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Mirrors

July 1, 2010

A few people in my face-to-face life have asked me why/how I get off on pain, why being dominant and sadistic in a sexual relationship does it for me. “For you it’s about mastering someone?” “You want to be the superior one?” They imagine it as always being roleplay, and its hard for them to see it as an orientation in itself.

To me those are storylines, narratives, wrapping paper to tie it all up in sometimes that I draw from the vast conglomeration of knowledge in my personal and cultural memories, floating around my subconscious. For me that’s not what it is.

I’m always challenged, in a really good way, to describe what I feel when people ask real questions, and I find I’m never able to do it completely. There will always be some aspect that I later realize I could have described.

It’s about connection. It’s about being utterly and absolutely present. Being nowhere else but here, in this moment. It’s about splitting back all the layers and opening to something at the very core, something feral and watching that fills me up to my skin so completely that it’s almost coincidental that it happens to occupy the same space as my body. And when I’m with someone in that way, I go to that space. That’s my headspace. What I’ve been trying to do, is open up that way even when I’m not beating someone, or drinking them in.

And the response that I usually get is silent contemplation, or once from my partner, “That sounds exactly like sex. Well how is that any different?”

I vacillate. Put that way it doesn’t really seem any different from any other sexual experience. And I take comfort from that, I find validation in it when I doubt. But other times I feel that people find me strange, and I find myself strange. I don’t know where the line is between the dots.

Starting to read blogs again the past two weeks, I keep running into people talking about it in the same way, each a little mirror showing me myself.

In a response to my post about consent, one of the things Into the Briar said about pain really stuck with me.

it’s a way of connecting with someone, and if the potential for sexual interaction is there, it’s a good starting point.

Rogue Bambi talked about the same post at Past the Hurt, and I found another little mirror.

We are both part taking, violently, in the same play. It’s not about consent. It’ about finding ways to get closer to the other, finding new triggers of joy, and enjoying them together.

I found another from Cal at Topologies writing about shyness and emotional intimacy:

I seek connection, openness, understanding. I want intimacy, and sometimes I think that all the vicious roughness is just a way to break into even deeper intimacy, for me – let me into your heart, and also your skin, your mind, your everything.

I’ve come across Dreamwalker‘s blog before, but I’d never really sat down and read it because superficially the perspective seemed so different from mine. He writes about a lot of experiences or philosophies about dominance that I don’t share, but about sadism I found a fistful of little mirrors tucked in his about page.

For me it is about con­nec­tion and inti­macy. What can be more inti­mate than to watch her eyes gloss over when you touch her just so, to breathe in her hot shud­der­ing moans, to drink the tears trick­ling down her cheek?

It is actu­ally not about pain, per se, but the raw­ness, the truth, and the beauty of her expe­ri­ence.

[…]

I like to say that what we sadists lack in sym­pa­thy, we make up for in empa­thy.

I don’t know if I’d take the last literally, but it made me chuckle. I don’t know what it means for him, but for me that gets translated to something like, “Yes I see it hurts but that alone won’t make me stop. But I am completely here with you, feeling it through you.” It reminds me of something I read at Jones‘ that I could never find the exact post for, that sadism is masochism turned outward.

There is no sub­stan­tive dif­fer­ence to me if I inflict pain or plea­sure. […] There is a point where she pours her aware­ness from her head and mind into her body and heart and she is com­pletely and totally open to me; that is where I find my sat­is­fac­tion.

There is a difference between pain and pleasure for me, even though I feel like theoretically there could be no difference. I’m what Sara Eileen calls a reaction top. I want squirming, gasping, yelling, twitching, jumping, crying, writhing. The stimulus is less important than the reaction. But I’ve found that I get reaction a lot more readily from pain than from pleasure (whatever pleasure means anyway). I wonder if a lot of us have been trained to withhold our expression of pleasure, to not do anything embarrassing or inappropriate, a kind of stoicism. When I was trying to figure out how to have an orgasm, I can’t count the number of times I read the advice, “Don’t worry about if your face looks funny or if you make noises when you come, just let it happen.”

In Dreamwalker’s post about what sadists get out of it, I found yet another little mirror.

I like to think of my drive as con­struc­tive rather than destruc­tive. If noth­ing else, then at least my drive is for the appre­ci­a­tion of beauty [rather] than to soil it. My drive is to com­mune with her, to con­nect with her

Constructive not destructive. That resonates with something in me that feels very obvious and at the same time very mysterious. Part of it is my cultural associations with constructive=good/healthy, destructive=bad/unhealthy. But I know that destruction is a beautiful and necessary process. Destruction fuels our primary star, destruction is a volcano erupting to give new life to the soil, destruction is floods that spread nutrients and minerals from thousands of mile away across the land, destruction is a shark eating a seal, human teeth grinding a carrot. Destruction is change, and ultimately, transformation.

So within the cultural paradigm of constructive=healthy, destructive=unhealthy, I would classify my desires as constructive. But putting all the ideas back in the box and shaking things up a bit, I see construction and destruction both as creative forces. My desires are desires to create, to create relationships, joy, intimacy, connection, beauty, headspaces, experiences.

I didn’t know when I started this post that it was going to go in this seemingly esoteric direction, but I feel everything in the last two paragraphs is quite literal, not philosophical. And maybe a condensed version of that can help me describe what drives me sexuality.

I’ve been wanting to start asking this to people I live with, but I’ll ask it here to: What does it feel like for you when you are being sexual with someone? What is it that makes it so worth doing?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2010 2:19 am

    I spent most of my life thinking Sadists were evil, cruel, crazy people without feelings or a conscience. I thought Masochists were just plain crazy and had some sort of death wish. Ironically, I am very deeply in love with a Sadist. He is the first Sadist I ever met (that I know of). I now believe that Sadists are the most beautiful people, the most giving and loving souls. The “connection” you describe is a word that is extremely difficult to define. I understand it because I have it.

    When Dreamwalker and I are making love, because all of it is making love, I never see him in any bad light. He hurts me, oh God he really does sometimes, and he also brings me to levels of ecstasy that my own body cannot handle, although I am learning. When we make love, it is not about getting to the orgasm. In fact, for the first time in my life the orgasm has become a side affect of our experience and not the goal. The journey, the experience is what this is all about. Hours of love making whether that be through pinching, biting, spanking, cutting….it’s all just him and I sharing a deeply trusting and intimate time together.

    I feel every sensation, I scream, I gasp, I cry, I moan, I react. I am there. He is there. I am not thinking about everything I need to do after I come. He is not fantasizing about some playboy model in a magazine with his eyes closed and going through motions. We are together. One hundred percent focused on one another. He is looking at me, watching my reactions, and I am in a state of utter vulnerability, with no option but to surrender myself to him. What an incredibly freeing feeling that is. As we progress in our relationship, more and more I let go completely. I trust him completely. I need him to hurt me, I need to bring him deeper into my heart and soul. I can only do that through pure trust and total surrender. I control nothing.

    I want, no need to sacrifice myself to him to use, abuse, cherish and love….and yes he does all those things. I have never felt love like I feel. I see him as my Dark Angel, wrapping his wings around me, holding me up when I can’t do it myself because the feeling is too intense. I never see him as inflicting hurt. I see him as inflicting love. There is nothing more beautiful than the look in his eyes as he pinches my nipples until I can no longer breathe. When he holds my neck in his hands and literally takes my breath away, as he whispers into my ear..”You’re mine. MINE”. Well, then he figuratively takes my breath away.

    To me, the more I am able to give and the more he is able to take will allow us to “forge a connection so profound and plunge into intimacy so intense that angels weep in envy and demons claw at their eyes in despair.”

    There is no love deeper than that. There is no human connection more powerful or beautiful. I love my Sadist, there is nothing wrong with him, or what he does to me. I need him. I need his love.

    And I am not a Masochist.

    ~GentleSpirit~

  2. ranat permalink*
    July 2, 2010 4:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience, GentleSpirit. It sounds like you’ve both found a really fulfilling connection, which is really encouraging to me in this ol’ world.

    “In fact, for the first time in my life the orgasm has become a side affect of our experience and not the goal. The journey, the experience is what this is all about.

    […]

    I feel every sensation, I scream, I gasp, I cry, I moan, I react. I am there. He is there. I am not thinking about everything I need to do after I come.”

    I really enjoyed your insights about the possibility of orgasm being secondary to the overall experience, rather than the experience being a means to orgasm. Orgasm is certainly not the peak experience for me, even though I’ve come to appreciate it more. The headspace, the sense of presence that I’ve felt have been those peak experiences. Orgasm coupled with that… I figure could be pretty cool. I tend to be overwhelmed and question myself when I find that for so many other people orgasm is a peak experience. I’m still trying to come to terms with the complexity that maybe for some people orgasm is a peak experience, and for others it’s not. And I don’t know where I fall on that spectrum because orgasm is obviously fulfilling something for me (I keep doing it), and yet it’s not the experience I would sing from the rooftops about.

  3. July 3, 2010 6:42 pm

    Thank you Ranat. The only way I can describe the way I feel is that the emotional orgasm is far far more fulfilling than the physical orgasm. However, when both emotional and physical meet…….well, all I can say is that I believe I have seen Heaven.

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