A short post about the term “kink,” consent semantics, and the No True Scotsman fallacy, among other things.
I’m not going to link where I found this, just because it’s someone’s about page on their personal blog and that would feel kind of weird, but today I came across a series of statements that defined “kinks” as “non-coercive paraphilias” (isn’t “paraphilia” a sexual term? so already what the heck) and other things (sometimes grouped in as kinks, at least according to some other junk I had the misfortune to read) as “coercive paraphilias” and therefore not “kinks” because they’re nonconsensual.
This seems kind of like the argument over whether the phrase “nonconsensual sex” is the definition of rape or whether it’s oxymoronic because sex has to be consensual to be called “sex.”
On the one hand, I’m inclined to think that “kink is consensual and if it’s not consensual it’s not kink because kink is consensual” is kind of a weak argument and also isn’t much use in addressing abuse within the kink community/within to context of kinkiness.
But on the other hand, I really would like more separation of terms, so that I could have an easier time separating some areas of “kink” (ex. sensation play, roleplaying) from others (ex. D/s, impact play) from still others (ex. flashing, “slaves”) in a way that still preserves the utility of umbrella terms. It would be personally useful for me, anyway.
Yet I’m not sure that’s really possible, given how “kink” is pretty much defined by the kink community and those who identify as kinky, and it seems like everything gets throw in and lumped together in that realm, with little differentiation. Like I’ve said, I have limited experience reading kinkster’s accounts, but in general (& aside from kinky aces) it seems like that community has the opposite trend of the ace community, as far as we have a habit of prying things apart and sub-labeling every single little thing.
And then again, yeah, I’m not sure what schema or criteria system I would even use to create different categories, since the obvious “sort by dangerous-ness” could become illogical and misleading really fast, and I don’t think I could dream up a consistent framework for that.
But… some things just… don’t go together, to me?
Like, for instance, there’s what amounts to pressure stimming and “autistic traits” or traits associated with or bound up in nuerodivergence, which can be accomplished by weighted blankets and various forms of bondage (among other things), up to and including the more extreme variants like full-body restraints and mummification, which I figure carry about the same kind of risk as rock-climbing. Kinda scary maybe, but so is rock-climbing.
(seriously, I’ve had some bad experiences of being pressured into/expected to do climbing as a kid and it was terrible and I’ve never seen strenuous/dangerous athletic activities mentioned among things that require genuine non-coerced consent — so make of that what you will)
Point being, I don’t see pressure or texture sensation play as having a moral element or being innately morally fraught anymore than rock-climbing.
But there are examples of so-called-kink that unnerve me in a different way, whether because they sound too similar to/reminiscent of red flags or because they’re just outright a problem (something else I won’t link seemed to consider it just another brand of kinky to want to watch someone “without them knowing” ???).
How does anyone even begin to sort this kind of stuff? And where do I find other people talking about it?