Ari Amala

A Cauldron full of Seething Excitations

Silhouette of a woman behind a sheer white sheet

I’ve had a kink about wanting to be a good girl for my whole life.

I just didn’t know it was a deep erotic desire. I thought I actually wanted to be good.

When I was a little girl that meant being a good Christian and a good daughter. Later in life, it meant doing a good job of playing into tantric and spiritual conventions. More recently, I’ve been trying to be good by remaining in the bounds of woke etiquette. I also try to be good by doing my best to appear politically engaged and intelligent. I think being seen as intelligent is one of my kinks too. It holds a very specific kind of sexual charge for me.

The delightfully amusing thing about trying to be good, that quite often it doesn’t lead to good outcomes. I can see this so clearly in my own life.

Trying to be a good Christian meant learning that abortions were wrong.

Trying to be a good daughter meant suppressing my grief and rage.

Delving into neo tantra dogma meant disconnecting from my discernment.

Doing a good job of parroting pre-prepared social justice scripts meant being an asshole instead of engaging in honest conversations with good faith.

All of this is to say that trying to be good is different from actually being good.

Enacting morality and trying to be good exists in the realm of the superego. Say what you want about Freud, but his tripartite theory of mind has been around for nearly a hundred years now and it still holds water. The opposite force of the superego is the wild, impulsive pleasure-seeking ID or as Freud described it, ‘a cauldron full of seething excitations.’ (Daddy, 1933)

That’s fucking hot.

The final agent, the ego, is tasked with mediating between the ID, the superego and reality. The ego valiantly attempts to satiate the insatiable desires of the ID in relatively socially acceptable ways, whilst forever failing to live up to the authoritarian and moralistic expectations of the superego.

Most of us are constantly disappointing our ID and superego by wanting to be bad, trying to be good but never being good enough. There is a lot of sexual tension in that struggle. Thankfully, there are also a lot of ways to harness that tension and to play with shadow alchemy. The avenue that turns me on the most is conscious kink and BDSM.

My kink around wanting to be good finds its natural home in the role of the submissive. Consensual intentional play with Domination and submission makes room for impulse gratification as well as restriction. It allows for roles and rules as well as uninhibited surrender. It welcomes both pleasure and pain, and the blurring of the two.

It allows me to be good and bad at the same time. I am a good girl, a slut, an embodiment of erotic yearning. I am pure innocence and I am Freud’s seething cauldron of excitations. In this self-created universe of liminal morality, the trinity finds peace. Floating in subspace, I am free.

We need spaces where we can explore or at least name our shadowy dreams and desires. Whether it’s within a BDSM scene, a workshop or the perimeters of a therapy session, we all need a playground where we can express our perversity. We need these spaces, these therapeutic dungeons where we can be turned on by our deviance, and where we can enjoy the tension between repression and impulse.

For my part, I’m glad I’ve found a way to act out my perverse desire to be good that is mutually enjoyable instead of moralistic and dogmatic.

Whether we have a kink around being bad or a kink around being good or both, it’s so important to find conscious and pleasurable ways to let these parts of us play. All too often, the ugliest acts come from those who pretend they have no kinks, no dark desires, no aggressive impulses… For the seething cauldron that goes unwatched and untasted for too long, will surely overflow.

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