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The Momentousness of KinkForAll

March 10, 2009

KinkForAll was awesome. I felt more comfortable there than I have in any other social kinky space. It ran incredibly smoothly considering the organic, opensource, fluidness of it all, in large part to the INCREDIBLE volunteers who kept us all in line and drew it all together. They deserve many hugs and accolades. And now more people should go and have KinkForAlls wherever they are, and there will be much cross-subcultural understanding and maybe we can make kink a more friendly place to live for all the kinky people.

My presentation at KinkForAll was to start a conversation about the markers and presentation of dominant women, which I posted my previous musings on here in detail, and here in afterthought.

I got to re-meet several people, and I met many people I knew only through blogs, and now I’m busy rearranging my misty mental impressions and associating their faces and voices with their writing.

I met Maja, and I saw Tyr (who was very busy timing presentations). I met Switch and Boy (well, I know I met one of them, and I think I met the other). Whoever is who, they showed me a low-tech rope-making machine that made me very happy.

I met Sara Eileen, who was unexpectedly adorable, and Calico, who was unexpectedly tiny, and I got to see Axe again, and I asked Dov about jute and hemp rope, which I haven’t played with yet, and I got to meet Maymay, who was also adorable, but I expected that. I also completely unexpectedly got to meet my mentor’s brand new switch, which was really cool.

I didn’t get to meet him (I hope I heard the pronoun correctly. It was a little noisy at the time), but I watched Sinclaire’s presentation on confidence and butch-cock, which was cool because my presentation was inspired by his post on femme markers.

Right before Sinclaire’s presentation, either Switch or Boy (I think. Whichever one is not the one who showed me the rope machine, assuming they were who I thought they were), said, “I just realized I assigned you a gender without asking how you identified.”

To which I replied, “I’m gender woman, but sometimes I feel very manly.”

I think that’s the first time I’ve ever said that so plainly. I’ve said things like “There are parts of me that are more traditionally masculine,” or “There are parts of me that seem very masculine,” but I don’t think I’ve ever owned it like that and just flat out said, “My masculinity.” Because it is, and it’s mine, and I like it, and it doesn’t make me less of a woman.

Now that I have a decent internet connection I have so much shit to post about, but this will have to do for now.

Oh, and I also learned about Yay Genderform! from Maymay’s presentation, which is very shnazzy, and this is my sticker:

Hi!
My gender amalgamation is:
adult, aggressive, BDSM, bondage, chick, creature, DS, daughter, dominant, female, human, pansexual, polyamorous, sadist, sadomasochist, Wild, witch, woman, XX
What’s yours?
11 Comments leave one →
  1. Nameless permalink
    March 10, 2009 9:21 am

    I wish I could have been there. :(

  2. March 10, 2009 3:15 pm

    Will you perhaps turn your presentation and the discussion it kicked off into another blog post? I find the two posts you already wrote on the subject very interesting.

    Maybe it will inspire other KFANYC presenters to write theirs down too, for those of us who weren’t there. :)

    As you say, developing ideas for nonverbal clues, “Sending out the mating call of the dominant woman” poses lots and lots of open questions!

    It’s not a situation I’ve ever been in myself, so assumptions by other people how “I’m dominant” is supposed to look like, for me have never been more than minor annoyances, of the “Let’s dictate to random dominant women what their fetishes are” sort. (The “Let’s dictate fetishes” thing seems to be primarily aimed at women. Somehow busybodies don’t seem to feel compelled to thrust the message “Hey, you can’t be dominant in your ordinary street clothes” upon dominant men quite that often.)

    I like the genderform very much in substance, but I wish it would call itself “yay human attributes” or something. The subcategories already state that it contains much, much more than gender, and sex, and orientation/attraction. Of the things on your personal list, “chick, daughter, female, witch, woman, XX” have gendered connotations for me. The others are human attributes and I can’t for the life of me discover any gender in them.

    My impression is sometimes that gender discourse undermines itself by unreflectedly assigning the notion of gender to all sorts concepts and attributes. I wish more people would just take human attributes as attributes in their own right. For example, sexually aggressive, playful, laid back, having a backbone, sadism, masochism, etc. etc. can just be what they are as human attributes. It’s not necessary to assign “oh and this is feminine”, “oh and that is masculine” “oh and this is butch” “oh and that is queer” etc. etc. to each and every one of them in addition.

  3. ranat permalink*
    March 10, 2009 4:19 pm

    @Nameless – There will be others! In other Cities (unfortunately :P), other countries!

    @Ranai – I am going to go in more detail about my presentation and a couple of others as soon as I have my thoughts together more.

    “Of the things on your personal list, “chick, daughter, female, witch, woman, XX” have gendered connotations for me. The others are human attributes and I can’t for the life of me discover any gender in them.”

    I think we might have a terminology issue here. Are my attributes as ‘aggressive,’ ‘dominant,’ ‘creature,’ ‘wild’ gendered? No. I would say any gender can be those things. Are they a part of my gender? Absolutely. They might not be a part of your concept of gender, but they are a part of mine, which Yay Genderform! facilitates expressing in a coded internet form.

    I describe how my personal idea of gender includes things such as my sexual orientation in the first post on markers of dominant women where I say:

    “For me personally, I feel like my gender is influenced by my sexuality, since my sexuality is a part of how I live my life, and my concept of gender is that it is an amalgam of my sex, age, generation, sexuality, lifeway, roles, whether I have children, and my place in community relationships.”

    I could theoretically customize the genderform to more closely follow how I conceptualize my gender rather than going through and checking the options that fit me most closely on the provided lists. Which I think I’m going to do, cuz it’s cool.

    I believe that many of those things which are not typically considered gender do a great deal to alter and adjust traditionally gendered terms such as ‘female’ and ‘daughter.’ I don’t think Yay Genderform! means to demand that EVERYTHING on the lists be considered about gender, only that if someone does consider clothing style, or personality, or sexuality a part of their gender, they are actually able to include that, rather than being confined to others’ definitions of gender. The whole point, I think, is to allow people to define gender in their own way.

    “It’s not necessary to assign “oh and this is feminine”, “oh and that is masculine” “oh and this is butch” “oh and that is queer” etc. etc. to each and every one of them in addition.”

    I agree. For instance, marking myself as a witch as well as a sadist does not necessarily make ‘sadist’ feminine. For one, witches are not always female or women. In many cultures, witches are males and men, or intersex and/or third gender, or they can be any gender. Another example, calling myself woman and polyamorous, doesn’t assign polyamorous to gender woman, or gender woman to polyamorous, I just happen to be both. It doesn’t necessarily make ‘polyamorous’ feminine or masculine, butch, or queer or anything else. It’s just polyamorousness all by itself, and in conjunction with sadism, dominance, womanhood, and pansexuality, makes me who I am.

    At the bottom of the form ‘My gender is…’ is not the only labeling option. There is also, ‘My identity is,’ ‘My sexual orientation is,’ ‘I am,’ for people who do not personally define their attributes as gender related. There is also a custom option, where I chose to say ‘My gender amalgamation is.’ This allows someone like me to include attributes in my gender that might not traditionally seem to belong, and people who define those things differently to identify in different ways.

    Obviously Yay Genderform! is not infinite or completely all-inclusive (that would be impossible), but it gives many more options and flexibility.

    “I like the genderform very much in substance, but I wish it would call itself “yay human attributes” or something.”

    I think the name was inspired by the original goal of the form, which I suspect keeps getting expanded as people wish to add definitions of their own identities.

  4. ranat permalink*
    March 10, 2009 4:29 pm

    Ohmygosh, this is my new gender sticker. I like it better. It’s much more accurate. And I could add ANYTHING I WANTED. How COOL is that?

    Hi!
    My gender amalgamation is

    animal, childless, daughter, dominant sadist, female, granddaughter, human, pansexual, polyamorous, provider, storyteller, submissive-loving, unmated, wild, woman

    EDIT: Drat, it won’t show the sticker part. Ah well. That’s the meat.

  5. March 10, 2009 7:12 pm

    Schweet. ^_^ So glad you had a fantastic time! I really hope more KinkForAlls will happen in the future, and I also hope that more people will feel more comfortable in public sexuality spaces because of them.

    Also, for those that missed it, you guys can take a look at the videos recorded at the event, and can check out more blog posts about it, too. (Ranat, you may want to add the “KFANYC” tag to this blog post so it shows up on the Technorati tag page, too.)

  6. March 10, 2009 10:13 pm

    It was awesome meeting you! I look forward to chatting with you more :-)

    After this week of hell with midterms and moving, I will probably work on getting my presentation in a blog post format. I really enjoyed the #kfanyc format, I think it meshed well with many other forms of knowledge that create great things. :-)

    I also have a “genderqueer” post swirling around my head, but nothing concrete enough to post yet.

  7. ranat permalink*
    March 11, 2009 12:30 am

    @Maymay – Huh, I thought I had put the KFANYC tag on here… Grrr…

    I would really love to see KFAs popping up all over the place like mushrooms. :)

    @StacyCat – Hey there! It was really cool to meet you too! I love a good coincidence.

    Good luck with moving and midterms. Neither are fun. Talk to you soon!

  8. ranat permalink*
    March 11, 2009 12:31 am

    Wait, I do have a KFANYC tag in there! I’m so confused…

  9. March 11, 2009 4:49 am

    Gah, you’re right, you do have the KFANYC tag in there and I totally missed that. Sorry! That’s what I get for being too narrowly focused. ::embarrassed smile::

  10. ranat permalink*
    March 11, 2009 3:22 pm

    Eh, no worries. It means I’m not crazy. :P And more people can find it! Yaaaay!

    Hope you’re getting rested!

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