Reader Mailbag: “How Old Were You When You Knew…?”

“How old were you when you when you knew you were a ‘sadomasochist’ (to use your very old-fashioned term)?  I can trace a lot of my kinks back to childhood and a lot of kinksters I’ve talked to remember acting it out in games.”
                                                     –Random Internet Stranger

         The word is old-fashioned but accurate, at least for me. 

         I knew that my sexuality was weird years before I became sexually self-actualized and many years before I learned that BDSM was a thing with a name that people did.  I knew that I was weird because I didn’t have the fascination with normal sexy crap that most people think is arousing.  I wasn’t interested in nudity, I didn’t compare myself to the grown women in Playboy like most of the girl I knew, and the sexy scene in the mystery and thriller-suspense books I was sneaking out of the library didn’t do much for me.  Nor do I recall being attracted to any of my male peers.  I didn’t fantasize about sex much at all.

         What I did fantasize about was violence and interactions with imaginary men who were some sort of awful deplorable authority figures.  The fantasies were seldom sexually explicit, but they were very exciting to me and they are not radically dissimilar to the fantasies I have today.  I’m just more experienced and desensitized now, and I no longer have the embarrassment for my needs that I once felt.  I guess most girls were paging through romance novels trying to get to the sexy parts, but I was sneaking out detective/police novels because they were invariably full of violence and men acting like dickheads.  The interesting thing is that I’m a fairly sensitive person and I find violence politically repulsive and I am not exactly a big fan of the patriarchy.  But nobody can help who or what they are sexually attracted to.  I do believe that.

            I spent most of my childhood being afraid of my exploitive and very controlling father, who is (was?) a strange and awful person.  I can think of a few good things about him, but not many.  He’d do some really weird things that I still do not understand, and I also think that he came close to killing me a few times.  I also got a Teutonic cultural heritage and years of formal Catholic education.  Roman Catholicism is the perfect religion for any proud, upstanding sadomasochist.  The history is full of the most appalling, violent shit you can imagine and the art is both sensual and gruesome.  

Bernini The Ecstasy of St. Teresa c. 1652

Execution victim hanging on the wall.

      Then you get a mindfuck when the clergy turns around and tells you that it’s really all about love.  What it’s really about, of course, is power and politics, which, as fortune would have it, became the focus of much of my academic attention. 

       I moved out when I was 19 and secured my first Top within months.  I was doing eroticized violence before I had intercourse, which really says something.  

        I lucked out: he was good.  I met him on the internet, of course, the same way I meet most of these guys.  Yahoo! personals, back when it was still popular and free.  His name was Gregg.  He was married, late 30s, and he had a job coordinating the sale of parts for corporate jet airplanes.  I thought he was very handsome, in an austere, hard sort of way.  He looked a lot like Lance Armstrong.  He was very friendly, except when he wasn’t, and he always respected my boundaries and didn’t try to have sex with me.  I never saw the man naked.  Now that I have over a decade of experience with scores of various male sadists, I can tell you that Gregg was worth his weight in gold.  

          He had a good deal with me.  He’s swing by my apartment once a week (his sports car looked very weird parked in front of my dilapidated building) for a progress report and a beating.  I’d get the hand if I was doing well and the belt if I wasn’t.  His aim was true and he knew what he was doing.   

          (And, in case you’re wondering, his wife knew what he was doing with me.  I met her several times and even ate dinner with them.  She was a knockout and I actually found her a little attractive, which almost never happens to me with women.  I’m pretty sure that she had some sort of open relationship agreement with Gregg, but I never asked because it didn’t seem like it was my business.)  

          I saw Gregg for about six months.  Then he received a promotion and moved to San Diego.   I got a boyfriend and we lost touch, though I did keep sending him Christmas cards for a few years.

          Good memories, though.  My grades were excellent that year, too. 

One thought on “Reader Mailbag: “How Old Were You When You Knew…?””

  1. Hi Margo

    I’m generally not one to dwell on the past, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Which brings me to ask, If you could talk to your 19 year old self, what would you tell her? Other than avoid the booze and a certain NYC surgeon. I hope I haven’t been too personal.

    Take care of yourself


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