October 29, 2011

The Laboratory of Personal Experience

Recently I met with a couple of buddies of mine to discuss some project ideas for the kink/leather gay men of San Francisco. It was a pleasant night. Great discussion and brainstorming with two great men I both admire and enjoy being around. What’s not to like?

While we chatted I was struck by something. Here were three experienced leather/kink players and, while we agreed on most things, we also saw various aspects of the scene distinctly differently. This was an epiphany moment for me.

So much of what we do in the kink/leather scene, usually unconsciously, is standardize our sexuality. Without even realizing it, we often standardize and codify how we play, socialize, carry ourselves, and so on. We unconsciously arrive at a consensus with our erotic rebel peers about a whole bunch of things. Then, often just as unconsciously, we put forth those consensus opinions as an ideal for which to strive. This is absolutely human nature and it’s not surprising at all. It was just a moment of realization for me that serves to hold me in check when I start to discuss some aspect of kink. (We all know I can get on my soapbox.)

Everything in life passes through what I call our own laboratory of personal experience. We and others can dole out absolutes and criteria by which our alternative sexuality life operates and how we should operate within it, but the truth is it’s only relevant if it survives the experiment that takes place in our our laboratory of personal experience. In other words, does it work for us. If not, we either reject it or adapt it to suit our needs.

So the next time some kinky person tells you “this is the way it is,” begin to toss around that bit of information or advice in your own mental laboratory of personal experience. My guess is how you react to the information or advice will be different than how I would, and that’s just how it’s supposed to be.

No two of us are alike. That means no two of us are kinky in quite the same way. And I’m really happy about that. It keeps our scene incredibly interesting.

2 Comments on “The Laboratory of Personal Experience

December 18, 2011 at 10:52 pm

As a rubberist, I find that my default/favorite kink (I also like leather secondarily) repels some people, usually not severely, but repel it still does. Wearing latex rubber gear is an extreme of kink and clothing and it’s not gear that can be undertaken by anyone, even the experienced, without both careful regard for the limits/features of the material and by the natural effects of how it looks on the body. It makes the uninformed uncomfortable because of the thing that make us rubberists so happy, excited, horny, etc. about it.

It is my experience that many people are obviously hesitant to approach someone fully geared up in very tight fitting latex. For those who aren’t repelled by the way it appears, but are completely inexperienced, the questions that are asked of rubberists can vary wildly but are mostly centered around the way the gear feels against the body. I always say that rubber gear is confining, but NOT restrictive nor uncomfortable when good quality gear is properly fitted and proper care is taken to get yourself into it. Latex rubber gear is meant to show-off the body, period. Most rubber gear is also meant to highly suggest sex and kink even more so than leather, in my opinion. Many non-kink folk wear leather. Very few non-rubberists wear any form of rubber clothing other than raincoats, galoshes or as decorations on regular clothing.

The latex rubber used to make almost all well made gear is a completely natural product produced by the rubber plant (ficus elastica).

I could go on an on about this but my message on this subject, to go along with Race’s post, is that latex gear/clothing wearing kinksters may appear to the uninformed as quite abnormal and even a bit repellant, but we are pretty much like everyone else, we just like to really show off the gear and the body and stand out in the crowd in shiny gear. I feel that there is no other kink gear that is so highly sexually charged for both the wearer and the viewer/playmate due to the visual appeal and the unique tactile sensations experienced by both partners.

Next time you see one or more of us in an appropriate setting, ask if you can touch so you can experience the tactile affects latex gear has on the way you’ve always experienced touching another person. The wearer may or may not say yes, but those who do will because the tactile affects are truly unique and usually, when done right, very satisfying, yes sexually satisfying to the wearer. The tactile affects you are experiencing are just magnified for the wearer. Getting hard while an inexperienced person learns quickly how to rub or squeeze you just right is both a powerful thing for the wearer and exciting for the person fondling, and/or, vice versa. Stickiness inside the rubber may result. Rubberists don’t mind. Sly smiles all around. This is wonderfully safe play albeit quite nasty. I ask you, what kinkster doesn’t like nasty?

December 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Groups tend to come to their own standards when they are not being impressed upon by other similar or neighboring groups. For instance, the gay male leather core in San Francisco may codify protocol, kink, and practices very similarly to the heterosexual kinksters in that area, because they often share events (pride, folsom,etc) and spaces (Citadel, etc). Pup players and rubber pups (San Franciso’s K-9 unit for example) may overlap heavily with each other, and with the other mentioned kink segments. But, what about a kinky subgroup that has little or nothing in common with the overlapping groups?

I hail from the “furry” subculture. I can tell you that I have experienced sexual kink play in the furry world that radically exceeds anything I have ever seen in the BDSM leather/fetish world. But I have a great deal of difficulty mixing the two worlds because often protocols, vocabulary, and general attitudes, and outlooks are so radically different. The pre-conceived notions each “group” has for the other are sometimes nearly insurmountable social and even political obstacles for those of us that don;t straddle both worlds. Indeed, there are few of us that, like myself, have one foot firmly planted in traditional gay fetish, and the other planted firmly in furry subculture.

I find I continue to have a great deal of difficulty balancing the two different worlds out. And I am not yet really sure why, but each side seems to have their outlooks, and protocols so ingrained that mixing the two is like teaching old dogs new tricks.

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