Saturday, July 7, 2018
Also in retrospect, this turned out to be a really good plan that vastly improved my life.
I don't think that's how this story is supposed to go. I'm supposed to say something like "I now realize I did these things because as a person who struggled with self-esteem and body image, I wanted to feel desirable," but my feeling is more along the lines of "I wanted to feel desirable, and fuck, it worked." It worked great. Made me feel like the sexiest fat little weirdo on Earth. 100% recommended. Just use a condom.
I wanted to silence some inner pain by blotting it out with physical sensation, and... that was a fine decision. It was a Band-Aid on the problem, which is a great metaphor because Band-Aids make you feel better and help you heal. Kink helped me wean off self-harm and it put me in touch with people who were knowledgeable about gender, sexuality, and mental health.
It was also a really fuckin' fantastic physical sensation. That's not a minor detail. Sex and kink are emotionally validating, sure, but I wasn't moaning and quivering with emotional validation.
I put it all online because I wanted attention, and again, that worked out fantastically. It turns out that the attention of random Internet strangers is actually really powerful and good for your self-esteem, and can open so many doors and lead to long-term friendships. Everywhere I've traveled, I've met fascinating people who knew me because of my decision to describe all the ins and outs (and ins and outs) of my sex life on the Internet, and it's led to all kinds of great experiences.
I've got regrets, but only the regular kind. I trusted some creeps, and alienated some actually-okay people. I said and wrote some stuff I shouldn't have. I got overly passionate about some teapot tempests. I didn't always take the best care of my body, but in a "that'll be sore" way, not a "ruined forever" way. I turned in some really mediocre articles and presentations because I'm terrible at working on a deadline. You know, the wages of sin.
There's no question that I got lucky on certain things, and I have to shy clear of outright advising people to follow this life path. (Mostly because it has to find you, maaan. Also, I dunno, liability?) But if you're looking for a story of contrition, you're not going to find it here. I'm all grown up and looking back on my promiscuous past, and my main reflection was "fuck, that was so much fun."
(I said "was," and this is all written in past tense because it's kind of a retrospective four years after I last wrote on this blog, but I'm not done with kink or sexuality or general exploration, God no. I'm just in more of a middle-aged pervert stage now.)
I went through a wild-child phase, and man, it sure beat the hell out of being a domesticated child.
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IJWTS that being an obedient child from a religious family who grew up into a monogamous straight cis female did not protect me from harm (child molestation, a couple really red-flaggy situations later on) or mental illness (depression starting around age 8, anxiety disorder and PTSD later). The marriage was and is good, but just wanted to put it out there that doing "everything right" is not a recipe for everything being rosy, either.ReplyDelete
I've also wondered why things like "you just want attention" or "you just want to distract yourself from your problems" or "you just want to feel validated" are phrased as if those were bad things. Sure, it can be unhealthy. It can also be extremely healthy and good for you. Wanting attention is normal! Feeling good about yourself is important! The only framing in which using sex to fulfill these is bad is when sex itself is considered bad and harmful. And what's left as a valid reason for kink and fucking? Who even has pure untainted desire with no added secondary or primary motivations?ReplyDelete
Thanks for breaking up the usual narrative of "I hurt myself with this because I was broken" or "I only have sex when my loins command me to".
Sex is great. I wish I was a member of a group that openly espoused the belief, the value, that sex is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged and nurtured, rather than publicly condemned the way it is now. Then let the damned puritans try to claim superiority on the grounds that their belief is truer than ours!ReplyDelete
If I could go back and tell myself anything, it would be to be a little wild (I mean, assuming we're talking to before 2006 or so, I had a colostomy from 2008 to 2016, which limits the amount of available wildness).ReplyDelete
Not that I can't be wild now, but I'm 15 years too late to be a wild 25-year-old
Ha! Apart from the internet stuff, this is exactly my life!ReplyDelete
"It was a Band-Aid on the problem, which is a great metaphor because Band-Aids make you feel better and help you heal."ReplyDelete
YES. I talked with my therapist for the first time this week about my (previous) self harm and (current) enjoyment of bdsm, and how I feel vaguely worried that I should feel more negatively about the fact that I used to cut myself. But she was just like: "It sounds like it helped you at the time, so in a way it was a positive experience, and it's okay to feel that."
And ditto with bdsm. I think for a lot of people (including me), it can be a way of processing stuff and dealing with issues. But why would people say that like it's a bad thing??
Man, had I been ABLE to have wild sex and blog about it, I would've been there! It sounds way better than what I got stuck actually doing. (Desperately trying to subdue my triggers enough to have ANY sexual activity AT ALL, having a shit-ton of toxic friends, and being treated like a total freak anyway.)ReplyDelete
I fucking love this post.ReplyDelete
Like your first commenter, I spent the first two decades or so of my life as the good obedient girl who didn't admit to liking sex or gosh anything at all like that. And when I started to explore later it was with a lot less verve and flair than you, Cliff. But having people out there diving headfirst into the wild world of perviness and sharing all the TMI and feelings and adventures was really, really important to shy, quiet me as I tried to figure this stuff out. It *was* emotionally validating! Gave me good and bad examples. Showed me that some of the things I needed in life could actually exist and that there were names for them.
And there will never be too many blogs of people saying "Fuck yes, living your best sex and kink life is a good thing on its own merits." Especially from people who aren't straight cis men. One of the reasons that I'm the openly bisexual kinky poly domme and masochist I am today is all of the rest of you who've been out there slowly overwriting the messages of "Sex bad, woman pure and demure, physical pleasure sinful" with "Enjoying what your body can do and what turns you on in your mind is a GOOD THING--and here's how to avoid a few mistakes I made in the process."
Thank you, Cliff. And I love the bandaid metaphor.
Heyo, your posts really helped me four years ago. I was going through my own sketchy relationships, and your perspectives helped me to grow to respect myself. Through your blog I saw a person who tangibly made it ok for me to desire the things I desired when people around me were not understanding or accepting.ReplyDelete
Hell I'm pretty sure I became 10x more active in feminist circles because of you.
I occasionally check here if you've updated. I don't know why I thought today was the day to check.
I am so happy that you are here. That you were here for me when I needed it, and that you've been able to step back and be there for yourself. Know that you are appreciated.
Wow! That’s really nice blog. Thanks for sharingReplyDelete
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