Not so long ago, I went to a community event where I met a very interesting person who is also a sex educator. Conversations with her, attending a class she led, and reading her website a bit after I got home reminded me yet again of something I’ve wanted for a while: I want to figure out my kink in an organized fashion. What exactly do I like and in what way, what are the common patterns and trends and connections. This almost immediately led to another reminder: that is something I have a lot of trouble doing.
Now, as I think is pretty well demonstrated by this blog, I’m a person who likes to have things organized. Having an organized conceptualization of ideas is what allows me to understand them, to think about them best, and, of course, to explain them to others. I also like to self examine, and I also like to think about kink. So this, exactly at the intersection of three of my favorite things, seems like an absolutely perfect thing for me to be doing. And yet, I can’t seem to make it work. Which of course leads directly to the question of ‘why?’.
The first analogy I came up with was that it’s as though someone asked me what foods I liked, and I said “well, apples, and rice pilaf, and oatmeal with honey, and fried ice-cream, and raw carrots, and pomegranates, and grilled chicken sandwiches, and crepes…” All of which is absolutely true, but neither organized, nor helpful for figuring out overarching patterns.
Alright, I thought then, If I were giving somebody that kind of list of foods I liked, what would be the way to put it in order? And the answer to that was pretty simple – bringing up categories, and asking more specific questions. “What kinds of vegetables do you like?” “What do you eat for breakfast?” “What is special occasion food for you?”
And this led me straight to the root of the thinking-about-kink issue – when it comes to my kink, I know neither the categories, nor the questions.
Categories and questions are usually community matters. I know what a vegetable is because I learned this, not because I came up with it myself. Someone can ask me what I eat for breakfast because we both know what breakfast is, and share the conceptualization of dining that includes this meaning.
And the problem is that when it comes to my kink, I don’t have this kind of community. Instead, it’s like I’ve spent my whole life in a variety of buffets, most of which did not label their dishes, and none of which coordinated any labels they did use (chicken with cashew nuts is very similar to chicken with mixed vegetables, but the categories ‘vegetables’ and ‘cashew nuts’ are not actually parallel). I know I’ve eaten foods I liked, and foods I didn’t like, and foods I was mostly neutral towards, and foods I was allergic too, and foods where upon trying them I wanted to eat nothing but that for the next week. But trying to figure out a structure to view it all in – I don’t even know where to start.
I’m not exactly sure what this conclusion leaves me with.
I know I want to find other people with kinks similar to mine (very often it’s the differences along with the commonalities that that demonstrate the categories, and it’s very rarely possible to make a graph with just one point).
I know I want to read or listen to more people talking about their kinks, and how they conceptualize them, also (Spiral, for instance, has a very interesting writing here, which also relates to my point about communities and thought organization).
I know I want to discuss my kinks with people who enjoy that kind of thing (often, an outside mind can come up with questions and connections that I never would have).
I know I’m going to keep trying, keep seeing if there are links and categories I can come up with, any patterns that I can see.
And I know that regardless of how close I can get to the destination, I do thoroughly enjoy the journey.
And this thought on thinking has been a step on that journey, and that is also good.