XOXO

My Sexuality Has a Dark Side — And Maybe Yours Does Too

Don’t judge

Feminista Jones
ZORA
Published in
5 min readOct 28, 2019

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Photo: ADragan/Getty Images

II first explored the darker side of my sexuality a little over two decades ago and, to this day, I have absolutely zero regrets. I was introduced to bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism (BDSM) by an older, more experienced man who convinced me to trust him and his expertise. With him, I was able to try new, thrilling activities that I knew were more my sexual preference than what I’d experienced up to the point. Unfortunately, he turned out to be abusive, but I remained intrigued by the positive and exciting aspects of the lifestyle, so I decided to continue along my journey alone.

BDSM is growing in popularity, notably in the United States. While there is no definitive figure to tell us how many people have indulged their kinkier tastes, most studies I’ve come across estimate one-quarter to one-third of sexually active adults have brought kink into their bedrooms. “National Kink Month” was established in 2012 to raise awareness about the BDSM lifestyle and to celebrate sexual freedom. Joel Tucker, founder of Stockroom, Inc., a source of sexual pleasure items and sex-positive education, thought that the fantasy escapism of Halloween coincided well with the BDSM lifestyle. In the years since, members of alternative sex communities, specifically those who engage in BDSM and kink, have used the month to raise awareness, host events, and advocate for their sexual freedom.

BBDSM isn’t a lifestyle to be entered into lightly; anyone interested in exploring it should do relevant research, talk to active participants, and communicate honestly about their wants and needs before taking the leap. While 50 Shades of Grey was neither an accurate nor positive representation of the lifestyle, the books and films sparked mainstream conversations about BDSM in a way we’d never seen done before. To be clear — our lifestyle is still considered “alternative” and we still deal with marginalizing stigma about what participants do and how we live our lives. There’s more to what it is that we do than whips, chains, leather, and lace, and what mainstream coverage often overlooks is the humanity of us kinky folks.

As a sex-positive, kink-positive Black feminist woman, my work must include educating people and debunking myths…

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Feminista Jones
ZORA
Writer for

She/Her | Author, Activist. Philly-based, NYC-bred. #ReclaimingOurSpace Twitter/IG: @FeministaJones FeministaJones.com/contact for inquiries