Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Kinky people habitually refer to themselves as "perverts"; it's sort of a half-joke, a bit of reclaimed persecution, the "queer" or "bitch" of the hittysex crowd. But what does "pervert" really mean?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) definition for the noun is "one that has been perverted; specifically : one given to some form of sexual perversion." That's a little circular, so look up "pervert" as a verb and we get "to cause to turn aside or away from what is good or true or morally right." From the Latin pervertere, to corrupt or literally to "thoroughly turn."

My personal morality, and I hope this isn't too idiosyncratic, is that it's bad to hurt people without cause. "An it harm none, do what ye will" comes close but doesn't include the catch that sometimes a small harm prevents larger ones. "An in harm none unless you gotta, do what ye will," anyway.

I don't find anything in there about having weird sex. Not that consenting-adults sex is always harmless--having adulterous sex harms the cuckold, having unsafe sex harms yourself and your partners, and so on. But what you actually do in bed is the least of your worries. The butt is not eviler or falser or wronger than the vagina. Receiving a footjob from a woman wearing a gasmask while you bark like a dog and call her "Mommy" is kinky--but it's not perverted.

Language evolves. Because "cunt" was once a neutral term doesn't mean you should use it in fifth grade sex ed. Maybe I should only worry about what "pervert" means now. Except, as the dictionary entry suggests, the language isn't quite done evolving in this instance. Often it is a straight-up expression of disgust. The usage of "perverted" as "wrong" is very much alive, with "pervert" commonly used as a term for pedophiles and other sexual abusers. If a guy who gropes women on the subway is a "pervert," should I be sharing that label?

Oh shit, I literally forgot the name of my own blog while writing this entry. It's way too late to change it to "The Unusual But Ethical ...ocracy." I guess I'm committed now. I gotta reclaim this thing unless I want to make this into a blog for subway creeps.

So I'll say that "pervert" is one of those words, like "moral", that reflects more on the speaker than on the person described. The difference between "ugh, that's perverted" and "mmm, that's perverted" is what matters, not the difference between "pervert" and "kinkster." Someone who thinks I'm gross can call me "kinky" or "a BDSM enthusiast" and still mean a slur by it.

This particular word may be in an awkward point in its evolution, but that doesn't even matter. It's all in what you mean by it. If by pervert I mean someone neutrally different in their sexuality, and I can make my listener understand that I mean it that way, then yeah, I'm a pervert. What of it?

I'll know that the word has finally changed when I see an internet asshole referring to my kind as "so-called 'perverts'..."


  1. Well, there does seem to be some distinction in general usage. "Pervert"/"perverted" is generally negative and sexual in tone, "pervy" is usually positive and sexual, and "perverse" (as well as "pervert" when it's used as a verb rather than a noun) is generally negative and nonsexual.

  2. Idiosyncrasies are what makes us distinguishable from each other. Kinkiness, fetish and perversion are simply variations from common vanilla unimaginative, and often prudish practice. The footjob-gas-mask-barking-for-mommy example of something you classify as kinky is hilarious. Sometimes there are alternatives to "ugh, that's perverted" and "mmm, that's perverted". Prior to reading your post I was thinking an example of "hahaha, that is perverted" is the old guy who posted the photos of himself modeling (wearing and showing off the backside of), and daring women to help make him word famous in his ladies_full_brief_panties-back_view . He calls himself "Panty Buns" and he is is begging and daring women to comment , copy, share, publish his "free panty photos" along with the URLs. It seems reasonable to accommodate his plea and dare especially since he made a written comment to the effect that women might be to chicken or incompetent to be able to make him famous in his panties. After reading your post, however, I have to wondering whether fetish panty modeling or panty moon photos are more of a kink than a perversion. After all, in a lot of the panty photos he is holding out a hairbrush or bath-brush like he wants a good spanking. If it is in the BDSM category does that make it a kink or only if he actually gets the spankings? Severe corporal punishment spankings were thought by many to be cruel and unusual punishment, yet they are prescribed by many courts around the world for perverted acts. Should perverts who beg for merciless spankings as a fantasy (but try to squirm out of it if the spankings are real) have to get what they begged for? Just asking

  3. SadieT - I literally can't tell if you're a spambot or not.

    ...Except that you appear to have exactly the same writing style as the gentleman in your link.

    Holy shit, Mr. Sadie, you just flunked the Turing Test.

  4. What is a spambot? In a similar vein, what is a troll? Do I qualify as a pervert? I know I'm not a spambot, but do I qualify as a troll? Your entire post on perversity versus kinkiness very enjoyable. Hope you don't mind me having a link to your blog listed under the link category: women's sites (for adults). I didn't know what description you would want so I just typed in "a blog by Holly" Please feel free to leave comments (it's a moderated blog) or let me know if you would like your link description changed. Incidentally, I agree with your views on Twisty Faster. Regards from a (maybe) perverted but not dominant (maybe) troll who likes your writing.

  5. If I go by Not Me's definitions, then I would consider you to be pervy, Holly. Panty Buns, on the other hand, is a pervert. I think both of you deserve spankings. Your spankings should be more erotic. Panty Buns deserves serious serious punishment spankings.