I was talking to a friend of mine online tonight about how I entered the lifestyle and I said I'd been a latent sadist (which, besides being an accurate term, is a great album title for a heavy metal band). I'd most definitely had sadistic tendencies and interests when I was in my teens, seeking out fringe and underground porn (not snuff stuff, sickos!) in Hollywood from almost the day I could get away with passing as an 18 year old. There were the slick hardcore magazines in the front (this was before VHS--I know, I'm old!) and then the black & while almost-xeroxed quality stuff in the back. And that's where I went to see girls bound, gagged and being beaten in twisted BDSM porn.
Of course, I was the son of a pastor and such thoughts seemed downright dangerous to my mind. I kid you not: the idea that I could even do what I was seeing in these 'zines was simply one step away from what you only heard rumor of in snuff films. One begat the next. So...I put it away.
It came out a few times when I met my wife. I tried swatting her ass during sex a couple of times and that didn't go down well. I put it away so well, I forgot about it, but occasionally when watching a movie (or more like TV movie) that dealt with some sensational aspect of BDSM, I would find myself leaning in, getting aroused.
It wasn't until my wife of almost 23 years (at the time) came out to me as a masochist, and later a switch, that I started to "remember" my latent sadistic interests. It scared me. Concerned me. These were bad thoughts. Bad things. Bad = hell (even though I'm an atheist, these are deep-rooted black and white notions from my childhood and thus triggered...scary things).
So I sought out the professional advice of a kink-aware therapist. (Thank Jebus I live in L.A. where such a person could be found. I've thought a lot about what it would have been like to have gone to a vanilla therapist or lived somewhere out of an urban area where finding such a person would be impossible. Still, I travel each week about 60 miles to see her...) She has been a gentle and caring guide, helping me grapple with my entry into the lifestyle and realizing that my feelings--when directed toward a willing, wanting and trusting participant of course--aren't lunatic.
Thanks, kink-aware pro. Thanks friends in the lifestyle. Thanks, commenting readers. You are all helpful, active participants in my newfound sanity.