The triad of precursor behaviors seems to be universally agreed to be bed-wetting, fire starting, and cruelty to animals. We had no pets. Demeaning, shaming mother who berated me about the bed-wetting? Check. Experience with creating conflagrations? Check. To this day I have a fascination with pyrotechnics. Any form of ignition source, fuel, containment device was tried with the fervor of Edison looking for tungsten. The missing component was cruelty. Never had any interest in it. I was never sure if I just had no grudge against animals, or was just too squeamish. I could handle dissection in honors biology class, but it wasn't a prurient thrill. Always an under-acheiver, I had better hands and a sharper mind than my younger brother who is a surgeon now.
My bitch of a mother who tended to couch her abuse in pyscho-babble terms like "Its a power struggle" (No, you are pulling my hair, or hitting me with a bat...or...) or quaint predictions like, "look how a boy treats his (bitch of a) mother and you will see how he treats his wife." So I fretted. I had more matricidal urges tan Stewie Griffen, but I stayed my hand. Still I worried that there was some latent hostility. Serial killers often lash out at innocent victims that take the place of the deserving of their wrath. I kept my anger focused on my mother.
I met a girl once. CUTE. Father owned a major car dealership. She kept violating my personal space. So I killed her. Wait, no, I didn't. Once she, for reasons that baffle me, kept poking me in the ribs. It started as a tickle but grew to be annoyingly painful. I have a high pain threshold, but I don't enjoy it. I finally just looked at her and said, Enough. She backed up with a nervous giggle and said, ooo, I can tell you're the type that will grow up to beat your wife. How right she was, apparently.
Buried in an early post here is this bit about the first time I beat my girlfriend (now wife):
I EAGERLY tied her wrists together and then over head to one side of the headboard. I teased and tickled until to my shock, she asked me to spank her. "Harder!" she urged when my first tentative slap only warmed her bottom, but didn't sting. It took quite a few swats each incrementally harder until I was rewarded with a then strange, but now familiar glazed look of her reaching another place. I was so turned on by this and horrified in a small compartmentalized portion of my mind that I was hitting a woman and really getting off on it. The fact that it was consensual, encouraged and effective entered into my thinking not at all. As she hoarsely whispered her encouragement and said something to the effect that "you like that don't you?" , instinct went somewhere I couldn't have known about. Very carefully deciding exactly how hard would be attention-grabbing, but not so far that she would want to quit this game of chicken, I slapped her across the face. It was almost out of body and definitely out of character for me. I almost came from that, and I think she might have.
So I was disturbed, and aroused. Then, and now. Some of my fears seemed to be realized when I found myself creeping in the night, Boo Radley on the prowl. I read psychology especially as it related to pathologies. I recognized that voyeurism is a gateway behavior and actually went so far as to seek professional help. So you see, the thing that disturbs me about spanking her ass in the manner it so richly deserves is not the kinky thrill of seeing her yearn for it, its that maybe, just maybe I like it too much. We never called them 'scenes' when I reached into a dark place and looked though her in ways that sends a shiver through her. She reports that she can see a visible change, that I go someplace, and that there is an edge in my eyes. At first this bothered me, then I practiced it. Not to the point that it becomes an affectation, but just learning to accept the delicious quench of dipping briefly into a pool of sadism.