Friday, July 27, 2012

Mores and behavior

It was commented to me recently that people coming into the BDSM and non-monogamy lifestyles have to learn a whole new set of mores—that the accepted modes of behavior are all just a little bit askew. I agree, to a point—yes, the sexuality is in hyper-drive and often on display—but I think that the basic ways of acting as a human being in other areas still apply regardless of the sexuality of the people involved.

It is to be expected that sexuality will be ramped up in a group of openly kinky people. It is not uncommon for me to go to a SMART Energy meeting, for example, and have a certain girl grope my breasts through my clothing, or to feel the sharp bite of a friendly top on my neck. These things would not happen in most other groups in which I am a member, but they are an accepted part of my particular kink culture.

On the other hand, there are things that aren’t acceptable no matter how kinky we are.

At a recent kink gathering a person made an offensive joke about gay men. In talking with A about it later, we talked about mores, and he commented that because of the nature of the group it is entirely possible that this person thought such a joke was appropriate. This is a concept I just cannot grasp—how on earth does someone not know that bigoted jokes are inappropriate?

I thought about this some more as I went to sleep, then even more when I woke up, and this is what I came to:

Yes, the mores are different, but basic humanity and participating in the world in a responsible way is not specific to non-kink situations—to suggest otherwise insults me as a thinking, kinky adult.

We are not especially enlightened human beings—we are just kinky. We are capable of being bigoted, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and just plain ignorant and uninformed. Someone should not get a pass on that ignorance just because he or she likes to have their ass caned.


Anonymous said...

Well I suppose it would depend on the person's intent. Does the person have a history of making off-color jokes, or does it appear to be an isolated incident?

I completely agree with what you said "We are not especially enlightened human beings—we are just kinky.", and perhaps the person had a very human moment with their joke, and doesn't know how offensive it is. Yes, that would make them ignorant, but isn't everyone ignorant about things until someone teaches us otherwise?

Were you able to talk to the person privately afterwards, if so were they receptive to your feedback?

Literary Wench said...

I don't believe this person meant to be offensive--they somehow genuinely thought it was acceptable.

I didn't speak with them because it would have fucked with the energy of the group, and because this person has always seemed very nice, but I did regret it. If it ever happens again, I will be forced to speak up regardless of the situation.