By Tiffany D. Jones, M.A.
Part of the intrigue of kink is attributed to its marginalized position in society. Although some players are active members in the scene and not just participants in a particular scene, others prefer a private, intimate domain for play. Regardless of your preference, just as safe words are a necessity, so is safe play in terms of considering the risks of unintended public exposure. Dungeons provide an implied safe place to play in public but sometimes that is not enough. We must insist on and develop rules that minimize all risks, including those activities that may damage us physically, socially and professionally.
In a digital world with camera phones, social networking sites and the internet, we must rethink how we play and with whom. The risk of exposure for some is a fetish in and of itself. However, there are ways to play with this notion while liming the actual dangers. For example, during a scene when one threatens to take photos, pretend to do so and take photos of background objects instead. Your blindfolded partner will hear the click but the result, a photo of the floor for example, with not have the same potential negative consequences.
When we are wrapped up in a scene and safe with our partner, we must still consider the future. Some relationships turn sour, people get angry and tempers flare. A fun night of picture taking could turn into a nightmare resulting in custody battles, job loses, and damaged reputations.
When you are playing, wherever you are playing, establish a phone and camera free zone. Have attendees, you and your partner included, put phones in a container prior to entering the play space. Where some players are open with their identity, others are more private. Be cognizant of people’s preferences.
Even the most innocent picture can speak a thousand lies. Recently, I attended a sexuality conference where chose to go to a session on BDSM. At the end of the lecture, the presenter demonstrated a live BDSM scene. While there was no nudity, nor violence, the scene did include flogging. Video cameras were rolling throughout the room and people were taking pictures in abundance.
A problem arises when pictures don’t come with captions or explanations. If someone attending this professional event was photographed watching this scene, without the context, an individual could be outed without even participating in kinky sex. Their professional and/or personal life could be irrevocably broken.
Whether you are participating and playing, or learning and observing, create a code of conduct that minimizes the risk, and maximizes the experience. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Tiffany Jones, M.A. is a registered psychotherapist and has been a sex and relationship coach for the last 11 years. She started Denver Sexology LLC in 2005 to help individuals and couples who are struggling with intimacy issues and seek to improve their sexual satisfaction. She is a kink friendly professional. www.DenverSexology.com