509. Discussion Topic Write-Up: Kink Shaming, Kink Desirability, and how they fit into Femdom

I am writing this from the standpoint of introducing these ideas and concepts as part of a Femdom discussion group and may include ideas and concepts that I have discussed in earlier posts.

Note: For the sake of ease, I will be using kink and fetish interchangeably rather than writing kink/fetish in every appropriate spot.

I.  What is Kink-Shaming?

Kink-shaming is the act of disparaging a particular kink or a person that is interested in that kink.

The topic of kink-shaming is ever-relevant to the BDSM community because it happens quite regularly.  In many communities there is a significant effort made to eliminate kink-shaming since it discourages people from wanting to participate within the community.

The politically correct general consensus is that everyone involved in BDSM participates in some form of alternative lifestyle and it is unfair to judge what someone else is into simply because it is different, uncommon, or more out there than what we are comfortable with.

II. Where does Kink-Shaming come from?

There are a number of reasons that kink-shaming occurs.  Some of these mirror the biases and prejudices as they commonly exist in society.  Others are developed as a part of a learned-bias that happens more on an individual level.  While I am not going to try to get into every possible source of kink-shaming, I will try to summarize a couple of common ones.

One view of kink-shaming is that people as a whole are threatened by what is different and threatens their established comfort zone.  In some ways this may resemble the same types of prejudices and biases as racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.  Some kinks are more common than others, almost to the point where within kink communities, individuals assume that pretty much everyone has those characteristics.  Kink-shaming comes into play when people are significantly different from or have far more extreme kinks than “most people,” as believed by the majority.

Another source of kink-shaming is one that is born from each individual’s path to self-acceptance.  Many individuals who are involved in kink communities at some point struggled to accept themselves and their desires.  This is common when people first uncover that their desires fall outside of the mainstream and for a period of time they may feel ashamed of what they want.  They may think of themselves as perverse, deviant, dirty, broken, etc.  Over time they may have come to accept themselves, but sometimes the acceptance stops there.  In these cases, kinks and fetishes that go well-beyond what they have come to find acceptable may trigger a strong negative recoil, e.g. “Well I’m perfectly normal, but they’re a freak.”

Learned kink-bias is another source of kink-shaming.  One common way that people develop kink bias is the method in which the kink was introduced to them.  If the portrayal of that kink is presented in a way that resonates with them, they are more likely to develop a genuine curiosity and examine that activity with an open mind.  If the portrayal of that kink is presented in a way that they find abhorrent, there is a high chance that they will close off to that kink in a negative way.  Having a partner or potential partner try to force feed a particular kink or fetish to them in a way they find unpleasant may have the same effect as the negative portrayal.

Lastly, kinks that involve common hard limits are the most likely to be kink-shamed.  For many people, hard limits are an absolute “no fly zone,” and thinking about them, let alone talking about them in depth may lead them to retreat and close off or react strongly, potentially in a somewhat hostile manner.

Again, these are not the only sources, just a handful that I have encountered repeatedly over the years.

III. The problems of Kink-Shaming

There are many negatives that result from kink-shaming.  Primarily this is viewed on a personal level:  people who are kink-shamed will feel rejected, excluded, ashamed, or embarrassed about their kinks.  While this is a major factor, it is indicative of problems stemming both within and beyond the community level.

When kink-shaming occurs, people do not separate the person from the kink.  The kink in question becomes the person’s primary identity and others may choose to associate or avoid them citing that as the primary factor.  Because they like _______, they aren’t worth knowing.  If someone were to say, “I don’t like you because you like basketball,” or “You aren’t worth knowing because I don’t like your shirt,” people would react about a shallow judgment being made over a superficial characteristic.  Beyond basketball, shirts, or a kink, there is an entire person under there.

While many people avoid public kink-shaming because it is politically incorrect to do so, that doesn’t always change what people say in private.  Kink-shaming someone behind their back is still kink-shaming.  If this is act happens rampantly, it is reasonable to expect that the kink-shamed individual will eventually be ignored or ostracized from that community in a more passive-aggressive way.  This can become habitual and foster an unwelcoming environment.

Unfortunately, open-mindedness is a more difficult habit to teach.  When someone encounters a kink that is outside of their own scope, only a handful of people will use that as a reason to engage, asking the other person the what, why, and how of how that kink relates to them.  While many will tolerate its existence on the surface, showing genuine interest and allowing for a person to explain what a kink does for them happens a lot less frequently.

IV. Kink-Shaming and Desirable Kinks for submissive men

Kink-shaming is most frequently faced by submissive men.  Within BDSM communities submissive men already face the greatest natural bias and the limited number of Dommes make this even more likely.

In most cases, Dommes hold the right of refusal.  It is up to submissive men to prove to the women why they should be chosen.

Some kinks are expected.  Subs are assumed to be masochists.  It is mostly expected that a sub will have a kink for various types of impact play and probably some form of bondage and following mild protocols.

While it is impossible to quantify exactly how many Dommes are into certain kinks, if you interact with enough Dommes, read enough of their profiles, and stay up on common blogs, guides, and resources, it is fairly easy to come up with an estimate for a given kink as appealing to “most,” “some,” or “few.”  Then it is possible to gauge the likelihood that that a given kink will be seen as mostly desirable or mostly undesirable.

Some kinks are mostly seen as desirable.  While there will be exceptions to this, it is moderately safe to assume that a kink will be seen as a positive if the benefits to the Domme are obvious.  e.g. Subs that are drawn to service and pampering are more likely to be seen as desirable.

Some kinks are seen as mostly undesirable.  In many cases, the less obvious the benefit is to the Domme, the more self-serving these kinks may appear to the sub. The fewer Dommes that a kink pertains to, the more likely that the kink as a whole will be seen negatively.  In turn, these kinks are more likely to be kink-shamed.  e.g. A sub that wants to be forced to eat vomit will find that only appeals to the most extreme sadists (that thrive on degradation) and that kink is likely to be seen as undesirable.

The more necessary that a sub considers a particular kink, the greater the risk of shame.  Some may view it as: if a sub needs it, they have a greater chance of projecting their fetish upon others and are less likely to be willing to compromise upon it.  This may be enough of a reason for the sub to be seen as a “no” instead of a “maybe.”

As a whole, it is actually wiser for subs with extreme kinks to hide them or downplay the kink’s importance.  Similarly, subs are encouraged to exaggerate beneficial kinks that appeal to more Dommes.

This brings up a greater question:  Is it better for subs to hide their uncommon kinks and accept a compromised situation that may deny their true desires or to continue searching for that perfect fit that may never happen?  The answer to this question will vary from sub to sub, but it is a very real concern.

V. Kink-Shaming and Desirable Kinks for dominant women

Within BDSM communities Dommes may face some bias from dominant men and submissive women, but it tends to be more isolated occurrences from specific individuals.

For the most part, nearly any kink that a Domme has will be accepted by both peers and subs.  A Domme with an uncommon kink may be consulted as a resource by other Dommes who are curious about it.  Also, that Domme will probably find a line of 1,000 subs who were dreaming about finding a Domme that enjoys it.

In many cases, this creates a double standard.  e.g. if a Domme loves pegging, that is encouraged.  If a submissive man loves being pegged, he may be labeled as a do-me sub (although if this happens, it is often the manner in which he portrayed his desires that may have helped lead to this).

Overall, how this plays out grants a Domme a great deal of leverage.  If the Domme needs a kink and is considering a potential sub who does not like it, she may place the sub in an all-or-nothing position where the sub must choose between engaging in that kink with her or being passed over.  This isn’t necessarily fair, but available Dommes rarely find a shortage of available subs to consider.

Interestingly enough, the more niche the kink, the more desirable a Domme may be seen by the subs that share that kink.  e.g. there are so few “mommy Dommes” that little boy subs may go to great lengths to win their attention and favor.

In short, nearly any kink a Domme has will be seen as desirable by a significant number of subs.

Strangely, kink-shaming with Dommes takes a bit of a different form.  Aside from negative sentiment towards findoms, in most cases where Dommes feel pressured to hide or change their preferences it is because they are either “too dominant” or “not dominant enough.”  This can happen both from other Dommes and from subs.

When Dommes are extreme sadists, extremely controlling, or one of a variety of flavors where “extreme” gets used as the descriptor, people who cannot picture those characteristics as being okay tend to be react strongly in a negative way.  For these Dommes, the words that resemble kink-shaming may likely include things like, “that’s unfair,” “that’s going too far,” “that’s abusive,” or “that’s irresponsible.”

On the other side, if Dommes are too mild, they can feel the opposite type of negative pressure.  “You really should be more dominant,” “you need to put your foot down,” or “you need to take charge,” are the shaming statements these Dommes may face.

In both cases, it’s less overt kink-shaming and more a statement that says: “you aren’t dominating correctly.”

VI. Parting Words

I find it unfortunate that kink-shaming and judgment are a relevant topic.  I also think it is more beneficial to try to understand the reach of its affects than it is to try to wish it away.  Many aspects of this are not fair.  Ideally, we would approach all kinks with an open mind.  Ideally, everyone would be able to present their kinks in an attractive way.  Ideally, people would never be judged and tethered to their kinks as their defining characteristic.  Unfortunately, our world and communities are imperfect.

My attempt to portray how things are is not an endorsement about how I think things should be.  The first step in fixing a problem is understanding it as it exists.

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6 thoughts on “509. Discussion Topic Write-Up: Kink Shaming, Kink Desirability, and how they fit into Femdom

  1. Femdom is often rejected in its entirety (mostly by women) as a sort of “sexist bs” in the kink community. This includes both dommes and male subs. I’m grateful for the progress towards acceptance that has been made by the many bloggers like yourself who have she’d light on the practice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dave.
      It’s interesting for me since in our local community, Femdom is fully acknowledged now but I’m finding a lot of the anti-Femdom sentiments to be coming from people partaking in some form of Femdom but giving it a different name.

      I do hope that my blog has a positive impact in that regards. I try to be aware of “all of the different flavors” going on and find ways to bridge the philosophy gaps so that others can be aware of them, too.

      Take care.

      Like

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