Day 11: What are your views on the ethics of kink?
This one was a bit harder for me. Honestly, any discussion of ethics just implies this level of deep philosophical thought that kind of overwhelms me a bit these days. That said, I want to move forward with this journaling exercise, so I can’t avoid this question anymore.
For me, the short and simple answers here are SSC and RACK – Safe, Sane, and Consensual and Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. Kinky folks should be honest and communicate with one another, be as safe as they can be and ensure that they are aware of risks involved, and only play when consent is given.
Personally, I take it a bit farther than this. I need to stay within the general letter of the law for professional purposes. Respect for others’ limits and privacy is paramount for me.
The truth is, beyond the above, I don’t know my views on the ethics of kink. They’re sort of ever-changing. While my parents are actually pretty liberal, I was raised in the Catholic church until I was 13. I then was nearly raised by my Mormon best friend’s family for the remainder of high school. I used to think sex should only occur in a relationship leading towards marriage, as in a very serious LTR. I used to think that nudity should only happen between lovers in the bedroom. I used to think that kink was ok, but only in the context of a loving relationship where two partners are exploring their sexuality as a means to connect more deeply to one another.
Those thoughts never fully left my mind. I struggle with whether or not my participation in kink is right or wrong. Logically, as long as the things at the beginning of this post are followed, I don’t see kink or my involvement in it as wrong. Spiritually, however, I’m not sure. Part of me feels that God wouldn’t condemn us so long as we are safe, consensual, and honest with ourselves and our partners. If what we are doing does no harm and makes us happy, than why would it be wrong? Other parts of me still debate whether or not sexual activity should be much more refined in order to maintain a level of purity and righteousness more in accordance with most religious groups.
That second part resurfaces whenever I think about attending services or spend too much time with some of my more religious friends. I don’t disagree with their views or what religion says specifically, but I don’t necessarily fully agree with the interpretation as it applies to modern life. My spirituality lacks a label, and the ambiguity sort of carries over to how strict of a moral standard I should follow, and what role society and peers (both kink and religious) should have in forming that standard. Have you ever tried to form an opinion without ANY outside influence? It’s not simple or easy, and really just requires trying things out, going with your gut, and letting experience, faith, and intuition lead the way.
I don’t have the answers here, even though I wish I did. Right now, I approach each event and opportunity within kink independently. If I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically at ease with the situation, I proceed, following the SSC/RACK guidelines. I’ve learned that communication and honesty are really key, from negotiations to romantic intent to sexual safety, and I know to communicate about all of those things before proceeding. I’m cautious about my partners and their limits, romantic entanglements, and safety, and I do my best to follow the law. That’s my ethics of kink in a nutshell.
For other answers that approach this well, see below. The first one is particularly insightful; I agree with everything written. (Clearly I blanked with this prompt…)
- Bound By Love: 30 Days of Kink
- Impassioned Platypi: 30 Days of Kink
- Pieces of Jade: 30 Days of Kink
- A Dominant’s Journal: 30 Days of Kink
- Kink and Mental Health: The Ethics and Legality of Consent (A Submissive’s Guide)