“That feeling when you don’t want to watch a progamme about brothels, and yet, as a sex-positive BSDM blogger, you sort of feel like you have to.”
That was my words to Wolfie.
At first, I thought it was just a one-off on ITV, but it later featured on Channel 4’s Gogglebox and so I thought hey, it’s probably worthy of a mention. After all, according to my ill-concluded logic, we’re all in underground, seemingly-seedy, little known niches, shouldn’t we be sticking together and defending each other?
Well, having seen these women bash a customer with an interest in VacBeds, I decided maybe not.
VacBeds happen, people. They exist. I haven’t seen one but I’ve been offered the opportunity to try one. I like sensory deprivation but not that much, so I passed it up.
But it was the kink-shaming that got to me.
Nobody, not one poor little soul in the BDSM community is ‘strange’ for their fetish. Nobody deserves to be belittled for what they’re into (unless, of course, humiliation is your kink). Hey, whatever gets you off, right? Remember, YKINMK(YKIOK). No judging, not on my watch,
Look, I have to be completely honest, but the more I watched this programme, the more I realised the stark differences between the BDSM community and.. well.. prostitutes. None of these women seemed educated, and none of them were even remotely attractive, inside or out. Even if I’m hardly a 10 myself, I at least have the guts to admit it and the decency not to try and be something I’m not.
I was amazed to learn that these women could write and protest for prostitution to be legalised, with no disrespect, but writing a powerful letter requires a certain amount of intelligence and thought, something I didn’t really see in this programme.
I wanted to believe that A Very Yorkshire Brothel would help me cement the idea that those of us working in taboo industries should stick together and look out for us, and yet, I didn’t find that so. The more I watched, the more I came to realise how different we are. Prostritution is, well, paid-for sex, and BDSM is something far connected, sensual and psychological. The clientele in BDSM are people with kinks and desires that bring them psychological release, and prostitution is men who are willing to pay generous sums of cash in order to get off.
The German brothel in a similar way piqued my interest and yet, there too I could see diffences. These were legalised venues in which sex sells, whereas in Germany, BDSM is just something that happens. It is not hushed away like it would be here. If you want to wear leather or latex, go for it, nobody cares. The German attitude to BDSM had made me long want to visit because in Germany, sex and BDSM it seems are merely a part of life. People are people. Live and let live.
Unfortunately, far from helping to bridge gaps, this programme only served to remind us as to why many professional Dominatrixes do not wish to be seen as prostitutes. These are paid women (and men) who are knowledgeable and skilled enough to allow someone to explore the deepest, darkest corners of their imagination, in a safe setting and without fear or judgement. Sadly, clearly it seems, the same can’t be said for prostitution.