Monday, December 3, 2012

Discipline Ain’t Just Academic, or Why All The Buzz Around Kink Clubs on College Campuses?

Maybe it’s just because I follow CAPS on Twitterbut I've been noticing quite a few articles lately about the presence of BDSM (bondage & discipline, domination & submission, sadism & masochism) clubs popping up on “elite” college campuses. More recently, new sites have been talking about the Harvard College Munch, which has been around for more or less a year but is finally being recognized as an official student group by the school. Reactions to this story have been a mixture of “schools shouldn't support this!” and “okay, no one cares?” But, despite our culture's attachment to the Puritanical attitudes of our past, kinky sex has pretty much always been a hot topic. I cannot think of a single female pop star who hasn't utilized some form of BDSM imagery into her career, and then receive grandiose kudos and judgments for being edgy and sexually liberated. Somehow, that conversation seems to always stop at performance and doesn't quite translate to ways folks explore and define their sexualities. Talk about kink in popular media really sparked earlier this year due to the travesty that is 50 Shades of Grey, but this isn't a post about the failure of glorified fanfiction to accurately portray a nearly invisible community. But just thinking in terms of mainstream culture, there has always been a somewhat secretive interest in kinky sexuality.

Given the anxiety and frustration folks can experience due to their sexual kinks, the approval of a group that gives kinky folks an opportunity to discuss and explore this aspects of their lives with their peers by an institution like Harvard provides a kind of legitimacy to the importance of these topics. And Harvard isn't the only university that have established groups for these conversations, Yale, MIT, and the University of Chicago have similar groups established on their campuses. The news around this breaks conventional perceptions that students in these kind of schools do nothing more than sweat over course texts in libraries. But I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that linking educational entities with the kink community won't do much to change public discourse any more than allowing people to say, "well, now we know there are freaks at Harvard too." Isn't it nice to dream, though? 

- Che J. Hatter ‘13

1 comment:

  1. Right on Che! Thanks for following CAPS on twitter, glad someone read the tweet! Think this could ever be approved @ Colgate? Im sure there are more kinksters around here somewhere...maybe they have their hands tied with...finals? ;)
    <3, CAPS