The Community in the Phrase Kink Community

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Some struggle with the word "community". Such a simple word but often loaded with so many different meanings and expectations.

In mainstream non-kink situations as well. It just usually doesn't carry some of the mythology and baggage that people load onto kink meanings of the word.

For example, there are meaningful ways in which my town is a "community" that have nothing to do with people caring for each other or having their backs. Some of it simply has to do with locality and access. We have community meetings about how to fund the library. There are community buildings and resources like the public rec center, the library, city hall, and so on. We have "community leaders" whose job it is to bring in business, keep the streets clean, and organize festivals and fundraising and make sure that things like the police and fire department are well-run. And I have things in common with other people in that kind of community because I drive on the same streets and read the same books and pay the same taxes.

That's a very distinct meaning from what someone could say about a "church community," which would have different members and goals, arranged and organized around different considerations. Or about an "art community" or "music community," for similar reasons. There really is a "gay community" - both in the local sense and in the political sense.

None of them have at their core (with the possible exception of some church communities) of being a gathering of like-minded individuals who see each other as responsible for each other's well-being on a personal level. That doesn't mean they're not communities. It means they're not that kind of communities.

I get that people who are kinky want to find a community of people who, simply by being members of that shared community, care about each other as people, have each others' backs, worry about each other's well-being, and go out of their way to ensure that each other succeed and are happy. And there are small groups of people dotted all over the landscape who come together to do exactly that. It's just not a feature of the "kink community" - which doesn't mean that kink isn't a community. It's just not "that kind" of community, any more than I expect people in my own town to automatically care for my welfare, much less share all the same values I do.

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