When I was very new to my local kink community, I was at a New Year’s Eve get together where someone asked us all to name the most extreme activity they’d participated in that year.
Even then, I had trouble figuring out how to define extreme in this context. That is, if I got set on fire multiple times, is that more hardcore than someone who only had needles stuck in them? Or is needle play more extreme? What about suspension? Canings?
Where is the line?
The person asking the question never did clarify, and I’m still not sure. Maybe extreme is measured in bruises. If so, I’ve had scenes that left marks for weeks. But it was only impact play, and I also know people who can take far worse beatings than I ever will.
Maybe it’s measured by one’s power exchange. Does identifying as a slave make one more extreme than someone who is “only” a submissive? And is someone who is a submissive 24/7 more extreme than someone who only gives over control in the bedroom during sex?
You know what? It turns out I don’t actually care.
Extreme is however you define it. The term “edge play” gets tossed around a lot. And there are those who want to define it as only referring to obviously extreme activities – needle suspensions and hook pulls, crucifixions, waterboarding. To these people, blindfolds and floggers are unlikely to qualify.
But my definition is different. To me, edge play is whatever your edge is that day. For some, that’s going to be attending a play party or a munch for the first time. For others, it’s going to the party you’ve been to 100 times and trying something you never thought you’d do. Maybe it’s trusting someone new. Maybe it’s pushing past a long-held fear.
My point is, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not edgy enough. Not extreme enough. Maybe you just aren’t extreme enough for them. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I remember attending my first weekend event. There was a man there who I found very attractive. And just about the time I started to consider whether I should approach him…he started an intense humiliation scene with his partner. He did and said things to her that I knew I was never going to want to experience.
I walked away and found people I was more compatible with. I’ve never felt like my life was diminished for it. Instead, I learned about what I wanted and what I didn’t. What I could handle and what I couldn’t.
I’m glad I did. Because I’m still learning. And while what I consider edgy may change regularly, I don’t feel like I’m in competition with anyone.
I don’t need to prove myself. And neither do you.