So the other day I had a very brief conversation with a friend of mine, Monk, about the movie Hostel. You may or may not have noticed that the movie is currently advertising here on JanesGuide, for a January opening. At the time Monk said he thought the trailer looked totally kink-negative. Admittedly, I am not a big horror movie fan and I hadn’t looked at the preview. I AM a Quentin Tarantino fan, but that didn’t mean I wanted to peruse something billing itself as horror.

So anyhow, being kink-friendly (and yes, kinky) I thought I’d better check it out. After all, I’m right in the middle of a fund-raiser for NCSF, a non-profit that exists largely to provide education about the oft-misunderstood topic of kink. I watched the trailer, and hey – I didn’t get how it was kink negative. What I saw was a movie about sadistic sex and torture, but that no more related to the community I know than Ted Bundy did, and last I checked nobody I knew was flagging for “chainsaw fetish”.

Tonight Elliott and I were having a yummy candlelit dinner at one of our favorite spots, and I brought up the topic. Imagine my surprise when he agreed with Monk. The reason, as we ended up talking it out, had a lot to do with Elliott being mostly (and really this is ONLY for lack of a better term) “vanilla”. His only exposure to the bdsm community is via me. In his mainstream universe, apparently, people DO equate nonconsensual sexual sadism and torture to what it is we do. I guess in this case I am so accepting of consensual bdsm, it never occurred to me that a fiction like this could be considered “kink negative”, rather it wasn’t in my realm of kink whatsoever. Granted, I’ve only seen the trailer just like anyone else – but unless the plot line involves someone who gets involved in the bdsm community, and then is encouraged by said community to all of a sudden embark on nonconsensual torture, I don’t see how it relates in any way to what it is I’ve experienced, and most of the people I know are about.

This brings up another point though, which is: if what Elliott says is true, that the mainstream world at large thinks kinky people are a bunch of freaks who nonconsensually torture each other, it’s little wonder that the community as a whole is so sensitive. I hear almost nothing about negative experiences within the bdsm community. If you try to discuss real topics about abuses that can and do happen, everyone circles the wagons to naysay that ANYTHING bad ever happens. I want to know when we’ll finally be able to admit that like any community comprised of human beings, we aren’t all perfect. It’s not a perfect utopia of communication, consent and enlightenment. Like any other group there are people who are wonderful, and people who aren’t so wonderful. It sorta makes me crazy, because the only people being hurt by that lack of discussion and openness are people within our community.

However, back to my original point. The issue is context and consent, and I certainly am hoping that nobody watches a movie like Hostel and then thinks that is what kinky folk would be doing if they had the funds to afford it.

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