The physical activities of kink - spanking, tying up people, blindfolds- are what most folks think this lifestyle is all about. Putting on fancy leathers, going to a dark, loud dungeon, and getting your freak on is appealing and fun! However, for most people who
stay in the lifestyle beyond a few
exploratory months find that it is the a combination of community and psychology which keeps them coming back.
Understanding what you like about kink and BDSM, what you get from the activities, and what drives you to explore specific aspects of kink (or shy away from them) becomes critical to understanding yourself, your needs, and how to create the relationships you most desire.
I'm not talking making an extensive "will do, won't d
o, might do" list. That is important, but it isn't the be-all, end-all of kink exploration. In fact, that is pretty surface level exploration when you get right down to it. I'm talking about unearthing the underlying psycholical and emotional drivers for your kink.
Curious? Want to go for a deep dive? Let's begin.
Desire is complicated. It is the inner drive or need to try and get something. This can be getting your emotional, pyshical, spritual, metaphyscial, or other needs met. There is something inside you, pushing you toward getting/experieincing somthing.
Desire is composed of two major categoris: physcial basis and psychological basis of desire. The physical basis includes things like sex drive, skin hunger, desire to have various neurotransmitters and hormones released in your body, and your neurology (which is wired to crave connection and sex). Psychological basis for desires include things such as, need for bond formation, feeling validated, and desire to connect with others. This is really oversimplified, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Desires are also very influenced by things which come from within us that are not necessarily related to inborn needs. These things include self-image, feelings of shame or pride, our ideas about what is "good" and "moral," our self-talk (that running voice in your head), previous experiences and trauma.
All of these parts work together (along with a bunch of other stuff covered in the next post), to create a desire to do specific things sexually (with ourselves and parters). To start to understand what drives your kinky self, you need to start to understand these different aspects of what forms your desires.
Over the next month, I will be writing about
each of these aspects and providing worksheets and other tools to help you discover what underpins your kinky needs and desires.
How we preceive of ourselves on many fronts will influence what we do sexually. For many adults, our internalized self-image serves to guide most of our behaviors. It functions on auto-pilot for most folks after the mid-20s. Changes to self-image are often gradual and go unnoticed unless we notice our behavior changing or we are asked to do something which will we perceive to go against "who we are."
So, how do you get to understand what makes up your self-image? There are several exercises to help you become more aware of how you see yourself.
I have found jourinaling (either writing or audio) helps get ideas out of your head and onto paper, allowing you to develop a vocabulary to talk about your self-image. For this exercise, answer the following questions. Once you have the answers down, let them sit for a couple of days and then return to them. Re-read the answers and make the adjustments you see necessary.
Am I a good person?
What criteria did I use to answer question 1?
Am I worthy of love and a good sex life?
Why did I answer question 3 the way I did?
Is my body a good body deserving of love and care?
Why did I answer question 5 like I did?
Do I need to change anyting about me to make me worthy of the relationship I want?
These are not easy questions for most people to answer truthfully. Even if you answer questions 1, 3, and 5 in the affirmative, the whys are often harder to articulate.
Once you have finished the journaling exercise, sit w
ith your answers quietly. Acknowledge all the feelings you are having. Remember, you don't have to act on the feelings. You just need to recognize what is going on with you emotionally and physically.
I'll be back with more to read and a new exercise in a few days.