T is for TRANSCENDENCE

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.

Sex vs. Kink

I was recently asked what the difference between “kink” and “sex” are. It’s a good question, which people will vary wildly in their opinions about. Following is my take on the subject. I encourage others to disagree and to articulate for themselves differently than I do here — one of the most important things we get from talking about sexuality is an evolving and broadening scope of understanding about how things function differently for others. These varied articulations can, in turn, help us understand ourselves more deeply, or in new ways. I am all for that.

I will start by stating that “sexuality” is something separate from “sex”. Sexuality is a general blanket term which describes the factors surrounding how someone likes to (or does) get off, or feel turned on. Peoples sexualities can be identified (sexual identity) in multiple ways and within different categories such as: kinky, vanilla, queer, straight, gay, bi/pan/omnisexual, asexual, leather, fetishistic, Top/bottom/Versatile, D/s, switch, Sadistic, masochistic, hedonistic, primal, so on and so forth, etc… Sexualities evolve, grow, change, are discovered and rediscovered, and emerge throughout one’s life as one has new experiences, is exposed to new concepts, and generally learns more, and accepts or rejects more about what they find. One’s sexuality is influenced by one’s behaviors, though frequently sexual behavior and sexual identity do not go hand in hand (more on this later).

“Sex” is a word which encompasses a series of activities that one can engage in (or not), and which contribute to a person’s view of their sexuality. What is and is not (what “counts” for) sex is defined differently by different people. For the sake of ease I usually define sex as “anything ending in the word sex or job”. By this definition I would include sexual intercourse (PIV intercourse, genital or anal penetration with toys, all types of fingering, hand jobs, fisting, anal sex), also oral sex (cunnilingus, blow jobs, rimming), scissoring, frottage, masturbation, mutual masturbation, and generally anything which includes the rubbing, sucking, or licking of genitals for the intention of getting someone turned on and/or in an orgasmic state, to be “sex”.

Sex is not just about activities though. How we feel about the activities we engage in, and what we want to believe “counts” accounts for what people label as sex as well. “Energetic fucking” can be as much (if not moreso) sexually satisfying, sexy, and pleasurable as plain old vanilla intercourse is. So is energetic fucking sex? Some would say it is, others would say it is not. The same goes for a lot of activities including some of the ones I have labelled specifically as sex above.

Did you have sex if PIV intercourse only happened for a second with someone you wish you hadn’t hooked up with? What about if it was someone you desperately wanted to fuck? It turns out that we’ll label what counts and what doesn’t count as sex differently depending on how we felt about the situation. People often also say things to the effect of “we sorta kinda had sex not really” in situations where they feel grey about consummation. Is it sex if no one orgasms? What about if only one person involved in the equation does? I don’t believe there is any hard and fast rule to completely defining what is sex and what is not sex. There are a lot of “sexual activities” though, and some of them sometimes seem to count more than others to the general population. It is absolutely possible to believe you have had sex with someone who does not consider the time you spent together sex at all.

Moving in the direction of our next subject for definition, I personally would consider all of the activities I outlined above as examples of “vanilla sex”. I am sure a lot of people would consider at least some of them to be “kinky” though.

A “kink” is a bend or an irregularity in the system. What is kinky and what is not kinky resides entirely in the realm of speculation and personal definition too. The first question one must ask when deciphering whether an activity is “bent” must be: whose system are we evaluating for kinks? Fact: what’s kinky to you may be completely vanilla to me. Things that were defined as kinky to me in the past, may now be viewed as mainstream and vanilla as I’ve gained understanding or experience of the activity in a new way. For instance, consider activities such as spanking and oral sex. Some people consider both of these things to be kinky, some consider both of these things to be vanilla, and people also believe all the variables in between. There is no hard and fast definition about what’s kinky until a person who wants to define it for themselves does so as such. Lines in the sand, all.

What’s the point of defining something as vanilla or kinky to begin with? Well, I think like all perfectly imperfect language useage, it’s shorthand to find others who might be into what you’re into. We take a general idea (rather than our stringent personal definitions) of what’s “normal” behavior and label ourselves on one side of the divide in hopes to attract or repel people who we believe may identify similarly or differently than ourselves. The follow up questions are the important ones to anyone you wish to engage sexually or kinkliy with: ok, so you’re [vanilla/kinky], what types of things do you like to do? What feels good? What drives you wild? What should I do/not do to turn you on?

Now let’s revisit that idea from earlier about “Identity vs. Behavior”. Someone may not identify as kinky, but may also get really turned on by, let’s say… being tied up. Their behavior, when they decide to get turned on by going out and getting tied up a bunch, may be viewed by others as kinky. So is that person kinky? To much of their community, the answer may be yes. Does it matter? No. It matters to the person identifying the way they identify why they choose the identity they choose. Even if they are enjoying categorically “kinky” activities on the regular, if that person identifies as vanilla, they are vanilla. We don’t know all there is to know about that person or their reasons for choosing one identity over another. A person’s identity is their right to define as they choose for their own reasons in whatever moment they are sharing it with others. It’s important that we trust and respect people and their processes of uncovering and defining their own lives. This doesn’t mean we can’t ask questions or have a great conversation about how we view the definitions of these words differently, and we can also discuss the finer points of growing and discovering or rejecting new facets of identity over time. This also doesn’t mean we should deliberately hurt or mislead others by being opaque to the meaning of our behaviors and the expectations we set up when we use certain words exclusively to people we’re sharing our identities and sexualities with either… At the end of the day, we are all works in progress for better and for worse. We are all responsible for meaningful clarity and reasonable transparency about our interactions with others. We do not all agree about where these gray definitions land, hence the need for multiple ongoing conversations about our needs, wants, and expectations from the people we’re sexual and sensual with.

How you feel about these subjects is important. How you feel about them helps you figure out your own personal boundaries and articulate yourself more clearly than if you only thought in black and white dictionary definitions about what “should” or “shouldn’t” make you feel turned on, sexual, or sensual with another person. Also, as important as it is to respect people’s differences, community standards exist and account for some degree of safety and general information dissemination for reasons. The young person who believes oral or anal sex “isn’t sex” may be more vulnerable to STIs because they believe they are still “a virgin” and therefore invulnerable to the consequences of engaging in sexual activity. Here we see that differing community standards can contribute to education and/or potential harm through an unexamined ignorance of all the contributing factors which play into behavioral reality. Does it matter that you’re [gay/kinky/monogamous/heteroflexible…]? Only to the extent that responsible conversations with the people you are engaging with sexually/sensually/kinkily/romantically with are able to happen relatively transparently.

So go to it! It’s the most natural thing in the world to be turned on. Let’s talk about sexuality, sex, kink, behavior, and identity…

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

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

Journey to Dirt

In the beginning there was mucous, blood, grey and purple skin. There were cacophonous sounds and everything was light. Hands on your body, sensation of your own cry, coughing up the fluid from inside. Cold steel, warm blankets, pinpricks, trembling hands passing the new body around, the breath of your parents on your face, or not. It is romantic to think it was violent, that moment of your birth, it is arrogant to believe it was not.

Everything had changed.

Growth happened over the years. Plague and fear. Your unlimited curiosity stabbed by the million laws. Gratefulness is replaced with unrealistic needs. Things. A shopping spree of ballcaps, TVs, the latest brightener, soothe-goop, popstar jewels extracted unethically from third world thighs, and cattle crying in the fields for tenderer meat… Somewhere inside we must be trying to find the womb, swim against this tide, get back to our shuddering mucous covered muteness. Peace within ineptitude — now achievable through only our greatest sins. Sex by numbers is a game we placate our inner demons with, not seeing they grow wilder at the smell of our rancid unused groins… We need these demons, telling us who we are and what we’re meant to be. Lubricating oils spontaneously produce, made of scented atoms which open our chests to one another, engage the feral beasts underneath. The most natural thing is to growl as two and four-legged pheromones pass us. Sweat is the Goddess we were warned about.

Instead we play at it, repress, shame, shroud in silence, and ignore the harmonic dance of life.

We turn on the telly to remember how it goes: fuck when you see fuck, cry when you see cry, or sometimes rigidly sit in flaccid bewilderment while the clown fails to connect with you. These choreographies were meant for flesh met times. We aren’t learning an authentic dance.

The edge of a cliff looms. Stare down the slick walls of your erectness and the whole world seems opportunity to procreate. Unpracticed we fail and fail again, jizz impotent. Tissues, a hand. Silent. Waste without the divine intertwined.

You forget you are holy.

The most natural thing is touching yourself. Feel the hum of blood, rise and fall of sunshine in your chest. The most natural thing is wanting others, give and take, dark roots, bright moon.

Sip in the air, open up your chest. Oxygen works its way from center to the infinity above your head and depths down. Extend your range, aim to horizon and beyond, it’s what you are here for. Fill Universe with sound and light, your mucus filled lungs and mini images of you flying into the vastness. Again! Again! Thrive! Find delight! Seduce, ground, recognize this road lined in shining mica to the dirt.

Silence lies sold to you for comfort.  Bad exchange, believing yourself worthless, unwhole, made wrong, incomplete, or meant for less.

We are powerful and brilliant. Older siblings reaching hands to help the next. We are frustrated beetles covering the windowsills of this house, trying forever to stay warm and get the fuck out. We are hardy and hopeful, shaking the Earth, stepping on ground given us which someday will swallow all whole. Fall into soil. Risen from sex. Lived wary of love or discovery, no true release. How do we Gods master time before bugs carry corpus away? Smell of rain and soil is calling from your cunt. We learn to play.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

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

WARNING: Explicit Content

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