Wednesday, May 26


When telling my kinky pals about some special moment in my adult life I have to remind myself that they weren't around when most of these things happened. That even the closest of my kinky friends are known barely a year.

And when I'm having in depth conversations with people like Indy or trading twitter laughs with whoever, I have to remind myself that I've never actually met these people in real life. Yet I feel that I know them already, am confident I'll like them when we do meet. A confidence borne, no doubt, from so many other online friendships that have blossomed in real life.

Not just ordinary friendships though, but kinkships. In some ways they go further and deeper than normal friendship because we lay ourselves completely bare. Not only facing up to the 'shameful' truths about ourselves but sharing them, reveling in them. (Although I have found that sharing TTWD with my already close vanilla friends has deepened that friendship even further.)

And this kinkship has been something I've been musing on a lot lately - how quickly and easily these kinky friendships develop. How strong the bonds are. How most of these connections begin online and how we interact with one another: laugh and cry along, tease and support along the way. How the kink transcends all those traditional friendship triggers of age, location, education, life stage and career.

These musings have been brought to the forefront by the saga of Bryson bear. For those of you who don't know the facts here's a brief overview. Bryson belongs to Mija and a few weeks back managed to lose himself in a hotel they were staying in. Despite much searching he was not to be found, culminating in this lovely post of Mija's.

At the time the blogging fold and the twitterverse provided much advice and support. But what I remember most about that time was the complete empathy I had with Mija for her loss and then the utter elation when he was returned to her as detailed here.

And when I think about it, really think about it, it fascinates me that I can have this empathy with someone I've never met. That's the power of kinkship.


Karl Friedrich Gauss said...

Good point, EJ. I wonder if members of other subcultures experience the same phenomenon, or is this peculiar to those of us interested in spanking?

Scarlett De Winter said...

It's true, the people I've met on my gap year have become some of my closest friends. When I got into university, the lover was the first person I told. When I got my a-level results I told Jessica before my parents, and if I'm upset or lonely or bored I go to one of my kink friends before my school lot. I guess that's two fold, a lot of my friends have got five, ten, twenty plus years on me so they tend to give really good advice, but also they know the me that I am now and they know everything.

That said, my friend who's at university in the US came home for the summer and we went out for lunch. We were wandering around in town and my shoes were hurting my feet, she said "Why don't you take them off? It's not like you ever wore shoes at school." It's a tiny detail, but it's lovely to have people who know your history and things like that about you. Shared history is such a bond, one that I hope I'll eventually have with my new kink friends.

This is getting stupidly long, but I sort of get how you feel as we've been in this group of people for roughly the same amount of time and it's truly amazing that you can form what feels like a life long bond in such a short period of time. I'm sure I'll end up writing my own post about this but I'm glad you did because thinking how much I care about my friends has made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Master Retep said...

You are right, these friendships, including the purely on-line ones, morph into kinship very quickly. One of the reasons, I believe, is that the very admission of a shared belief in TTWD is an immediate exposure of vulnerability. Instantly, we are all open to a shared intimacy that fellow stamp collectors, train spotters or heavy metal fans may never achieve.

Secondly, the emotional (and erotic) intensities engendered by our activities means that its not easy to ignore, trivialise or be dismissive of anothers feelings. Even if there is no directly sexual component in the relationship (as in an intention to "get off with" them), our activities are inherently flirtatious. And flirting is a gorgeous way of communicating with another person, even if only in the Twitterverse.

Well spotted, the rapid kinship in shared kink.

ps Blogger has done it again, how did it come up with "subbis" as a kapchka?

Graham said...

The same thing happens with foreigners gathered in a new country. The bonds form quick, and they're strong. It reminds me of Caroline's post about being expatriated from Vanillaland. Maybe kinkship can be likened to those friendships formed by foreigners with a shared homeland. We're are own little kinky country.

Mija said...

The term "kinkship" is an interesting one -- I like it. I think it's true that we can bond very easily across distances when we share this thing we hold so close and personal. Paul and I once commented that via the internet, we get to know each other inside out. Though honestly my vanilla friends were disappointingly bored when I finally summoned up the courage to tell them -- think they imagined spanking / BDSM would have more sex in it it.

Bryson very much appreciated this attention. He takes it all with quiet dignity, but I can tell he's a bit proud of being so famous and discussed by the likes of you, EmmaJane, across the interwebs. Thank you for writing such a lovely piece and for caring so very much.

Abel1234 said...

Great post, lovely word to savour. I too have been surprised by the depth of feeling it's possible to develop online with someone in the scene, having not met in person.

And, of course, it's even lovelier when you then meet said individual and find you click wonderfully in person too :-)

Irelynn Logeen said...

This is a really nice post! I agree with you, it's weird in a way, isn't it? Especially for me, because I don't like people easily and I'm still a bit surprised as to how I ended up in kinky blogosphere with all these people I have somehow connected to. It's weird, but I like it!

Rad said...

I had not seen this post before I wrote my piece about the same subject a few days ago. Mine was more about the technology that has created, in my opinion, a sort of global village of kinky people -- a comfortable hometown of folks who live thousands of miles apart. "Kinkship" is a good word to describe the connection.