Having spent a considerable amount of time in (what I would call) several different rabbit holes over the past few years, I now sometimes wish that they came with warning labels. Things like:
— “You’re still in la la land.”
— “The way out is this way.”
— “Don’t forget to call your mom!”
— “That article isn’t going to write itself.”
— “That beautiful sparkly unicorn you want to ride? Well don’t try riding it out of here, it’s going to disappear from right under you; you’ll fall on your ass and it’s going to hurt.”
But life doesn’t come with warning labels, so neither should rabbit holes, I suppose. Besides, rabbit holes wouldn’t be as much fun if they actually came with warning signs, so instead, I’m going to post some for you here and will add to them as I think of more….
1) Recognize that the rabbit hole is still a rabbit hole. The first step towards solving a problem is admitting you have one. And rabbit holes can be just as addictive as drugs or alcohol. Believe me, I know, I’ve been there.
2) Rabbit holes are, by nature, dark places. Little sunlight ever gets in there and if any plants/seeds are germinating down there, their growth will be stunted.
3) On that note, don’t forget to come up for air/sunlight/etc. once in a while. I know, baby, it’s hard. You wish you could prance around semi-naked, in sparkly booty shorts and furry boot covers, doused in glitter and wrapped in a cuddle puddle of 200+ of your closest friends 24/7. But until you can singlehandedly create an anarchic world, with no rules, where no one needs to work or be a functioning member of society ever again, please don’t forget to visit the real world every once in a while.
3) And, yes, the real world is still out there and it keeps turning. There is work to be done. And if you do ever come up for air, travel, open your eyes, you’ll find that there are just as many (if not more) marvelous and inspiring things out there as there are in your little fantasy land.
4) If you took some magic potion/elixir/etc. whilst in the rabbit hole, don’t forget to take an antidote when you get out. Seriously, people will think you’re weird (and not in a good way) if you keep hallucinating rainbow bunnies and magic unicorns when you’re above ground.
5) Don’t forget to talk to/spend time with people that don’t do rabbit holes. They’re not “vanilla” or stupid or unenlightened, they’ve just chosen to live their lives in a different way. They may have travelled the world or learned five languages or done any number of interesting things, while you were busy partying in your fantasyland. And you can gain a world of perspective by talking to/listening to these people. It’s called balance.
(Related: I especially hate it when some of my polyamorous friends, when faced with monogamous people, stare at them bulge eyed and go like, “How do you do THAT?” As if it’s the strangest thing in the world and no one has ever heard of it. Yeah, newsflash, guys: most of the world, or at least the developed Western world, still does monogamy. Granted, many people cheat and lie, but that’s a story for another day/post, so don’t act like your way is the “norm” and theirs is weird. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with polyamory, I’m just saying that monogamy is still the generally accepted norm and you should treat it/accept it as such).
6) Additionally, unless you’re a fetish model/pro domme/unicorn-for-hire/whatever on the fetish scene, you don’t actually “live the lifestyle 24/7” (this is an option on FetLife profiles when it asks how active you are in the lifestyle), so please don’t forget to remove the leash/ball gag/etc. when you emerge from your dungeon. I’m a firm believer in “to each their own.” But I’m also a firm believer in “there is a place and a time for everything.”
7) Those friends I mentioned that are not privy to rabbit holes? Don’t forget to also keep them around so they can fish you out of there, lest you get permanently lost/dazed/confused underground. (Thanks to my friends who have repeatedly done this for me).
8) Keep in mind that the grass (soil/carrot) isn’t greener in the other rabbit hole. It just seems that way.
I constantly encounter people that burn out from/get sick of/go through a bunch of drama in one rabbit hole, so they throw themselves head first into another one, thinking it’ll be different there, only to burn out from that one, too.
Everyone also seems to think I have the keys/know the way to all the rabbit holes (well, OK, I might), so I have friends from the burner scene that want me to introduce them to the fetish world, or vice versa. I know people from goth parties that want to go to burner parties (yes, it does happen). And then, of course, a bunch of people are curious about sex parties (hey, I don’t blame ya, it seems most people think/fantasize about trying orgies at least once in their lives. Paulo Coelho even wrote about this in one of his novels). I don’t mind or anything, I’m all for exploring and trying new things, but I just don’t have the time/energy/money to run around to five parties per weekend with y’all. I have other things to do.
And, if you think that one rabbit hole/scene is going to be a lot better/more drama free than the first one, you’ll probably find that you are wrong and will be sorely disappointed. I’m not saying, don’t do rabbit holes, I’m just saying: don’t expect them to be the cure-all fix to your problems.
The thing is: the people on these scenes, myself including, probably like to pretend to be magic unicorns, but at the end of the day we’re all just human. Human with our own sets of desires/goals/needs/plans/fantasies/ideas. And once those goals/desires/needs clash with yours, problems and drama will still ensue.
Rabbit holes are just that: a slightly more fantastical/imaginative reflection of the real world.
(Illustration by David A.)