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Sharing Stories: Leaving Kinky Communities

January 13, 2014

I’ll cut to the chase:  a friend and activist is collecting stories and aggregating information about people who have left BDSM or kink communities and their reasons.  I think this is important, and I want to encourage people to participate.  There is a survey form here.  There is a FAQ post about it here, and a follow-up here.  The blogger, Motley Mayhem, has put the project ahead of the personality and I’ll respect that, except to say that I know and believe in Motley from consent culture work on Fetlife and I am really glad Motley is doing this.

The project has grown organically from a call to Motley’s friends to share stories, into a much bigger effort to capture the frequency and commonalities of these narratives.  I don’t have access to any raw data, but I can tell you from the stories I’ve seen and heard over the years that I expect the real news to be the frequency and similarity of certain patterns.  Regular readers will know what I think; what’s more important is to have thousands of accounts to back up the ways in which kinky communities drive off exactly the people who seek them out; the ways they act as power centers for the established members of the community and not as resources to guide or advocate for all the people who are or should be their constituents.

In the last two or three years, consent activism has exploded within kinky communities.  A lot of people can share credit for a revolution in progress, because there is a revolution in progress, or, as I said in my biggest series of posts on this topic, there’s a war on.  This survey is the forging of a powerful weapon in that war, a weapon made of truth.  Please help.  If you have a story to tell, please tell what you can, and if you don’t, please signal boost this so it finds the people who do.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Zimzi permalink
    January 14, 2014 10:21 am

    How do you get involved in this?

    • January 14, 2014 11:23 am

      To leave your story, go to the Google form. To contact Motley, go to the blog with the FAQ listed. I think Motley has contact info up, and if not, leave a comment.

  2. January 14, 2014 12:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Turns out I had things to say on the matter. It was good to get things off my chest.

  3. thegirlwithamindofherown permalink
    January 14, 2014 1:33 pm

    Because all it takes is one bad apple to ruin it for others. We came in contact with that bad apple who gave us the advice that we should watch our step. He said we run the risk of alienating ourselves amongst the very community he had a hand in poisoning for us. I thought, “Why would I ever want to be apart of a community filled with assholes like this?” So I left.

  4. Matthew permalink
    January 14, 2014 7:49 pm

    In my area, Vancouver Canada, less than 5% of the registered members on fetlife go to munches and events. The other 95% are a total mystery. We occasionally hear from this 95% who many have aweful first experiences meeting others in the 95%. I always encourage people to attend munches and events as it is he best way IMO to meet safe, sane and reapectful kinksters. I would be curious to learn the results of this survey. I suspect it will point to this issue far more than the 5% who are more present in the community being closed.

  5. January 14, 2014 10:37 pm

    Thank you, Thomas! I really appreciate the support and the signal boost. All feedback and stories – no matter who you are, no matter how you identify, no matter why you left, no matter whether you left forever or just took a break – are valuable. I’m grateful for anyone who is willing to share their voice.

    You can find the ongoing project at http;//ourvoicesourlives.wordpress.com
    You can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Motley.Mayhem
    You can find me on Fetlife as MotleyMayhem

    Again – thank you! Any story, any signal boost, any feedback (even and especially constructive critique on how I can improve the project) is helpful.

  6. January 14, 2014 10:38 pm

    That’s http://ourvoicesourlives.wordpress.com
    Sometimes my fingers get a little ahead of my brain. ;)

  7. husk permalink
    January 19, 2014 10:26 pm

    I don’t want to tell my story to anyone anymore, anonymously or not. I wish I could get the scene that I used to have back. That was the happiest time in my life.

    If I can’t have that, then I wish I could just stop thinking about the past. It doesn’t hurt to think about the bad things. It only hurts when I remember feeling safe, the wonderful experiences, the wonderful people, and feeling like I belonged.

    I will never have that again. If I can stop thinking about that, then maybe things will feel less bleak and I can learn to be happy with what I have now.

    Friends keep sending me links to this page. I wish they would stop. I wish I could stop crying.

    • *_* permalink
      January 22, 2014 9:31 pm

      I’m so sorry. From one stranger to another, I’m just so sorry.

  8. January 22, 2014 8:33 pm

    Y’all might find this interesting: http://clarissethorn.com/2013/10/12/oral-history-the-your-personal-kink-project-at-the-leather-archives-museum/

    It’s an oral history project I did a while back, collecting the experiences of BDSMers who don’t participate in the public scene.

  9. February 14, 2014 11:27 am

    Thanks for letting me know about this project! I wrote a blog post to further signal boost and share some related thoughts! http://disruptingdinnerparties.com/2014/02/14/whos-not-in-the-dungeon/

  10. Lisa permalink
    May 14, 2014 11:43 pm

    I want to throw this out there. “Friends” and “Family” are words very loosely thrown about. The BDSM scene loves to present itself as this idyllic shelter for special unicorns who all love each other just because they are all kinky in some way. It is very easy to succumb to a false sense of belonging and security…you will not know it until you leave. You will not hear anything from people who claimed to be your “family”, and may even discover that without scheduled and organized events and parties, you have a hell of a time finding new friends. I do not believe it is anything…conspiratorial on the part of the scene (and no, you will not hear me use the term “community” here). I do think there is an element of hiding and even some group co-dependence. Rather than be out and open as needed, it’s oddly easier to isolate from the rest of the world and refuse to do anything without a posse of kinkmates accompanying you to validate your acceptability. I think there is a lot of cowardice in a group of people who constantly pat themselves and each other on the back with their “I’m ok and you’re ok and we’re all so special and the rest of the world doesn’t understand” type behavior.

    Mainly, don’t lose all the other facets of who you are when finding a home to express this one kink facet. It isn’t worth it.

Trackbacks

  1. Sharing Stories: Leaving Kinky Communities | Florida Lost Slave
  2. Who’s Not In The Dungeon? | Disrupting Dinner Parties

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