Written By Cheyenne Davis
Sex and kink positivity are two very important components of my life. In my late teens, I used to stay up late reading erotica and watching porn, becoming more and more curious about and fascinated by this newfangled world of pleasure, desire, and intimacy. When I finally started engaging in sexual activity in my early twenties, my interest in kink peaked. My body craved the mixed sensations of pleasure and pain, and I wanted to delve deep into the waters of Dominance and submission, reward and punishment systems, and all of the facets that BDSM and fetish culture had to offer. To jumpstart my exploration l signed up for kink-based sites and dating apps so that I could learn more about the lifestyle.
I made my profile and joined several groups of interest. Within these settings, I learned so much about Dominant/submissive positions, BDSM, and how these things could manifest in my everyday life. Taking the new lessons I learned, I came to the realization that I enjoyed aspects of both Dominance and submission, also known as being a switch, and I decided to engage with partners that understood my needs in this position. I was enjoying my place in kink, and I felt that I met some great people who helped me foster a love and respect for the lifestyle.
Despite feeling secure in my sexuality and kinkiness, I still felt that something was missing. Although I had mostly wonderful experiences in the lifestyle, I began to realize that it wasn’t as diverse of a space that I initially perceived it to be. Most, if not all, of kink was inherently white-centric. A lot of the messages and interactions from white kink folx were based in fetishization, whether it be sissy subs wanting to vet me to be their “Black Goddess” or couples looking for a third in the form of a Total Power Exchange (TPE) dynamic featuring a sex slave. On a larger scale, there are a myriad of groups devoted to Black and Brown bodies for White pleasure and consumption.
Am I passing judgment on people who are in these groups? No. However, as a person that has been in kink for almost eight years now, I do think that it’s time to have the hard conversations that most people keep neglecting. A lot of people appropriate kink and fetishes to affirm the fetishization of marginalized people, and it’s sickening. This, coupled with white oppression and privilege, has really made it difficult for communities to band together and create activism in these spaces. In addition to this, the community moderators and user experience teams of these apps and services do not provide long-lasting solutions to prohibit and limit violent behaviors such as this, and this failure to perform due diligence really hinders marginalized communities, primarily Black and Brown, when it comes to accessing resources and even events. Yes, the exclusivity of white-centricity in kink spaces goes beyond virtual groups. It extends deep into in-person groups and clubs as well. There are several swingers clubs, which are members-only, but are highly selective and curate their membership based on race, gender, and even other attributes such as body size as well.
When I sit back and think about things like this, I sometimes question my place in kink. Does my existence truly matter, or am I being kept around for the visual arousal of white onlookers? When presenting my experiences to other Black kinksters, many of them shared the same sentiments as I did. However, many didn’t feel the need to fight for more visibility due to feeling that their voices didn’t matter. It was not only disheartening to see, but this also brought about an epiphany. From that moment on, I knew that it was time to do one thing and one thing only- make my own shit.
I consulted my Black and Brown friends to ask them what they wanted and needed in a community for us. Many called for educational resources, discussion boards, and workshops, while others focused more on developing an aesthetic that was minimalistic yet relatable and contemporary. Using these suggestions to develop content and a brand for Black and Brown kinksters around the ages of 25-45, I created Unveild, an inclusive startup company that prioritizes making and distributing educational resources, events, and workshops for ALL Black and Brown folx who are kink and sex-positive. Unveild is currently on Instagram, where I create graphic designs and curate and reshare content from contributors and collaborators. Unveild also has a landing page for a site and forum that is in progress. I am also raising money for the company to secure an LLC, continue to build the site and fund contributors to come host events and panels. A future goal for Unveild is to also create a media company where I invite other people of color to create content that is sex and kink positive. I am also even considering expanding this to directing, producing, and making ethical porn that is inclusive and isn’t made from the white, male gaze.
Choosing to make Unveild was me choosing to resist against white supremacy in sex spaces. Black people deserve to have and enjoy all parts of their lives, and this includes sex and kink as well. In short, we have to keep fighting for Black and Brown spaces that are safe and prioritize our well-being, and my goal with Unveild is to reach as many of my people as possible so that we can normalize Black kink.
To support Unveild, please follow the link here.
My personal links:
Unveild Instagram: @unveil.d