BDSM as Orientation by Z. Allora

Beyond the Scene BDSM 22

Is BDSM just an intense and gratifying activity you participate in or is it so part of who you are on a cellular level that it is part of your orientation? 

You can probably guess my feelings so I did a bit of research. 

In Psychology Today’s article: Is BDSM/Kink a Hobby or a Sexual Orientation? Posted May 20, 2019, the question raised is how do you define orientation. 

 

What defines orientation?

To quote: “different scientists think about this in different ways. Some define it in very narrow terms, looking at it specifically as something that orients us to partners based on sex or gender; however, others take a more expansive view. 

“Some argue that we have multiple sexual orientations and that the characteristics of these orientations are as follows: (a) sexual attraction that is strong and persistent; (b) relative immutability/fluidity of sexual attraction or arousal that is beyond conscious control; (c) early onset, developmentally, in childhood or adolescence; (d) significant psychological consequences to denying, exploring, fulfilling, or repressing sexual attraction and arousal; and (e) lifelong patterns of sexual attraction and arousal.” (Psychology Today Is BDSM/Kink a Hobby or a Sexual Orientation? Posted May 20, 2019)

 

Can BDSM be an Orientation?

“If you view kink/BDSM through this lens, some research does support the idea that it may be orientation. For example, research finds that the vast majority of BDSM practitioners report that their sexual interests developed relatively early in life, specifically before the age of 25. Further, a minority of these folks (7 to 12 percent across studies) report that their interests developed around the time of puberty (between ages 10 to 12), which is when other traditional aspects of sexual orientation develop (e.g., attraction based on sex or gender).” 

(Psychology Today Is BDSM/Kink a Hobby or a Sexual Orientation? Posted May 20, 2019)

The article doesn’t come down on one side of or the other of this argument. “They argue that the leisure and sexual orientation views of kink/BDSM are not mutually exclusive. In other words, perhaps both of them may be correct, meaning that kink/BDSM could be a leisure activity for some, but more of an orientation for others.” ((Psychology Today Is BDSM/Kink a Hobby or a Sexual Orientation? Posted May 20, 2019 

In my humble opinion this makes sense. For some people, BDSM could be an essential part of their sexuality and for others it might just be a leisure activity. As with Kline, I’ll point out this could alter/shift/change over time based on life, and experiences. (Not for nothing I was 4 when I figured out those things were BDSM-y hit me on a primal level.)

Once again, we are left with being forced to look inwards to determine what works for us. There is no definite right answer because it depends on the individual. (Everyone is validated!) 

 

Iceland Embraces BDSM as an Orientation

In 2016, Iceland started to include BDSM as part of the rainbow community. I’m going to quote Andie Sophia Fontaine, “What isn’t so great is the lack of self-reflection that shows when people who do not even practice BDSM feel they have the other authority to tell those who do that it’s not an orientation but a lifestyle choice. Members of the queer community have fought for decades to have their sexual orientations recognised as such, and it’s a struggle that continues to this day. It is therefore sad and frustrating to hear voices arise within this community using the exact same arguments that have been used against them, often to justify discrimination and oppression, only aiming them at another group of people.

Human rights don’t just apply to people you agree with. They’re not called “friend’s rights”, after all. We apply them to everyone. People who deny kinksters the right to define their orientation and dismiss their personal experiences with prejudice are only proving the point. Fighting oppression and liberating the marginalised should be everyone’s fight. We cannot do this if we lack the awareness of our own prejudices, and discriminate against others in ways we would never want to be discriminated against ourselves. We are all in this together. It’s high time we started acting like it.”

(BDSM, Sexual Orientation, And Prejudice Published March 9, 2016 written by Andie Sophia Fontaine)

In an article written by James Besanvalle, he says, “In 2016, members of the National Queer Organization — established just over 40 years ago — voted to include the BDSM community into the organization, causing irreparable damage with some of the early pioneers of the movement…The decision shook the LGBTI community to its core.

But since then, the LGBTI community has grown from strength to strength. As recent as last week (20 June), the Nordic country passed a law to make it easier for trans and non-binary people to change their legal gender.”  June 24, 2019.

(Rainbow Reykjavik: Iceland’s Winter Pride packs a super cool punch)

 

Where is the USA on BDSM as an Orientation?

National Public Radio did a broadcast: LGBTQ…K?: Kink’s Place in the Alphabet Soup of Queerness By: Juli Holbert, Ky Cobb  Posted on: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 I’d like to share some of the transcript with you.

“Kink is defined as “an unconventional sexual taste or behavior.” Many in the “kinky” community subscribe to BDSM as a defining element of their sexuality. BDSM stands for bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism.

There are some people like Crane who believe kink is an essential part of their sexuality and not something they can “choose.”

“And it has its own set of rules, it’s own spectrum in terms of intensity and who you’re interacting with,” Crane said.

And while many members of the LGBTQ community feel the same way about their sexuality, they also believe “kink” is just… not queer.

“Kinky people who are a part of the LGBT community also experience discrimination from within the LGBT community,” Crane said. “Kinkaphobia towards people who are kinky in the LGBT community; they’re outcasted because they think it’s such a taboo subject that they don’t want to talk about it.”

Leigh Ferrero, a queer senior at Ohio University, believes while kink as an identity is valid, it does not belong on the same spectrum as sexuality.

“LGBT people have already been stigmatized so much already, and BDSM has its own stigmas, but I don’t think it’s very fair to equate those,” Ferrero said. “Especially when BDSM is more of a preference-based kind of thing, not so much a sexuality.” ((https://woub.org/2018/04/03/lgbtq-k-kinks-place-alphabet-soup-queerness))

 

Should K be included in the alphabet-soup acronym?

At the time of this here are some variations: LGBTQQIP2SAA, LGBTQQICAPF2K, LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP

The first acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit, androgynous and asexual. The second one includes K for kink (BDSM).

It seems overly much until you realize people are looking for identity and community. And I’m not going to fall on the side of the fence that denies anyone. There are people in the world where BDSM is part or all of their orientation and there are people who BDSM recreationally > Both are valid..

 

Always seek your own truth.

I’d love to hear from you so comment here or use the contact information to touch base with me privately. 

Many hugs,

Z. Allora

 

To contact Z. Allora: 

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com
FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora
Website: www.zallorabooks.com
Twitter: @ZAllora
Blog: http://zallora.blogspot.com
Dreamspinner: https://bit.ly/2Jv14r1

BIO: Z. Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.

 

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