I believe firmly in sex-positivity. I know that your sexuality is okay, and that you should do whatever you want as long as everyone is consenting and you aren’t causing any true harm. I know that your kink is okay.
I believe in bodily autonomy, and that people should do precisely what they want with their own bodies, including their sex organs. As long as the above conditions are met, whatever you want to do in your sex life is good and fine and your business. You should do what makes you happy.
I believe that willful submission is an act of autonomy. It is an exercise in independence and strength. Actively choosing to cede control to another person is a show of power. It is strong, and it is powerful. It is not passivity. I know that it is okay to want to submit to someone.
So why am I still so goddamned ashamed of myself?
I’m a kinky person. I’m also a switch, I like both dominating and submitting. I like all sorts of weird shit that I find difficult to explain to people who don’t share my kinks. Usually, I’m completely cool with that. I’m allowed to hate cottage cheese, and you’re allowed to love cottage cheese. We may never understand each other, but we are both completely valid and fine. The same rule applies to kinks, and sex acts more generally.
Power exchange is really core to my sexuality. Some of the things I like doing, I enjoy less for their own sake and more for their ability to facilitate power exchange. Pretty much everything I’m into is in some way related to power. The only things that make me feel deeply ashamed, that make me feel guilty and wrong, all have to do with submission. Things like wanting to serve, to be owned, to be used. A part of me still feels like this is wrong and I’m not sure why.
Maybe it’s because I’m so scared of being dependent on another person. I have pretty severe trust issues, and I never want to be in a situation where I have to depend on another human for money, shelter, or emotional stability.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been taught that I have to be strong. I’m supposed to be enough for myself, I’m supposed to be able to face the world alone. I’m supposed to be able to take whatever is thrown at me and keep on kicking. I don’t want to feel like I have to lean on someone in order to be okay. Since my kinks focus so heavily on caretaking, there’s a huge conflict there.
I think this is one of those situations where it’s easier to be kind to others than it is to be kind to yourself.
I believe in those things I said at the beginning. I believe in sex-positivity, and bodily autonomy, and that there is power and beauty in willful submission. I know that when friends come to me scared that they are wrong or broken, I tell them that their kink is okay. I believe that too.
If I was a friend of mine, I would tell them that their desires are just fine. I would tell them that the roles we enact in kink scenes don’t have to translate to the rest of our lives if we don’t want them too. I would tell them that we can want one thing in our kink lives and a different thing in our daily lives, for balance. I would tell them that no human gets through this world by themselves, and it’s okay to need to lean on each other sometimes.
I hope that someday I believe me.