By Mako Allen
Your kinks are okay, really. So are mine. Everyone’s kinks can mix together quite nicely if we supply the one missing ingredient: water.
The supreme good is like water,
Which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
When you are content to be simply yourself
And don’t compare or compete,
Everybody will respect you.
Taoism holds up the behaviors inherent in nature as examples for proper functioning. We can learn a lot from water, about living our kinks, and living in general.
There’s this tendency people have to compare themselves to others. “That bottom can take more pain than I can.” or “I know more about rope than that guy!” But the truth is, all water mixes together. Comparison for the purpose of establishing authority, or for vanity’s sake is a useless endeavor. When you play with others your water mixes with theirs, and the scene you create is unique because of it.
Letting your water mix with that of others creates flow, bonding you together. Isn’t that what a good scene is really all about? Connecting, sharing sensation, pleasure, and emotion make playing with others sublime.
Water can serve as a negative example, too. Still or calm waters are clear, and easy to see through. Consider rapids though. Water crashes and tumbles over rocks, becoming frothy and agitated. Such water is impossible to see through, and to fight. Instead of moving in one direction, it slops around like crazy, spilling and hissing over the shore, making a muddy mess.
We’re just the same when we strive. Instead of moving with our play partners, melding our kinks with theirs, we struggle to exert control, push the scene in uncomfortable directions. Ever get a spanking, without a warm-up, on a day you were tired and not really up to play? That’s the kind of striving I’m talking about. No matter how much you want it to feel good, sometimes it just doesn’t.
That’s not to say that you can’t learn new things, and grow in new directions. Actually, if you act like water, you’re infinitely capable of doing so. Water has no shape, but adapts itself to whatever container holds it. It seeps through cracks, gradually, seeking the lowest ground, quietly going wherever it can. It seeks new paths incessantly, tirelessly, without fail.
We can be that way too. By being open to new activities, interests, and fetishes we find our way to new places. If we put aside prejudices and ego about what we should do, we find that we can do all sorts of things.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who’s an extreme player, and gets beat black and blue all the time – but who is absolutely terrified of being infantilized, by being talked down to, or put in a diaper. I pointed out to her how strong she’d have to be to let that happen to her, and now she wants to try it.
Similarly, a friend of mine recently taught me fire play. He and I did a wonderful scene using rubbing alcohol and fire swabs to light up another bottom, an age player who doesn’t normally step outside of his diapered comfort zone. We dragged these lit fire swabs up and down his back, brushing and swatting the fires away with our hands. When we were done, the bottom told me how amazingly soothing, warm, and comforting it felt. It made me feel powerful to do it, and tapped into my own daddy-energy, because I wanted to do it with precision and care.
I remember thinking years ago how fire play was painful and scary and not for me. How silly of me. Lao-tzu has it right – we over think everything. Keep it simple.
There’s this other thing about water: it’s for everyone. There’s this phrase I’ve heard for years in the kink community, “Your Kink is OK”, or YKIOK for short. The unspoken part at the end of that sentence is, “even if it’s not my kink.”
That sort of peaceful coexistence has so many benefits. When you are tolerant of others’ interests and don’t dismiss them, you might find you actually enjoy them. Even if you don’t, your tolerance eliminates the need or desire to compare what you do with what they do. That’s a very big burden to throw off! You can play with others unafraid of being judged for what you like. You never know how or when that open-minded attitude will win you friends, advocates, and allies. I’ve seen this personally in my experience with people into pony play.
When I first went to Camp Crucible several years ago, I met more ponies than I ever had before. I didn’t know a lot about them at the time, but kept an open mind. I found that it was really easy to see them as the ponies they wanted to be seen as. I remember petting them, watching them train, and being praised by their trainers for being mindful, and well mannered around them.
This, I think, is the crucial thing. Even though I didn’t know about pony play, I came to it with an open mind, and an open heart. I embraced the joy it brought the ponies and their trainers.
Clearly, it showed. Without my having asked for it, the ponies and their trainers treated me like the big kid I felt like inside. They praised me for being gentle with the ponies, using an inside voice to talk to them, stroking and petting them gently, too. I, and my age play, was as much an unknown quantity to them, but they instinctively sought to see me in my entirety, to drink me in, like I was doing for them. My water mixed with theirs, and it was oh so sweet.