[TW: Self injury]
You’ve always felt right burning, always felt like it’s what you were meant to be doing. Your fingers automatically reach for flames, your body relaxes the hotter it gets. Heat and fire and flame is what you want, what you crave.
But you seem to be the only one, the only person who wants this, who needs it.
Your parents fear for you, they always have. They say, “Don’t play with fire.” They say “You’re going to get burned.”
And you say, in your childhood innocence. “But I want to get burned.”
Later you learn to be quiet, learn about long sleeves and burning on your thighs instead. It’s a process, a trial and error game and you still get caught sometimes. They take away your lighters and your matches and anything else you could use to catch yourself on fire. They strip you of what you need and, the longer you gow ithout the burn, the more hollow and empty you feel.
It’s not an addiction, you try and explain to a therapist one day. “It’s just waht I need.”
But they still look at you wrong, still blame you for the things that you see as necessary as breathing. Burning, breathing, it’s all the same really. It’s just a part of what you need to survive.
And you try and try to tell them, to explain, to show them that it’s not self harm but self love, it’s joy and release and euphoria.
But they never understand.
And then you grow up, you move out, you are allowed to keep your own hours, your own house, your own scars.
One of your friends, the few that you have, takes you to a fetish club, takes you to the demonstration on fireplay.
It’s fascinating and strange and wonderful and breathtaking. Your eyes go wide, your jaw goes slack. Someone beside you laughs but you can’t even begin to explain how this makes you feel, how wonderful it is.
You reach out, you beg to be burned, to be set aflame, even if it’s only for a few seconds. You want the flames on you, you want them up and down your body, and even though you’ve been shy about your scars, your parents making you so, you shed your clothes in an instant and all but run up to the person who is doing the demonstration.
You smile wide, and you look at her, look at her confidence, look at her radiance.
And you say, in an almost quivering voice, “Are you a phoenix, too?”
She smiles, looking down at your scars and, with a knowing expression strikes her lighter and holds it between her fingers.
Oh gods. I reeeeally want to be lit up someday.
If you’re gay or lesbian or bi or straight, that’s fine. If your pansexual or graysexual or demisexual or asexual or whatever-else-sexual, that’s also fine.
If your sexual identity flexes day by day or is rigidly the same all the time, that is also fine.
If you identify as a girl or a boy or somewhere in between or neither or both or something totally outside the binary, despite body parts, that is also fine.
If your gender identity is in flux or if it is rigid, that is also fine.
If you want sex, or if you don’t want sex, or if you want a relationship without sex, or sex without the relationship, or neither or both, or if you want kink but no sex or kink with sex, that is also fine.
And if you don’t know some or one or any of these things, that is also fine. Exploring is fine.
It’s all fine.
Honey, I was with you until you started talking about how dangerous linking sex and violence together is. I agree with that entirely. But then you proceeded to show images of women in bondage.
Let me say this, once and for all.
Because mmmph. Nnngh. Hmmm. Yes.
Nonsexual kink is a Thing That I Like Very Very Much Oh Yes I Do.
I am such a goddamn hermit.
Two months ago, I went to a kink event and socialized for three days with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and I feel like I’ve been recovering from that ever since. I don’t want to go out; basically, the only socialization I can handle is talking to my family, sitting in the living room with my roommates, and talking to a couple people while in French class. I’d much rather stay at home and read/write than participate in the HRC, even though it’s something I feel very strongly about. I haven’t gone to any kinky-people-meetings, partially because I don’t know that I actually identify as “kinky” (correction: I don’t think I care enough to define myself as vanilla or kinky) and partially because I don’t want to have to talk to people.
The internet isn’t a problem because it’s practically impossible to overwhelm me over the internet (and if you do manage it, blocking you is easy). Maybe that’s why I’m so at home here.