The Kink in CAYA

Last night, Come As You Are had their midnight madness sale, so of course I had to attend; how could I resist, what with a DJ, food, and 15% off sex toys?

By the time I got there - about 11:00pm - much of the food was gone, save for a few slices of honeydew melon. As the midnight approached, I didn't really notice much madness; some boppable tunes and a few casual browsers waiting for a cupcake draw while examining the lastest dildo or fleshlight maybe, but hardly the dance party of freaks and fetishists that I was hoping for. Really though, what more should I have expected? This is the naught-ies, and kink - at least for twenty-somethings and younger - has become well, normal.

What is 'kink' and 'kinky' anyway? The narrow answer from the mouths of scenesters would be that it is anything involving bondage, domination, or Sado-Masochism: in a word, BDSM. Others would disagree, and define kink as anything from bizarre fetishes (hello nasophilia) to everything beyond missionary sex. The weight behind the word though, reaches much further than any set of actions, and into a set of cultural expectations, and the feeling that you are, at least for this moment, breaking a taboo that your peers have placed on you.

Nowadays it seems that it's becoming harder and harder to find anybody who isn't at least a bit kinky - regardless of who's definition you use. Amongst my friends (and perhaps this says more to the websites, bars, and streetcar routes that I frequent than about people in general) there is only one who isn't at least into a bit of the slap n' tickle; from speaking to people I've met, there's not a single person between 16-30 who stares, blank eyed, in confusion when asked if they're dommy or subby. Shops like CAYA or Good for Her are well pulicised, brightly lit, and increasingly popular; there's a fetish night in the city most weekends; and Toronto is host to at least two annual kink conventions.

It's not even a matter (as it was with the prozac revolution of a decade ago) that you need only look into the bathroom cabinets (or toyboxes) of your neighbours to realise that they are just like you. Mass market weeklies have entire issues devoted to sex and kink, and the Toronto Star recently reported on people leaving some sex toys as objets d'art in their living rooms. This from a culture that only 40 years ago was shocked at the notion of boys with long hair playing accoustic guitars.

So I'll leave it to you, dear readers - what constitues kink in this day and age? Can something be kinky if everybody and their brother is doing it (not together of course... THAT would be kinky)? What happens if kink stops being kinky; what are we going to have to do next to differentiate ourselves from others?

As for the midnight madness sale, I left as the happy owner of a 25" leather riding crop. And mom, if you're reading this, it's just because I've decided to take up equestrianism. Honest.

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