How did you discover you were kinky?
This question, and all the different versions of it, always kind of confuses me. I’m obviously not gay, but I sometimes wonder if gay people feel the same way when people ask, “How did you discover you were gay?”
I never discovered that I was kinky. I just always was. My earliest daydreams were about keeping boys as prisoners, tying them up, making them do what I tell them, all that fun stuff. On the playground, whenever we played cops-and-robbers or cowboys-and-indians, or whatever type of game that involved some kind of prisoner/hostage thing, and a “jail,” I was always the one wanting to hold them prisoner, or keep them there, or whatever.
I liked being feared. I’ve always been tall, and growing up, I was always one of the taller kids in class. I liked using that to intimidate people. I loved watching that subtle widening of their eyes when I’d succeeded in making them afraid of me.
Other little girls fantasized about Prince Charming coming to rescue them from the tower. I fantasized about tying Prince Charming up in the dungeon.
Once I hit puberty, around 10 or 11, my fantasies turned sexual, and my sadistic urges skyrocketed. Based on the twisted shit that was going through my head, I was absolutely convinced that I would end up losing it and becoming a serial killer. I was convinced that I was sick and depraved and that something was wrong with me.
*As it turns out, I am sick and depraved, and nothing is wrong with me. Funny how that works, huh?*
It never occurred to me to look it up. And that wasn’t the sort of thing I could talk to anyone about. I sure as hell couldn’t talk to my parents or my friends. I couldn’t admit it to anyone.
It wasn’t until I was a teenager, and started spending an obscene amount of time on AOL Instant Messenger that I stumbled upon a chat room called BDSM: Bondage & Discipline, Sado-Masochism.
I entered the chat room and spent a few minutes just reading, and it was like I could feel my entire world finally clicking together. There were people like me. There were people out there who actually wanted to be with someone like me. There were people out there who wanted someone to tie them up, who wanted someone to hurt and humiliate them.
I wasn’t a psychopath. I wasn’t a serial killer. There was a name for what I was, and an entire global sub-culture devoted to it. There wasn’t anything wrong with me.
I was sixteen when I found that chatroom. Of course, to avoid being banned from the chatroom, I lied about my age, and said I was 18. But still, I was largely ignored because of my age and lack of knowledge and experience. But some would entertain conversations with me. Shortly after, I met the man who would become my mentor. I remember him good-naturedly chuckling at my enthusiasm, my naivete, and my ignorance. He offered to help me learn the ropes (pun intended) and set me on the right path, and I immediately accepted.
Looking back, it may have been odd, to enter into that kind of relationship with him and his wife. The age difference was significant. I was sixteen, and he was in his forties. My view of sexuality had been very limited up to that point, but here was a Dominant, masculine, bisexual leather man who was delightfully sadistic and cruel, yet simultaneously one of the kindest, most caring men I’ve ever known. He and his wife were members of an Old Guard House, and he started informally training me in that philosophy, as well as teaching me everything he could think of to make sure I wouldn’t end up hurting myself or someone else. Using his wife as our guinea pig most of the time, he showed me how to use a flogger, where on the body it was safe to hit, and where caution is required, how to tie someone up and make sure you don’t cut off their circulation, how to monitor body language, breathing, and all kinds of nonverbal signals to gauge how the sub is doing.
For three years, I was attached at the hip to him, and hung on every damn word he said. My whole life, I had been convinced that something was very wrong with me. He became the personification of my self-acceptance, he became the symbol for finally discovering the name for what I am. He was the first person I ever truly loved. I don’t mean the teenager-puppy-love, that you look back on as an adult and can do nothing but shake your head at your own naivete. I’m talking about actual, real, genuine love.
And even though he’s since passed away and his widow and I have more or less drifted away from each other, both emotionally and geographically, I still remember them fondly, and will always cherish the time I spent with them.
So I guess that’s my answer. I “discovered I was kinky” when I discovered there was such thing as “kink.” I’d been kinky before that, but just didn’t know what it was called.