Taboo or not taboo
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