Twenty Years of Kink

I don’t remember the day or even the month, but I remember the feeling vividly. I was wandering aimlessly, searching everything and nothing, then all of a sudden there it was. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The things they were saying were things I’d thought, things I wanted, things I was too embarrassed to admit to anyone. And here they were – men and women – talking about those feelings I had, one darker than the next, and giving it – all of it – a name.


Dominance and submission.

I started reading and couldn’t stop. I flitted from room to room, watching the conversations roll by, the experiences people shared with me and other anonymous faces behind a screen. They were open and honest and raw. I don’t know how much time passed before I took an effective breath, but with it came the realization that I was not alone. I was not a freak. What I wanted – no, what I needed – was something other people wanted and needed, as well.

That was 20 years ago. Now I look back and cringe quite often, but I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. I have a lot of ‘If I knew then what I know now…’ moments, but I wouldn’t go back and do it again, because you have to go through it to learn it. You just do. Because your track is different than the next person’s, and to learn what you need to learn takes living it yourself.

So what does twenty years teach you? Here are some things I’ve learned:

  • Not everyone likes the spotlight; it’s ok to live D/s very privately
  • It’s ok to make things like rope bondage and tickling hard limits; it’s ok to make anything a hard limit
  • Dominants can use a safeword or otherwise stop an activity
  • You can be the one to walk away; you don’t have to be ‘released’ from shit
  • Liars and cheaters will always lie and cheat
  • Moving quickly rarely leads to longevity
  • Your gut is never wrong; listen to it
  • It’s ok to not look like a fetish model; most people don’t
  • Sex can feel good even without orgasming
  • Squirting orgasms are a bit of a parlour trick; and they don’t always feel as good as other types of orgasms
  • You deserve as much pleasure as he does
  • If the effort isn’t there in the beginning it never will be
  • You can kneel in slip-on Converse just as well as you can in heels
  • You can be a kick-ass submissive and not own a single piece of lingerie
  • You can defer to someone and respect them as a leader even while watching Netflix and eating steak nachos with your fingers
  • Dominants can get sick and be huge babies and still be worthy of obedience and respect
  • Not every Dominant is an executive with an expense account
  • Submissives can make more money than their partner
  • You don’t have to say ‘Daddy’ to feel it in your bones
  • You can love someone and not be a match
  • Toxicity isn’t gender specific
  • Wanting to be wanted can lead to seriously poor decision-making
  • It’s ok to demand more for yourself; having standards solidifies self-worth
  • Strength is a process
  • Self-esteem requires active management
  • Submission doesn’t cease to exist when you’re single
  • Submission doesn’t end when you hit 30 or 50 or 70
  • You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do
  • You can change your mind
  • You can use your voice
  • You have to use your voice

Every time I start to think how things have changed over the years I have to stop and remind myself: Nothing has changed but you. Sometimes I think about that 27 year old, that 34 year old, hell – even that 40 year old, and I cringe. The mistakes she made. The positions (literally and figuratively) she put herself in. How much mental and emotional energy she expended on him. How much she didn’t know. 

How much more she still has to learn.

But I’ll tell you what: If the next twenty bring as much joy as the last twenty, I’m in for a helluva ride. And I want all of it – every bump and swoop and whirl. The twists and turns are what make you who you are. 

And I’ve learned to like that girl.

OMG, these are so true I’d consider getting a tattoo of any one of these! Every one of these, actually!

Big hats off to @subgirlygirl. It won’t take you 20 years to learn these things if you can learn them from her.