Day 13: Explain as best you can what the appeal of kink/BDSM is to you? Why are you drawn to what you’re drawn to?
Intensity. That’s what comes to mind when I think of this question. Be it physical or psychological (or maybe even spiritual), BDSM is simply more intense than vanilla sex/sexuality. Perhaps that might be a trifle self-serving — after all since I’m not by any stretch of the imagination “vanilla”, I can’t really compare the levels of intensity. But I suspect that I can make a fairly educated guess:)
Part of this intensity, to me, relates to the ability to strip the human psyche down to its most primal parts. When you get right down to it, humans are animals, with animalistic drives. Sex is one of the most powerful of those drives; witness planet Earth, fair teeming with 7 BILLION of us.
Sexuality expressed within the context of BDSM allows us the freedom to be who we really are deep down inside, to embrace that raw, primal being. This “freedom” is paradoxical, but no less true, for that kneeling sub bound tightly in her rope. In a more subtle way, for the Dom it allows him to throw off the cultural/societal strictures and prohibitions, and get in touch with that inner animal, that being that seeks to control, to conquer, to revel in the power of imposing his will on his beloved submissive.
The animal world is replete with unequal power dynamics with regard to sexuality. Though we like to think we are so very much different, we’re kidding ourselves. Our drives are no different, rather they are tempered, restrained by higher functioning brains, our capacity for reason, our singular ability to be aware of our own consciousness, and our place in the larger world. When it comes down to sex though . . . the ancient, lower functioning (some will refer to it as ‘reptilian’) brain is very much the underlying, driving force.
BDSM allows one to acknowledge that fact, and rather than try to suppress it, one can redirect it, draw from it, for the (hopefully) mutual pleasure of all involved. It’s all too tempting to generalize about the innate natures of males and females here. I’m not going to do it though, simply because the human race is so marked by exception, contradiction, and just plain baffling craziness, that there is no point in it. I can only speak for me, and with luck, most of time such speech will be cogent:)
The ‘why’ of this question is the tougher nut to crack. I suspect many of us in the BDSM “community” (I sometimes scratch my head at the meaning of that term, but I suppose it works) will never really understand why we are the way we are. Personally, I don’t think it really matters. Do vanilla people sit down and navel gaze about why they like what they like? My guess is . . . no. I think we, for whatever reason, were (for the majority of us) made this way. I was going to say ‘born this way’, but then Lady Gaga started playing in my head. Sorry, where was I?
As with so much else when it comes to human sexuality, the why (when it can be determined at all) is never simple. The human mind is so incredibly complex, every process and structure so interconnected, that it is impossible to determine a single causative factor in determining why someone likes what they like. We can deduce, surmise, and guess forever — and we’ll still never nail it down.
For me, part of the appeal is the mystery of the motivation, the uncertainty of the origins of such urges. It adds a spice, an underlying ambiguity, even a danger to everything we do. We pervs key in on this, again, as animalistic beings. We just can’t help it.
I’ve always found one of the most fascinating aspects of quantum mechanics to be the Uncertainty Principle. In laymen’s terms, this states that it is actually impossible to pinpoint simultaneously, with zero probability for error, the exact position and velocity of a particle (physics majors: yes, I understand I am grossly simplifying here).
I bring this up for two reasons: 1) I’m a nerd, 2) I equate the ‘why’ of BDSM sexuality with this principle. Bet you never thought you’d see someone connect quantum mechanics with whips and chains. Yes, that just happened.
We really can never know, exactly, why we are who we are. To my twisted mind, this not only adds mystery and excitement, but it lends me a modicum of comfort as well. Do any of us really want to be completely understood (or even fully understand ourselves)? If we’re honest, I’ll bet most of us would answer ‘hell no’.
There are, of course, reasons we can cite for individual kinks that we like, but even there we will get tripped up in the exact whys of things. For instance, I am a big time fan of spanking and corporal punishment. I find the female buttocks probably one of the most beautiful, viscerally exciting sights in the world. Spanking a woman . . . it’s just right. The why is pretty easy to guess, but can we nail it down precisely? No, we can’t— if we’re honest with ourselves. Do I think about this as I am spanking a woman, feeling her body against mine, listening to her cry out, watching the color of her bottom deepen further and further? Of course not—I accept, and enjoy.
I’m going to leave this here, because this is such a fascinating question that I could easily write a damned book about it. Rather than continue flapping my gums, I’ll quit while I’m ahead:) Until Day 14!