This was a stupid idea. Why are you doing this? This is going to end poorly.
Belted in, securely but just-not-securely enough to make me think about every way that I’m going to die in the next three minutes. The clank of machinery, and I think about every engineering student that cheated off me on Calculus tests. I know how much I didn’t know then. This doesn’t give me a lot of faith.
Air hiss release and we start moving. This was a bad idea. Why do I do this again? The clank-clank-clank of ascent. How can I stop this thing so I can get off, screaming and relieved that I don’t have to go through this again?
I can’t. We’re going higher. I hate heights. Was that a wobble? This structure isn’t sound. Humans were not meant to go this high. One by one, the seats in front of me level, for a second, then begin to drop. Slowly. Soon I’ll be there, the apex and then…
I fucking hate roller coasters, and I just spent two days riding them. Searching for that adrenaline rush that comes in the moment of freefall down a track where I’m counting the rust stains and praying the bolts hold. Because physics. Because why not? Because endorphins feel good. Because roller coasters don’t hurt. Not really, anyway.
I’m scared of pain, but pain gives me endorphins, adrenaline, fight, rage, fear. So do roller coasters, but they are over so fast. It’s a quick bump, a fast fix, a necessary evil when I can’t name the things I need, when I am afraid of the things I want, and my body craves.
I like the wooden ones. They’re terrifying. They’re short and fast and rattle and feel very much like they are about to shatter under the sheer force and speed and erosion of time. They make me cling to whatever straps I’m given and rip the screams from my throat and it’s an orgasmic level of fear. But it’s over so fast.
Time. What is the comparatively fast climb and drop compared to the slow build, the stoked fire, the insinuation here, the mild threat tossed out there, the building fear of not knowing what is real and what is not, what is words and what carries the weight of intention and action? One tides me over, a snack between meals. The other is sustenance, meat that I can sink my teeth into. One is a giddy rush, the other is a climactic drive toward explosive orgasm. Sparklers and fireworks. Degrees. All time does is elongate the possible degrees of intensity, the types of heights that can be achieved.
I can’t help talking myself through the ways that physics fights with roller coasters, the way we try to play God in making these machines that thwart, to some degree, the way that gravity and entropy function. It works against the natural instincts of our bodies. Kink, the kind of kink I really like, is the kind that works with. The kind that builds with the bodies that exist in those moments, that push together in similar directions.
I like being terrified, but I need a mechanism of control, a way out. I’m trapped on roller coasters. They don’t smile when I curse at them and tell them I can’t handle what they’re about to do. They don’t care. There is no joy anywhere in my fear. It is for me, and me alone, and I like being afraid, but I like it for the chemicals it gives me. I don’t get those until the drop; for a good few minutes, I am afraid with no purpose.
Why do I do this, over and over again? Because I’m a stubborn, hardheaded ass that returns to the things I know in lieu of exploring the things I am learning. Because I’m an adrenaline junkie- years on speed and years after in recovery taught me that- and I want to get high, but in ways that won’t destroy my body, life, or relationships. Because harm reduction is not the same as harm elimination. Because I crave, over and over, then sense of being certain I am going to die. Because the possibility, the reality of dying means that, for this one moment, life tastes different. Because in those moments, I catch a glimpse of the things about my life that I would change, given the chance. Because I can learn, in those moments, without learning at the expense of someone else.
So what did I learn from this roller coaster binge, this two day stint of spikes and highs, ups and crashes and moments of not-dying? That fear- that metallic taste, the rapid shift in heart rate and rhythm, that abrupt kick into sympathetic that makes my palms sweat- is still arousing. It’s not technically possible to reach sexual arousal in sympathetic- it comes before, usually, because you have to be in parasympathetic to get aroused, but sympathetic to actually achieve orgasm. I trace the biology of my responses in how they interact with the physics of my surroundings. I can’t stop thinking.
Even in the midst of these lightning bolts of fear, I don’t stop analyzing. And perhaps that’s the biggest thing. I always, always look for ways to turn my mind off, to stop the constant stream of analysis and processing and data input. It takes time and an overwhelming amount of stimulus overload to get there. Kink offers both, roller coasters offer, in truth, neither.
So why do I do this, over and over again? Because it’s safer. Because there isn’t someone smiling back at me when I say I can’t do what’s about to happen. Because trust issues or something. Because it’s close enough. It’s dependable. I am still in control of stepping on this ride. I can watch the track and predict how to move.
I can’t predict that with you, the nebulous “you,” non-specific human that is on the other end of the fear I crave. I can’t predict which way this is going to go, and there is only so much I can prepare for. Because this fear is not just for me, but for you. Can you smell it? Does the scent of it get you as high as these chemicals in my brain are making me? Which one of us taps out first? I will always beat the machine; I won’t always beat you.
This is divergent. It’s always divergent and yet, I am itching and craving and yearning and can’t stop fighting with words in an ongoing battle with no winner or loser. Sometimes I crave; other times, I can’t face the way the words taste. But tonight, this is craving. This did not satiate, but whet an appetite, a chasm, a yearning maw opening and gorging itself on desire and fantasy. This was an appetizer and I am ravenous. This itch is unsettled, hunting for images, chasing the phantom of sensation. These are the nights where jacking off is barely satisfying, but it is enough. Good enough, like roller coasters are good enough.
Not what I need, but enough, for now.