Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lost in a Sea of Semantics

Last night, a friend said “we haven’t seen you around for a while- is everything okay”?

I didn’t really know how to answer that. And because people rarely actually want to hear how things are, I finally said that things were fine, I was just really busy, you know how the winter is, blahdeyblahdyblah. It wasn’t anywhere near the truth. The truth was that I’d become bored, annoyed, angry and frustrated with Kink, The Scene. The Lifestyle and The Community. The more time I spent interacting with those things, the less I found to like about them.

When I’d gotten home, Septimus and I were talking. A question came up about whether or not the “contemporary kink scene” was too commercial. I said that I thought it was too watered down and that I was feeling kind of “lost” within the umbrella of “All Things Kinky”.

When I first discovered s&m, I had NO idea that I was “kinky”. I thought that I was altogether “sick in the head or something”, but over time, I learned that I’m FAR from alone. I’m not even actually really sure when I first hear the words “kinky”, the “scene” “lifestyle” or the “community”. And I still don’t have a clear meaning in my own head what any of those actually MEAN. I suppose, like many words used in this area, ascribing meaning to them is for each of us alone.

I am not kinky. I don’t want to be kinky, act kinky, think kinky or be a member of any kinky club. Kinky is not a word I particularly favor when describing sexuality- especially my own. To me, my sexuality is well...normal. Kinky is still for those “other people” who do weird things with hotdogs and corkscrews. (sorry for the mental picture). I don’t “get” kinky. I understand my own desires, my own motivations and my own turn ons, but I don’t really consider them to be “outside the mainstream”. Hair pulling, face slapping, pinches and floggers are how I get my rocks off. That stuff is just normal. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea- but then I don’t get turned on by lingerie, porn or librarians either. When people tying each other to the bedposts on a Saturday night or engage in anal sex consider themselves kinky (‘cuz Cosmo says so!), I don’t really think that “kinky” has any meaning beyond “I like to fuck”. And yet- that’s what the word has become. Any kind of sex, other than heterosexual missionary in the dark is for some reason now thought of as “kinky”. If ALL sex is kinky- doesn’t that make it “normal”? If anal sex, blindfolds and vibrators are considered “kinky”....what does that make ME? I shudder to think it.

The Scene is another word I just don’t really get. I have had scenes. I’ve caused scenes. I’ve even taken long walks and watched the scenery. But I don’t understand what people mean when they say “are you part of The Scene?” or “I’m a long-time member of The Scene”. What does it mean to people to be part of “The Scene”? Because I’ve been getting the bejeezus beat outta me for as long as I care to remember but only recently have I suddenly become a “member of The Scene”. To me, scenery is a background for something. It doesn’t merit the focus of one’s gaze. I have friends- but I don’t think that simply having friends that you talk about sex with makes “The Scene”. Does seeing your friends or acquaintances naked make “The Scene”? Or does it, as it often feels to me, the secrecy, the drama, the shame and confusion that more often that not accompany WIITWD that creates “The Scene”. Is it someplace where people, wanting to believe that others similarly situated behave with some sort of commonality, can find a place where they don’t consider themselves different? But if The Scene is just a bunch of people seeing their friends naked and doing things to each other that they wouldn’t ordinarily DO (consent issues anyone?) outside of The Scene- is that really such a good place to be?

Lifestyle is another of those words that I just don’t get when it comes to describing sexuality. Sex (and all the accouterments of my particular method of enjoying said sex) isn’t a “lifestyle” to me. Any more than breathing or eating is a lifestyle. Lifestyle is a way to describe a social class using clothing, recreation or wealth and consumerism which hardly seems appropriate in context of how the word is typically used. And given that those purporting to be “in the lifestyle” have very different views of what that means to them. Living a “master/slave lifestyle”, I’ve been involved “in the lifestyle”, “I’m a lifestyle submissive” all have absolutely NO meaning to me. When you say these things, you might as well be speaking in Gaelic. So, yes, you’re a lifestyle submissive. Am I to understand that you have some sort of “class definitive” of what makes a lifestyle? What exactly does one MEAN when they’re “living a lifestyle”. Or do they really mean that those “in the lifestyle” have the same attitudes and habits therefore creating a class? I don’t really know. But if merely having the same attitude and habit creates the class, then is it really a lifestyle? Or is it just life? Because I gotta say- I’ve never found it common that two masters, two slaves or two of any other identified labels ever agree on much of anything when it comes to comparing their own relationship with others.

Each of us lives life. Some with style and some with substance. But if it’s a choice, I’ll have to choose a substantive life over a stylish one (except for shoes!) every time and forgo the label “lifestyle”.

And Finally, we come to The Community.

Now this is a word that Septimus and I have discussed several times. We both know what a community is. After all, we’re not hermits (well, he sometimes is, but that’s another blog post). We have lived in various communities all our lives. Sometimes our communities overlap and we’re members of several all at the same time.

But what do we really mean when we say “The Community”.

I’m guessing it’s more along the “shared participation of a common interest” kind of community rather than anything else. But when The Community regularly eats its own and blindly accepts those who do harm, I’m not really sure if that’s a common interest I really want to engage in.

So yeah, I’m doing okay. I’m just stepping from the insanity for a while. I really can’t handle being a Kinky Scene Lifestyle Member of the Community right now.

1 comment:

Dee Dennis said...

OMG! I love this post!!!

It used to drive me nuts when people would question how long I've been in the lifestyle as if it was unacceptable to be doing or writing the things I was. My response then and still now is, I'm just living life.