Okay, first things first. That’s not my photo, obviously. That photo is The Wave, Douglas, Isle of Man by Simon Park from the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition in 2012.
I love that photo. I think it’s sexy as hell.
As a kid, I was super privileged. I’ve been to a lot of nice places. Barbados. Mauritius. The Maldives. I’ve swum on the Great Barrier Reef.
But beautiful, azure, calm sea, the kind that’s warm and laps quietly at the shore?
That kind of sea is nice – it’s almost certainly my favourite kind to swim in – but it’s not sexy.
I wouldn’t describe the sea as a kink of mine (although a certain type of seaside certainly is), and yet it taps into parts of my brain that kink also taps into.
What do I mean by that? I guess rough sea, choppy sea, sea with decent waves, provokes in me a mixture of fear, anticipation and adrenaline rush that I also feel just before I play or before I fuck someone I don’t really know.
I don’t like not knowing what’s under the surface. I don’t like feeling seaweed brush against me. I don’t like the way that, in the sea, my imagination runs away with me in a way that never happens in a swimming pool.
But the swimming pool is symbolic of the kind of relationship I should want, but never seek out. Transparent, calm, safe. The ocean is symbolic of something darker – you think you know what you’re getting into when you wade through the shallows and out into deeper water, but you can never be completely sure.
And that, that not being completely sure? That is what I like.