Some weeks ago, someone on FetLife mentioned Bob Flanagan and how he had influenced their life. I'd never heard of him before so I did a bit of research and was surprised to find the movie about him on Netflix, it is called Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Suprmasochist. One day, I wasn't feeling well enough to play MMORPGs but wanted to do *something* so I settled in to stream the movie by myself.
Watching the scenes where Bob performs some of his poetry I got to thinking about my origins in kink. Like Bob, I had a lot of medical experiences at a very young age. My parents talk about how hard it was for them to see me strapped down to a papoose board for eye exams. Luckily for me, I was done eye operations around age two and all was left after that was every three month pressure checks that I could handle without sedation by elementary school.
It is hard for me to believe that pre-verbal experiences that can still cause panic attacks could have lead to my adult sexuality. Well, I could see it if I was strongly opposed to bondage but that's not the case. I would by no means say it is a fetish or I'm hardcore but I do feel positively towards light bondage and I might like more if my body could let me experience it.
Another thing that came up is that Bob experienced pain from a pre-verbal time, just like me. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which is a genetic collagen disorder. Also, I have Fibromyalgia which I may have had since early childhood. Plus, at about 12 I got what I called 'the flu that wouldn't end.' (Still hasn't and I'm 33. There's a chance it was the beginning of myalgic encephalomyelitis/CFS.) Did my lifetime of pain cause me to like consensual pain?
I don't like pain overall. I really don't like the pain from my messed up body. (Dislocating your hip can really frakking hurt.) I want that pain managed as well as possible. That doesn't mean that I don't get off on pain at times. Plus, the higher my baseline pain level is the less likely it is that I'll find any sensation pleasurable.
Yes, I had a period of self-injury in my past but honestly, in terms of sexual enjoyment that pain works much better when it isn't self-induced. However, there's still context. I won't get off on having one of my hips dislocate during sex even if I'm currently getting off on having my breast squeezed.
I think it comes down to control but if that's the case, why am I submissive? I'm giving up control to someone else. However, I chose to give consent to Master without the extenuating pressuring circumstances that tends to accompany medical care. Master is someone I trust and not simply because some authority figure says I should or he has a pretty piece of paper.
The part of 'SICK' that scared me the most was the conversation between Bob and his wife Sheree where she asked him to at least mentally submit to him. I wanted to hug Bob and had such mixed feelings towards Sheree. Sometimes I feel that my body is a separate entity and it is the head Dominant in my setup. Both Master and I have to submit to the whims and limits of my body. I suspect that Bob's Cystic Fibrosis was demanding so much from him and had taken so much from him that he had very little left for himself much less his Domme. I'm hopefully not within a year of my death but I can still relate to not having it in me to sub. It can be difficult to achieve that headspace when distracted by extreme pain, shortness of breath, pulse and blood pressure irregularities, and abdominal pain. Oddly, when not dealing with 'all of the above' I can sub and find it liberating, calming, fun, and all sorts of pleasant things. With 'all of the above' I go into survival mode and I can't risk submission. Risk? I don't have another way to put it. I'm afraid to let go. If I do I might 'lose' to the body-Domme who decidedly doesn't take good care of her property, unlike Master.