Essay

Keeping it Kinky Through a Parade of Catastrophes

The pandemic is dragging on with a million dead, and it’s starting to sink in that “back to normal” isn’t on the horizon. The climate catastrophe is accelerating; changing from a long-looming threat to an immediate tragedy for more and more people who are living under choking skies or picking their belongings out of flooded homes. The world’s wealthiest and most militarily powerful democracy is fighting for its life against the cancers at its heart.

According to people who study that sort of thing, a great many people are struggling to stay stable and hopeful through the pileup of disasters.

More personally, I’ve been hearing from lots of kinky folks about having a hard time finding their passion for kink these days, and I’ve felt the difficulty myself! It can be hard to find excitement, playfulness and lust when the world is burning down around you. (Literally, for some.)

One of the most powerful things for keeping your heart full and your chin up in the face of adversity is taking action. Even when the situation is dire, doing something (anything!) about it makes it tremendously easier to keep feeling grounded, good about yourself, and able to take advantage of opportunities for pleasure and joy wherever they arise.

The challenges facing us all right now are massive, and it can be hard to see how to push back against them. But you can. You can help in real ways. And even if your individual impact on the world-sized calamities is small, the impact on your mental health and your outlook can be huge.

That’s been my best tonic in recent days.

For a while I sat hunkered down and watched events getting worse, and I felt worse and worse myself. Even when I felt the basic desire for sex or play or control, it was harder to marshal the presence of mind, the creativity, or just the get-up-and-go necessary for anything more than basic maintenance power exchange and quickie sex.

Then I started looking for ways to act.

I started writing get-out-the-vote letters with VoteFwd.org. I read the resources at ChooseDemocracy.us and have started planning how to do my part in shutting down a coup this November. And it feels good.

Get out the vote letter with Votefwd.org

It isn’t like I suddenly feel like everything’s fine. Everything is far from fine. But doing my part to help make things better makes the troubles seem more manageable. And it makes it easier for me to set them cleanly aside when it’s time to focus on intimacy or pleasure.

Especially, perhaps, as someone with a strong theme of dominance in my desires, grabbing hold of events and doing what I can to influence them has helped me reconnect to that space where I find inspiration for filthy ways to wield influence over my partners.

So if you want to keep your mojo running through this mess, do something about it.

You have lots of options.

The pandemic has exacerbated hunger for many. You could volunteer with your local food bank. It’s led to serious blood shortages. You could give blood.

See if you have a local chapter of 350.org and see what they’re up to. There are all kinds of local actions you can take to push for saner climate policies both at the national level and in your own backyard.

If you’re American, please join me in fighting for our democracy.

It’ll help you feel kinkier if you do.