As I started adulthood, things started to look up. I had been in therapy with a very good psychologist for a couple of years. I had gotten into legal trouble, yet was very lucky all at the same time. The resolution to the legal problems was court ordered therapy, which doesn’t sound very lucky on the surface. However, the therapist saw through my mother immediately, and accordingly, I was in group therapy once a week as well as two private sessions a week. The luck part came in when my parents did not like the direction of my therapy, or her tone towards them, but because of the court order they were powerless to pull me out of it.
One of the first things I did as an adult is completely restructure the relationship with my parents. Yes, believe it or not, I still talk to them even to this day. However, I made it perfectly clear that now I could, and would, leave. Forever, if necessary. My sibling did completely sever their relationship, so they knew it was possible. Did it make everything better? Absolutely not, but it did change the power dynamic. They would try to push, I would walk away. They still try to push, I still walk away.
As for my sex life, I had a completely vanilla one except that I habitually dated older, married women. I did not want the commitment long term, and for the most part they were unable to provide one. Besides, unhappy married women tend to be much more sexually forward than women in their early twenties. They had no trouble making it perfectly clear what they wanted, thus alleviating any need for me to be sexually aggressive. I’m not trying to say life was golden, however. There were a few very awkward situations to live through, but I was content to just sort of float through this area of my life.
At this point, we arrive back to one of my original questions of the series: How in the world did I ever get involved in the lifestyle and it’s activities, especially given all the abuse?
I have always, even as a teen, masturbated regularly when not in a sexual relationship with someone. I got my first computer at twenty-one, and while the 14.4b modem certainly presented a different version of the internet than we enjoy today, I discovered erotica, and specifically lifestyle themed erotica. As is still true today, the vast majority of material is of a male dominant and female submissive. A curious thing happens even to this day when I read or watch at this variety of porn: I put myself in the submissive’s role. Not that I want to be a woman, or want a male dominant, but I extend the fantasy of what is presented by imagining it being done to me. The activities I found arousing, I would look into more deeply. Some of it turned out to be mere flights of the author’s fancy, some things while theoretically possible were not very plausible or sane to me, and much of it left me with a huge sense of “I wish…” It took a little over three years before I stumbled upon a story with an abbreviation in the title I did not recognize: FemDom. I read it, and I think a part of my brain literally exploded.
There, encapsulated in a single story, was the seeming answer to everything I was looking for. In that one story was the depiction of an adult relationship, including all the activities I had been fantasizing about, where I did not have to be sexually aggressive, or pretend to be a woman, or be with a man. I headed back into research mode, trying to find out if this was actually a real thing. Believe it or not, the internet was not yet the information gold mine it is today twenty years ago. The information I was looking for was scarce, and what there was to be found was oblique and misleading. But I am nothing if not hard-headed. I reasoned that I could not possibly be the only person to think this way, after all I had the story written by a woman I did not know, so began the journey of introducing it to my girlfriends, and if they were interested, seeing where it went.
As for the abuse aspect, and it’s impact, I have to say that the two things have never collided. The lifestyle, in general, is firmly based upon the concept of consent. Through my previous research into activities, I was already aware of this. I was also acutely aware that there was no consent in any form of abuse. The two worlds just do not, ever, overlap when the parties involved hold this one simple concept at the center of their play. One word can stop a BDSM scene. A thousand words cannot stop abuse.