How BDSM Turned Decades of Monstrosities into a Home

In my teens, sex was sticky and dripping in guilt. You’re not meant to fuck before marriage, you know, so here’s a poster of seven STIs. Here’s one about teen pregnancy and ruination. Here are 10 reasons you’re a slut.

When I became sexually legal, I was already in my first long term relationship with a man called Ash. We tried public sex. We tried Five Awesome Sex Positions You Won’t Believe are True. We played with ice and porn and The Godawful 69™. Sex was a planet to explore, but I still felt guilty about it, and that was ameliorated by the fact that Ash was a son of a bitch.

Thus began my Slutcapade years. Ash was gone. I was in pain, so sex became a wound I treated with more sex. Those were my numb years. I had a man for every day of the week, and I didn’t care about any of them.

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When I finally fell for a good man, I became one of those conservatives who had sex in bed with the lights off. I stopped experimenting and started thinking about marriage. We never got that far, and so I met a man who was into threesomes and bisexual sex and fisting and rape.

Let’s not talk about that last part. Here’s a paragraph of silence.

H liked playing with power, but something in our sex life was missing. E showed me what it was: intimacy. He taught me to share secrets I’d sworn never to tell. So many times, I dreaded sharing something that E accepted as beautiful. He loved my guilt. He even loved my shame, so I told him about my sexuality one terror at a time. I thought the sky would fall, but the earth filled with flowers instead.

That was my introduction to BDSM, and I rarely talk about the kinks we played with because they were beside the point. Submission dissolved all my sexual shame and I don’t know why. D/s made me proud. One day I woke up feeling at as though my body fit me. Maybe it was the fact that submission had been lurking inside me all along, or maybe it was that I felt seen for the first time in my life. Maybe it was love that did it. Maybe it was E who did it. Whatever it was, I learned that telling my truth melted my paragraph of silence. Then I found Fetlife and, with it, my voice because, for some reason, people wanted to listen.

Of all the things that have healed me, BDSM has been the most miraculous. I still walk tall. I still tell hard truths. I’ve still forgotten what it was like to think sex was evil, numbing, and guilt-ridden.

I love this community, and that’s why. BDSM turned my body into a home, and the kink community decorated it with tulips. Yellow ones like those my first love used to bring me every Friday.

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