monster boy in wonder land (execharmonious) wrote,
monster boy in wonder land

you are somebody's kink

Regarding the recent hurt/comfort debate in fandom:

I know it must feel absolutely horrible for people with disabilities, illnesses, and the like to know that for some people, the fact that you are their kink, that your disability or pain is their kink, is true. That however much you are a real person, and want to be seen as one first and foremost, you also embody something that is kinky to them. And that that thing may not be a part that you like about yourself or want to exist (as with people having a kink for trans people). Alternatively, it may be a part that is too complex for those who aren't involved in it in day-to-day life to understand, to grok how it really fits in with the rest of you and where it's relevant and where it's not. And it just may not be a part that is suitable to be kinked over while portraying it realistically, or without making those who actually feel it feel horrible and objectified. And that's awful. And it can ruin your day. It can contribute to ruining your life, if it happens often enough and objectifyingly enough.

But that said... you are, doubtless, someone's kink. You are more than that, but in their minds, you may be first and foremost their kink. Hopefully, after reading the many accounts of personal struggle with disability that are out there, they will approach you-the-person as more than that. (Hopefully they would have done that even before.) But there's a chance that when they're looking up casefiles and the like, there's still going to be a part of them that jumps to the forefront and goes "kink!" To someone for whom this condition is life, that seems all kinds of wrong and trivialising... but it is the way some people are wired. And it is what some people are aching to let out. And you may be aching more, but they're not you and they're probably not going to feel your aching as more than theirs. It's probably not going to be enough to outweigh what they need to express.

You can convince them that your aching is something to respect. Hopefully, that's what this debate will do: make them remember that there's an aching, a group of emotionally discomforted people, out there behind their kink to whom their reaction feels trivial. And if they're good people, hopefully they'll take that on board, and write responsibly. I think it's important to write responsibility, and to take responsibility for the bits (or lots) of one's writing that may have turned out to be offensive. To own that some of the things you love to express can be very, very hurtful, and to try to find ways to make them less so.

But the one thing that, from the h/c fan side of the debate, I feel needs to be said is that at the end of the day, their deepest impulses are still going to be going "kink!". And it sounds horrific, but I don't think that part is any more helpable than the instinct to laugh at an absurd-sounding accident, even though, for the people in it, the "accident" part is a lot more vivid than the "amusing" part. They're not laughing. They may be insulted and hurt that you laughed. But you're not feeling the accident part so vividly. You can't always be expected to be.

As long as there's an understanding that you can't help your kinks, and that you will want to express your kinks (and I really don't hope for, and certainly don't expect, anything more than that understanding, to be clear - not ceasing to be hurt, or ceasing to be offended, or ceasing to be angry and sickened and squicked on an emotional level), I think people on both sides of the debate can come together. But there's a lot of feeling, and it's understandable feeling because the idea creates such a shock reaction, that to be looking at someone else's pain and having the first reaction be one other than sympathy and a human identification with that person is a moral failing. That any caring person would look at the person first, and their sympathy for the person would overwhelm and banish that kink, if only they knew their pain. But t'ain't so. Kinks are deeply-ingrained things. Emotional reactions are deeply ingrained things. It's like being profoundly phobic of baldness, and seeing someone who has baldness, and breaking out into a cold sweat. You don't think any less of them as a person, but every instinct in your body is going "danger! Bad thing! Fear!" The idea that anyone can turn that off is silly, and kinks work in much the same way. You lust. You can't help it. And you want to explore it.

The most we can do is try to be responsible, thoughtful and better-written. I think we have that responsibility. But non-disabled h/c writers' priorities are always going to be different from disabled non-h/c writers' priorities, because they have different things front and centre in their lives. (And disabled h/c writers' priorities, of course, are going to be more confused yet. But that's another matter.) As long as we don't expect that their priorities must match your priorities, that they must hurt as much for you as you hurt for you, to be morally decent. That's the one thing I hope can be understood by all sides, in this debate.
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