When you’re a black woman who was raised by parents who avoided conversations about sex, it can come as a surprise when you grow into someone who adores sex. It’s taken me a long time to get used to the fact that sex makes me happy, and that I like to speak about my sexual experiences, listen to those of others and try something new with a partner.
My journey to becoming comfortable with sex led me to kink and BDSM (bondage/ discipline, dominance/ submission, sadism/ masochism), something I’ve written about before. What attracted me to BDSM was being able to explore the unfamiliar. I wanted to understand what it was about being tied up and bruised that made these people so happy and I wanted to get to a point where I could give my body over to someone else.
I started by my BDSM journey by experimenting with my then-boyfriend, reading up about it and watching videos. What helped me during this time was meeting two black women who were more experienced in the world of kink. We began discussing our mutual interests on Twitter and were able to speak openly about the type of sex that we loved, where pleasure came with pain. We laughed and complained about why kinky black women always seem to attract two kinds of people: white men who are looking to fulfil race play fantasies and the, ‘Why are you into white shit?’ black people.
Race play fantasies usually involves a black person acting as the slave, and the white person the master. In this type of kink, racial slurs and stereotypes are used to arouse. White men who are interested in this form of play, many of whom I started speaking to via FetLife – a social network for kinksters – are masters of coded language; they hide behind the fact that they’re attracted to your blackness as a fetish. Few things annoy me more than someone who needs racial slurs to achieve orgasm.
It leads to the question, what is it about my blackness that makes you hard? Why do you think that reparations can be in the form of being degraded by a black woman? While there are some who are very open to slave/master dynamics in the bedroom, racialised sexual situations are very few people’s cup of tea. This might not be my thing at all, but kink-shaming is not something I do. It is a consensual activity that adults agree on. The problem comes in when people choose to play ignorant about why they get turned on by this kind of play. One cannot use racial slurs without looking into the power those words hold. And while some are aroused by those slurs as others are by being called ‘whores’, it is important to acknowledge that racism is institutionalised socially, economically and legally; denying that truth for your sexual pleasure is infuriating.
When speaking about the black community itself, kink is almost never openly discussed. It comes as a shock to many that a black woman would be so sure of the things she likes sexually and speaks openly about them. I’ve had instances where men refused to let me suggest anything new and I could almost hear them saying, ‘I know what I’m doing’.
Becoming more sex positive as a black woman causes two reactions to surface: firstly, being oversexualised to the point that most men believe that you turning them down means you lied about your love for sex, while other people would try to shame you into being more modest and subservient.
I came to terms with my relationship with pleasure without the thoughts that others attempted to place on me; learning from similar-minded people on Twitter and Tumblr. But finding black kinksters to play with in your city, even your province, is both difficult and frustrating. I have too often fallen into the trap of being excited by the possibility of finding a black Dom only to have our kinks be the only thing we have in common. Many men tend to find kinky black women attractive because of just that. We’re kinky. And we’re black.
What I want is a space where I can get together with self-aware kinksters who are open to the things I like, where choice isn’t limited and experiences are both plenty and pleasurable. More than that, though, I look forward to a space that helps me get even more comfortable with my kinks because I know very well that this isn’t something I can share with my actual family.
I have a love for fantasy but having people fetishise me for my race or feel entitled to me because I’ll try more than the ‘average’ black woman is not the way I’d like to experience something that gives me so much pleasure. So while I continue to search for an environment that is as diverse as it is satisfying, check your boner.