I constantly see posts saying that because people aren’t into every single aspect of BDSM that they shouldn’t be involved in the community. Especially in kitten play. What is your position on this? For example, I enjoy a 24/7 Dom/sub relationship, bondage and punishment, but can not handle more pain than a spanking because I’m autistic, any more pain and I have a meltdown, every single time. I’ve been told because of this I can’t call myself a petplayer. I would love to hear your opinion.

lovemysub:

Anon, I get really annoyed with the “kinkier than thou” crowd.

There are plenty of them out there. “Oh, you like a little spanking? That’s not *real* kink!” Or you tell them what you’re into and they inevitably try to one-up you. It’s obnoxious gatekeeping behavior and it needs to fuck right off.

I’ve been around this lifestyle for, what, 14 years now? And literally every single person I’ve ever met in it has had their own personal brand of kink that wasn’t exactly like anyone else’s. BDSM is, as I’m fond of saying, a gigantic spectrum with an infinite number of points on that spectrum. No two unique points are alike, and that’s ok.

I’ll tell you something about me, anon- you think “reasonably experienced dom” and you may have certain images that pop into your head. Maybe you think of the gorgeous rope ties and harnesses that you often see. Guess what? I have almost no knowledge of rope ties. Not only that, but I don’t really have that much impetus to learn them, honestly. If I ever do, it’s going to be more about expending my personal toolbox and less about wanting to use them in play because though I appreciate the beauty behind them and can see where they would appeal to people, they just don’t appeal to me personally.

So am I less of a dominant, then, because I will always prefer leather restraints or handcuffs to elaborate rope ties? Of course not. And rope is just one example, but there are plenty of common kinks that don’t do anything for me.

Anyway, my point is your kink doesn’t have to be anyone else’s kink. You want certain things but not others? Cool! There will be plenty of partners willing to work with what you’re looking for. Don’t sweat it.

And definitely, absolutely, do not let the “kinkier than thou” crowd get to you. Literally nobody likes those fuckers. They are the BDSM equivalent of a dude who sees a girl in a Batman T-shirt and says “if you’re really a fan, tell me who the inker was in Detective Comics number 41!” Fuck that guy and fuck their cousins in the kink world. You do you.

-LMS

Everybody probably ought to be following LMS.  Possibly instead of me since I’m pretty long-winded.

I grew up in the south, patiently watching listening (ok, not very patiently) to the bluegrass, country, and western bands between too-far-apart cartoon shorts on the morning farm reports.  So by age 12 or so I’d had about enough of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Dolly Parton and her creepy mentor Porter Wagoner, and all the rest.

But later, when pop culture discovered bluegrass, it was pretty frickin’ easy to pick up a guitar and, later, mandolin and start playing and singing all the standards with other wandering-wastrel high-school dropouts on street corners and in parks in Boston, Washington, D.C., and, later, in small-town festivals and meetups, and once or twice on local college radio stations.

And where ever you’d go there’d always be That Guy, many of them wearing, for some reason, green or blue satin festival-style flight-jackets.  And they’d sidle up to you and say, in their thick New England or New York or Michigan or anywhere-but-actual-southern accents “you know, Bill Monroe didn’t play it that way on the October 7, 1949 RCA recording of Muleskinner Blues, catalog #[note: I don’t give a fuck].”

And being a newbie myself I’d always blink and kind of apologize and say, in my mild east Tennessee accent, “well, that’s how I play it.”  And a bit later when I got a little sick of it I’d say in my thickest, unthrottled goddamn Appalachian accent “well, buddy, that’s how I play!”

Point being, congratulations, so they memorized the whole goddamn Leatherman’s Handbook and they have a first-edition Screw the Roses Give Me the Thorns in a little vinyl sleeve, and they’ve been to shibari workshops in Japan and they have a Sub who hasn’t been allowed to speak or come since the middle of 2011.  Yay!  Good for them!  Busy as they are I’m surprised they’ve got the time to criticize anybody else for not being quite as Domly a Dom or Subly a Sub as it’s humanly possible to be.

But when they sidle up and tell you Nobuyoshi Araki didn’t play that way it’s ok to tell em “well, buddy, that’s how I play.”

Advice on the other hand?  It’s never a bad idea to listen to advice.  But comparing you to someone else, your kink to someone else’s, your turn-ons or experience or enjoyment to someone elses?  And criticizing you for it?  Yeah, don’t put up with that shit.