- I am shocked by the lack of violence in others. I was exposed to details of Southeast Asian torture at 6, Genocide before I was 10. In an environment where those things were seen as “exciting,” just as other small boys might find car-crashes or wild tigers attacking people “exciting.” In some ways I’m not as cruel as I seem, because I don’t find the most brutal forms of human torture “alien” or “unfamiliar.” It is always shocking to me to be reminded that others may find it adventurous and frighting to merely think of stabbing people, or drilling holes in them, or other basic physical violence that formed the core of my 6-8 year old fantasies. I find those graphic depictions hidden in the heads of many traumatized girls, but they truly fear themselves for letting them out, and are shamed by them. I have to remember my shame as my mother came upon me unawares in a bookstore, reading a very adult book, and I ran away to be in another aisle to remember how they must feel now, as adults. To me, it is not a matter of starting with the shocking concept that humans might spank each other and working up over years of kink to the idea they might put hooks through their bodies, or impale each other. It is starting with impalment, torture in extremis, and epic violence, and watering that down to an acceptable and survivable level. To that end I tend to be drawn to sharp, extreme, brutal types of play.
- I am a realist who seems cynical. I can usually see very clearly how someone’s motivations tie back to their basic Maslowian heirarchy of needs. I don’t consider myself a cynic, because I see this as inevitable and true of everyone and so I don’t tend to fault people for it. Unless a human being is taught new behaviors you cannot slight them for default behaviors, and few of us are taught behaviors in any meaningful way.
- I am frustrated by self-deceptive people. Most of us have learned to camoflague our basic motives in ideals or a smokescreen of nobility. I feel this acts against the art of finding a good compromise between “what is good for me” and “what is good for you.” It makes enlightened self-interest a sin, and a matter for concealment. If someone insists that they act only for selfless motives…not even acknowledging that selflessness has an emotional payoff for them in terms of moral happiness…it is hard to negotiate with them.
- I am burned out on politics. Politics is mostly the art of catering to people’s needs to be lied to about their actual motivations and reasons for actions. I may have my personal frustrations, but I feel no need to inflict them on 400 million other Americans. People complain that politics is all lies, and then ask to be lied to, because of course they are noble and want only what is good…not the emotional satisfaction of being right while their neighbor is wrong. They want politicians to work difficult jobs that involve endless frustration and huge risk taking, then have personalities that are not consistent with people who are control-freaks or gamblers. They want pragmatic laws, but want their leaders to be selfless crusaders who want only what is good and do not think of their own position. They expect men (and women) to work for positions of power in society for little monetary reward, then condemn them for accepting easy sexual conquests as a benefit of the power they have gained as if primates sought leadership for any reason other than survival and reproduction. It does not surprise me that many educated people tend to get their politics from sources like Jon Stewart or The Onion which address the degree to which politics of every stripe is about people forcing their leaders to lie to them by tantraumatically refusing to accept truths that are not sugar coated.
- There is a vein of poison in me that comes out in humiliation play and certain other types of brutal play. In Lucas’ Star Wars epic (let’s forget about the later movies) we see the classic depiction of Darth Vader as a villian who is “evil” but started by wanting good, and being willing to cut corners and do whatever it took to accomplish that. We don’t know what happened in his past (and the reveal is a disappointment) but we know he endured bitterness and frustration and that it darkened his soul to the point where he may accomplish some good, but has become villanous.
As a pragmatist, I believe in balancing acts, and I actually have a good bit of sympathy for the Empire. Even seeing the movies as a child, the Empire seemed pretty competent to me, and it very much fit the image of the imaginary Empire of my second and third grade fantasy games. Obvioulsly I don’t objectively advocate Imperialism or single-party rule. I’m a staunch Democrat and favor Moderate European Socialism. But emotionally, and within my personal life, I embrace the part of me that is dark, and recognize that it does mar all my works with a little bit of poison. The bitterness of my exile cannot be totally offset, and no matter how I try to justify it, some of my cruelty simply goes to feed the need created by that long and bitter fall.
- I remember reading Milton in Junior High and being captivated by the fall of Satan. He rebels against God the father, and with a Third of the Angels in Heaven, Lucifer is actually winning, not losing the conflict. It is only when God pulls the trump card and sends his Son in the Chariot of fire that Lucifer is put down. Lucifer loses to a sort of unfair cosmic Hiroshima, God having to pull out the big guns and make the playing field uneven to slant it for his fall to Hell. And in Hell, lying fallen and blasted, he rises to build up a new Kingdom…making the best of what he has rather than begging forgiveness.
- I am not entirely good. My resentment, my frustrations, poison me. I seek channels and outlets for them. Constructive ways to release my need to hurt. The more aware I am of these needs, the more likely it is that I will be able to accomplish good. The alternative is to simply give up, and I see no benefit in that, for me or anyone else.
- Socially I am careful and isolate myself, dealing only with a small “inner circle” of people in my private persona, and having a public persona as an entertainer that I present to the world. This minimizes my frustrations, by not pushing me constantly into situations where I clash with people who undestand things less well than I do, and where I must either feel I should explain myself endlessly, or walk away frustrated. I tend to be willing to get to know someone only after I’ve established that they have a high enough level of comprehension to “get it.”
- I never saw myself as a victim, but my personal mythology and memory of the fantasies in my head tells me I felt victimized. This shifted an already skewed life-script towards self-destruction
- I recognize that it’s socially awful to argue with people all the time and I don’t enjoy being constantly frustrated even if I don’t feel the anxiety about it I did in fourth grade. So I structure most of my social situations to minimize the amount of unstructured interaction I have with people who frustrate me.
- I’m particularly cautious with Men. They have the most capacity to fuck me over if they fail to understand me and act aggressively both because…unfairly and statistically they tend to be the resource leaders in a community and because, again unfairly they tend to be the least cautiously belligerent. Men are more likely to adopt an “aggressive-aggressive” tack with other men that allows little room for options other than an all out fight or an abject surrender. Statistically fewer women behave like Defensive Tackles.
- With women, I can see strong patterns in the women I have been willing to relate to, or on a higher level, to undertake training:
b) Their intelligence embraces “common sense” as much as book smarts, or they have a strong desire to learn “common sense,” even if they feel they don’t have any.
In terms of training it’s obvious that a lot of what I get out of it is an emotional release. Since fourth grade a part of me has been saying “If I could just tie them to a chair and make them understand…beat them if necessary…in the end it would be good for them.” In D/s training I actually get to do that though to be fair, it has been rare that a girl I have been willing to train has needed that level of aggression. That said, it is definitely a satisfying feeling and is much of what I get, emotionally, out of training. The feeling that I am actually able to shape and mold someone by communicating because they are open to it and not set on frustrating me.
That leads to perhaps the most important quality:
c) Self aware. The moment I see someone is wrapped up in self-deception, I tend to step away from them. I want to work with people who have already conceeded that there is wood beneath the paint and are willing to work with me on the hard job of stripping it off.
We are all self-deceptive. Even I am. To me self-awareness is being able to admit that and work to step past it, to get inside it and see what we are really about. If someone says “I am self deceptive” and I call them on an act of self deception, I expect a level of self-awarness that allows them…when they are not in the heat of argument…to say “yes I am.” The realization doesn’t need to be instant, but it needs to be sustainable.
It’s perhaps odd that “Easily controlled” is not in the list. The truth is that I don’t prize people who are easily controlled…I prize those who have the ability to understand at my level and the self-awareness to want to. I am strong and belligerent enough to push and enforce control if they can bring those qualities to the table.
- The Struggle of Division – I still struggle with the desire to divide my world into “ugly” and “good.” Much of my psychosexuality falls into the realm of “the bad and the ugly,” and so there is a desire to spare people I love from it, and surround them only with my “good.” The problem is that they are psychosexually aware too, and much of what draws them to me is the bad and the ugly.
BDSM has been the process of healing and remediating this rift for me. It did damage to my marriage, and has at various times damaged or distanced my D/s relationships. A reluctance to show cruelty and force to those who I love…to keep the “bad” games away from the “good,” is still very strong. I overcome it more and more easily and frequently and see that as a path to a “wholeness” in a rift that began with the break between my father’s past as the adult child of a failed alcoholic and that of my classmates as the children of driven men of politics and military accomplishment.