Don't judge what you don't yet understand.
Yes, yes, I'm an enigma. I'm a woman who loves rough sex, but can't stand pain.
Go with me on this journey.
My first memory is one of pain. I was a toddler, and spotted something shiny at the bottom of a pond. So I reached into a pool and grabbed a white-hot light bulb, burning my hand fiercely in the process.
After that, I always cringed away from things that I was sure were going to bring me pain. I didn't even find out I was allergic to bees until I was a teenager, because I spent so many years pathologically afraid of their sharp stingers.
The only kind of pain that was acceptable was the pain that came with the destruction of my own belongings. As a child, if my parents were angry at me, or I was disappointed or sad I would go to my room and quietly rip pages out of my favorite books, or destroy a necklace I loved.
As I got older, that kind of behavior became directed towards my own body. I would gouge my arms and inner thighs with the house keys. I would grab the fraying wire on my radio because I knew it would give me a belly-boiling jolt of pain.
I never drew blood, though there were marks from what I would do. Because of this, I never associated myself with "those girls who hurt themselves."
I also avoided pain in my dating life. I never let anyone too deeply because they idea of someone having the power to hurt me was unthinkable, a black hole into which I might sink and never recover.
I picked people who were incapable of loving me the way I deserved to be loved because I felt like it was all I could handle.
The only times I ever came with any force were when I was feeling sick, angry, or sad, when I fighting against something inside of myself.
It never occurred to me to explore BDSM, kink, or rough sex though. Maybe it was for the same reason I held myself back in romantic relationships: I was afraid of opening up something dark and nameless in myself and never being able to put the lid back on it.
That all changed the first time I let a man choke me in bed. If you're ever going to experiment with rough sex, you need to make sure you're experimenting with someone who you trust. Make sure you both practice enthusiastic consent. There's something hot about the danger aspect, but for me that's only increased by knowing at the end of the day I am falling into safe, safe, safe arms, because breath play can be very dangerous.
Exploring choking during rough sex made me see stars in a good way. We tussled and bit and played and everything seemed so much more primal and animalistic. It was sex like I didn't think was possible, it was movie sex only it was me so there were more awkward angles and giggles.
I was right in thinking that bringing rough sex into my life would unleash something in me, but I was wrong when I thought it was it something dark. Being able to fall so completely, to scramble and feel out of control and wild wasn't a bad thing, it was a freeing thing. It was empowering.
Having rough sex has made me more myself. That's sounds silly, but it's true. I'm bolder now. I say what I think. I don't back off from the people I love or hold myself back from the things I want because I'm fearful I won't succeed.
Rough sex has taught me to trust my instincts. It reminds me that I'm a human animal, not a machine. I've got flaws and I have bad days, but I'm here, I'm alive, I'm present. I can hear my own heart beat and know that I have so much to offer.
It's more than sex to me, it's a sense of self.