I studied the short profile before beginning the conversation with her, a self-titled unicorn who expressed interest in playing with Mr. K and myself this coming weekend. I’d already determined that she preferred women to men and that she’d been into the sharing lifestyle for a number of years. The cuffs decorating her wrists and ankles in one of her photographs gave me the impression she was submissive.
“Do you know what BDSM is?” she asked.
I snorted, reading the question to Heather who immediately tweeted what we thought was a laughable inquiry. The unicorn didn’t know me, though, and I seriously doubt she was testing my sense of humor. My response was delayed and it led her to believe I was at a loss which also made me snort. I contemplated an answer that didn’t sound all-knowing or condescending, informing her that I identify as a Switch who is much more dominant than submissive. She countered a little too quickly saying she’s “super submissive” and “super aggressive” in bed, which I found super contradictory. She also said she was uninvolved in the BDSM community but belonged to the Farm. To be honest, I have no idea what the Farm is, but I do know she has two Dommes. However, it was her confession that she enjoys sensual, erotic floggings that left Heather questioning whether her Dom has it all wrong and left me with more questions.
“What are your hard limits?” I asked, hell bent on making some sense out of the increasingly confusing conversation.
“What is that?”
Are you fucking kidding me? “A hard limit is something you absolutely will NOT do.”
“Oh! Blow jobs,” she replied.
I peeked at the words on the screen from behind my splayed fingers, unsure where to go from there. Disappointment cast a familiar shadow as the unicorn’s magic began to slowly fade, but the search thus far had been exhausting and I wasn’t ready to throw my hands up just yet. I decided to take a different approach, asking specific questions instead of generalized ones, and the answers I got in return were exactly what I was looking for. This unicorn was submissive, and like the other one I recently met, doesn’t like pain or anything that will leave marks. I told her not to worry because I’m no sadist. Well, mostly.
Some kinksters would have judged her, calling it quits when it became obvious they were reading different editions of the BDSM dictionary, but I’m not a judgmental person. Except when it comes to dog porn, because that’s all kinds of fucked up. My point is, though, her misunderstanding of the vocabulary doesn’t make her version of BDSM any less valid than mine. That’s the thing that is so fantastically wonderful about kink; there is no rule book dictating strict guidelines. And each fetish can be characterized however your dirty little heart desires or custom fit to meet your definition, whatever it may be. Take anal play, for example. Some kinksters view anything involving the anus as scat play. But that’s their definition, not mine. To me, scat play is excrement with intent. It’s also a hard limit of mine. Like super hard.
There are times, though, when differences in dialect mean that a person’s newbie is showing, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It just means they’re still learning the ropes. There are no workshops giving demonstrations on the correct way to be kinky, no online classes that give concrete vocabulary that’s used by all kinksters. Each kinkster goes through their own trial, error and research when trying to find their kinky way. But what makes a star student is the willingness to learn. Besides, we all started somewhere, right?
I’ve had my fair share of judgement from the kinky community and it’s a hard pill to swallow. Whether it’s from fellow bloggers who believe my relationship with Mr. K is destined for failure because we chose a monogam-ish relationship, or from people who find it surprising I don’t have incontinence issues from anal sex; their uneducated assumptions cause my cleavage to flush around my bedazzled blade. In my opinion, criticism is an ill-fitting mask worn in an attempt to cover-up insecurities. It’s an ugly affliction to bare. Kind of like the Elephant Man, but way worse.
It’s part of the American identity that we think for ourselves. It’s what makes us individuals. It’s also what allows us to make the choices that are a good fit for our needs, so if the unicorn’s idea of BDSM differs from mine, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean hers isn’t right. It’s right for her and that’s what matters. And if I had halted the conversation because of the communication mix up in the beginning, I wouldn’t know that she has experience and specific hard limits. She just didn’t know there was an identifying term for them.
We’re all kinksters following our own definitions. We’re supposed to be open minded, free thinking and embracing. I think sometimes we forget that.