a Barak & Sheba Article

I'm Not Broken... I'm Bent
Monday Aug 18, 2014

Not so long ago, I was chatting with a vanilla work acquaintance. During a brief quiet moment in the med room, they brought up the subject of my kink life. Now, while I am completely out, I never bring up my kink, or any of my sexuality, at work. In my opinion, it's just not appropriate. Plus with all the sexual harassment liability and such, an employer tends to take a dim view of that sort of thing – and I love my job.

Anyway, I let them know I was completely open to discussing the generalities of my kink, but not on the job. If perhaps they were interested in heading to the bar for a casual drink after work, I would happily answer almost any question. They agreed, and we went about our merry ways.

After work, I headed to the local watering hole, and we met up. One or two other work friends, having questions themselves, had also joined up. We found ourselves a table away from the scant other patrons, ordered our drinks and chatted superficially. We spoke about the weather, the local sports teams, what happened that day at work… you know, all that stuff you talk about when you are nervous about getting to the point. But… after the first round of drinks had relaxed their tongues, the questions flowed…

They asked everything they could think of. How does that work? Doesn't it hurt? Do you love the person you are doing it with? Do they like it? Do you play rape? (this with a bit of a blush) and then the questions got deeper. It was as if getting into something taboo, was the key to the floodgates of intimacy. What is chaining? Do you fuck them while playing? What's it like to have a slave? The second round of drinks came. A few sips and we were off again… How does this effect your marriage?

Then… after that… Wait, what? You have an open relationship too? And the shift to that – Does your wife get jealous? What happens when you see your wife with another man? What about STIs? Aren't you worried she will leave you? And on it went for another 10 minutes. It was like a Q&A version of ping pong. Then the question. I had seen it brewing. She had been sitting there, quietly for about 3 minutes… and she was deep in her head – not really following the conversation. I could see the morbid curiosity growing.

I was still paying attention and answering the other two… but there was a momentary lull… I could feel that the energy had reached a crescendo, and the alcohol had loosened her inhibitions enough. She said, “Um.” We all looked at her. She looked at the others doubtfully. I said, “Ask it. If it's too personal, don't worry, you can't offend me. I won't answer.” There was an almost imperceptible shrug and she looked me straight in the eyes and asked. “These things you do to other people. Hurt them. Enjoy it. Why do you do them? Are you broken? Did someone do something horrible to you to like these things?” There was a long pause… and a sigh. But Pandora had one more question in her box… she held her breath… then let it loose. “Were you sexually abused?”

While the remainder of the bar was still jumping and carrying on, our table went still. It was like the cone of silence from the original Get Smart had descended over the table. Slowly, almost embarrassed for the question, the three slowly turned to face me, eyes occasionally glancing down…as if scared I might attack, or worse, I might shatter. I smiled, waited for just a moment. Then with a very calm, friendly, safe voice, I began to address her question.

No. I'm not broken. At least I don't think so. And for that matter, neither does my former therapist. My mother – who happens to be a Freudian Psychoanalyst – thinks that I am more than well adjusted, but I am sure she is biased. The truth is, I grew up in a time when parental corporal punishment was still acceptable and sometimes encouraged. The adage, “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” was oft heard in my early childhood. Was I physically abused? Depends on the standards you are measuring by. If we are referring to the current day and age? I was, and badly. If we are measuring by the 50s, 60s, and early 70s? Heck no. I was given the adequate amount of punishment for a child of my… impish nature.

But there was still that unspoken answer. The most intimate of questions, now lay alone on the table. Gathering myself for a moment, I then began. I repeated the question, so they knew which one I was referring to … Was I sexually abused? Fortunately, no. I wasn't sexually abused. I will admit to being a highly sexualized child – however that might be attributable to my parents. Although I have only circumstantial evidence, I believe my parents had a very active and - somewhat creative -sexual relationship. And, as everyone knows, the apple never falls far from the tree.

Being acutely sexually aware at what I feel to be an early age, I began masturbating / self-pleasuring to orgasm shortly after my initial seminal emission / wet dream. Shortly thereafter, around 10-11, I developed a fondness for porn, and began to gather “nudie mags” from wherever I could. I would fantasize about controlling women (via magic or hypnosis) and forcing them to perform on each other for my pleasure and amusement. I found “adjuncts” for my self-pleasuring… some of my favorites being the soft stuffing from my sleeping bag or a pillow… or the early version of the Hitachi Magic wand – the one with the wide “hamburger” head.

That sexuality also extended to other areas of my life. At 12, I was larger than average… at 5’7” and 175 lbs, I appeared much more mature than I was. Clumsily, I made advances toward our babysitter and others in a slightly older age bracket. Eventually, I was successful at finding a slightly older female version of myself, and the rest… Well. Let's just say my virginity didn't last 'til I graduated into my teens. Plus, with my desires – and hers – experimentation was high on the priority list.

But being a sexuality / kink educator, I knew that very question was going to come up, and possibly be applied to me and/or the whole of the Kink Community. Therefore to supplement my own knowledge, I had polled many people, both in the scene and out. I had asked a question similar to hers – albeit in a gentler fashion – to a large group of people who would give me an honest answer. I had also done some reading and research on the statistics – not enough to publish a study, but certainly enough to speak on the subject with some background.

I had discovered the 1 in 6 rule for men, that one in six men is a victim of some form of childhood sexual abuse, and that statistic is nearing twice that for women. According to the Crimes Against children research center, approximately 15% to 25% of women and 5% to 15% of men were sexually abused when they were children. The research brought an acute awareness to a significant problem, but was there a higher rate among kinky people?

That question really ignited my interest. I compared national results with the questions I had asked the kink community members, and found that the rates were similar. Again, not a true study, but enough to satisfy my curiosity. Like many other social and/or cultural collectives, us kinky fucks are just a representative subsection of the national averages.

I looked over at them, as they nodded and appeared to grasp my overall explanation. I remarked, with all that being said… there is one last piece that remains unanswered. “Why do I do these things?” Hmmm, that is both long and complicated, and short and sweet. If you want the short and sweet answer? I am simply finding an outlet for my base impulses. Human beings, as a species, have always exhibited one or the other – sexual or violent tendencies. Our society’s advertising campaigns are traditionally based on one and/or the other. It attracts our attention, it fuels our desires, it stimulates us, and creates an impetus.

If you look at studies about Sadomasochism, there is an average of 10%. Ten Percent of people have engaged in some form of sadomasochistic activities within their lifetimes. Plus, a Kinsey Study reported that 12% of females and 22% of males reported having an erotic response to a sadomasochistic story. And, it’s obvious with the increases in Kinky books, such as 50 Shades, movies, songs, et al… that SM / Kink is becoming more prevalent.

The longer version? I am just being honest with myself and my partners. In each and every one of us, there is a part that is untamed wild beast caged under the social veneer. We are conditioned from birth to fit in, belong and conform to societal norms. Our imagemakers mold us, shape us, and force us into that round hole… when we were born that square peg. We are bombarded with images, ideas, media, and coerced into a life that is acceptable… All of this designed and coordinated to keep the feral selves hidden behind a thick wall.

Some people tear down and discard that wall… letting the wild beast run - unfettered, unlearned, unconditioned and out of control. And run it does - completely amuck… taking what it wants, doing unspeakable things, and creating harm in its wake. Prisons are filled with those who don't take the time to merge the halves of self.

But. Those of us who recognize the power in both sides… Well. We create a doorway in the wall. We merge with the beast. We realize that it is not a separate entity – that we are one in the same. We look for others, complimentary spirits, who have also found the key. Perhaps this is where the legends of Were-Creatures come from? I don't know. But I do know the ecstasy of sharing that primal energy with another. Consensually merging sex, pain, blood, saliva, life and death… into connection.

So… when you ask, “Am I broken?” The answer is no. Not in the least, as I would answer it. I am free. But I see things a little differently. If you would ask others, like the administrators of sexuality studies, I would be “in the minority of sexually active adults.” And for people who are not me, who are not kinky, who are simply vanilla? I would tell them, with as impish a grin as I could muster – Nope. I'm not broken. I'm a little bent…

©2014 Barak & Brat Sheba

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