Deviant Desires
September 10, 2018 9:56 PM   Subscribe

The new book Deviant Desires explores the vast and complex facets of human sexuality. NSFW, obviously. Content warning: kink, bdsm, bondage, fetishes, etc. In her new book, Deviant Desires: A Tour of the Erotic Edge, researcher Katharine Gates explores the vast and complex facets of human sexuality. At the center of the book is her "kink map," a visual outline as complex as the human psyche which connects every kink from feet fetishes to superhero bondage. Still, each kink is always explored with mutual consent among like-minded adults and a shared excitement for breaking sexual taboos.
posted by MovableBookLady (36 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite


 
You know what kink you never hear about, but which must exist, since, supposedly, everything exists? Elderly roleplay.
posted by thelonius at 10:13 PM on September 10


Hmmm. Why is elderly roleplay a kink? I mean, just by itself, without any of the kinky bits attached, I wouldn't consider it kinky.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:16 PM on September 10


Well, supposing it was sincerely someone's fetish interest, what else would you call it? It would be out of the ordinary at least.
posted by thelonius at 10:19 PM on September 10


Number 10 in this listicle says something about something, but I’m not entirely sure what. (Perhaps it’s an extremely deadpan joke by Sanchez…) The other kinks listed aren’t necessarily bleeding edge (even I know pony play exists) but they’re all something you couldn’t find on a street corner. Smoking is still something you can find all around you, even if the practice is generally forbidden in bars. Heck, ex-Presidents do it. That being aroused by it isn’t simply considered a slightly dated turn-on, or a wee bit of fetishization but shockingly outré is a very strange surprise. (Perhaps more simply: I have been at parties where people have said cigarettes look nice. I’ve never been at a party where someone has said they’re really into feet.)

Hmmm. Why is elderly roleplay a kink? I mean, just by itself, without any of the kinky bits attached, I wouldn't consider it kinky.

Aren’t most kinks kinks by nature of the fact that they are unorthodox turn ons?
posted by Going To Maine at 10:20 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


It looks as if complexity of the field defeats the map, or perhaps she just hasn’t found a sufficiently illuminating overall set of dimensions/analysis.
posted by Segundus at 10:29 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Pity, I'm not really into cannibalism.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:58 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


There is a facebook group called "I'm kinkshaming you then I'm burning your crops so you don't survive winter".
posted by poe at 11:04 PM on September 10 [13 favorites]


Carbs, man. Carbs.
posted by JamesBay at 11:04 PM on September 10


Speaking of macrophiles, there's actually an entire series of videos on PH that features giant women and tiny, tiny men. The men must avoid being stomped and squished by the women. Someone has put a ton of effort into those videos. If not for the content, they could have easily been on children's television in the 80's.
posted by JamesBay at 11:06 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Smoking fetish is definitely a legitimate fetish that I discovered on the old school internet with a website that cronicled every movie shot of a woman smoking. There is also a smoking kink tag on Tumblr.

The fact that smoking is a common everyday activity doesn't preclude it from being a kink. Foot fetishists walk around all day surrounded by people with feet. Some people have a breastfeeding kink (like, not even breastfeeding themselves but watching women breastfeed babies).
posted by muddgirl at 11:17 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Rereading your comment, I think there is a subtle difference between finding certain cigarette aesthetics cool and sexy, vs finding them to be arousing.
posted by muddgirl at 11:20 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


Like no one says "I'm a foot fetishist" at a party, but women wear "fuck-me shoes."
posted by muddgirl at 11:28 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Wait, have I come unstuck in time or something? I feel like Deviant Desires and that map are at least, like, a decade and a half old by this point. Am I missing something? Has my third eye opened?
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:31 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


This "new" book is actually a revised edition of a book that's nearly two decades old. It came out during a very formative period for me and really inspired me to embrace my kinks. She wrote about kinks from an insider's perspective, making no secret of her own predilections, and she treated her interviewees like human beings. I admired the hell out of Gates and she became one of my heroes as a journalist, until I had kind of a gross experience with her a few years later.

She interviewed me for an article she was writing for some website. We talked about a few of my kinks, mostly focusing on this one weird thing I've got about somebody being magically transformed into sexy clothing and worn by a woman. (Mmm, yeah, just imagine clinging to her warm skin, being stretched against her curves as she breathes...) I made it very clear that this was a non-violent scenario where a person was magically transformed into clothing, like a witch cast a spell to transform a guy into a bra or whatever, and not that anybody was actually being skinned and turned into clothes. I was most certainly not into human skin suits!

But then the article appeared and Gates 100% made it sound like I got off on the idea of people being skinned alive and turned into skin suits. Nobody wants a rep as a person who fantasizes about skinning people and wearing them, but it's a particularly ghastly association for a trans person post-Silence of the Lambs. The article was also called Sex Nerds or something very much like that and the tone struck me as way more kink shame-y than the book. (It doesn't seem to be online anymore, and I'm fine with that.) I immediately emailed her and pleaded with her to change the part about me, and as I recall it she kind of grumbled and then a few days later they printed some sort of correction. I'd been so thrilled to be included in a Katherine Gates article, and now the whole thing was a big humiliating mess.

So that left a sour taste in my mouth, but I still think the book did a lot to spread kink awareness and open things up. It probably introduced a lot of people to furries, macrophiles, et al, and it made kinks seem not just harmless but fun. I don't think the re-issue can have the same kind of impact today, but I do hope it sells well and inspires a new generation of freaks.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:42 AM on September 11 [33 favorites]


As fetish maps go, I prefer this one..

no one says "I'm a foot fetishist" at a party,
- quiet life you lead.
posted by adamvasco at 1:00 AM on September 11 [9 favorites]


For a time in my early thirties it seemed like I only went to parties that would involve conversations around kinks and it would get to a point where you'd be desperate to change the topic to "hey, is anyone watching The Wire?" so they'd just shut up about what made them unique and special.

I faked a kink for women saying rude words in haughty English accents for long enough that it did become an actual kink.
posted by Molesome at 1:44 AM on September 11 [17 favorites]


Am I blind, or is that ostensibly comprehensive map missing shibari, or even good ol' just-plain-bondage? I see other subtropes called out, but not rope in and for itself. (The subtext of all such questions: "Have I become that vanilla, that boring?")

As far as the otherwise-laudable blanket policy of no-kinkshaming goes, it has two limit horizons as far as I can see. The first is kinks that are prima facie reprehensible (genuinely nonconsenting partners, the murder of animals for sexual gratification), and the second consists of all those kinks one can simply not take seriously, for all one's sincere efforts to be generous.

That second line will differ for each of us, and indeed, for some it may subtend the entire universe depicted here. But I hope there'd be at least some rough consensus around the first.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:22 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Surely number ten is just a modern manifestation of Kinbaku (Japanese Rope Binding) ??

I mean the idea of Super-powered people tied up being titillating, has existed as long as Wonder Woman and definitely as long as Superman have existed, so it's fascinating that there is a resurgence, but I'm not sure it's particularly revealing as a kink.

I've long had a fascination with kinks that are utterly remove intimacy and/or sex from the potential act of 'getting off'. The human mind and appetites are weird and infinitely varied.

I appreciate that the article censored some of the more ::ahem: hardcore/potentially upsetting images though.

Great post!
posted by Faintdreams at 3:55 AM on September 11


This "new" book is actually a revised edition of a book that's nearly two decades old.

Looking at the map in the link, the book was revised to add gas pedal pumping as a fetish. That was too taboo for the first edition because of the prevalence of carbureted engines.
posted by hwyengr at 4:38 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I'm Gen X, but as the oldest person in my home I am often the subject of ironic/sarcastic jibes from younger, more female voices, in the form of "Oh, let me get that for you, gramps." or "It's okay, you're probably too old to know about this music, let me explain..."

So is this elder roleplay, or masochism, or just, like... marriage?
posted by rokusan at 6:00 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I have a fetish about people being harshly admonished for improper care of garden hoses, but when I tell people I’m into kink-shaming, they look at me like I’m a monster.
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:17 AM on September 11 [25 favorites]


FLAGGED
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:24 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The most transgressive, fucked-up thing in that entire article is the state of that diagram.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:32 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


FLOGGED
posted by rokusan at 7:29 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


FLAGGED
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:24 AM on September 1


How did you know my fetish!

I mean the idea of Super-powered people tied up being titillating, has existed as long as Wonder Woman and definitely as long as Superman have existed, so it's fascinating that there is a resurgence, but I'm not sure it's particularly revealing as a kink.

Well, a lot of those are basically "rape fantasies" though personally I like the more persuasive ones, but even those are essentially the same just more tame.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:45 AM on September 11


I love the map so much, though I can't read the tiny writing. I am surprised there isn't any gender play there, maybe she has some definition of kink that excludes it.
posted by shothotbot at 10:05 AM on September 11


I love the map so much, though I can't read the tiny writing.

I'm the same in restaurants with menus, darling!
(Elderly roleplay joke).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:03 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


For a time in my early thirties it seemed like I only went to parties that would involve conversations around kinks and it would get to a point where you'd be desperate to change the topic to "hey, is anyone watching The Wire?" so they'd just shut up about what made them unique and special.

The one time I rented a local dungeon to hold a joint birthday party with another kinkster, my scene was interrupted by the loud, tedious nattering of a guy in an adjourning room who would not shut up about his new garage door opening system until I sent a buddy over to tell him to pipe down. Another friend told me about a gang-bang party in which several of the men waiting for their turn were having a loud conversation about their boats.

I guess I am saying that I, too, would have preferred conversations about The Wire to what was actually being discussed during explicitly kinky events. For some reason, there are people who attend who A. Don't want to do anything kinky nor do they want to watch, which is fine by me; B. Will not be quiet; and C. Want to talk about stuff they could talk about any day of the week virtually any other place. I have no idea what these folks are thinking but their behaviour baffles me. Couldn't find them on the map, either. :-)
posted by Bella Donna at 3:35 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The map adamvasco posted is on my 2nd favorite table at Wicked Grounds, a kink cafe in SF.
posted by bashos_frog at 4:35 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The pleasure principle is fucking exhausting.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:55 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


For people wondering why some fairly mainstream kinks are missing from the diagram, I suspect that Gates may just have some blind spots. IIRC some of Gates' own kinks, as she describes them in the original book, are pretty violent and highly... specific. (Like, maybe there was something in there about being torn apart by wolves?) I could be totally wrong and I'm definitely not trying to kink-shame her or anybody else, but it may be that she's into such dark stuff that just getting spanked barely pings on her kink radar.

For a time in my early thirties it seemed like I only went to parties that would involve conversations around kinks and it would get to a point where you'd be desperate to change the topic to "hey, is anyone watching The Wire?" so they'd just shut up about what made them unique and special.

I'm biting my tongue here, trying not to let loose a long rant about vanilla privilege. I don't want to be that kind of scold-y, wearisome person. But, see, to some of us that era felt less like people straining to be unique and more like people casting off decades of sexual oppression to just be honest about what the fuck was happening inside their souls. I would go to fetish balls and get teary-eyed with joy when I saw hundreds of people wearing their weird, secret fantasies on the outside. Politely chatting about TV shows was the last thing on my mind just then. Jesus, we'd spent enough of our lives having polite chats about TV shows.

You can always find people who want to talk about The Wire. But for some of us, talking about our kinks felt like coming up for air after a lifetime spent drowning.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:46 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


All that is very true, wot Ursuka Hitler says, but then there still is the usually white, usually middle aged, usually guy who thinks that having a keen interest in Japanese bondage techniques is an adequate substitute for an actual personality.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:40 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


I have a gay friend who, after hearing me quote Pierre Elliott Trudeau as Justice Minister in 1967 ("There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation") came out to me as a BDSM Leatherman and piss-loving ABDL (that's Adult Baby Diaper Lover). Gates's map lists Adult Babies in the upper right quadrant, in the Age Play section.

He's a sweetheart and an introvert's introvert, and as a result of his fundamentalist Christian birth family and upbringing, felt shame about it all for decades, and even after coming out as gay and moving to San Francisco, for decades he tried to pretend the rest of it wasn't part of him. Owning those parts of him has been a journey and it's obvious how much more whole he feels because of it. He said he wore his leathers to his church last year around Hallowe'en when many congregants dressed in costumes, and a vanilla gay guy who'd always been friendly before, clocked him disapprovingly, "THAT's not a costume," and sneered.

He tried online dating for a while, but the diaper thing weirded out too many candidates. He couldn't find much on FetLife and gave up on it. I've been going with him to the Folsom St Fair and Dore Alley Fair. (Just outside the entrance the first year we attended, where you line up to pay and there are cops standing discreetly to the side, I said perhaps a little too loudly because I really wanted to get my point across, "Promise me if you meet someone you like, you'll ditch me, right? I want you to get laid!" "I want me to get laid too, honey," he said. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the cops grin at our exchange.)

But...He's also sensitive and inclined to monogamy, so he's not so interested in just getting laid. Helping him own this part of himself has been an education for me, in privileges I didn't realize I had -- like, I thought finding my love match was tough, but I'm a cis straight mostly-vanilla woman, which is comparatively a cinch. Also because of him, I've been learning to own judgmentalism that I wasn't conscious of having, and learning to let it go.

There's an ABDL convention in Chicago. I've proposed going with him to Chicago next year and splitting the hotel cost. I hope it works out. He deserves to meet someone who appreciates all of him. At the very least, I think being at the convention with other ABDLs should validate for him that he has nothing to be ashamed of, he's not alone, he has every right to be proud of himself for coming out and being all of who he is, he's worthy of love, he's a fine human being, and his judgy birth family can go fuck themselves. (I read recently that right-wingers conflate ABDL with pedophilia. Fuuuuuck.)

fyi for my fellow vanillas, the way Diaper Love works for him is, he said, "Being diapered is the ultimate expression of being taken care of. Sometimes it can be kinky, a submission thing. But sometimes it's just, y'know, comfort and being taken care of."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:59 AM on September 12 [10 favorites]


more like people casting off decades of sexual oppression to just be honest about what the fuck was happening inside their souls

I spent most of my life with my kinks as a deep secret. It never occurred to me that I could find someone I love to whom I could tell the truth about how I am wired. But I did by sheer luck and I urge anyone in the same boat to go looking for it. I didn't only find someone to go along with the kinks I feel the most shame about but someone who thinks its hot. It is healing and heart opening.

My situation is fraught and I still might end up with a summer's worth of love and acceptance at the cost of serious consequences but I do not regret it.
posted by the anticipation of a new lover's arrival at 5:38 AM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Cybercoitus interruptus, you sound like an awesome friend. The anticipation of a new lover's arrival, your post sounds like the opening lines of an awesome novel. (And your name could be the title!)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:51 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I love the map so much, though I can't read the tiny writing.

I too have a legibility fetish.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:40 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


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