Friday, May 16, 2008

Can You Explain It?

Sometimes I ponder things just for the sake of pondering them I suppose. Today I was considering the question, “If I had to explain to someone why I was interested in kink, what would I say?” I know how I got interested in it. I know why or think I know why some things about it appeal to me. Yet I think I’d have a difficult time explaining all of that to someone if I found myself in the position of having to do so. Especially if it were a vanilla person who wasn’t at all into kink and was for some reason in the position of demanding that I explain myself. A part of that for me I think is the fact that before I really knew anything about BDSM, D/s and the activities involved in the lifestyle, I actually had only the typical and stereotypical notions about it. Not only did I have zero interest in it, I actually had a very negative opinion of it, and yes, I suppose of anyone who might be involved in it. Of course I didn’t know anyone involved it. At least I believed that then. Now I am not nearly so certain about that as there are many people in my life who would probably say that very thing, and yet they know me, they just don’t know of my involvement.

I think I have shared on several occasions that when I first heard of “submissiveness” and began to put two and two together, I ultimately realized that submissiveness was that part of me that I’d always been aware of but never really understood. I decided that there was no harm in investigating it further and trying to learn if this was something I needed to address. For whatever reason I seemed to be a crossroads of sort in my life where I felt I could neither deny nor suppress that aspect of my personality and nature any longer. Honestly, there were times when I struggled with that issue and wanted to believe it was just a manifestation of a mid-life crisis. But first, I had to admit whatever it was I had always been aware of it. I also didn’t really believe I was having a mid-life crisis because aging has never been something I have given any thought to. I just never had any fear about growing older and have always been comfortable with whatever age I might be. Also, I knew definitely I had not recently felt any overpowering urge to go out and purchase an expensive sports car. I mean isn’t that the unmistakable sign of a mid-life crisis for a man? I’m just kidding of course, I have never actually been a car guy. I like Jeeps and that is what I will always like.

Anyway, my first investigation into the submission issue was searching a well known online bookstore for books on the subject. Of course the word “submission” has several connotations and so I found books ranging from religion to books on female submission to fiction. Well none of that was what I was looking for or felt would be helpful. After pages and pages on the site I finally found something that looked like it might be promising. The book was Different Loving: The World of Sexual Domination and Submission by Gloria Brame. I ordered the book and after receiving it, I started to read and could barely put it down. What I found inside was a very balanced presentation of what dominance and submission is all about. One thing I really liked was that there was a wide variety of people represented in the interview sections, people from all walks of life. The author’s style was both articulate and insightful and belied a very intelligent person. She did a masterful job of presenting the reasons that people found dominance and submission a vitally important part of expressing their sexuality. On its own, this book really shattered a lot of the stereotypical views I had held about BDSM and I began to realize that there were apparently some pretty normal people involved in it. They weren’t just a bunch of nuts or pervs so to speak. Armed with a bit more knowledge, I went back to the online bookstore with a better idea of what to look for and found two more books, Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns : The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism by Philip Miller and Molly Devon, and SM 101 : A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman. After finishing these two books I admitted that some of the things were just not for me, but many others I did find intriguing and felt a definite interest in experiencing. I had an AOL account at the time and knew I had seen chat rooms referring to dominants and submissives so that was the next stop for me. Using the information learned from the book, I wrote up a profile and published it indicating my interest in learning more about domination and submission. Nothing happened immediately, but about a month later I received an email from a lady, identifying herself as a domme. She asked me a lot of questions which later I learned was her way of learning whether I was sincere or a poser looking for cyber sex. Fairly quickly she understood I was a sincere seeker and she told me that while she viewed the lifestyle as something done in real life, not online, she would be willing to mentor me and get me pointed in the right direction. I quickly took her up on the offer and she began to systematically teach me about the lifestyle. Mostly she provided me with book recommendations and Internet web sites to read and gave me writing assignments. This continued for several months. One day she told me she believed I had gotten as far as I could go with the knowledge part for now and what I should think about was getting some actual experience. I really didn’t feel ready to launch out into real life just yet and of course I had no clue how to go about finding people locally who were involved in the lifestyle anyway. She lived on the east coast so she really couldn’t offer me much help with that either, but she was able to find a few web sites of organizations that hold munches in my local area. A little while later, she took a new job and due to our schedules we lost touch and I was again on my own.

I continued to search and was rewarded by meeting people some online and some in real life and gradually I began to acquire some experience to go along with the knowledge. I was introduced to BDSM activities play, to the use of sex toys which I had never had any experience with, and again to just being able to talk with people with experience in the lifestyle. I met some very nice people, as nice as I’ve ever met in any other circumstances and they were all eager to help and were so affirming. I began to feel that I wasn’t some kind of freak and that many people, even many men were out there who shared the same feelings I did. I was introduced to submissive activity lists which included all of the possible activities that those in the lifestyle engage in. I learned about hard limits, soft limits and safe words. I learned the difference between a submissive and a slave. The more I learned the more comfortable I became and the more I was willing to experiment with new things that initially had seemed too far out there to contemplate. Many of the things I explored really produced very meaningful experiences for me and allowed me to experience my submissiveness beyond what I’d ever experienced before.

All of this I explain because it serves to illustrate that I came to know about submission in general and learn about my own submissiveness in particular from peering through the lens of BDSM. It is only natural therefore that as a result I came to be involved in kink and to learn that there were some rather kinky things that I enjoyed and that contributed to feelings of pleasurable submission. It seems that now that I have started this blog, more and more I meet people who define themselves as dominants and submissives and people who actually live in female led relationships, who have little if any involvement or interest in kink. Their approach or perspective is totally different, completely opposite in fact of my own. One dominant woman who is rapidly becoming a very valued friend tells me she is not kinky in the least and as far as sexual expression she is very traditional beyond wanting at times to be in charge and control in the bedroom. I’ve come to understand that I could find an outlet of expression for my submission even outside the realm of the lifestyle and that is something I think is a good thing. Not because I don’t enjoy kink but because it simply opens up lots of new possibilities. I like kink, but submissive expression, this sort of alternative sexuality is really the need that I must address so as far as kink, if I should end up with a woman who enjoys that then we’re good. But certainly the kink aspect is the minor consideration in comparison and I could be just as happy with a woman who wasn’t into kink but would appreciate and embrace my submission. There is nothing wrong with the kink in my opinion, but I know sexual expression is a very personal matter for everyone and we all differ on exactly how we choose to express that part of us. It seems rather odd sometime that I’d like kink because I’m not much of a masochist so I certainly am not one who could really appreciate a sadist. But along the way I’ve learned that there is much more to BDSM than just the SM.

For the longest time as I wrote this, I was feeling I was just rambling, but you know I guess there was a point to it because finally I can answer the question I pondered. I like kink because sometimes it just feels good to express my sexuality and my submissiveness that way and oftentimes kink provides a conduit through which I receive very meaningful and intense feelings of submission, something I’ve grown to enjoy very much. But that’s me, so tell me, how about you? Can you explain it? Why are you interested in kink?

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