Good for the Kinky

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Yes, I see all the reviews pouring in. #50Schadenfreude right? But I also have these thoughts this morning.

I’m still on the “Good for the kinky” side of things. (And yeah, it is just my version of “Is it good for the Jews?”) SM images and fetish style have been around the borders of pop culture for years, sometimes leaping in with higher profiles, sometimes relegated to win-wink, nudge-nudge humor, sometimes thrown in to give a story or advertising an “edgy” quality.

This, at least, tosses it out there as an identifiable sexual behavior. It doesn’t speak well to an IDENTITY – we don’t really get a picture of a functional person happy with being kinky because they chose to embrace it. But neither did gay people in the early days of their literature and media reflections.

Stories get told about dysfunctional people and conflict, tragedy and unintended consequences. The day may yet come when the kinky part is regularly treated as a neutral character trait. But when it is, then the kink *isn’t the story.* Will kinky people ever be the equivalent of the gay neighbor/best friend in a romantic comedy? Probably. We’re pretty funny, when seen from the outside. But there are a lot of steps to go through before getting there.

And if we judge things by the road taken in LGBT stories, first come the “problem” stories, with or without the “cure” – in this case, happily-ever-after, hetero marriage and babies. Then come the “problem with contemporary resolution” stories where the problem is still the kink, but the solution is romance, divorce and freedom by being out of the closet, escape from the clutches of evil, (blackmail, non-consensual slavery, abusive partners) – anything where at the end, our kinky protagonist is still kinky and happy with it. Then, finally, will come the “problem that turns out to be beside the point,” stories where the protagonist thinks the problem is kink, but it turns out…they’re just a douchebag. Their roommate is stalking them, “Single White Female” style. Their parents are kinky, too. Whatever. That’s a LONG arc of stories.

But in my lifetime, I have seen queer characters go from stereotypes, tragic figures and objects for the protagonist to use to show personal growth to, well…somewhat better than that. Some TNG folks might see the same arc for the kinky. So…yeah. It has its problems. But ultimately, we will see a net benefit from the mere widening of the conversation, and the fact that millions of women got to say, “My sexual fantasies deserve attention.”

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My thought today on why I seem “gracious” about The Recent Unpleasantness Making Oddles of Money and Getting All The Attention.

Honestly, I don’t think I am as much “gracious” as I am unconcerned and dispassionate. The books aren’t written to my taste? Neither is most popular fiction and 99% of all heterosexual romance, period. So they’re just fan fiction? All fiction is fan fiction. We just have different fandoms.

They don’t depict functional BDSM behavior as modeled in real life? Well, and Indiana Jones doesn’t really model appropriate behavior in archeology, the Dan Brown books assume no one ever took liberal arts in school, and I swear, I really, really don’t approve of selling people. Or, for that matter, murdering them. Yet, I write about those things.

A friend told me recently, “You know, (that action) in The Inheritor – no one should EVER do that. It’s dangerous because…(good reasons.)” And she was right. But I responded, “Anyone who mistakes a novel for an instructional manual is operating on Darwinian principles of life. If they haven’t learned the difference between fiction and non-fiction by the time they can buy and read a book like mine, they’re just one foolish accident away from greater wisdom.”

Of course, you can see from my posts, my parody, from just chatting with me, that I don’t like the books and have no interest in the movie. That I in fact take a bit of loser delight (#50Schadenfreude) in snarky reviews and stories about it.

But in the long run, this is Good For The Kinky. Like an awkwardly written after-school special that overloads on stereotypes and implausible drama in order to keep the attention of a bored or jaded audience, FSOG sounds more meaningful than it will really turn out to be.

We, the kinknoscenti, are sitting there amazed at how dumb it seems. But all around us are people who actually didn’t know much at all about the words they might now care to use in a search engine. That there even IS a place to go for toys and manuals and classes and entertainment and real life perverts.And unlike certain novel characters, they own computers, have e-mail and can use the Google.

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