Every so often I go around trying to figure out if there's any 'cause' to my kink. Mostly in the idle curiosity sense, rather than in the Examine Your Desires, Hoor! sense.
And you know something? I got almost nuffin'.
I originally wrote out a long paragraph about background information, early childhood stuff, but really, I got nothing. The closest I've got to an explanation for anything is that my experience with a parent who I believe has Borderline Personality Disorder as primary caregiver has left me with a really intense craving for stability and security which may contribute to the sort of structured relationship that really hits my kink buttons. (But on the other hand, I can get that sort of stability and security without the structure of d/s. Which brings me back to "I got nuffin'".)
I mean, I can make just-so stories out of it: "Oh, my experience with a somewhat distant nurturing father through childhood makes me attracted to a man who can provide that sort of nurturing support without the distance". But I'm well aware that if, say, my father had been the dominating power in the household, the just-so would be, "Oh, my experience with male power and strength means I conceive of male attractiveness in terms of domination." Anything can be used to "explain" this stuff, like half-constructed memories justifying Satanic Panic. Anything can be stretched and twisted to come up with a reason, and I don't really see any way to judge that as anything other than an interesting creative exercise, since I can use the same factoids to "prove" a half-dozen mutually contradictory realities.
My first romantic fantasies, back before I had any sort of concept of it, had me as the actor, the one seeking the favor of the Desired One. Fairy tale structures in which I had to rescue the handsome prince trapped in the tower, that kind of thing. (It never occurred to me that the standard gendering structure of fairy tales meant I should be the one trapped in the tower.) By the time I got old enough to start thinking sexually and imagining sex, the fantasies were all -- every one of them -- serious d/s. Into the realms of sex slavery, some serious objectification, that end of things.
And I was wracked with guilt by them, when I thought about them consciously, because of the whole Women Should Be Equal, We're Fighting For Equality culture in which I was raised. Wracked with guilt when I thought about them, and would still wrap my legs tight around a pillow when I was going to sleep and speculate about how to transport those sex slaves, what the conditions in the slave harems were like, what that illicit genuine love affair between the master and the slave-who-was-my-POV felt like.
A couple of years after I started having those fantasies, I had my first experiences with sexism. (Harassment, justified with "boys will be boys".) After that was the assault -- which, as I wrote over at my place a while ago, killed my ability to fantasise at all for a number of years and completely changed the structure of my sex fantasies (from speculation to pastiche).
I don't know where it came from. I know I was given a copy of Tigana one year (I was probably twelve, given the release date), and read the bit with the guy tied spreadeagle to the four-posted bed over and over again because it was hot. Furtively in my own room, because juvenile sexuality is such a scary thing to be caught at. That's the only image from the outside world that ever caught me like that, put me in an 'I want to do that', these two hungry switchy people let loose from their mental cages with each other.
It's not clearly modelled on either my family as a child or an inversion thereof. It predates the assault, and probably some of the earlier clear threads exist in the same timeframe as the harassment, but in my head they feel like separate worlds, the waking one with its guilt and shame and then the coiled up going to sleep with my mind in a horrifying world that was, nonetheless, irresistably sexy. The cultural pressures I was aware of kept it from being something that was entirely safe to imagine in the cold, unforgivingly harsh light of day rather than the safe embrace of the darkness.
The monsters in the dark always seemed more like me -- and liked me more -- than the ones in the day, I guess.
And that's what I get when I examine my desires.