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06.01.22

Blog #7 — On Queerness & Kink Part 2 w/ Empress Wu


This is part 2 of a recorded and transcribed chat between Empress Wu and I on queerness and kink. Click here to read part 1 first. 


Mistrix Sunmi (MS):

I feel like something else that’s important to say is that my intersection of queerness and kink is hunger for disgusting, abominable, condemnable, pervertable, sinful, debaucherous, illegal—[laughter] sex.


Empress Wu (EW):

If I would not be prosecuted in certain countries for this act, is it worth it?


MS:

Does it give me a hard on? The answer is no.


And I see queers trying to sanitize BDSM or sanitize queerness. And I feel partially resentful towards people in my community because both things can exist at the same time. I can be incredibly wholesome and not sexual if I so want to be. But I am choosing to pervert everything in my life because I’m run by pleasure, and I deserve to live a pleasurable life. How else am I supposed to survive being queer and being kinky and being a sex worker and being Asian American? Being discriminated against systematically and censored in all of these ways. It would be easy to succumb to the anguish that we experience, so choosing to indulge in queer kinky debauchery is an act of rebellion and is an act of resistance and love and community care. That’s something that you defined quite clearly, in terms of having sex with your leather family.


EW:

Having sex with my leather family is mutual aid! Seriously! During the pandemic there was nobody there for me. I had no primary partner. The only people that were there for me consistently on a regular basis was my leather family. And there was nobody there to hold us and take care of us except for each other. And there was nobody there that we even trusted to hold us and take care of us except for each other, because we all know how much work we put in to doing everything else. And this is also something I’m sure that you can relate to—during the periods of time when the only sexual touch I was having was with clients, I felt that I needed to have personal touch that was for me too, in which I know that I am guaranteed my own pleasure and I can ask for my own pleasure and feel safe asking for my own pleasure. That had a *huge* impact on my queerness, which I why I define fucking my friends as community care and mutual aid.


The classic debate of “should kink be at pride?” duh!


MS:

Duh! You can’t take it out of it. I’m going to be cruising everyone at pride, no matter what pride I’m at.


EW:

Yea! You think that I’m not cruising constantly.


MS:

You think you can control my thoughts? [laughter]


EW:

Idiots!


MS:

This coke can cock ain’t going down…[laughter] edit that out…

I’m a pervert. You can’t take me anywhere


EW:

It’s so wild to me…you think that a JP Morgan Chase float should be at Pride, but my floggers are going to be more offensive?


MS:

Svedka vodka? Alcoholism? Come on, let’s bring more things that we want, like sexual liberation. These companies--just because I’m not slapping a rainbow on my leather doesn’t mean I don’t have Pride. I’m flying other flags.


EW:

We think a lot about gay leather community in the 70s and 80s. And when people think about gay ancestors, they are it. And the reason why kink is so important is because it evades what you think to be sex, which means it evades what you think you can censor as sex. Which is why it feels so important to celebrate it. That people are so fucking genius, that in the midst of an insane health crisis, with people dying left and right, they were finding ways to pleasure each other, to find love in each other, reinventing what intimacy could look like.


MS:

And reinventing safe sex.


EW:

Seriously! That shit is amazing to me.


MS:

We love a latex glove! We love a glory hole. We love leather.


EW:

Our concept of consent does not account for the nuance of trauma. Our idea of consent is about defined borders. I am a firm believer in RACK—there are inherent risks in everything.We should have a strong culture of checking in—but we don’t have that conversation with children. And when we do we talk about it, we refer to it as the future, when you are going to have sex as an adult. But we’re having sex as kids! You were having sex from a young age. I was having sex definitely before I was of legal age.


MS:

And if anything you were also having sex with yourself. So often our sexual relationships with ourselves are important too.


EW:

Extremely important.


MS:

And there’s hetero sex in our faces all the time, like in music videos, movies and on social media. You and I are closer to childhood than most people that would potentially be listening to this. We’re exposed to sex all the time. We were watching porn at a young age.

We have such sex negative culture, especially kink negative. But kink is so safety focused, safety centered.


EW:

People will say, “Oh my god that man is on a collar and leash in public. That’s crazy.” And so what? That woman is wearing a wedding ring. It’s the same thing. She has a sexual and intimate relationship with her husband. These are just symbols of different cultures. People are very quick to think that kink means one specific thing; “they’re doing fucked up crazy gimp shit in the bedroom.” Yea and it’s beautiful!


MS:

Yea! And so?


EW:

Yea, and what? And they’re kissing, and that’s hot. Or they’re pissing on each other and that’s very sweet.


MS:

Kinky people are fulfilling their deepest desires. They’re getting their sexual satisfaction and asking and advocating for the things they want and speaking up for the things that they don’t, in a way that oftentimes hetero couples having vanilla sex are not getting their sexual desires met. It honesty causes a lot of harm to one’s psyche/health to not get their sexual needs met, and I love how kink is so desire and safety driven. Kink is so expansive; eroticism is often driven by our societal taboos which breeds hedonistic, intoxicating, liberating sex. That’s what my kinky queer liberation looks like. 


EW:

All those puritanical queers are only interested in evoking images of queer past that are very sanitized. They’re only committed to being like, “teehee, the subject of this literature means that Emily Dickinson is a lesbian.” Or “Sappho was writing things to her lovers.” And Stonewall was a fucking riot! Stonewall was violent. They only want to think about cottagecore lesbians raising chickens on a farm, but they don’t want to think about the violence that was associated with that. I don’t know why. That’s what makes it so radical for us to be engaging with kink with each other—it’s violence that we choose. And because we’re being present with it and intentional with it, we can choose that it will be transformative.

The living legend Empress Wu is a NYC-based professional dominatrix with a hunger for all things blood, fisting, psychodrama & more. Click here to learn more about her, My favorite domme to co-top with.