Have you ever spoken to someone for whom being a member of the BDSM community is an integral part of their identity? Personally, I can tell you that is not a game to me. I live very consensually in a power exchange relationship. I think about, write about, talk about my life as a lifestyle submissive constantly. It offends me that I feel unwelcome to discuss the most important relationship in my life in many UU circles.The real dichotomy here is around the insistence that sex ought to be private. Privacy is something determined by the individual, but you seem to be insisting that, for certain people, it ought to be imposed upon from the outside. Heterosexuals have the privilege of saying who they are dating and married to, how they refer to them, and if they are single whether they attend singles events or go to singles bars. Gays, lesbians and bisexuals are just beginning to enjoy this same privilege. But kinky people? Not quite. Somehow just saying you’re kinky, or that you know anything about kink, is too often equated with disclosing every possible detail of one’s sex life, just as coming out GLB frequently led to accusations of “flaunting”.As for BDSM being violence or “simulated violence” … There’s not enough space for me to go into any details about technique and psychology, but comparing what we do to domestic or sexual violence is like comparing aikido to a barroom brawl. What we do is highly controlled, and done for mutual pleasure, whereas violence is hardly controlled and done to destroy. Even so-called “humiliation play” is done within very specific limits proscribed by the submissive/bottom partner.If BDSM, kink and/or fetish sexuality is not for you, then fine – go about your life, just as we wish to go about ours. But when kinksters can be maliciously outed, slandered, discriminated against and denied pastoral care and spiritual community for our consensual approach to love and mutual pleasure, please don’t pretend that WE are the ones who violate rules about privacy or who victimize others.
Both Desmond and Joelle are part of Leather and Grace, a group that works within the UU community. They're best described in their own words. Check out their website for more information.
We are a network of fellowship for Unitarian Universalists involved in BDSM, kink and fetish sexuality.
We gather in mutual support, affirming our inherent worth and dignity, and encouraging one another in spiritual growth.
We gather to promote further understanding among all Unitarian Universalists of the diverse forms of adult consensual sexual expression, and the spirit of love and pleasure embodied within.
We gather to share the good news of Unitarian Universalism among all sexual minorities seeking justice, healing and joy.
Why am I posting this? Because I believe that everyone, no matter who they are, has a right to make the lifestyle choices that fit their lives. Do I advocate violence against men and women? No. But BDSM isn't about violence. It's about an exchange of power. Yes, there are some physical manipulations that happen in BDSM, but it's all consensual and certain limits are imposed at the request of the submissive/bottom. Books like Fifty Shades of Grey give a horrible representation of what a BDSM/Domestic Discipline lifestyle is like. If you want to know more about BDSM, talk to someone who lives it. You can also read Joelle's blog (WARNING: her blog is not for the faint of heart or for those under 18) for some education on BDSM and some snippets from some of her stories, as she is a BDSM erotic romance writer.
Be open minded. Don't judge just because you don't understand. Educate yourself. People recoiled from the LGBTQI community in the beginning but now we're becoming more accepting of them. Let's grant that same respect and open minded inclusion of kinksters and fetishists. After all, to them, their lifestyle is part of who they are.