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Kakegurui

Visceral emotional masochism

By Loki TavielPublished 7 months ago 3 min read
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With what I've posted so far here, while it's obvious that I enjoy sexual subjects in my anime, you may think that I'm only a fan of comedy ecchi. That couldn't be further from the truth though. The most recent addition to my favorite anime is one that came out a few years ago, and while not overtly sexual in the same way other series I've talked about here are, has a lot of connotation to it that makes it incredibly intriguing.

Kakegurui is a series about gambling and predicament. While games start innocently enough, the stakes get higher, to the point where characters are putting their lives on the line for the thrill of it. Our protagonist is almost consistently in a state of panic, but the other characters go through the bets as if it's their drug of choice, not necessarily to win, but because the risk has them so aroused. Particularly in the live action series, we see him lamenting frequently about how any risk is too much to handle, where the main girl dives right into the games for simply the rush involved, win or lose.

There's more than a few times where you see characters talking their way through strategy and the difficulty of a situation, and we see them actually getting off from what they could lose. It's a perfect example of how sexuality and kink can exist in a space entirely outside of physical sensation. Emotional masochism is something that we usually think about as degradation and name calling. However, it can also be the mindfuck of difficult situations with intense risk involved. Situations where you may be left with just barely too little information to navigate safely. It's like a runner's high, or that feeling when you're on a roller coaster, and floating in the seat. Some people might run from the sensation, some enjoy it, and some seek it out. When performed under careful parameters, it can be entirely safe and enjoyable for everyone involved, but there is always risk, just like the risk involved in the games. It's exceedingly important to take the time to educate yourself on what could go wrong, prepare for those things, and likewise move slowly when stepping into any sort of mental kinks.

And in Kakegurui we're consistently met with the masochist's high of navigating painful and difficult situations. The challenge itself becomes something that elicits a sexual response, rather than the pursuit of victory. While the stakes in many of the games might not be the healthiest examples, what we see are people being true to who they are, and what they enjoy, rather than feeling shameful for their response to the bets being made. It becomes more intense later on, when we see challengers who are not intimidated by our character's endorphin high, but match it, raising the stakes higher just for the rush involved.

It should also be said that these characters very obviously face aspects of addiction, and that's not something to be glorified, but this is much less about that and more about the psychological response to the aspect of risk. Some of the side stories involved in the game look far more into the consequences that can show up from doing things like this more thoughtlessly, and the holes one can fall into. I hope that as time goes on we can see more that embraces the less conventional aspects of kink and sexuality like we see in Kakegurui, and show it in a way that doesn't make people feel like they should be shamed in the process.

taboo
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About the Creator

Loki Taviel

Agender sex and kink educator, with a penchant for nerdy things that make me think.

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