Hypomuscular anatomy of something that is not so different from what we already do.
by Ermanno Ivone for the Eject sectionIn accordance with Italian tradition, when you talk about ice cream, the first flavour you think of is chocolate. All the fault of my vertical extension colleague Pupo (performer of the international hit ‘gelato al cioccolato’). Actually, for copyright reasons, the author of the iconic lyrics is also to blame: Malgioglio Cristiano, another colleague of verticality (and partly also of style).In Western culture, however, the most overused flavour of ice cream is vanilla, so much so as to be used to denote something or, rather, someone who is sexually predictable, common, flat, traditional, banal, normal.‘Normal’ and ‘extravagant’ will be the weights on an impossible scale. Because it is impossible to universally establish what is common and what is different. However, books of statistics come to our rescue that can at least tell us on which side the bar hangs.First though, let’s start with something definite and assumed: Vanilla vs. kinkster. In relation to sexual identity and preferences in sexual and para-sexual practices, the Vanilla are people identified as the ‘normal’, those who engage in traditional (and therefore defined as trivial) sexual practices. Kinksters (those who are accustomed to kinky sex, from the word ‘kink’, extravagance/eccentricity), on the other hand, are those who fall under the definition of an atypical sexuality, akin to BDSM and various fetishes.It was the kinksters themselves who named the team on purpose. A sort of revenge, with the sound of a raspberry, towards those who have always referred to them as distrustful/weird/different.[as always, in the human behaviour of comparison, things get a little out of hand. So much so that it has already come to ‘Vanilla shaming’. The social habit of denigrating, especially among the younger generation, those who are considered ‘Vanilla’. Fat, dwarfy, ugly are just a horrible old game of detraction. Now it has gone – thanks to the sainted TikTok – to an advanced level of sinking the next]I will try to be completely impartial and not lean towards either side. Although I cannot understand how it is possible that there really is a ‘normality’, a robotic compliance to a pleasure (duty in some cultures), that thrives without possibility of denial right inside the DNA, right from the most significant and shaping moments of our childhood (thank you Freud!), in every slightest nuance of our socio-cultural upbringing and education.[I promise not to use the word ‘shade’ again in this context because I don’t want it to sound like subliminal manipulation in favour of ’50 Shades of Grey, Black, Red’. It would be like selling you a car that has passenger-side electric windows as the only option].Due to the nullity of neuron landings, I cannot speak conscientiously about what a Vanilla is.I can, however, talk about what a Kinky sympathiser is. In Italy there are about 4.5 million.
soft serve ice cream isolated on white background
The literature on the subject, whether amateur, journalistic or psychological, binds – elastically – the Kinky to five categories: BDSM (Bondage, DDiscipline, Domination, Submission, Sadism and Masochism), Imaginary Scenarios (from the simple application of a fantasy outside your everyday context to the creation of complex scenarios with role-plays), Fetish (lthe dislocation of sexual interest no longer towards a person but in a part of their body or an inanimate object), Voyeurism and Exhibitionism (observing or being observed during explicitly erotic situations, even in public places), Group Sex (the most widespread practice in Kinky that I don’t think needs significant explanation).In all these practices, respect for limits, negotiation of the ‘scene’ (experience or kink session), the definition of a safeword that allows everything to be stopped at any time, and the discussion of mutual desires is fundamental. This means that the most important and decisive part in kink is communication as well as safety. Not only performance or sextainment. In fact, it is learnt from studies on this phenomenon that kinksters, besides being less conditioned by moral strictures. This allows the extension of sexual horizons and pleasure itself. For these reasons, kink is ‘strange/anomalous’. Because it always presupposes maximum complicity between partners, mutual trust, normalisation of communication of needs, sharing of fantasy (is there anything more intrinsically romantic than that?) and mutual respect.A form of hydration of established (or even occasional) couples that, studies say, drinks up the possibility of better sanity than the rest of the population.The number of fonts available does not allow me to list most of Kink’s most common practices. I will mention a few that may help us find Geppetto in the belly of the whale.Femdom (domination of women towards men) and its derivations. Including the feminisation of men, the pony-play (in which one partner pretends to be the horse and the other the rider), the spanking (slaps demanded by one of the partners experiencing pleasure through pain – often contained and measured), forced chastity, the trampling(one of the two partners turns into a doormat without necessarily having to be stationed in front of an entrance door).Forniphilia, a kind of bondage in which one of the partners becomes a piece of furniture. The roleplays in which you immerse yourself in the fabulous world of acting by pretending to be an infant (Paraphiliac Infantilism) or a soft toy (Plushophilia, sexual attraction to soft toys).Foot fetishism is now Vanilla and Mango in a big cone considering that 35 percent of men describe themselves as attracted to or otherwise favorably affected in their admiration of pedestrian limbs.[ask a psychrophiliac, a person who gets excited when exposed to the sun or when he sees someone else freezing].However, fetishes are not the kink, they can be a part of the whole. It is quite different to have an attraction to only a part of a person than to compare and share pleasure WITH a person. It is a simple axiom. Like saying that talking to a lock of hair (as a trichophiliac would do) is different from talking to a person who strokes their hair in adulation.The most common mental lapse is to classify a kinker as a person suffering from pathologies or perversions (renamed and declassified into paraphilias) that in parallel turn him into a sick, disturbed person.Psychology, however, speaks to us of deviance. A condonation of essence that grants us the possibility of a more relative evaluation. A deviation from custom that changes according to the context, the times, the ethical-cultural transformations.When it comes to sex there are always many doubts. Talking about it, imagine, caries our reluctance to open up, keeping us in a fortress of self-protection from the judgments of the outside world. Asking and clarifying with those who know more than we do is the pat on the head that we all kind of need.I asked Dr Valentina Bonfanti, psychologist, psychotherapist and sexologist, for help.What inhibits a kinkster from sharing his sexual attitudes and sometimes perceiving them as a fault/defect? Due to a lack of sex education that is only compensated for by personal experience and pornography, kinky sex is still subject to many stereotypes that can cause stigmatisation and discrimination in those who experience it. First and foremost, the idea of disease or even violence and perversion. Then there are the prejudices, linked to the mistaken idea that the kinkster has suffered trauma and therefore has psychological problems or is unable to maintain stable relationships.All this lack of social, psychological and cultural preparation affects the kinkster person, who obviously will not always feel free to express himself in front of new partners, for fear of not being understood, accepted or judged negatively. Although some kinky practices have been clear-cut, there are kinkster communities, professionals like Ayzad are involved in giving voice and legitimacy to ‘unusual sex’, and thus the social pressure could be eased, there is still much work to be done.What benefit does it have, in mental health and personal balance, to indulge our own sexual curiosity and ‘dissimilarity’ (to common sense)? Giving yourself an opportunity to indulge your curiosity and experiment with new forms of sexuality is a great form of freedom. This can only be appreciated within an inclusive and sex-positive culture.Kinky sex has a strong impact on our view of sexuality, as well as on our perception of pleasure. It removes us from the toxic dynamic of performance and leads us to focus more on sensations, making us more aware of our bodies and our desires. It therefore generates an openness of mind that allows us to know ourselves better and reach a deeper level of enjoyment. Kinky sexuality can be playful and fun precisely because it has to do with people’s ability to experience pleasure by playing with themselves. To be such, however, it should not be improvised but experienced within a culture of respect, ‘healthy, safe and consensual’. It is no coincidence that those who have an alternative sexuality enjoy better relational communication because there is transparency and sharing, as well as greater satisfaction than the average population.Do you think a more intimate form of kink in an autoerotic key without necessarily involving another person might be useful?Certainly, since sex with oneself is also relational. On the contrary, auto-eroticism is precisely the starting point because it allows us to live and get to know our alternative fantasies better and maybe even give us permission to realise our desires.Decency is the feather that can be ironed on the scales mentioned at the beginning of this article. It need not necessarily be seen as something negative or limiting. Sometimes it serves to understand yourself more deeply. But let us not forget the origin and root of the word ‘decency’, (pudore in Italian), which is pud-, meaning to flee.If we really have to run away, we can always choose to do so with someone at our side who knows how to listen to us and whom we want to get to know better and better.I apologise for the overboarding of inverted commas. I hope you are not allergic to double vertical falls with superscript formatting. Just as I hope you are not allergic to relativisation. Listening to and understanding diversity is the best remedy for feeling part of a world that never seems to cease to amaze us.Therefore, make love, not war.