On Normality

“The only normal people”, the old quotes goes, “are the ones you don’t know very well”. Never a truer word was spoken.

People often ask me if their particular kink is ‘normal’. Sometimes they fret about whether they’re unusual in comparison to my other clients.  Perhaps they imagine I have some Blue Peter-style barometer of aberrance hidden in my wardrobe, but unfortunately it’s just not the case . In a similar vein, I’m frequently asked for salacious details about ‘the weirdest thing’ I’ve ever seen/done/experienced.

I take umbrage with these questions for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’d never dream of discussing a client’s private desires with someone else, nor of offering up confidential tit-bits of information for another’s interest. I pride myself on my absolute discretion, and this extends beyond personal details to the particulars of what we get up to together. Secondly, It’s somewhat frustrating to be thought of as a walking, talking cabinet of curiosities, whose job means that people feel they have carte blanche to ask about deeply private information. In those circumstances, I’ve found it quite effective to enquire politely how they would feel if they knew one of their lovers was sharing similar tales about them at a dinner party.

But most significantly, these questions propagate the idea that there’s a prescribed set of sexual norms, and that anyone who falls outside these is decidedly ‘abnormal’.  This couldn’t be more inaccurate. Any social anthropologist will tell you that sexual norms are relative, and vary wildly between different cultures and time periods. However, the pernicious belief that certain behaviours, and by extension certain people, are weird and unhealthy still exists today.

Like so many of our contemporary neuroses, the British inherited this repressive outlook from the Victorians.  In his History of Sexuality (Vol. 1), cultural theorist Michel Foucault examines the social binary of ‘normal’ vs ‘deviant’ sexuality, which emerges in the eighteenth century to curtail any perceived ‘unproductive’ sexual expression. A So-called ‘perversion’ came to be seen as anything that wasn’t functional, reproductive sex within a heterosexual relationship. These perversions could be ‘cured’ through the institution of marriage, all of which sounds very dull indeed.

To my mind, our kinks are what make us all thrillingly unique. As long as your play is safe, sane and consensual (the BDSM holy trinity), then who’s to say what’s right or wrong? Perhaps you find the sight of a  stocking-clad foot the hottest thing in the world; or maybe being treated like a very bad little puppy drives you wild. Whatever your tastes run to, no fetish is better, worse, or ‘stranger’ than any other.

Creating a culture of shame and anxiety around certain sexual behaviours only serves to pathologise healthy eroticism . It also stands in the way of honest communication about our wants and needs – and poor communication goes hand in hand with disappointing sex.

So abandon normal, I say, and embrace your naughtiest idiosyncrasies. There’s an awful lot of fun to be had when you do.

6 comments

  1. Comment by Martin

    Martin 9th August 2015 at 6:33 am

    In all areas of my life, I strive to make myself better. In work, sport or life in general, being normal tends to coincide with being on a par with everyone else.

    Why should this be any different in my sex life ? Why should I accept “normal” and social convention as being my goal ? I want to be more than that.

    Life would be very dull indeed if we only ate the food, watched the films or read the books that we have read before or that have been enjoyed by everyone else.

    It is a strange society that demands invention and progress in all areas, yet frowns upon personal freedom and development and expression that have no detrimental impact on society as a whole .

  2. Comment by Morgan

    Morgan 9th August 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I understand you presented yourself as a ‘stunt bottom’ for a class. Most seriously excellent, as is the whole of your very affirming website. Regards.

  3. Comment by Louisa

    Louisa 9th August 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Absolutely – Couldn’t agree more. Variety is undoubtedly the spice of life, especially when it comes to the erotic.

  4. Comment by Louisa

    Louisa 9th August 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you Morgan, delighted to hear you like the site!

  5. Comment by Morgan

    Morgan 9th August 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Not a stroke of work done all day and I am on a deadline! Have been checking out your tweets. Love that you love Sam Spade but The Archers !!!!? You could have a Mary Astor thing going. You would do it well, but would it be Sub or Dom? That one could go either way.

    Am a fan of Vivien Leigh whom you resemble in many ways. You most certainly have a star quality. Kenneth Tynan was cruel towards her in his criticisms (I think there was a meaness to him). He was famously into sadism (not the same as spite and malice) and half way through reading a biography of Miss Leigh I said to myself ‘I know your problem Kenneth. You are jealous and wish to spank her but if you were in a room with Vivian Leigh she would be the one to do the spanking – and you know it, Kenneth.’ Lo and behold, there was no spanking as far as I know but after they finally met and she spent some time alone with him – he was as putty in her hands.

    Massively unfair and incorrect myths about Vivien Leigh and her mental condition and as an actress was ‘cursed’ by her own beauty.

    If ever you do a Mary Astor/Maltese Falcon inspired session, please blog about it as far as principles allow. But if you do a Sydney Greenstreet themed thing (magnificent though he is) I wish to live the rest of my life not knowing about it.

    You are changing my perspective. More power to your elbow (and the wrist of whoever may be spanking your bottom).

  6. Comment by Morgan

    Morgan 4th September 2015 at 12:36 am

    I understand you would be excited/tired from academic engagement . However, a recent Tweet by you on an academic subject has prompted this contact though I had thought it for a while – are you not a sort of PG Wodehouse or Agatha Christie to your Demi-Monde? Not a Bertie Wooster but not exactly a Miss Marple either and you are your own ‘Jeeves’. I think you doubt your inner Jeeves.

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