Kinky sex is three magic words away

The kink world is one filled with safe words, sex­ual con­tracts and con­scious con­ver­sa­tions

Mail & Guardian - - Comment & Analysis - Kagure Mugo

When peo­ple think of bondage, dom­i­na­tion, sadism and masochism (BDSM), they ei­ther have vi­sions of 50 Shades of Grey or scenes from Crim­i­nal Minds. This is caused by the mass mis­un­der­stand­ing of what kink as a sex­ual prac­tice is, with few be­ing privy to the in­tri­cate na­ture that goes into the prac­tice of BDSM.

Now, be­ing a small-town girl, I had al­ways been warned about the wild­ness of the big city. Mov­ing to the City of Gold re­ally did un­leash some strange things in me. One of the many mag­i­cal things I dis­cov­ered was the beau­ti­ful and sen­sual world of kink that ex­isted on­line and off­line and con­sisted of mainly queer brown womxn.

I had also thought BDSM was “some mess for freaky white folk” and could not un­der­stand why a queer black womxn would en­ter a realm of that na­ture. How did one get into role-play sce­nar­ios that in­volved words such as “sub­mis­sive” and “dom­i­nant” and “bondage” with­out flash­backs to scenes straight out of 12 Years a Slave? Af­ter colonisation, apartheid, the rise and rise of misog­y­noir, ho­mo­pho­bic rape and the God-Blessed-Pa­tri­archy, was it not way too soon to be sub­bing while “black, queer and a womxn?”

I was soon to learn that it was my own mis­con­cep­tions (and be­lief in my ridicu­lously low pain thresh­old) that held me back from a wealth of sex­ual wis­dom. I also learnt about can­dle play, knife play and stuff in­volv­ing all those down with the de­li­cious frame­work of queer womxn driv­ing each other to or­gasm. I also quickly learnt that at the core of kink are four main prin­ci­ples: con­sent, open­ness, trust and safe words.

The kink world is one filled with safe words, sex­ual con­tracts and con­scious con­ver­sa­tions about wants, lim­its and de­sires. I once saw a con­tract that could ri­val an ap­pli­ca­tion for a loan at a bank, but you knew by the time any­one fin­ished fill­ing out that sucker there would be no ifs, ands or buts about what any­one wanted in bed that night.

If you be­lieve con­sent is al­ways present, think how of­ten a mo­ment of re­luc­tance has be­come an ex­as­per­ated “yes”. Or when a sex­ual es­capade has taken a wrong turn some­where be­tween “that feels good” and “what in the name of all that is good and holy was that?!”

Peo­ple do not un­der­stand that con­sent is an on­go­ing ne­go­ti­a­tion. Of­ten peo­ple love to use con­sent that was given at the start of the act or, in some cases, that is ages old and cold. Some even at­tempt to get it later, as if one can get con­sent on lay-by.

Kink can be filled with con­sent and this I learnt from black queer womxn.

These womxn were ne­go­ti­at­ing and nav­i­gat­ing sex in a way that thumbed their nose at con­ven­tional ideas about how one should get their rocks off. It was the queer­ing of kink, for me, that re­ally opened up the pos­si­bil­i­ties of this form of sex­ual ex­pres­sion and ex­plo­ration as a new way not only of get­ting off but also a dif­fer­ent way of con­cep­tu­al­is­ing con­sent and body own­er­ship.

Tak­ing part in nu­mer­ous con­ver­sa­tions with var­i­ous queer womxn around the city, and even­tu­ally the con­ti­nent, I learnt that it was of­ten the no­tions be­hind the work­ing of BDSM that were most en­tic­ing and not the need to re­live poorly writ­ten fan­fic­tion. Not only did these womxn nav­i­gate ideas of plea­sure through this medium draped in pain, but they also learnt how to iden­tify and ar­tic­u­late the sex that they want while also creating the space for their part­ners to do so too. The gift that kink had given these womxn was the abil­ity to keep grow­ing in their abil­ity to have bod­ily and sex­ual agency, be­cause kink is based on a se­ries of ex­press de­ci­sions on what will oc­cur to make the sex things hap­pen.

There are no “sneak­ing a fin­ger into your butt type” sur­prises in these in­ter­ac­tions. Un­less this was ex­pressly re­quested be­fore­hand. Then it’s to­tally okay. En­cour­aged even.

Con­ver­sa­tions about kink taught me that of­ten very lit­tle con­ver­sa­tion is had about sex­ual en­gage­ment. These are much-needed con­ver­sa­tions. De­pic­tions of sex have taught so­ci­ety that things sim­ply flow. All one needs to do is give a look, say a few words or or­der a pizza from a late-night pizze­ria and mag­i­cal sex will sim­ply ap­pear, like a ge­nie out of a gen­i­tal-shaped bot­tle. But this is not the case. Great sex takes con­ver­sa­tion, con­sid­er­a­tion and, above all, con­sent — which is of­ten miss­ing in an alarm­ingly high num­ber of “go with the flow” sce­nar­ios.

Now this is not to say that ev­ery­one should take part in this sex­ual prac­tice. Con­sent is key and ev­ery­thing is not for ev­ery­one, but a brief foray into the na­ture of this sex­ual prac­tice can ex­pose some holes in one’s own sex­ual think­ing.

Kink is a means by which women can ne­go­ti­ate sex­ual agency and ma­noeu­vre in the mine­field of sex­ual power in a healthy and holis­tic way. It is not sim­ply about paint­ing a room red and black and whip­ping out, well, a whip. There is a great deal more that goes into this sex­ual act that could in­form what you do in your bed­room, whether it is cov­ered in red and black leather or not. The star­tling rev­e­la­tion that “play­boy” Hugh Hefner went a full day with­out sex reigned for sev­eral weeks in the Six­ties. The hearsay tale was car­ried by ma­jor smut out­lets, which made out­landish claims such as that Hefner had lost his vir­gin­ity at the ripe old age of 12 and had stuck with two part­ners for most of his 20s.

Broad­cast across all me­dia, the rampant scan­dal rocked a free love move­ment reel­ing from ris­ing con­dom prices and led to pro­gres­sives de­mand­ing an im­me­di­ate apol­ogy from Hefner and a re­turn to the loose val­ues the era was built on. The apol­ogy never came, but a se­ries of films de­pict­ing Hefner get­ting his daily fix did and the mat­ter was put to post coital rest.

The Jack and Jill ‘hill af­fair’

A nurs­ery rhyme turned gos­sip bomb­shell, which claimed that a young cou­ple climbed up a hill to pro­duce off­spring at alti­tude in­stead of fetch­ing a pail of wa­ter as they had ev­ery­one be­lieve, died af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion cor­rob­o­rated the de­tails of their trip.

Sus­pi­cion as to the au­then­tic­ity of the story was raised early when the boyfriend, Jack, re­futed the al­le­ga­tions, say­ing fetch­ing wa­ter was way more im­por­tant than sex dur­ing a drought, and a hill­top above a town was a pe­cu­liar place to have it when no one claimed to know what they were do­ing up there. A probe con­ducted by the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­vealed a) The spring atop the hill to be an ex­cel­lent way to re­plen­ish wa­ter sup­plies in dry times and b) The tod­dler they brought back down was a girl who had been re­ported miss­ing for months.

Cyril Ramaphosa’s ‘li­aisons’ with peo­ple he has never met

In 2017 an in­de­pen­dent Sun­day pa­per suf­fered a blow when its ex­posé of af­fairs of South Africa’s deputy pres­i­dent, which de­pended on emails re­ferred to as “doc­u­ments” by a writer who had “seen” them, lost its steam af­ter dis­play­ing un­canny sim­i­lar­i­ties to fab­ri­ca­tions known as po­lit­i­cal smear cam­paigns.

Flam­boy­ant lan­guage and the sus­pi­cious tim­ing of the ar­ti­cle sounded its death knell, re­veal­ing the lack of fi­nesse of lo­cal writers when con­struct­ing their smear cam­paigns. Sub­se­quent sex tapes not show­ing Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa also failed to hit home, prov­ing — at an au­dio­vi­sual level at least — that a smear cam­paign worth its salt must most def­i­nitely fea­ture the tar­get to cause an up­roar of any real sub­stance.

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