Surges of Love Amidst Brutality

Where I am at these days…

I updated my Fetlife profile yesterday with some new photos (@CreatureCrea if you’re interested). A couple of them are a bit on the brutal side, depicting around 90 needles as my tools of torture in a CBT scene. As scary as that looks though, the session itself was nothing but loving and kind. Brimming with surges of love and an exchange of exciting and sexy energy between my submissive masochist and his Sadistic and caring Dominants (two of us were emptying the boxes of needles that day). Honestly, the scene felt romantic and it was full of smiles mixed into moans. Pain/pleasure is a real thing, and the edges some people can get carried to are incredible. I feel lucky to work with bodies in this way.

What does it mean to take this amount of “torture” and enjoy it? Well, it’s not for everybody, that’s for sure, but I think it’s part of an internal conversation about desire which extends beyond the bounds of what we’re taught is “normal”. What do you want to do? What do you want to have done to you? What can you survive? What experiences are you curious to try? People tear their bodies apart mountain climbing, and we call it a sport, with admiration in our minds for those who persevere beyond. I think the mind and body of the BDSM masochist are wired similarly.

Reading about the brains and the visceral experiences extreme sport athletes share, I find myself nodding emphatically more frequently than not. Having been on the business end of a whip for hours on end (or any number of other intensely painful situations), there’s a certain place I get to where processing and taking the pain I’m receiving becomes a pleasure and an excitement I want to continue with. Focus, and an alignment of my body and mind takes over. The pleasure aspect to it is aided by a heightened awareness of my body. It feels a lot like “new relationship energy” to me. If I’m playing with someone who is mindful of pacing and physical cues, what we accomplish in scene can extend on and on and on, building and ebbing and building over and over again.

It isn’t just the activity though that makes this possible. It is the person on each end of the exchange, and the energy we’re willing to receive and let go of and send into one another in support of our sport. If I push a needle into someone with a specific intent, it feels remarkably different than if I push it into someone without, carelessly, or with a completely different intent in mind. If my submissive receives my needling and tenses up, or instead is breathing through it, or has the mindset of “being good” for me, or is resistant, we will both feel those effects. Energetic vampires exist and are horrible to scene with — but I’m a connection slut, so in general someone sucking all the energy out of the room and out of me without returning it for the benefit of my continued interest in play is my nightmare idea of a partner.

I’ve been lucky to find scene partner after scene partner, on this ride through BDSM, to be beautiful people who I feel lucky to jab/kick/pinch/hit and make howl. Perverted? Absolutely. Rewarding? Unendingly yes! Fulfilling and sustainable? Check! When BDSM play feels like love, paired with a giving partner, I never want to stop making my submissive feel as they’ve fantasized about wanting to feel. It works for us both.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

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

T is for TRUST

“Tiger Scratches”, from a delicious and fun pre-negotiated scene where I got to say “yes” to straight razor cuts happily, and feeling safe. Photo by Jon Gunnar

Lately I have been feeling growth uncurl within me. A number of “I want tos” and “I wish I coulds” have been calling. I am ready, I think… Gulp. I read an article, imagine a scenario, pen a response… I want these things. Yes, I do.

This matters because all my life wanting has felt very unsafe to me.

Trust is an elusive imp playing tricks on what we think we want, pitting our desires against the gut’s “mmm… I don’t think so, no”… We learn to push this imp away our whole lives, listening to those around us who we feel pressured by. We learn to say “yes” when it feels like biting off more than we can chew. It’s hard to swallow, the experiences we motion ourselves through, after negotiations like these. Trust deteriorates in time, and we don’t know where we are anymore, what is good, or what we do because we think we’re supposed to. It takes time for us to learn to listen better to our guts, to our trust imps, in this life full of advertisements about what we’re supposed to want.

I do not really love sex. Perhaps this is because my first sexual experience happened at age 4, and it was a coercive, threatening, and manipulative situation which robbed me of my trust in friendship and trust for my own feelings of attraction. Maybe it’s because I was punished directly after escaping the situation, and so I carry this eternal kneejerk reaction to sexual attraction of distrust. Relationship negotiation holds within it a visceral fear that I’ll get in trouble if I pursue the thing I think I want… I get quiet and go even further away when people get angry or frustrated during sex, I glaze over when people make demands, and it’s been hard for most of my sexual history for me to stay present. I feel generally unsafe around other people’s perfectly natural desires for sex. I don’t want this though. For a lot of years I just did what other people wanted, or I measured the success of my relationships based around how regularly “it” was done, because I didn’t know how to actually connect during sex. Sex felt like a game I didn’t understand, a game I was always behind on the rules about, and I did what I thought I was supposed to because I couldn’t find my own desire for sex most of the time.

I’m glad I’m not there anymore (entirely). For me the key to trust and opening up was learning to say “no” and having my “no” respected and celebrated by those around me.

I was at a sex party once, and the theme was “asking for what you want”. Everyone came to the party prepared to practice asking for what they wanted — nothing was off the table. When everyone arrived we started our opening circle, we all had a turn introducing ourselves and revealing our first “ask” to the group. Mine was this:

I want to practice saying no. Would anyone be willing to spend some time propositioning me about various activities so I can practice saying no to them?

At the time it seemed kind of silly and counterproductive to (at a sex party) ask people to let me reject them. However, I have to say, this was one of the most healing and brilliant experiences I’ve ever had. That night’s exercise launched me into years of being able to practice my nos, so that I can actually now locate my maybes and yeses.

It was so hard to do, it turned out I needed a coach. I was approached by a few people at the party who wanted to play. They asked questions, to which I was supposed to say “no”, or “no, thank you”. It turned out I was impossibly bad at just saying no.

Them: Karin, may I kiss you?

Me: Oh, I love kissing, but maybe not right now?

Them: Well, can I pour hot wax all over your body?

Me: Wait, no fair, I love that activity! Um, maybe another time, not right now…

And so it went, with my “I’m really sorry I have to say no right now”, “well maybe later, it’s not personal, I just can’t right now”, or “that sounds interesting but I don’t think I can right now”, and so on…” Every “no” I gave was actually a maybe (?) or in reality, it was a “not-no”. I was finding it emotionally and psychologically extremely hard to pause, find my actual “no”, and simply say it while looking in the faces of my friends — friends who actively wanted me to say no!

I don’t think I’m the only person like this. I believe it’s a pretty normal response from a lot of people. I might even go as far as to say it’s probably exceedingly common among people who have experienced sexual trauma, from AFAB people in general, and I assume it’s a well practiced response from other minority people too. I think the art of “not no-ing” is heavily enculturated in our society. Part of what not no-ing is, is positioning yourself passively around a larger animal that might hurt you. Compliance is self-preservation. We hope to ease away from a situation while appearing compliant when we “not no”.

Simply put, I couldn’t put my foot down firmly because I was afraid to. Deep deep down, even in this safe space surrounded by encouraging friends I was terrified of saying no. I had one friend, let’s call her Jane, who was amazing that night. She kept asking the same question over and over again until I simply said “no” or “no, thank you”. After every qualification I made she shook her head and re-asked:

Jane: May I go down on you?

Me: That sounds really nice, but not now…

Jane: No, try again. May I go down on you Karin?

Me: No thank you, but not because I don’t like the idea of it…

Jane: May I go down on you Karin?

Me: Um, no, but ask me again sometime?

Jane: May I go down on you Karin?

Me: … … … (deep breath, crying a little, terrified) … … No. Thanks.

Jane: (Looking me in the eyes) Thank you, Karin. I’m really glad you told me no.

(I’m still really emotional reading that.)

I wish I could say I was cured from that point onward, but I haven’t been. I do know a lot more about my feelings now, and I know how to slow down and listen to myself better. As a rule these days I pause after being asked for something sexual or sensual, I try to find my “no”, and I don’t say “yes” until I can imagine doing the activity and imagine (or feel) myself wanting to do it. If I can’t imagine doing the thing, or doing things leading up to the thing, I say “no”. If I can imagine doing it and enjoying it, I say “I’d like to try”, and sometimes also “I don’t know if I’m totally into the idea, but I’d like to see if I can get into it, so I’d like to check in a bunch while we try”. If I’m ecstatically into the idea of what’s proposed, I say, “yes, I’d love to!” Sometimes when I realize I’m not into a proposed idea, while I’m finding my “no”, I’ll think of something I want to try instead. In those moments I’ll say “No, I don’t want to ____, but I’d like to ____ if you’re interested in that instead?”. Honest negotiation is what ensues.

If I can’t trust your “no”, I can’t trust your “yes”. This is where I have learned to stand, and it’s a radically helpful idea to hold onto. It has helped me communicate more directly, clearly, and unapologetically about sex, BDSM, and my boundaries with people. After practicing it over the years it’s become more and more easy to communicate about (and even feel) my feelings. I’ve found a lot of people I’m negotiating with appreciate these conversations too. Most people are struggling on some level with social expectations or worse when it comes to sensuality and sexuality. When I am direct and lead with my boundaries and desires, I find other people often feel safer talking about what they do and do not want as well. I’ve been able to negotiate lovely and crazy-seeming things with people consensually and to great end because we negotiated by asking one another about what we don’t want, which then frees us to outline exactly what we each do want. This in turn leads us to more deeply trust each other and ourselves in the process.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature (Crea)

If you like my blog, please check out my Patreon Page and support me. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist

~Thank you.

Finding Work

Performance: at a recent Beltane event, I encouraged the audience to attach over one hundred clothespins with leaves to my body. My gesture to the ushering in of Springtime.

  • Attending a strip club on the arm of a new friend where we enjoy our evening watching one another receive lap dances and empathically get off on the aesthetics and arousal of each other’s proximity.
  • I walk two miles around town in sneakers until my feet are sore, sweaty, stinky, and tired, to be met by a stranger whose only desire is to grant me a massage, and worship my feet for the afternoon.
  • Encouraged to stomp on the balls of a gent who enjoys CBT. We play a game, drawing cards to determine which activities we engage in in his hotel room.
  • Weekly meetings with a self-described humdrum, discouraged about life, loyal submissive service bottom who adores the privilege of spending time close to the interesting life of Me, their encouraging, confident, and chore list wielding, Sir. …

These are just a few of the job opportunities I have perused this week. Will any pan out? I don’t know. They all sound really fun, and I would get something completely different from each scenario. Never before have I been as interested in hunting for gigs as I am right now.

When going for the opportunities I am interested in, it can be a depressing chore to continuously weed the wankers out from those actually interested in meeting and actually experiencing their posted idea of play. It can be hard to determine how safe I feel approaching a scenario, and it’s good that I have friends who allow me to use them as check-in and safety calls (thank you!).

What fantasies do you harbor? Have you posted them online before, or hired the help of a professional, an amateur, or a stranger to get your experience on? Do you rely on the help of friends or partners to fulfill your needs for adventure, or do you look to porn and erotica? Is your imagination good enough to do the trick? Have you pursued different strategies at different times in your life or within the confines of different relationships? Have you held yourself back from the realization of your fantasies? Do you prefer your fantasies to be just that — unrealized?

I believe this life is about living, and armed with healthy curiosity, clear boundaries, and an eye to what feels right (frequently indicated by what does not), I intend on living. From the first time I was told I couldn’t do something I wanted to because it wasn’t proper for a young lady, I have been hell bent on bucking the system which holds me back from my intrigue and desires. I want to have control over my destiny. I want to connect with people who inspire me. I want to have new experiences and cultivate good stories. I thoroughly enjoy taking control of the games I play with others, and often this comes in the form of simply saying the words “I want”.

Play On My Friends,
~ Karin

If you like my blog, please check out my Patreon Page and support me. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist

~Thank you.

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