I can’t help thinking that there is a duality in humanity between the ‘civilised’ lives we lead and the primal urges lurking beneath the surface. I think that this duality of humanity is of great relevance and interest in terms of BDSM where we create a framework within which we can exploit, play with and enjoy our fundamental desires consensually.
Typically we build sophisticated structures to exploit and extract these urges. We use language, visual imagery, clothing, even technology to enhance the experience. Often something ritualistic surrounds these practices.
I think that as humans we can’t help but use, or if you like pervert the practices of everyday modern life into instruments of pleasure and pleasurable pain. A massager is turned into vibrating genital stimulator, cooking implements into impact toys, and of course, rope into an instrument of bondage, domination and torture.
With every advance in technology comes an advance in human pleasure, Tesla coils power violet wands originally intended for health purposes for electrical stimulation and torture. Tens units invented for muscular rehabilitation for the torture of the helpless twitching ‘victim’.
All this to serve our most base instincts. And yet this is not a runaway process. We do not generally let ourselves run over into actually causing permanent or irreparable harm. We require consent, even for the theoretically non-consensual aspects of our play. Sometimes this sounds convoluted and illogical. And yet we cannot deny that this is the case.
This then is the duality that causes a struggle. Our evolution makes us a tool using, reasoning, social creature but also we remain the animal, the primal lust filled beast.
Perhaps it’s a wonderful achievement, the satisfaction of both of these in kink. We control our primal lusts, fencing them around with ritual and social custom even where the normal social customs did not reach. We make our partners satisfaction part of the satisfaction of our own by seeking out complimentary partners. In the triumph of our social selves, the control of the primal, and yet the satisfaction of it too without descending into the abuse of an unwilling victim we find again that which is unique about humanity.
I think that this makes us more human not less