Anxiety and Kink

Gimp’s rendering of the anxiety monster.

As kinksters, we have to deal with prejudices and lack of understanding. It is not easy being kinky. Being gay is hard enough, coming out as gay is hard enough. But gay kinksters have to do everything twice, we have to realize our sexuality twice and come out twice. As a kinkster with social anxiety, it’s even harder. Not only do I have people in the real world telling me I’m not good enough or I’m a degenerate but I have to deal with my own head allowing these horrible people to get the better of me and working myself up to the point I don’t participate in social events or even really hook up or play. I decided to write about this topic because I think it’s important to discuss real issues and maybe connect with other people who have the same issues.

When I go out to events the most common fears/ anxieties that occur to me are: not being good enough, being singled out, having people think I don’t belong, and just being alone.

There are people out there who assure me these fears occur all the time to a lot of people and they work through them and push forward. However, I never was able to just will myself to participate and get over that hump and do something social. I had to work and work just to be able to go to a bar for my first time. This year at MAL I accomplished something I once thought I’d never do, I went alone to a social event. My friend I went to MAL with was ‘busy’ (I’ll let your imagination go wild with that euphemism) and couldn’t go with me to the rubber social. The rubber social was supposed to be one of the highlights of the weekend for gimpy me, and it was but I was forced to go alone. It may not sound like a huge deal, but for me it was. I had to use every coping tool I had available just to get in the door. For me, that’s the hardest part. Just entering a space with a group of people I’m not familiar with is often an insurmountable hurdle.

Once I managed to calm down enough, I left my hotel room in my gimp gear and made my way downstairs. The entire way down I was making my plan of attack and working through my opening lines and conversation starters. Upon entering the reception room I immediately found a quiet corner to work from. This is one of the coping methods I frequently use; I set up ‘home base’ in a quiet spot and work myself into the crowd from there and return if I need a moment.

After the majority of people arrived and party began, I tried to find some of my online acquaintances. I managed to find a semi-local guy who I had been chatting with on recon for months and had yet to meet. We spotted each other and began a conversation that lasted for quite some time and allowed me to become comfortable with the room and people. Doing this is honestly this is the best pieces of advice I have ever received from a fellow social anxiety sufferer. Find someone you know even if it’s just a tiny, tiny bit and use your time chatting with them to get comfortable. The other thing I try to do is if I see that person again chatting with someone else I just casually check back in with them and see who they’re talking to. I’ve honestly met more people that way than I can count. And as a rule, regardless of what the anxiety monster in my head tells me, the people I’ve met in the kink world are pretty cool and are generally supportive.

While it wasn’t possible at the rubber event because I wanted to be identified by friends and acquaintances, I’d also add being hooded provides me with immense confidence (something I think many pups have figured out.) It may be just a flimsy piece of .25mm rubber but it might as well be kevlar. Once I have my hood on and I’m just the slightest bit familiar with a space I’m the most social person in the room. I was in full gimp gear dancing with hotel security and staff and roaming the halls talking to people I’d never met and probably will never meet again. Sadly being hooded really isn’t a solution to anxiety. And to be honest, neither are the other things I’ve mentioned. I think I’ve come to realize there is no solution to anxiety, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be tamed or defeated.

I’m sure I’ll touch on this topic again, thanks for bearing with gimp while it figures out how to be a better and more active kinkster.

And for those of you out there like me, speak up. It sucks being alone, especially when we don’t have to be.

What is a Gimp?

This is a Gimp.

I was recently asked this seemingly simple question and I found myself at a bit of a loss at first. For a few years, I have identified as a gimp; so I was a bit taken aback when I realized I couldn’t concisely define the term gimp. So for the past few years, I have been operating under the mentality that, I can’t define what I am in words, but when I see it or feel it I know it. Well, that works in my mind, but it is hard to convey what a gimp is to others. And that makes it hard to find the kind of play I want or connect with other gimps out there.

So for me, a gimp is a submissive object that submits completely to its owner, something akin to a slave but without the human identity. Being a gimp, is at its core, about separating oneself from humanity and individualism and embracing being an object and a tool for your dominants use. When I’m in ‘gimp mode’ I want to be treated as an object, a thing, just something to be used and be stored away when not needed. Additionally, I want leave all trappings of my own individualism behind; in my mind, a gimp exists to be just another thing the Dominant has access to.

Why rubber?

My rubber gimp suit is key to my transition into gimp headspace. Putting on my rubber suit and mask so all that shows is my shiny second skin is freeing. It frees me to leave my humanity behind and accept what’s in store for me during play, and from what Dominants I’ve played with have told me, helps the Dominant to stop seeing the human me and start seeing an object to use. The other key thing my gimp suit accomplishes for me is it removes my identity. Gimps, when covered in their shiny rubber suits, look the same essentially. Granted there are some minor differences (height, weight, etc.) but for the most part, gimps when in a rubber suit could be interchangeable. Thus the gimp is not an individual person to the Dominant a gimp is merely an object that serves and exists for use. This is a major part of the gimp dynamic for myself; when in gimp mode I am just a tool to be used for the Dominants pleasure, not a person.

How do I use a Gimp?

Gimps are sometimes treated harshly. Part of removing the humanity and being covered and deindividualized allows the Dominant to stop seeing the gimp as a person and treat them more as an object. Gimps are also completely controlled; this is a major part of it for me. Sight, hearing, speaking, movement, sleep, eating, even urination are all controlled by the Dominant. Any sensory input or minor bit of freedom is granted by the Dominant and can be revoked at any point and for gimps these periods of freedom and privilege are few and far between; the gimp lives and thrives in isolation and control. Compared to a more traditional Master/Slave relationship a gimp is controlled and used like a slave, but lacks the humanity, individualism, and obligation to perform more domestic duties like cleaning; I tend to look at it this way: A gimp is a toy. A slave is a tool. While slaves may experience bondage, storage, and pain at some point these are temporary and usually not permanent. This is one of the main reasons my identity morphed from slave to gimp. For gimps bondage, isolation, pain, and objectification are a default state, and that is what I truly crave.

In my mind a gimp’s time consists of storage, use, and pain. A gimp spends the majority of its time waiting to be used. During play it exists solely for to amuse the whims of its Dominant. And when the Dominant isn’t using the gimp it should be stored out of the way, in a cage, tied somewhere, put in a closet, or placed in the corner. Gimps can be used in sadistic ways; gimps exist to be tortured, used, and then stored away. This dichotomy of storage versus use and pain creates in the gimp a profound gratefulness for any attention given to it. After being stored for long periods, gimp would be excited for any use at all even the most painful and kinky uses and alternately, after being used harshly, gimp may be desperate or excited to return to storage for a respite from use.

The life of a gimp is hard, painful, and boring at times but that’s what excites me. I enjoy being that devoted and feeling that controlled. I doubt this high of a level of control could be maintained for a long period. I’m sure people have tried and I’m sure a few have succeeded in living the twenty-four- seven gimp lifestyle in some fashion, however, I doubt many gimps really want to live like that all the time (not to mention the amount of effort and responsibility this places on the Dominant). Personally, as much as I identify as a gimp, and crave this kind of treatment, I know I couldn’t at this point handle anything more than a few days at the max of being a gimp. Despite the effort it takes and the ware it puts on my body, I want to spend as much time in gimp mode as I can.