Sunday, August 5, 2012

Given the Right Partner and Circumstances...

I wish it felt more acceptable to disclose kink -- it would save so many later incompatibilities.

For my part, I suffered in a vanilla marriage in part because I didn't take my need for kink seriously. I did disclose my kinky experience and thoughts at the outset of that relationship, but in a tone of contrition, along with promises to "get over it" and "not give in to that behavior anymore." I feel this was mostly because I didn't have any sign at the time that it could be acceptable to be kinky, given the right partner and circumstances.

Problems like this seem pretty widespread to me. I recently came across the following passage in Geoff Nicholson's Sex Collectors:

Henry Spencer Ashbee was part of a coterie of Victorian bibliophiles, collectors, and sexual adventurers who shared a theoretical and practical interest in flagellation. ... The idea of this group of rich, serious, outwardly respectable Victorian men getting together to discuss flagellation, no doubt in a bookish, scholarly, high-minded way, strikes me as infinitely depressing. It may have struck Ashbee's wife, Elizabeth, in much the same way, though no doubt she took it a lot more personally. In his introduction to Prohibitorum Ashbee tells us that flagellation "has caused the separation of man and wife" and I suspect there's a deliberate ambiguity there about whether he means its occurrence in books or in real life. ... Having a husband who's obsessively interested in flagellation may not be the recipe for a happy marriage, regardless of where he keeps his collection.

After reading this, all I could think was that having a husband who's obsessively interested in flagellation might be the recipe for a very happy marriage, given the right wife. I'm glad for kink events and sites like Fetlife and anything that can help kinky people find each other, thereby sparing themselves and prospective vanilla partners from the pain of this incompatibility.

I still think there's too much shame floating around. There's all kinds of titillation going around about Fifty Shades of Grey, but from what I've observed, there's still a heavy aura of shame about it -- shame directed at people who are turned on by the book, as well as shame within the book directed at the character of Grey himself.

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