For as long as I can remember having sexual feelings (and probably before that, actually), I’ve also been BDSM-inclined.

In truth, the “also” in the previous sentence doesn’t make sense to me. There’s no “also.” It’s as much a part of my sexuality as being (mostly) hetero. It’s not an add-on, as if one day I’m not kinky and the next day I am — it doesn’t work that way for me. I just….am kinky. That doesn’t mean that all my sexual activity is (or has been) BDSM-related. Far from it. But it IS an integral part of my sexuality, inasmuch as “sexuality” is something different from genitals, having nothing to do with body parts and everything to do with our thoughts and emotions and what we want, sexually, and how we want it.

In any case, this blog isn’t about the Why of my kinkiness; it’s about the What of my kinkiness. And, more importantly, the What Do I Think about my kinkiness.

[Note: there are so many terms that are used to generically mean “BDSM” — S&M, leathersex, bondage, Dominance/submission, power exchange, etc., etc., ad infinitum — that I’m just using the catchall terms “BDSM” and “kinky” to refer to myself. What those terms mean to me, and what they encompass, will — I hope — become clear as this blog develops.]

I’m in my 30s, and I’ve known I was kinky for at least 20 years. But it wasn’t until this year that I became actively involved in the BDSM lifestyle. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve converted my house into a dungeon, and it doesn’t mean that I now dress exclusively in leather, PVC, and/or chains. “Lifestyle,” in this usage, just means “Hey, this is what I’m into, and I like to get together with other people who are into it also, and talk about it, and maybe actually do it, too.”

So I joined a local BDSM group in February. I had actually found the group’s Web site probably 2 or 3 years ago, but just couldn’t work up the courage to check it out. When I finally did join the group this year, I really really REALLY wanted to — but I was also scared out of my mind. Not because I was worried I’d be walking into a group full of people in leather, cracking whips menacingly at me; but because it was, quite honestly, a coming-out experience for me.

I don’t know what it’s like to be gay and come out to family and friends. And in this case, I certainly DIDN’T come out as kinky to family or friends; I just….went to a BDSM group meeting. And yet, it was a public statement that yes, I dig this kinky shit. It doesn’t matter that the “public” was a small group of people I didn’t yet know who were also inclined the same way — it was more people than just me knowing that I was kinky, and THAT was “public” enough to me. And it felt like a coming-out.

But I survived that first meeting, and stuck around.