So last month I accidently came out as bisexual to some relatives on this website. They’d never seemed to show any interest in my work and even when I had a focus on fiction none of my relatives took it seriously. I didn’t get quite the reaction I’d envisioned. There was this sort of acceptance of it. I mean, sure, they still think I deserve to be tortured for eternity, but that’s not anything they don’t think of me because of my atheism.

I want to talk about something less safe than my orientation, and even less safe than my atheism. There’s a subculture of BDSM (Bondage+ Discipline/ Domination+ Submission/ Sadism+ Masochism) that got a bit of a mainstream kick over the summer.

I’m the first to admit that being mainstreamed by Twilight fan fiction is too painful for even a masochist, but we can’t dwell on this. Remember, there’s also a subculture in our country that has tried to claim that the only real sex is repressed sex and another subculture trying to tell us that abstinence is ideal.

Here’s what BDSM means. Your body is yours until you decide it isn’t. What you feel should be worth feeling. When you have sex with someone(s) it’s about trust and respect, and not always love. Casual sex is fine. Nonmonogamy is fine. Intimate relationships are fine. Abstinence is fine. All of this is conditional on the fact that it’s your choice.

This quiz from bdsmtest.org has been circulating around my dorm lately, and it’s a bit sad to hear the way people are talking about their results. It’s sad that it makes a difference when you take it sitting next to someone instead of alone. It’s expressly sad that most of us don’t know each others’ results.

Those of us who were comfortable sharing our results got a sort of awkward smile or laugh. I’m no stranger to jokes about my sexuality and I’m confident about it. (Not confident enough to share my results here, but still).

Let’s be honest. This isn’t a civil rights issue. Rope play isn’t illegal, never has been, and never will be. I’m not talking about it because it’s a civil rights issue. I’m talking about it because it isn’t an issue at all.

Sex is about feeling good. It’s about freedom. For some people it’s about love and for some it’s about procreation, but those aren’t the main reasons we do it. We’re programmed to reproduce, but we’ve spent a lot of human history trying to perfect ways to stop babies from happening, and for good reason.

There’s no greater scheme at play here. Consent assumed, fuck who you want and how you want. We spend a lot of time on the who, but not so much on the how. And if your best friend is a sadist, it’s honestly not that funny when you fake your fear, because you’ve got your thing, too.

Lyn

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