I was very pleased to see that the 8 colorful Venn diagrams I made explaining how BDSM is, by definition, rooted in abuse quickly spread across Tumblr. Predictably, however, a lot of people who objected did so on the basis that their special-snowflake BDSM relationships were not abuse and how dare I suggest such a kink shaming thing? Never mind the fact that I did not suggest such a thing, and that this isn’t about you in the first place.

Still, many folks have bought into the lie perpetuated by the powerful sociopathic abusers who control much of the discourse around BDSM and sex-positivity that the only way to kink is through BDSM. They tell you that what is not BDSM must be “vanilla,” and sadly many people (including many otherwise nonbinary queers) believe in this made up D/s binary. This leaves those people unclear about what other rolequeers and I mean when we say “your kinks are not BDSM.”

So, since people seem to really enjoy infographics, here is another one I put together to try to help people stuck in the limiting loop of the D/s binary and unwilling or unable to examine the ways that “D/s dynamics” are a reincarnation of abuser dynamics take a closer look at that:

Sensation, Story, and Felt Sense

Your Kinks Are Not BDSM

Three columns represent different aspects of experience:

  1. Sensation: What physical feelings do I want to experience?
  2. Story: In what scenarios can I experience it? What roles or narratives are available to me?
  3. Felt Sense: What psychosomatic impact(s) did this experience have? What was the focus of the story?

Sensation: “Impact play”

Sensation in deep tissue or on superficial skin areas, warming and flushing of the skin, can be erotically or non-erotically pleasurable, relaxing, or exciting.

Spanking, hitting with open hands or closed fists (slapping or punching), striking with objects (hairbrush, flogger, etc.) or other people (mosh pit) are some ways to achieve this.

Stories about “Impact play” can include:

  • Being punished/enduring consequence of disobedience
  • Receiving physical therapy or massage
  • Roughhousing with peers during play times
  • Enduring physically abusive treatment

Sensation: Prolonged sexual arousal

Feeling horny and erotically excited, physically erect and turned on for long periods of sexual or even beyond the end of sexual encounters.

Long masturbation and self-pleasure sessions before reaching orgasm, omitting orgasm from a sexual encounter, or otherwise delaying sexual climax are some ways to achieve this sensation.

Stories about prolonged sexual arousal can include:

  • Experiencing anorgasmic medical dysfunction
  • Being sexually “teased”
  • Having access to own genitals restricted (forced denial)
  • Taking a vow of celibacy or choosing to abstain from orgasm or other specific sexual behavior

Sensation: Constriction & compression

Pressure around and in the body by being held in one position, compressed, squeezed, or otherwise constrained can be physically and emotionally relaxing, frightening, or have other psychosomatic impacts.

Being bound with ropes, straps, wraps, metal bondage equipment, or the overpowering body of another person are all some ways to experience this sensation.

Stories about constriction & compression can include:

  • Being captive (to police, kidnappers, or other abductors)
  • Being hugged
  • Receiving physical support (help standing, holding hands for morale support)
  • Being wrapped up for comfort (security blankets, intentionally relaxing bondage)

Felt Sense

Rolequeer:

  • Instills camaraderie and cooperation
  • Confuses authoritarian narratives
  • Encourages compassion for those who are mistreated
  • Focuses on peering behaviors
  • Undermines power imbalances

BDSM:

  • Instills obedience
  • Demonstrates subordination to authorities (teachers, parents, disciplinarians, etc.)
  • Encourages gratitude for enacting mistreatment
  • Exaggerates power imbalances
  • Focuses on one actor overpowering another

TL;DR: Rolequeer play is not a way of doing BDSM. The two are inherently and perpetually at odds. Rolequeer play and BDSM do not mix. The key distinction is that the former actively rejects the D/s binary on which the latter both relies and reifies.

The sensations you may kink on are not only available to you through some authoritarian narrative. While those coercive narratives are common cultural and erotic tropes, they do not represent the whole or even the majority field of physical sensation, kink, or meaning-making processes. When you call your kinks BDSM you are legitimizing the rape-centric ideological foundations used by sociopathic abusers to justify their desire for having non-consensual sex.

If you think making rape jokes and saying things normalizing rape is not okay, why do you think making jokes about safewords and saying things normalizing sadomasochistic rapes is okay?

Donate Bitcoin

Flattr this!