Over the past 18+ months ASI has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of people discover who they are within the bondage community. We get many different degrees of “kinky” people that contact us with questions regarding their specific kinks and that gives me the wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge on lesser known fetishes and bondage practices. It’s a great experience to be able to look at something and say “Hey, it’s interesting that someone finds that attractive, but I don’t think it’s for me.”
Unfortunately, however, many members of our community just aren’t able to take the time to understand a fetish before judging it. Most of the time your exposure to a less frequently practiced fetish will be a quick flash across our Facebook or if you stumble across a grossly misrepresented version of it on some porn site. Neither of these will really give you a good look into what the fetish is or involves and so we make a quick judgement based on our own preferences.
This shouldn’t invalidate the kinkiness of the fetish, but for many people in the BDSM community it does. Simply because we aren’t exposed to it as often as, say, breath play or impact play, our minds say “That’s strange” or they question whether it deserves a place within BDSM by asking “How is that even a FETISH?”
However, that kind of thinking creates an unnecessary divide in a culture that is already so misunderstood by mainstream media. When I say “Yeah, I run a BDSM educational company” people start judging me. I can see flashes of disgust across their face, they might immediately think I’m dangerous or they may even take a step away from me. And that is just the reaction to BDSM in general. They know absolutely nothing about my particular fetishes or that I have a terrible fear of knives that makes knife play a hard limit for me.
Why are we, as members of a community that normally involve fetishes, judging others? Why aren’t we embracing the idea that BDSM is able to encompass such a large variety of activities? It is something as an educator I find hard to understand. I believe that everyone deserves the right to be heard and understood and if we don’t give a person or an idea the chance to be understood we are only truly limiting ourselves.
And, sadly, this lack of understanding causes many newcomers to feel isolated and, therefore, less likely to be involved in their community. This means, they won’t have the same access to social events, information or other resources and that can be a bad mix when you’re first starting out with BDSM.
Instead,we want to make sure everyone who comes into the BDSM scene with the intention of performing safe, sane and consensual activities is able to do so without feeling “strange” within our own community. As long as your fetish is safe and between consenting partners there is no reason for you to feel odd about it. You will be surprised to find a welcoming community for almost any fetish imaginable and ASI is here to help bring you the best information about them!