One of the main questions people ask in pre-negotiating conversations (that point when you realize you want to play with someone, but aren’t sure if you have any overlapping interests) is, “What are you into?”
It’s a valid question. A necessary one, even. I just don’t have a good answer to it.
The problem is, I’m not into specific things. I have very few universal kinks. It’s not the thing itself we are doing; it’s the connection and intimacy we create together that I crave.
Sure, I love knives, but I don’t want to knife-top everyone I play with. And yeah, I like kidnappings, but I don’t want to bottom for that with everyone. There is literally nothing that I enjoy doing that I would enjoy doing with everyone.
So when someone looks at me and asks, “What are you into?” I stutter to answer. I try to think about what I am interested in with that person, in that moment.
Because yesterday, I might have wanted to you to tie me, but today, I want to beat the hell out of you. And I wonder if I decide to bottom to you today, does that remove the capacity for me to top you tomorrow, or vice versa? Can you only see me in one light, and if so, is it in relation to where you stand, or where I am?
I’m a switch. I hop back and forth across the binary slashes like breathing. Some of it is me; some of it is what my play partner brings out in me. There are people I play with that I can switch mid-scene with, and good god, it’s a glorious flow, like the push-pull of the tide.
There are a limited number of people who make me crave submission but, even with those people, it’s not all the time. It’s just one space of many I can occupy with them.
There are people that I want to hurt. Viscerally, tangibly, I want to watch them suffer and find the most calming sense of peace and joy from inflicting pain and watching them struggle to process through it.
There are people whose pain I can accept. Who hurt me and my brain understands and processes it in a way that I can handle, from whom I crave more and find words like, “Please?” come to my lips without thought or shame.
There are people who can tie me and people who can beat me and people who can push me and people who can light me up and people who can drop me to my knees and people who can bring out the wolf in me and people who can bring out the giddiness and glee and people who can fuck me and people who can play around inside my brain.
My foundational kink is connection. What I get out of doing scenes- no matter where I fall in giving/receiving- is the sense of co-building something together, the sense of intimacy and connection, the sense that we are doing this together, as people, and that neither of us are simply filler bodies for a thing we like to do.
I recently read a piece on leading and following, which I loved because it captures this sense of cocreation and connection, the sense of versatility within a scene or a dynamic. Deconstructing how we navigate different dynamics- particularly for those of us who don’t understand the boxes, let alone fit inside of them-is my playground.
Please don’t get me wrong: for some people, a set dynamic, a set sense of kinks and interests is important and vital to how they navigate the scene. To that, I say, “Fuck yeah!” Because I really do think that kink is fundamentally about getting our needs met and allowing ourselves to be seen as whole, real, vulnerable, messy people… regardless of what side of the slash you land on.
But for me, I have trouble picking sides because I always see more than two sides and, let’s be real, I like breaking things. There is D/s, but there is also the space between where we build and follow protocols without explicit power exchange. There is top/bottom, but there is also the space where we switch from one moment to the next, weaving a kinetic fabric of desire and tension with each breath.
This is my gender, my sexuality, my kink, my life. My power comes from living between the definitions and building something from inside the cracks. My strength is deconstruction. If we can’t bend together, how can we build together?
I am not action-based. I don’t define “sex” as a set of specific actions because, fuck. I’ve fucked people without removing their clothes and I’ve not fucked people while touching their genitals. Sex, kink…whether they are merged or not, for me, both stem from a place of intention. Not, “what are you doing to me, or what am I doing to you?” but, “what are we creating together?”
Because I live within the cracks, because my foundation is built on something outside of definition, it’s sometimes hard to know where you stand in relation to me, and that can be disconcerting. Are you bottoming because I’m topping? Are you sadistic because I’m feeling masochistic?
But we are not defined in relation to one another. You are not your identities because of how they manifest in relation to someone else; you are who you are because you are. And this is where I live and thrive. You can be what you are, and I can be what I am, and neither of us have to threaten the core identities of one another- even if our sense of identities seem to clash- because we are cocreating this space together, and bringing our whole selves into it and finding ways to interact that fit for both of us.
What am I into? I am into seeing you, whatever that means today. That might be the same as what it meant yesterday, but I won’t make assumptions. I am into building something with you, that is unique to how we interact in this moment. And if we play again, if there is a “next time,” I might ask you the same damn questions I asked the first time, because I can’t be the same thing all the time, and maybe you can’t either.
Maybe that’s why we’re playing. Maybe that’s the space we create for each other.
Last night, in the midst of a conversation with a friend about D/s and dynamics and emotional intelligence and transparency and, really, allofthethings, she summed up all of this much more succinctly than I ever could:
“I want to love you, fight you, nurture you, leave you alone, comfort you and tough love you, fuck you and be fucked, all of the possible facets, just in different ratios-whatever feels right for a particular dynamic. I’m not gonna shut down aspects of how I live and love cause it doesn’t fit in a dynamic style.”
That, to me, is everything about how I switch, how I play, how I kink, how I gender, how I fuck, how I live, how I breathe. My kink isn’t action; my kink is intention, and I play in the spaces where definitions have lost their meaning.