Don’t Pathologize Your Kinks

Anonymous Question:

Hi Beastly. Years ago when I was much younger, I got involved in a “Fight Club” scene, although it WAS a bit different. It was a small group of gay men (in NYC) who liked rough sex, to put it mildly. Unlike the “Fight Club”, the prize wasn’t money – it was ass – I own you for tonight. Also, unlike the fight club, we had rules, as most of us had jobs. Rules – No head work, no visible marks, no solar plexus, no kidney or ball punches, although I know there are men who enjoy ball work. All else was on the table. I gotta confess that I enjoyed the hell of it. Here I am, many many years later, and living in a small town near Tucson. I don’t even know if I’m capable of regular romantic sex anymore, and yet, I don’t think my desire for men will ever fade. I’m just curious as to what you think, and do you know of any others in similar situations. I really enjoy reading the advice you have for others.


Buddy, I love hearing a brag, and that is a well-deserved brag. Those experiences sound hot. But if you’re seeking help for something, I’m afraid I don’t know what “situation” you’re in. Is the situation that you only enjoy hardcore, extreme sex, and are unable to find willing playmates in or near Tucson?

Is the “situation” the fact that you like sex like this — that you enjoy it more than “romantic sex” — which, I imagine, is the vanilla and traditional kind?

Here’s what I think: You’re not in a bad situation. There’s nothing wrong with liking hardcore sex. There’s nothing wrong with preferring the extreme stuff over the vanilla, the wild over the mild, and so on. Don’t pathologize your desires just because they’re unconventional. Gay men get pathologized enough by culture already. We don’t need to do it to ourselves.

Also, people really, really want to pathologize kink, BDSM, and extreme sex stuff like the “fight club” parties you describe. Resist that urge. Kink is healthy.

According to Psychology Today, anywhere from 2 to 62 percent of people are into BDSM — a bizarre statistic to try and obtain, since so many people polled will not be forthcoming about what they enjoy. That said, I do not believe all those people are sick, traumatized, deranged, or unhealthy.

If anything, I think the opposite. I think kink is healthy, and many other people do too.

I do sometimes feel barred from “regular romantic sex.” I think many guys do. It’s not that we’re physically incapable of the sweeter, intimate stuff — we just simply don’t want it, and can’t get pleasure from it. I can still manage to get through a vanilla, lights-on hookup every now and then, but now if I do anything sexual there’s probably some sick fantasy being tended to. Thankfully I have a boyfriend who encourages and celebrates the disgusting side of me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

All this is to say that you’re not barred from love or romance, but you might be barred from certain versions of it. You might not be able to participate in the conventional, monogamous, “together forever” kind of love. But who wants to? So long as you’re setting the rules of engagement and obeying the rules of consent, you’re free to do what you love — and boast about it — no shame required.





  1. Hey Alex,
    Did you mean to say “There’s anything wrong with you” in your article? I enjoy reading your blog, and find the articles really interesting. Thanks for keeping it going.

    Kind regards,


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