There was a website of stories i ran across the very first day i discovered the ideas of BDSM. I think i read each of them several times back then but i hadn't looked at them for a very long time. I was looking for one specifically for a friend, and with some digging i re-discovered them. [I had to use the wayback machine - thank you David.]
They were absolutely typical - a training school, random chance encounters, punishments, first times... Some were tinged with a touch of anxiety about the unknown, but they were generally quite tame. Those stories led me to others, some of which had a decidedly darker tone: stories with uncomfortable self-discovery, pain, humiliation, fear, terror, non-consent, real danger.... And of course all of them spoke to me, some of them enough to make me question myself for being drawn in rather than repelled.
The edge, the anxiety about what will happen, the fear in what does happen - that's part of the appeal of course. And even now, i don't fantasize about sunshine and daisies. When i imagine the things that really rachet me up - there are no bubble baths or long walks on a beach. That book title had it right: screw the roses - give me the thorns.
But that is fantasy, and in no way do i want my real life to be dark and fearful, or even edgy or anxious. Life by its nature has enough uncertainty, anxiety, worry, even despair and grief. I want, and I need for my relationship with my husband to be a source of stability, trust, refuge, joy and love. And by and large, our relationship is sunshine and daisies - metaphorically speaking.
So why do i want the dark stuff???
Maybe if my relationship were a dark and fearful thing i would dream of rainbows and light. Maybe my attraction to the dark side is a luxury, only possible because of my good fortune currently. Am i trying to inject a little chaos and fear like a bored, over-indulged teenager? Going down this line of thinking makes me feel petty and spoiled, and maybe i am; i'm honestly not sure what to think of this.
Certainly i am fortunate because of my husband and in our relationship. And part of me really wants to think that is ok, that it is a natural urge to want to improve and maintain something you value. I know that the various aspects to ttwd have strengthened our marriage all around. It has provided both light and dark for us; it has taken us further out on the spectrum in both directions. Our relationship is stronger and easier and better, but we also explore the dark and scary, seamy underside. I know him more and i trust him more deeply than ever, but i am also sometimes afraid and on edge and hurt and struggle sincerely to get away from him.
I was chatting with a friend about these thoughts and he put it all in perspective for me - he does that well - i seem to just get lost in the wondering. A few of his thoughts about it:
Once again, it is all in the balance: to truly enjoy the light and understand it, it needs to be kept in perspective by the dark.
If he canes your ass raw and fucks you hard, the next time he hugs you gently in the kitchen, it means so much more.
To never know the bite of the cane is to never experience his raw power and desire and to never truly know the emotion behind the hug, this is the communication of D/s.