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My Kink is Your Doom
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Written by Paul D. Batteiger   
Thursday, 11 August 2011 01:52

This is a subject that has bothered me for a long time, and with the last few weeks' posts on gender, race, and body size, it seemed a good time for me to address the politicizing of desire, or rather my opposition to same.  A lot of people have this problem, and I'm sure it causes untold inner turmoil, pain, and lack of fulfillment to many people whose lives and identities are intimately tied into the battle against racism, sexism, ableism, and whatever the term for 'hating fat people' would be if it were an "-ism".

See, it is one thing to hold beliefs on the equality of humankind, and another to argue with your own deepest lusts and desires.  What does one do, after all, if one's fetishes or kinks clash with one's own deeply-held political beliefs?  What if the unpersoning of another human being is not just abhorrent to you, but also really, really gets you hot?  What do we say to the feminist who wants to be spanked and humiliated?  The equality activist who cannot stop fapping over geisha-girl fantasies?  The safe and consensual B&D fetishist who wants to be unsafe?

Beyond this, what do we do when our innermost sexual wants are not just personally distasteful, but indefensible by any measure?  What do we say to the pedophile, the necrophiliac, the person excited by rape or other nonconsensual kinds of sex?  Do we really have nothing to offer these people at all?

We really do not, and the message that comes through, loud and clear to people with sexual desires that are out of bounds is: stop it.  Don't do it, don't talk about it, and don't even think about it.  As any of us know, this is bullshit and accomplishes nothing.  What we discover, time and time again, is that our deepest sexual urges cannot be wished or moralized or legislated away.  We resist this notion, even as we agree that it is obvious, we wish it were not true.  I think all of us, at one time or another, have desires we wish we could just get rid of, but the brain does not work like this.

When the uptight moralizing politician is discovered banging a leather-wrapped twink in a bathroom somewhere we all roll our eyes and say "Geez, get over yourself.  If you'd just admit you want these things you'd be much happier."  But if the same person was boning, say, a corpse, we react with revulsion.  "Oh gawd this guy is sick, he needs help!"  When we do this we are overlooking that both urges come from the same place – both are basal sexual wants – sexual preferences that cannot be wished away, or ignored.

An orientation, a kink, a preference – all these things are equally strong no matter if they are accepted (cheerleaders), or not accepted (ponies).  They say "the heart wants what the heart wants", but that goes double for the groin.  How many of us could really change what turns us on if we tried?  I'm guessing, but I think the number would be near zero.  We can hide it, we can bury it in shame and self-loathing, but we cannot change who we are, or what we want to fuck.

Which is why I believe in the strongest terms that we must make fantasy a safe place for everyone.  Fantasy is ringed around with taboos and fears and misunderstandings, when it should be the very freest place there is.  You can condemn how someone treats their fellow human beings in real life, but I will stand up and say it is wrong to condemn how they treat imaginary people in fantasy.

Does this mean that certain fantasies are not repellent, and that a fantasy never says anything about you as a person?  No, it does not.  But I see so many people whose imaginations are hobbled not by the inherent limits of their minds, but by what they deem acceptable.  Is it OK to have fantasies you would rather not share?  Of course it is – your inner life is the most private place there is, and no one should intrude on it uninvited.  Share what you feel comfortable sharing, share what you feel able to share, but also, do not condemn anyone else's fantasy.

Fantasy gets a bad rep because we mostly hear about the fantasy lives of those people who do not manage to control themselves, and who let their inner reality impinge upon the outer in ways that do not ask for or receive consent.  As a writer of porn I am one of the few people who gets to share the inner life of my sex fantasies with other people.  (Not all of it.  We all write differently for others than we would for ourselves.)  After all, where your fantasy meshes with mine is where I live, where I do what I do.  And the more I do it, the more I see people who have ringed their inner life round with "can't", "shouldn't", "never", and "no".

This bothers me in an essential way.  As a fantasist of every kind, I believe the imagination must be free.  Porn is the workings of the deepest, darkest corners of the world of fantasy.  People act like cruelty and violence are the deepest secrets of the mind, but I find that not to be true.  Sex is what people most often hide.  One can say "I want to kill him" with far less worry than "I want to fuck him".  Fantasy and reality are always held to be on a collision course with sex, and that does us all a great disservice.  I do not judge people on what they fantasize about doing, so long as they make the essential distinction that fantasy is not real, and maybe should stay that way.  Me, I don't want reality in my fantasy at all, and nothing ruins a good fantasy like having to cope with the stress of actually doing it.

Treat your fellow humans well, with respect, and with dignity.  But do not ever confuse that with what goes on in your imagination.  You may have a fantasy that could not or should not ever come true, but the impossible, the fantastical, the grotesque, the ideal – these have always been what fantasy is for.  Do not make the mistake of limiting yourself in the privacy of your mind to what is proper or acceptable.  Be free.

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