Monday, October 5, 2009

A Strange Kinship.

The Kinky Crafters' Munch was, by far, the most enjoyable munch I've ever been to.

I think it's because it wasn't about sex. Everyone brought their knitting project or their sketchpad or their jewelry kit and had that as a point of grounding--at first you could work quietly rather than sit awkwardly, and the work became a neutral, natural place to start conversations that was a lot less painful then "hi, I just met you, let's trade details about our sex lives." I'm not a shy person, but munches that jump right into the "DEFINE YOURSELF, FRESHMEAT!" intimidate me--a setting where you can start out with "ooh, is that Byzantine chain?" is a whole lot more comfortable.

And comfortable really is the word, because Internet drama and play-party pressure can make me forget how much I actually like kinky people. Just to hang out with. They're geeks! I'm a geek! I can dig it! And when sex and relationships come up in conversation I don't have to self-censor, and nobody makes the assumption that everyone is straight/cis/monogamous/vanilla unless otherwise specified. The only thing that does go for granted is that everyone has the right to self-define--something that may annoy me when some dork decides to self-define as Master Darkblood Dragonrage, but that's a fair trade for the right to be taken seriously when I say who I am.

There was just a little bit of a sense of a weight off my shoulders, even when we were talking about yarn or radio stations, of being among people who wouldn't be shocked by anything about me. These were people who talked comfortably and openly about having a Daddy, about having a husband and a boyfriend, about being happy their girlfriend found someone hot to fuck--in short, about fucking and loving and living in ways not represented on network television.

Of course it's not my first experience with a kinky community but it was one of my most positive ones. I didn't get turned on, but I got a serious case of the warm fuzzies.

(Also, oh my God do I feel better about my body now. At a BDSM meeting I'm practically a little slip of a thing just by being under 200 pounds. I don't mean that as schadenfreude--I mean that if a 350-pound woman can talk about her body and show it off and have men admire it like it ain't no thing, what business do I have wallowing in "oh no, I'm not pretty like the ladies on the teevee" self-pity?)


  1. It does seem that not-for-TV bodies are overrepresented in the kink community. Assuming I'm not being an idiot, any theories on why?

  2. Bruno - To some extent, they're simply represented, and I'm not sure the proportion of unconventional-looking people is that much higher than it is on the street, you're just not used to seeing them being sexual.

    That's not the whole story though. I think the other half is the geek effect--in high school, funny-looking people get pushed out of the popular crowd and become geeks, and as geeks become adults a whole lot of them become perverts. It's just the next stage in the lifecycle.

    And BDSM is so damn accepting, of course--most groups barely have the balls to kick out total creeps, they could never judge someone because of their looks. So it's a safe haven for people who don't get called "sexy" much on the outside to be treated as sexual beings.

  3. I'm not sure the proportion of unconventional-looking people is that much higher than it is on the street, you're just not used to seeing them being sexual.
    I'm not all that used to seeing them, period. For example, in an office of a couple hundred, I doubt even 10 percent are overweight -- and we have plenty of geeks, nerds, and dorks. Obesity seems to be rare even at my local game store.

  4. I'm glad you and your friends had a good time at your crafting party.

    There's no way to say that without sounding like I'm talking to a kindergarten kid, so . . . yeah.

    Juice box?


  5. Bruno - Huh. It must just be your city--mine's got plenty of fat to go around.

    Don - :p

  6. Something I've noticed in my city:

    The upper-middle-class people mostly have gym bodies.

    The lower-middle-class tend to be out of shape and overweight. Further, the men are usually moderately obese whereas the women are all over the place in this regard - anything from slightly overweight to severely obese.

    The poor have no consistent physical appearance - from waif-thin to severely obese, and everything in between.

    The homeless tend to look very thin. And often sickly. And lately they've become common enough for me to actually mention this. Which is another subject entirely.

    (I can't comment on the wealthy because they're not common and don't seem to mix very much with the general public.)

    I suspect that a person's type of occupation has a significant effect on their weight. At least in my locality.

    While I have not been involved in either the local BDSM or nudist communities nearly as much as I would like (due to having very little spare time) it appears to me that both are largely drawn from the lower-middle-class and are usually in the 45-70 age range. So lots of old fat people.

  7. I apologize in advance for ignoring the point of your post and gear-dorking:

    "ooh, is that Byzantine chain?"

    Do you see a decent number of people using Byzantine chain as a collar material? My fiancee wears a middlin' gauge Byzantine collar constantly, and at least in the central east coast community it seems to be almost unknown. It always struck me as a shame, because it's a nearly perfect answer to the old "what collar for discreet 24/7 wear" question.

  8. Not Me,

    I've found that the public sceners in the BDSM "community" generally skew older, but that kinky relationships (running the spectrum from mild to 24/7-on-your-knees-bitch) are very, very common among young geeks. I think the demographics you're seeing may have more to do with self selection for specifically kinky groups, and the extent to which much of the younger crowd considers kink a cetral lifestyle type as opposed to just "stuff we do".

    That is, younger people--even intensely kinky ones--tend to identify as, say, "gamers who do kinky things" rather than "kinksters who enjoy gaming". Around here, at least, I generally find most of the older kinksters at BDSM events, and most of the younger kinksters at gaming cons and renfairs.

  9. elmo_iscariot:

    Well, in that case, I can't possibly consider myself to be a "gamer who does kinky things" or the like because I don't have the time or money to play games, or to have any kind of hobby really. I try to get involved with the nudist community because you really don't have to do much other than show up and remove one's clothing. (And also because it's a great stress reliever, but I didn't mention that because that's also true of a lot of other things.) I try to get involved with the BDSM community because the nudist community is way too conservative for my tastes in some subjects, relationship prospects there are nil, and even were I previously aware that most younger people get into kink indirectly, it would probably take way, way too long to go about it that way.

    So I don't get involved because it's part of my "central lifestyle". I get involved because it's the most efficient way that I'm aware of to get involved with much of anything outside of my central lifestyle, which is basically "desperate struggle to keep myself and my mother alive and off the streets". No, I don't really have a point, just felt like saying all that.

  10. A kinky crafting meetup sounds like the perfect event! I may have to start one in NYC. (Unless that's where yours was, in which case, can I come to the next one?)