On kink, human sexuality and the conversations we have inbetween handing out flyers

I’ve been at the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 for approximately forever now. I know this, because i’ve started having very intense, graphic daydreams about cuddling with my cats again. This is not a euphemism. I’ve also had my first can of Relentless Rockmonster Bull. This is.

Last night, we went flyering. For those of you who don’t know, this is a practise of very complex littering, where groups of people take small bits of paper, and shout in the faces of other people until they take them, move with them, and then drop them on the ground. We do it dressed as Owls.

We found ourselves on a break between queues of people to bother last night, and for reasons I can’t hope to articulate, we got onto the subject of kink. Whilst we were generally agreed that what people like to do in their spare time is none of our business broadly, we were somewhat intrigued.

The following question was raised: “How do you find out you’re into ‘X’?”

And i’ve been thinking about it ever since. The thing is, i’ve got a theory. In much the same way that you just sort of know your sexual orientation, I think you probably just know your kinks? Like, when you’re having those first awkward dreams, you don’t necessarily go: “I must fantasise about attractive members of the opposite sex to myself having ordinary vanilla sex”.

You might do. That’s cool. You also might not.

I also suspect to an extent, you probably do have things you find out along the way. That ill advised stairwell snog with your best mate that makes you realise you’re a little bit more bisexual than you previously thought. The girlfriend who pulls your hair hard when you’re kissing and you find that a bit more exciting than you might have previously realised.

The thing is, that, unlike sexuality, we don’t really talk about it yet. I know it’s always going to be awkward saying to a partner: “I’d really enjoy it if you choked me a little bit whilst we snog” or “I really like the idea of pissing on you how do you feel about that?” because there’s a fear of rejection! It’s not “normal”. But what even is normal anyway? And also you should totally ask because think how much you’ll enjoy it and how much they might if they enjoy you enjoying it.

But I digress.

The main thing I feel is that we don’t choose what we’re into. We just realise. Some people realise that what gets them off is ladies with big breasts, some people like bodily fluids. Unfortunately some people like things that aren’t allowed, like children or setting things on fire. I don’t think it’s their fault. I do think they need help. No-one would choose to like those things, in the same way that in an average, slightly hostile, heteronormative society no-one would choose to be gay.

Maybe that’s just my feelings though. I’d love to know what other people think.

Shortly after this, we digressed into making poo jokes, before going back to work. Flyering does that to a person it turns out, especially when that person is very tired, dressed as an owl and still working at 2 in the morning. Happy Edinburgh.

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