This is a guest submission written by epochryphal, originally posted here. Trigger warnings for non-specific discussions of kink and kink-shaming, self-deprecation, guilt, sex-aversion, and mentions of self-harm via risky behaviors.
Or, hypersexuality, kink-version, minus the sexuality.
NB: I’m really not interested in talking about whether this is “normal” or not.
Urgency and Omnipresence
It’s a weird feeling, to suddenly need certain kink things, to have a sudden craving so strong it suggests sometimes dangerous lengths and abandonment of boundaries and safety practices.
And for it to be everywhere. To have everything be subtly kinky (the way someone holds open a door, or holds their head while they walk, or the way a chair fits under a table, or the way the bus kneels — seriously, brain?).
It’s scary, sometimes. It can feel like there’s a clock ticking down to implosion, and you’ll never get away from the noise of it. It’s all pervasive, it’s in your food, your air, your sleep, your walk, your work, your brain idling.
Even when it tones down to be a little less conscious, there’s this pit or heat seated somewhere inside you that just needs the tiniest bit of jostling to flare up, and it’s still there, not dormant, just extant.
I’d name these two aspects the core of a hyper-kink-mode for me.
Indefiniteness, and Object Permanency
I never know how long these things’ll last. Sometimes it’s just a day, sometimes it’s months. And it sure doesn’t feel like it will ever stop. (It’s everywhere and everywhen, how could it stop?)
And it can be years in-between, and I can forget how to handle them, get out of practice, lose all my contacts and coping strategies. I don’t expect it to happen again.
The way I am right now, is the way I expect to be in the future. (Probably has a lot to do with my being autistic, but.) And expecting to forever be constantly thinking about kink stuff in an urgent way, is… exhausting, to say the least. And it urges action, since this won’t resolve on its own, if indeed it will never shift back to being less “AAAA!!!”
Yeah. This one. Lots of points here.
I’m hyperaware of how sex and kink (and genitals) can be viscerally uncomfortable / repulsive / etc for folks, and so of course I want to make space for everyone to navigate safely. But WOW, does being in kink-mode make that difficult, because suddenly I’m overflowing with thoughts that I feel need to be expressed hyper-carefully, and there’s never enough proper avenues, and I feel like I spill out and damage people (and maybe I do).
It sucks to feel inherently unsafe. That’s not a thing that should be happening. And it feels that way even when I manage to say nothing, do nothing, let nothing manifest in any way whatsoever because it might possibly hurt someone somewhere.
Plus, as someone who’s usually genital-repulsed and sometimes sex-repulsed, and who used to be seriously squicked by the idea of someone thinking about me sexually,I get it, viscerally, and I don’t want to do that to anyone else. (Which means I need to get consent before having any kinky thoughts related to or around a person. Which I should get, by…uh…um.)
And this is not to mention the, feeling a little unsafe to myself because, wow, this urgency, could be impairing my decision-making ability, and what if I do something I regret and am horribly scarred and contribute to my PTSD? (Bullseye, I’ve totally done that in exactly this context; go for two?)
So just to tie this back into those previous points: feeling unsafe, indefinitely, pervasively, saliently. Awesome.
Constant Moralizing and Defensiveness
This stuff is, I think, more generally true across my kink intensities. It’s just that it gets heavily concentrated when hyper-kink-mode is in effect.
Feeling unsafe, right? Well, but nobody else can tell me I’m unsafe! I already have the whole self-defense litany in my head to forestall the likelihood that I’ll be told I’m dangerous to myself:
“Back off. Don’t tell me what I can and can’t consent to. Risk-awareness, yeah? Don’t mandate my level of risk for me. Don’t dictate my coping strategies to me. ‘Bad’ coping is still coping, I get to define what’s self-harm and you don’t get to know. Actions, not thoughts, are moral.”
Which is good, buuut can work in overdrive against a not-tangible-enough threat, and lead to me not really evaluating a risk in a calm fashion, because damn you I can do what I want and it won’t hurt anybody (else). So much knee-jerk gets in the way. (Even here, I’m gonna throw in a “And? You think that invalidates my choices? Hell no.”)
And well. There really is a lot of kinkshaming out there.
My kinks are pretty hardcore, a lot of them, with considerable risk invovled, and I don’t see them casually mentioned or depicted. They’re merely illustrations of what NOT TO DO EVER, or mayyyybe PROBLEMATIC AT BEST, BE SUSPICIOUS OF THESE PEOPLE. (Even when there’s Kinkier Than Thou olympics happening, there’s always something to look down on as Unenlightened and Objectively Too Risky.)
And when I’m in hyper-kink-mode, even if I avoid looking for stuff altogether (both in-person and online), it’s all so present and right there. Snippets of things I read long ago. Random memories from awkward munches or other conversations. Bad Discourse. Just constant worrying about how I look in public, and am I morally wrong and unethical for being reminded of kink by X and oh god what if they can tell.
This is. Probably the part that I think is most avoidable and needs addressing, and it feeds directly into the “feeling unsafe” (on purpose, too).
The Self-Deprecating Aura Around Kink
Even in positive kink stuff, made by and for kinky folks, it is so often framed in a “haha i’m such a sinner” way, yeah? Always referencing back to how fucked up and bad and gross and awful we are. And even affirmations are usually a roundabout recognizing of those messages; “don’t listen to the haters” invokes the image of haters, yes? (It feels like there is no neutral, no normal; even a lack of comment is about avoiding negative responses.)
When I’m in normal mode, I can avoid thinking about this stuff too much. It rolls off my back more. I can usually enjoy the jokes about sinning and kinkshaming.
But in hyper-kink-mode, it’s always on my mind, all of it, with counterbalances and weights and moral judgments and disproofs and the whole giant thing. Exhausting.
Interpersonal Relationships: Non-Partners
Special Bonus Mode: Sometimes it’s absolutely awful to try to interact with people while I’m in kink overdrive. How do I look someone in the face with all this going on in my head? Even if most of my kinks aren’t really person-oriented? Is it moral to interact with someone while I’m like this? (what the hell, seriously.)
One of the hardest bits here is trying to figure out what’s okay to say where to whom. Even online — on what blog, what platform, should it be under a read-more, what tags, what’s tmi, what do I really want to get out of saying something? And to people directly — I still don’t know how I figured out I could talk certain kink things with certain people. It feels like magic. (Especially since it seems like the default boundary is bringing up kink ever is harmful.)
Even with kink-friends, how do you bring up the topic in conversation? With what amount of “I need to talk about this” versus casualness, holding how much space for “of course it’s fine if you don’t want to hear about it”? And that weird space between “we can talk about it in fiction and share porn but don’t talk about actually getting too into it”??
At least this last part seems awkward all around, with all of us kinky friends trying to not be accidentally creepy. Messing up can be a huge deal, or not much of one at all. Balancing urgency and boundaries and morality is not easy.
To highlight again: not feeling safe, even around other kinky people. Feeling innately dangerous and harmful. Especially because you can’t turn it off, can’t be normal.
Partners, and Self-Practice As Insufficient
It’s hard to do certain kinks by yourself. (D/s, anyone?)
One of the things I love about kink is it’s an opportunity to push my limits, rise to a challenge; not-so-much, alone. Suddenly constantly wanting things that require a partner, who’s willing to do XYZ, much less competent and ace-friendly and etc etc… Yay, urgency in finding a perfect match on a dozen axes!
It has worked, before, for me to have a poly relationship, and have at least one someone to go to for kink reasons, and they had other people when I wasn’t into it. But there’s this snag, where even if I want to, they might not want to with me (but want to with those other people); or, I might want to, but not with them. Just the way consent works, yeah?
There are lots of parallels with sex, honestly. How do you know someone will honor a safe word? That they’ll ask before adding in some non-discussed component? How much do you need to discuss before you can start? How do you bring this up in this first place, in how much detail, with how much hey-we’re-whole-people? How do you safely enter into a good partnership?
So even if you already have a partner, there’s never ever a guarantee to get kink at any given time (nor should there be). That’s fair!
…and that feels terrifying and overwhelming, because — well, there’s already this urgent, constant drive happening, and it takes a lot of energy and focus to not let it spur some bad decision, and here’s another possible bad decision and Schrodinger outlet, yeah? And oh my god never expect anything from your partner and never make them feel unsafe, but wow there is literally nowhere safe and sure and Guaranteed to channel this and know that this need will get met.
Basically, another opportunity for guilt and despaiiiiir.
Heh. Honestly, a lot of the above is probably about my scrupulosity/OCD, and Guarantees, and morals. But I figure it’s useful anyway.
A lot of these things are ongoing-or-maybe-intermittent, and are not unique to hyper-kink-mode. The intensity, though; the concentration of everything for ultimate impact, the salience of it all — that, I think, is key. “Hyper,” after all, yes?
I hope this is a decent intro layout; while I’ve been thinking about this a good deal lately, this is a one-shot no-drafts no-references piece sooo. A diving board, hopefully.
…again, if I can highlight one thing: People shouldn’t feel unsafe, dangerous, harmful,evil, just for their thoughts or feelings. (Thought-action fusion 101.) And overwhelmingly, that is what kinkshaming is trying to do.