Hey you. Yes, you. If you are reading this, I am assuming some things about you — that you’re at least aware that we’re coming to the final days of LGBT Pride month, and that you’re into some disgusting stuff.
I want you to be into disgusting stuff. I want you to be kinky and love sex. I want this blog and this brand to be a standard-bearer for sex and kink positivity.
We don’t talk about that enough — about kink positivity, the open celebration of “nontraditional” sex and sexual lifestyles. This “we” I speak of is us, the team at Fort Troff, but also the “we” of the larger LGBTQ community, who can be credited with the invention and expansion of kink and BDSM.
Sure, straight folks will someday claim they invented bondage with Fifty Shades of Grey, but we know the truth. We come from the leather dungeons of SoMa and The Saint in New York. We know that the leather and fetish communities were among the first to mobilize against AIDS — a crisis that still disproportionately affects men who have sex with men, particularly men of color, and transgender women.
We were there when Mineshaft brought fisters together for sweaty underground fist parties, when the Bulldog Baths were filled with men from all corners of the globe experiencing their first taste of sexual freedom. We were there when our friends and lovers were dying.
We talk about this past — about the bacchanalia of the pre-plague years and the devastation and activism that followed — as a tumultuous, virulent time. So much discussion of that time paints sex in a dark light — it was, after all, what fueled a disease nobody understood.
Today, we can see the payoff of so much grassroots antagonism, so much activism and lobbying and fighting. New drugs to treat and prevent HIV appear every year. Meds allow our HIV-positive brothers to be undetectable and unable to transmit the virus. PrEP has empowered HIV-negative guys with the ability to protect themselves from HIV. The fight isn’t over yet, but we’ve come a very long way.
Today, we need to see the vital role our kink communities played in bringing us together and fighting the disease. Our kinks made us stronger. BDSM gave us space to talk about sexual health and sexual fulfillment. Kink has given countless HIV-positive men — myself included — a way to have safer sex, a way to experience intense connection without fluid transmission. Kink has given us a platform to push our fetishes into the public sphere, to combat sex-negativity and body-shame.
We must look at the present — a tumultuous and virulent time by all accounts — and see our kink as more than just the stuff we do on a Saturday night. Kink positivity must once again be a cause for activism and revolt.
Kink now lives online — and our free internet has been under attack since the start of the Trump administration. Thanks to new legislation like FOSTA and SESTA, sex workers are being pushed out of online spaces where they can safely conduct business. And our trans brothers and sisters have faced discrimination and hate for over a year from the highest office in the land.
Kinky fuckers, it’s time to fight. To resist. To act up. To teach the next generation the legacy of the queer movement and to help them learn the ropes. To abandon our “old guard” mythologies and embrace the evolving nature of our scenes.
To all the fans of Fort Troff, we hope you keep loving us, responding to us, and making us better.
This is our kink pride. This is our battle cry.
— Fort Troff