Sexuality Happens

Creating Space in Kink

Since moving to Arizona, I’ve tried to get involved in many communities, including multiple facets of the kink community here in Phoenix.  Within the first two weeks, we’d joined three groups, been to a kink carnival and orientation, and a women only play party, not to mention a munch or two. I tried to meet people, to make things work, to fit in.

While we made a few select friends, for the most part, we didn’t fit. There are very few queer identified people out and about to start, and even less in the kink community. In several groups, we’re the only queer identified couple.  At the women’s only event, I received a little bit of femme bashing, and Q felt incredibly out of place. And queerness aside, we felt very out of place because we not attach a D/s dynamic to our relationship, and it seems as though almost everyone here is very staunchly identified as top or bottom, Dom(me) or sub, and we don’t.  We don’t even identify as switches.  While occasionally she’ll call me Mistress during sex, or I’ll call her Sir while all tied up, we don’t play with power much. We’re just kinky, and that doesn’t seem to be an option.

I decided to start a new group here; AlternaKink. For those of us who don’t play within the typical power structure of BDSM, those who are queer or have different gender presentations and don’t feel comfortable in the current spaces, for those who like to laugh while playing, and who are alternative.

And cue the storm of “oh my god, you’re a horrible person, you’re not community oriented, you’re fracturing the community.”  Never mind that I specifically noted that I respected the other groups, planned to stay of member of them, and was just trying to create a safe space and additional options.  There aren’t even parties every weekend here, none the less a choice of “should we go here, or here.”

Apparently, everytime someone has tried to start another group here, they’ve been shouted down, told that they’re community wreckers, and been sabotaged in a variety of ways. Well, that actually comes after the guilt trip; I had comments, messages and wall posts telling me that the current (and only) public dungeon in Phoenix IS a safe space, is queer friendly, has no problems, and that I should just shut the fuck up (essentially). Then, there where the offers of having my new group meet at and rent space from the current (and only) public dungeon.  Why branch out? Stay here, with this dungeon, in the community. Don’t do your own thing. Don’t create a space. Here, come, drink the kool aid.

Please don’t tell me a space is safe if I don’t feel safe there. If I, who am stubborn and annoying and go out of my way to meet people, feel uncomfortable, judged, and unwelcome, don’t tell me that is invalid. If when I suggest going to a play party, my partner tells me she does not feel comfortable going there, do not tell me that I’m just “making things up” or “haven’t tried.”

Communities thrive when there are lots of branches of the same tree. In this anaology, the tree is kink. If there is only one big branch weighing down the whole tree (said public dungeon), nothing new grows, nothing thrives, and eventually, the tree falls over and dies.  If there are lots of groups, that create new opportunities and spaces (both physical and conceptual), their is constant growth, and the tree continues to grow and thrive over time. New buds come (new members joining the community), old buds bloom, and everything is well and good. I can be a member of and support a community by creating a new place for people who feel they don’t fit in the old one.

Sometimes I meet people who have been to one kink event, and hated it. They don’t want to go back because they don’t identify as D/s, or as part of a leather family, or because they got stared at for having full sleeves, or short hair cuts, or for appearing gender queer.  Instead of just telling these people (myself included) to fuck off and kick them to the curb, why not create a new space in the community, and welcome them with open arms.  While they may not be on the same main branch of the tree, they are at least IN the community, instead of feeling like outsiders.

I know, I’ve set myself up for a lot of crap coming my way. Yes, it’ll be a struggle. But our first coffee/tea meet up is tomorrow, and I have hope.

Why? Because I WANT to be part of this community. I don’t want to feel like I don’t fit in. I want to grow and change and have fun and play and light people on fire and beat them up, and hope is what makes change happen.

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9 Comments so far

  1. dominadoll February 20th, 2010 12:41 am

    Go Girl! I actually feel like that a lot at many of the events here in NS as well. While new places come and go they are always run by the same people whom to me seem very closed and have a particular idea of what BDSM or kink should and should not be. I always feel like I’m a curiosity for some reason… It makes me stay away from what could be a lot of fun and new friendships… So, don’t let them stop you. Good luck!

  2. alphafemme February 20th, 2010 1:27 pm

    awesome, so so glad to hear you’re doing that. it’s so hard to feel like you’re creating “enemies” in the process of doing something that’s so right and honest and coming out of a place of respect. sigh. I hope they come around and are eventually supportive, but if not, I at least hope that AlternaKink thrives.

  3. Elizabeth February 20th, 2010 3:00 pm

    Fantastic! Thank you very much for your courage and hard work. You probably know this by now, but you’re not the only ones that feel this way, and you’re not the only ones hoping and working for alternative kink communities. I’m living this story in my area, and hearing more about others. The more branches we help grow, the healthier our community is going to be.

  4. kara February 20th, 2010 3:04 pm

    Change scares people – especially people who are deeply entrenched in what they have. People who are scared lash out and try to make the change go away.

    Good for you for trying to EXPAND (not fracture, not separate, not dismiss) the existing community. I’m probably as straight and non-kinky as they come (*grin*) but I appreciate and enjoy that there are all flavors out there and love that you’re willing to take the heat to be inclusive rather than forcing people to fit your needs/wants/desires as so many others do.

    Go you!

  5. Angel deSanguine February 20th, 2010 6:24 pm

    Good luck with Alternakink!! I hope your meet is the start of a huge success story!

  6. radicalyffe February 20th, 2010 7:28 pm

    Hey Good luck!

    Hope it goes fabulously. :D

  7. Persephone February 21st, 2010 2:13 am

    Also, from the AZ area and so friggin pleased you are doing this. Unfortunately, having lived here for 5 years I’ve always been considered too vanilla by many of the kinksters here since I refuse to be old guard leather, a mistress, or a slave. Hello people! Kink is bigger than that. Thanks for getting the ball rolling.

  8. adriana February 23rd, 2010 9:31 pm

    I hope you get this off the ground and people see what an asset you can be! Good luck.

  9. thepinkpoppet March 4th, 2010 2:58 pm

    Wonderful post you made. For me personally, my husband (The Cap’n) and I have always used the analogy of water…when water does not move, flow, change it gets stagnant…and therefore is smelly, foul and not fun to be in. When the water is moving, being allowed to ebb and flow, to change course it is fresh, invigorating, vital and fun to be in. Life is all about change, it is easier if you just embrace the change and allow those waters to flow…because like life itself, you can’t hold water back forever…it will find its way. The people that don’t want their water (kink/community/dungeon) to be renewed by the addition of fresh water (new people, different kinks, diversity) should learn that.Just my 3 cents worth to whomever cares. Thanks for a great post.

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