Well, here I am.
I’ve been in the BDSM community for a decade. I’ve done a lot of things. Lots of stuff checked off the ol’ “fetish list.” Still… plenty of things I’ve yet to experience. Met a lot of cool people. Met many abject losers. Met a couple of abusive predators (not many, but they are out there). Taught classes, volunteered at cons, served on the Board of Directors of a local kink group (over, and over, and over…).
But, now, here I am, and lately I feel like I’ve reached a plateau. I’m still enjoying my local scene… but I think I’ve definitely hit that point where I want to discover some new people, new textures, new play-styles, new sexual experiences, new interactions… Looking to bring some fresh energy into my life. It’s started already – I’ve been reaching out to some new folks in new settings… and my Owner and I have focused a lot recently on going back to the fundamentals of our power exchange – “hitting the reset button” we call it. But I’m still a little unsure about where I WANT to fit in to the BDSM/Leather/fetish community these days. Starting a new blog (been on LJ for years) is another form of trying something new. I’m still going to keep my LJ for more personal things (job, family…) and maybe use this primarily for fetish stuff. Why not FetLife? I don’t like that site! It’s too “chatty,” and I’m not looking for “chatty” or for a “hook up,” so much as “substantive reflection.”
So, I figure it makes sense to start by backing-up and taking it from the top. To re-cap. For those who came to the theater late and joined our hero in-medias-res, let’s go back to the beginning and look at how we got here.
I’m 36 now and soon to be a year older. Like most of us, I can (retrospectively) see the roots of my peculiar brand of sexuality in childhood and adolescence – long before I ever got chained to a cross. As a kid, I really liked the tough-girl heroines of my boyhood: Princess Leia (especially!) and Marion Ravenwood of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”… Margot Kidder’s
Lois Lane. I think I always liked the Howard Hawks style
of tough-talking “broads” who could throw a punch and drink men twice their
size under the table. Eventually, I was
fortunate enough to find such a lady, my wonderful Owner… but I’m getting ahead
As a teen, I was a big-time Marvel comic reader… especially the X-Men. Now, I am 100% convinced that Chris Claremont (longtime writer of the X-Men, especially though the 1980s) is into BDSM and into fem-dom in particular. His female characters were strong, assertive, badass, and very sexy (Storm,
The White Queen, Dark Phoenix, the Goblin Queen, Psylock…), while his men (w/
the exception of Wolverine… and perhaps Nightcrawler) where generally weak and
whinny. Who didn’t cheer when Storm
kicked Cyclops’s ass and took command of the X-Men away from him? (I’m tempted to ask, who didn’t want to drop
to her feet and lick her boots… but that was probably just me.) Of course, a lot of Claremont’s X-Men
storylines involved overt fetish-wear, bondage, collars, mind-control… and I
know I, for one, used to masturbate as a kid to many fantasies of X-men ladies
and the men they dominated. Phoenix
Then, of course there was “Batman Returns” and Michelle Phifer’s Catwoman. Woof! I can remember watching it in the theatre and having a boner through the whole film. And the shot where she pins Batman and licks his face! Oh… my… gods… And she had the whip! My fevered teenage brain started entertaining the fantasy of being flogged by her… scratched open w/ her claws… her running her tongue, catlike, over the wounds… (And I’ll again break my temporal continuity to note how lucky I am to be owned today by a fierce feline who does all those wicked things for me and more…)
I don’t mean to imply that I’m kinky BECAUSE I grew up on Marvel comics. Where does it come from? There’s a stereotype that submissive men have self-esteem issues. I suspect anyone who knows me would describe my level of self-confidence as reasonably high… (Okay, most would probably say that I have an ego the size of a small planet.) There are those who come to BDSM b/c they need the stress relief and release from being in control… but I’m a lot better than most at processing stress and have a very laid-back, type-B personality. I’m very patient, focused on the big picture (not the little, trivial shit… I never get ruffled when I get cut-off in traffic), and prefer spontaneity to great forward-planning. (“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon.) So, from where comes the masochism and the submissive-ness? I don’t know, and I’ve long since quit trying to answer. These days I tend to think that our sexuality is basically something we’re born with. Asking why I’m a sub and a masochist or why I get a hard-on whenever I see motorcycle racing gear, is as productive as asking why someone is gay or straight or why they have green eyes or a high/low IQ… It is what it is; I am who I am.
Returning to our story: I didn’t date much as a teen or in my 20s. Combination of two things: my unconventional taste in girls/sex + my strongly introverted nature. I’m an introvert. Borderline hermit. I’m not shy – never had a problem being on center stage. I work and play well w/ others. But I need to be alone more often than not. People (even those I like) can become very taxing for me, and I soon need to be out hiking alone or riding the motorcycle. Yeah… I spend a lot of time in my own head. This is something my Owner got right from day-one; she’s very good at allowing me my own space and alone-time. But being a strong introvert didn’t lead to a lot of dates when I was young. Complicating the situation was the fact that, by the time I was in my early 20s, I was so completely kinky, that I had no interest in any kind of vanilla relationship. Problem was: I had no idea how to find a healthy BDSM relationship… or even the notion that such things existed in the real world. (“BDSM” was not in my vocabulary then – I didn’t know what to call it.)
I did struggle w/ that some… particularly in 96, 97, and 98. Those were my first college years living away from home. I did wonder in those years why I felt these things, and if there was something wrong w/ me. Of course, not having any notion of what a healthy BDSM lifestyle would look like, my fantasies during those years (my early 20s) were quite dark. I had this need welling-up in me to be dominated, hurt, helpless, humiliated… broken, abused, and destroyed. For a few years I just internalized… I can remember waking up to some dreams in those years that were somewhere in-between erotic and nightmare. Many of them even included the desire to be torn apart and eaten by a werewolf. (Today, I have a wonderful were-tiger who loves to rip into me, and I’ve found an awesome alpha-pup who does some pretty incredible things to me w/ his teeth as well.)
(Side note: I would actually be in the lifestyle for a number of years before I would come to realize that even in our community I am a rarity. I haven’t had a vanilla sex fantasy since I was in my mid-twenties. I actually was surprised to realize that even among perverts, it seems that most are not as strongly defined sexually by BDSM as I am.)
Now, my college roommates through almost all of this were very close friends of mine. Still are. We’ve known each-other since we met around a D&D table when I was 13 or 14. But… as well as they knew me, it turns out none of them really suspects what was up w/ me sexually-speaking. One close friend/college roommate, who is gay, says I never showed on his “gaydar,” but he knew there was something different w/ me – he just could never imagine what. I was actually very surprised when I came out of the kink-closet to him, b/c I thought he and my other best friends had long suspected my tastes were kinky (I had, half-jokingly, dropped various hints over the years)… but no, apparently I played my cards closer to the vest than even I realized, and all the half-jokes were taken as just jokes.
Finally, in 1999 I started venturing out. A local, college-town night club started advertising on the radio a monthly fetish night. (Remember this was the primitive 1990s before FetLife and Recon and such.) So, now a grad-student, I started to hang out at this club once a month. It was what we like to call “S&M: Stand & Model.” Lots of good-looking, young kids in sexy fetish clothes – leather, latex, rubber (I had my leather motorcycle jacket; the same one I still have today) – and they had a BDSM floor show – a kinky burlesque. But I never actually did anything but stand and… well, model.
In 2000 I turned 25, graduated, took a job, and moved to a new state… and my whole dating/sex life (such as it was… which is to say, almost nil) was put completely on-hold for almost 2 years, during which I went to work, then came home and either read a book or made artwork… and that was pretty much my hermit-like world until mid-2002.
To be continued….