why does the post apocalypse have people wearing straight up bdsm/fetish gear?

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Rafu

  • 71
Quoted from this Tumblr, answering a question from this other Tumblr, via this dirty-pics blog (NSFW, etc.):

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why does so much post apocalypse media have people wearing straight up bdsm/fetish gear like. do the kinksters watch the world ending and think “oh boy i can wear my bondage gear in public now”

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What I wanna know is why the spiky kink warriors are always the bad evil marauders. They might be into some weird shit and unafraid to show it but that doesn’t mean they want to go around killing dudes. They’re a tight-knit bunch. A lot of them are queer. They understand the importance of community.

If the government collapses and all laws come to an end, the people rampaging around killing and looting are gonna be like, frat boys and 4chan rejects. You can mistrust the bondage raiders all you like but they’re definitely the ones you’re going to run to for help when the neoliberal blood cultists and Nazi meme demons lay siege to your survivor enclave. There’s gonna be gayboy berserkers busting up slaver gangs and burning down warboy frat houses. The assless-chaps leather daddies and weird petplay people are gonna be the accidental peacekeepers of the post-apocalyptic world just because they’re the only motherfuckers who understand the importance of consent anymore.

Listen. Don’t come to me asking how to get the secret cadre of bisexual death commandoes to protect your wretched tent village if you’re scared that we might call in the kinksters for backup. I don’t give a shit if they dress up like dogs and spend all day writing poems about butt plugs. There’s assholes out there acting like Vlad the Impaler on a meth bender and you’re afraid of seeing a nipple. Fuck you. If you really want to get rid of the MRA death gangs you’re going to have to accept that a lesbian chainsaw dominatrix or two might be involved. It’s the fucking post-apocalypse my guy we gotta weigh our priorities here

Well, the short version of the answer to both is that when doing The Road Warrior they straight-up just got all of Lord Humungus's people's (y'know, the villains) outfits from a BDSM shop. And that film is seminal to the genre's aesthetics. So...lots of people in fetish-wear, and many of them villains.

The making them villains thing is also partially because that's just a general tendency in media in general. A lot of forms of media do, in fact, just use BDSM/fetish wear as shorthand for 'evil monster'. Post-apocalypse fiction does it more than some genres, but honestly superhero stuff does it almost as often and several other genres also dabble in it (a lot of neo-noir has some of this going on, for example). Now, speaking as someone into BDSM, that's kinda unfortunate and has some seriously unfortunate connotations in some ways. Though the ominous vibe is part of the point for some people, I suppose.

But more importantly, the tendency to make people in fetish-wear the villains is pretty much completely absent in Apocalypse World unless you bring it with you. Several playbooks have fetish-wear, bondage gear, and similar things as an option, and those are only as evil as you make them. Ditto illustrations, many of those using fetish-y stuff are those associated with the playbooks, and again only as evil as their player wishes them to be.

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Munin

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I think the answer you're looking for is, "Why not?"  ;)

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Rafu

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DeadmanwalkingXI, I agree with your analysis in full.
One more reason, in fact, I like AW waaaay more than I do any other existing work in the "post-apoc" genre.