Yep. A sex topic, that also covers religion. This is going to go over well.
I am fully aware of some the comments that are going to come from this post and I will just say now, it isn't going to bother me. I spent way too long refusing to learn more about myself out of embarrassment and shame. Those days are gone.
I grew up in household where sex was openly discussed in medical terms, but swept under the rug like a dirty secret when it came to talking about it outside of hetero, PiV, missionary sex. I had so many questions about feelings I had that didn't match up to those expectations that went unanswered. I felt that not sharing those same thoughts that my parents expected of me somehow made me some kind of horrible monster. I felt like I was doing things wrong or that I was broken and needed repaired. I tried to will myself to be straight. I honestly did. I even tried kissing the opposite sex once, but it just didn't feel right. I have always equated it to this: It felt like sleeping in a hotel bed. It felt like a bed, functioned like one, but you never get the same level of comfort as you do in your own bed. It just felt off.
My childhood was really religious in the beginning. We attended church regularly, met with other people there often and had a real sense of community and willingness to help one another. When we moved, my parents couldn't find that same sense of community and we stopped going. That initial experience though really formed a foundation on the rest of my life in how to treat others, but it also put me at odds with my God as I got older when it came to my sexuality. I used to pray nightly just to be "right". When that failed and I began to do more and more with the same sex, I would beg for forgiveness in fear of what may happen to me in the afterlife. It left me really confused and, over time, tore up any confidence in myself even further than the typical body image issues a lot of teens experience.
As a young adult, there was always that drive in me to return back to religion, but I found myself met with derision for being gay. I found a lot of hypocrisy between what was written about compassion and acceptance and found instead those who used the Bible as a shield to hide behind to condemn others despite several warnings written within the pages about judging others. If I was not to be welcomed by those who follow his word, then I had to find a new way to exist. I became agnostic. While I still believe in the basic tenants of being a good person and being accepting of others despite our differences, this change helped with finding peace with myself in my sexuality.
"What does this have to do with kinks?", you might ask yourself while reading this. So far all I have talked about is being gay (which isn't a kink) and religion. Well, now we get to the fun parts. With a foundation laid out by religion and my parents teachings, I refused to explore myself outside the vanilla world of basic sex acts. I still to this day have refused to use anything outside of a wand because doing more felt like too much. It took until the age of 41 to finally come out of my shell, at the encouragement of my wife, to do something to explore who I am and what I like.
So, honesty time. I have an online friends with benefits. I had no idea what that even meant until prompted to explore. Even more shocking to myself is that this person ended up being a guy. Now, I will caveat this with I have 0 interest in guys still. For me it is all just auditory, like having erotic novels read to you by Morgan Freeman. Sexy, weird of course, but yeah I find it sexy. I also found out that I am a total sub when it comes to sex. With my wife it has always been a switch situation, but man did I fall hard once control was established during sex.
I am slowly beginning to break those stigmas of accepting what else is out there. I have always been accepting of what others want to do, I just never took the time to learn what they are actually doing. It has been interesting to say the least. I have found myself more open to exploring other avenues.
"Who cares? You found out about sex, congrats..." the cynical among us will say and most likely post here. Well, for one, I care. Others here who repress themselves and hide who they are because of shame and fear, you should care too. There has to be a happy medium somewhere between finding out who we really are and not completely repressing it until we are so pent up and frustrated that we lash out at others. We should not feel ashamed to find out who we are. It doesn't even have to be about sex. I just mean exploring who you are in general.
For my religious friends, it is very easy to hand pick what is ok and what is not ok from your religious passages to fit your world views. I caution you against doing so unless you are prepared for ALL of what is written in it, even within your own failings as a follower of their word.
I know it is a controversial stance to take, but I believe we were given free will for a reason. I'd rather take my chances saying I did my best to be a good person, but also be able to say that I didn't waste the life I was given by being too scared to explore the world provided to us. What I do know is that the judgment of others will no longer stop me from living my best life.