Vir Cotto's BDSM Blog

Not Muggles

More than once in the scene, I've heard people refer to vanilla folks as "muggles". Fuck that noise.

I understand how we feel. The scene isn't just about kink, many of us are nerds, geeks and weirdos. We don't conform to society's ideas of sex, relationships or gender. Even before kink, many of us sought out the escapism of weird books about wizards, dragons, robots, spaceships and weird anime things. We're different. I'm different, and when I found the scene, I cried tears of recognition and acceptance.

In addition to being kinky, I'm also Jewish. And as a European Jew whose family was largely killed in the Holocaust, I know the dangers of "othering". The technical term for it is dehumanization- to place others in a category of "lesser than human". It's not just Jews either, of course. Images of black people as gorillas is a way to deemphasize their humanity, as were images of Japanese people during World War II that showed them with beady eyes and long, sharp fang-like teeth.

We kinksters often feel out-of-place, misunderstood by the world around us. We hide our activity, our relationships and even our identity from the world. While some of us have come out, most of us know that if were really out, we might risk losing our jobs, our friendships and even our family. We carry secrets with us, and we feel othered and so it's natural for us to want to "other back".

But we must resist that temptation. We are different, but they are not "less". I once read a post on Fetlife that proclaimed that Vanilla people were just like kinksters, only their kink was very specific. They could only get off on sex that was slow, gentle and with someone who they had a very specific type of relationship with. Vanillas, the writer argued, had a very strange kink indeed, and that instead of trying to convince them of our ways, we should look at their kink and realize that their kink but that their kink is okay.

Calling them "muggles" doesn't do that. So please don't.