Don’t kink shame (by Andrew Goldberg)

Posted on: March 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm

I’ve been on both sides of this issue, being both the kink shamer and the person receiving the negative comments. When I first came onto the LGBIT scene, I discovered that we define each other by what we look like – twinks, muscle marys, bears, lipstick lesbians, drag queens, drag kings – this list goes on forever. I would only hang out with people who looked like me, because I felt safe with that group and I wouldn’t associate with anyone else. Most of the time we would get drunk and talk about how wrong and disgusting it was if you were different from us – especially if you liked unusual forms of kink.

That is a part of my life I wish never happened. To this day, that person I was makes me sick inside. Looking back, I was a little shit of a person. I know I hurt people and for that I’m sorry.

Now fast forward a few years and I was lucky enough to get a job at The Sportsman Hotel where regular LGBIT events take place. Working there has changed my life. I have experienced the good and bad of what our community offers. I have made friends whom I know in the past I would have never spoken with.

I learned that some of my new friends enjoyed some kink and fetishes that I at the time I knew nothing about. I didn’t know how to respond. But I was interested to learn more. I was invited to a Boot Youth meeting so I could learn and ask questions about anything and everything I wanted to know about this lifestyle.

Coming out of my first Boot Youth meeting I was on such a happy high – until I received a message from someone whom I had thought was a friend, saying that I was a sick, messed up in the head, disgusting person. I had lost a friend who I thought meant a lot to me. I was devastated.

And it didn’t stop there. As people outside of the kink community learned what kinks and fetishes I enjoy, I’ve been shamed, bullied and made fun of. Although I had done it myself in the past, I could not understand how people could try to shame someone over something they knew nothing about? Something I truly enjoy and which makes me happy. I just wanted to run away, live under a rock and be forgotten about.

I remember thinking I was doing something wrong and I should stop. At one point I withdrew from the kink scene completely, hoping that the people around me would stop making fun of me. I let them get to me.

I’m now at a point in my life where I am still learning about different kinks and fetishes that I enjoy. It is my journey and no one is going to make me feel bad about it. It’s really none of their business. I shouldn’t feel bad about something that makes me happy. I have grown up a lot and wish that I had given some people more of a chance before making judgements about them based on what I heard from other people.

I have already shared this story on Facebook and am grateful for all the supportive comments it has generated. I hope it will make people – from within and outside the kink community – think twice about kink shaming, and encourage anyone who witnesses this behaviour to call it out, and support the victim if they are able to do so.


BootCo. provides a forum for men interested in collecting, wearing, or displaying Uniforms, Leather and Denim or participating in kink activities, in a social atmosphere with a view to providing community service through fund-raising and community development.

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Regular Pub Nights: A monthly pub night on the first Saturday of each month at Nelies Bar, Sportsman Hotel, 130 Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill Qld 4000.

We also hold special events like Corium, Kink related workshops and special events. Please check our events listing for more information.