I have been thinking recently about the kink safety police. I understand that bottom/submissive folks don’t want to die or lose a limb. Top/dominant folks don’t want to kill someone, go to jail, or cause loss of limb. But really, we’re all consenting adults. Why are people labeled “unsafe” for things that, to me, seem no more unsafe than many other things we do?
Bloodplay. I’ve heard it labeled “unsafe” and completely unacceptable to do or not do so many things. Why must we not use gloves, when the gloves that come out of a box are NOT sterile? It says so right on the box. So my hands, that I’ve just washed extensively are less acceptable than the non-sterile gloves when I play with my fluid-bonded partner? Right. I’m not advocating rubbing my hands in a petri dish full of hepatitis before bloodplay. I’m not advocating that latex or nitrile isn’t a great barrier if you are playing with someone you aren’t fluid bonded with. But the gloves are not sterile (unless you get sterile gloves and know sterile procedures so you keep them sterile, which I have personally NEVER ONCE witnessed during ANY kink scene or class) and are not going to keep the germs/dust/whatever that is in the air off of your bottom/submissive. And if you are playing with your fluid bonded partner, your germs are already all over them.
Another thing I think people discount is that we are not (generally speaking) in the same situation as someone in a hospital setting. First, we aren’t in a situation where the person we are doing wiitwd with is sick or injured. So some of the concerns that we have about spreading germs is no longer applicable. Keeping a wound area clean is a very different thing in a healthy adult than it is in someone with… cancer or swine flu or something else that is already hard on the immune system. Plus, we don’t have to contend with the superbugs that exist in hospital settings. Also, it’s almost impossible to actually create a sterile field in a home or party setting. You can certainly create a clean area. I recommend that and practice it myself. But until you control the air flow and environment, it’s not going to be sterile. In addition, most kink players don’t have all sterile equipment. They have sterile scalpels/needles, but not anything else. And, frankly, we are not giving the bottom/submissive a cut or stick deeper than a scratch. (Unless you are doing flesh removal or flesh hook suspension) So the kinds of procedures you need to prevent infections or issues are not the same as you would need performing brain surgery.
And speaking of the fact we aren’t performing surgery, it’s really NOT going to cause insta-death if I don’t use a surgical scrub on my bottom/submissive. In fact, I have used nothing but alcohol on several occasions and he’s still alive. (As an aside, emergency workers/first responders, medical techs/respiratory techs, phlebotomists, and nurses all use alcohol for blood draws and insertion of needles for fluid/medicine drips.) I’ve even heard body mod artists and bloodplay educators advocate that if you are in your own home with your own germs and your own regular partner, you are fine just both getting out of a nice steamy shower and going straight to bloodplay. No other skin prep necessary. It makes sense if you think about it. Do we sterilize our skin before we take a tumble off our bike? Do we stop to check if the rock that cut our foot was a sterile rock? No we don’t. We clean our cut or scrape and throw a bandage on it. Then we get on with life.
So to the kink police, I respectfully suggest that you do the same thing. Get on with your own life. Unless you see a bloodplay top getting their needles from junkies who also share needles amongst each other or cutting random strangers with the same un-sterilized scalpel or a sudden arterial spray… assume they are all consenting adults aware of the risks and keep your handcuffs to your own scene, not mine.