KINKY AT A CERTAIN AGE | Graydancer

January 07, 2019

Recently I was asked what it is like being a kinkster on the far end of middle age (whatever that means). The immediate answer is Great!  I’m at a point in life where my relationships have weathered enough storms to feel secure and where I can give any disapproving societal criticisms - whether from friends, family, or strangers— a happy little Fuck off as I continue on my merry kinky way.

But there is a change. It’s kind of insidious, the kind of thing that you sense lurking in the dark places of your life, but you’re pretty sure that if you just don’t look it’ll stay there, and you can pretend everything is fine. You learn to just live with that fear of...whatever it is.

Except, you know what it is. It’s the real reason Doms of a certain age will savagely go online typing furious screeds against anyone younger than twenty-one who dares style himself a Master. It’s not because they really have any desire to preserve the sanctity of that word, or even because they really care at all about how “skilled” the young Master is at their kink.

No, they’re yelling out of fear. Because one of the key tenets of being a dominant - especially a dominant male is—

the first person you need to master is yourself.

And age is that monster in the shadows that reminds you: when it comes to your body, you ain’t the master of nuthin.

The Not-So-Graceful Decline

If you’re lucky enough to discover your kink at the same time as your body’s sexual and physical prime, it’s truly a wonderland. You can do all the things! Play with all the people! Top and bottom and switch and fuck and suck and lick until dawn, then shower off, put on fresh clothes, and sit down at your desk the next day with a grin that might make your coworkers a little bit nervous but none the wiser.

And as I’ve gotten older, there has come along with it a refining of tastes. I remember a party where a young submissive came up to me saucily and declared “My master has done five suspensions already this evening! How many have you done?” I smiled, and agreed that he was truly a God Among Men, and went back to my suspension-less evening full of dark knife play with my partner pressed against the wall. I wasn’t out to prove anything...

...except that a couple of years later, at a big public rope exhibition, I performed six times over the course of a night, the last at 4am. I knew (and my partners knew) that by the end there was really nothing about performing or rope or even sex in what we were doing. It had become an endurance event, and like a marathon runner I was just trying to stagger over the finish line of the last knot untied.

The next day - after a few hours sleep - I could barely walk. I literally couldn’t move my fingers from the claws they’d curled into. Luckily I didn't have to work, because I couldn’t type. I couldn’t really even think, except to say to myself:

Not dead yet! I can still do six scenes in one night!
 

Proof that age does not necessarily beget wisdom.

That’s when I first started noticing it: sure, I could still do the badass rope top stuff...but the price I paid for it was a lot higher than it had been a decade before.

Learning to Pay the Piper

Now I’m well into my third decade of being actively kinky, and I’ve learned - the hard way - that saying about “the first person you master” is exactly right. The problem is with our perception what the word “master” means.

Total control of another person is, for some, a really hot fantasy. A lot of people try it “for real,” whether for an evening or for an entire relationship, with varied levels of success usually proportionate to the amount of time they spend preparing and practicing for it.

The same thing goes for my body. I know that yes, I can do that rough-body-play scene with my lover at the club, where I’m holding her against the bench with one hand while I’m fisting her with the other, my boot holding tension on the rope that’s lifting her lovely ass in the air —

-- the next morning though, before I can move, I’m going to be doing at least a half-hour of yin yoga (which, if you’re not familiar with it, pretty much involves laying on the ground for long stretches of breathing). 

I know that I had better schedule that hot scene for earlier in the evening, because both me and my lover have jobs to be at in the morning.

I know that my own libido is going to be directly tied into whether or not I did my weight-lifting regimen that day - all the jokes about how easy it is to get a guy off tend to leave out the reality that there comes an age when it’s really not. Then again, I’d better make sure I didn’t work out too late in the day, or my muscles will still be sore and/or tired and that also is the not-fun kind of orgasm control.

Regardless, the next day I will be sore, and tired, and I accept that. It’s what I mean about the “cost”. It’s like when I was younger, thinking that it was sexy when my lover and I had fucked with such wanton abandon that our pubic bones were bruised.

Now it’s more about fucking at all (regardless of level of wanton) and it’s my whole body. Still worth it.

Show Your Work

When I was a younger kinkster, I took a lot of classes and read a lot of books on being a dominant, and this kind of stuff wasn’t really talked about. Or maybe I just didn’t pay attention to it, because like most people I was busy enjoying the body I had. 

And I still do! One of the side benefits of standard-issue cis white guy confidence is a strange sort of body dysmorphia. Namely, I still feel like the hard-charging US Marine, even if my body doesn’t still look like it. On the one hand, that makes it a shock when I see a candid photo of myself - where did that belly come from? Or that extra chin?.

On the other hand, it gives me a kind of flashlight against that monster lurking in the dark corners. Admittedly, I have a kind of warped response to fear. I was a volunteer EMT, a US Marine, and a single father of four daughters - it’s pretty established that running toward things that scare me is kind of an ingrained habit. 

I’ll post my naked #yelfies (yoga-selfies) paunch and all. I’ll talk about blood pressure and medication and depression and struggles with weight and prostate exams and more, because my strength as a dominant lies not in perfection but in vulnerability. Yes, I am mortal; I have flaws and weaknesses and so what? I’m still here. My lovers and friends are still here with me. 

That’s real strength. That’s my dominance: controlling how I react to the things I can’t control.

Is my body falling apart? Hell yeah. Just like everyone else’s, slowly but surely. And I’m going to do my best to both preserve it with boring yoga and painful weights and the occasional cold walk through a Wisconsin winter, and also to exploit the hell out of it, staying up late doing strange and twisted and wonderful things with my lovers and friends like any respectable kinkster.

Just not too late, ok? I gotta work in the morning.


 ©Graydancer 2019 

Gray Miller, aka “Graydancer”, has been teaching, performing, and advocating for kink and BDSM since 2003. His work includes the “Ropecast” – the longest-running kink podcast on the web, ROPECRAFT, a bondage convention, and co-founder of “Consent Rocks”, a non-profit working to improve consent practices. Along with writing both erotic fiction and personal development essays, Gray is a visual practitioner who avidly sketchnotesand does graphic recording at events. He is passionate about rope, power exchange, leather, cigars, consent and education in the community, performance, and being a GILF.
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