Inching to the edge

Mistress Rex isn’t the most prolific of writers on my blogroll, but when she does post it’s always interesting, thought provoking and highly literate. Her most recent post helped crystallize a number of thoughts I’d been mulling over recently. I suggest reading the whole thing, but I’ll just quote the section I particularly want to talk about.

I’d be bored out of my mind if I stayed within the parameters of what clients (or lovers) told me they think they want. It’s domination. It’s the thrill of control and power. It requires a degree of force and discomfort, a shifting of will. How do you know how much you can take if you’re not challenged? How do you know how much you can give if you’re unwilling to offer it?

Brock Lesner is an idiot, but he happened to deliver a beautiful concept (wherever he got it from) on national TV when he said that, “fights are won by inches.” Technique and skill can take you a long way, but it’s intensity that fills those inches – it’s knowing to keep going when you have your opponent hurt. It’s holding someone’s head under water despite their thrashing, because you know that panic is a moment too soon.

Mistress Rex from her post titled ‘Give Her an Inch and She’ll Walk All Over You

I’ve observed that being stressed and forced close to their thresholds of tolerance is a common desire amongst submissives. It’s certainly a desire I have in any session I do. No matter what the activity, I like to feel I’m being pushed and stretched in new ways. That I’m going to go further than I have in the past. I hate to stop an activity because it’s too intense for me (and I almost never do), but at the same time it’s never a completely satisfying session if we don’t briefly flirt with that possibility. It’s a very tricky line to walk.

The need to push for this intensity, to inch forward towards that threshold, is one that has bothered me a little. Am I just doing it for stupid macho-sub reasons? To prove that I can do it? And am I going to run out of inches one day? Find out that there is nowhere left to go and I’ve burnt out. Most other activities in life don’t require this kind of dynamic. I love fine dining and nice wine, but I don’t have a constant need to push my boundaries every time I eat in a restaurant. Why is my masochism and submission different?

I think Mistress Rex has helped me answer these questions. It’s about the shifting of will, the relinquishing of power. It’s only in those last few inches that dominance and control is absolutely demonstrated. What happens up to that point is just sensation. It might be interesting or pleasurable (in the masochistic sense) sensation, but it doesn’t cost the submissive anything until it approaches the edge. It’s the extraction of that payment where both the dominant and the submissive find the real satisfaction.

Breathplay with water immersionMistress Rex’s comment about holding someone’s head under water made me initially think of this image, but I posted it because it represents a type of play that quickly pushes me close to some of my personal edges. I struggle with anything that closely covers my face, whether it’s a leather hood or a tub of water, so using this apparatus would be to extract a very high price from me.

The dominant is Isis Love in a Divine Bitches shoot.

These are a few of my favorite things

Apologies for the title reference. I blame Ms Marie for making me think musicals. I realize this isn’t exactly ‘Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens’, but when I saw this image it did make me think of some of my favorite things. That’s one lucky oxygen deprived gentleman. I’d love to try and come up with some updated lyrics, but I’m not sure what would rhyme with breathplay, smothering and oral worship. Although the thought of Julie Andrews skipping over the Alps singing about them does make me smile.

Oh, and if you’ve never seen the Sound of Music, my apologies, this must all look like crazy talk to you. You can hear the original version here, although for something a little more my speed, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes also covered it in their inimitable style.

Forced Oral WorshipI found this on the Slave of the Goddess tumblr site.

Oxygen is an optional extra

I like to think this image was taken just a few seconds before she slid back a couple more inches and smothered him completely. He looks to be pretty firmly fixed in place. Arms outstretched and held with straps. What looks to be some sort of plastic wrap around his legs. And I think there’s a ball gag in his mouth. She’s been slowly teasing him for the last few minutes, building the anticipation, rubbing back and forth, moving just a little further back each time. Her scent fill his nostrils, and there’s absolutely nothing he can do to stop that final motion that will trap him beneath her beautiful bottom.

QueeningI found this image on ‘The diary of a male sub‘ tumblr site. The owner does a nice job of modifying images to keep a consistent theme to his blog, but as usual all attribution tends to get lost in the process, so I’ve no idea of the original source.

Updated: Thanks to FrenchGuy in the comments below for letting me know this is Bobbi Starr in a Divine Bitches shoot. With the help of their useful (if clunky) search function I managed to track it down to this June 2010 live shoot.

The gentle touch

There are a lot of things going on for the slave in the image below. He’s been strapped down and his hands immobilized in bondage mittens. There’s some sort of nipple clamp torture in place. He’s got a gas mask on, which is no doubt imposing some degree of sensory isolation. And of course there’s the erostek unit attached to the electrified cock bondage board. All in all, it looks like a pretty intense combination of sensations.

Despite all that, the aspect of the scene that caught my eye was Mistress Sidonia’s placement of her hand on his arm. It’s possible that this was a meaningless and purely transitory gesture that the photographer happened to catch. But I like to think it was a little more than that, and in fact shows a moment of connection between the two of them. I’m typically not someone who enjoys a cold icy dominant. The “Get on your knees and lick my heels you worthless dog” style of play can be fun occasionally. As a general rule however, I prefer someone who actually empathizes with the suffering, whilst still continuing to inflict or even increase it. The “Yes, I know it hurts, and I’m sorry but it’s only going to get worse from here” style of domination. A gentle comforting touch for just a few seconds as I ride the next wave of pain can really help push me deep into sub-space.

On an different note – has anyone played with the type of electrified cock bondage board show in the image below? I’m tempted to get one, but they’re not all that cheap, so I’d love to hear any feedback on them (either via comment or email).

Straps, gas mask and electo tortureThere’s no attribution on the image, but I’m fairly certain it comes from the English Mansion site.

Rubex

I’m always slightly annoyed when I post a drawing and can’t credit the artist accurately. It somehow feels rude. So I was happy to stumble across this gallery at the femdom wiki site and discover the source for a previously unattributed image in one of my posts. It turns out to be (as I suspected) a British artist, going under the name of Rubex.

The image below is another one of his works. It reminded me a little of Rodzo in its composition, albeit in a different style and with a medical slant.

Nurse and patient by Rubex

Breath play with gasmask

Just before the Christmas break I did a very enjoyable breath play session with the extremely talented Lady Lydia. So in honor of that I thought a breath play post might be in order.

We’ve used gas masks when we’ve played previously, but this time it was just a section of plastic wrap draped across the mouth and nose. When the plastic is cold and stiff it moves around with each breath and it’s still possible to sneak a little oxygen in. But as it gets warmer and moister it begins to stick across the lips and nostrils. Eventually the exhale doesn’t dislodge it, and the inhale does nothing but pull it tighter and tighter. This creates a beautiful swirl of emotions: Helplessness, Submission, Fear, Sacrifice, Trust.

I’m not sure exactly what my expression was during the scene, but I’m guessing as the oxygen ran short, I was doing a little wide eyed staring like the model below.

Breath play with gasmaskI found this on the dddecember tumblr site. There are a couple of additional images from the same scene, including a shot with the dominants in frame, in posts here and here. From the watermark on the bottom of the image it appears it originally came from the freaks inside site.

Hooded

I have erosblog to thank for pointing me towards this photograph of this beautiful leather hood. It’s taken from this gallery on the topgrl site.

If you’ve never played with hoods you might be tempted to dismiss them as simply a nice way to depersonalize someone. That was certainly my original naive take on them. They looked fun as way to experiment with objectification, but didn’t seem to offer much as a device of torment or punishment. After all you can still hear (vaguely), talk (or mumble) and breath (just). Could wearing one really be any different to just keeping your eyes closed?

Having now played with various types of hoods (including this one minus the additional outer straps), I can honestly say that nothing raises my pulse rate and stress levels quicker than seeing a hood come out. You can electrocute me, burn me or stick needles in me and I’ll be fine. Noisy, but fine. Hoods, on the other hand, are far more problematic. The sensation of losing control of key senses, coupled with physical restraint, has a major psychological effect. The only way I can normally deal with it is to mentally picture the dominant and project onto her. I try to detach from whatever panic signals my mind and body are throwing at me and focus only on an internal and idealized view of the mistress. Which, of course, is exactly the kind of effect you’re after in D/s play.

Leather HoodAnother photograph in the series shows the mistress raising the stakes with some breath control play. This is obviously a tricky area to play in, and certainly not something to try alone. But if you can find someone experienced enough, and who you absolutely trust to do it, then I’ve found this can be an incredible experience. Nothing gets me into subspace quicker than the combination of bondage, sensory deprivation and somebody toying with my ability to breath. Giving someone else the power over something so fundamental very quickly creates a deeply submissive state.

Leather Hood and Breath Control

Painless Dentistry

They say breathplay can be dangerous. But who would know better than a nurse? This one even appears to have training in anesthesiology. And if something does go wrong, what better place to get treated?

Smoothering NurseThe image appears to be signed ‘bubex’. Unfortunately I can’t find any references to that artist name online. If anyone can help with a proper attribution then drop me a line.