Taboo or not taboo

CityPress - - News -

The first time I vis­ited a swingers’ club was quite late in my life, a mere five years ago. The idea of th­ese fetishes that I had – de­sires of or­gies, bondage, ho­mo­sex­ual sex, toys – were un­til then for­bid­den, un­men­tion­able, im­moral.

To pub­licly ac­knowl­edge th­ese de­sires was tan­ta­mount to pro­claim­ing I was not nor­mal and risked be­ing os­tracised. But my Tantric ther­a­pist rec­om­mended that I go club­bing. “Go get the sex out of your sys­tem,” she said.

I found var­i­ous clubs on­line, regis­tered and was in­vited for an in­ter­view and ori­en­ta­tion. Safety is paramount. In a world rife with STDs and sex­ual abuse, it is of ut­most im­por­tance that any sex club pro­tect its clien­tele as best as it can. While the clubs are cer­tainly open to any­one, I had to be vet­ted and eval­u­ated.

More im­por­tantly, I dis­cov­ered, was that I needed to know the laws of the club.

Within this par­tic­u­lar world, for ex­am­ple, the women gen­er­ally de­ter­mine who they want to be with.

I couldn’t, as a man, a new­bie and my trust­wor­thi­ness unestab­lished, just pick and choose po­ten­tial part­ners. The play­ing field was lev­elled. I was the one wait­ing to be cho­sen.

I ex­pected the place to be dingy and de­spi­ca­ble. My ex­pe­ri­ence could not have been fur­ther from my ex­pec­ta­tions. The venue was mod­ern and stylish. Every­body was friendly and or­di­nary.

For all in­tents and pur­poses, there was noth­ing that dis­tin­guished this swingers’ club from any of the dance clubs you’d fre­quent in Joburg’s north­ern sub­urbs.

It was per­fectly nor­mal – drink­ing at the bar, chit-chat­ting with ran­dom strangers, danc­ing, flirt­ing, hav­ing fun. In essence, the idea that peo­ple who in­dulge in a kinkier sex­ual ex­pe­ri­ence are far re­moved from what is con­ven­tional is lu­di­crous.

In my ad­ven­tures within the kink life­style I have found the lev­els of trust, re­spect, and com­mu­nity in­sanely high. When one is giv­ing one­self over to be dom­i­nated or bound, there needs to be a strong el­e­ment of trust and com­radery. Dom­i­nant part­ners are of­ten ex­tremely gen­tle and con­cerned for their sub­mis­sives.

And the sub­mis­sives are equally re­spect­ful and trust­ing of their dom­i­na­tors. While the terms ‘slave’ and ‘master’ are used, the re­al­ity is that it’s a re­la­tion­ship of mu­tual re­spect and guardian­ship. Within this world that seems dark and for­eign to common so­ci­ety, I feel so much safer and more cared for.

I’ve also dis­cov­ered that the peo­ple who iden­tify as kinky are not a mi­nor­ity. We only seem to be be­cause this is not a topic for po­lite con­ver­sa­tion in main­stream so­ci­ety. This is chang­ing, I be­lieve. Be­ing open about my life­style now, I find most peo­ple who I en­gage with more cu­ri­ous than ag­gres­sive, more en­ter­tained than re­pulsed, more cu­ri­ous than turned off.

The taboo is slowly wear­ing off. The truth is that some of the most moral and car­ing peo­ple I know might be called de­viants by the gen­eral pub­lic. Moral­ity isn’t de­fined by sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or pref­er­ence. It’s de­fined by how one en­gages with, helps and up­lifts their fel­low be­ings.

And you would be hard-pressed to find a fel­low­ship as car­ing and as re­spect­ful as the kink com­mu­nity.

– Jai’prakash, the writer, is a mem­ber of the Joburg kink com­mu­nity

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