Team ME: personal accountability and taking responsibility.
Team WE: community responsibility for the safety of it’s members.
I’m both, for different parts of myself, and I’ll tell you why.
In kink, we have A LOT of acronyms. Like a lot a lot.
SSC, RACK, PRICK, and 4Cs, for example. Don’t know what all those are? Lemme informate you:
SSC, or Safe, Sane and Consensual. One of the first acronyms to promote the tenets of kink.
Some people criticize it for the words “safe” and “sane,” because kink is inherently not safe (like life, but with even more risk), and that’s what many kinksters LIKE about kink.
And because “sane” is a subjective term, and while one person might consider blood play sane, another might not.
RACK, or Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. A perspective that allows for risky or unsafe kink activities, as long as all consenting participants are aware of the risks involved.
It was developed to replace SSC, which many believe condones only activities that are considered “safe” or “sane,” and does not take into account those parts of kink that are inherently more dangerous than others.
PRICK, or Personal Responsibility, Informed, Consensual Kink is the newcomer to the group, an evolution adding the idea of personal responsibility as a consideration in kinky participation.
4Cs, or caring, communication, consent, and caution. This is the only version that specifically focuses in on there being TWO people involved, and the engagement between them with the words caring and communication. I do quite like that addition.
Which is the right choice?
Whichever resonates best with you.
Or, do your own thing. The first three are just what are commonly used and recognized in kink right now. 4Cs is a newcomer.
Kinksters often disagree on which is best, and how to put into words the most important parts of kink. And that’s OK. Discussions on the pros and cons of each philosophy are healthy and encouraged, as long as everyone understands that respecting the consent of their partners in this lifestyle is of paramount importance to contributing to safer kinky activities.
So back to ME or WE…
PRICK is the only offering that specifically focuses on a ME perspective with the nod to personal responsibility. The others are far more vague and open to interpretation.
I write a lot from the personal responsibility and accountability viewpoint. Because that is the stance I take for me. Aside from a few forceful types of bad behavior, I tend to prefer holding myself accountable for the decisions I make, regardless of others’ behaviors.
Even (as I said to someone the morning I’m writing this) if the only responsibility I can take is, “Well, I got involved with them…”
So, for me, it’s team ME.
However, as someone who is active in community and has seen decades of people coming into and out of kink, there is more than just every-kinkster-for-themselves.
Because there are people who find the new kinksters, the vulnerable kinksters. There are people with patterns of bad behavior. There are people who hop from group to group or stir up shit to get people on their extreme side who might be otherwise more inclined to moderation. There are predators in kink.
Yes, I said it.
There are predators in kink. And those who do harm who aren’t predators, but are just bumblers or bad actors.
In EVERY group of humans, actually. No group is safe, including religions.
And that is where team WE comes in. Where, if someone shows a pattern of bad behavior, and it is known, they are watched. Or informed. Or banned. Or shunned. Or a combination.
Hell, on Dating Kinky, if someone reports someone for being too jerky, even, they will get a note then get shucked. Because WHY would I allow people to shit in my playroom?
Because a community, a website, a small party, a group—ALL of these are made of WE.
And if we only focus on team ME, then team WE is harmed for us all, and we all lose. We lose groups, we lose friends, we lose potential connections with people who are harmed or leave the community because of awful experiences.
I suspect many people are somewhere in between the absolutes.
In both the team ME versus team WE dialog and in the good-kinky-person versus bad-kinky-person spectrum.
@Maven on FetLife wrote an amazing piece about these things. I highly recommend it as required reading for all kinky folx, and will include the link in the show notes: https://fetlife.com/users/156734/posts/1397587
I believe in doing what I can for team WE, while also teaching people as much about team ME and the ways to protect themselves every single day.
Teaching people to spot red flags, to set and maintain boundaries, to communicate, to keep safe in the lifestyle, and more.
The kinds of things that work for team ME 97% of the time when team WE fails or has not yet discovered a potentially bad player.
Because the more tools each person has for protecting team ME, the better team WE the community can become.
What are your thoughts?
Are you more team ME or team WE?
Do you feel that both are important?
How do you feel that team WE most often fails? And how have you (if you have) failed team ME in the past?