Offering of anger: a submission
by Jeff Mach
(In 2016, I saw the wave of rising anger in the kink community, and thought we might talk it out. We couldn’t have done so. But I see why people did. This is a reminder of what I said then; it’s valuable today):
If I fuck up with you, and you’re submissive to me, make me an offering of your anger.
If you feel that anger is justified, if you feel it is the best response, then don’t hold it back out of a thought that withholding is more submissive. I have mentioned before: I don’t need meekness in and of itself. Humility can be a virtue, and so can self-abnegation, but neither one is automatically a universal good – not in a submissive or slave, not in anyone.
If you have an anger that will build up and get worse inside you, don’t try to clamp it down unless you have some way of releasing that energy. Because if you don’t, it will simply come out anyway – towards you, towards me, towards someone uninvolved. Anger can be dissipated, but not in every circumstance, and not by everyone. Anger which is present but unexpressed may not, in fact, be a desirable offering.
If you have an anger which can express itself in positive ways, then express it.
If you have an anger of which you should let go, then let it go. Ask me for help if you’d like. I’ll try to help.
Don’t hold back because it’s “not submissive”. You can hold back because it’s unproductive, because it’s unhelpful, because it’s not what you want to do and you have a better plan for using that energy. But don’t hold back simply because you think you “shouldn’t” be angry. With anger, as with fear, as with hope, as with lust, *experience what you experience, and learn to guide it into the best possible outcome for us both, with communication and complicity and mutual effort*.
That is the submission I want.
Darling, tonight your body exists only as a space to showcase an endless gallery of bruises, semen, spit, blood, lacerations, and tears. Everyone here will enjoy you. Perhaps you will enjoy nothing. I don’t care.
I don’t care what happens to you tonight, so long as you remember two things:
Don’t be permanently damaged. You don’t have permission to make lasting alterations to that which is not yours, namely, you.
The very last scream, the one before your voice is gone altogether, that ragged and torn-up bit of half-choked breath?
Know this: that last scream is mine. When it comes out of you, send it straight to me.
And I promise:
Wherever I am, I will hear it. Not with my ears, but with my heart.
“With ideas it is like with dizzy heights you climb: At first they cause you discomfort and you are anxious to get down, distrustful of your own powers; but soon the remoteness of the turmoil of life and the inspiring influence of the altitude calm your blood; your step gets firm and sure and you begin to look – for dizzier heights.”
This is a kink of discomfort.
It is completely compatible with a kink that is joyous—in look, in feel, in spirit—but that’s because discomfort isn’t in opposition to joy. You can have interactions where everyone is visibly having a lovely time, and it still isn’t necessarily comfortable. To give a simple example, perhaps it SHOULD disturb us, on a basic level, to watch one person beating the shit out of another, even if both of them are smiling. Maybe especially then.
The reason we can see these things and enjoy them in a kink setting is because we recognize context, and we recognize a meaning outside of exterior cultural norms.
Our kink is potentially disquieting. It unsettles us, as observers and as participants.
Our kink is potentially frightening. And not just when we play with fear, but when we engage in anything that challenges us.
Our kink is potentially monstrous. We are not monsters; but we may, and do, partake in things which are otherwise only the territory of the bestial.
The outside world has long said that we’re wicked, or sick, or wrong. Modern kink has maintained that we are not those things. But honestly, all of those words are deeply subjective. We are, in fact, wicked, in that we don’t always follow the ordinary world’s ideas of how to have ordinary human interactions. (Sometimes, we specifically seek out those rules so that we can break them in our kink.) We are, perhaps, not “healthy”, as defined by most dictionaries—since their definitions tend to derive from being just like other people, and most people don’t do what we do. And you can’t get more “wrong”, broadly speaking, than actively trying to break barriers of ordinary speech, thought, and action. Those barriers exist to keep human society manageable and contained. Fucking with them is no small thing.
Some of us prefer to explain to the outside world that what we do may look or seem like it’s broken, but it isn’t—we might have the symptoms which ordinarily indicate broken or inappropriate human interactions (bruises and marks, to name one obvious example)—but in this case, those symptoms don’t point to a problem, they point to actions taken outside of usual rules.
Some of us like to flaunt that we’re different—different and proud of it.
For myself, I have always seen the creation of new kink ideas as an art, and the implementation of kink as a fight against the tendency of the world to be simple, ordinary, and limited. And no-one who makes art, no-one who pushes the envelope of human possibility, is “just like everyone else”.