The other day, I was listening to the Ropecast (Graydancer’s podcast about shibari and other kinky things), and much to my delight, Midori was a guest. She and Graydancer talked about a variety of topics, including her “Elements of Suffering” performance.

In describing “Elements of Suffering,” Midori talked about the Japanese cultural virtue of enduring. She didn’t elaborate on the reasons that enduring is a Japanese virtue; she just explained that it’s a common theme. And then she related that back in to her “Elements of Suffering” performance, talking about the idea of enduring hardship (or suffering).

When I first started reading books about BDSM (thank you, Amazon.com, for making it easy for shy kinksters to get their hands on good reading material!), one of the first books I read was Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton’s New Bottoming Book. In it, they tell the reader to think about what it is that he or she wants to get out of bottoming. In other words, what are you looking for, what do you want to achieve — why are you doing this?

It wasn’t a question I could answer right away; certainly not until I got involved with other kinky people and started playing at parties. Even then, I was just trying to learn everything I could, experience everything I could (or what I was willing to experience), and see what I liked.

Figuring out why I liked it could come later.

And, eventually, what I realized was that, when I bottom, what I want is to endure. I want to take the flogging/beating/pain and get through it, get past it, and see what’s on the other side. (I also want to be praised for taking the pain, to be told I’m a good girl, but that’s not my primary motivator in bottoming.)

This is very much in contrast with T.’s goal in bottoming; he very often wants to be broken, to be pushed to the point where he can’t take the pain any more. And as much as I’ve gone there with him, as his top, it’s not something I want to experience as a bottom.

Neither way is “right,” of course; when it comes to kink, there’s only what’s right for any given person. And it’s endlessly fascinating to me to see just how many permutations there can be, how many different ways people have to embrace and express their kink.

Among many, many other activities, Fetish Diva Midori writes a column, “Diva’s Debauchery,” for ErosZine. Her newest column is about gender fuckery/fluidity/switchery, and the whys and wherefores and oh-hell-YEAHs of it.

In her column, Midori describes a man who, in day-to-day life, was drab and unassuming; not shy, exactly, but not noteworthy or attention-getting, either. And then this man began cross-dressing, and in this femme persona, became the center of attention, outrageous, and one hell of a power domme.

I recognized the description immediately. Because, while Midori isn’t writing about my boy, she could be. At least, I seem to think so.

I really dig Midori. She kicks ass. She’s the bee’s knees, as the kids say. I love the way she views genderfuckery/role-playing: “Role playing of any sort, whether sexual, gaming or historical reenactment, offers a momentary relief from the daily roles we are confined to.”

People are multifaceted creatures, no matter how one-note they may seem. There’s no reason we should only ever be one variation of ourselves. Yeah, from 9 to 5 I’m Teppycat, good worker bee and (mostly) productive citizen. But my 9-to-5 self doesn’t allow for my messy, bratty, gleefully sadistic side to come out (though some days, I swear to god, my co-workers don’t know just how close they are to getting a serious ass-beating). Or my quiet, I-am-your-object-to-do-with-as-you-please, passive side to come out.

Or my inner pony.

It’s utterly important for all of our facets to shine, at least once in a while. I’ll quote Midori once more: “Through this vessel the person emerges and animates, enjoying newly visible facets of them selves. This new discovery is heady and potent like elixir served from the gods of the subconscious. Some people are frightened of this intoxication while some seek to drown in it. Most people, however, drink what they need, enough to give strength and quench the parched soul and imagination.”

And that’s exactly it, isn’t it? I don’t have to be a good pony all the time. Or a gleeful sadist. But because I can be those versions of me, sometimes, the result is that all my other facets — even the day-to-day ones — shine a little brighter.