kink and the shadow

Kink, perhaps an ill defined concept, has been heralded as the ultimate tool for sexual fulfilment.  But what is kink, and is it really the pleasure panacea that we are being sold?

The contemporary sex industry will tell you that you need sex toys and kinks to have creative sex. Now if you want to do it, do it by all means.  But is it really the ultimate or indeed the only way to experience authentic sexuality.

Sure, we all have things we are into.  I am a Taoist and this opened a door for me to explore my sexual energy in what I would say is the most rofound way.  It has given me an insight into orgasmic energy and various forms of orgasm.  I have become a kind of an orgasm-nerd, an experience that has taken me deeply into my body.

Experiencing sexual energy in this way has played a huge part in my personal development.  It has made me aware of my emotions and responses to things, as well as understand my energy levels and health.

Taking a Critical look

a critique of kink

Is Kink the Only Path to Sexual Fulfilment

Kink is today being uncritically heralded as the answer ro all our sexual woes.  However, especially where commercial interests are involved, I always question. Kink can of course be a valid way to explore, and it is not necessarily sexual.  But of course, there are other ways to experience pleasure.

The most well known kinks involve aspects of domination and submission, including violence and pain. Speaking of the former, these are normal dynamics.  Submitting to one’s beloved can add polarity, and this is what the masculine and feminie are about.

I have had my own experience with the kink scene. Back in the late 90s, I got into the kink scene and I had a good go at trying what it was about.  I wanted to to get into it, but  if I am honest, it didn’t fulfill me.  In terms of the people I met there, many seemed arrogant and I wondered how many people were actually really into it, or indeed how many were merely finding an acceptable way to take out their sadism.

Yes indeed, kink is about exploring our shadow.  Yes, we all have shadows.  We all have a part of ourselves that wants to hurt others.  Another part that wants to be hurt, degraded and humiliated.

Rape fantasy is a very common thing.  One argument is that survivors can find healing in it.  However, a more likely argument is that, in a world where sex is demonised, it gives a chance to play out one’s fantasies in a guilt free setting.

Why Kink has Gone Mainstream and What it Means


Today, kink, in particular involving violent sex, is mainstream. This was made popular by the porn industry, who found that scenes of sexual violence towards women were extremely popular.

Some may see this as an agenda, but what is certain is that it tapped into the psyche of the porn user.  Feeling rejected by women they found an acceptable fantasy way to take out his revenge.

Certainly there’s a commercial interest in it, and what’s arguably the porn industry has attempted to piggyback the LGBT movement, trying to enshrine the right to hit or abuse your partner into law.

Of course, anything consensual is up to the participants, and according to the Tao, everything in moderation.

Consent and Kink

There is an every growing kink scene in which many are aware of the fact that it is a way to explore shadow.  Aware of the human propensity to both enjoy abusing and enjoy being victims, many of these practitioners have developed a strong ethic around consent.

Certainly, it is important to discuss what is happening.  In terms of consent, it is important not just to get a yes from someone, but to ensure they are an active participant.  The Wheel of Consent has been a fantastic way to explore both consent and shadow.

What is important is to do this consciously.  There are too many men watching violent porn and then acting this out without seeking consent.  This is harmful to the woman and to their relationship, as well as to the man.

I am personally concerned that porn is normalising sexual violence.  For example, strangulation is something porn touts as a normal part of sex.  Many men will try it without asking, because they do not see the porn actor asking either.  One in six women murdered in the UK by men will also be strangled.

There’s a fine line between playing out one’s shadow in order to be more conscious, and in simply playing out shadow, which is what the majority of kink is in practice.

While this is something that can be explored, it’s very important to be aware of where play ends and abuse begins.

Reconnecting with the Innocence of Sexuality


My main critique of kink is that it takes us outside of our bodies. It takes us into the realms of fantasy, where we are disembodied.

I also think that BDSM is a way of playing out the dynamics of guilt and shame that characterise our cultures approach to sexuality.

Western sexuality is extremely polarised, and plays on the guilt shame dynamic for heightened arousal. This is a sharp contrast to Eastern sexology where sex is not about morals, rather a journey within using pleasure as the catalyst.

Kink and BDSM do not exist in Taoism and Tantra.  I would say this is because these two traditions do not involve moralism or shaming or sexuality.  They exist outside of the dualism of Western sexuality, which swings between guilt and shame and an adrenalised sexuality.

Whilst I absolutely ackowledge the role of kink in allowing those interested in expanding consciousness to explore their shadow, it seems to me this should be a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Again this is my opinion, but my personal goal is to move beyond a shame based approach to sexuality.  I want to feel liberation in enjoying it for it’s sake as pure pleasure, a loving and orgasmic experience.


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