I am not “broken” – and neither are you

28 Dec

Over the last few days, I’ve gotten dragged into an internet conversation about the “health” of kinky sex. I’m always loathe to get into these debates, because it’s a little bit like answering the question “when did you stop beating your wife” – once the discussion has gone there, you’ve already lost.

To be honest, I’m still always shocked when I come across people who believe kink is inherently unhealthy/degrading/antifeminist/otherwise fucked up, but I guess I shouldn’t be, because that’s how I used to feel on some level.

So I guess it bears saying: there is nothing inherently unhealthy about BDSM activities. And there is nothing inherently unhealthy about people who are into BDSM. It doesn’t mean we had some sort of trauma in our childhoods (of course, if a kinkster does have childhood trauma, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to be into BDSM, either). It doesn’t mean we have some sort of mental illness or other pathology.

And I’m not just saying that, either! The research that has been done on this topic backs me up. The excellent blog Kink Research Overviews has a great roundup of research regarding kink and correlation with psychological disorders – and basically finds no evidence. The literature review I linked in my post on rape fantasies also shows that there is no evidence for a correlation.

But you know what? I’m not happy simply pointing out that I’m not “broken.” Because it’s not just that my sexuality doesn’t hurt me – it actually makes my life better! So much of my life has improved since I decided to accept my sexuality. Obviously, my sex life has improved – but so has my career, my health and my relationships.

So, no, I am not broken, and neither are you. Anyone who says differently is, frankly, ignorant.

9 Responses to “I am not “broken” – and neither are you”

  1. prynne December 28, 2011 at 7:42 PM #

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  2. RogueBambi December 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM #

    Right on! (Would this be the idiocy on Fetlife? The conversation was appalling.)

    I’ve had the opportunity to state recently that A) Well, some people are heterosexual – or so I’ve heard! So, it’s okay to be just into submission or domming, but not both, and B) It’s okay to be vanilla. Nothing wrong with that.

    Many people, who don’t see kink as an illness view it as kind of an advanced sex, one they should experience. All the cool kids are doing it. 😉 I haven’t heard any hints on psychological problems from anyone I’ve told about my kinkiness in person – just their shying away, because they can’t do it themselves.

    • feministsub December 30, 2011 at 8:24 AM #

      >>>(Would this be the idiocy on Fetlife? The conversation was appalling.)

      Yup. And the metafilter thread that prompted it. Very frustrating.

      >>>>Many people, who don’t see kink as an illness view it as kind of an advanced sex, one they should experience.

      Yes, I know! I’ve danced around the topic with a few friends, and it’s been interesting to me how many people view it as, like, an “add-on” to “regular” sex. Which is totally valid, just a bit hard for me to personally wrap my head around.

      For instance, one friend was telling me about a guy she dated who brought out some toys when they’d only been together for a few weeks. And her response was “are you already bored with the sex we’re having?”

      But I think you’re right – most people I know seem to have an attitude more like “ooh, how fun! how risque!” than “how fucked up.”

      • RogueBambi January 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM #

        A friend of a friend of mine once became very confrontational just about toys in general. She said “it’s not natural and sex is supposed to be natural” and also “I want to enjoy my partner and I don’t bore my partner so that they’d need toys”. Yeah, I was wide-eyed after that conversation. People seem to be so scared of everything that isn’t known to them. I answered her by asking, if they do oral and tried to show her, how the “naturality” of something is rarely a good measuring stick – how many lions do you see giving oral? 😉

        But many, many times I’ve been attacked for “trying to be so special”, when I’ve revealed something about my sexuality to someone. Like, isn’t *normal* enough for you? I think people feel easily intimidated, especially women, and somehow they seem to think that all men would want to bone me just because I’m so *special* and like *special* things… Also, some men do seem to have the tendency to want to “try it out” with me. Maybe they feel they are lacking something essential, when they realise I’m doing and desiring things the never have.

      • feministsub January 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM #

        A friend of a friend of mine once became very confrontational just about toys in general. She said “it’s not natural and sex is supposed to be natural”

        One of my best friends in the world has this same attitude, but she’s not confrontational about it. She feels that sex toys are a part of a larger trend towards the commodification of life – which is a valid point. But she also doesn’t try to shove this belief down anyone’s throat, which makes me a lot more amenable to it.

        I think people feel easily intimidated, especially women, and somehow they seem to think that all men would want to bone me just because I’m so *special* and like *special* things…

        Yes! I’ve gotten that sense too. The “special snowflake” argument.

  3. aisha January 2, 2012 at 3:32 AM #

    Well said. i don’t know if it was the same fetlife conversation i was reading, but yeah. The broken, damaged/not broken, damaged discussion is not really so helpful.

    i’m just now finding your blog, and appreciate the research link ~ very cool, thanks. i’ll be back…

    aisha

    • feministsub January 3, 2012 at 12:55 PM #

      Thanks! I’m a fan of your blog, too – have been for a while!

      I’m curious if it was the same fetlife conversation, too. The one I’m referencing was on the Fetlife Metafilter group. It’s my favorite FL group because it’s normally so cool and drama-free.

  4. Olivia February 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM #

    YAY!!! Thank you for saying this. I have just started a blog of my own to explore my own sexual side and I heartily agree- my life has gotten better since I have started accepting my sexuality. (my goal right now is to try not to feel bad about liking kinky things) It’s so nice, comforting, validating, etc to find someone else like-minded. Thank you.

  5. Derringer July 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM #

    Just found your blog today. I have many <3s for you, and for this post. Thank you.

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