The fight for Black rights is ever-growing and ever-changing. Law enforcement is being reformed, congressional conversations on reparations are being revisited, and even businesses, celebrities, and influencers are being held accountable for their anti-Blackness. Although the Black community has seen a lot of progress, from an intersectional standpoint, Black activism spaces lack safety, recognition, and even solidarity for Black folx who are LGBTIA- identifying or lead alternative lifestyles. Within this subset, Black people who are sex and/or kink positive are frowned upon, often subjected to shame and judgment from others. As a Black fat womxn who exists at the intersection of these identities, it’s time to have conversations about what sex and kink positivity are and why they are important for Black liberation.

From a personal standpoint, kink and sex have been a big part of my journey into womanhood. Despite being a late bloomer, my interest in the kink lifestyle started when I was in my mid-to-late teens. I remember staying up late to watch Secretary, and how the power dynamic between James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s characters intrigued me. It was something about E. Edward Grey’s sternness and the way he chastised and punished Lee that captured my interest. From that moment, I knew I wanted to learn more about what I had seen. My curiosity grew as I matured, and when I finally entered adulthood, I decided to explore my desires by turning to kink-friendly groups online and different websites. In these virtual spaces, I met a lot of like-minded individuals that not only taught me about the ins and outs of kink, including the roles of dominants and submissives and the meaning of each letter in BDSM, but also became my friends and even partners. Although some of these redeemable qualities have played a critical part in shaping my sexual identity and have kept me coming back to the lifestyle, there was one major issue that always plagued my experience: the lack of Black people.

Just like most communities, kink is inherently white-centric. Being that the lifestyle is a broad umbrella term that encompasses so many different smaller communities and subcultures, a lot of these are made to fetishize Black and brown bodies. I can’t even count how many Carsons and Karens have slid into my inbox and expressed their desires for “a big, beautiful Black woman” and how I fit the bill for their next scene. I’ve even been approached by masters and mistresses in search of creating a dynamic with someone that virtually simulates slavery or a form of race play. Y’all, I’m totally not here to yuck anyone’s yum, but I also want to make one thing clear: there’s a definite difference between a fetish and fetishization, and the aforementioned anecdotes are examples of the latter.

Initially, I felt alone in my experiences, but after chatting with friends and colleagues, I realized I wasn’t the only one. Dawn, an educator and close friend, talked about how fetishization of non-white folx goes beyond the parameters of kink and extends into the realm of sex as well.

“I can’t log into Pornhub or XVideos without being bombarded with white pornstars and nothing that could even remotely resemble representation of someone like me,” she pointed out. “[On these sites] there are even videos that are titled in derogatory and racist ways. As for outside of the digital world, my encounters with white counterparts have been almost always, if not always, rooted in fetishization. Think: ‘I’ve never been with a (blank) before. Is it true that (blank)?’ [with] those blanks being filled with obscenities, ridiculous stereotypes, and dehumanizing rhetoric.”

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Normalizing Kink For Black And Brown Folx by Cheydavis14

Aug 20, 2020