January/February 2002
How To Donate to Your Local
Kinked Lending-Learning Center
by Kat Tact

I can freely admit it. I had a moment.

I just recently moved to the Tidewater Area of Virginia from North Carolina. And having my priorities completely straight, I attended a munch in my new hometown the day after I moved. Well, after a month of attending the local functions in my area, I decided that this was not the group for me. So, missing my friends and missing my kink, I began traipsing back and forth across the NC/VA border twice a month. I'd get out of work on Friday, hop in the car and drive the four hours to my friend's house and a weekend of kink would commence. Usually with me ending up in my car on Monday or Tuesday at 5 in the morning to make it back to VA in time for work.

Well, after about four months of this, it does take its toll. And I would realize just how tired I really was as soon as I would hit 85 north. That two-hour stretch would kill me. Nothing fun to look at and you can only play the license plate game with yourself so many times even if you are a masochist. So yesterday I gave in. I bought a book on tape.

I enjoy reading. But I felt like listening to a book on tape would take away the pleasure I got when I was curled up leafing through my latest mystery or classic. I enjoy the pages that you are ever so careful not to rip as you turn them one by one as it unfolds the story to you. I like that. And there I was in Border's, on my knees in the books on tape section.

I thought about Shakespeare, but couldn't bring myself to let anyone read out loud to me the words I cherished so much. I contemplated a self-help book, but then I remembered I was trying to stay away, not go to sleep. I looked at Tolstoy, American Classics, Mysteries, and Horrors and then it happened. I saw it. At the exact same time my friend did. We both looked at each other and laughed, as she knows my taste in books almost as well as I know hers.

The Beauty Series by Anne Rice on tape. I have never even been able to bring myself to read the Beauty the series. It took me two days to get through "Story of O", as I was laughing so hard. And I am still convinced it is one of the best comedies of the 20th Century. Now, don't get me wrong, we all need a little idealized romance and fantasy in our lives. But I tend to enjoy mine best through role-play.

When it comes to my kinks and the way I live my life, I like the reality. I like pain that leaves bruises. I'm okay with service without love. I don't need to be captured and taken away to a secret underground world of Masters and Mistresses. I don't need to learn to make my pain equal my pleasure; it already works that way for me. And this is coming from someone who in general likes erotic fiction. But for some reason every time I read BD, SM, or DS romanticized erotic fiction it irks me.

I sometimes wonder if the reason there are so many people running around in the public scene hooked on fantasies of love, lace hand cuffs and feathers of torture are because of books like the Beauty Series. But it doesn't just stop there. I am a child of the information age. My parents bought me my first computer at 13. I know my way around the web. And I've seen them all. I've seen the sites of submissives and Dominants using their few bits of space allotted to them by AOL or Yahoo on their soap boxes preaching about the one true way of love and limits BDSM. Or the bigger sites like Castlerealm where if you don't do it their way, you must not be doing it right at all.

I guess it is all beyond me. I don't care one way or another. Just because you don't do or like the things I do, or because you don't agree with every statement that comes out of my mouth doesn't mean you aren't doing it the one "true way." I remember my father saying to me about monotheistic religions, "They are all going about it different ways, but they are all heading towards the same goal. Everyone just does it differently, and there is nothing wrong with that, Kat."

And isn't that goal quality of life? We do these things out of need and want, but we also do them out of fun and freedom. And then you turn around and sitting beside you at the local pizzeria munch of SM group #8693-B is that person who insists upon the fact that Roissey does it exist? That they've talked to people who have been there?

I suppose I am just too rational, overtly so at least, to enjoy SM fiction. And maybe I am just too opened minded for my own good to believe that there is any one "true way" for anything. To be sure, there are just some things you can not learn from books. And life is definitely one of them.

So, I suppose all in all, that is why SM fiction bothers me so much. Not that it makes much difference one way or the other. I still bought the first book of the Beauty Series on tape on a whim. I'm thinking of donating it to my local kinked learning-lending center.