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Editorial | Tufts Kink will broaden campus sexual culture for the better

Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 07:11

Today’s Features article introduces Tufts Kink, a group founded this semester that promotes open conversations about kinky sex and endeavors to offer a safe space to students who are interested in BDSM (bondage/discipline, domination/submission, sadism/masochism).

Tufts Kink joins groups like Action for Sexual Assault Prevention and Tufts VOX in an ongoing campus dialogue about sex. According to a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health, programs considering sex and sexuality on campus should “develop methods to teach college men and women to communicate verbally and directly about sexual preferences, desires and consent and ... identify strategies that will increase their tolerance for and comfort with doing so.” As Tufts Kink, among the aforementioned campus groups, strives to do exactly that, it should have a positive impact on sexual culture on campus.

Part of the group’s mission includes normalizing discussions of sex. By providing a forum for students to converse about their sexual interests and curiosities, Tufts Kink acts as an equalizer by making students more comfortable in having and expressing these interests. Many campus discussions about sex center on its violent side, and though those conversations are crucial, Tufts Kink provides a counterbalance by emphasizing positive dialogue about sex. And though this is the first group of its sort on campus, it has predecessors at other schools: According to the Columbia Eye, The Harvard Crimson, and Reed College’s website, all three academic institutions host kink clubs of different specifications. The introduction of groups like these re−inforces the idea of universities as places for open exchange, which Tufts, and any university, ideally should be.

Sexual culture on campus is an undeniably important issue, and it can only benefit from a diversification of voices and viewpoints. By providing Tufts with an opportunity to learn about and a forum to discuss less−explored facets of sexual culture, Tufts Kink does the student body a service. Though the group is newly formed, its success down the line could have numerous advantages for our campus, including helping students develop the capacity and courage to ask questions about their desires, form connections with their peers, feel assured about their interests, talk about sex in a positive light and — for some others — have some fun.

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