Savage Love: De-Kinked 

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Joe Newton

I know you and other sexperts say that kinks are ingrained and not something you can get rid of, but mine have all vanished! Ever since I started on antidepressants, my relationship with my body and how it reacts to pain — both physical and mental — has completely changed. I used to love getting bit and spanked and beat black and blue, but now all that just hurts. I used to love getting humiliated and spit on, commanded to do dirty things, but none of that holds much appeal anywhere. So what gives? Were these even kinks in the first place if they could vanish so easily with one little pill? Or were these coping mechanisms for emotional problems I no longer have? I know my libido is suppressed due to the meds. Did my kinks just follow my libido out the door?

—The Missing Kink

Antidepressants showed your kinks the door at the same time they showed your libido the door.

Zooming out for a second: While some people find that consensual BDSM helps them cope with trauma and/or process their emotional problems — or work through the kind of traumas that create emotional problems — many people into BDSM have no significant history of sexual trauma, TMK, or whatever trauma(s) they may have suffered, sexual or otherwise, didn't create or shape their kinks. And while consensual BDSM can provide therapeutic benefits to a person who (1) has a history of trauma and (2) has an interest in kink — by making them feel in control of their own bodies (even if they're temporarily ceding that control) — not everyone who's kinky can point to a traumatic event at the root of their kinks.

And kinky people shouldn't have to cite trauma to justify the pleasure they find in getting bit, spanked, beaten, bruised, bound, etc.

"It's become an oft-repeated narrative of many a wellness think piece that BDSM and freaky fetishes are actually okay because they help people deal with their traumatic past," as the writer, comedian, and self-described "Leatherdyke Muppet" Chingy Nea wrote in a recent essay about the creeping pathologizing of kink. "What gets you off is not inherently born of trauma or sign of dysfunction, nor does it require suffering to validate it. Being turned on by weird fucked up things you want to do with another consenting adult is acceptable simply because it's hot and sexy and fun."

OK, TMK, back to your question: Antidepressants — one little pill that can relieve mental anguish and disappear a libido at the same time — can't cure kinks, but they can suppress them. I mean, think about it ... if you're not horny right now because of the antidepressants ... you're not going to be horny for the things that get you off when you are horny ... because you're not horny ... because the antidepressants. If you miss your libido — and if you miss all the hot and sexy and fun and fucked-up things you used to enjoy with other consenting adults — work with your doctor to find a different med that relieves your depression without tanking your libido, TMK, or a different dosage of the med you're currently on that provides you with emotional benefits without depriving you of your libido and the kinks that come bundled with it.

Follow Chingy Nea on Twitter @TheGayChingy.

I'm a longtime reader who appreciates the candor and insight you've offered since, what, the 1990s! Yeesh. With that in mind, I have a piece of advice I'd like to share with your readers: I'm a 56-year-old gay man. From my 20s through my 40s, I was as sexually active as often as it was possible for me to be. I loved sex and sought it every chance I got. It made me feel alive! Then just as I was about to enter my 50s, I started to have erection problems. I could still come, but a spongy dick is ego-deflating. Not wanting to accept what was going on, I talked to my doctor about it. I've tried Levitra, Cialis, and now Viagra, as well as a host of cock rings. Not much of anything seems to help. I miss my sex life, and I miss the confidence that came with it. I didn't expect this, nor did I plan for it. It's a lonely feeling.

That's why I think it's important for your readers to understand the following: Have all the sex you want and that you can while you can so long as you're not hurting anyone or putting anyone at risk! Do this as often as you want to. Don't put those sexual fantasies on the back burner. Don't stay in a relationship that stifles you sexually! You owe it to yourself to experience what you want to experience today. Don't take tomorrow for granted, as tomorrow might have something else in store for you.

—Guy's Hard Off Seems Terminal

Good advice — don't screw tomorrow what you can screw today — and I'm glad you didn't pass on any of the opportunities that came your way back when you could still "obtain and maintain" a fully erect cock. But I worry you may be passing on all the sexual opportunities that are still available to you. Even if the rock-hard erections of your youth and early-middle-age are gone forever, GHOST, you can still give and receive pleasure. You can suck a cock, you can get your ass fucked, you can fist and be fisted. And not every gay dude into daddies wants to be plowed by his hot daddy. Lots of gay guys wanna be orally serviced by hot daddies and lots of gay guys love having their holes eaten and stretched with big toys and fists. You can be a good, giving, and game partner and still have tons hot and fulfilling sex without ever pulling your dick out.

Which is not to say you shouldn't pull your dick out — you should. But if you're feeling self-conscious about your cock, GHOST, seek out guys who aren't looking for sexual experiences that require a hard dick, and you'll feel less inhibited about pulling your dick out and getting yourself off as you get them off.

You already took your own advice, GHOST; now you need to take mine: Stop grieving what you've lost and get out there enjoy what you've still got.

I read this in a recent column of yours: "...if your parents are still fucking each other that means your parents still like each other." Not always, Dan. My father fucked my mother daily while he was having an affair with another woman. As soon as the other woman's husband died of cancer, my father left my mother. Affair aside, he didn't much like my mother, which was evident from the way he treated her and not just from the affair. Maybe he wanted to keep her in place until he could leave, maybe he had a monstrous sex drive, I don't know. But he didn't like her.

—My Asshole Dad

Thank you for writing in, MAD, and you're absolutely right: A lot of people — and not just married people — fuck people they don't like. And some people are only nice to their spouses when they want sex and resume neglecting their spouses and/or treating them like shit immediately after they get sex. I obviously needed to qualify that statement, MAD, and if I had it to do over again I'd go with this: "If your parents are still fucking each other, that's a pretty good sign they might still like each other."

Questions? mail@savagelove.net. Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage or savagelovecast.com.

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