I’ll be honest, I have never been a huge cat fan. I mean, you adopt this pet who poos in your house, who is petty and controlling, and who will eat you when your are dead. I know I’m going to come home late one night, choke on something, and die. Two days later, my cat will be like, “Um… I don’t have any Whiskas tonight, guess its Fancy Face,” and will eat me.
That said, I acquiesced when my mom wanted to get a cat. We live on a wooded property and ground squirrels, mice and rodents can be an issue so she got a feral kitten to hunt these things.
Its been two years and the cat has finally gotten a little tame and is actually really sweet (though I know she would eat me in a heartbeat if I croak and she doesn’t get wet food). She has turned into a great hunter. She has kept rodents at bay and developed this awesome habit of dropping her kills next to the trash bins outside. Good Cat!
The other day, however, one of her kills (or at least a few bits of it) ended up in the downstairs of the house. As I was sweeping up the head and partial wing my mom was complaining that the cat brought a dead thing into the house. She was really grossed out by the decapitation laying on the curtains. As the head rolled in a wobbly, off-center way (beaks don’t allow for a smooth roll) into the trash bin, it started me thinking about my journey in kink and non-monogamy.
You Don’t Really Know What You Are Getting Into
There is so much more information about kink and BDSM out and available for folks today than there was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. This is AWESOME! There are so many great writers and bloggers talking about kink and BDSM in all its varied forms allowing people a vast world to explore and realize that they are not alone in their desires.
The great thing about all this writing is that there is now a real depth to the writings. There are a bunch of folks who have done blog posts and Fetlife writing (among other things) talking about not only the kink/BDSM 101 skills and consent posts but additionally things like “what I wish I would have known before I got into kink” or some similar title.
So why did sweeping up a bird’s head spur me into thinking about this? Because no matter how much you read and flit around the edges of something, you never really have a full understanding of what an activity will mean for YOU until you start working or playing in an area. I had roommates with cats in the past. I have cat-sat. I know plenty of folks who own and love their cats. I understand basic cat behavior and anatomy. But nothing makes owning a semi-feral cat real like sweeping up a starling head and watching it thunk into a trash can.
Kink and polyam are the same way. You can read a ton on dynamics, play, techniques, and consent. You can be on all the boards, go to munches, and visit your local dungeon. You can have all the right language and right clothing and expensive toys. Its not until you actually get into relationships, start playing, and making kink part of your life that you understand how you react and what kink means for you.
I am totally supportive of and encourage reading a lot about BDSM and listening to podcasts and talking to folks. It is an awesome way to expand your understanding of kink/BDSM. The more folks you read, listen too, and talk too the more varied and interesting your kink will be. But… you don’t know YOUR reaction, YOUR feelings, YOUR actual skills until you DO a technique, a scene, or a power dynamic.
Fantasy vs. Reality
I’ve written before about the disconnect between fantasy and reality. Our fantasy lives can be rich and varied and sometimes based on what we think the reality of the situation will be. No matter how much a fantasy appeals to us, sometimes confronting the reality of getting what we hoped for can be too much. The Princess Kali tells a wonderful story about working with a client who have a very specific fantasy and everything was in place to make that happen for them. When confronted with the reality of it he had a very different reaction than he thought he would have (listen to her talk about it here, on Fat Chicks On Top).
I am one of those folks who can think and overthink most things. I live in my head a lot (part of being a writer, part of being isolated due to health issues). I plan out scenes to the most minute details and its fun for me. I can attest that every time I try something new in kink, I am surprised by what I learn. No matter how much I read, watch and prepare for something new, I still get surprised by something.
Read, Prepare, Do
I find myself giving the same advice to aspiring writers as I do to kinksters. Its important to read and learn about the topic you are interested in. Preparation is important. But all of that doesn’t matter unless you actually DO the activity you want to try.
It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how prepared you are, how self-aware you think you are. Kink, BDSM and polyam is filled with variations and surprises. That is part of the joy of practicing these things. We find out more about ourselves the more we practice something.
Dear Reader, Go forth and be your freaky self!