Barak Article

WICKED Backlash & Renewed Commitments
Saturday Feb 21, 2009 10:05 am

Greetings everyone!

It has been since before WW that I really posted anything, and I wanted to take a moment and share some thoughts of reflection. After WW (The AIS Winter Wickedness Convention), Sheba and I took a much needed rest, as we had been going non-stop for about 6 weeks of planning, implementing, organizing, negotiations, etcetera. Although it was a labor of love, when it is all said and done, it is a significant amount of work. So - we took a much needed break from the fracas.

In our time off, we found that our concepts of what we are doing have shifted a little. We really started out AIS as a group to have fun, to meet new people, and create a safe space for people to get their kink on. We had always been community minded, and were excited to be a growing part of the Columbus BDSM/Kink/Leather Community. However, after WW, we had added something to our understanding of what AIS is.

With the media attention brought about by the Radical Right's biased fear campaign, all their blatant manipulations of the facts for sensationalism, and the downright discrimination of our freedom of expression - we realized something. We came to the understanding that like the GLBT communities, we are not interested in being forced back into hiding. We are First Class citizens, who have a greater level of communication, connection, and honesty within our relationship negotiations. So we composed "An Open Letter to the Kink Community".

Here is where the realization struck home. We firmed our commitment and decided together, that we will not back down. We will not run and hide from a few people who have gathered a phone tree, and are spewing negativity because of their skewed moral compass. AIS is a legal, fun, safe, sane and consensual group! We have nothing to be ashamed of! As a matter of fact, we are proud that we are openly and honestly seeking our bliss!

There are too many people who don't have a safe, adult outlet for their desires. This can result in any number of negative manifestations. AIS, and the other Central Ohio lifestyle groups need to continue to provide this level of education in a safe environment. Currently CARAS (the Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities) is conducting a survey about who we are and what we like. This is an amazing time for kinky people.

More and more, people are experimenting with Kink, to create more spark in their love lives, to bring more sensation into the relationship, to discover new avenues of connection, to learn about the continuum of WIITWD. A 1990 Kinsey Study reported that between 5-10% of sexually active adults have participated, are actively engaged with, or are part of the kink lifestyle - and they are saying this may be an under-representation. Think about that! This means that with a population of 6 million, in Ohio alone there would be over 600,000 people who are experimenting with kink!

While the internet, books and other media outlets can be a great source of fantasy and information; nothing can substitute for direct learning from people who are in the lifestyle. This includes learning from attending classes and conferences, from watching and asking questions, from talking with people who have been doing WIITWD, and other sources of direct learning. This is why it is soooooooooo important to support our local, regional and national community. In Columbus alone, there are 6 groups that foster your learning in a safe environment! Three nights a week you can find some kink outlet, and then there is Catacombs, Columbus' Fetish/goth club. (note 2010: Catacombs is now defunct)

Anyway, the key is this: We are all adults, who are discovering and expressing our sexuality in a legal, safe, sane and consensual manner. The leaders of the Columbus, and Ohio, Kink community are dedicated to fostering a place for all of us to discover ourselves within this arena. So come be a part of what's happening, the tide is shifting, and we - as Leaders, and as part of the kinky community, plan to continue what we are doing - Creating and fostering a safe space for people to get their kink on! Damn the torpedoes! Full Speed ahead!

Peace in your journey!
Barak & Sheba

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