The critical reader may have noticed that I skipped over a pressing question in Abject Submission 3: Only the Gift.
As you know, I realised to my surprise that some stories about emotional abuse were actually good for my depression, but the No Rescue porn that first introduced me to BDSM had been bad for me. So the question is surely whether I should Just Say No to that class of porn.
You may wonder why I procrastinated on making a decision. Surely all I have to do is ask myself once again: How does it make me feel?
But the answer turns out to be more complicated this time, because my feelings about No Rescue porn have changed. I haven’t even been reading Alebeard’s Rape, Pillage & Plunder Stories much lately. And it’s stopped bothering me, so I flattered myself, poor fool, that it was because I had made peace with my kink.
Then Fernando’s graphic novels made me relive the horrified addiction in miniature. Thank God it only took a few weeks to calm down. But come to think of it, I had the same experience with manga by Horikawa Gorou a few years ago.
Which makes me think it could happen again – all it takes is new stimuli. I will probably always have this vulnerability. I’m actually half-grateful that my censorship scare made me remove those links, because I’m half-afraid I’ll go under again.
I think No Rescue porn is like junk food. Some people can eat a lot of it with no ill effects. And then there’s me. At this time in my life I can eat a little without having a heart attack, because I am buttressed by so much evidence that BDSM can be love. But new foods like Fernando and Horikawa are a shock to the system. And sixteen years ago I was starved; I had only Alebeard. That’s why I couldn’t stop eating and sickening.
With no abuse whatsoever, I could have poisoned my kink. Please don’t say it’s not possible, because I think that’s what happened to the friend I mentioned in Abject Submission 1.
It wasn’t as bad for me. But I think things only really started changing when I had someone to give me aftercare. So I’m starting to understand why some people want to stay away from all activities which require hardcore aftercare. I suppose it is generally good practice to avoid eating things that make you throw up – but purging the self can feel good once in a while. Sometimes junk food is worth it. My mind is nobody’s temple.
But I have noticed something funny about junk food. As you get older, it stops tasting so good. Once upon a time I would have revelled in fries every day, but now I get them once in a blue moon. And I relish them, but I don’t really crave them. My craving for No Rescue porn has declined in exactly the same way.
I’m hoping it’s like Confucius says:
At the age of fifteen I began to study with resolution. At thirty I stood firm. At forty I had no more doubts. At fifty I knew the will of Heaven. At sixty I was willing to listen. At seventy I could follow my heart’s desires without transgression.
It will be a while before I attain the august age of seventy. In the meantime, I’ll have to be vigilant about balancing my porn diet. But perhaps the day will come when I don’t even want to poison my kink. My emotional masochism can grow up to be a well-educated sage that knows the will of Heaven. Confucius said so!