‘It is a safe space’: An interview with Lancs KinkSoc
‘A safe environment that is free from harassment and provide education on sex’
In these times of uncertainty, it’s a great time to have a new and exciting society being made that mixes sex education with consent. Enter KinkSoc.
With the start to uni being far from the norm, and students unable to engage in the sexual encounters that first year would have given them, what better time to have a society that deals with educating students on kink, consent and (most importantly) sex?
The Lancaster Tab spoke to the wonderful Cerys Williams, who is one of the founders of KinkSoc, about the beginnings, controversy and future of this budding society. KinkSoc aims to educate students on topics such as masturbation, sex, consent and the various realms of kink that bring people together.
What is KinkSoc?
KinkSoc is an inclusive society and educational community for sex, which primarily deals with topics that are within the BDSM community. It provides a platform for both the sexual and non-sexual sides of kink, and allows people with no experience or a lot of experience to hang out and talk about their shared interests.
Cerys told the Lancaster Tab: “We try to be really inclusive as all of our members, so we actually have got a few asexual members – people on the asexual spectrum – which really goes to show what we are all about. Obviously, kink can be sexual and non-sexual, so we accept really everyone.
“We have got people varying from those who have a lot of experience in kink and then some who aren’t sure they are interested but want to learn a bit more about it. We accept everyone and say that everyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, of any gender and any experience, is welcome. It’s an educational space!”
Credit @lancaster_kink_society on Instagram
Why did you make the society?
In response to this question, Cerys said: “That’s quite a deep question on my part. As someone who did end up practising unsafely, and actually being a minor in kink, unfortunately, due to some unfortunate circumstances, I realised that it is really important for people to have adequate kink sex education.”
Cerys continued to say that this is because “no everyone wants to practice it and it’s important for everyone to understand it and, while not everyone will want to have kink as part of their sex life, I think it’s important for everyone to understand and to have knowledge on how to safely practice kink so we can provide advice to our friends. [This is] so we can understand our partners, so we can understand ourselves so that in the future we can realise that “Hey, maybe this is something I want to try!””
Lancs KinkSoc went onto explain that boys are taught about masturbation and girls are just taught about periods. This makes girls think that masturbation is just for boys. Cerys said: “I wanted to make sure that everyone in the society is safe and understanding, knows how to be safe and how to practice safely and pleasurably. That’s one of the most important things.”
Additionally, consent is so important, and KinkSoc aims to “take care of all their members to ensure a safe environment that is free from harassment and provide education on sex and all its different areas that some members may not have known about or were told was dirty or something to be ashamed of.”
How has the reaction to KinkSoc been and have you had many members join?
Cerys told the Lancaster Tab: “It has been fairly good! We have had great support from the York FetSoc and we have also set up our own account on FetLife (like Facebook but for BDSM), which has had great support from members of the FetLife community. It truly shows how open a community the BDSM world is when we have such lovely supporters.
“We have over 160 followers already and have also been receiving a lot of supportive messages in our DMs, which is brilliant to see. Obviously, some of those messaging us are curious about it all and we do get the odd hate message or someone who doesn’t like us trying to say we aren’t doing any good, but we just respond with factual information and block them if needs be.”
Credit @lancaster_kink_society on Instagram
What are the recent issues that people have had with KinkSoc and how do you feel about it?
In response to the controversy around KinkSoc, Cerys said: “We have had some trolls who have tried to make us out to be deviants who are trying to corrupt minors, which is so far from the truth. Their view is that age play (which is a kink involving roleplaying as a child) is disgusting and anyone who engages in it or even supports consensual adults engaging in this are deviants and disgusting.
“It comes from disinformation, and it can be put like this: age play and the whole DD/lg area of kink is not about children or minors – it’s age play, it is non-sexual, and it does not involve children in any way. It can actually be a way to help those who were abused as children to have a way of working through their issues in a mentally healthy way.”
How did the KinkSoc team handle the hate that people seem to have towards you?
Cerys continued to say that KinkSoc has handled the hate fairly well. She added: “We have been maintaining that our society is a safe space and a society for sex education, and the majority of those commenting on our [social media] posts have been positive and have even said that if it isn’t hurting anyone then what is the issue?
“We have had an instance on our Discord server where, during a live stream, a coordinated barrage of hateful, antisemitic and homophobic comments were posted in the comments section. However, our new system for Discord is that our administrator will screen people before allowing them to join the server so that this doesn’t happen again.”
What would you like potential members, or people who are curious about kink, to know about the society?
Cerys said that they want anyone considering joining them to know that “it’s a safe space.” She continued to say: “There is no sexual harassment allowed in KinkSoc, and we aim to be inclusive of all roles in order to prevent bigotry and discrimination. We have a one warning system in place, where if you fail to abide by the rules of the society, you will be permanently removed.
“The main thing we want to say is that you don’t have to be into kink to join. If you’re curious, interest is enough to join us. Kink can be both sexual and non-sexual, so you don’t have to be sexually into it to want to join. After all, kink is a spectrum and having diversity allows everyone to get to know the different ways kink can happen.”
Are there any upcoming plans for the year and how are you handling the new Tier Three restrictions?
Cerys stated: “We have a Discord server where we talk every Friday to members. It can be completely anonymous if people are worried about being recognised. We aim to provide a safe space for everyone and are more than open to any and all questions about sex, consent and BDSM – no question is stupid and we will aim to learn as much as we can about a topic if it’s something we haven’t come across before if you ask us about it.
“We are planning some content that will be about educating on certain topics, and we are always open to ideas from our members. One person suggested a Great British Bake Off idea, which we are thrilled about trying once it is possible to do so.
“Obviously with covid and Lancashire being in Tier 3, it’s a shame that we can’t meet people face to face, but we hope that once the restrictions are lifted, we can host our first in-person event soon! We have some ideas planned, and we are hoping to do some online things on our Discord, including a KinkSoc version of “Never Have I Ever”, which we are excited about hosting.