Friendship to me is a state of mutual trust and support.
It may mean different things to different people but for me it was always about being myself with people I call friends, it was a relationship devoid of pretence.
But strangely, most of the friends I had at an earlier age did not fall into this category. These were people I knew in school, people I worked with, people whom I came across in social and family circles or would otherwise meet. The reason I couldn’t really be friends with them was that there was a part of me I always kept hidden.
Let me tell you something about myself. I am from a very conservative family and grew up in a small town in Rajasthan. I am from a family that was well known and well respected. I always knew that I didn’t belong in that town as my ambitions, my desires, and my needs had to be fulfilled and it was not possible in that town.
My sexual desires may not be what certain people called ‘normal’ and I could not share this with my so called friends as I thought they would consider me weird. I did try and it backfired. They thought I was weird, stupid, perverted and not even a man, just some weirdo walking on Earth .
Surprisingly a woman in my hometown introduced me to the world of Kink. She was a regular housewife and with her for the first time I got to know what I actually needed and wanted and it went on for a good amount of time till I moved out of that place for many reasons.
Having good social skills, I never found it difficult finding people to talk to and making acquaintances. There were people around and yet I felt alone all the time. I jumped from one city to another but still the feeling was always the same. There were some deep rooted desires which I tried to curb and then one day, I found the Internet and I found out that I am not alone; there are people like me all over the world and suddenly from being alone, I had found a family.
I came across so many different people and I started interacting with them regularly.
This was the first time I could unmask myself. I met people who were not bothered about my looks, my caste, my religion, my social status and family background, my financial standing, they were just interested in my thoughts and in me. They made me realize that I am normal and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with what I want.
This is the first time that I felt accepted, I felt at home. I would never have met these people otherwise, because other than kink we were a very diverse lot. But despite our diversity, kink gave us common ground. We were more accepting and accommodating of irregularities from what we call ‘normal’ and with this started my journey into friendship.
I always say that the best thing kink provided me with is friends.
I have found people who genuinely care about me. My well-being is a priority for them.
There was a time in my life when I was going through a very bad phase financially and mentally.
All my so-called friends and my family literally gave up on me.
My school friends stopped taking my calls and my family declared me the black sheep. Once the star and role model amongst friends and family, but now an outcast.
At those times, my friends from the kink community who didn’t even know my full name stood like a rock beside me.
They advised me to get counselling and they even looked for counsellors for me. They did not stop hounding me till I began counselling. And for the first few sessions, they used to go with me, wait for an hour and then ask how the counselling was. They gave me a roof to stay under, food to eat and what not.
One friend of mine, who lives in a different city and is from the kink community, used to call me every second day, just to inquire how I was and just to show me that there are people who care about me.
No matter how busy he was, he made sure that the call happened. Later I found out he used to set up alarms on his phone, so that he didn’t forget to call.
When I was going through a bad phase in my marriage, again my relatives simply said, this marriage is not going to work, but they didn’t know that I had the best system in the world.
The musketeers: one for all, all for one. Again these friends held my hand, talked to both my spouse and me, and literally counselled us.
The best times of my life are the times I spent with these friends, the laughter, the jokes, and the banter. The literal joy of a company that understood me, that showed me my own value, showed me that I am a worthy individual, that I am important, that I deserve to be loved.
I can only talk about what I am getting and how I am feeling.
My friends from the Kink community actually made me feel worthy, they polished my skills in so many ways. Today I am a confident man, sitting in front of all of you because they trusted me and showed confidence in me when nobody else did.
In fact, I am able to write this because they showed 100% faith in me.
I conclude with two things.
One is that because of these friends I met my wife, who built me up every day, who is one of my best support systems, and a great friend. And the second, that I hope I can also be a great friend to other people and be able to be there for them, like my friends were for me.