Why Does This Turn Me On?
For the last three hours I’d been delighting in dominating my lover, restraining him, playing games with him, providing him sweet pleasure mixed with a little pain. I reached over and stroked, kissed, and bit his back as his body continued to shudder from the orgasmic ecstasy flooding through him. I slowly removed his restraints and massaged his wrists and ankles. I worked my way to the collar around his neck and looked into his eyes as I removed it; our session was complete. He pulled me close. We breathed together for a moment, both of us deep in pleasurable afterglow. I turned to face him. I wanted to make sure that he was okay. Did he need anything?
“That was awesome, and intense,” I whispered, not wanting to break the spell. “Do you need anything?”
He breathed deep. A look of confusion crossed his face. “I just don’t get it. This is awesome and really hot, but I just don’t understand why this turns me on so much.”
After most of our conversations, our sessions together, and even at random times, my lover Ian would turn to me with that look of confusion and ask, “Why does this turn me on?” I was asking myself the same exact thing: Why? Why does this turn him on like crazy and why is my body so aroused without being touched? Why would having power over someone, treating someone like an object, or even inflicting pain on someone possibly turn us on? And further, how could I “do” this “to” someone I loved this much?
As I lay next to Ian, the father of my son, my lover for nearly a decade, the man whom I admire, love, and respect, pondering yet again this persistent question of “Why?,” I prepared for a deep, rich journey with him. We’d just agreed on our 40/40 experiment. Perhaps things would never be the same. Perhaps we would discover things that we didn’t want to know. Perhaps we would have even hotter sex, even deeper connection, and even greater understandings of our own eroticism. We’d challenged and committed ourselves to exploring together—to taking the risks and diving deeply into an erotic world where for the first time we would be learning side by side.
Jaiya Journal: Dominant/Day 2
Last night was the first night of training for Ian. I will be dominating him for the next 40 days. It’s going to be such an adventure. I feel so different already. I can’t explain it. It’s already changed something between me and Ian. There’s a smile when I see him, a charge, an energy that’s hard to describe. Like when we first fell in love . . .
It took us years to get here—for him to release his shame about his restraint and submission fantasies enough to admit them and then share them with me. Even though I am a sexologist and hold space for people’s deep, dark sexual secrets on a daily basis, even though I have accepted him and loved him, even though we have shared some of the most intimate moments of our life together, he still found it difficult to share his kinks with me. I had to create a safe environment for him, totally accepting of him, and let him know that my acceptance of him wouldn’t change, no matter what he told me. And we both wanted to understand why. Why was he so turned on by restraint and submission fantasies?
Sometimes you need to understand why so that you can have fun, let go of shame, give yourself permission—to make sure that what you are about to embark on is okay. (If you don’t care why, you have total permission to skip this chapter and just dive into the next.) I’ve searched long and hard for the why. I’ve read hundreds of books, articles, and essays. I’ve read research papers and studies. I’ve interviewed professional Dominants, sadists, and submissives. I’ve talked to therapists. I’ve asked countless people, “Why?” Why are people turned on by sex that is outside our cultural box? Why is surrender such an aphrodisiac? Why do some people like to be tied up? Why does one man love to wear women’s underwear and another love the texture of leather? Why does pain equal pleasure? Why is my own partner so turned on by such a specific fantasy that just the mention of it drives him wild? Why would my dominating him cause him to blossom in ways I’ve never seen? Why, why, why . . .
Why Are We Motivated to Step Outside the Box?
A First Look at Our Revealing History
The ultimate goal is to profoundly affect the mind, to drastically alter the state of consciousness. Ancient cultures have always known ways to do this—pain, body modification, chemical experience, spiritual rapture—modern primitives have kept it alive.
Flagg, The Forked Tongue
No one really knows where kinky practices began or where they originated, but it seems clear that humans, in cultures around the world, throughout time, have had a relationship with “out of the box” sex. Yet in our modern culture we have deep shame about power, restraint, and sensation. Pleasure, power, and impact play have been part of the human experience so much that we felt compelled to record it in our art forms and in texts such as the Kama Sutra.
I say it’s time we accept our kinky inclinations, have fun with them, and enjoy!
One of the oldest accounts of impact play (spanking, paddling, caning, flogging, etc.) is seen in a relic found in an Etruscan burial site (490 BCE). Here you can see two men erotically depicted with a woman. One man is using a cane on her and the other his hand to spank her. Looks to me like they are having a lot of naughty fun!
In our search for why power, restraint, and impact turn us on, there may be early erotic cues from our childhood at play. Your own sexual history may also account for your attraction to kink. Perhaps the signs have been there all along. Where you find obstacles in your childhood, you may find a link to your turn-ons. Jack Morin, PhD, author of The Erotic Mind, states, “The adventure of growing up gives each individual’s sexuality a unique shape and texture. Inevitably, each person learns to associate particular kinds of obstacles with heightened expectation.” Keep in mind that most research shows that the majority of people who play with kinky sex have no early history of abuse or psychological issues.
Dive Deeper: Journey into your personal history: www.mistressjaiya.com/history.
Now let’s take look at what motivates people to try or practice kink, or even to make it a lifestyle. The reasons may surprise you. As I discovered, the motivations behind kinky sex have a lot less to do with sex and a lot more to do with our everyday psychology. You may be saying, “But wait, I came here for the hot sex!” Okay, let’s begin there!
The world of kink does not always include sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual contact; however, those who play with kink for sex find that they have very enriching sexual lives. One of the things that makes sex so hot is that kinky players take their time, and they understand how to turn on the mind, the body, and even the soul of a person. They usually have good communication skills and a natural inclination to want to learn how to increase pleasure and turn their partner on. Research has shown that one way to increase arousal is to introduce something novel or new into your bedroom play. With all the toys and tools in the kink world there are endless possibilities for a wide variety of sexual exploration. Kink is the ultimate solution to bedroom boredom!
Increased Intimacy and Connection
Yum! Intimacy! Kinky play has the potential to be one of the most intimate things a person can experience, especially if they are willing to really surrender (and I mean this for both the giver and the receiver).
In his book The Curious Human Phenomenon: An Exploration of Some Uncommonly Explored Aspects of BDSM, author Peter Masters talks about something he calls penetration. He posits that besides the obvious physical penetration (sexual intercourse, impact play, etc.), there is an intimate act less talked about, which is psychological penetration. Psychological penetration can be done by another person (when another sees you and touches your heart), by a group of people (an audience watching a performer onstage), or in your own mind (when you gain some deep insight about yourself). I believe that ultimately we all desire to be seen. We fear it, yet we desire it. Kinky practices open a door. This door leads to sharing deeply intimate parts of ourselves, parts we may hide from others out of shame and parts we even hide from our own consciousness. Out-of-the-box sex can remove the everyday mask (the polite, compliant, acceptable parts of you) that you wear and peel back hidden layers, revealing your true self. I am sure that you have had experiences where you have touched your true self. Peter Masters writes, “There’s even a common term to describe this: letting one’s hair down.”
Impact play (think spanking and similar acts, either giving or receiving) produces that oh-so-good intense sensation that can help drive away your outer mask and allow your true self to emerge. If pain is not your thing, not to worry; there is another route: power dynamics. Role-play and power dynamics help to melt the false self because “in a new or novel situation, we may find that there is no effective or developed False Self prepared, and so the True Self is naked and exposed,” writes Masters.
Revealing who you really are and fully expressing yourself, yet still being accepted by someone you care about—that is an incredible level of connection.
My hand on his thigh, I looked out the window, wondering to what wonderful eatery we were driving. The training session with Master Dan Eragon was still tingling through my skin. “I just thought of something. When I was a Dominant we had the hottest sex ever. It was great. Now that we have switched roles I feel like we are experiencing the deepest intimacy. I mean, I’m sharing things with you and showing you parts of myself I’ve never shown to anyone before. I feel like we’ve grown incredibly close over the last twenty days,” I said. He put his hand on my hand, focusing on his driving. We were headed into Santa Monica; maybe dinner would be somewhere near the beach. “Yes, I agree,” he said, squeezing my hand.
Ecstasy—Getting High on Bliss Chemicals
Have you ever felt a runner’s high? Ever experienced an incredible moment of happiness or bliss that left you high on life? Or maybe you’ve had one of those orgasms that felt like utter ecstasy throughout your entire body and you wonder how to get back there? While there are many pathways to sexual ecstasy, people practice kink in order to get that natural high. One of my missions in life is to help men and women learn more about their sexuality so that they can unleash erotic ecstasy. Now I’ve found another pathway for helping people to do just that.
The rapture, the ecstasy, can come from different types of kinky play and may be experienced differently by each individual. For many the ecstasy comes as a result of playing with a variety of motivations. For example, deeply surrendering and becoming vulnerable can increase intimacy and connection, which leads to psychological penetration, which in turn leads to ecstasy!
I can’t talk about this ecstasy without talking about feel-good hormones that may be produced as a result of sensory play (experiencing all of your senses), impact play, or any number of psychological scenarios. As you will learn, kinky sex and play can lead to a shift in neurochemicals, resulting in a great high (but also great lows if not done properly).
Shutting Off Your Mind
“I can’t turn it off. I mean, he’s trying so hard to pleasure me, but my mind won’t shut up. I start thinking of all the unfinished work that needs to be done, or about a conversation we need to have, or worrying about when I shaved last—oh, a million and one things,” Francis said. Her mind was preventing her from feeling pleasure and from connecting sexually with her husband. Francis had a lot of pressures in life, she was type A, and she was the breadwinner of the household. She really needed an orgasm but had been unable to reach a climax. She couldn’t even tell me how long it had been. She sighed in frustration. “I just wish there was something I could do to shut down my brain; then maybe I could actually feel my husband between my legs!”
Before I introduced her to the idea that power and sensation play could be a pathway to shutting off her thoughts, Francis had never considered using any tools or practices from the wonderful world of kink. Since she was wired sensually (more on this in chapter 2), sensory play was a perfect doorway to get her into something called subspace.
Subspace is difficult to describe and is best felt. Start by imagining that your mind is quiet and all that you are is a bundle of sensation. You feel incredibly relaxed. Every inch of skin is sensitive to the lightest touch, yet your perception of pain is incredibly lowered. You don’t feel pain as much because your body is producing feel-good pain relievers. In deep subspace you may forget to talk or forget your own name; your thinking brain is shut off and you are in a primal feeling state. While a submissive may go deeply into it, a Dominant can experience a no-mind state as well. I call it intense presence. For the Dominant, subspace comes from extreme focus combined with physical exertion or attention.
Not ready to go all the way to subspace? No worries, just get relaxed! Ellen Heed, a genius sexological bodyworker, led me into a whole new realm of sexuality when she told me about the importance of down-regulating the nervous system. What exactly does that mean? Well, it means deep, deep relaxation. Many people have never experienced what deep relaxation feels like. They live in a constant fight-or-flight state. While a nice massage might take the edge off, the sensation is usually short-lived. Using things like constrictive restraint, deep-pressure touch, or what Ellen Heed calls “bony handles” are all practices that can help someone to go into a deeper state of relaxation. I’ll share more on how to do this in chapter 8.
Releasing Shame and Going into Pleasure
Want to transform shame? Being tied up and/or dominated can give you an overwhelming sense of abandon, a freedom you’ve never been permitted to enjoy. There’s a “forced” naughtiness that gives the submissive permission to displace the shame (I am enjoying this, therefore I am bad) from themselves and actually enjoy pleasure and orgasm. When pleasure is “forced” upon us, then we become hungry for erotic food that we have forbidden ourselves from having. I often hear this story: “I could never do x, but tie me up and suddenly it’s not me that’s doing x, it’s my partner who is ‘making me’ do it.”
Copyright © 2014 by JAIYA. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.