Neither bad nor pretending to be: kinky ≠ perverted

Yingtai responds to Remittance Girl’s assertion that, “Real perverts believe with deep sincerity in the rules they break. They have faith that what they are doing is wrong.” with the answer that, “Real Doesn’t Have to Be Toxic“.

Now, I have a huge problem with the term “pervert” to be used as a synonym for “kinky”, because in my experience, “pervert” is a word that is used to set kinky folks on a par with rapists, abusers and paedophiles. The root of the word is Latin, and means something like “turned wrongly”. So yes, if you genuinely believe that you are turned towards wrongness and that what you do is wrong, then maybe “pervert” is an appropriate term for you to use.

But RG doesn’t allow that to be the end of the story.

She writes, citing Slavoj Zizek:

He says, there is real fundamentalism, and pseudo-fundamentalism. The Amish, he says, are real fundamentalists. They really believe. They don’t want you to join them, or share their beliefs. They don’t have a problem with science. Science is simply on another plane of existence. They don’t debate its veracity. They dismiss it as irrelevant to their way of life. They let you get on with your life. Just keep your distance. Then there are the pseudo-fundamentalists who are manic proselytizers, who attempt to insinuate themselves into scientific debate by arguing that creationism is some scientifically acceptable alternative to Darwinism. They find a way to weave all their supposed transgressions into some narrative that fits with their dogma. But, most telling all, says Zizek, is that they have envy. They suffer tremendously from a fascination with the “jouissance of the other”. They constantly dehumanize and demonize other groups as a part of their doctrine. They hate homosexuals and imagine that gays have far better sex than they have. They demand that people envy them for their ‘born-againness’ and their personal relationship with god.

The trouble with her thesis is that she cannot let people just be kinky, they must all be perverts – either false ones (apostates) or real ones. She performs the same kinds of mental gymnastics of which Zizek accuses the pseudo-fundamentalists, and by association, she accuses the “fake perverts”.

The point at which I catch her out in this is when she asserts that:

the majority of the people who make a pretence of perversion. I’m so filthy, I’m so dirty, I’m so naughty, so ba-aaaad, so perverse, they say. But if you really ask them whether they think they’re doing anything wrong, you get this incredible answer. Of course not!

So all that initial ‘I’m so naughty’ stuff is all… marketing hype. But for who?

I call bullshit. If you really believe that, you’re not a pervert. You’re a tourist.

It’s true, I have seen that rhetoric, but I have also seen so many people who say that “transgression” isn’t even on their radar and get angry when those who talk that way about kink, that its attraction is that it is “dirty, naughty, bad”, assume that all kinky people relate to it in the same way. I would even say that, while they may be more vocal, those “false perverts” are in a minority in BDSM. In fact, all those “perverts” can just fuck off, whether they are “real” or “fake”. YKIOKIJNMK but stop trying to pretend my kink is like yours, because it just isn’t. As Yingtai says, “What is your real? You [RG] kink on the transgressive. I don’t. It’s power that does it for me. I actually squick on certain kinds of transgressiveness.”

I am not a pervert. I am not interested in pretending to be one. I am not interested in being, or pretending to believe I am, wrong or sick, or twisted, or perverse. But I sure as hell am into some seriously kinky stuff. Watersports? Done that. Breathplay? Done that. Putting my partner in a nappy overnight? Yep, been there. Anal play in many varieties? Love it all the way. Forcing my partner to take enemas? Some of the hottest scenes I ever did. But none of it was wrong. None of it was unethical. None of it felt transgressive.

Transgress: to go where you shouldn’t, to cross a boundary. But there’s a difference between climbing over the garden gate, and being allowed into the garden by the owner. My understanding of my kink just doesn’t include that. When I piss on a partner, it is because she lets me in. When I hurt her, or restrict her breathing, or force her to take an enema, or any of the other things that are supposedly so transgressive, it is because fundamentally, that’s what she lets me do. I don’t cross a boundary, she expands her boundary to encompass me. There is no transgression. There is only intercourse. By which I do not mean sexual intercourse, but a broader interpersonal intercourse.

I am not a pervert. Nor am I a “tourist”. I am what I am, which is, a sadist and a Dom, and a masochist. None of those things mean “pervert” to me, they just are. None of them needs to mean ethical or unethical.

Ethical, or not, is in what we do with these things that we are given. As I discussed in “Domming While Damaged“, my kink exists in a space where what I do with it is concerned with inducing “feeling loved and supported… Gone the frustration and hurt”, with projecting, “attentiveness, and also that I care for and about my partner”, and feeling, “simple, structured and clear”. Compassionate concern, giving, supporting: these are not bad, evil, wrong, unethical things. They are good, positive, ethical things – as long as you listen and give what is needed, not just what you want. RG says, “Robert Stoller has called perversion ‘the erotic form of hatred.’ I agree with him unreservedly.” But as I discussed in “Domming While Damaged”, my kink, my BDSM, has nothing to do with hatred.

There is nothing special about BDSM that makes it unethical: if missionary position with the lights off vanilla sex rocks your world, then go for it. But if it makes your partner miserable (maybe the lights off makes them feel ugly; maybe the lack of power play makes them feel neglected; maybe missionary position just doesn’t do it for them; or any other reason) and you insist on it every night, then yeah, vanilla sex is way more transgressive and unethical than anything I get up to.

I am proud of my kinkiness. I am scared of people who call it a perversion. I do not understand those who believe their kink is wrong, or those who want to pretend that it’s wrong.

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About ValeryNorth

I overthink everything.
This entry was posted in Kink, Philosophy, Sex and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Neither bad nor pretending to be: kinky ≠ perverted

  1. Pingback: Kink’s transgressions: breaking the rules | Valery North - Writer

  2. Pingback: Retrospective: Some highlights of my 2014 blogging | Valery North - Writer

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