I would be hard pressed to find something less sexy than a global pandemic. Between heightened emotions, tremendous fear, heartbreaking tragedy and social isolation, we have been thrown into a world that is not only unfamiliar, but unwelcoming. The very ground that we walk on has collapsed and we are experiencing a version of life that no one could have prepared for. Whether we are single or partnered, this shift has resulted in significant changes to our erotic and sexual lives. Relationships that were once solid are now rocky, sex lives that were once full and exciting are now dull and for many, expression and practice of kink is now stifled.

With dungeons closed, play parties halted and general human to human contact at a minimum, it is increasingly harder for kinky folks to feel connected in a meaningful and fulfilling way. Shifts in the hierarchical structures and foundations of many D/s relationships are leading to an increase in relationship tension and overall emotional and sexual dissatisfaction. What I have witnessed in the last few months both personally and professionally is a shift in all interpersonal relationships but none more powerful than those where kink plays a major role.

While much of what people are feeling can be traced back to the financial, physical, and emotional strain that the lock downs have had on our well being, there is a piece that remains virtually hidden from the typical discourse about life in the time of Covid. The “how are yous” and “how are you holding ups” are usually meant to gauge how an individual is coping and the typical, perhaps unconscious, intent of those questions is to open the door to complain about the stressful state of our current lives. What is missing from so many conversations are the questions about how their relationships are being impacted, particularly those that exist in a hierarchical structure.


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Kink in the Time of COVID by Elyssa Rice

Published June 28, 2020