It’s like two hearts, two minds, two bodies, two souls
Making one whole, now it’s gotta be told
That what we have is more than just physical
Don’t be so cynical, we gotta spiritual love
Feels so natural. More than physical. Spiritual love.
The Leather Lifestyle Group in Fetlife has over 3,000 members. If you go to their About page, you’ll find out what it’s NOT about: “It is NOT about the material or fetishes and fashions related to same. All leather fashion/fabric posts will be deleted with the exception of those on leather care”.
It then goes on to state: “This group is about Leather–the lifestyle, the mindset, the events, and the “heart and soul” of leather.”.
That kind of sounds impressive on first read, but the more you look at it the more you realise it is heavily coded jargon. What exactly is this “mindset” and “heart and soul” they are talking about?
Are they talking about some kind of “spirituality”, and if they are, are they saying that leather = spiritual kink?
IS THERE SOMETHING INHERENTLY SPIRITUAL ABOUT KINK?
I think for most people, whether they identify it with the labels or not, kinky spirituality is a huge part of how we play and how we think. When a submissive goes into sub-space where do they go? Or a Dom in their Dom-space? If we lose the association with religion and focus on what spirituality is, it’s about energy exchange between the universe and ourselves.
That energy exchange can happen in many different ways, and some people are far more in-tune with it than others. A spiritual person is just that, a spiritual person. If they also happen to be Leather then their Leather will be spiritual as well. A spiritual person walking down a beach is going to find spirituality on the beach. A spiritual person planting a garden is going to find spirituality in the planting.
Spirituality is in the person, from the person… not from a culture.
USING KINK TO EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE
Altered states of consciousness are a means as old as humankind for connecting to something bigger, more expansive and soul changing. In intense play, many have these experiences.
These spiritual experiences can be personal or they can be intimately shared with another. I’d even pitch the idea that they can be shared in large groups. People do seem to get high from conferences and group events, to the extent where I was watching an episode of Watts the Safeword recently that focused on recovering from con-drop.
IS IT FOR YOU?
Many people shy away from any kind of dogma or talk about spirituality, and like to keep things grounded in the here and now. That’s OK. We all do what we do because it gives us joy in one way or another. Whether that joy is physical or something that digs into our own ideas about meaning is not important.
My own spirituality is like a long lost lover returning back to my bed, as we share an amazing sensual moment in time with each other. From the beginning of my life in BDSM, spirituality has been a huge part of who I am.
What is wonderful is that we all get to choose our life and our beliefs and still be involved in BDSM. We don’t all walk the same path and we all make different choices on how and what we believe.
The structure of BDSM has things that spiritual people live every day… like honour, integrity, trust and kindness.
Just be receptive to your experiences, and accepting of them. You never know when spirituality will hit you and start showing up in your play and life.
• Deviance & Desire – Taking BDSM to a Spiritual Level
• Deviance & Desire – The Relationship Between BDSM and Ancient Tantra
• Deviance & Desire – Being a Leatherboy is a Lifestyle and a State of Mind
• The Huffington Post – Spirituality Meet Leather
• Officer Wes – Spirit and Leather
• Born Slave Literature – SM as a Spiritual Path
• Reality Sandwich – The Path of Pain: Spiritual BDSM
• Pagan BDSM by Raven Kaldera