There are a number of things I have shared recently and with the state of current events it felt like it was something I should write about. This may go a bit all over the place, but I will try to organize my thoughts as best I can.
I will use the term "kinksters" as "anyone who engages in any outside of the norm sexual activities." This can very from some kinky bondage play in the bedroom or non-kinky FLR to full on TPE 24/7.
As kinksters, we are all deviants of some sort. All of us. At some point in time, they rounded us up with all of the other "abnormal" people and mowed us down with bullets, imprisoned and tortured us, burned us at the stake, or any number of other atrocious acts committed in the name of "morality" or "God," or whatever reason.
People and society seem to have a nature to want to look down upon what is different. Pointing out these differences gives the "normals" a means of elevating themselves above the persecuted group. "Well at least I'm not a ______."
A couple of weeks ago Lady Grey left some comments that were along the lines of "we live in a world where it's easier for a man to be gay than submissive." I found this statement to be resoundingly true. I also think it's a testament to the sad state of human behavior when a man chooses to go and kill a bunch of people due to sexual orientation (or associating with those people) and there are still pockets of people that think "that's okay because they were gay." Those who want to justify it will bring out some obscure Biblical quote and twist it to their own ends.
What is even scarier is that we live in a world where being a kinkster is often seen as being "worse" than that. If this doesn't scare you, it should on some level. It's partly why we remain in anonymity, buried in the shadows of society or displaying our true selves only anonymously upon the internet. It's a really upsetting thought.
You'd think it would be easy for kinksters to band together... but it's not. I'm not going to make a broad-sweeping statement like "kinksters are closed-minded," but I have no trouble making a statement like "most kinksters are not as open-minded as they may believe themselves to be."
You'll find this heavily on the blogosphere. I find a good number of people want to look at the differences between us. They focus on what's different. Look at how different they are. At least I'm not _______. What they say doesn't apply to me because I'm not into _______.
It makes no fucking sense to me at all. Instead of being as open-minded as we can be, we create pockets of our own personal conservatism. We selectively choose who to associate with because they are "not too different" from ourselves. "Hey, you do FLR? I do FLR too, let's be friends." "You're a sissy? I'm a sissy too, let's be friends."
What kinksters don't do enough is to look at similarities. What brings us together? What makes us similar? There are so many fucking layers of similarities that people choose to ignore it's kind of sickening. On it's most basic level: kinksters do not adhere to rigid conservative societal standards when it comes to relationships or sexual activity.
We ALL have that in common. All of us. If we didn't, you wouldn't be here reading this. Over the years I have talked a lot about people wishing to feel normal. I think the closed-mindedness is much the result of wanting to feel as normal as possible. People can't just go "hey, I made this decision and I like it, fuck you if you judge me for it." They need that lower person on the totem pole to look down upon. They need that person that's one more level of freaky to think "at least I'm not _______."
I find a lot of this very upsetting on many levels. I'm not immune to this either, but I try my damnedest to keep as open a mind as possible. I may find someone writing about how great it is to have a woman shit on their chest. I'm 99.9% certain I won't be into it. That means I have a bias, I have a prejudice. However, I still make the effort to see where they are coming from. I still seek out similarities to find what "does it" for them about it and if I can understand them. Am I truly 100% open-minded? No. Am I 100% closed-minded? No.
There are many D/s factors over the years that have never appealed to me. At some point, I came across someone who could describe it so eloquently and with a thorough understanding of the feelings behind it that I was willing to give it serious thought. I had 0 interest in chastity until I read Giles English's "The Chastity Belt." I was drawn in by similarities (I enjoyed his descriptions of the women in the story and their characters) and gave it a legitimate read. By the end, I was thinking "hey, I can see the appeal to this." If you read r at eMssub's blog, there are many writings of this nature. His portrayal of chastity, CBT, and the like are very alluring and can sell the appeal since it captures the essence of what it does for him.
Being able to learn and understand from things that are "different" from us requires a mind that is open enough to see the similarities. You'd think that there would be more "kink unity," but there's really not. People don't even unite under the fact that Conservatism hates us all because we are different.
In my youth I was fairly politically active and it always struck me at how divide "Liberals" are. Watching resources divided and spread thin while some go after the environment, others against big business and their ethics, others looking at human right's violations, starving children, endangered species, treatment of non-endangered animals, currency market influences, toppling unstable governments, etc. etc. etc. Everyone was always so hung up on their specific little niche that they failed to see the big picture... that Conservatism wins most of the time because they are united and that gives them power.
There are probably many who aren't aware of this but the BDSM and leather communities originated with post-war WWII homosexuals. The idea of tops and bottoms come from them. I think in a lot of ways that allows for the LGBT community to empathize with kinksters on a certain level. I don't know if we as kinksters always grant them the same courtesy... because so many are happy that "at least I'm not _____."
In some recent writings I talked about some of the racial prejudice I faced growing up. I know first hand what it feels like for people to treat you badly for reasons that are beyond your control. Skin color, facial characteristics, etc. It's painful and fucking hurts. If you haven't experienced this before it's nearly impossible to convey just how destructive this is to a person's psyche. I think women are more open to this than men since they also have a history of groundless prejudice and I definitely see a lot more open-mindedness from them when it comes to kink-related topics.
If I have a point to this, it's just do your best to keep from being closed-minded. I don't expect everyone to be able to openly accept or consider certain ideas that are too extreme for them. Being 10% open-minded is better than being 100% closed-minded. Be aware of how you judge others, especially kinksters. Look for similarities instead of differences. See what they do that jives with you rather than looking at their package and shoving them down. None of us are "superior" in this. At some point in time they rounded us all up and mowed us down... because we were different.