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"Kink 101: understanding the kink community"

on Friday, 25 January 2013. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Out and About Magazine

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Kink. What is the first thing thought of when this word is used? Whips or chains? Leather and bondage? My answer would be yes to all of the above and then some!

But after experiencing the Kink 101 class, I came away with a few more words to describe the class as well as the group of individuals that participate in the local kink scene in Nashville. Those would be communication, community and freedom.

For eight years running, Nashville’s local dungeon has been operating as a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization for those who seek to participate in the local kink scene. Activities range anywhere from your “traditional” lover of bondage and spankings, to the more acquired taste of the furry population.

Furries are a subculture of the kink scene that dress up in fur suits to do animal role playing. Not your cup of tea? No worries. There are also leatherfolk, rope experts and bears, oh my!

When corresponding with the teacher Meronym, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I showed up. I was a bit apprehensive given the subject matter, but decided in the name of all things journalism to put on my big girl pants and see what this fetish stuff was all about.

Meronym, who has been an active member of the kink community for four years, as well as some other kinky folk that attended, seemed a bit nervous about my presence but I assured them that I would not be taking any pictures or using any of their names.

Privacy is of course a very important subject of the class given some preconceived notions about the types of individuals that participate in kink activity. The class does a wonderful job of putting those hasty assumptions to rest.

Numerous topics were covered ranging from the basic vocabulary associated with the kink community to safety procedures that are encouraged. Despite what the kink novice make think, it is considered unacceptable practice to tie someone up and leave them. This is a big no no and will definitely get you a slap on the hand … and not in a good way!

Another really important function of the class is its mission to dispel the fears those who are unfamiliar with kink might have. One of the biggest misconceptions is those in the kink community are into hurting one another.

This is simply not true. Does this mean there is not pain? No. But the boundaries are clear. Lines are drawn. And there is of course negotiation....

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