This feels like Torah study. You start reading an already small section of text, and before long a paragraph, a phrase, a word, a concept, sinks its hook into your brain and that's as far as you get. You both tunnel in and travel outward. Exploring. Making connections. Letting your mind go and then bringing it back home.
I opened The Ultimate Guide to Kink, thinking I had a half hour to finish the Introduction and head into Chapter One. I was armed with a pad of little yellow sticky flags. Tonight's color is yellow. For no real reason. It's the one that came to hand.
I made it all the way to the second page of the Introduction.
Where author/editor Tristan Taormino brings in the phrase
She says that marketers apply it to NPR listeners. Well, that certainly includes me. She says:
Lifelong learners are people who are self-motivated to continually seek out new knowledge and skills, through informal and formal education, to constantly develop and improve themselves.
Tristan applies this to people into kink. She goes on to this wonderful bit:
What the anti-kink fanatics don't understand about us is that we're geeks. Sex nerds. SM intellectuals. We pay money to spend a weekend going to classes.
Now those who've read me for a while know that neither I nor my Master go to kink classes. When I first dove headfirst into BDSM, it was through words. E-mails. Phone calls, eventually, as things progressed in my relationship with the philosopher. And then books. Even with the Internet, people like me always end up with books. The philosopher and I were headed to our first meeting in the flesh. We were both novices and there was so much to learn. So yes. Books. Independent study with Jay Wiseman's SM 101 and Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns (Philip Miller and Molly Devon) as texts. We both had fantasies around bondage, so the philosopher sent away for hemp ropes and studied technique through on-line videos.
It's a very good idea to know what you're doing when you get into BDSM.
But "regular" sex?
We think - oh yeah.
I can do that!
Or two cocks.
Or two pussies and fingers and mouths trying to figure out what the hell they're doing and basing it all on what they've each done in bed with the guy they're both involved with... I guess I've never told that whole story here, have I?
Back to the topic at hand.
I don't know how the sadist first learned. I do know that the need came to him young - and he's not a young man. So it's not like now. There was no Internet. But knowing him as I do, I'm sure he was very deliberative. Focused. Creative. Definitely independent study. I doubt he went to classes. But he did work on it. And continues to. Lifelong learning.
You have to keep studying.
Not just because there's always more to learn on an absolute scale. But because there is nothing absolute about anything involving human beings. There is nothing that can be completely defined about relationships. As soon as a different person is involved, there's a new variable in the equation.
You can NOT know for sure what the outcome will be.
it's back to the lab.
With pleasure in the process as well as in the result.
As I quoted Tristan in my first post on The Ultimate Guide to Kink, which she said is
For the people who . . . cultivate consciousness in sex and relationships.You can not ever stop this.
You must not ever stop this.
This is what BDSM has to offer.
this lifelong learning,
however we achieve it,
this constant consciousness,
is the key to the door
and knowledge of each other.