"I mean, do perverts want normal things, like hugs and companionship - or are they 'vanilla' too?" a paraphrased excerpt from a recent conversation with someone who is finding his feet, and his desires, in the widening world of sexuality.
I replied "yes" but using more words. And then thought about how this must mean we might be perceived as kinksters and the issues that might raise. Here is a sensible, smart and thoughtful chap who was worried that a life of crime and punishment might involve letting go of everything to do with what he understood relationships to mean: a partner, caring, loving, snuggling under duvets. That having kinky sex meant that these other things were not part of the bargain. Now, accepting that he isn't daft, that implies to me that when we talk about ourselves as kinksters and perverts we are only telling part of the story.
Think about the way we sometimes present ourselves, as edgier than edgy, more kinky than thou, always racing for the next thing: harder, faster, stronger. We do this for a lot of reasons - we want to be interesting and exciting, we want people to know who we are, we want people to think we are hot. We pride ourselves on our hardcore attributes, and we can isolate ourselves by doing and replace our personalities with personas. Cruel bitch. Evil bastard. Wicked masters and mistresses. Similarly, drooling submissives with no minds of their own. Creatures of sex and sexuality. But we don't talk about ourselves as people with love and with lives.
Make no mistake, I do not want to distance myself from my kink. It is a core part of me. But it's not the whole thing. The belle dame sans merci might be a wonderful place to play, and certainly part of me, but I can't do that all the time without becoming a gross (and emotional, intellectually empty) caricature. Even if it does become the pleasing acronym BDSM.
We have created the kink / vanilla divide. And we need to think a bit about how that is playing out in the wider world. When we emphasise, as I do, the importance of the lifestyle to us, we must be careful that we explain what we mean, rather than assuming that people will understand - the same goes for a lot of things in life.
So here's what I mean when I say I'm kinky.
I'm kinky. It's a thread of steel that runs through me like a backbone, supporting my body structure. I could no more remove it than you could remove your spine. Everything would come crashing down in a big mess. I'm kinky. I want to do awful, dreadful things to your mind and your body. I want to put my dirty fingers into your brain and pull on all those feelings that make you writhe and blush. I'm kinky, I want to use D/s rules and control to build you into the person you want to be. I'm kinky, I want to hold your hand, talk to you about silly things, fall in love with you and grow old in a shared house where other kinky people might stop by for a cup of tea and a spot of shibari.
CALLING ALL ANAL SLUTS
5 weeks ago