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My Thoughts On Adding Kink to the LGBT+ Acronym


I would like to preface the following by saying that this is not an assertive, serious-toned post with a mic-drop at the end. At the end of the day, I’m really not passionate one way or the other on if a ‘K’ is added to the LGBT+ acronym. I’m not even using the full acronym to comment on adding the K on. However, since I wrote a book about being a fetishist, I admit I did have some thoughts when an article on the subject of adding kink into the LGBT+ appeared in my radar.

So, today I’m sharing some of those thoughts. These are only my thoughts. Consider what follows a sort of thinking out loud. I’m sure there are plenty of people more qualified than me who will hash things out. Especially seeing as the comments section on the above article is far longer and complicated than the original article. (Though that, perhaps was the goal.)

At any rate. Some of my thoughts.

First off, I do consider kink to be my sexual orientation. But I completely understand how people won’t accept kink as a sexual orientation. I don’t need to convince, persuade, or argue with anyone. But my entire life, I’ve known what my sexual orientation was, I just did not have the language to describe it. I secretly identified as sexually fluid since I was 14. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I really discovered the BDSM and kink community and found the language and concepts to address my sexuality.

It’s hard to explain to those who don’t identify as fetishists or don’t feel as though kink is an orientation. But for me, it is. Kink is my sexuality. It comes first, no pun intended. That doesn’t mean my sexual relationships are not meaningful, textured, and intimate: they are. It also does not mean that I can’t be with vanilla people. I’ve been in love with and happily coupled with an extremely vanilla man for ten years. But he does understand my kinkiness and he works to pop that piece of my sexuality in place in order for us to have a sexual relationship. We both compromise, but with respect and work, we give each other what we need.

I garnered an absolutely terrible review on a BDSM romance I wrote because I put the kink before the romance. The reviewer thought that doing this was a wrong, lazy, and terrible way to write the book and approach the relationship. Which… okay. I get that. I’m not bitter over a bad review. But for my characters, the kink did come first (more puns not intended). They had been in relationships where they suppressed their kinks or put them second in the sexual arena and their relationships fell apart. But by actively communicating and crafting a relationship where kink came first, they found the romance and connection they needed. But time and time again I’ve been told I’m a terrible person for thinking this way. I know I’m not, so I mostly just let it go and do my best to shine a positive light on kink and BDSM. Because for most people kink is “the icing on the cake.” For me, my sexuality, and my life, kink IS the cake.

HOWEVER, even though I do consider kink to be my orientation, I don’t believe the K should be a part of the LGBT+ acronym. Kink and BDSM has its own community and history. LGBT+ issues have influenced and are a part of the kink community and history, certainly. But there are many ways the kink community stands on its own and will continue to serve people better on its own.

Growing up I was a part of various LGBT+ organizations. I always felt welcome, but never quite at home. But I do feel at home in the kink community. And that’s not the fault of the LGBT+ community. Shoehorning kink into the acronym doesn’t do the work of forming a community. These things are organic, vital, unique communities made of real, breathing people. And there’s no reason why we can’t get together and have brunch with each other while still maintaining our separate communities.

Because I’ll be honest: if you’re open to everything, you can’t hold anything in. If you shove too many things into one box, the bottom will fall out. There will be less structure and less meaning. Allowing the LGBT+ community, kink community, and polyamorous community to maintain their own systems is not exclusionary. In fact, I used those three examples because I belong to each of them! We can still get along and support each other, even as these systems remain independent.

Not to mention, I feel like by adding so many letters and identities, there’s an elitist feeling. We always say there’s “no secret handshake” to being queer, but enforcing things like this really makes it look as though even if there’s no handshake, there IS a password. If you don't get it right in three tries you're locked out. 

Now some people may have seen on my social media that I’m pretty open and visible about being Bisexual. In my fiction I absolutely love writing about and exploring Bisexual and Polyamorous characters. It’s one of the ways I express my sexuality. Because my sexuality is made up of lots of different aspects. (Thus why I identified as sexually fluid for so long.) I advocate for Bisexuality because a) I’m attracted to genders like my own and other than my own and b) even with as many labels and inclusions as we have, there’s still a stigma attached with having a sexual orientation that is “in the middle,” or in a “grey” area. And I think that more people should be validated for having orientations that exist outside of rigid factors.

I love being Bi. But kink still comes first. If I had to choose one and only one I would choose kink. It’s kind of like how people say “Orientation is who you are attracted to, kink is what you do with who you are attracted to.” Sorry, in my world kink is what I want to do, and I want to find people who I click with enough to share that with. Sometimes they’re the same gender as me, sometimes they’re not.

I get that for a lot of kinky people, their orientation comes first and then they bring kink into it. Straight people or queer people can be kinky. I just feel like for myself, and some other people like me, we are kinky people who can be straight or queer. Kink is and will always be the essence of our sexuality. 

Finally, one last thought. I do agree with the argument that the LGBT+ community has been hypersexualized and the LGBT+ movement stands for many other issues in life than purely sexual ones. And adding kink to the community doesn’t help on that front. I agree with that. I just find it frustrating how quick people are to shove the kink and BDSM community into a pathological light, using words like “perverts” and “sexual deviants” in ways that are meant to hurt rather than empower. Because, yeah, I do use the term pervert as an empowering term for my kinky ways sometimes. But the hateful tone hurled at kinky people for getting too close to other communities makes me sad.

So, no. I don’t think the K belongs in the LGBT+ movement, but that does not invalidate kink as an orientation, lifestyle, or expression. If you’re in a grey area of sexuality, there is a community out there for you, with its own history, community, and stories. Maybe it’s in the LGBT+ community, the kink community, the polyamorous community, or elsewhere.

And if you still can’t find it, our history and community might be starting today. I may officially be kinky, but I also know what it’s like to be an outcast, a dreamer, a sexual deviant. No matter where you’re from, who you are, we can go it together. Maybe instead of adding, we should be creating.

And those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading. 

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ALSO, I do talk a lot about the above issues more deeply in my book Thinking Myself Off, here’s the link again.

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