It’s okay to like intense play

This is a companion piece to Sadism Is Not An Excuse to be Awful. It’s extremely important to know that it’s okay not to have any interest in masochism or in any other kink, even if it’s extremely common and it seems like everyone except you is into it, and it’s also important to know that it is absolutely okay to like things that freak other people out. Just because some little asshole implies it’s inherently abusive to verbally humiliate someone even when everyone involved is into it doesn’t mean it’s true. This is mostly a post for bottoms since they get an incredible amount of shit for wanting things that other people consider too extreme, but I’ll address tops too.

While we’re here, I need to mention that it is absolutely not okay to pressure people to try verbal humiliation or any other kink just because you like it. You can do serious emotional damage that way, and unlike a physical cut or bruise, that shit doesn’t just go away.

Verbal humiliation, since I already mentioned it, is a kink that many people consider a harm limit, that can easily go horribly wrong, and is simultaneously a thing that’s super fucking awesome for people who are into it. It is okay to like verbal humiliation! It is okay to be turned on when someone calls you a worthless plaything or a dirty slut or whatever else both/all of you are into. Even if other people are freaked out by that, even if other people would immediately safeword if someone called them those names, even if some jackass thinks doing the things you like is fundamentally abusive, you are not a bad person for having a kink.

Now, I’ll give you shit for it if you refuse to admit that forced feminization depends on misogyny, or that race play depends on racism, or that cuckolding is often problematic in multiple ways, but I don’t think that you’re a bad person for having a kink. We don’t get to choose our kinks. If we did, there wouldn’t be any sad stories on Fetlife from people who got married thinking they could live without their kink on only to find out 10 or 20 or even 30 years later that it’s not that easy. What pisses me off is when people refuse to admit they’re doing something problematic, or refuse to admit that people have a right to worry how someone’s play might reflect their actual attitudes toward women, or people of colour, or submissive men.

That said, some people like their kinks mild, and some people like them extra spicy. Everything in that range is okay! If some people are freaked out by the stuff you like, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. For bottoms in particular: you are not sick or wrong or asking to be abused because you like some kinks extra spicy. For the tops, however, I do have to add that there is some stuff we don’t get to ask for. To use race play as an example, I completely agree with Mollena when she says that (in the context of having only once ever had someone say they’d like to do a race play scene with her) ‘I make it bloody fucking clear it is NOT ACCEPTABLE for you to EVER ask someone to bottom to you in that type of scene. I feel it really has to come from the person being the “victim”‘. To quote Mollena again: “FOR ME, I feel it is wrong to ask because I now know you want this specific thing, and I have to trust that you don’t have creepy ass motives.

In the privacy of your own head, I feel very strongly that it’s okay to like whatever you like. I will never support the idea of thought crime, no matter how illegal or harmful or evil the things you think about would be if you did them in reality. Just don’t be a dick about how and when you tell people about what you’re into and we’re cool. As a tip, no matter what you’re into there’s probably a group for it on Fetlife. If people deliberately joined a group about a certain topic, you can assume they won’t be freaked out by hearing that someone is into that thing.

Aside from a very few exceptions like race play, it’s okay to ask for whatever it is that you want. You’re not bad or wrong for wanting to play in a way that scares other people or squicks them out, whether that’s intense impact play or needles or blood play or scat or humiliation or extreme bondage or being treated like a toy or anything else you like.

For submissive women in particular, because I believe you get extra shit for this, it’s okay to want to play in a way that reminds people of abuse. You are not asking for abuse if you want your partner to consensually do things that you like in the context of a respectful relationship (not necessarily romantic, but please don’t play with people who don’t respect you), even if other people freak out about the idea of a woman being heavily bruised or slapped in the face or called a whore. You’re not setting the feminist movement back either, but that’s a separate post. The short version is that assholes gonna ass whether you get off or not.

Like what you like, and if anyone shames you for it they’re the asshole, not you.

9 thoughts on “It’s okay to like intense play

  1. As a masochistic (not submissive) female with some pretty edgy interests, I’ve experienced a lot of shaming for my kinks. I’ve been repeatedly told that my partner is abusive because he punches me. Even when I explain that the idea of punch play came from me, not him. Even when they see us playing in clubs, when I’m standing, able to move away from him if it becomes too much, laughing in his face and asking him if that’s the best he’s got. They still tell me I’m being abused.

    Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. I am someone who has spent a lot of time learning about myself, and getting the courage to ask my partner to do the things that make me feel good about myself. By refusing to see me as anything other than a victim, they are insulting me, telling me that I can’t possibly know my own desires.

    • That’s exactly why I wrote this post. It just makes me so angry when assholes tell people, particularly women, what they’re allowed to like. I get being uncomfortable with watching a woman getting hit, but telling her she’s being abused because she plays in a way that squicks you is just not cool.

      By refusing to see me as anything other than a victim, they are insulting me, telling me that I can’t possibly know my own desires.

      You know, that sounds exactly what non-kinky people say about kinky people with even fairly tame kinks. I know I’m just kidding myself here, but aren’t we supposed to be more open-minded? What ever happened to “your kink is not my kink but your kink is okay”?

      laughing in his face and asking him if that’s the best he’s got

      As a bit of an aside, I love it when my play partners mouth off a little. There’s nothing like a little creative sarcasm to convince me they’re having a good time and really for really real want me to go harder.

  2. I think this post has made me realize that I feel about maledom/femsub play in a similar way to the way Mollena feels about raceplay. Probably not quite as strongly, but if I know a man is into M/f, it’s going to bother me on a level that knowing a woman is into M/f isn’t. This isn’t fair because he can’t help his kinks anymore than anyone else can, but I do feel like straight male doms need to clear a higher bar of not-being-creepy for me than many other people do, because of real-world abuse of women. It’s just the one gender dynamic that squicks me rather than turns me on, even though I’m a bisexual switch (or dominant masochist, I can never tell…).

    Yet at the same time, if there were no male doms or tops, people like Nimue above would be shit outta luck. So…not-my-kink-but-can-totally-be-done-ethically, I remind myself. Being a dominant guy can totally be a good thing that brings others joy, even if that person isn’t me.

    • Out of curiosity: Is that strictly “straight male doms”, or “all male doms who play with women?” – does their sexuality make a difference in your reaction?

      • Interesting question! Hadn’t thought about it from that angle. My first response is that it wouldn’t make a difference to my instinctive wariness around men who want women to sub to them. It’s the “want a woman to sub to them, while being male” part that makes me flinch (or when I’m reacting less on emotion, just think, “I’d like to be sure you don’t mean ‘all women should sub to all men,’ bro”–and again, this has more to do with my experiences of dudes who really do think that than with the guy in question).

        On the other hand, as a bisexual myself I tend to feel a bit of kinship with other bisexuals of whatever gender, simply because of the shared experience. “Oh, you get it!” I think if I had a bi male dom friend, I’d probably still rather not hear about that part of his sex life in detail, but then who knows?

    • This isn’t fair because he can’t help his kinks anymore than anyone else can, but I do feel like straight male doms need to clear a higher bar of not-being-creepy for me than many other people do, because of real-world abuse of women.

      I know what you mean. I know some straight male doms who are genuinely lovely people, but until I get to know them I’m always just a little bit worried some sort of idiotic “all women are really submissive” style bullshit is going to come out of their mouths.

  3. In regards to race play,

    I’m a very petite Asian woman, and when I’m naked I look prepubescent. I’m also a dominant leaning switch. When I was active in local bdsm communities it was in a area that was predominantly (if not all) white. I can’t begin to count how many gross old white male doms have told me how I’d “look so hot in a little Japanese school girl outfit” (I’m not Japanese). Or married women telling me how they wish they could “pass for a jail bait” like me for their husband. It’s gotten so bad that “DO NOT fetishize my ethnicity of underage appearance” is now on my hard limit list. It amazes me that it even has to be explicitly stated. Its like when people are in a comfortable space where all their kinks are accepted and openly talked about, all the racists and pedophiles just jump out of the woodworks to say shit that they’d probably think twice about saying anywhere else. So yea I’m not at all comfortable with kinks that deals with race or age. Being at the intersection of my ethnicity, gender, and appearance, I’ve had a lot of presumptions made about me in the kink community and it’s so hard to shed them and have other people (male doms especially) take you seriously when they infantalize you at every turn.

    • That sounds incredibly frustrating and gross 🙁 It must be rough being a small and young-looking dominant leaning switch, I get shit from people about whether I’m really dominant and I’m 31 and tall for a woman.

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