The Kink Community in Finland: Affect, Belonging, and Everyday Life
This research explores the relationship between kink and everyday life, how feelings are related to kink, and how community and belonging are important for kinky individuals. Kink includes various non-normative desires and practices that are consensual and often, but not always, erotic or sexual in nature. The main research material consists of themed writings by kinky individuals, which deal with kinksters’ relationship to the community and their own kinkiness. The materials also include photographs taken by kinksters of their favourite kink objects and their homes, as well as participant observation and interviews on kink events.
Kink shows in individuals’ everyday lives in various ways. Engaging in kink play may offer a release from the mundane routines but kink can also be experienced as a constant part of life and an identity. Kink is stigmatised in our society and may therefore be experienced as shameful and is kept a secret, which may cause feelings of loneliness and anxiety. The acceptance of one’s kinkiness enriches an individual’s everyday life and improves a person’s general well-being. This is often achieved through finding the community. Kink communities, whether in person or online, are important since they may be the only places in which an individual can be openly kinky. In communities the negative feelings related to kink can be transformed into pride and joy of the shared kinkiness. The sense of community is built through forms of solidarity such as sharing information and volunteering at kink organisations. While drawing attention to the positive aspects of kink might alleviate the st
igma, a certain secretiveness is part of the allure of kink. Kink enables the safe exploration of taboo subjects and the acting out of scenarios that are otherwise avoided in everyday life. Kink is a non-normative and often misunderstood phenomenon, which, however, is often experienced as a significant and positive part of identity and everyday life.
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