I like people. What's really nice though is when I like someone who also likes me. The more someone likes me, generally, the more I like them in turn. Also, that works the other way around. There's a term for that in sociology (and many other ologies, too). It's called a feedback loop.
Feedback loops are just magical, where people are concerned. I'll give you an example: smiling.
You smile at someone, some random stranger, say on a train. It feels sort of good to do so. It's you saying to that other person, "Hey, dig me, I'm kind, I don't even know you, and here's this smile telling you that I'm glad I'm here, in this place, at the same time, as you. Whoever, whatever you are, I want to know about it."
So then, let's say our mysterious stranger smiles back. They're probably thinking, "wow, whoever that is smiling at me, that's just so nice of them. Time to return the favor. They're great."
What happens next is the best part. You keep smiling at one another, make even better eye contact, and start feeling good together. Maybe you strike up a conversation. You begin to get a sense of one another as people. Suddenly, you're an "us." "We" are sitting here on this train. They become, however briefly, your traveling companion, someone-you-know. You feel, however lightly, kinship with them. It feels great.
I see this same thing happen all the time in other circles, too. It happens at work, when I'm throwing code and working with another developer on $DIFFICULT_PROBLEM_X, and for a brief period of time, we're strategizing together, tackling the problem, a group more powerful than the sum of its constituent parts. I'll throw out a deduction, or a conclusion, only to have it validated or set aside by my peer, as we tackle the thing, together.
Feedback loops like this are especially great amongst my kinky peers. Just this morning, my babysitter Maya, who's up here visiting, sat with me, and we had this long conversation about the ways our various personality aspects and kinks mesh in complimentary ways.
There's this food metaphor I'm always going on about, about kinky relationships, called The Cake and the Icing.
Cake is the part that's vanilla, regular, dependable. It's picking someone up at the airport at 2am, or paying the electric bill on time, or being a dependable, honest, trustworthy person.
Icing is the sugary sweet exciting part, that includes getting and giving spankings, diaper fetishes, and tumbling over one another in bed, naked, until you're sweaty, and spent.
The two things go together. The funny, feedback-loop truth about that though, is that sometimes what's cake for someone might be icing for someone else.
There are things in Maya's personality which, for her, are Cake. She's particular. She likes order, and clarity. She's not afraid to tell you so, too. Sometimes she doubts herself about it, because she thinks she comes across as bossy.
What's her bossy Cake can be my dominant Icing. I'm very happy for her to tell me to do chores around the house, and get a warm, loving hug for doing them. I not only value her being that way - in a very real way, I depend on and need it. It makes my world simpler, in a way that's very emotionally validating to me.
It's really a great thing that we connect like this, and know it. Sometimes I struggle to understand myself, emotionally, and sexually. And then, to make those things I've figured out clear to someone else. It's really, really damn hard. But it's so worth it.
There are very few things in life more satisfying that getting into the tumble of a validating feedback loop with another person. When it's something as visceral, and deep as a kink like my ageplay, the power of that loop is just indescribable.
I'm grateful for it.