No one is simply born a sadomasochist. It takes a special combination of nature and nurture to create someone that twisted and discordant. This time let’s start with a young man. We’ll call him… Tanim. Tanim is born the eldest son of an affluent and traditional, if not somewhat repressed, family. He’s the child every family dreams of: sweet, loyal, hard working, driven by the simple desire to perform his familial duty and make his parents proud. No sex, drugs, or rock ‘n roll for him. Tanim doesn’t have a rebellious bone in his body. In every way he’s the perfect son.

But then about twenty years down the road, something changes. Tanim, who has never wanted anything than to fulfill whatever role society asks of him, begins to long for something… more. At first he is too sheltered to understand the sensation rising within him so much like hunger yet deeper, a full body craving, and far more painful. He lays awake at night tossing and turning, unable to find the source or alleviation of the need. It scares and shames him so he tries to ignore it, but then the dreams begin. He’s never had a single urge to touch another’s body yet now his dreams are filled with hands prying him open and teeth digging into his skin as he surrenders eagerly to the stronger will. Every morning he wakes soaked with sweat and semen in a body that’s never felt more alien.

So this is how it starts. You take a soft spoken young man, inexperienced and naïve, and give him a fetish for submission which haunts and sickens him. What is he to do? He refuses to act on his desires yet neither can he ignore such a fundamental aspect of himself. Eventually he cracks beneath the burden, the urges of his body overriding the repulsion in his heart. His first time is in the bathroom of some bar he can’t remember the name of with a man whose name he never even asked for. It becomes a cycle: he ignores the urges as long as possible thanks to generous amounts of alcohol and sleeping pills, then snaps one night and is right back on his knees behind a locked bathroom door or spread out across the stained sheets of a rent-by-the-hour motel. He cares as little about the location as he does his partners as long as the one is private and the other willing. In the morning, aching and hung over, he crawls back to his apartment to drown in self-loathing for another day, week, however long before the need overwhelms again. And thus the cycle continues.

Yet as dependent as Tanim is on these anonymous paramours, he despises them even more than himself. They’re unjustifiably arrogant, greedy, quick to finish. They always leave him filthy and unfulfilled, somehow emptier for the union. None of them live up to the fantasy god who dominates him in his dreams yet he continues the pointless search for someone worthy of his complete vulnerability and worship. Eventually disappointment breeds spite, spite rots to rage, and rage eats away the last of his inhibitions. Now he’s the one leaving bruises and bite marks as he takes his pleasure, punishment for the creatures who tempt him into such repulsive acts. It’s still not enough, though. Nothing is ever enough for him.

This is how you create a sadomasochist like Tanim. Mix equal parts lust, shame, and destructive desperation, steep in alcohol, and let this disastrous recipe seethe alone for years. The final product is a man so tangled in the war between body and mind that he’s become a puppet to his own carnal desire to hurt and be hurt in turn. His moods swing between impulsive mania and crippling depression, predictable only in that one forever follows the other with no reprieve in sight. Is there hope for Tanim? Perhaps. One day he will meet a man he believes encompasses everything he’s searched for, a worthy rival to the dark god of his dreams. But Tanim’s love is obsessive, possessive, and it crushes as easily as it caresses. When the one he loves won’t stay with him willingly, he will keep him by force. He has suffered too long to risk losing this chance at completion. He’ll do whatever is necessary to teach his beloved there is nothing more beautiful than the delivering of pain as pleasure, pleasure as pain. And if they are both destroyed in the process, so be it.

[ SHH. I know this is awful. I know. It was either finish the piece or beat my head against my keyboard until I passed out, which honestly seemed quite preferable but I’d rather not damage my keyboard. I hope the ending is okay, though. Felt like it needed one more line but I just couldn’t come up with a good one so I let it be for the sake of my sanity. ]

[ Also, Tanim isn’t usually this crazy. Just sometimes. ]