Why “The Struggle”?

Written by on September 1, 2017

Feral_Sophisticate

Feral_Sophisticate

Affiliated Content Provider at TPOK Educational Network Inc.
I came to the lifestyle (officially) in 2010, but have known about kink since the early 90s. I've been active in the local (Toronto, Canada) community since 2013. Future goals: a PhD in Clinical Psychology, specializing in trauma therapy.
Feral_Sophisticate

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If you’re kinky or kink curious (as one would presume, since you’re here, right?), then you probably are aware of – or have been directly impacted by – the stigma facing those of us who are in the “lifestyle”. This blog will – in time – deal with a variety of specific kinks and fetishes, socio-cultural taboos and elements of the journey that got me to where I am.

Be patient.

The really juicy stuff about kinks and fetishes aren’t up for grabs today, though. You’ll get that, just not today. I promise that I will deliver that, later.

Today, I’m going to take a moment to take you on a brief journey, and explain what compelled me to start a blog at this point in my life. As of this writing, I’m 46 years old young, and how this came to pass is as relevant as the topics I’ll be discussing here in the future.

So, walk with me for a while. I promise, it’s a short trek.

Well, short-ish, anyway.

Why this blog? Why now?

For those of us who have been parents, the constant “whys” of our toddlers can be a mixed blessing. In my life’s experience, however, this eternal question (and inquisitiveness, in general) has lead to more personal growth and evolution than anything else I have encountered.

I’m sure I drove my parents nuts, with my “why”, “how come” and “what’s that” about nearly everything that crossed my path. As so often seems to happen, I grew to adulthood and lost that endearing childhood curiosity, replacing it with adult responsibilities and sensibilities.

I forgot how to laugh – how to really laugh.

I forgot to love myself.

I forgot to live.

That was then – I’m a different, arguably better person now. My “comfort zone” was really just camouflage for the miasma of despair, a cesspool of entropy that I had allowed myself to fall into.

That was my adult life, from around age 23 until just before my 40th birthday in 2011. I credit a large part of my “discovery” on how far I’d fallen from – well, ME, when I discovered the following poem:

“Invictus” – William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

For me, that entire piece was revelatory. That was the man I used to be, and the one that I thought I still was. It didn’t take me long to realize how far I’d strayed from where I should have been. I was throwing my life away, living for others – and losing myself in the process. I needed a fresh start. Rebirth and renewal. To rediscover the joy that it is to see, hear, smell, touch. To be full of wonder again and ask questions.

And no, this didn’t involve age regression (though I have nothing against those who enjoy that particular dynamic). This was more a matter of allowing myself the luxury of a new beginning, before it was too late to find “me” again.

I came to FetLife in 2010 after hearing about it from the woman I was seeing at the time (after my marriage ended – more on that in a later blog entry). My ex-wife and I had dabbled in various “kinks” while we were together – even though we didn’t really recognize them as kink – and I had a pretty good idea about what I liked and didn’t like. FetLife astonished me, and “discovering” it was a real revelation.

I spent the first two or three years on FetLife basically educating myself. I was a sponge. I read as much as I could, and bought books on the subjects that I felt were the best “fits” for my skills and knowledge. Remember what I said about asking lots of questions? I did that: in forums, via private messages to people who seemed “in the know”. I read books such as “The Loving Dominant”.

I’ve always been a quick study, as well a proficient trainer, coach and educator. My own interests in human socialization and negotiation lead me to become involved in sharing what I’ve learned with others.

In March, 2013, I started doing workshops and seminars. Initially as a presenter, later as a presenter and coordinator. To date, I have given seminars, demos and workshops on such diverse topics as negotiation, sensory play and deprivation, roleplaying as a fetish “tool”, candles and ladling, consensual nonconsent and how to play safe in “the scene”

Throughout, I kept learning, asking questions, observing others, and being a sponge for knowledge.

In 2015, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by The People of Kink, and share the story about how I got into the lifestyle. (Interested parties can find that interview located here: http://www.tpok.network/podcast/tpok-135/)

Fast forward to today (August, 2017), and an opportunity came to be one of the regular blog contributors for TPOK. I leaped at that opportunity for a few reasons. Most importantly, to give back to the community, to help educate others, and to share tools that may help others in their journey.

That’s all well and good, but why is this called “The Struggle”?

This name came to me by sheer luck. Titling my work has always been a difficult thing. I don’t like to pick titles ahead of time, as I often find that the title rarely continues to represent the content.

I was talking to several of my FetLife friends, and told them I was having a difficult time deciding on a title. Some offered some great suggestions (which – unfortunately – turned out to be used by others), or were disqualified for other reasons. I told one of them that I was struggling with the task of coming up with a title.

And full stop. What better title could I find for a blog that would share elements of my journey, as well as discussing the (very real) challenges we in the community face on a day to day basis? Societal, cultural and religious taboos and prejudices weigh heavily on a lot of what we do.

“The Struggle” was perfect, in my eyes.

Comments? Questions? Feel free to share your thoughts. I’ll be starting regular posts (at least one per month) in October. Until then, be safe, be well, and don’t be a stranger.

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Reader's opinions
  1. WingedHeels

    WingedHeels   On   September 6, 2017 at 2:06 am

    What about “To Define or Not Define Your Role”? Something about labels and finding what roles suit yourself best, whether you put a name on it or not? And how they can change down the road. Stigmas on both sides?

    Or, you could write about communication in a dynamic, but also healthy communication with one’s self.

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