The Normalization of Kink, or, Why Everyone is Taking It Up the Ass
I started this post quite awhile ago, but my life has recently gotten crazily busy (no really, more than it already is) as I’ve had to adjust to an increased workload at my job, a renewed commitment with my son regarding school and homework, helping my daughter get her new place ready to move into, and well, life in general. But it was such a good discussion that I didn’t want to not point it out, even if it’s now a bit “stale” by internet standards. So, here it is. :-)
I’ve been really enjoying the discussion and posts coming out of a post that Remittance Girl made recently on the “state of kink” (my description, not hers): Baby, You’re a Star. She was reacting to a Fetlife post by Tutivillus (you have to have a Fetlife profile in order to read it there, but she excerpted it, or you can subscribe to his newsletter and read it there.) That post was followed-on by Saynine’s “I Am a Predator” post and then I, Sadist’s follow-up post in RG’s blog, “Sorry It’s Already Been Decided For You” and RG’s response, “Any Club that would Accept Me as a Member.” And somewhere in all of that, Just Call Me Ten’s “What’s Your Flavor” got brought up, discussing a similar issue from the opposite side of the spectrum.
There is so much of interest in those posts and in the comments that followed that I can’t recap it all here, or even quote specific parts to respond to, so I’ll just say, go, read the posts, read the comments, and then come back here for my own (right or wrong) reactions to some of the points made.
Go on, I’ll be here (and all the links open in their own window, so you won’t lose me.)
So. When I first read RG’s post, after having read the excerpt from Tutivillus, I admit, I was one of those that sort of skimmed over the “performativity, post modernism, and the marketization of kink” part. Let’s face it, that’s a whole lot of intellectualization for a girl that mainly just digs this stuff because, hey, it makes me hot (which she goes on to say far more eloquently, and which was what I sort of keyed on initially.) But the more I got to thinking about it (and yes, after I reread her post a few more times to understand where she was going with it) I saw what she was trying to say, and why she finds it a salient point to be made in what, to me, had been a pretty straightforward rant about people looking down on others using Fetlife for “hook-ups,” which segued into, “why have we santitized the sex out of kink,” to “save the fresh, helpless doe-eyed newbie submissives from potential predators!” Or at least I got the commoditization of kink part (the other stuff may have been over my head.) Or, as someone said one one of the comments, “kink has become a brand.” I worked in PR for a number of years, I (essentially) work in marketing now, I know how this works, and yes, I see it happening, this creation of kink as a commodity.
The (gasp) selling of sex.
The (necessary to make it palatable to the most number of potential consumers) watering-down of kink.
As RG so eloquently put it, when mainstream porn made anal sex the norm, everyone started taking it up the ass. It’s no longer transgressive, or dirty, or wrong.
But those are the exact reason ass-fucking makes me so goddamned hot.
The thing is though…I still find ass-fucking hot. For the physical sensation, sure, but also because, no matter what whitewashing (or anal bleaching) society is trying to do to my kink, it’s still wrong and transgressive to me. Every time I take it up the ass, every single time W shoves his cock into my tight, resisting asshole, even when I want it, even when it feels good, it still trips a little trigger in my head, telling me how wrong it is, how dirty, and I get hot and wet and come like a banshee. I can’t help it, it’s the way I’m wired. Will subsequent generations become inured to it, because it’s become somehow “clean”?
I don’t know. But…there’s part of me that says that it won’t. And even if it does suddenly become a “normal” sexual activity…is that so wrong? Not everyone gets off on it because of its perceived wrongness. Some people just…enjoy anal sex. There is a lot of pleasure, physical pleasure, to be had via anal sex. It doesn’t have to be–and quite possibly shouldn’t be–considered “wrong” and “dirty.” Our asses are just another part of our bodies. Why should we feel ashamed of enjoying anal sex? (We being the rest of the world. I quite like my shame, tyvm.)
I do agree that there is a very real concern there that this “normalization” of what have always been considered transgressive sexual acts (anal sex, BDSM, guys coming on a girl’s face) may create a culture in which men assume and expect women to be into those things, as part of normal sexual relations, just because, well, you know, “everyone does it.” That’s as wrong as painting it as a bad, wrong thing in the first place. But…well hell, isn’t making sex–and any and all of its various flavors–not a taboo topic what I’ve been trying to teach my own children? All sex was taboo in my house growing up. Hell, all bodily fluids and functions were. My sex education? “Keep your legs crossed.” Um, gee, thanks, Mom.
Yes, I agree (in part) that the “fundamental definition of kink and fetish is that it IS the inappropriate sexual excitement at what in essence is not a sexual object or act.” But ten years ago, or fifteen, wouldn’t homosexuality have been lumped into that category? Wouldn’t mainstream society have placed homosexuality into that same definition? It is only by normalizing it, by showing that it is simply another way that people interact with each other, that homosexuals have come to be accepted as “not-freaks” or deviants. So perhaps this mainstreaming can end up being a good thing, if we, as kinksters, can simply be accepted as people that do things differently. Yes, it’s not the “norm” but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. If we can at least get to that place, and if “mainstreaming” it can take us there, then I am (conditionally) for it.
On the other hand, I don’t necessarily believe that featuring ass-fucking (and other heretofore acknowledged “deviant” sex) in mainstream porn is actually “normalizing” it. There’s still a whole lot of people that view porn itself as transgressive, and so anything that people are doing in them is naturally seen as transgressive.
And wow, I just realized I went on and on about a part of the discussions that I hadn’t even meant to discuss, at least in that much detail.
What I really wanted to talk about was the desexualizing of kink. Taking the sex out to make it more palatable, more acceptable, to the vanillas-and to themselves.
Why people get so freaked out that people actually use Fetlife to meet & hook-up with others.
How kinky folk are fine with seeing each other get beat up, but stick a dick in a cunt and they all turn away.
How parents are perfectly fine letting their children watch movies in which human beings maim and kill each other, with letting them play video games in which they dismember and decapitate each other in graphic, life-like violence, but freak out at a naked body or sex.
See what happens when W goes away? I have too much time to think.
I guess all that’s for another post. Or two.