Over the years, I’ve had many conversations with people both in and out of the overall kinky leather crowd about why we do what we do. Through these conversations and probably way too much time spent thinking about it, I’ve developed my Unifying Theory of Kinks and Fetishes. Your mileage may vary, but it works for me and helps me to explain things to those with a less thorough education on the breadth of sexual kinks.
Every single time I get on a roller coaster, as soon as it’s too late to change my mind, I start thinking “What the hell am I doing and why am I doing it?” All the way up the first hill (if it has one), I keep thinking that. Then the speed kicks in and I scream and yell and laugh and am terrified and exhilarated all at once. And at the end I’m left with a heady sense of power and survival and a sense of having conquered. What I conquered wasn’t so much the roller coaster as the fear.
Roller coasters provide an illusion of danger while still providing safety. Your logical thought processes tell you you’re safe, but millions of years of evolution aren’t quite so convinced, so you still get the rush and adrenaline and the feeling of accomplishment at having survived a fearful situation intact. I think of this as taking the intensity of fear and flipping it from a negative emotion to a positive one by putting it in a safe context and allowing you to prevail over it.
The other part of the puzzle is humanity’s ability to sexualize pretty much anything. If you take a strong emotion or association and sexualize it, you turn it pretty easily into a fetish. And if we’ve learned nothing else from the internet, we should now know that this has happened to pretty much everything in the universe and there’s a web page to prove it. I think this is the brain’s version of a peanut butter cup. “Hey,” says your brain, “I like sex and I like shoes, so shoes and sex together must be awesome.” And a shoe fetish is born.
Now, what if we combine these two ideas? Flip a negative feeling to a positive one by putting it into a safe context and then sexualize it. Out spring a whole host of interesting kinks: pain, bondage, submission, humiliation, edge play, piercings, orgasm control, etc.
Now I’d actually started out to write a post on humiliation play, but then realized I needed to explain my theory first. So, next up humiliation play… (which makes me feel like a conductor on a very kinky train)