This week I went on a journey to the unknown lands of the vanilla internet. I got ignored on Tumblr, went viral on Facebook, and got followed by a demi-celebrity on Medium. I joined an NGO, posted photographs of my dog eating tennis balls, and strongly considered resurrecting my Twitter account. I found out that Facebook debates are a blunt instrument best reserved for tenderising your steak and Tumblr subculture is completely incomprehensible. But if you think Cinderella memes and obscure animated gifs are all kinds of fun, I’ll be hiding in this corner doing more interesting things like considering maybe moving from this chair to the couch.
In short, I’ve found out that unknown lands might not spew as much toxicity as Fetlife, but they don’t really spew anything else either—like, say, intelligent conversations and amazing people. I’m happy to be looking at this black and red screen. It sucks something awful sometimes, but I’ve cleared a corner of Fetlife away for myself, and the people who visit are made of stardust and unicorns.
The kink community is as politically charged as Twitter. Divert from your political correctness, and you’ll get stormed by pitchforks and PC trolls. Be politically correct, and you’ll be stormed by men’s rights activists. The only way to stay away from other people’s butthurt is to stick to posting photos of your butt. BDSM is understandably concerned with consent, so we care oh… just a tiny bit more about building a socially responsible culture than most communities do. And you know what? I like that, even if it does result in factions and wars.
All our public sexiness works wonders for your body positivity, too. On Fetlife, you quickly learn that you, like everyone else, have a normal body. Then you learn to celebrate that. It seems to happen entirely by osmosis, and that’s three years of CBT therapy right there.
I have plenty of reasons to hate this site right now, and I kind of do, but don’t ever tell me I can’t hold to completely opposite opinions simultaneously. I will prove you wrong. I will always adore my kink friends, local and foreign alike. I love this site because of you and you and you. I love it because it makes sense to me. I’ve always fit this subculture more than any other. Even the writing community, which I adore, doesn’t make me feel quite as at home as this fucking horrible website and its Cape Town contingent.
Yesterday an old friend asked me what the hell happened to me between my 40th birthday and now to change me so much. The answer is kinky people. You made me fly my freak flag high, and that makes my life more colourful than a pride parade.