Positively Sex: What if UBC had a kink club?

Look, I’m not about to go out and say that UBC is lacking. I’m just saying we don’t have something Harvard, Stanford and Columbia all have. I know it’s been on your mind, so I’ll say what you’re already thinking — a kink club.

For those of you who haven’t suffered through the Fifty Shades phenomenon and aren’t familiar, “kink” refers to any unconventional sexual practices, concepts or fantasies. You’ll frequently hear it talked about in the same context as fetishes, but those are slightly different — a fetish is a strong need, desire or attraction to a non-sexual body part or object. The most common ones are feet, shoes and leather. Meanwhile, BDSM stands for bondage, domination, sadism or masochism, and it’s more on the tying-people-up and/or inflicting-pain side of things.

A fetish event might be a dance in the Nest where people wear a lot of leather, rubber, lace or masks. A BDSM event might capitalize on that dungeon-ey vibe in the Old SUB and create a space for people to be safely tied up or smacked around.

So what would a kink club even look like at UBC? Would it be — as CNN, Fox and the Huffington Post described Harvard’s group — a “kinky sex club”?

Probably not. First off, “sex club” usually refers to a setting devoted to sex — a place where you can go to get it on in front of people. If Harvard is any example, a club focused on kink is more likely to be community oriented, discussing and educating.

Good kink is safe, sane and consensual. Let’s say you’re doing a little bondage:

Safety means putting measures in place that limit the chances of things going wrong or deals with them quickly if they do. In this case, you’re sure the rope isn’t too tight (nerve damage and circulation loss are real) and you have scissors on hand.

Sane means psychologically safe — nobody is getting triggered or panicking. Everyone feels secure, in control and cared for. This is where safe words come in handy.

Consent is triple important because you’re dealing with stuff that has the potential to really hurt people. Everyone needs to be informed and on board at all times for anyone to have a good time. And of course, you’re prepared to stop at any time.

Aftercare is also pretty crucial. That’s the part of the scene when you cool off and return to the real world. It’s hard for most people to go from submissive-plaything to in-control-adult-human without an intermediary period of cuddles, sugar and reminders that you’re cared for.

It’s hard to say how many people try a different flavour than vanilla, but it’s safe to say that there are a lot. A recent survey found that half of the 1,040 people polled were interested in “abnormal” sexual practices and a third had tried it. A quick search on Fetlife (the kinky equivalent of Facebook) reveals 138 upcoming events and 72,404 kinksters living in BC alone. At that point, can you even call it abnormal? I’m thinking no.

Until 2010, the DSM considered kinkiness to be a mental disorder. While some of the stigma has lifted, a UBC sponsored kink club would do a lot to foster inclusivity and challenge norms around sex.

Kink is here. It’s got its red stilettos on, it’s batting its eyelashes and it wants to chat. So why not have a club where you can have that conversation safely?