He gestured vaguely at my ensemble: a rubber uniform shirt and black polyester department store necktie over a wrong-side-out diving wetsuit (shows off the seam patterns beautifully!) and knee-high neoprene farm boots.
Sporting 5mm surfing gloves and lace-up gauntlets made from grommeted squares of rubber flooring, I could barely shake his hand, much less hold hors d'oeuvres or a glass at this formal cocktail hour.
I shrugged. The phrase "full dress intergalactic space marine" eluded me. Leaving the house in my hodgepodge of hand-me-downs and thrifted sporting goods, I felt like a million bucks. Seen through his eyes, hovering quizzically over a neatly tailored leather shirt and breeches, my gear suddenly felt not just wildly impractical but homespun.
I was bummed -- and hungry. Cyborgs can wear whatever they want on their hands, it turns out, because they don't take their nutrition by mouth.
I'd been around kink spaces long enough at this point to appreciate their paradox of conformity: everyone differentiating themselves by appearing exactly the same. My own craving for conformity was just as pronounced and seemingly unconscious. Within weeks of my first orgasm, I was raiding the attic for my dad's old army uniforms and stiffening them with my cum. (One day, after many months, they disappeared, I expect likely consigned to a bonfire.)
Not long before this, I'd developed a fetish for not merely uniformity but total absorption. Watching Commander Decker eagerly grasping at melted circuits to physically merge with V'Ger, the "living machine" of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. A beardy Max von Sydow in Dune, wearing a skintight rubber survival suit, drinking his own filtered urine, eyes digitally bluer-than-blue as the ambient spice melange suffuses his body. Batty the bioengineered but soulful replicant, gunned down by the blade runner who doesn't imagine they may share a common origin (or does he?). And of course, the irresistible lure of the Borg.
My very active imagination seized on the elements of these and other science fiction classics and cultured an inner life rich and varied enough that consuming porn seemed gratuitous. Whether being assimilated into the collective, hosting an alien lifeform, or assuming a synthetic body in place of flesh and blood, the bright line that ran through all these fantasies was choosing to become something other -- something more -- than human, a positively wholesome quality as the shallowness and creeping coercion of our technological present often leaves us feeling like something less.
Early on in my kink journey, a mentor tried to coach me to be legible -- that is to say, choosing attire and cultivating habits that made my interests and intentions clear to others so I might find a way to fit in (not to mention get laid), something my peculiar tastes didn't pair especially well with. I was knowledgeable and competent enough to mould myself to any number of roles and scenes. I pledged myself to kink groups, helped produce events, grew friendships and occasionally even played.
But the sex I was having didn't touch the depth of my kink, which felt too weird to confide even to those friends. And during long periods when I didn't feel motivated to try fitting in, I didn't have very much sex at all.
Perhaps surprisingly, the first partner I came clean with about my kink wasn't part of any particular scene. The humanoid-cyborg-impregnated-by-hostile-extra-terrestrial roleplay we acted out was a revelation -- that it could happen at all, for a start, and that it could happen with someone else who was not simply humouring me but enthusiastically joining me in something pretty wacky.
Getting to that point required me to be vulnerable in a way I'd never allowed myself to be in my public, workaday kink life -- vulnerable in a way I'd been told not to be in that space. It also required me to go on the adventure of creating an experience with another person, and to trust that my partner choosing to steer our journey in a slightly different direction wasn't the same thing as him telling me no.
Finally, I've learned that owning, acknowledging and flaunting the full extent of my weirdness is far sexier than trying to pass myself off as someone who simply fits in however they can. Even people who don't want to take that ride with me still celebrate the trip I'm on. As for my few, proud fellow space marines out there: there's no greater courage and no greater reward than armouring up and allowing someone to touch who you are at heart.
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