Day 19: Any unexpected ways kink has improved your life? If so, what are they?
In many ways, this is one of those chicken or the egg/which came first questions. Have I embraced kink because my life has improved (e.g. I’m more comfortable with myself), or has kink demonstrably improved how I view and live my life? I don’t suppose it really matters either way when you get right down to it, as the answer is an unqualified ‘yes’.
First and foremost, and most surprisingly, it’s helped me just relax about being who I am, about being different than the “norm”. So you’re a dude who likes to spank women, who likes to run the show in the bedroom. Big effing deal. There are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions like you in this country alone. Welcome to a very large club! So, you like to write erotica and erotic romance soaked in BDSM. Big whoop — there are hundreds, thousands more who do the same thing. I think realizing that you are not alone, that you aren’t a simple aberration of the human condition really helps. I suppose the Intertubez are an integral part of that as well:)
In a larger sense though, discovering this entire world outside of your little tiny, insular existence is equal parts exhilarating, and humbling. Not only are you not alone, but you aren’t even that uncommon in the larger world of kink. To some that might be disturbing as it might lessen the sense of uniqueness that they may pride themselves on. Hard to tell, but for me, it was a huge relief:)
Secondly, kink has certainly helped me understand people better, even vanilla people. I’m going to take a wild guess here, and state that, by and large, kinky people are somewhat more open about sex and sexuality than most people. I understand that this is a gross generalization, but I think it’s probably fairly accurate. In my case, it’s definitely opened my eyes to the motivations of those around me, allowed me to perceive some of the subtler interpersonal interactions and cues that many of us are subconsciously aware of, but don’t necessarily consciously perceive. What I mean by this, specifically, is how driven many (if not most) people are by their base animal instincts. Modern human culture and social mores have necessarily put a brake on these urges, redirected them, channeled them into (sometimes) more constructive endeavors, but those drives, those urges, remain, as viscerally vital to all of us as fear or hunger are. This probably sounds like a bunch of foofy shit to most of you, but hopefully a few of you get what I’m trying to say here;)
Lastly, kink has unexpectedly allowed me to understand myself. It’s been a way to help me sort out who the fuck I am. I’m not particularly deep or complex, but oddly enough, those parts of me that were forever an inscrutable mystery to me have started to make a helluva lot more sense since I’ve been able to admit, to be at peace with who I am. Once I could make sense of the tangled mess that was me, it not only helped me understand others, it helped me empathize with others. My friend, and blogging partner over at Romancing The Kink, the talented Natasha Knight, has a famous quote at the end of her e-mails that I’ve always liked, and one it’s something that I think perfectly crystallizes what many of us who are kinky go through inside our own heads:
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Jesus, this all sounds like self-indulgent navel-gazing from me, doesn’t it? I’m going to do all of you a big favor and STFU for now:)
Until Day 20.