When We Were Kids: Thoughts on BDSM

Experts will tell you that who we are in life is defined by the age of seven. Our ethics, our play, our work habits, it’s all laid out as part of who we are, and will continue to be, by seven.

There are those who’ve taken this a step further and will tell you also that who you are sexually is defined, as well, by seven. But we often spend our lifetimes trying to make sense of that definition.

Take me, for instance. I’ve been out of the getting-laid world now for a couple of years. After not having had sex for 26 months (but have since) thanks to a totally disappearing libido because of meds I was on, and experiencing the incredible rush of libido-arising all of a sudden after such a long dormancy, I’ve found myself in some very, very new and different headspace.

After not having wanted sex at all, barely ever masturbating for months on end, I’ve suddenly found myself craving a different brand of sex. Something rougher, more primal. Perhaps even a little less democratic. Power plays. Teasing. Even a little pain. Certainly with discipline.

Not that I’ve ever sat around fantasizing about rose petals on the bed, silk sheets, and soft, feathery kisses and all. That’s never been my kind of imagery anyhow. I fantasize about sex on floors, against walls, in public places, getting rugburn, and always have. But this takes things to another level.

And with that comes the reckoning of how much of that is just “Fuck, I need me some” versus evolution of a new kind of desire.

So, when I was out for drinks lately and my date mentioned how experts think our sexual-play selves are defined in childhood, it was like I’d been hit by a truck. I suddenly had this monster out-of-the-blue flashback of my brother and I always playing Wild West and tying each other up as part of our hijinks. The tying was always my favourite part, whether I was the one tied who had to escape, or the one who got to do the tying.

I hadn’t thought of that in years. I could suddenly remember the smell of my brother’s carpet as I was tied on the floor, the way the light shone in his big-ass window, how amused I was when we came up with new knots, listening to his Elton John and Billy Joel records as we laughed and goofed off, probably until I was 10 or so. And it was just play, people, nothing sexual, so stop yer dirty thoughts.

Then everything changed. I had to be more ladylike, he had his guy friends to abuse with their stupid Jackass-style stunts in the yard, and I sort of forgot about that girl who loved the roughhousing.

Until that drink. And now I can’t stop thinking about whether this “new” direction I’m wanting to amble in is just me coming home to who I truly am after all.

And, I guess until I find a partner I can trust and who inspires in me the will to explore these directions, I won’t really know.

You can count on me writing more about this journey I plan to take. I think the “how I became a BDSM person” thing needs to be written about more, but in much more articulate and philosophical ways, and less focused on the “how to be spanked” technical side of things, since anyone can learn the physical/technical side of it all. Doing things are easy, but understanding why you want to go there, that can be tricky. And I won’t go blindly. I think there’s a real internal struggle many of us have to overcome before we can embrace the so-called “lifestyle” of BDSM.

Moral brainwashing is strong, young grasshoppers. Even I, your lowly smuttress of choice, have a myriad of hangups to get past on this journey I plan to take. Don’t we all? In keeping with my blog-style, it’d be wrong of me not to share.

And I have no fucking idea what to expect. I guess that’s the beauty of it all. An open mind is all I’ve got.

If you have some pearls of wisdom you think I ought to know, have at ‘er. Like I say, I’ll be the newbie in this big, bad world of BDSM, and I’ve no illusions on that. Enlighten me, comment away.

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9 Comments

  1. a
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    well, i embraced my kinky self in the new year, and have to say that i fell so much better. i am happier and more centered. i mean, i was chasing my cousin with cattails and cackling with glee at his screams…but then i also liked getting tied up too.

    it‘s definitely an interesting journey and you will find yourself “staring at your navel” so-to-speak. you‘re going to look over all your past relationships in a different light.

    like i said.…feel free to contact me.

  2. Nobilis
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Freud was wrong. We aren’t slaves to our upbringing any more than we’re slaves to our DNA.

    Remember, you’re thinking back on those days of clotheslines and rasslin’ through the lens of your present self. If your present self were fantasizing about something else than BDSM… say, genderplay… then what you might remember from your childhood was being more comfortable in jeans and a tee shirt than in a dress, or envy of your brother’s ability to write his name in the snow.

    Everyone is constructing himself every day, using the resources available. Many of these resources come from the past, but it is in our nature to use them in different ways than they were before, sometimes totally transforming them in the process.

    So no… those experiences had no causal effect on your present inclinations. They may have been influences, but there were thousands more experiences that had nothing to do with rope that didn’t STOP you from being interested.

    IMHO.

  3. Wrye
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand, I was chained to a fence by the Girl Next door when I was 5 and she was 7, and it shaped my entire sexual being, long before I *was* a sexual being. I certainly wasn’t a happy being until I was honest with myself about what I liked and needed. Everyone’s brains are hard-wired for certain stimuli more than others, and why wouldn’t childhood experiences shape that?

    People don’t all fit this pattern, though: some folks have no childhood experiences at all, and yet can’t do without the D/S, and statistically many folks must roughhouse as kids and yet they grow up to be as vanilla as can be. Let’s face it, we don’t know for sure what determines sexual orientation yet, so until we get a handle on what determines a person’s gender preferences, small details like why some people prefer lace over leather and licorice whips over real ones will remain mysterious for a while yet.

  4. C.J. Strata
    Posted September 11, 2008 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Agreed across the board. Just because you enjoyed something way back when doesn’t mean you’re psychologically mapped to enjoy it now. And even if that WERE the case, there’s nothing to say that you would enjoy it sexually; after all, you didn’t when you were a kid, right? It was entertaining, not arousing.

    That said, it is of course a possibility, and if it’s one that intrigues you, then by all means, explore away! We can’t really figure out what we like until we at least try it, neh? ^^

    As for advice…well, just preemptively, I apologize if some of this is “obvious,” but you are the one who said you’re a newbie to this. I’ll leave stuff like “be careful” alone, at least. ;)

    > I get the impression (correct me if I’m mistaken) that your interest lies more in bondage than BDSM. However, if you’re really eying the full package, I would advise you start one facet at a time. Experiment with bondage before you try (either on its own or adding) D/S or S&M. Just because somebody likes to be tied up doesn’t mean they like to be hurt or humiliated; that’s an assumption I’ve seen made by doms and subs alike, of themselves and each other. Not only can it turn a person off of BDSM altogether, it can also complicate the relationship with whomever the bad encounter occurred with. Some people tell stories of getting plunged into things head-first and loving it, and I won’t deny it’s possible, but to me personally, that’s too risky an approach.

    Then again, it might be fun to take a risk; that’s why this is just advice. =)

    > I’m sure you’re already planning on it, but take some time to do some introspection, particularly after your first foray. Try to figure out exactly what it is/was about being tied up (or whatever else is on your mind) that entices/ed you. Is it the helplessness, or the idea of being ‘on display?’ Is it the multiple areas of sensation, the inanimate contact, the heightened physical awareness which comes of having your balance thrown off and/or limbs restrained? Is it just the idea of trying something new? Figuring out just what it is we like about a particular fetish can (depending on the fetish) make it that much more enjoyable when we partake in it, and it also gives us some clues as to what else we might like in that crazy world of sexual discovery out there. And it can ALSO help us re-appreciate more conventional sex, by making us look at what we do in the vanilla in a new light. Admittedly, it’s not so easy to figure out why we’re turned on by some things, as some of it’s simply biological. But a fetish is a fetish because it’s an unusual fixation, and so usually has more of a basis than simply “Body says so.”

    > If you don’t know already, learn how to tie knots, preferably with rope or cord. Even if you decide later that full-blown BDSM isn’t for you, it’s still a handy skill to have, in the bedroom and out. ;)

    > The more technical stuff (as far as bondage goes) is documented to at least some degree. Positioning, bindings and equipment, instructions for makeshift equipment, so on, so forth. I unfortunately don’t have any links for you, as my interests lie in submission (and as far away from bondage as possible; claustrophobia and restraints are a bad combination, believe you me). But I know I’ve seen books and sites in the past, so they shouldn’t be too hard to find.

  5. Wrye
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Books:

    Screw The Roses, Send me the Thorns” (Philip Miller and Molly Devon), and “S+M 101″ (Jay Wiseman) are both recommended classics. Wiseman also has a newer book on Bondage that I haven’t yet read.

    For anyone reading who is an absolute beginner, I also recommend “Come Hither: A Commonsense Guide To Kinky Sex:, by Gloria Brame.

    For the mental side of things, I also recommend “The Topping Book” and “The Bottoming Book”, by Dossie Easton and Katherine Hardy, the same fine ladies who wrote The Ethical Slut. These are more intermediate books, less concerned with the how tos, and more with the whys and the headspace.

    Available at fine bookstores everywhere!

  6. Scribe Called Steff
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    a — thanks. i still expect i’ll remain on the vanilla-ish side of things, but i’m not imposing limitations on myself in the outset; that’d just be dumb. anything i don’t like can be struck off the list, is how i figure.

    nobilis — i’m not saying that it’s because i was given a Garfield writing pad for my eighth birthday that makes me a writer; i’m not that simple.

    it is the INTENSITY of the recollections, the strength of the memories, that is the differing factor that pulls those recollections more prominently than most of the other play i did.

    i note that i’ve never been into role play, really, and i also never liked dressing up as a kid. coincidence? yeah, maybe.

    see, i actually enjoy assigning importance and significance to happenstance and events. if you want to just blandly dismiss it all as inconsequential ingredients that are more important as a whole and not as the sum of its parts, that’s your choice.

    but don’t rain on my parade. :)

    besides, i’m saying it’s the tendency to have LIKED the play at that age that reveals possibly the kind of play i’ll like at this age. it’s not the PLAY that defines who i am, but my enjoyment of it then.

    because i suspect that where we find “joy” in life is something that really does get hardwired into us from youth because it’s an integral part of who we are. each of us responds to joy stimuli differently. some of us just discover it sooner.

    wrye — yeah, i’m sure my childhood play is only an aspect of who i’ve become or have yet to become, i don’t think it’s anywhere near a primary factor. it’s just part of the collective potpourri that makes me who i am.

    great list of books. i owe the library money, so, i can’t take them out (heh) and have no money to buy them, but i’ll get around to it.

    cj — i’ve done bondage and light discipline. i’m not a total virgin here, so, you’re oversimplifying things but hey. thanks anyhoo. obviously i’m going to reflect, i did say that in this posting.

    but, yeah. i’ve had some 10 metres of japanese bondage rope for quite some time. it’s that point beyond the beginning stuff i’ve got to traipse into. i’m not worried or scared.

    i’m just curious. mostly it’s about the old societal and religious hangups that my ambivalence comes from. and having to explore this realm with an yet-to-be-named sexual partner, since i’m single. that’s part of the ambivalence, too.

    so, y’know. but c’mon, tying knots? again, remember what i did as a kid? tsk. heh.

  7. Lady Sascha
    Posted September 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the thought that our sexual selves are formed much earlier than we realize, certainly before puberty.
    I take calls on Niteflirt and other phonesex lines — mostly domination, fetish, humiliation, forced feminization, etc.. The number of men whose sexual identity and fetishes are formed by the time they are 10 or 11 never ceases to amaze me. Many of the men who call me started peaking at their mother or sisters, watching them get dressed, put on make-up, lingerie, etc. Some of these boys stole panties just to sniff and jerk off with as they hit puberty. Some decided to wear the panties because they felt sexy. Some decided to take it a step further and wear make-up and hose, and they still do when they call. Wrapped up in all this is a goodly amount of humiliation that has been internalized…
    But anyway, back to the point, I do agree with you that many of our sexual fetishes, the things that keep sex from being routine and boring, do have their roots in our childhood. It is good you are able to look inside yourself and see that. :=) Sascha

  8. Posted May 3, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    No surprise from your writing style that you would be into BDSM but rare I suspect, to get pleasure from either side. I have been there. I did the tying. I couldn’t have been tied. Keep us informed

    Tony Letts’s last blog post..NIGHT-TIME MANOEVRES

  9. Posted April 30, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Great read, thank you. I can relate to an awful lot of this as a Mistress.

One Trackback

  1. By Sugasm 146 | Lady Sascha, Cocktease Extraordinaire on February 2, 2009 at 9:18 am

    […] When We Were Kids: Thoughts on BDSM “The tying was always my favourite part, whether I was the one tied who had to escape, or the one who got to do the tying.” […]

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