Once considered solely the domain of “sexual extremists,” kink, fetish, and BDSM has crossed over into the mainstream, becoming a respectable, safe, and even stylish part of the everyday sexual experience for more and more people. What was once pushed off into a corner, left to the so-called perverted, deviant, and oddball among us is now everywhere–widely embraced not just in more and more bedrooms, but a common sight in literature, movies, television shows, social media, conventions, and yes, even adult entertainment venues.
It can be easy to hand over responsibility for this breakthrough in sexual expression and freedom to the phenomenon known as 50 Shades of Grey, but the simple truth is, the foundation was being laid long before Miz James ever penned her famous sultry take on a Twilight fan fiction–although to give credit where it’s due, the steamy erotica trilogy did serve to bring the idea of BDSM and kinky sex out in the open in a whole new way, and propelled the notion forward to a whole new group of soccer moms who might not have otherwise been as open to the idea of kinky sex in years past.
However, the road to everyday erotica was being paved long before Mr. Grey ever took office. Just ask the incredibly popular team at San Francisco’s The Armory, for example. Home to the host of Kink.Com fetish and BDSM-themed websites, the Armory plays host to everything from special events and conventions to speaking engagements, live, 24-hour Internet reality shows, and (of course) adult movie and entertainment.
But while you may know Kink and its counterparts for their contributions to the BDSM, erotic humiliation, punishment, spanking, pet play and other online fetish worlds, what you may not be aware of is that many of the most well known Doms, Mistresses and behind the scenes coordinators of these communities are often invited to speak and sit at conferences, summits, and round tables along with highly respectable and wildly successful business people and experts from all walks of life.
And if seeing the masters and mistresses of kink and pleasure seated on a dais alongside Harvard professors, Pulitzer-prize winning novelists, well known actors, and other otherwise mainstream names proves one thing, it’s this–a barrier has most definitely been torn down.
And the fetish and kink taboo has been lifted, or at the very least blurred, in all types of entertainment and media outlets, as well. Consider music videos and YouTube clips where the likes of Christina Aguilera Robin Thicke, and Rihanna strut their stuff in leather and latex, brandishing riding crops, lapping up cream from a cat dish, or informing us that whips and chains excite them.
From Maggie Gyllenhaal’s sensually subtle Secretary performance as a newbie to the world of submission to the playfully raunchy take on BDSM in movies like 50 Shades of Black and Wedding Crashers, the once exclusive and highly secretive world of kinky sex has become respectable and safe, accepted, and common.