This is a made-up word. You would have thought some fusty man embarking on a Grand Tour would have created this several centuries ago, but it is a fairly recent word as vocabulary goes.
Xenophile: an individual who is attracted to foreign peoples, manners, or cultures. 1922: from Greek, from xeno– + –phile, first usage 1948 in current definition.
I want to concentrate on culture though; specifically the BDSM culture.
First though, a side trip into anthropology.
Most “experts” would state that somewhere between 100 and 300 individuals comprise the optimum human village or tribe. Any less, and the group will not remain viable long-term and any more, the individual gets lost in the mass. This group is considered family, or at the very least, close friends. Once the numbers spiral past 300, the excess become strangers or foreigners.
The internet was supposed to allow/permit humans to transcend the biological ties of blood and place by finding individuals and groups that shared similar interests and hobbies. But instead of highlighting those similarities and bringing peaceful interactions, the internet has created a harsh forum whereby all the actual differences are used as weapons against anything foreign, whether nations or people.
BDSM is no different. Each of us has a level of comfort, of experience, of desire and of longing to find that “perfect” partner/s to quell the yearning in our kinky souls. Yes, the internet has facilitated the linking of like-minded kinksters from around the world, but being attracted to the D/s culture is no guarantee you, as an individual, will be allowed entrée into the rarefied stratus of the discerning beau monde of BDSM.
Millions of friends on social media, do not a culture make. Some would argue that the maximum number of people you can have a close and meaningful relationship with, is only four. Higher that that, the connections become ever more tenuous. Being attracted to foreign cultures, manners or peoples, raises the salient question: What does being foreign even mean? We are all foreigners.
Often even to our neighbors, co-workers or family.