Live and Let Kink: Dealing with Sexuality in Two Easy Steps
Just so folks that stopped by yesterday for the adorable cat post know, Misanthropology101 isn’t always about cats. It’s not always about kinky sex, either, but you can safely expect it to swing back and forth somewhere between those two extremes. The “Top Posts” on the right-hand sidebar might help if you’re struggling for a better idea of what all goes on over here.
That said, onto two basic lessons for dealing with human sexuality that a number of people I’ve run into lately seem to need:
Step 1: Così fan tutte
Statistically speaking, your next-door neighbor probably likes to dress up like a clown and spank her husband with a frying pan.
Oh, it might not be that specific activity, but there’s something you think is weird and she thinks is sexy (and he thinks is sexy too, hopefully; the husband I mean. Or other life partner, or non life partner who is just another happily consenting adult…this stuff is hard to talk about if you’re trying not to make assumptions, damn.)
The point is that weird, kinky things have always been with us. History is rife with examples, and that’s just among the people we bothered to write things down about. Pick an era at random and we probably know of someone who did something freaky in bed back then:
- James Joyce wrote his wife all manner of lewd letters, ranging from the mildly naughty to talking about lying under her and smelling her farts.
- Catherine the Great’s death by equine intercourse was definitely a malicious rumor, but she was certainly no stranger to using a horsewhip in bed, and if she didn’t actually sleep with the horse it would be about the only male at court that escaped her.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart regularly dabbled in (ew, word choice) bizarre and scatological correspondence with female family members. Apologists have argued that it probably didn’t mean the same thing back then, because changing social mores and blah blah blah, but honestly if telling your cousin you planned to lick her ass was normal and above-board in late 18th-century Vienna we probably would have heard more about it by now.
- And no discussion of odd fetishes throughout the ages would be complete without a link to The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, a classic but undeniably erotic woodblock involving octopi that may be NSFW depending on your place of employment (so use your discretion). The dialogue, beautifully calligraphed into the background, hardly sounds early 19th-century at all:
LARGE OCTOPUS: All eight limbs to intertwine with!! How do you like it this way? Ah, look! The inside has swollen, moistened by the warm waters of lust. “Nura nura doku doku doku…”
MAIDEN: Yes, it tingles now; soon there will be no sensation at all left in my hips. Ooooooh! Boundaries and borders gone! I’ve vanished….!!!!!!
SMALL OCTOPUS: After daddy finishes, I too want to rub and rub my suckers at the ridge of your furry place until you disappear and then I’ll suck some more. “chyu chyu…”
I share all of this with you in part just because it entertains me, but mostly by way of proving the original point: that you almost certainly know someone who is really into some erotic fetish or other. They’ve been with us since the beginning of written history, in every culture that had one.
It’s a good thing to remember, especially if you do accidentally find out (and I won’t ask how) about someone’s, ah, extracurricular activities. As odd as things may seem, you probably shouldn’t alter your perception of him/her/whatever all that much. Apart from a few truly pathological people whose problems go well beyond their sexual interests (and likely aren’t all that related to them), most people’s personalities aren’t determined by what they do in bed.
So accept the historical and sociological reality that we live in a wide, freaky world of kink. The internet has opened a lot of doors, and a lot of people are realizing that they’re not alone for the first time — but they never were, and they never will be, as long as some clever monkey is still trying to figure out what else he can stick his banana into.
The flip side of this “everyone does it” coin is that everyone does wildly different things. That’s rather the point.
That means that you have both a right to enjoy your inflatable balloon sex play and a corresponding responsibility to keep it tactfully discreet for those of us that prefer other flavors.
Put it this way: if we’ve just tonight met at a party and I already know that you like visiting “dungeons” in your spare time, you’re over-sharing. You have other things to talk about, or else you’re defining way too much of who you are by your sexual interests. Get a hobby or something.
Variety is good. Awareness of the variety that’s out there is no bad thing. Indulging in your own personal variety in public — being led around on a leash as you go barhopping, making casual conversations all about who’s taking the “dominant” or “submissive” roles in talking, etc. — is going beyond universal tolerance and becoming an invasion of other people’s personal tastes and spaces with your own. Reel it in a little.
Otherwise you might do something famous, and three hundred years from now we’ll still be reading your letters and trying to figure out just what it was about your cousin’s ass that you liked so much.
Live and let kink, eh?