Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Awesome Island of Misfit Toys

Written for friends on FetLife, where it made it to "Kinky & Popluar", which meant a lot of people read it and commented and clicked "love" for it. It started some cool conversations. It was fun. 


At a public kinkster event yesterday, I had a thoughtful conversation with a couple of people about their social anxieties, and found out later that two people had chosen to leave the event due to anxieties. Each person's circumstances and triggers and other contributing factors were different, of course, but I've been mulling, so I thought I'd write.

Indulge me for a moment, and mentally roll the issue of kinkster gatherings and social anxieties WAY back in time to the moment when any of these people admitted to themselves they may be interested in attending a kinkster event in the first place. Who admits to themselves they have kinky desires, much less that they want to talk about them with others? People who consider themselves "normal" and strive for "normalcy" as if it were a good thing? Probably not.

(Side rant: in my fanatical-and-not-at-all-humble opinion on this matter, "normal" is a terrible thing to want to be... It represents the mathematically most commonly occurring state. Would you strive to be "average"? No? Then don't hope to be "normal" either, because they represent the same thing. I hope for "healthy", which isn't normal. Be healthy. Don't be normal. Normal isn't healthy, it's just common. End of rant. Maybe.)

So if your perspective on your life is already outside of the box marked "normal", because you've always been OCD or ADD or on the autism spectrum, or anxious, or unusually fascinated by leather, or overweight, or underweight, or a closet anorexic or bulimic or compulsive eater, or an abuse survivor, or attracted to people of your gender, or prone to acting like a kid even though you're an adult, or ... Or... Or... (Fill in anything not considered normal here), well, then you're potentially more open to follow your own "abnormal" desires and wonder if others have them too.

Summary so far: if you'll never be normal anyway, then the entire world of abnormal behavior kind of opens up as a possibility for you. Why not, right?

Result: Kinksters are likely to be people who had other reasons to consider themselves abnormal before they were kinksters.

Therefore, kinkster communities can sometimes feel like an Island of Misfit Toys.

And that's kinda awesome, in my opinion. I'll explain.

So yeah, maybe there's a higher-than-average occurrence of social anxieties even without play going on. Then when you add in play -- which we do because we really really crave something about it from a primal part of ourselves which isn't particularly rational to begin with -- the odds of people bumping into quirky, darker, rougher parts of each other go up even further.

So someone gets overloaded and has to walk out without saying goodbye. Good for them for taking responsibility for their struggles, and not barfing their challenges all over a group of people gathered for a different purpose. I vote we applaud that choice as a mark of maturity and respect for consensual interactions.

So someone negotiates a scene, but freezes up before/during/after, or has a flash of strong emotions (this is assuming everything stayed within negotiated boundaries, and the emotion is expressed in a way that's not blaming or malicious). Good for them for getting far enough to hit a wall, and good for them for learning something new about themselves. It probably took a metric ton of courage to even try whatever it was in the first place.

But these quirks, these bumps, these flashes of fear or anxiety with all these people already starting outside the normal box, you know what it gives us? The real possibility of connecting with each other in ways which are emotionally honest, deeply encouraging, and affirming down to the core of our self-images.

I think when people talk about the sex / play / kink they like, they can often end up sharing views on spirituality, family histories, emotional struggles... The stuff you talk about with your very best friends, the stuff that matters most.

And when people actually share the experiences of kink / play / sex together, it can invite others into places in ourselves that feel really honest and pure and true, and knowing that someone saw that inside of me and still likes me, and even thanked me afterward... It can be healing on a visceral level that's hard to replicate other ways. At least for me.

So then, all of a sudden, less than a year after moving somewhere where you didn't know anybody at all and you feared you'd never make friends here, you find yourself on an island so full of other awesome misfit toys who are really amazing friends that you wonder why anyone ever wants to find friends from anywhere else. Because the toys here may be missing parts, but they are unbelievably awesome to play with.


I love you guys.

No comments:

Post a Comment