*As a disclaimer, I discuss assault, kink, and sex in this article.*
Kink isn’t for everyone. I know that. I, personally, have a pretty rocky relationship with kink. Moreover, some friends of mine also feel discomfort with it, as well as with the kink community itself at times. However, I have also found it to be one of the most accepting and comfortable communities that I’ve interacted with.
College students face a lot of new experiences and traumas, and I’m no exception to that. In fact, I had to learn to face my own problems with sexual trauma this year. I’ve been in and out of seeing therapists since I was 8-years-old and it’s one of the best resources I’ve ever utilized. The most helpful for me turned out to be the therapist I started seeing this last fall. He’s a queer and trans person that specializes in sexual trauma. When I mentioned to him that I wanted to go to a local kink event with a partner and a few friends, he said that it was a very accepting and comfortable place. Despite my past trauma and the sexual discomfort from that, I was intrigued and excited to try it out.
When the night arrived, I donned a chest binder and harness under a revealing black bodysuit, tight jeans, and platform boots. Then, I gathered with my friends at a local queer-run bar. Inside, there was a widely diverse crowd in terms of age, backgrounds, and styles. We wandered in and out of different scenes in the rooms. In one, I saw an older man spanking a woman that was tied to a St. Andrew’s Cross. In others, I saw a younger person cupping a topless person lying on a table, as well as a flexible woman suspended from ropes while her partner shocks her with an electrical wand. There was even an area to decompress and for some to age regress by doodling on poster paper.
I saw these people, performing such intimate acts around so many others and felt… empowered.
I didn’t take part in the scenes that night, but I didn’t leave without having learned something important about myself. Every person I encountered (particularly the regular attendees) spoke with respect and passion. I had never witnessed so many people asking for consent and witnessing folks actually saying “yes” and “no” — and it being good and comfortable to say either. There wasn’t pressure.
After that night, I have been aching to go back to such an event. I now feel more comfortable saying “no” to sex. I also feel more at ease with simple intimate interactions like a kiss to my neck or a hand on my lower back. Without the help of a support system, a therapist, and partners that have understood my boundaries, I wouldn’t have progressed in the way I have with my trauma. Attending this kink event crystallized for me how comfortable giving consent should be.
Continuing to go to events like this will just help me further with feeling more comfortable in my sex as well as daily life. I realize it’s not for everyone. However, if it’s something that interests you and you have a trusted friend or two who want to try it too, I encourage you to see it for yourself.