I was in my mid-twenties when I first dipped my toes into kink. At that time I had no idea there was a name for BDSM or that there was a community devoted to it. What I did know is that there were things I liked that were outside the norm of what I perceived relationships to be. What I wanted was wrong or deviant, but certainly not normal.
During the mid-eighties I discovered I loved tying up my then-wife. I used whatever I had handy at the time - scarves, neckties, and even the tie from my bathrobe. I had a pair of handcuffs in the nightstand next to my bed. Playing like this with my wife allowed me to express a certain freedom, and we both reveled in it. Sadly a year and a half later our marriage fell apart, and it was a rather rough breakup.
I blamed the kink for a big part of the demise of that relationship. Because of that, I turned my back on my kinky feelings and desires and decided that they were wrong and not normal. For many years I buried those feelings way down deep where they would never see the light of day and toed the line with strictly vanilla relationships.
For a long time burying my desires seemed to work well for me, but underneath the surface I always felt there was something wrong. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I never quite felt complete or whole. Fast forward to my late thirties early forties, I was doing a websearch on the Internet which was still in it’s early days at that time. At this point I don’t even remember what the search was about but I do remember what came up in the search results.
It was a website called Leather and Roses. The name caught my eye immediately, and I clicked on the link. It was a BDSM site and warned viewers that only those of legal age should enter. Entering the website caused a dam inside me to burst. Soon I was digging through the site reading all the articles on Dominance and even on submission that the site contained. I couldn’t get enough.
All the feelings and desires I had hiydden away and denied for all those years came back to the surface waving a gleeful flag. It was a major revelation for me that I wasn’t alone, and there are others that had the same feelings for these things. Even better there was a name for what I wanted and enjoyed.
One would think that from there it was all easy peasy. I embraced my kinky side and all was well with the world. Right?
From the discovery of that site I began researching more about this thing called BDSM. It was fairly easy for me to embrace my Dominant side as that was a natural part of who I am. There was another side of this that wasn’t so easy for me to embrace.
BDSM is made up of several things: bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism. The bondage aspect I already loved, having explored that years before. The power exchange of Dominance and submission was new to me but I grasped the meaning of it and what it entailed fairly easily.
Then came the sadism and masochism part. In my digging and learning, I also discovered the visual aspect of BDSM and found myself drawn to images of people being not just tied up but also spanked, flogged, caned, and whipped. What really threw a wrench in my gears was the excitement I felt looking at these images. My mind raced and my blood boiled in a new and exciting way.
I’d also found the Gor books by John Norman - a science fiction series that takes place on an alternate Earth where men are dominant and women are sexual slaves. I dove into the series, reading voraciously and basking in this world where men just took what they wanted from women. (Note: even while reading these books, I understood I couldn’t behave like the characters in the book. The excitement was in the fantasy.)
Even so, it created a conflict of who I might be and who I thought I was supposed to be. I’d been raised in a fairly religious family that taught me from a very young age you never, ever under any circumstances raise your hand to a woman for any reason. Never.
Here again I found myself in a tailspin and a contradiction of terms. This kinky thing was drawing me in and yet it went against everything I was taught to believe in. I stood at a precipice once again. Do I walk away from it like I did when I was younger and bury these feelings and desires away from the light of day once more? Based on my upbringing it might sound like the right answer, but the thought didn’t sit well with me.
Since that internal dam had burst open during this discovery of BDSM, I felt more like the me I was meant to be in a way I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I continued reading what I could find on the web and learning as much as I could. I found out about something called a munch - a local gathering of people who lived and enjoyed BDSM and met once a month to talk and socialize.
That got my gears turning again. Does this exist here in my local area? Could I go to a munch and meet other people like me? Again I searched online. Finding a group in my area took time - remember, the internet was still fairly young at the time. Not everything could be found with a single Google search. But eventually, I found my local community. When I attended the munch, I was welcomed by a rather large group of friendly people. The first time there I was rather reserved and didn’t talk much but everyone was very friendly and open.
As time went on and I got to know people in the community I began to make friends. An internal battle still raged within me. How could I really hit someone? I became friendly with a submissive woman at the munch. I mustered the courage to ask her about being spanked. I explained my feeling to her about my conflict in regards to hitting and spanking someone. It sparked an interesting conversation which went a long way to help me understand consent and gave me an eye opening look into the mind of a masochist.
She explained to me how she actually liked and in many cases needed to be spanked. How being spanked freed her mind from other concerns and while I couldn’t grasp it at the time she did her best to explain subspace - that floaty, out of body experience some submissives experience during a particularly intense scene. In telling me this she also explained that it wasn’t just anyone that could spank her but only someone that she trusted and knew when to stop and not take it too far.
Listening to her explanation was was an epiphany for me. Spanking or hitting someone wasn’t abuse. By providing it (under specific circumstances), being hit fulfilled a need for them, giving them something they wanted and in some cases, genuinely needed.
It wasn’t long after that I met my first submissive and she brought up the topic of spankings. I was a bit trepidatious. Instead of refusing her, we talked about it in detail and eventually I spanked her. We both thoroughly enjoyed the moment and talked about it at great length afterwards. She was also the first person I ever struck with a paddle and a riding crop.
From that moment, I felt fully complete, like all parts of who I am were in place and I was on the path I was meant to be. The shame I felt all those years ago as a young man vanished as I found that there are others like me who enjoy BDSM. I was able to move past the last (important) hurdle of the stigma of hitting a woman and move forward on my journey into the BDSM lifestyle.
To get to this point, I had to educate myself, embrace the idea I liked and wanted things outside the norm, and be willing to ask questions and listen. Thanks to a conversation at a munch with someone that was able to explain the consent, communication and trust required for spankings I was finally able to become the person I was meant to be and embrace the life I desired. What’s the lesson here? Don’t ignore your feelings and ask questions. Learn as much as possible. And embrace who you really are.