I’m writing about something which I think is hard to communicate about clearly. I don’t think our language or cultural practices focus on interpersonal connection and energy exchange as much as they elevate mechanical technique. However, connection and energy are a part of how we communicate and affect one another. When a sub/bottom is open to receiving the attention a Top/Dom desires to invest in them, fascinating things can happen beyond the physical journey. Sex, kink, and BDSM are physical activities, of course, but there is so much more to what is going on in any type of intimate physical scene than simple mechanics. Emotional and psychological connection can be played with and manipulated, and even if the intention isn’t to manipulate another person on these levels, it will happen naturally sometimes regardless. Our bodies are connected to our psychologies and emotions, and it is impossible to touch someone in only one of these places without affecting the others. It’s important to take responsibility and learn more about these things if you care for the people you play with.

Am I just talking about having good chemistry? Not really, though that can help people find a groove more quickly and is certainly part of the equation. I am talking about a certain willingness to be open, internally, with the people you play with, to engage not only your physical prowess but emotional sensitivities and psychological understanding. This type of willingness must come from all parties for a solid connection to form. It’s not just the job of the sub/bottom to be open, the Dom/Top must be in a space of intent listening which requires a higher level of openness too.

What would I call this type of exchange? Trust? Openness? Good listening? This type of exchange does require all of these things from both partners to succeed, but none of them are really it. Intuitive bonding? Maybe, though the driver needs to keep their intuitions in check and be open to the information they’re receiving which might be adverse to what they expect or have come across in the past. Spiritual? Well, I’m not a very “woo” person, but I do think the idea of one’s spirit being present for the exchange is an apt part of the equation. Energy exchange? This falls a little flat for me, as everything from saying “good morning” to people you pass on the street to wild tantric journeys fall under that heading… this is where I get a little stuck in our language. I know when I have this type of connection and openness with another person, or am open to cultivating it with someone, yet I don’t really know what to call it. Within my own experience though, I’ve started defining it as: what happens after what I refer to as “The Waiting”.

“The Waiting” happens when I generally know where I’d like to go with someone, but need to find them physically, emotionally, psychologically, willingly here with me before we can start. I’m used to grounding myself and finding my place of listening, my place of finding and reaching into the parts of a body which speak to me, but the person I am playing with must come to me asking for these things before I may begin. It’s not as simple as consciously asking out loud either. Many people have approached me “wanting to be Dominated”, but they were not ready, nor were they internally calibrated to willfully let me begin with them. Like a stray cat on the street, if you want to get it to come to you for a pet, you must do a fair amount of calling after it, talking, silently being there open hand extended, and… waiting.

“Offering” comes from all sides of a scene. We often talk, in BDSM forums, about a sub’s “offer”. This sometimes refers to a sub taking a position which physically lets the Dom know they are ready for whatever the Dom will ask of them. What we talk about less frequently is the offer a Top or Dominant makes. Obviously the D-type is spending a lot of time “doing”, though doing is not separate from offering if it is attached to active listening. Whether a top is wielding a whip or a feather tickler, is interrogating with red face and torture devices, or is pleasuring a body erotically, the activity (offer) will last only as long as it pleases the one who has ultimate control over the scene: the submissive. Once a safe word is uttered, the body convulsions twitch in that certain “this feels like an edge” kind of way, facial ticks reset more slowly to “please Sir, may I have another”, or that particular quality of scream let’s you know it’s time to cool down for a bit, the offer is packed away in favor of another offer — one more appropriate to this moment.

My experience is my experience, and yours is yours. This is always true, no matter how well we know one another, how many times we have played together, nor how long we have explored the same scene over and over again. This is somewhat easier to remember during pick-up play or with new partners. The alert level is naturally high in these instances because you know there are things you don’t know about this foreign body in front of you. Over time that alertness can wear down, and sometimes we forget that no matter how connected a scene feels, the people involved are having separate experiences. Physical mechanics only tell one part of the story. Emotional sensitivity is needed. Psychological prowess will help a scene unfold more responsibly. Communication is key, of course, but communication is imperfect. We must employ all that we can if we desire to delve deeply.

I find breathing helps key into all of these elements. Breathing helps set a pace between partners — breathing together is not only an exercise of the will to be on the same page, but it regulates our bodies to one another and heightens awareness of where in our own bodies we feel holds and tension. We can breath into tensions to release them. We can unlock our own hesitations by focusing on breathing into our fears and letting go. In breath, this basic function of life, there is everything to be discovered not only in ourselves, but of the people around us.

Listening goes hand in hand with breath. Allowing ourselves to notice where we feel rigidities and softness. Allowing ourselves to slow down, and slow down again as we find edges we are unfamiliar with, thoughts or questions about where our connection is headed. Being mindful that energy is cyclical helps too. It’s natural to build and build and build, and then need to take a step back before building up again. Energy also turns corners and as it does goals must fly out the window in honor of the new shape taking form. Listening without judgement will take you further. Observation, questioning, and acceptance are key to riding these waves gracefully.

Intuition is a wonderful tool if you trust yours and have tempered it to be responsive to other people’s wills. Intuition is not everything, and it’s important to continue learning about the world of your scenes in multiple ways to responsibly delve deeper. Intuition is important but should not be used solely on the merit of its presence in a situation.

Which leads to the idea of experience. We gather experiences and information in so many ways when we’re open to it. Of course (I hope) we learn through trial and error, but we also learn through reading articles and books, through the stories we share with one another, by asking our partners questions about their experiences rather than assuming you know how a thing was for them just because you were present. We communicate in plethora ways because that’s how we get better over time, and if there’s anything the human species likes more than innovation, I don’t know what it is.

When a scene adds all of these elements together, when The Waiting has come to a close and play happens openly and flows between partners, there is a transcendence which can occur. We reach the “zone”. Domspace and subspace can follow, and from these heightened places there’s no telling what the journey will be. While I feel this space is deeply primal by nature, it requires deep responsibility to navigate safely. These types of play can release huge amounts of energy from a person’s body, or open up deep wells of emotion, psychological triggers being tripped on is not unheard of, as well as visions, a loss of time and spacial awareness, blackout moments, and any number of other experiences.

Following is a letter from a sub of mine who wrote about one of our encounters. It was a simple scene using no more than a handful of clothespins and some string, though our time together leading up to physical play allowed my sub to slowly and steadily open up to me as well as their own inner world physically, emotionally, and psychologically:

Yesterday was such a beautiful experience for me.  After you had removed all the clothespins from my body and I started trembling (in a good way) it felt like something was unlocked in me.  While I laid on your floor, I’m sure you saw it (whatever it is) starting to work its way through my body in a wave starting at my head and running down through my center and out my legs. It felt like a massive energy re-alignment on one level with something flowing freely throughout my body that was once blocked and I almost started to cry with joy (but was unsure if this would weird you out).  On another level it felt like a complete twitching and shaking of every muscle group in my body at once; even the really small muscles that you don’t always notice playing a part in movement. I think I was even visibly convulsing throughout this.  I wish I knew what caused this to begin with or what caused it all to be released in this moment but am grateful for it.

This felt so so compassionate of you to do this to me (and I hope that I can find myself in this situation with you again in the future…having you cause me so much intense pain and stimulation). I can’t thank you enough. It seemed like as soon as I had the need for more stimulation you were right there to apply it to my body in exactly the right way. I only hope that you felt enjoyment with pinning me in that moment because it was really special for me to be on the other side of it. Surprisingly today my chest doesn’t have any marks or lingering sensitivity.

I realize too that being held and cuddled by you was exactly what my body needed in the moments immediately after this. My emotions were very raw and vulnerable from our earlier work. Thank you so much Sir for calling me to your side and letting me cuddle with you. It means a lot to me that you would share part of yourself and energy with me in this way. In those moments afterwards I can still feel our bodies connecting with each other and it helped greatly to handle the emotional aspects of whatever happened. Also, today there is a bit of a sensation of being out of contact with [my] body which feels a little bit like when you have a ringing in your ears after a loud sound that you can’t shake… you still hear a ringing but look around for what’s making the sound and that thing is now gone…… Your skin is ringing in my body today.

My body has been twitching and stretching all morning in bed in strange ways (almost as if I’m an artist trying to convey a complex feeling with rapid body thrusts almost as if taken over by something) and I feel 100 times bigger than my actual body. When I received your text earlier I even went into a state of heightened arousal and it felt like I was having sex with you on some level and was semi-orgasmic…

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful morning, Sir. ~xxx

I’m grateful that this experience was as positive for my sub as they describe. I have been in exchanges where what opened up was less joyous for the person to process. I’ve subbed in scenes myself which caused me to question my own desires and work through fears about my worth, complete with harsh self-judgements for me to sort through. Not everyone will come away unscathed or smiling from opening their inner worlds up. It is important to find ways to support one another on these journeys for whatever arrives. We must take responsibility for ourselves ultimately, but it’s good to share with one another and be there for your fellow creatures, accepting one another’s offerings, and listening to the edges of our desires as they play down. We do these things together because we need one another in our lives, these stretches of years where we are born and then die alone.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

Building Lust

It takes more than getting out the ropes and my vibrator to get me here. Foreplay often begins by being in the moment and not assuming we’ll get here at all.

Building lust, building desire, building an energetic fire is important. Why? Because not everyone has access to being turned on whenever the people they care for are. Because being filled with lust is its own particular type of delicious torture. Because feeling lustful energy thrive is where a lot of the fun begins…

Being in the BDSM community is liberating and it can also feel like a lot to navigate. People get all sorts of things out of sceneing, and sexual pleasure is often one of them. This is not true for everybody though. Kink is not synonymous with sexual gratification, and not everyone wants sex mixed in with their kink. I, for one, enjoy a wide variety of kinks, and respond happily to various forms of pain play. I love to Dominate, it turns me on to see reactions from the person I’ve been entrusted to touch and handle. I love to seduce, and I feel quite powerful in that position. Whether I get my partners off sexually or non-sexually, I find I’ll often get myself off energetically through the experience. As a sub, taking pain and turning it into energy which keeps my Top/Dom high and working on me is thrilling. I’ve enjoyed kink scenes five hours long with no “sex” involved and felt higher and more turned on and more intimately connected to my partner than any sexual intercourse I’ve ever had. There’s great value in a wide array of connections and experiences beyond what society considers “the norm”.

When I negotiate BDSM with someone I almost always negotiate scenes that are non-sexual. To me this basically means “don’t touch my junk in a sexual way, and don’t expect me to touch yours”. I usually just plain don’t want my kink mixed up with sexual expectation. Except sometimes. That sometimes is something that evolves over time with a very tiny portion of my play partners. Why is that so? I don’t know, really. I do have a lot of sex-specific baggage, and while I can feel safe with the right person beating me, needling me, or any other number of nasty and perverse things, the moment someone expects sex from me I frequently shut down. My body warms up to sexual feelings extremely slowly — over years of consideration and intrigue sometimes — if at all with most people. Chemistry matters too, and I find I just don’t feel sexual around a lot of people that I do feel extremely sensual or even turned on around. These days I don’t feel the need to change this. I spent years thinking I was broken, and it destroyed my sexual impulses more and more deeply to feel so “wrong” about the way I’m wired. Thankfully I’ve learned to feel intense and even orgasmic pleasure in non-sexual ways with people who respect my boundaries and enjoy turning me on and playing with me. I don’t think my reality is that strange or rare. Even though culturally we’re taught to “want sex” (meaning intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, and other genital-centric stimulation), people experience pleasure in very different ways. If pleasure is something you value, it’s only fair to learn how to find it for yourself, and to respect how your partners get theirs (similarly and differently) too.

So how do we start? Everyone is different, and what works for some people will be the opposite of what works for others. Talking about your preferences when negotiating matters. This means you need to know something about what turns you on and what cools you off and you must be willing to say it to the people you want to play with. Everyone assumes to some extent that our experiences and the way we function is how others operate. Challenge these assumptions in yourself and ask your partners questions instead. Some of the suggestions below will sound great to you, some maybe not so much. That’s great information to start thinking about. Communicating about why you do or don’t like a certain approach will help your partners understand your sensuality and sexuality more usefully. Take it slowly with new partners, especially if you’re having a hard time reading what they want. There’s probably a reason (psychological, emotional, physical, chemical, etc.) that you have to do some work to get that fire going. If I’ve learned anything about sex and BDSM, it’s that it’s worth taking your time to get a proper fire roaring before going for the gold.

One way to get people into a playful mood at the same time you are is by agreeing to beforehand. Schedule a specific time and space to scene together. Looking forward to your date is a form of foreplay and helps people prepare to be sexually or sensually open when the time comes. This could make it easier for someone who has a hard time giving into their feelings, to look forward to doing just that. “Wanting to” is a first step on our journey to pleasure. Anticipation can build desire: wondering what you’re in for, preparing yourself thoughtfully in the way that you dress or plan a date, making choices which make you feel special or that send energy into the person you’re meeting. Building desire might also help you break the ice when you finally come together to play.

Knowing someone’s sexual and sensual triggers (if they have them and you have permission to engage them), can be a wonderful starting point for play too. Maybe every time someone hums in your ear, bites your neck, grabs the base of your hairline, tickles your sides, runs their finger down your spine, pinches or scratches your skin… you get turned on? Maybe you have triggers that immediately turn you off too, or certain activities you can tolerate but they kinda cool you down, or maybe you absolutely love a certain activity but only when you’re already super turned on and if it’s initiated prior to being in that headspace it’ll send the whole scene crashing down. We learn these things little by little about one another, and it’s important to be able to talk about them. For better and for worse the triggers of another human being are theirs. Try not to take feedback about someone else’s body personally. They’re telling you what works and what doesn’t work, and even if it worked in the past, it might not today. Celebrate how you can connect, and respect the ways you cannot. Pressing someone to accept something they don’t enjoy can be harmful. Also remember that people make mistakes. People don’t always understand the unfavorable reaction another person has to something they themselves enjoy. It’s important to educate one another about our feelings and not assume someone intends harm when something we don’t enjoy happens. It’s important to hear people when they express displeasure (or ecstasy) and learn.

Grounding myself and slowing down is my favorite way to enter into sensual and sexual play. Clearing my head, and breathing for a minute before I touch someone and touching slowly and curiously usually helps me find an ember to ignite. It may feel strange not to expect anything outside of the moment you are in, yet is one of the things that works for me as both giver and receiver of physical attention. The moment something is assumed, I find our symbiotic footing is often lost.

Clearly saying what you want and expect can be really helpful. Sometimes people have anxiety about not knowing where things are headed or what they’re supposed to do to please their partner. A way to alleviate that tension is to be clear. For instance, I find it’s easier to relax at the gynecologist’s office when my doctor tells me what to expect while it’s happening. Being told, “I’m going to touch your thigh now. The lube is a little cold, and I’m inserting my fingers now. You’ll feel some pressure as I feel around for a moment. Tell me if anything hurts.” (medical play anyone?), helps me accept what’s happening to my body in a way I might not otherwise. You can build an entire scene this way with a person who relaxes around knowing what to expect, if you are willing to talk about your intent as it unfolds. Also, asking for feedback can be really hot, as can guiding and teaching someone what works for you when you’re both prepared to give and take, speak and listen, ask questions and offer feedback.

These are just a few ways to reach out and connect. At the base of my desire and my lustful feelings is a need for energetic connection. Energy is important. I can get off thinking about certain people without touching myself or even being touched. Sexual and sensual energy belongs to our bodies, and it is an art to share it pleasurably with others.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

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