There is a simple counterpoint to the idea that kink/BDSM encounters are meaningful, and that is that they are dangerous.
That is to say that even if we know the techniques we are using, we know our partners, and we know ourselves, even if we are doing something routine, we are still doing something dangerous.
There seems to have evolved something of a sports analogy around our risk profiles. “What we do involves specialized procedures, and some risk of physical injury is possible.
While physical injury is a very real possibility in BDSM, I’m going to say that, by far, the biggest risk we face is mental and emotional impact.
I’ll go further. I’m actually going to say that it’s a prime motivation for most of us to do kink. Why are we engaging in actions which are generally, even at the time of this writing, illegal in the United States of America, if not to have more and different impact than “normal” activities would?
There’s long been a social movement not to be competitive about how “heavy” your kink is, not to shame people who might have less “intensity”, not to judge a particular amount or quantity of kink (as if one even could quantify these very individual responses on some objective scale) – and not to say that someone’s kink isn’t “real”.
Your kink is real if it’s real to you. If that includes practicing a kink where you do not believe that intensity is linked to risk, or where you don’t believe you should have an intensity which has much potential for risk, that’s your kink. But it’s not our kink.
We need to face a difficult truth: the more our play has meaning to us, the more likely we are to get hurt. Meaning is vulnerability—and growth.