Kinks on Campus is a new student-run organization providing educational workshops, panel discussions and opportunities to build community through kinky sexuality.
The group was recognized by the Associated Students, Inc. as an official club during the Spring 2017 semester, finally joining Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, which have had similar groups on campus for the past three years.
Mark Sade was surprised when he came to study at SF State last year and found the school did not have a club that embraced acceptance of kink as an ideology. Sade created Kinks on Campus to fill that void.
“We are in San Francisco, the home of the Folsom Street Fair, which is the largest kink event on the planet and yet we are behind the others?” Sade said. “This doesn’t make sense.”
Sade set up an OrgSync account in February that connected over 200 like-minded people.
The group now meets regularly for educational workshops and to discuss safe practices in a safe setting where people are free to embrace other sides of sexuality without judgement.
Sade said that Kinks on Campus is founded on core principles that embrace sexuality and consent where everything taught is based on respect for other people.
“One of the biggest problems that we are trying to cover with education is that some people like this stuff, they have seen it online, they’ve seen it in 50 Shades and they go out and they do it and they actually hurt someone in a way that is not very cool,” Sade said. “So we give lessons that say ‘Hey, here are best practices and if you use these you will probably have a lot more fun in your sexploration’.”
According to the creator, the group has received mixed feedback within the SF State campus. Majority of the responses have been positive but some members still feel that the kink community isn’t widely accepted by others.
A 20-year-old art-education major who wishes to remain anonymous, joined the group in hopes of meeting other people who express themselves in similar ways when it comes to her sexuality.
“I also joined so that I could collaborate with people and share ideas with them,” she said. “To me, being kinky is a creative process in which I enjoy getting people’s feedback and hearing their ideas around certain things I can try.”
Kellan Hopps is not personally involved with Kinks on Campus, but believes anything that supports the safe practice of bondage, dominance (or discipline), sadism and masochism should be recognised and supported at SF State.
The 23-year-old biology major has been involved the city’s BDSM community for the past two years and is excited there is now an official group where students can meet and feel accepted.
“I think it’s important that people of all ages get education about what it is and what it really means as there is a huge stigma around it,” Hopps said. “It’s not fair to feel bad for the things you are into so I think having some healthy discussion around a campus like this is important.”