lot of dungeon parties. I worked in a dungeon, for crying out loud. I participated in other types of kinks. I wore latex, participated in a slave auction, was in a bullwhip demo, you name it. But… call me un-evolved, I guess. Because spanking is it for me.
However, I never, ever want people to think I’m judging what they like, even when I make my snarky comments. Yes, I know, I’ve been known to say things like this: “You come anywhere near me with a bar of soap, you’ll be blowing bubbles out your ass.”
Or “If I were to get a tattoo, it would be on my lower back: An arrow pointing down, with the words EXIT ONLY. Don’t even think about going in there.”
Or “No, I don’t wear white panties. Last time I checked, I wasn’t five years old.”
This is me, being me. This is not me, judging you.
I would welcome thoughts on this. I would welcome civil discourse.
EDITED TO ADD THIS: I forgot that I also discussed this with John. I know that he will always speak the truth. He’s not one to blindly support me or say what I want to hear. And he said, “Maybe you should be more careful about how you express opinions.”
So, there it is.
I will never soften my stances on the important issues: politics, women’s rights, Covid cautionary measures, etc. Haters be damned.
But when it comes to kink and what floats everyone’s boat, I will try harder.
And I apologize to anyone I have inadvertently offended with my flippancy. It was not intended.