Learning sucks. Like it really sucks sometimes. There were many times in college where I would walk back to my car thinking “Holy crap there’s a lot more to this subject than I ever realized! I thought I knew at least X amount but in reality I know almost nothing about it!”
The more I learn about life, the easier it is to panic for a moment and worry that I’m doing this wrong, or messing up here or fumbling this concept completely. But every now and then a light comes on and I am fascinated by what I’ve learned thus far and the adrenalin rush from that knowledge fills me like power running through my veins. Oh, I know that it’s temporary. I understand that I will always have new things to learn and new concepts to grasp, but the satisfaction of finally understanding at least part of the puzzle… That’s what keeps me going. I think that’s what keeps most of us going. Or at least, I choose to believe that’s what keeps most of us going.
Kink has become that for me. BDSM is vague. Healthy BDSM is equally vague. I am learning that my version of healthy might not match everyone else’s. My ideas, concepts and opinions are just that: mine. Not everyone will share them with me. And not everything I say here should be written down in stone somewhere as law. But that’s why it’s so vital that I keep trying, that we keep learning together.
The lightbulb came on for me this past week. After struggling for so long, I started to lose faith in everything that I try to do. But then I contacted old friends in the community and asked them about a couple of things that have happened recently in my life. I asked for their advice, their thoughts, comments and perceptions. I made the situations hypothetical and asked for the same in response. There are always more sides to every story than the ones that are actually told. My friends realize this, but as they shared with me their thoughts, I realized I had been seeking an answer to a different question altogether.
And what’s more, the question didn’t even really form in my brain, but as soon as I heard the answer, I knew that I had found what I was really looking for: Kinky friendships. People who get the struggle that I face every day by being a Submissive in a Vanilla world. By not being able to openly say “I little’d out today” and not have to explain what I mean by that to a crowd of random people blinking at me like they can’t believe I am functional enough to move and speak at the same time. That may seem cruel, but that can be how it feels sometimes. But I digress…
One of the ways we learn is by community. Friendships formed throughout that community to be exact. Be they from an online community, or an offline one, healthy kinky friendships can help you learn more about your own kink as well as new kinks you never gave much thought to before (if you’ve even heard of them).
The more I learn about BDSM, the more I am intrigued by This Thing We Do. The more I find a passion to keep learning. A friend of mine compared it to a drug, warned me not to use it as one. I can understand his perception there, but I simply cannot get on board with it. Needing a drug implies that I am using BDSM to escape from a problem. And there are probably people out there who do that. But for me… this is such a deep part of who I am to the very core of my being, that it is not a drug for me. It is a lifeline. My mental chemistry has been changed and I could absolutely never go back to being vanilla. And that can become a problem… but it can also be the thing that pushes me to act, to move, to better myself. It can become the energy from which I draw strength.
There is a reason that most of my friends are either kinky or at least like-minded in openness. Many of the most influential conversations I have had, most of the brilliance and beauty I have witnessed has been through the connections this lifestyle has offered. The way that my fans have pulled together, discussed tough issues, opened up about their own pain, it all blends together into a pool of crystal clear water that can fill a thirst I didn’t even realize I had. We are a community. We reach out to each other for love, advice, support… we link one another to other friends of ours when we either aren’t certain of an answer to a question, or when we have a problem we need to solve, or a new toy we want to make or buy. We form tiny invisible lines of connection between each other and form our own versions of a community. In some cases, those connections strengthen into beautiful friendships. In worse cases, they shatter and we are left to clean up the pieces, hopefully with the help of friends, a support group of love.
Life is not easy. It is harder still without a healthy support system in place. The kink community can be just as cruel and heartless as the real world can be, but when you stumble upon a few souls who are truly in this for the fun and the adventure it can be…
When you find others who are open and willing to admit when they fall… that is where the spark of life in This Thing We Do comes from.
If you find yourself discouraged as of late, if 2016 (or even the beginnings of 2017) were just as hard for you as they have been for me… I encourage you to seek out and find a good community. Be it online, or offline, there’s a place where you fit in. Don’t stop looking. And keep in mind, there will be differences of opinions, there will be moments where you don’t agree… but as long as the basic desire to learn and to keep learning is there, that’s all that matters.
Thank you for letting me be a small part of your community, and for being in mine.