Self-portrait from 2013, drawn the first time I submitted to someone.
In a culture that shames and silences people, particularly women, for their sexuality, it is a radical and complicated process for a woman to learn what she likes and to ask for it. I believe that this process is made even more complex when the woman identifies as kinky due to the added stigma surrounding the world of BDSM. I have been sexually active since I was 16 years old, orgasmic since I was 23, involved in BDSM since I was 26, worked in porn, identify as a sex positive feminist… yet it is only now, as a 33-year-old, queer, cisgender woman, that I am truly coming to comprehend my own erotic landscape. Though sexuality is more fluid than we are inclined to think and pinning it all down into words can be difficult, nonetheless there have been themes that have run through the entire course of the history of my libido. As an exercise in honestly and publicly owning what it is that I like, I’m going to try to put into words an outline of my current sexual landscape.
So here is the truth. I like sex, I like fucking, I like bodies. I like the adventure and the connection of sex and have at various times connected with friends and acquaintances through light hearted and joyful sexual and kinky adventures. Some would call that “casual” sex but something about the word “casual” doesn’t quite fit the loving, playful, friendship enhancing aspects of this. Perhaps a better term would be “social sex” though I am at a loss to define quite why. I like sex with loved ones for the intimacy, the connection, the bodily pleasure and the orgasms. I like it for the way it bonds us and keeps us closer. I love the frantic energy of need to be inside one another, I love the grabbing of flesh, the intensity of eye contact and I love it for the ways our bodies collapse together afterwards. I love how much it feels like love and how it dissolves so many artificial borders and boundaries.
But here’s the important puzzle piece to my sexual identity, here is the theme that has run through the course of my entire sexual history and is an underlying element of my libido, a fundamental truth at the core of what turns me on the most; I am a sexually submissive masochist with switchy inclinations. What does this mean? What turns me on the most, what I masturbate to when I am alone is not pretty, really, truly not pretty. Even in the spaces of BDSM “communities” I have found myself feeling something of an outlier, relating most to the heavy players, the violent ones, the freaks, the creeps, the weirdos. Though of course I have always endeavoured to play in ways that are ethical, educated and following the Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) framework. I’m a nasty pervert but I’m an ethical one
Recently as an exercise in exploring what turns me on at its most stripped down and straight forward, I compiled a list of words that sum up my erotic landscape, they are not pretty words and if you are not someone who is comfortable in understanding that the world of sexual fantasy is different to reality, these words my trouble you. Here they are in no particular order except as they came into my head:
Rape. Violate. Violent. Abuse. Molest. Beat. Brutal. Hurt. Humiliate. Cry. Scream. Coerce. Force. Bend. Break. Drip. Bruise. Bleed. Gape. Pain. Punch. Strip. Sleep. Drug. Drunk. Ugly. Cunt. Bitch. Slut. Stupid. Fuck. Filth. Stalk. Slap. Piss. Cut. Whore. Choke. Bite. Creep. Fight. Degrade. Spread. Trap. Fear. Spit. Defeat. Suffer. Silent.
There it is, stripped of any flowery language, the truth of what makes my cunt wet. It is not the entire truth, I have discovered immense pleasure in receiving erotic massages, in slowly exploring a lover’s body, in those sensual things that women supposedly adore. I am sexually adventurous and don’t like to confine or define myself to one narrow role or identity, that thought is unbearably claustrophobic to me. But those more sensual and bodily pleasure realms are things I learned to find pleasure in, like acquiring a taste. The truth is that the ugly words above have always been part of the baseline of my libido, the armature that underlies the structure of everything that deeply turns me on. The truth is that for me, much of sex is cerebral and when it is bodily, it is violent.
The dark and violent underbelly of human sexuality has an undeniable pull for me, violence both physical and psychological. Obviously I am disgusted by the behaviour of anyone who indulges any of their dark or sick fantasies without the consent of all parties involved, I only ever engage in consensual non-consent with people who are enthusiastic about doing so. Nonetheless, the truth of what turns me on is violent and ugly. Though it has at times made me feel socially isolated, I’m comfortable with who I am and what I like. There are so many thrilling discoveries to be made here in the borderlands of the socially acceptable.