[Trigger warning: suicide, sexual assault, anorexia, self harm]
When I was writing my review of the Perverted Podcast, I emailed the show to request a photo of the hosts. I wound up exchanging a couple emails with Boogie. In one of those emails he said that he does what he does because, ‘Some closeted kinky person out there with a family or religion telling them they are BAD for having kinky desires NEEDS to hear us having fun and celebrating being our damn kinky selves and give them permission to do it too.’ And it made me think about how different my life would have been if I had known about kink when I was a teenager.
It would have saved my life for one. Three of the four times I’ve attempted suicide have been sexuality-related.
I have struggled with my sexuality since I worked out I was gay. Well, since I worked out other people had a problem with it. I was fine with it, but I remember distinctly the moment I realised that that poem I wrote about a woman when I was thirteen made other people uncomfortable and so I changed the pronouns. My teacher liked the poem and asked me to read it out loud and the other students went crazy trying to work out what boy had brown hair and brown eyes.
The girl who’d read the original version wouldn’t look at me.
I grew up in the Bible Belt in the Deep South, where there are more guns and Bibles than there are teeth and working brain cells. People use the n-word in regular conversation. Now. In 2015.
When I was eighteen, a friend of mine who was gay was stabbed to death in his bed in the early hours. Some people felt that if you were going to live your life a certain way you had to accept the consequences.
My mother was raised in a Very Conservative church—the kind where you can’t go to dances and women couldn’t wear trousers—and though she left that church eventually she still retained and passed on her attitudes about sex and sexuality. Particularly in regard to women. She did it obliquely, though. It was never blatant—I would have noticed that much more easily and confronted it sooner, I think. It was a comment here or there about how girls who pointed out a guy was attractive were, ‘Acting right stupid.’
But when you live in a place where people genuinely believe being gay is on par with murder in terms of sin and you grow up in a house where, you don’t know why, but somehow you get the idea that women aren’t supposed to own their bodies all sorts of bad things happen.
You allow people who say they’re your friends to do things to you because you freeze when they touch you. Because people tell you people like you die alone and ‘you’re too pretty to really be gay’. And you can’t tell anyone because people would say you deserved it or you should be grateful or the standbys just because you’re female: What were you wearing? Why did you continue spending time with him if he was so awful? And ‘I don’t know,’ didn’t seem like an answer they’d understand.
Or if you do tell someone they act like it’s no big deal—it’s something that happens and they don’t want to hear about it because it’s depressing.
I hated myself—we’re talking vehement hatred—for years for being gay because a good portion of the worst things that had ever happened to me happened because of that part of myself. I’d tried asking women out and they’d laughed or looked disgusted or strung me along because they liked the attention (but were straight and just didn’t bother to mention that—amazing how that can slip your mind when you’re being a terrible person). And I knew that what I wanted wasn’t even really a ‘normal’ relationship (now I’d call it a vanilla relationship, but I didn’t have the terminology at the time). I just wanted to prove to someone I was lovable and it was possible for someone like me to have someone else.
So everyone hated me but no one hated me more than me. They tried, though.
I had no control over anything in my life so I attempted to take control in a variety of ways—starving myself, cutting myself, drinking a lot. I just didn’t want to be me because ‘me’ was inherently wrong. Now, if someone else had said they were inherently wrong for being gay I would have said they weren’t! They were a beautiful, amazing person! Be true to you! Have a rainbow flag!
But I was different. I was special. I was supposed to be a little bit better than everyone else. And I knew that I was really just a little bit worse than everyone else.
Then, last February, after finally putting all the pieces together and realising what I actually was (a big ol’ service-oriented submissive, hi, hello, nice to meet you) , I responded to this new information the way I always do—by reading copiously.
And, literally, overnight, I was okay with being gay. After more than two decades of pointless self-loathing.
I was okay with other things, too.
Like my body. I’m not a big person, but after you’ve been anorexic and liked the way you looked when you were unhealthily thin it’s easy to have moments when you wish you were that size again. There’s more body acceptance in the naughty world, I think. No matter what you look like someone is going to want to do wonderfully filthy things both with you and to you.
I’m less judgmental about what other people do. Thanks to my mother’s Puritan-esque views that I didn’t realise I was inheriting, I thought women giving blowjobs were just the giantest sluts to ever slut it up. Suddenly I’m now impressed that that tiny women got that HUGE cock all the way down her throat. It’s still not something I want to do, but you go to it, ladies! You suck those dicks like your very lives depend upon it!
I find I’m that way about everything. Whatever toasts your kinky crumpet—as long as everyone is consenting—knock yourselves out. I’m glad you’ve worked out what makes you happy and have someone to play with.
I do wonder what my life would have been like if I’d known exactly what I was earlier. Looking back, I had subby fantasies when I was a teenager, but that’s for another day. It’s always been there, is the point. If I had known would I have allowed those people to do what they did? Or would I have stood up for myself and said, ‘You know what? There’s nothing wrong with me and you can’t use my shame against me.’
I’m guessing the latter. But you can’t go back. So I’ll just count myself lucky I got this far to work out who I am and to find my tribe, so to speak.
The irony is that many people think that kinky folk are ‘broken’ somehow, but working out I was kinky fixed me.
[This writing also appeared on Medium. If you are a member there and you enjoyed it, please give it some love.]