Last night while at BENT, a conversation with a friend reminded me of one I’ve had so many times I feel compelled to write about it. Our conversation went like this:
I think I may have fetish X, but I’m not sure…I mean, I’m fascinated by X, but am I being sexually aroused, mentally aroused…maybe it’s just like a train wreck I can’t turn away from? How do you know when you’re…..
You can fill in the ellipsis from there: kinky, dominant, submissive, vanilla, into humiliation, bisexual – the list could go on for miles.
This is part of the reason I have a love/hate relationship with definitions. I think we as people like to understand where things fit, where we fit, and so we often turn to definitions to see what applies to us. And sometimes these definitions can be a very useful tool. Got 10 out of the 12 following symptoms? Yes, there is a strong change you’re going through a depressive episode; seek assistance.
Then come all those things that are harder to define; definitions that have yet to find the balance between being so wide they include everything, and being too narrow and exclusive. This is the world that we play in. We’re told that being kinky, or having a fetish means we deviate from the sexual norm; but I have yet to see any definitions of what that norm is. A social norm is relative to the society you participate in, meaning it changes between cultures, periods in history, ruling political parties.
Even within the kinkoverse, we can’t agree on what means what. Touring open forms on most any kink-related website will bring up thread after thread, argument after argument on the characteristics of a submissive, or Dominant vs Master. I’m sure many of you have read my opinions on the standard definition of a Smart Assed Masochist, and I’m very cognisant of the fact my own person definitions often clash with “standard” (although no one has been able to provide me with a decent reason as to why these became standard definitions – and no; logical fallacies like appeal to tradition are not considered decent).
Opps. I’ve digressed.
The point is this: trying to figure out where you fit within the kinkoverse; hell, within life in general is hard enough without adding the qualifiers of others to it. So stop. Stop the second guessing and the questioning, because at the end of the day there are but a few people you must answer to, and the most important of those people is yourself.
Or, don’t stop, lord knows I don’t, and who knows if I ever can? But never let it stop you from exploring all the rabbit holes life throws into your path. Worry less about doing it right, and focus more on simply doing it. You might just love where you end up.