This post is part of my ongoing Saturday feature Picture Tells A Story or [PTAS]. Each week I post a photograph, usually one of my own, that illustrates or forms the basis for the accompanying text.
When I tell people that I'm a sex/kink educator, and the assistant producer for a BDSM event company, there is a good chance they will eventually ask just what exactly kinky people do.
Over the years, I've struggled to find a quick and palatable description of what being kinky is all about, because the truth is that human sexuality is vastly more complex, puzzling, beautiful, and terrible than the representations we see in the media would lead one to believe.
Which is exactly why I love this photo so much.
The person in this photo couldn't look any less like the Hollywood dominatrix that forms many people's only frame of reference when I bring up kink.
The subject of this photo, who I only know as "Box-Head Guy" spent much of this week-long event going to different locations and sitting rock-still with the box over his head. I can't tell you what he in particular got out of the experience, since I didn't get a chance to talk to him about it. However, obedience, depersonalization, denial of pleasure/release, self-discipline, sensory deprivation, humiliation, and interesting outfits/costumes, are all common themes found within the kink world. His dress and behavior could relate to any combination of those, or something else entirely.
What's beautiful to me is that he's doing something he (presumably) finds erotically satisfying and personally fulfilling. He's not hurting anyone, but I'm sure a great many people would find it all somewhat odd. One of the true joys of teaching and working in the kink scene is helping create space and community where people can explore their erotic imaginations in this way.
I mean seriously, where else could Box Head Guy go to have the experience he's having in this photo?
That's why this has become my go-to image when I want to explain what the kink world is all about. The shape and texture of people's play may vary greatly, but at the core, we're all delving into the sometimes scary, sometimes whacky depths of our fantasies and desires.
Also there's no nudity in it, which is always a plus when explaining things to mom.
Photo by E. Wintersong Tashlin ©2012 All Rights Reserved