Kink and the LGBTQ+ Community
Kink and the LGBTQ+ Community: Finding Fraternity
The kink and LGBTQ+ communities share many commonalities. In understanding the distinctive and intersecting needs of these individuals we can better support and uplift their communities.
Kink offers a safe, sane, and consensual space for the exploration of one’s sexuality and gender identity. During a scene, one can experiment with gender within the boundaries of communicative pleasure. For this reason among others, there is an extensive queer kink community.
Both queer and kinky individuals may signal their interests through flagging. Flagging is the use of colored handkerchiefs or flags to identify one’s BDSM role/identity, fetish, or interests. Flagging helps build a unique community for those with queer or alternative sexualities. Queer and kinky people have a community history distinct from the heterosexual kink community, and this includes differing kink interests and activities and language use.
Clinicians must offer a safe space for both kinky and queer patients to come out and talk about their unique experiences. There are special physical and mental health concerns for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the kink community. And for both groups, some may not reveal their sexual orientation or practices due to fear of being ridiculed or pathologized. Thus, clinicians need to address such particular concerns proactively.
Clinicians may want to ask: With what genders and sexes do you have sexual contact with? And to what frequency? Such straightforward questions help to develop a transparent relationship between the patient and the clinician.
The LGBTQ+ and kink communities have distinctive struggles and histories. However, kinky people can still learn from the queer community, and the queer community can still learn from the kinky community—with a shared goal of inclusivity and acceptance for all.