I wouldn’t say that kink has helped my life, no more than sex has, in any case. What has helped me was self-acceptance. Embracing my kinks has given me the self-confidence to accept other aspects of my personality. I can see myself not as flawed, but as eccentric. And eccentric is okay.
My use of the word lifestyle encompasses anyone and everyone who enjoys sexual activities not currently in the sexual vocabulary of the general public. There is a surprising large community of these like minded individuals from all corners of the world and from all social and economic backgrounds. We are not monsters hiding in the closet or under your bed. In fact, I would be willing to wager that you work with, went to college with, or attend church with people in the lifestyle.
But a curious thing is happening which I do not understand or condone. It seems that some people have gotten it into their heads that there is some form of hierarchy to be derived from the level of one’s participation in kinky activities. I have seen it alluded to many times that people in 24/7 dynamics are more true to the lifestyle of BDSM than the kinky bedroom-only players, or that strictly play partners, while both may be respected members of their local community as individuals, they as a play couple are somehow less, and people just experimenting have no place in the lifestyle. This is an absurd notion to me.
The lifestyle is supposedly governed by the idea of you kink your way, I’ll kink mine. It is a self-defense mechanism to limit the influence of the “One True Way” mindset. No one is the same, and none of us have the same likes and dislikes as the kink community as a whole. That is the very point of having a community. Being able to have a resource of information, opinion and insight that is non-judgmental is the very reason many of us ever ventured into the community in the first place. Hell, if I was interested in being judged, or set upon some pedestal, I would simply have to talk to my family! I would like to think that the larger lifestyle community is much more open, honest and understanding. And dammit, we should be! Thankfully, the vast majority of people are.
We all came to the community in search of something we were unable to find, or unwilling to try and find, from the general public: acceptance. We tend to stay in the shadows of the public because in many parts of the world careers, the right to see our children, social connections and a host of other things are at risk merely for the fact that we are not perceived as “normal” and there are many misconceptions about the lifestyle floating around among the “normal” folk. So, we come to the community searching for a safe haven.
Why would we then, in our entirely self-governed community, allow it to be fractured into this idea of an unneeded, unwarranted, baseless notion that there is in fact a hierarchy among the members? I, for one, am no better for being in a 24/7 dynamic based relationship than the man who enjoys a little light bondage or the occasional swat of a buttock while having sex doggie style. I say we make welcome all people, regardless of their current or planned level of participation, or what their kinks are. Remember that notion of you kink your way, I’ll kink mine? Yeah, we need to get back to that, and remember it is not the community’s job to necessarily agree as a whole, but to support as a whole. If you count yourself as a member of the community, this means the acceptance has to come from you, regardless of what you may actually think personally about how it fits into your life.
Before we can actually get into this, we have to decide what is and what is not kink. According to Urban Dictionary the definition of kink is:
Noun – kink
Plural – kinks
As in “a kink”. Sexual tastes for a person. Usually a kink is an unusual taste in sexual behaviour.
Alright, I can live with that, somewhat. Now, I do not use Urban Dictionary if I need an actual definition of a word, but it does come in useful when you are trying to figure out how a particular word is being defined by people outside of academia. So let’s have some fun with this.
If we take this definition one step further, and take the use of “unusual” to mean “not everyone is doing it”, there are some rather obvious sexual kinks. Fisting, orgies and sex in public being just a sample that quickly come to mind. But what about some of the other activities?
I know plenty of people who adamantly oppose oral sex. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are in the lifestyle or not. Does that mean oral sex, giving or receiving, is a kink? Or is the opposition to it the actual kink at this point?
What about sex in the traditional missionary position? This is certainly unusual for me, so can I consider anyone who does partake in it to be kinky? Or do I have to wait until they are having missionary sex while wearing cartoon animal hats?
Which brings up another question. Who exactly gets to decide what is kink and what is not? Is there a Kink Commission somewhere in a dark corner, or is it more of a “general consensus” thing from the public?
Obviously, I do not have answers to any of these questions. But in a society that looks askew at people who are thought to be kinky, there is one more thing to ponder. Since the advent of the internet, and the proliferation of pornography depicting kinky activities thus causing a rise in the amount of people experimenting over the past twenty years or so, missionary sex may very well be the biggest kink of them all at this point.
I am nearing the end of this marathon, I assure you. Just a brief tour of the basics that have been my life and experiences in the lifestyle so far.
Once I had a name to go with the sexual concept in my mind, and a fair amount of research and self knowledge under my belt, I gently broached the subject of doing anything kinky with my girlfriend at the time. She was definitely interested, even mentioning that she would go through my browser history while I was at work on third shift. So my journey, with no pun intended, was out of my hands and head for the first time, in the care of someone else.
Now, neither of us had any real or useful experience, just our thoughts, fantasies, and a healthy desire to pursue them. So, that is what we set out to do, together. I had my ideas, she had quite a few of her own, and we basically agreed to meet in the middle and alternate between whose idea we were trying as long as neither of us had a major concern or limit about it. I got to try many things that I hadn’t thought about yet. I like to think she did, also. I almost hesitate to refer to our relationship as a 24/7 lifestyle one, even though by the end of it certainly fit the bill from an activity standpoint. Even though she was always the dominant partner and I the sub, the level of equal input into what we were doing, what we were exploring, made it one of the most equality driven D/s relationships I have ever been in.
This first adult, willing experience with BDSM was quite satisfying. The actual relationship lasted just over four years, and we continued to play together another nine months until personal issues on my part forced a move to another state. Each of my subsequent relationships have had elements of BDSM of varying degrees. Some, as you might imagine, were more successful and fulfilling than others. But that is true of any series of relationships, regardless of the sexual palette being used.
There was one huge exception in these relationships, though. None of the women had any experience in the lifestyle, so I was the more experienced. It created a scenario of “topping from the bottom” for me. Basically, they were centered around what I liked, therefore both of us were left with the distinct feeling of “I’ll do that for you… if you really want.” While I cannot say the scenes were not enjoyable, I can honestly say the emotional fallout was not worth it.
I eventually got married, and had kids, with a woman that when we first dated we incorporated BDSM. By the time we married, she had decided it was not something she was interested in, and I was okay with that. Later on, her opinion changed again, so we negotiated the terms of that part of our relationship. After a couple of years, it changed yet again, back to her not being interested. I could write another whole series of posts on just my marriage, but I won’t. It is enough to say that eventually the marriage ended, largely due to her infidelity and abuse. (Yes, men can be abused by the women they are with)
Now, in present time, I am in a 24/7 dynamic relationship with my Lady (you, fine readers, know her as Malady). For the first time, I am with someone with knowledge of themselves and the lifestyle rivaling if not surpassing my own. It is to her that I owe the biggest thank you to for introducing me not only to acceptance, but to the larger real world lifestyle community. I feel like I am home, with family, for the first time.
For as long as I can remember, people have opened up to me about very personal things, and often far more quickly than I would expect them too. No topic seemed too big or too small to tell me, whether about their anxiety over a job interview, their fear of failing out of school, their crush on the quarterback, or the fact that they were homosexual, into BDSM, or other such “taboo” things about sexuality. I don’t consider myself to be any more trustworthy than the average person, nor do I consider myself to be a particularly good listener, so for a long time I was unable to figure out why people trusted me with their inner thoughts. Then I had an “aha” moment.
People tell me things because I am safe. Not only do I not get overly involved in others’ personal lives, I also do not judge people for who they are or what they think. That is not how I was raised. Even though I was raised in a very conservative Christian home, we were taught to love others, even if they did things we considered wrong. In our home “love the sinner not the sin” was the mantra. Since then, I have had my doubts about Christianity, as I find it to be more than a bit absurd that a religion that is so new in comparison to others can claim to be the only true way….but I digress.
What this attitude of love taught me was that people are people. They will not always do things we agree with, and they will not always see things as we do. That does not make them less worthy of our acceptance. Every person you meet has the potential to expand your horizons and broaden your world-view. If you project an atmosphere of acceptance, they will share their world with you. If you project an atmosphere of judgment, you limit your own growth.
I challenge you to think of someone you may have turned away due to your own judgments. How could they have expanded your horizons? It easy to say the sky is the limit, but why limit how much of the sky you can see?