Happy After-Thanksgiving Day, my dear readers! I hope you enjoyed a relaxing day of family, friends, and great food.
Today, I thought I’d write a bit about my perspective on BDSM, which has been a significant part of my life for the last fifteen years.
BDSM, or ‘kink,’ is such a broad term because it is an individualized phenomenon. Every kinkster has their own unique combination of fetishes, desires, and limits, and we all have our own ways of playing; whether that involves pain, sensuality, or psychological manipulation.
It’s important to note that no matter how extreme a scene may appear, everything occurred within an environment of safety and informed adult consent. Players negotiate what is permitted and what is not. To an observer, a scene might seem to be going wrong (the bottom might be crying or yelling ‘stop’), but if it was negotiated that only the use of a specific safeword would pause the action, the top knows to continue despite the verbal protests. It’s understandable how an uninformed public would be uneasy with this; people may see the spectacle, and know nothing of the days or weeks spent on careful preparation to ensure hurt does not result in harm.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that in the community, actual violations of consent are dealt with harshly. When it’s determined that an issue was not an isolated occurrence or an honest mistake, the person committing the violations is often shunned – this includes being banned from public play events. And community leaders keep eyes and ears open for signs of unsafe/non-consensual play within their sub-groups. I’m not saying the kink community is perfect, but because communication, safety, and consent are cornerstones of what we do, we are vigilant.
In the realm of kink, there is always more to learn. And like any other skills, proficiency with rope or a single-tail whip takes dedication and practice. One might ask, “what makes someone want to take up the whip?” To that, I can only accurately respond for myself, but I can offer that – in general – the reasons we engage in kink aren’t all that different from the reasons people engage in sports, yoga, or sky-diving. For some of us, there is a profound spiritual component to what we do. We test and push our mental and physical limits. And yes, there are many people who work through personal demons like stress and trauma (and I have), because they know they hold the power to make a scene stop.
It is immensely therapeutic to face what hurts and scares us in an environment of safety and personal power.
So, it’s no surprise to me that the most empowered women I know, the most open-minded, accepting, and confident people I know, the people with the healthiest relationships, are fellow perverts.
And of course, sometimes kink is just a whole lot of sexy fun.
My own exploration of kink began in the early 2000s when my husband and I decided to incorporate Dominance and submission (D/s) into our relationship. From the start, we learned valuable lessons about communication, balancing needs and expectations, and the nature of power and control. We learned what it meant to be submissive, what it meant to be Dominant, and how such an explicitly structured relationship is symbiotic; capable of spurring substantial personal and interpersonal growth.
Over the course of time, I discovered the joys of being a pain bottom. I like being spanked and whipped. I enjoy the process of working through the physical pain – and even how I work through it might differ from one scene or one day to another. One day I may wish to experience the sting just as it is. Another day, in a different mood, I might want to eroticize the pain and experience it as pleasure. (As neural impulses, pain and pleasure are “identical” at a physiological level. It’s possible to condition your mind to interpret those signals in a way that sparks arousal).
The more I participate in this lifestyle, the more my mind opens to new interests. I continue to discover things about myself. I used to shy away from cameras. I hated having my picture taken. Now, I’m a bit of an exhibitionist; while I wouldn’t have ever considered myself a prude before, it was still a surprise when I began to enjoy the attention of being nude in public scenes, and enjoy being photographed.
There is so much about kink that is beautiful. It has played an enormous role in my acceptance of self, of becoming comfortable in my own skin. It has aided me in taking more risks in other areas of my life. It has helped me grow as a romantic partner, and as a woman. It has had a profoundly positive impact on my life as a whole.
If you’re unfamiliar with BDSM/kink and would like to learn more (but aren’t sure if it would be your thing), there is an excellent book I recommend:
The author has written a follow-up, which I’ve not yet read cover-to-cover, but I believe is equally good:
Happy reading, my lovelies! xoxo