I was recently reading some of Dark and Deviant’s writings and her inimitable style reminded me of a poem I wrote about 10 years ago:
To you my murky lover,
love of my love,
life of my life
both torture and salvation
both heaven and hell
as you touch me in quiet places
that elicit moans of raucous pleasure
and pitiful screams of pain
where you speak soft words,
of demonic incantation,
and angelic stillness,
in the darkest moments of night
but to control, to manipulate,
to aid, and to guide
and bring me mercilessly inward,
ever into you,
my murky lover, my love,
my being, my life.
Thinking about that poem reminded me of several woman I’ve known and/or dated in the last 10 years who were involved in the BDSM community in some way. I try to be a pretty straight ahead guy, and though I have read quite a bit of erotica over the years, my experiences have been wholly vanilla. I’m therefore not quite sure what the attraction that these women had for me was. Maybe writing it all down here will help me put it into perspective. Or maybe it’s just something about me. As my mother once told me, “for such a straight arrow, you sure find yourself in odd situations sometimes.”
I’ll call the first woman D. We met in 1994 while I was in graduate school and she was going part time to a nearby college. We dated briefly. She was bisexual and fairly into what she called “the leather community”. She would regale me with tales of her friends who played dom/sub roles in public. She was certainly pleasant to talk to, and she was pierced in several unusual places (something a little more unusual in 1994 when pop stars were not yet bragging about having their genitalia pierced). We stopped seeing each other for two reasons. First, she was difficult to reach because of some problems with the phone company that prevented her from having a phone (I don’t know about you, but I think it says something about where a person is in his or her life when they are at war with utility companies… I’m not sure what, but it says something). The second reason was more important: I’d also just met another woman, N., and was keen to date her. N. became my girlfriend for the next 14 months.
The next woman I’ll call R. We met online in a chat room at a personals site, and became friends for a time. She was a pleasant, divorced family woman with two small children, and who looked as suburban as you please (at least when I saw her). She and her husband split, in part, because he couldn’t handle her realization that she really enjoyed pain. I was curious at that time about some of the aspects of BDSM, and she was kind enough to answer my questions about some of her experiences. She also pointed me at two introductory standbys of the community: Jay Wiseman’s SM 101 and Philip Miller and Molly Devon’s Screw The Roses, I Want The Thorns. More about what I learned there later.
The third woman was A. Frankly, I lusted after her. Ever since I first saw her in a tight, light red dress, something in me just… drooled. She is about 5 years older than me, had married young, and recently divorced when we met. Her husband had been uncaring and verbally degrading to her, frequently telling her that she was quite unattractive (which I never understood). She had finally left him as a result, and, like so many people left under harsh circumstances for a long time, she was now enjoying her liberation by discovering how attractive she really was and sampling pleasure wherever and whenever she could. She eventually became a big regular at a nearby BDSM/fetish/swingers club, where her pleasure of choice involved electrocution. We never slept together (though I believe I had one chance to do so) and eventually drifted apart.
The last woman was S. She and I also met through a personals site. She was a fan of elaborate rope bondage, and had previously employed a professional domina and her slave/lover to explore certain fantasies just before meeting me. Her initial attraction for me was that my profile mentioned SM 101(which I was reading at the time), and, I think she was looking for something slightly more vanilla that she’d experienced previously. Suffice to say, we saw each other for about six weeks and then mutually decided to part.
Shortly after parting with S., I met another woman named D. She wasn’t formally into BDSM, but she eventually confided that she really liked a good spanking. I think we eventually split for a number of reasons, nearly all of them wholly unrelated to the spanking.
What did I learn out of all this? I guess I got in contact with enough people who are into BDSM to know that it just doesn’t excite me the way it excites them. I flirted with ideas in BDSM during a certain period in the last ten years because I felt very confined by my circumstances. I felt the need to be able to really express some of the things that I was feeling… perhaps either by giving control to someone else, or (more likely) by controlling someone else. What I really learned is that real intimacy of any kind requires the ability to express yourself honestly and completely in the moment. BDSM is just one path that some people pursue in order to get there and to feel certain physical sensations that genuinely give them pleasure. I won’t say I’ll never try it, but it’s not a feature of my current relationship and we’re very happy.