Shame & Kink, Kink & Shame

Shame & Kink, Kink & Shame

A screen from Game of Thrones showing Cersei on her walk of shame.

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!

In the book I released this month, So, What Is Kinky, Anyway, one of the questions I answered was about shame.

So, Tuesday night, when we had our webinar panel discussing “What does kink mean to me?” I asked about shame, and the answers were fascinating.

Shame in kink sometimes drives deeper intensity for scenes and events.

And it’s wonderful when what is otherwise a negative and oppressing emotion can be turned to the good.

When it can’t, though?

You see, normally, I’m a fan of emotions, even those we might usually think of as negative, like anger, or jealousy. They are always there to tell us something.

And, to be fair, shame is the same.

But it’s…well, it feels gross. Dirty. No redeeming qualities.

At least to me.

I’m not a fan.

I’ve read that, “Shame means ‘I am bad.’ Guilt means ‘I did something bad.’”

I think it’s a HUGE leap to decide that you as a person are bad for a single kink or thought. Or even a cluster of them.

Regardless, shame is an emotion. And emotions exist to call our attention to things we might need to think about, pay attention to, or fix.

So, if you’re feeling shame about your kink, dive into it, and ask yourself some questions:

  • What is shame to you?
  • How do you know you are feeling shame, specifically, instead of another emotion? Pay attention not just to the mental effects, but also the physical sensations.
  • How does shame affect how you see yourself?
  • How is shame tied to your past? Maybe how you were raised?
  • Is the shame YOUR shame, or are you feeling it because you have been told that something is shameful or wrong?
  • Can you find anything or anyone who will tell you or make a good argument that you need feel no shame for your kink?
  • How are you speaking to yourself when you feel shame?
  • Are you feeling fear along with your shame? What is that fear telling you?
  • What triggers your shame?
  • Does your kink harm others?
  • Sometimes shame is an excuse that we cling to, to avoid doing something we fear. Is your shame a crutch?
  • Are you willing to share your shame? Perhaps anonymously? Sometimes, just getting it out there and getting feedback can make all the difference.
  • What is GOOD about your kinks? What is GOOD about you?

And, after all this, maybe find someone you can talk to and talk through your feelings of shame, and maybe discuss how to move past them, to feel good about who you are and what your desires are.

Because, really, when it comes down to it, if your feelings are not acting in service to you, it’s worth the effort of moving past them.

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