Why SM?

excerpt from Wild Side Sex

I do SM in search of a moment’s clarity and pureness of existence. In the act of SM and D/s I shed layers. I shed the layers of calcified defenses and starched propriety and peel away my civilized veneer. In the act of SM and D/s I must be fully present in the moment. There’s no other choice. No other way for me to live leather. Anything less would be an act of self-disrespect and dishonor…. A sham. At the beginning of a scene I may not always know what I will find under those layers. Under my sense of my socially acceptable self, I may find an entirely unexpected and naked soul looking back at me.

I have flown with wings of ecstasy on clouds of laughter and joy. I have plunged deep into the oceans of tears and sorrows found in all grieving hearts. I have tapped the fountain of eternal compassion within me. I have crawled through the thorns of hate sprouting from my own bile. I have touched the peace of universal love. I have loved you, my lover, so hard that I wanted to tear you from limb to limb and devour you whole. My flesh has twisted into a creature of lust, a demon of desire and a god of blissful nothingness.

In stepping into the arena of a SM experience, I step knowingly into a dimension where lies and false intentions may turn around and bite me back like a poorly handled bullwhip. When I play, I must be honest to my hungers. I must give my inner beasts room to feed, even if they’ve not yet fully emerged. My flesh becomes a vehicle of expression for these naked and hungry beasts, the rawest parts of my soul.

Passion rules my play.

In the moment of SM, nothing else matter. Only this I know to be true; that there is only me, my partner and the world formed by the two of us. Even in the midst of a crowded play party, the crowd simply becomes the backdrop and the grand chorus for the unfolding primal drama. They bear witness to the sublime arias.

This theater of desire is not a stage of façade, but rather a place where the façade is removed. We use the conventions of roles to remove the masks of the daily roles we’ve allowed ourselves to become. It’s a nakedness that we are not accustomed to. To be bare-faced like this is to expose all of the self: the strength, the beauty, the frightening and the frailty. We expose this naked self to the world, to those who bear witness, to our partner and, most frighteningly, to ourselves. We’ve spent so many years constructing a sense of self with the complex interweaving of inner character, parental molding, social sanctions and disapproval, that we fear that such moments of soulful nakedness might, perhaps, unravel for all eternity this carefully, delicately crafted identity. What then? What’s beyond that event horizon?

It is only a leap of faith that can take us to that realm of honest nakedness.

The unknown frightens us. The fear of the unknown and of the pain of change may keep our feet nailed to our lack of fulfillment. Batter, some may say, a comfortable discontent than an uncertain bliss. Better to toil the unyielding earth than to fly too close to the sun, as we might fall again.

More tragic, perhaps, than those who have never flown, are those who fly and yet do not feel the heat of their passion’s sun scorching their back. I have seen some people’s eyes, a cold, numb glaze of habitual play. The whip flies with grace and precision, but I cannot sense the heart. Why do they play? What do they seek in the moment of play? Who are they playing for? For the thirst of their desires and love of the union in that moment…or for the approval of others? Are they feeding an inner hunger, or do they go forever feeling, somehow, hollow?

These hungry ghosts may be endowed with skill. They haunt the play world with flourish and judgment. They are often the arbiters of what’s deemed proper play, the definers of the corpus juris of leather. They see young initiates, tearing into each other with unsurpassed passion and raw desire, flying in their private skyscape. Will the heat these lovers generate incite any awe in these arbiters? Or will the judges simply deconstruct their technical failings?

May we never forget our uninitiated hearts and passions.

A SM moment shared may touch you indelibly. It may stay with you eternally and you may be forever changed. The moment may be as fleeting as spring rains in the desert, but the joy it feeds and the flowers of pleasure it brings to bloom are just as brilliant as a desert rose.

How can I forget the magic of opening the doors to the darkest part of someone’s child-heart despite their life-weary body? I will always treasure the beauty and the art that we create with rope and flesh. The symphony of pain and pleasure that we conduct will always echo in my mind. With a consenting other I can unleash my monsters to commit the atrocities of passion. The deep impact of these moments feeds an eternal flame in me that keeps my lust for life blazing bright.

With this eternal flame, I may warm my soul on the bone chilling days of the lonely heart. While this flame stays lit, I might go for a long period without playing. I shall not play for the sole reason of obligation or expectation. I shall play only as my passion moves me to play. I shall enter into the moments of SM to feed an honest hunger, and not for the sake of wonton and destructive gluttony.

I do SM in search of the moment’s clarity and pureness of existence.


World renowned sex educator Midori is the author of the classic erotic instruction manual The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage as well as Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink, from which this article is an excerpt.

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