. . . in which an adolescent shadowbrook hunts for information about her sexuality . . .
I'm switching to third person in this part of the narrative just to see what happens
Thus far in our story, the adolescent shadowbrook has come to understand that what she refers to as "her thing" is a something that might have a name. This became clear when a high school friend said, very uncomfortably, "Isn't that kind of . . . kinky?" She froze and put on her "I hope nobody catches me liking this" face and shrugged and said, "I don't know." She also came to understand it is dangerous, because somebody told her a story about a girl who agreed to get tied up and was then f*d multiple times but the courts said it wasn't rape because she agreed to be tied up.
So she hunted for information. She looked in a rather unfortunate place: a psychology textbook. At the time, BDSM was classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a disorder. This was disturbing, but at the same time, it was a bit of a relief to know that other people practiced it. There was something about dungeons and she was both fascinated and worried about herself for being fascinated.
She saw other people around her acting a bit kinky. Once some guys from the affluent "in crowd" duct-taped a girl's wrists and the girl took it all in fun. Shadowbrook was quite shocked that someone would do this in the open and looked away, very afraid that someone would catch her liking that kind of thing. It didn't occur to her that the girl really had no socially acceptable way to say "no" to this, and that she had to take it in fun whether she liked it or not. Ironically, shadowbrook had to pretend that she didn't like it, and this other girl had to pretend she did. Fortunately, the girl was released shortly. Now shadowbrook looks back and wonders what might have happened to such girls at more private parties.
This was the extent of shadowbrook's information until halfway through college, when the Internet arrived and a friend introduced her to alt.sex.bondage, a Usenet newsgroup. That helped a great deal.
Times have changed now, and the Internet is a source of information for those who look. But still, I worry about our adolescents. What kind of information are they getting? When they seek an understanding of their sexuality, where do they look first? We need to know this because we need to be making appropriate information accessible, wherever they are looking. Do they have enough places to look that will help them understand how to practice their sexuality safely? Do they understand that there is a community that will be friendly to them?
Indeed, is there a community that will be friendly to them? Or are most BDSM communities oriented toward adults?
Let's help our youth.
P.S. What I Wish I'd Had Available To Me
Here are a few resources I wish I'd had available to me as a youth.
My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday - the result of interviews about women's sexual fantasies. My goodness, I had no idea we had such rich inner lives!
Wikipedia! Sex-positive movement, sex-positive feminism, consent (bdsm)
What else? Which resources would you recommend? Please comment!