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Holy alphabet soup, batman! And you thought government agencies were bad for weird ass-acronyms! YKINMKBYKIOK in the title stands for “Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is OK“. But wait, before you stop reading here because kink is Not Your Thing and you don’t want to read an article about kink, let me stop you to say, this article isn’t actually about kink!

YKINMKBYKIOK is more like a life philosophy, similar to hakuna matata, the golden rule, or TANSTAAFL.

The concept embodied therein is so important that the kink community felt it deserved its own unwieldy, unpronounceable acronym.  Why? Well, to explain that, and to explain why it’s important to everyone (regardless of your kinkiness) requires me to take a brief detour to describe some things about the kink community.

The BDSM community is undeniably a subculture, no matter how progressive or forward thinking your region is. These days it’s becoming more and more accepted (and even openly celebrated at times), but it wasn’t too long ago that the community was misunderstood to the point of some aspects of it being criminalized. Practitioners of kink quickly realized that they needed to stick together and have each others’ backs. So the common line of thought became, “I might not enjoy or even agree with what you’re doing, but as long as everyone is there because they want to be, then it’s none of my business”. Furthermore, we’re on the same side of this particular fight, despite these differences. So you do you, I’ll do me, and we’ll stand together to protect our ability to do these things.”

In the context of day to day life, this idea can manifest itself in all sorts of ways. We women are notorious for judging each other about everything. From our hair to our clothes, to our body shape, to who we date, if we date, how we date, and everything in between. But why? Even if we don’t like someone’s sense of style, why do we need to make them feel bad for it, or to make fun of them with our friends? You’re allowed to have opinions, and you’re allowed to like or not like things as you please. But you can have those opinions without actually belittling anyone else just because they like something you don’t like.

And as long as all the people who are participating in the thing in question are into it and consent, then it’s not your place to tell them what they can and cannot do or enjoy or look like. You don’t have to like everything that everyone else likes. But not liking a thing is not grounds for public judgement or shaming. The thing you enjoy might not be the thing I enjoy, but the thing you enjoy is OK. Whether that’s wearing high heels, playing Pokemon Go, not shaving your legs, wearing lots of makeup, or anything else.