Went for coffee with Painted Lady over the weekend, and we were discussing the relative importance we placed on our sex lives and libido (high to very high) compared with other people we knew. I have to admit, I found it all very reassuring. To know that I'm not the only person to fail to understand chaste relationships, or relationships that still manage to work despite the lack of sexual spark. I'm sure it's probably just a failure of perception on my part, and that there are people who are very happy, and can manage to be in love without needing to physically express it: who don't view sex as a way of affirming the relationship, of showing how much you need and want your partner, how much you love them. I'm just not one of those people. If I don't have sex in a while, I get twitchy, and uncomfortable - especially if I am in a relationship, and haven't seen that person for a while. It's partly about missing them, but also about missing that connection, that specific expression of "us".
We spoke a bit about our bodies, and about how sexual attractiveness and feeling sexually attractive reflects on how we feel about how we look and hence, how we feel about ourselves. Which is where it starts to get complicated in the kinky bedroom, because the games of power and control stop being games of who can tie who to what, and start to become games of who we are.
Sex is strongly connected to my sense of self-worth, for better or for worse. Personally, I think it's for the better. I don't think that sex would be anything like as fulfilling if it didn't have that connection to my sense of "me". If it was just a simple physical act of putting tab A into slot B and generating pleasure, with no accompanying emotional or psychological frisson then surely it would render domination and submission totally moot. Without fear, guilt, love, without an intellectual desire or will beyond physical need it might just be play-acting. The "me" that encapsulates all of my own personal, private concerns would be unaffected by sex or sexual acts, they would never touch the boundaries of anything that truly bothered me, and, by extension, it would never have the potential to really thrill me. Things that are personal are dangerous to play with, that makes it exciting, and makes trust meaningful and powerful. The connection between sexual gratification and curious human psychological behaviour is at the core of a lot of Ds - only in this way could the act of offering oneself up to be hurt generate sexual pleasure, because of the feelings of submission which are enshrined in the desire to be controlled.
I stay thankful for complexities, then.
THE FEMDOM ROPE DOJO: SHIBARI PARTY
2 months ago