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Abuse vs. Kink

Sasha Sobolevsky

Many of my vanilla (aka-not kinky) friends have hesitations when I start explaining some of my preferences. They worry about me, want to make sure I’m safe, and don’t want me to “cross the line.”

I really want to reassure them that kink and BDSM does not inherently mean abuse and insanity. In fact, the guiding principles of BDSM are “safe, sane, and consensual,” and honesty, Sir Rucifer and I both feel that abuse is more rampant in vanilla settings.

A prime example: Several months ago I was at a professional business networking event, speaking about Playbox to a potential investor. He was an older gentleman and had had a few drinks during the event. As I was leaving and giving him my card, he reached around and slapped my butt. I was horrified. I grabbed his shirt, mustered a weak “no,” and left. But the encounter shook me.

Conversely, when I attend kink events or parties, nobody will even shake my hand without asking first; express consent is required for all touching. Another example: when Sir Rucifer goes to kink events with his sub, he’s not worried that when she’s alone someone is going to grind up on her, because people in kink are more aware of consent and protocol. Rucifer and his sub have friends who have known them both for 10 years and they still ask permission to hug her hello. 

The key to kink is communication and trust with your partner(s). During kinky play, it’s a bottom’s responsibility to communicate with their top about their wants, needs, and feelings. It’s a top’s responsibility to be cognizant of and communicative with their bottom. That way, kink is always what it should be: fun and pleasurable for everyone involved.