By Mako Allen
Many years ago, I started going to The Phoenix Society, a scene club in Baltimore. I was brand-new, and while I was bold about seeking out my desires, I did hold back some. I had no problem telling people I wanted to get spanked, but I kept what I thought were my more exotic interests to myself. I was completely terrified to tell anyone that I had a diaper fetish. These were people who on a regular basis were pulling down my pants, and spanking my bottom. Why should I be afraid to tell them anything? Lao-tzu knew.
Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.
What does it mean that success is as dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it, your position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground, you will always keep your balance.
What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don’t see the self as self, what do we have to fear?
See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self; then you can care for all things.
After waiting so long to find people like myself, I really treasured the folks at Phoenix. I couldn’t wait to go see them and spend time with them. I loved being around them, watching them play, playing with them. It wasn’t just that it was fun – it felt connecting.
These weren’t just kinky people they were MY kinky people.
Which was why I felt like I had to censor myself a bit – because I didn’t want to lose them. It’s almost ironic that after struggling for so long with my desire to find others like me, finding them made me feel more alone. I was so desperate to cling to what I had, that I didn’t want to risk losing it. My success turned into a weight around my neck!
Eventually, my need to explore won out over my fear, and I openly started talking about being an adult baby, and having a diaper fetish, to the folks there. Some were super positive about it, while others were a bit squicked. But overall, it went well. Not too long after that, I started openly bringing diapers to the club, and wearing them there. It wasn’t too long after that that a dominant woman diapered me at the club, in front of others, for the first time in my entire life.
I was immensely, intensely grateful for this. As it turned out, I wound up having some truly awful play experiences with this person a few months later. But I’m grateful for both sets of experiences.
The thing all these experiences have in common is that they’re examples of dualistic thinking.
Non-duality is a tough concept for us western thinkers to wrap our minds around. The word “tao” is the Chinese word for “way”, as in “the way things are.” But Tao, with a capital
T is The Way. It includes everything. I mean, literally everything. Every word ever spoken, every thing that has ever happened, every person, place, thing, idea, or action is part of the Tao. In fact, even referring to it as the Tao is abstracting you from the idea of it. There is only one correct way to think of or refer to the Tao, and that’s not to think of or refer to it at all!
That’s what Lao-tzu means when talks of “not seeing the self as self.” When I was so consumed with losing my connection to the Phoenix Society over what they might think of my diaper fetish, I was seeing a duality – me versus them. Actually, I was seeing several dualities – me versus vanilla society, me versus my needs, me versus other people in general.
All of which is an illusion, a sort of lie. The truth is that my diaper fetish, my spanking buddies, Phoenix Society, 18th century chamber music, cheese puffs, this column you’re now reading, and I are all just part of one great big thing.
And I love that thing, as I love myself. That’s because there’s no difference between them. I don’t need to fear judgment, intolerance, or loss. I don’t need to celebrate achievement, victory, or gain. Things are what they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be.
It’s reminds me of that line from the poem Desiderata, “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
So don’t be scared. And know that I love you.