I recently received a comment from a reader on my blog here that was if critical import to me in a time where i face cutting criticism and sometimes feel like I’m swimming upstream on a futile mission about which no one really cares.
Something I said altered her thinking. This isn’t something people hear every day. But I hear it more and more when I talk about the hard stuff. What submission is. How play can be risky. What it is to be a minority, what it is to be fat.
I hear it more and more.
When I was in Chicago for Shibaricon, I had several people walk up to me and say similar things. This is a strange and exhilarating and humbling experience. I was walking through the dungeon with Lolita when these two people came up, individually, and shared this with me. Later on she and I were talking about some of the flack I’d been taking for being public on such a tough topic. She pointed out that the folks who’d spoken with me weren’t just blowing smoke up my ass but that they were quite passionate about sharing their experience, and that this was something I needed to take to heart and hold close. Not the other shit.
Something I was moved to share, to talk about, to write about…changed someone’s life. Their way of thinking. How they see themselves. For the better.
Because of that, I carry on.
I won’t back down from who I am. I will not be made to feel like I am “wrong” or that I should hide in the closet for what I do.
When other kinky people to turn their rancor on me for reasons of difference in life-experience, sexual preferences and desire, it is sad, but no longer completely shocks me.
Funny though These same people won’t blink an eye when a local dungeon holds a “Slave Auction.” These same people use tools of oppression, of torture, with a gleam in their eye but feel free to trash me because they have decided that I have “gone too far.”
I know from my own personal experience that some of my more vehement violent critics are those who play in the dark recesses of the mind and heart when it comes to racial politics in and out of the bedroom, but their own issues provoke them to lash out at me, who dare drag this “beast” to the light.
I’ve read post after post where people make tangential arguments and specific examples of why I am wrong to do this type of play. SO many of these people were drawing from NON-CONSENSUAL examples of race based violence.
Go ahead and skip over the fact that we in the BDSM community are basing ALL OF OUR INTERSECTIONS ON CONSENT if you wish. But I see the flaw in your criticism.
We are all about consent. Nothing I do can ever “trivialize” the sacrifices and horrors of what my family went through in the past.
So for you to give ME the power to MITIGATE HISTORY is pretty fucking flattering!
But you know what else it is?
Wrong. Wrong and specious.
I travel all over the U.S. to Leather Conventions. I am invited all over the country to share, lecture, teach and present on MANY topics.
And I have done the class on Race play perhaps a dozen times. Every time it is nerve-wracking for me, because people come in with chips on their shoulders. I rarely demo scene for these classes. MOSTLY because I can count on one hand the people I trust, for my own reasons, to do this play. Also because I fear being so vulnerable in front of unknown entities.
That being a potentially hostile audience.
Doing a race play scene in front of a roomful of strangers is walking through the veld with a steak stapled to your ass.
I fear the potential for negativity sliming me when I am insanely exposed and vulnerable.
But so far I’ve been kept safe. People are present. Sometimes guarded and ready to pounce.
But they listen, and we talk.
Thing about the online medium, it allows you anonymity and distance to say shit you would probably re-think if you were afforded the opportunity to look me in the eye and actually talk to me about these issues. Therefore, I allow for some of the language to roll off of my back. But not all of it. Because it is important for me to remember how tough this is, and how real. And that is part of the reason I carry on. Because shirking away from it won’t make it go away.
To those who have negative things to say about race play: believe me, I know, more than you who have NEVER fucking DONE IT, what it bloody means.
And for those who wave the flag of “More oppressed than thou:” assume nothing. That is the road to ruin when it comes to truly understanding one another. You. Don’t. Know. My. Heart. Not all of it.
I respect your humanity and your right to not do what I do. I regret you fail to reciprocate that respect.
So no, I won’t debate. The point of debate is to persuade people to your POV. I have no desire or inclination to do that. My desire and inclination is to suggest ways to open yourself to discussion, dialogue, new and different thoughts.
Because that is my job, actually, when I think about it.
And I make it a point to do my best to kick ass when I have a job to do.
Wow. I am blown away. I read the whole interview front to back and my head is spinning. I guess I never really thought about the way we have all been “Puritanically” brainwashed about race. I’m Choctaw Indian and my VERY white Master and I giggle about me being the “captive Indian Squaw to his white man captor” a lot but I never really looked too deeply into the WHY of why its so much fun for me. Thank you for being open and honest about that part where you said you learned that you are “submissive to authority.” I am the same way and have known that for a long time but having the guts to say it out loud is so different from acknowledging it in your own head. I plan to re-read this interview several times as you brought out a lot of seriously important things not just about race play or the kink community but about perceptions and understanding the psychology behind why we fear what we fear.