Häkki interrogates is our questionnaire series, in which we interview our members with foreign backgrounds. We bite into the scene of the Helsinki metropolitan area as seen by foreigners, and we investigate what got our interviewees interested in Häkki.
Hey, introduce yourself briefly to everyone
I’m redraspberrypi, or if that’s a mouthful just Kati will work as well. I’m a 20-year-old Estonian student who got washed up on the rocky Finnish shores to study physics. I’ve now been a member of Häkki for nearly exactly a year.
Kink and BDSM wise I’m a switchy girl who sometimes (despite her tallness) feels little and sometimes also likes being terribly mean. I’m a sadomasochist and a rope switch.
What lured you into Häkki and when did you join?
I made my application to Häkki even before I had actually moved to Finland! In my area, and Estonia in general the scene was not as active so I knew I would like to be a part of it in Finland. I started doing some research on the community and came across this student organization. I believe someone on Fetlife told me about it. Seemed convenient because I was also a student.
Did you participate in the events of the BDSM scene in your home country? If you did participate in any events or munches how would you compare them with the ones we have in Finland?
I had not gone to any kink events in Estonia, mostly because there were not many at the time (because of covid), and well, I hadn’t exactly been an adult for a long time. There’s no real community in Estonia, a munch pops up occasionally. Or even a rope workshop.
Is the Finnish BDSM scene welcoming to those who don’t speak the language?
I would say it’s quite welcoming, obviously there’s some language barrier issues. It might feel terribly scary in the beginning. But once you’ve made some acquaintances it all becomes a lot easier. There are people to go talk to at events and suddenly it will feel warm and welcoming. Nearly everyone speaks English, however there might be people who are not as confident in their skill and therefore prefer not to. If there’s something happening in Finnish, there are surely people who would be glad to translate the main points. I’ve never felt unwelcome in any event I’ve gone to.
Are there any challenges that you face as a foreigner?
Making new acquaintances is perhaps the hardest because you are often forced to go and “break up” an existing conversation and interrupt the flow of conversation that was originally in Finnish. That can sometimes feel very difficult, especially if you have no idea what the topic of the conversation was about. It’s overall more difficult to engage in conversation because I feel like people are less likely to come up to you and talk, so you have to do all the hard work yourself.
It might also be that some events are specifically for Finnish speakers, even if you feel like you really connect to the event. This can result in feeling that you’re not welcome in the community and not really wanted but it’s important not to take it personally.
Do you have any unforgettable experiences in the BDSM events/munches you would like to share with others?
Oh damn, there are many. Most of them are too spicy to share here. Tried to come up with something, but this is not exactly PG-13, be warned.
This is a throwback to the first kinky play party I’d ever gone to. Didn’t do very much, mostly spent my time observing and getting some sweet ouchies on my backside. I was being a bit bratty and playful knowing that all this is being observed by others. I’d blame the adrenaline for not realizing the amount of damage. But the feeling of “oh damn” when seeing it in the mirror after and feeling it every time I sat down. I ended up with the most bruising I’ve had in my life. I loved it. My ass was already done at the very beginning of the party, but I still managed to “raffle off” the backs of my thighs. It was an amazing time.
Any words of encouragement to those who are still questioning whether or not they should participate in events?
I totally understand that it takes a lot of courage to go up to new people and talk, especially when you don’t speak their language. I feel like it’s everyone’s worst fear to be the one standing in the corner not understanding anything that’s happening. My general punch line for going to “break up” Finnish conversations is ”hey, I’m sorry to break up your Finnish conversation but I’ve come to talk to people”. I’ve never been met with a cold response, and in my first year I’ve made quite some friends through Häkki, most of them being Finnish. The first steps are the hardest but once you get past it you’re met with a loving community of friendly and likeminded people. It might feel scary as there aren’t many of us English speakers but, you know, the Finns are not that scary 🙂
You should surely participate in events, even if you feel like you aren’t that open about your kinkiness. Most of the conversation will be about random (usually nerdy) topics, and everyone is very respectful of your privacy.
On top of that, I feel like this community is a great place to learn and grow. Especially if you’re just getting started in BDSM the community is a valuable place to obtain all kinds of information about the Finnish scene and BDSM and kink in general. I know I’ve surely learnt a lot.
Looking forward to meeting you soon! Feel free to come talk to me at Kertsi or munches!