Emailing with a vanilla friend…
“I still can’t really grasp the connection between violence and sexual excitement.”
Ha! It’s so incredibly complex.
I can try and explain it in a bunch of different ways, but I do think it’s one of those things that you can’t ‘get’ until you ‘get it’. Like how oral sex seems like the grossest thing ever pre-puberty, then you do it and go “Oooohhh… I get it now”. But even if you get it, trying to explain WHY it’s great and a turn on to someone who says “I can’t really grasp why you would do that, explain it to me”: That’s hard.
But to be clear, I’m not a sadist. I don’t seek out people to hurt. My last submissive was my first masochist and honestly, I didn’t really know if I was going to be able to figure out what to do with him play-wise. But for me, the play is almost irrelevant. I find buttons, and I press them. I discovered with him that a masochist with a strong and vivid vulnerability and an immersive imagination has a bunch of buttons that are the BEST. THING. EVER.
Still with the oral sex equivalency, if you think about what DOES turn you on about it, it’s a bunch of complexities, but a key one has to be being the architect of your partner’s pleasure. You create it, you manipulate it, you can give or deny or draw it out, or do any of those things. The enjoyment is not in ‘putting your mouth on a body part’ (otherwise it may as well be an elbow, not that there’s anything wrong with that!), it’s in how you are making them feel, in creating this intimate exchange between you, in watching and feeling and experiencing their reactions, in being able to GIVE them that.
So all of THAT is a part of the bigger picture. It’s action and response, it’s manipulating feelings, and in playing between pleasure and pain you are architecting this amazing exchange, and watching someone (‘making’ someone) go through that is amazing. And you can confuse all of their senses until they are a fucking mess of need and desperation and pleasure and they hate it and they love it and they don’t even know any more but it makes them vulnerable in a kind of pure way because you can strip them of everything else.
So that too. None of the above addresses the violence directly, but it doesn’t exist in isolation of all of that.
The easiest, most relatable thing I can say about wanting to enact violence is this: Have you ever wanted someone so badly you just wanted to throw them on the bed and fuck the hell out of them? That’s pretty common, right? Well, it’s that. On steroids.
When you have sex have you ever felt *SO MUCH PASSION* that you really just didn’t know where to put it? Like you can’t fuck hard enough, can’t get close enough, can’t get far enough inside of them, you can’t touch enough of their skin because you want to touch ALL OF IT AT ONCE, just *nothing* is ENOUGH, and maybe you grab at them to try and bring them closer, or you find yourself sinking your teeth into their shoulder, some mindless (I’m making hand motions in the air now… ha!) growling lizard-brained **NOT ENOUGH MORE MORE MOOOORREE** thing.
For me, at its core, it’s that. Heightened.
The violence comes from running out of space to put that feeling, it doesn’t fit in my body or in any tenderness or in any space that I know of: There’s no way to express that feeling.
So for me what’s in my head is “I want to bite your fucking face off and rip your chest open and hold your fucking heart in my hand and watch it beat for me. GIVE ME THAT!!”
Nothing is intense enough to get that feeling out. So I enact it in ways that allow me to get inside of him without having to tear his skin off: you haven’t seen someone at their most vulnerable until you see them in that state where they are stripped bare, and it’s amazing and powerful and intimate and bonding and incredible and difficult and sofuckinghot.
“When you have sex have you ever felt *SO MUCH PASSION* that you really just didn’t know where to put it?”
Oh yes, please!! *sigh* I miss the most passion most now that I am single. And I worry. I worry because it has been a long time since I have found anyone who could come close to matching the passion I have and that I once had with someone. I hope it’s not lost for good.
“you haven’t seen someone at their most vulnerable until you see them in that state where they are stripped bare, and it’s amazing and powerful and intimate and bonding and incredible and difficult and sofuckinghot.”
Can I put this at the top of my want list. I can’t say that I have ever had anyone be able to strip me bare like you describe and that is exactly what I want is a partner able to do just that. And I want to be able to manipulate that.
I remember being fascinated and asking you to explain your use of the words violence and sex not so long ago too. These words that are used together are so hard to understand for some people, yet you describe it so beautifully and exactly the way it really is to me.
“I miss the most passion most now that I am single.”
Oh god, me too. And I understand your worry. I used to have that also, but I catch enough glimpses of it (thank you, bambi!) that I *know* it’s still accessible. I hope it will be for you also, and it’s just a matter of finding the ‘who’.
“I can’t say that I have ever had anyone be able to strip me bare like you describe and that is exactly what I want is a partner able to do just that.”
I think I may have made it sound like I do it *to* him, but in truth, we do it together. I’m more like a facilitator to take him somewhere that he wants to go. So yeah, *wanting* to go there is a big thing.
“And I want to be able to manipulate that.”
I’m not sure what that means?
“These words that are used together are so hard to understand for some people, yet you describe it so beautifully and exactly the way it really is to me.”
*smile* Thank you, I’m glad you could relate.
And I want to be able to manipulate that.”
I’m not sure what that means?
Just as you said above, my statement that you are the facilitator and he has to want to go there. I want to go there and I hope that I can also help take it there.
I think the oral sex analogy was excellent.
Thanks. I was rather pleased with that myself *smile*.
Speaking as a Sadist welcome to the club * hands over secret decoder ring and goodie pack* I’ll show you the secret handshake shortly ;) I couldn’t have put it better myself Ferns bravo
I’m NOT a sadist! But I’ll take the decoder ring and goodie pack, you know, just in case…
And thank you *smile*.
What a wonderfully descriptive post! I loved it. I find this part to be especially intriguing:
“It’s action and response, it’s manipulating feelings, and in playing between pleasure and pain you are architecting this amazing exchange, and watching someone (‘making’ someone) go through that is amazing. And you can confuse all of their senses until they are a fucking mess of need and desperation and pleasure and they hate it and they love it and they don’t even know any more but it makes them vulnerable in a kind of pure way because you can strip them of everything else.”
I have to say though, after reading your blog, book, and this post in particular, I feel a bit like a kid looking in through the window of a closed and locked candy shop. You are describing things that are completely outside the realm of my experience. I have had very few relationships over the years and none have ever remotely approached the kinds of things you describe and were the opportunity were to arise now, I am not sure if I have the capacity to feel that way.
You make that kind of passion sound exciting, wonderful, and a fulfilling part of life that I would love to grab on to and hold for all it was worth. Even though it dandles tantalizingly beyond my reach, just knowing that such things are possible, (however unlikely) makes me smile a bit.
Oh, that’s so sweet, and a little bit sad.
I hope it makes you smile more that it makes you feel ‘on the outside looking in’.
I think the only downside of having been in the candy shop, stuffing yourself full of delicious delicious candy, is that you will forever after refuse to accept anything less than *a whole candy shop full of candy!*
Very insightful post. And while it is focused on violance and pain as a tool to create this feeling of vulnerability and openess, I can relate well to it from other angles. One thing that strikes me is when a person goes into climax, they are completely vulnerable and open. They need to do that in order to climax, at least from my experience.
Now typically, both people are in the throws of reaching for climax, so they do not get to see what is happening to the other person with very good focus. But when one is simply bringing the other to climax, while watching and refraining from getting too excited themselves, then they get to observe and watch the other become vulnerable and lost in the moment. So nice! I sometimes think that if I never got to cum again, but could bring my Domme to climax, I would be completley happy.
Of course, that is typically a short period of time, and reaches conclusion so quickly you cannot enjoy it for long. Perhaps that is why the tools of violance and other things work so well? They ramp it up, creating a more an more intense state that is prolonged?
For me, I have been put in this place through intensive and prolonged edgeing. And I can relate to what you describe very well from that experience.
I become totally open, totally vulnerable, totally unable to know what I want. Sooo grateful when she stops to let me calm down, so excited when she ramps me up again. A complete basket case, nothing but emotion and raw feelings reacting to her. Delicious! And the other part of me wants to do that for her so much that I crave it like an addicted person. Ha, I am actually I guess!
“But when one is simply bringing the other to climax, while watching and refraining from getting too excited themselves, then they get to observe and watch the other become vulnerable and lost in the moment.”
I don’t see orgasm as comparable, but I can see why one would. I can’t quite articulate WHY I don’t. Maybe because I don’t feel it when *I* orgasm. Or maybe because (as you say) it’s so fleeting that you never really *reveal* the person through it.
Or MAYBE I just don’t want to say so because while I’m not subject to the other things, I AM subject to this and I don’t like the idea of relating it to that kind of vulnerability, so my instinct is to reject the idea.
“For me, I have been put in this place through intensive and prolonged edgeing…A complete basket case, nothing but emotion and raw feelings reacting to her.”
*smile* Now THIS I can relate to much more easily. Yes.
I shall have to think more about the orgasm comparison. Thank you for the comment.
Realy good thoughts, you made me think about this a lot more, you are wondefully introspective. Perhaps it is not the orgasm, but the mental space that lets you get to orgasm?
When I am making love, I am continually interacting, doing lots to pleasure her and having lots done to me. I agree that I do not feel particularly vulnerable or open, probably in part because I am doing a lot, I am part of the mutual control the process of getting to climax for both of us. I still feel, at the ultimate moement, that I am letting myself go, totally focused on the moment and the feelings. But it is fleeting, and it is hard to be introspective when in the throws of orgasm.
When I am masturbating alone, I find a private place and feel myself let my thoughts about the external world go away and focus on me. I do not want the outside interaction, I want to feel safe to let myself go. That feels a lot more like I am vulnerable, but I am again doing that and I am in control of the situation. But it is easier to feel the distractions slip away, easy to lose the feeling if I hear noises, etc. Just the fact that I find a private place tells me I am making myself vulnerable in some way.
When I must masturbate in front of someone, or they give me a hand job or oral sex, I find that I have to intentionally let my self open up and become a lot more vulnerable than in the previous two scenarios. The feeling is quite strong in these situations. Perhaps becuase they are doing it to me, rather than me doing it. I have to let them, I have to stop thinking and react to them without trying to hold back.
When I am tied spread eagled and edged over and over, the feeling of vulnerbality is at an order of magnitude or more intense. When I first feel the cuffs going on, I instantly know I am completely vulnerable and there is nothing I can do about it at that point. But I am still thinking. I am paying attention and in a sense watching from the outside. But as things progress, I slip deeper and deeper into a state of not being able to think. Of being only able to react and feel. Of not knowing what I want, just I want. Anything she does I want. I want her to do. I want to be open and availble to her. Everything else is gone.
Laying out these four scenarios like this, I am reminded of your post about stages of sub space:
I am not sure if it fits, and maybe I am conflating “floaty High” with “openess and vulnerability” but it makes me wonder if there are different levels of being vulnerable? Or different intensities?
The other thing that I am reminded of are the posts you traded with Dumb Domme about her Orgasm Project. Maybe one reason some may have trouble reaching orgasm is the difficulty they have letting themselves become vulnerable? And that is harder with someone else, which would make sense to me.
Sorry for making this so long. Fascinating subject, my mind wants to keep rolling this around….
“But I am still thinking. I am paying attention and in a sense watching from the outside. But as things progress, I slip deeper and deeper into a state of not being able to think. Of being only able to react and feel.”
When I’m talking about it, it’s THAT state of no longer thinking (and no longer being able to *choose* whether to or not) that I’m talking about, and I think people get there in different ways.
I don’t get there myself when I orgasm, so I can’t really relate to it, but that doesn’t mean other people don’t.
And I do think that subspace can be part of that, absolutely yes, but not necessarily.
“… it makes me wonder if there are different levels of being vulnerable? Or different intensities?”
I think there are, yes. And I think different people can feel it in different ways. And I also think that a person can feel completely different things in completely different ways from one day to the next.
I’m always reminded of this post when I think how amazing people and their reactions are. It blows my mind (also his description linked at the bottom is fascinating).
“Maybe one reason some may have trouble reaching orgasm is the difficulty they have letting themselves become vulnerable?”
I think for some, yes. When DD and I were talking about it, I was talking about ‘getting out of my head’, which is a different thing from ‘making myself vulnerable’. If I’m thinking too much, am too ‘aware’ of them, I can’t get out of my own way. But I do think for some it IS about vulnerability – I think there was probably some of that for me when I was young.
All of your posts are well done, but this one resonated with me more than most. The way you are able to describe that feeling, is just so completely apt, and gives a small glimpse of what is felt. VERY well articulated Ms. Ferns, and so incredibly hot all at the same time. ‘scuse me I think I need to find someplace private for a min. ;)
*smile* Thank you.
And please, take all the time and privacy you need… heh.
**nods a lot with many erratic pointy gestures**
All that, yes yes… This is why I return… you put together the madness in my head in a string of conscious that I haven’t considered. I twirl it around like spaghetti on a fork, but have a difficult time laying it out for anyone else to understand.
Mostly this “you haven’t seen someone at their most vulnerable until you see them in that state where they are stripped bare, and it’s amazing and powerful and intimate and bonding and incredible and difficult and sofuckinghot.” Yes yes. So. Fucking. Hot.
*nod nods back with wavy hands*
I’m so glad I could lay out the spaghetti for you *smile*! Now we just need a good marinara sauce!
And yes, omgsofuckinghot!
Its a great post though I do have a small problem with it. It kinda makes it seem as if you aren’t getting the best of sex unless you are being kinky and as a result of that it doesn’t quite explain the connection of violence and sex. But of course as you say at the beginning that there are many perspectives one can talk from and this is obviously just one.
Thanks, xyz *smile*.
I’m not quite clear what you mean by “it doesn’t quite explain the connection”. You didn’t understand the connection? But but… ALL THE WORDS!!
And yes, it’s my perspective: it’s not that I think kinky sex is somehow better than non kinky sex, I’m just explaining how things work for ME. Everyone else should have whatever fabulous sex they want, of course!!
This is a wonderfully evocative post, but my dominant and I were both a little thrown by the term “violence”. The word has such strong connotations of conflict, destructiveness and unpredictability that it doesn’t quite seem to fit play between consenting adults, however much suffering and degradation might be involved. Do you think inflicting pain on a submissive partner is inherently violent? Or are you using “violence” as a synonym for something like “passion” or “intensity”?
I love this comment and the questions, thank you, and your dominant, for it.
“my dominant and I were both a little thrown by the term “violence”. The word has such strong connotations of conflict, destructiveness and unpredictability that it doesn’t quite seem to fit play between consenting adults”
I agree with you, and I also disagree. Heh.
1. behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something
1.1. (Law) the unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.
2. strength of emotion or of a destructive natural force
All three of those definitions fit in some way (obviously taking out ‘damage or kill’ there).
There are valid reasons to use the word and equally valid reasons not to. The reasons are complex (whenever *isn’t* it complex?!).
Firstly, I would say that I use the word ‘violence’ judiciously, especially when trying to explain BDSM to someone. Normally I wouldn’t for exactly the reason you say. But my friend used it in his question, and I didn’t think countering with ‘but but, it’s not *violence*’ was relevant: It didn’t address the question he asked, and I wasn’t interested in diverting the discussion. Also, I don’t think he was wrong in using that word.
“Do you think inflicting pain on a submissive partner is inherently violent?”
I think some kinds are inherently violent, yes. Hitting someone with a stick, punching them, slapping them in the face IS violence, yes. Those are violent acts. There is more grey area in other kinds of pain delivery, but it’s already complex enough, so I’m going to ignore that for the moment.
Sure, the *context* absolutely changes it from the way we might normally think of ‘violence’, but you know what, I think it can be useful to remember that a lot of what I (we?) do IS violent. The harshness of that bald truth can help to remind me that it’s not a game where it’s somehow ‘pretend-violence’. It’s not. It’s an honest-to-god act of physical violence that I am inflicting on another person so I had better be paying fucking attention.
I don’t think a violent act has to come from anger or hatred or a lack of control to *be* a violent act. I’m using physical force with the specific intent to hurt someone. Isn’t that what violence is? Sometimes I think we SHOULD be reminded that it IS that.
“Or are you using “violence” as a synonym for something like “passion” or “intensity”?”
No, I’m not. I think using a euphemism is useful at times to avoid distracting from the point but those don’t fit my meaning here.
‘Violence’ fits where my head is at:
“I want to bite your fucking face off and rip your chest open and hold your fucking heart in my hand and watch it beat for me.”
For me, violence is how I ENACT passion and intensity: It’s the physical expression of those feelings. I don’t know what word I could use in its place when I think about it in a sentence like that (perhaps ‘physical force’ would be better? But then we will have a ‘force’ debate, and the writer in me *likes* the word violence, it encapsulates my meaning well).
If someone is uncomfortable with the term, I completely understand why, and I actually agree that it carries a lot of negative connotations. It makes me a little uncomfortable also, and *normally* I’d avoid using it because I do know how it’s perceived, and while I think it’s interesting to explore that perception here, I’m normally not one to use words that I know full well are going to cause a gut reaction unless I’m prepared to explain it further.
And of course, I really don’t want to come across as some kind of out-of-control psychopath who seems to be equating what I do with random non-consensual acts of violence out in the world.
TL;DR I think that hitting someone with a stick, punching them, smacking them, slapping them in the face ARE acts of violence (even if they are done within a context of consent, affection, love). Sometimes it’s useful for me to remember that, so for me, the word fits.
Phew, I love those questions. Thank you for them.
Thanks for that very clear and thoughtful reply! Your reasons for using the term “violence” make sense to me, and at the end of the day I suppose there’s only a semantic difference between describing what you and my dominant do as a special, consensual form of violence and describing it as a non-violent activity that’s similar to violence in some ways.
My dominant and I are long-distance, and she’s never inflicted pain on me in person, but I’ve found myself writhing under the hands and implements of a couple of other sadists in the past. From my submissive perspective, being worked over can feel intuitively like being on the receiving end of violence if the pain is coming fast and hard or if the person dishing it out is doing so in a way that seems passionate and spontaneous rather than detached and calculating. I find both flavours of sadism exciting, erotic and delightfully scary to experience, in different ways.
My dominant appreciated your reply to my first comment, but she still prefers not to use the word “violence” for the things she does to willing victims. She’s planning to chime in later with some thoughts of her own.
After my Wheldrake sent me a link to your excellent blog, I added to his duties alerting me to posts of special interest, such as this one.
You and I agree completely about the seriousness of what we’re doing. Pain and its consequences are no less real because they were consensual. Interestingly, your reason for using the term “violence” is the flip side of my reason for not using it; I want to encourage making the distinction more than I want to point out the similarities.
Because I’m a sadist, particularly in physical play, I’m probably more vigilant than the average kinky person in keeping the terms as well as the concepts separate. It is essential to my sadism that I avoid crossing certain lines of damage and harm, physical or otherwise, so it’s important to avoid ambiguous words, even in my head. I often use pain, force, and other acts that could be considered “violence” without the passion and/or intensity that seems to underlie your use of the term much of the time, so there’s less overlap conceptually or physically. For me, doing those things with consent is not violence. Even so, you made valuable points and I appreciate having the opportunity to think about the matter differently.
Of course it’s violence, but it is violence in a good way it’s not abuse it’s not bullying and most of all it is CONSENSUAL, I’ve inflicted pain that would have most do gooders screaming for the police and have been sincerely and gratefully thanked for it afterwards, there may even have been kissing and chocolate eating involved afterwards *nods*
I agree with you, but I certainly understand having an aversion to the terminology, which is immediately linked to the bad kind of violence that we are all familiar with. The idea of ‘good violence’ is uncommon.
most excellent, and I understand that feeling all to well. Like you said it is so difficult to explain but when we get it ohhhh we got it
*smile* Thanks, and nice to see you here! And yes ‘ohhhh we got it’ is absolutely right.
“So for me what’s in my head is “I want to bite your fucking face off and rip your chest open and hold your fucking heart in my hand and watch it beat for me. GIVE ME THAT!!” ”
Language, Miss Ferns.
*laugh* Oh do shut up, you puritanical puppy!!
I recognize so much of this post, it’s a delight to see those feelings put into words by someone else. It reminded me of a poem I wrote in the beginning of my relationship, though it contains some poetic exaggeration. Our relationship changed a lot (for the better) since I wrote it but I love how old poems (probably like old blog posts) give you some insight in how you felt back when you wrote them and remind you of that time.
I want to see you bleed
Skin you sweetly
I want to feel that need
Rushing through me
Help you cut your bonds
Tie you to me
Cut you loose again
Leave you weepy
I’ll disturb your sleep
Make you needy
Seep into your dreams
Make you greedy
I will wear your skin
Love your body
Listen to your screams
At my mercy
I want to feel that fear
Before you take me
I want to feel you there
Moving in me
I need you to care
Do things to me
I need to feel it’s real
Could you pinch me?
I’m so glad it resonated, and thank you so much for sharing your poem.
I know exactly what you mean about looking back and seeing what was in your head way back when, to see how you have changed.