Danny Thanh Nguyen, AKA ByronicPunk, is well known for his ability with floggers and whips, as well a fiction and non-fiction writer. He's currently working on a book about kink, survivalism and the parallels between the gay leather and kink community and refugees. In this article he discusses how the root of our kinks may not always be the same, but examining these differences can prove advantageous
I find it fascinating how people can be into the same kinks but for completely different reasons. Whether it's S&M, boots/uniform, watersports, puppy play, you name it — chances are the sum of the reasons behind your particular affection for a kink is not going to 100% mirror the next player's considerations. It's as if we're all a bunch of filthy, perverted snowflakes.
I once had a summer fling with an assplay pig who was visiting San Francisco for the season. We had just completed a third round of him getting fisted and we're lying on his bed, spent, soaked in sweat and wonder. I toweled off my hands, wrinkled now from churning J-lube like custard, and remarked, "You did such a good job submitting your hole like that." For good measure, I affected my best deep Dom Daddy voice, thinking it would please him to know that he pleased me. But he cocked an eyebrow, giving me a look that I came to understand as confusion and pity.
"Submit?" he said, "How was that submissive?"
An ensuing conversation revealed that, sure, he enjoys Dominant/submissive role-play but not when getting hand-balled. "Fisting," he said, "is about my greedy pleasure and the closeness. It's one of the most intimate things I do with another person."
I reviewed the mental porno of our scene: the way he squealed with his legs held up, my increasingly aggressive grunts, the embarrassingly degrading ways we spoke to each other that no one in polite society would ever say to someone they truly cared about. I had thought during those last few hours that we were both fetching from the same well of dark energy. But now, the domineering persona I had culled from inside me to eff him with my knuckles (or what I call "fuckle") seemed to have been for my headspace alone.
There's a difference between knowing that someone is into a kink versus knowing why they're into that kink. I think back to a conversation I had with a bondage buddy, about why we love getting bound and strung to the ceiling, as if we're the world's sexiest piñatas. Though we could both trace our bondage attractions back to childhood, the similarities ended there. As a kid, I enjoyed being cocooned into bed by having the sheets shoved under the mattress; I threw wrestling games with the fat neighbor boy so I could bask in his thick weight enveloping me like warm rising bread dough. So, for me, bondage tends towards focusing on the physical sensations — the tightness and compression, the ways that ropes cut into my arms and legs, engorging them. Flexing my muscles against the tethers is where I enter my sexy superhero sub-space.
My friend, however, grew up in Indonesia's military culture and practiced self-bondage as a child. He strapped himself to kitchen chairs with duct tape to approximate James Bond torture scenes; he hog-tied himself on the floor and imagined trying to escape home robberies. His erotic adrenaline comes not from the physical restraints so much as the psychological sense of helplessness that they inspire. During scenes, he leans into a place of vulnerability, a captive victim's headspace filled with peril of not being able to control of his body or fate.
Two men, same means, different ends. Which is natural because our sexualities are supposed to be dynamic. But this dynamism poses a challenge when trying to play with others who share our kinks: learning how to speak to the nuanced textures of our desires, seeing how they complement or are differently aligned.
It's easier to comprehend internally the kinks we're into, in that private murky place of gut feelings, more so than expressing it outwardly to others. But the secret sauce to connected play is when we challenge ourselves and our partners to articulate what attracts us to our kinks — pin-pointing specific intentions and motivations behind them.
What is the rationale behind embodying a puppy persona and what does that do for you? What are the myriad of reasons why gearing up in specific garments make you feel powerful or gives you permission to play in ways that you wouldn't otherwise? How does getting beaten till you're bruised and busted give you release? Questions of whether we're in the mood for something silly and playful, or raunchy and taboo, or dark and scary, or even cathartic of pent up rage and trauma — these are interrogative tools that help us paint fuller pictures of what our fantasies look like. They can help us uncover the details and context necessary to arrive at that place of greedy pleasure and intimacy that my summer fling once spoke about. By digging beyond the surface of what we're into, we become better negotiators, more accountable and capable for our passions, as well as to others.
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