I’m dead inside.
On the outside things are going well. Work is going well. I’ve met a few nice people and maintained a few pre-covid relationships. I get to continue to explore kink and an exciting sex life. I’m taking good care of my house and my spending is more under control. I just got diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea and I have so much energy and cognition to do so many things. It’s incredible.
Yet, I’m dead inside.
Pre-covid, after a scene, especially an impact scene, the experience would resonate for days. The next day, the endorphins would linger and I’d float down the street with my dog radiating my secret powers. For the next few days, I’d recall my strength and the D’s creativity and affection. I’d continue to feel special, powerful. No subdrop for me.
Now, I’m dead inside, even shortly after a scene. Everything is flat. I’m not dead inside, like I have depression, I’ve been there. Everything is just flat. I’m energetic, I’m getting things done, things that have evaded me for years, but I don’t feel accomplished. I have very nice people in my life, yet I feel so disconnected. And most of my life hasn’t changed much during covid. My dog and I still spend time outside at the beach or park, I still meet dates at the park or for ice cream and yet I feel out of place.
The only piece of my old life, which was pretty new to me, that’s missing is going to the dungeon and going to munches. Kinky people everywhere are starving for these two things, but I think all kinds of people are missing community, crowds and being in groups.
There must be a magical exchange between our bodies and minds when we share space and activities, even if doing so in parallel and not directly interacting with each other. Like at a ball game, the thrill of entering the stadium full of people, it’s electric. Or at a concert bopping and jumping in sync with others. Possibly pheromones and other subtleties are exchanged between us way below our consciousness changing our lizard brains.
Seeing and Being Seen
There’s another missing element, for me at least, and that is seeing and being seen. I was just beginning to explore this in the dungeon space, but it’s always been a part of my life. I like to be noticed, visually, and I like to see and watch people. Maybe we make eye contact and flirt, but more likely almost no interaction occurs. I don’t know how to explain this, but I know I was taught it. When I was very young traveling with my family, my much older pubescent sister invited me to “people watch” in the lobby of the hotel with her. This sounded very strange to a five-ish year old, but I watched her make these subtle glancing connections. I learned people were a spectacle to enjoy and ponder. We may have even exchanged stories we made up about the passers by, which I still do today.
I don’t think we talk about the value of being seen, visually, because we think its vain, and maybe it is, but does that make it any less valuable? Aren’t we programed to see and be seen? Isn’t that why we have exposed cornea? We’ve evolved to communicate where we are looking.
Without the reward or possibility of seeing and being seen in real life, my internet postings have nearly died off, especially my FetLife selfie project, ironically. The like button does nothing for me on the sending or receiving end. I’ve tried a zoom meet-up and I enjoyed it, but I haven’t done it again.
So is this water?
The flatness reminds me of what David Foster refers to in his commencement speech, This is Water. I don’t think this is water, although many of the lessons in Wallace’s speech are certainly applicable. I keep wondering what the opportunities are right now? I don’t want to live this experience wishing I was having another one.