One funny thing about blogging, it’s almost impossible to anticipate what will strike a nerve with people. At SpiritualBDSM.com, the following post has turned out to be by far my most popular.
It’s not about gags, or whips, or bondage. Strangely enough, it’s simply about finding what we want out of life . . .
What do you want?
Listen, it dont really matter to me.
Baby, you believe what you wanna believe.
You see, you don’t have to live like a refugee.
— Tom Petty
Although it feels inspired, this post’s title and inspiration come from another sex blog named The Pervocracy, where the Wed 12-14-2011 post was named, believe it or not, “What do you want?“. I’m quite the wizard when it comes to inspiration, huh?
The truth be told, I’ve got a number of pending posts in the queue, waiting for a finishing touch before posting, and at other various stages of completion. Yet, here I am this morning writing a post motivated by something I nicked from the blogroll here at SpiritualBDSM.com.
So inspiration came to me this morning, and it came in the form of a post from The Pervocracy.
Here’s a brief quote from that post:
Because I am not always sure what my desires are. My sexuality sometimes seems frustratingly opaque to myself. I want something, I don’t just want to kiss my boyfriend good night and go to sleep, but what on Earth is that something? Why don’t I know what I want?
I have been taught not to credit my own desires. In part that’s personal–one of my mom’s favorite baffling insults was “you’re so selfish, all you want is the things you want!”–and in part it’s cultural. The socialization of young women is all about how to not indulge your desires: don’t choose food because it tastes good, don’t choose clothing because it’s comfortable, don’t come on too strong to boys, don’t be a needy girlfriend, don’t say “no” too stridently or “yes” too enthusiastically. It’s not the charitable or ascetic kind of self-denial, but there’s a lot of desire-denial, of doing things correctly instead of the way you want.
I think these are issues a lot of us face, especially as we come to terms with what some might consider to be the darker side of our sexuality. When our minds secretly go to places that “vanilla” society forbids, when base urges and motivations are to scary at times to admit to ourselves, let alone share with a partner.
At least part of the reason Serafina and I have chosen to blog about our alternative sexuality is to facilitate our own exploration, to sometimes give ourselves a place to write what we might not be able to say. Sometimes that means figuring out what’s really going on in our own minds.
Unfortunately, for a lot of folks, honest self-reflection is a tall order to fill. Letting go of ego and expectations is a little harder for most people than they would even like to admit. Hence Thoreau’s saying that not only do:
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
But, also that:
“It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?”
If we take those dictums and apply them to our erotic desires, it does lead us right back to the question, “What do you want?”
That note from the Pervocracy had focused my thinking. It began with a reply I wrote there:
Thanks for a wonderful and inspiring essay!
I’m in my late 40’s, have been dominant my entire life, meaning for more than 30 years of relationships I’ve been attracted to submissive women. That background includes tying up a girlfriend for sex when I was only 17, back in 1980.
But, only within the last few months have I become truly comfortable as a dominant, have I been able to really embrace every aspect of my own sexuality, light or dark in nature.
Like the sudden motivation to quit smoking, it took a life changing experience for me to experience this epiphany,
What life changing event caused this breakthrough?
My Mother died.
I woke up one day and realized that there was no one left to “judge” me, no one left to “disappoint” by being who I really am.
Oh, that I had learned even sooner, to throw off the internal shackles I’d created for myself, the limits I’d placed on exploring my own true nature.
Only then was I free to truly ask – “What do I want?” – without considering the expectations of others.
I’m a fairly enlightened individual, or so I believe. I’ve lived a fascinating life so far. As I’ve confessed in that particular response, and in other postings here and on Tumblr, I’ve been of the belief that I’ve lived a life of embracing my desires.
I lost my virginity in my very early teens, an occurrence that is perhaps more common today than in the 1970’s. I tied up a girlfriend for sex at age 17, and began regularly playing bondage games with my first wife a year later.
I was known at the restaurant where I worked as “the chef with ropes attached to his bed” – when the carefully conditioned cotton clotheslines somehow came un-tucked and un-hidden to be discovered snaking out from under a pile of coats at a party I threw. I’m guessing somebody had their own fun under the coats, hidden in the dark bedoom, their sighs and moans muffled by the coats, drowned out by the stereo blaring in the other room.
I was known as “the swinging bossman” (among other things) to a crew of activists I directed, when they discovered my second wife and I were practicing polyamory, and had a number of very close girlfriends. I’ve literally lived “large and in charge” with a 15+ year D/s relationship with my 2nd wife/sub, and now a 10 year M/s relationship with my beloved slave/wife Serafina.
Serafina and I started long distance, we both made numerous sacrifices to be together, but every struggle has been more than worth the effort. We have been slowly growing into the most intense relationship and love affair I’ve ever known. She is so many things to me, and she has truly empowered me to be myself, to embrace every part of me.
But I realized today, even with all those experiences and blessings, I’m only now ready to ask myself . . .
What do I want?
Self realization is an arduous process, it begins with asking ourselves that simple question.
It doesn’t end there however, as the next step down this path requires that we not just ask the question, but that we actually learn to truly listen to ourselves.
Meaning . . .
If you see some wild eyed man and his wife in a chariot, running a 6-horse-hitch of pretty pony girls in some kinky parade, you’ll know I actually became brave enough to keep treading down the road that’s truly less traveled
That’s to the next lesson after “listen” – to actually “act” for ourselves.