I do enjoy shows that late night TV decide to throw onto the schedule designed to shock and provoke reaction. Channel Four in the UK love to do this sort of thing, and it was with a resigned sense of curiosity that I found myself watching 'Secrets of the Living Dolls'. In brief, the 'documentary' was based on a practice called 'Female Masking' where the male participant dons a 'doll like' full latex mask and dress up their bodies with breasts and vagina, hip, thigh and bottom padding to give a female shape. As usual, there was an 'attempt' at trying to show a balanced view, but I couldn't help but get the feeling that the editors were trying to make the participants appear vaguely pathetic.
Perhaps I am open-minded or something, but YKINMK ATO. Sprung to mind.
'Your Kink is not my Kink and that's ok'.
I will, point out however, that what they do, is not a kink to them, but a comfort. My choice of phrase, simply reflects my view on the matter. Do I want to 'male mask' or whatever the female equivalent is? Not really, but does what they do affect me in the slightest? No. It's just a preference. One I don't share, but it matters not in the grand scheme of things. What I did find offensive was the predictable slanging match on Twitter as the usual suspects decided to ridicule the protagonists of the show in some sort of twisted way that perhaps they thought might make them seem cool, or more manly. It's a sorry state of affairs really and all that kept cycling through my mind was YKINMK ATO.
Tolerance. It's not as difficult as it sounds. People in the BDSM, kink and fetish world often go on about this a lot, but it's easy to forget and judge, and I see supposed tolerant participants ridiculing others on a regular basis. I often wonder if some realise how easily they are manipulated by the media - and just how naive to take such things at face value.
Be aware. Know yourself - be aware that if something feels strange in what information you're being fed, either by someone you know, the media, or even someone you meet online on social media sites, 'news' sites or anything - trust yourself. Not everything you hear is always true.
Be strong. Stand by your convictions. Peer pressure is a huge thing, and I have been laughed at on more than one occasion when discussing my writing, yet such ridicule is simply insecurity for them. Why bring others down? Just a desperate attempt to make themselves feel better when faced with something they don't understand.
So YKINMK ATO. Tolerance. Awareness. Strength. Whether kink or BDSM or vanilla, as long as it's application doesn't harm another, life looks a lot different when viewed in this way...