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Queer, kinky and spiritual

Why are so many queer folk kinky and why are so many kinky people pagan or following their own spiritual path? Lee Harrington offers some thoughts.

 There are many spiritual journeyers who experiment with sexual exploration as well. I breathed in and thought on these ideas and found my own truth in the flickering flame within me. It struck me that the thread for me was that the journey involves ordeal, strength, and transgression. 

Those who have explored these paths have undergone an ordeal. 

Say it loud, say it proud, or at least have someone else point out that you are not normal on some axis. It’s a powerful experience.  It is our warrior ordeal.  Instead of being handed a blade and told to go out into the world to slay a lion, we are handed powerful desires and taken to the fringes of society.  We are forced to leave the nest, leave safety, and seek out our fate and future.  

Once you have come out in some way, even if it was to ourselves pining for someone we “shouldn’t” want, we are changed.  We step away from society’s ideals and start finding our own.  And if we did not “choose” to come out, if we were dragged to the edge of the tribe and thrown out into the wilderness, we have survived.

Ordeals are any severe trial or experience where we come out changed afterwards.  They are that which shakes us from our comfort zone and leaves us with a new perspective on the world.  When we come out as queer, kinky, pagan or some other form of active spiritual explorer, many of us undergo an ordeal experience.  Not everyone- some of us grew up in queer families or in pagan household,  but for the rest of us, we know the smell of our own hair smoldering from walking (or being pulled) through the fire.  

We have come out bearing our stripes, and know the rest of our tribe by the shared journeys they have taken.  They are fellow initiates carrying matching scars to our own.  When we have a tribe that values living through experience of the world at large, it is easy to be tempted into knowing more of that world.  Opening another door.  Being challenged by another fire. 

Those who have explored these paths are strong. 

In the fire of challenge, we have been tempered into something stronger.  By being given challenge we have been handed an opportunity to rise above the mundane world.  So many individuals do not rise to greatness because their lives have been too comfortable.  For those of us who have gone through ordeal, comfort was stripped away, and we grew strong or died.  Too many of us died along the way.

Having survived the fires once, we know we are powerful enough to do it again.  If we endured the challenge of embracing being a spiritual deviant, embracing being a sexual deviant is easier to imagine.  It is not easier to be.  Do not be confused.  Because you are already queer will not make the kink journeyer easier, but it does mean you have more tools in hand already. 

Tools for communication, personal exploration, and looking at yourself in the mirror.  Learning to hold a whip is easy compared to the work it takes to ask if it’s ok for us to want to hold that whip in the first place. We know how strong we are, and can choose to walk through the fires again with eyes wide open. 

Dancing on the fringe

Those who have explored these paths are transgressors. 

When we have left societies norms on one axis, we have been labeled strange.  Not normal.  Eccentric.  Outsider.  Freak.  Pervert.  Queer.  

And there is such power in being given the permission to be the outsider!  Once we have been told that we don’t have to fit within society’s expectations of normalcy, we are given an unspoken permission to be strange in other ways as well.  Of course the guy in the long trench coat is a bisexual pagan- we already pegged him as Goth, why would we be surprised that he’s into other fringe activities as well?  

Our transgression gives the ability to hold ourselves up in the light and see all sides of ourselves.  We are not just creatures of the shadow, creatures of the night.  We are creatures of the light, of the dawn, of the twilight.  We are multi-faceted beings, and having transgressed the perception that we are cookie-cutter humans, we step into being three dimensional.  

It is so tempting to choose the path more traveled.  We scream out loud asking why couldn’t we have done it some other way, stayed as part of some mold instead of having that mold broken?  We look in on white picket fences can feel envy or jealousy.  But we who have ventured out can not go back to what we were before.  Transgression takes away, just as it gives us an amazing tool. 

Dancing on the fringe is a gift from the world.  It is a powerful spiritual tool.  Yet many of us know it to be a hard one to embrace with eyes wide open. 

This is not to say that all kinky, pagan or queer people are any more enlightened than anyone else.  It is just as easy for us to walk blindly through the gifts we have been given as others have walked blindly through the opportunities they have had.  But for those who are willing to embrace the ordeal, for those who are willing to see transgression as a holy sacrament- the power is there for us to tap into. 

The flame is there, and if we did not die in it, we have become possessors of that flame.  Tenders of the blazing heart of desire.  And that flame is within to light our way, on as many axis of truth we find in life.  The power of the flame is to light the way to our authentic self, because we deserve our greatness.  Whether our authentic self involves being queer, kinky, pagan, or simply and profoundly, ourselves. 

Lee Harrington is an eclectic artist, spiritual and erotic educator, gender radical and published author and editor on human sexuality and spiritual experience- including Shibari You Can Use: Japanese Rope Bondage and Erotic Macramé and the Toybag Guide to Age Play, along with his upcoming book, Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond. He has also worked as an anthology editor on such projects as Rope, Bondage, and Power.

Well known for his fun and informative approach to education, he approaches sexuality as yet another art to master, or simply an art to enjoy to its fullest! He has been an active part of the international kink and sex positive communities for over 14 years, and his stories make people laugh while showing you that eroticism can be as serious, sexy, or silly as you make it. Lee's writings and photography have appeared in numerous anthologies including "Dark Moon Rising: Pagan BDSM and the Ordeal Path" (also under his previous pen name, Bridgett Harrington), and his image has been seen everywhere from PlayBoy TV to the pages of Skin Two Magazine. To learn more about Lee, visit Passion and Soul.  

Lee is coming to Melbourne and Sydney in November and December and is being sponsored by Transformed Self P/L and Dangerous Curves Productions!  Topics will vary from consensual non-monogamy to rope bondage, sacred kink to rope bondage, erotic hypnosis to leather identity and more. For complete details please visit the website.

 

 

Comments   

0 #1 Lee SM 2009-12-16 23:46
Thanks for this essay, Lee. I had similar thoughts about how freeing your mind in one way makes it easier to free your mind in other ways, but unfortunately it just reminded me of the "Domino Principal." LOL! Your way of putting it is much more elegant.
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