I have been looking for an entry way to write about race in the kink community. What better way then to start then to write about Mollena Williams. Mollena is a sex blogger (check out her blog The Perverted Negress) and an expert at examining race play in the kink community. She is also been awarded International Ms. Leather 2009 and 2010. Last week, she traveled to NYC for the Sex Bloggers Calender party and did a photo shoot in our livingroom. It was certainly a pleasure to have Mollena christen our newly opened grand piano with her bound body, torn prom dress and cigar ashed skin (this was the first time I had ever witnessed cigar play up close…very hot!). It was also such a pleasure to pick her brain about race in the kink community.
If you haven’t seen it already, you must check out Mollena’s winning performance at this years International Ms. Leather. I stumbled upon it on Q’s blog DirtyBlaqBoi and was highly impressed. Mollena intentionally and skillfully plays with the idea of slavery, being bound and chained against her will and then choosing to be bound and enslaved in the kink community. The choice to be a slave in the community as a black person is accompanied with a complicated history of slavery, so the fact that she is looking at the chilling similarities is gutsy and certainly an eye opener in a society where both white and black people avoid race conversations at all cost.
Being new to the community, I thought it would be presumptuous for me to speak about race this early in the game. But race, color and identity constantly call to me as it is apart of my everyday life. Honestly, I don’t want to talk about race all the time. The “black militant” in me has calmed down since college and I would be satisfied living out my sexual activities without thinking about my skin color. But I know that I am a black girl all the time and with that, I accept the fact that the issue of race is something that is present for me all the time. Being black, I inherit radicalized ideas about sexuality. Combine that with my own personal history of sex and my body, I have long hesitated to accept that fact that I am a highly kinky person.
I’ve come to discover that I look at race much differently then I have by being in the kink community. I talk about race more openly with white folks, knowing that we have this common BDSM bond. Last night, SaraVibes, Nina Hartley and I brainstormed race scenes we could do together, where we play with race and the idea of servitude and bondage. The kink community as allowed me to play with race in a way that challenges my perceptions of how I think about the black me and how I perceive other people perceive the black me. This automatically makes me think of psychologist Charles Cooley’s idea of the “looking glass self“, where ones perception of themself is developed by how they think others perceive them. Inside the kink community where sex is a constant conversation, I understand that I can be viewed as a sex object. Being a black female sex object is something else in its entirety. I wonder if I am attractive or exotic simply because I am black or if being black is sometimes the reason why I am rejected. I’m different, thicker, curvier, my features bolder. I’m uncharted territory for folks who have yet to sleep with a black women…etc. etc.
If anything, the community has taught me to speak openly about securities with my race amongst both white and black people. Truthfully, with the kind of world we live in today, just continuing to have the conversation (regardless of how uncomfortable it is) is a great first step for me and others to get real about out ideas about race.