What are your views on the ethics of kink?

Day 11 - Michael's 30 Days of Kink

By | June 18, 2014
This entry is part 12 of 15 in the series 30 Days of Kink w/ Michael


What are my views on the ethics of kink?

To my eyes, that’s an odd question.

I mean, my life and my kink are inseparable.  But I don’t know that anyone would ever ask – What are your views on the ethics of living?  So it seems rather strange to have the question addressed the way it is worded.

I’m guessing it’s meant to be a thoughtful question, where people can defend their kink, show themselves to be ethical in their own practice of kink.  Perhaps it was meant to forward a discussion of safe words and of community mottos like Safe Sane and Consensual.

Perhaps such a discussion is necessary.  It does seem that the default belief in the “vanilla” world could be that kinksters, not to mention polyamorists, are inherently unethical.

I mean we beat our spouses, or at least give the appearance that is happening.  After I came out to my mother as a kinkster, she forever struggled with the fact that someone might enjoy being hit with a riding crop.

“How demeaning that must be, to be hit with a device intended for use on a horse!” is what she said to me.  I think she would have been blown away to learn that most folks who purchase riding crops aren’t actually equestrian enthusiasts.

For her to have considered that the sensation might actually be pleasurable to some people would really have screwed with her world outlook.  People really can’t enjoy pain, can they?

Many kinksters play with, and love, individuals who aren’t our spouses.  To the vanilla world that forever brings to mind visions of cheating.  Yet how can it be “cheating” when it’s done with our partners knowledge and consent, not to mention the fact that our spouses may also be involved with the same individual, or perhaps another.

To their eyes, it’s just mind boggling that anything of that sort could occur.  We must not value our partners, or our marriages, if we are doing such things.  Right?


Well that may not be universal.  I’m sure there are kinksters who don’t value their souses any more than some vanilla folks who treat their own partners with disdain.

We may be “different” in the BDSM and kink community, but we aren’t that different.  We are pretty much the same as the rest of the folks in the world.  In many ways the BDSM community is a microcosm of the rest of the world.

Our ethics may be a little different than the way the “game of life” is played in the vanilla world, but most of us in the BDSM and kink communities have highly evolved ethics.  If we didn’t, we might look like the rest of the world assumes we must be, lawless hedonists who care only for our own pleasures.  Most folks reading this know that’s simply not true.

yes, kinksters have ethics!

I’d like to view myself as highly ethical in my practice of kink, BDSM, polyamory, and tantra.

Who wouldn’t want to see themselves in that light?

I know some folks could never see a sadistic polyamorist as being ethical.  I’m sorry, but that’s there loss instead of mine.  It’s hard to overcome the default assumption that loving more than one person makes me somehow less ethical than a monogamist.  It’s hard to overcome the assumption that a person who likes to strike and bruise others is also practicing that art within ethical boundaries.

Yet, that’s exactly what I do.

And, I am not alone.  While I consider myself to be highly ethical, I’m sure that’s also the case for the majority of the BDSM and kink communities too.

Yes, I’m aware that some professions have continuing education for ethics, but beyond that, I think our lifestyle is unique.  How many people can say, that as a regular part of their lifestyle, they attend classes and discussions on ethics?

I think that’s the default for most of the kink community.

Yes, like any other community we have our problems, our own ethically challenged community members.  Like I said earlier, I believe the kink community is a microcosm of the rest of the world.  We are really no different, except that we enjoy sex the way some enthusiasts enjoy model trains.  The way they might think about the perfect “layout” we think about the perfect scene.  it’s not really so different.

Except we spend an inordinate amount of time discussing ethics in the world of kink.  Ethics are discussed at munches and in discussion groups.  Ethics are discussed at outings, retreats, trysts, carnivals, and every other imaginable gathering under the sun.

We have ethics.  And we want the world to know it too!  As I’ve mentioned before, that’s why we have mottoes like Safe, Sane, and Consensual, and Risk Aware Kink.  They really aren’t so much competing philosophies, as they are competing slogans, designed to show the world that despite having unusual hobbies and predilections, we are not the bogey men and bogey women of modern day life.  There’s no need to call out the townspeople, nothing even remotely edgy going on over here.

But, for some of us, being on the edge is what we seek.  Safe Sane and Consensual just sounds like a warm fuzzy to us, we want dangerous, edgy and barely tolerable.  We want to challenge preconceived notions, and preconceived limits.

We want to taste the world before it tastes us.

Yet, we want to do it all ethically.  That’s what makes our passions different.  That is what makes us, despite the differences in our sex lives, a microcosm of society at large, and not as some would believe about us, a microcosm of the local correctional facility.

What are your views on the ethics of kink?

Yes, we have ethics.  Sometimes they are a bit difficult.  It usually helps to know the hows and whys.

But don’t worry, if you mess up, someone will correct you.  Yes, our community is truly a microcosm of society these days.  We have our know-it-alls, our rules junkies, our mother hens.  If you aren’t playing safe, a dungeon monitor may very well let you know.

Whether that particular “advancement” progress or not, nobody can accuse our community of lacking ethics.


ethics can be like putting together pieces of a puzzle

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Author: Michael Samadhi

Experienced, safe, sane, and consensual dominant. Mental aspects of BDSM are most important to my style of play. Nothing is quite as satisfying as really getting inside a submissive's head. I am a bondage aficionado, and a sensuous sadist. Other passions include floggers/ impact play, as well as sensation play of all kinds. Serafina, my devoted slave/wife, is alpha slave for the House of Samadhi leather family. Sinnja, our new love, is my slave in training.

35 thoughts on “What are your views on the ethics of kink?

  1. Rayne Millaray

    Great post!

    If you’re interested, I’ve a list of all the folks who are participating in 30 Days of Kink here on my site. I promote the list when I add a new article, or new bloggers add themselves to the list. You’re welcome to add a link to your intro post if you’d like.

    Also, I dunno if it’s something wonky on my end, but your social media buttons in the author bio don’t seem to be working the way they should. The Twitter button took me to a “page not found” error.

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