A rather long time ago, I wrote about BDSM here. Today, I actually got to experience it-- well, vicariously, that is. Yes, an asexual person survived the Folsom Street Fair, which is "the largest leather/fetish event in the world" and a classic San Francisco event. There were many, many people showing off a wide array of bondage fashion...or lack thereof. I had to admire people's utilikilts and elaborate fake police uniforms. I saw a few of these too, which I found interesting:
Another interesting thing was a group of people standing around a booth where an organization was performing floggings as a fundraiser. There was an announcer standing up, and he's trying to get the crowd involved. He yells,
"So, who's had sex in the last week?"
I was expecting cheers from most, but the group was pretty much silent.
"Come on, who's had sex in the last week?"
Still...mostly silence. But amusement from my direction.
The announcer, obviously having a hard time energizing people at the beginning of the event, starts targeting one woman who's dressed in regular clothes at the front of the crowd. He says, "You look like you want to be flogged! Don't deny your sexuality?"
I was like, "Uh...what sexuality?"
I know, most people see something like flogging as sexual, perhaps overly so. But what's really intrinsically sexual about it? I know there are asexual people who are into S&M. I was also talking to my fair-going buddy about people who get a rush from the pain of piercings and tattoos. It seems to be an adrenaline thing, not sexual pleasure. I've heard this from multiple people, although I've never experienced it myself. To me, feeling needles in my body isn't "cool", as I've heard it described, just painful. But it seems meditative for some. Apparently, people's bodies work in very different ways. Which is strange, because I thought we all just had slight surface variations on the same thing.
Another thing that might not be intuitive: Although being elaboretely tied up before noon on a Sunday morning isn't quite my idea of fun, I understand this kind of "alternative" sexuality more than I do "vanilla" sexuality. Is that true for other aces? Sex by itself doesn't seem exciting or interesting to me (except on a theoretical level), so it makes total sense that people would want to add some more adventurous elements. Leather dog masks? Well, life is short...