D/s Play

October 5th, 2013 by Steve Pavlina

Many of us live in a repressed world. We don’t feel safe enough to share our truest, deepest desires with each other. We keep certain fantasies strictly to ourselves, hiding them where no one else is allowed to look.

These desires are not allowed into the light — they’re our secret shame, our darkness denied. But privately they remain very rich and real to us.

What if you could explore some of those fantasies though? I know you can’t, but what if?

What if you could connect with a willing partner where there was such a deep and powerful bond of trust, that you could share more of yourself than you thought possible? What if this connection was so intimate, that sharing with another simply felt like circulating a thought within your own mind? No walls. No secrets.

What if you could allow this person into the dark places of your imagination, the parts that have been shamed as sinful, dirty, naughty — labels that imply wrongness and immorality just for thinking about these possibilities, let alone acting on them?

Sometimes opening up and talking about these fantasies is still too much for us, even with a very trusting partner. We can’t even get the words out to describe them. Maybe we’d like to, but the words would only sound hollow and pathetic. The experience is what matters.

Beyond this, there may be certain experiences that would take you to the heights of pleasure never before experienced, but you don’t even know they exist. You don’t suppress or deny them. You simply aren’t aware that certain things would actually turn you on to such a degree — because you’ve never tried them. You’ve probably never even thought to try them.

Opening the Door

What if you could connect with a partner that had permission to explore with you? What if you gave this partner permission to help you discover and experience your deepest fantasies, your biggest turn-ons, your guiltiest pleasures?

Sometimes great pleasure can be found in the simplest acts. Perhaps you get really turned on when you’re touched in a certain way… or when some specific phrases are whispered into your ear… or when you allow yourself to say or do certain things… or when you visualize a certain scene in a certain way… or when your partner says, “I love doing X for you. Making you feel good makes me feel good.” and then does it, and you can only lie back and receive.

What if you could connect with a partner that was willing to discover what you really, really like… and then upon such discovery, this partner would continue to do more of it? And then what if this partner continued to explore around the edges, with the aim of finding other pleasures and perhaps even greater ones?

So you know you like chocolate. Let’s see if you like chocolate mint then. No? How about chocolate raspberry? Or chocolate and red wine? Or the feeling of chocolate sauce being licked off your chest?

You love it when someone gives you oral sex? Of course, let’s have you lie back and receive that now… for an hour or so, without letting you reach orgasm yet. Just hold onto that energy.

Is it better with this music? Let’s try it this way. Mildly stimulating for you? How about like this? Oh, you like that even more. And this? Not so much. Ok, back to this… But have you ever had it this way? Oooh, you REALLY like that, don’t you? Don’t stop… I get it.

This isn’t just about exploring physical pleasure together. What thoughts can we coax into your mind that will give you the richest mind-body pleasure too? And what feelings can we help create in your heart to enrich the experience even more? And what kind of overall connection do you want to co-create, such that your pleasure becomes synergistically greater?

Physical technique is perhaps the least important element. It matters to some degree, but not as much as people think. What matters even more is the energy and intention that’s brought into the space together — the energy of love, lightness, curiosity, and a desire to lower the shields and play together like free spirits.

I can certainly attest that an amateur massage given with love and caring and the intention to make the other person feel really good feels so much better than a professional, technique-driven massage delivered with coldness and detachment. The energy is everything.

The Three Modes of D/s Play

To me, the point of D/s play (i.e. Domination and submission) is for two people to explore together, so as to learn more about what gives each other pleasure.

From the outside looking in, this may appear to be about one person giving up control to another. It looks very asymmetrical. One person commands. One person submits.

But when it works, there’s a much deeper symmetry. Both people are giving each other permission to explore what gives them pleasure. Once you get behind the outer shell, the inside is simply an expression of love.

In the first mode of D/s play, the Dominant is commanding the submissive to give him/her pleasure. I want you to make me feel good. The sub’s role is to step into being a source of pleasure for another, which can be quite a delicious experience for some. The Dom’s role is to invite pleasure and to receive without resistance. There are tremendous lessons here for both.

In the second mode, the Dom invites the sub to explore the sub’s sources of pleasure. I want you to let me make you feel good. The sub’s role is now to receive, especially by allowing the Dom to discover the sub’s pleasure triggers. The Dom’s role is to discover what gives the sub pleasure and to give that pleasure in the most delicious ways, such as by teasing and building up the energy without releasing it right away. There are powerful lessons to be learned here as well.

In the third mode, the Dom and the sub agree to explore how they can co-create the deepest, richest experience of pleasure for each other at the same time. Both are doing their best to tap into the flow of giving and receiving. The Dom is simply the one giving a voice to that flow. But when they’re truly in sync, the voice is almost redundant. They can both hear where the flow wants to go so clearly that no verbalization is necessary. But when things fall off track, the Dom is the one with the clear responsibility to do what it takes to restore the flow state, and the sub trusts the Dom to perform this role.

No mode is superior to the others. These aren’t levels or steps to progress through. They’re simply different ways of exploring together. Each mode has its own delights and its own lessons.

Invitation to Explore

D/s play is an invitation to explore together, to go deeply into one’s desires — especially the unacknowledged subconscious desires.

D/s play is a very private, personal experience. It’s raw and rich and alive. It is deeply intimate, sensually intense, and stunningly beautiful. No words can adequately describe the reality.

I would never try to convince anyone to explore D/s play. If any convincing is required, that would kill the whole purpose. Surrendering to the experience cannot happen if there is any pressure to do so. It must be a free, conscious choice. There has to be a sense of readiness and willingness to explore. Otherwise the shields are still up, and surrender doesn’t occur.

D/s play is first a general invitation. This is something that’s out there in the world already. It’s an experience that you can have with someone if you so desire it. It’s an open door you can choose to walk through… or not. Each role within D/s play is something you can choose or reject as well.

If you accept the first invitation, then D/s play can also take on the form of a specific invitation. Someone may invite you into such an experience with them, or you may invite them. Each invitation opens the door to a unique exploration. But until you accept the first invitation, the second one will largely remain hidden from you.

Discovering Pleasure

To invite a person into the space of intimate exploration requires a lot of trust. Avoiding a bad experience becomes very important. Take the time to create a strong bond of trust with your partner before you go too deep. Don’t rush. Make sure that your hearts are able to get into sync and follow each other. A stain of distrust or suspicion ruins the experience.

Trust your intuition. If you receive such an invite but your intuition says No, this person isn’t trustworthy, or I think s/he has a hidden agenda, or I don’t feel right about this, then politely decline the invite. Don’t debate. Don’t try to talk yourself into it. First and foremost, avoid the bad experience. If you have to push yourself into it, that’s a mistake.

If I don’t fully trust a woman, I won’t invite her into such an experience with me, and I won’t accept such an invitation from her. In terms of being open to D/s play with other partners, I can only suggest the possibility in general, but I wouldn’t offer a specific invitation to explore such things until I feel we have a connection based on mutual trust, caring, respect, and a willingness to explore together. For me, declining an invite simply means, not yet.

I also look for an indication of a mutual growth experience. I’m not interested in being any woman’s teacher or trainer in this space. I’m an explorer, and I want to keep exploring, not to rehash what I already know. So it’s important for me to connect with partners who can bring something fresh and new into this exploration. Fortunately that isn’t difficult. Everyone is unique, so everyone has something fresh and new to offer — especially if they’re willing to open the door to a very rich “third mode” type of connection.

When shared in public, D/s play may receive its share of ridicule, insults, and juvenile commentary. But in the richness of the real experience, we close the doors to this outside world, so none of that social and sexual immaturity is present. In a way, D/s play is an act of rebellion, saying to the disconnected, consumption driven world that we’re going to explore the full richness of our connection anyway, away from your prying eyes and lack of understanding.

D/s play is free. It doesn’t cost a dime. So don’t expect the world of marketing and media to like it. They must continue to shun it, to cast it out, to shame it. For otherwise, if it became widely known that bliss is free, who would turn on the TV?

Deepening Pleasure

Once the bond of trust is created and the D/s play exploration has begun, then each taste becomes even more delicious than the last.

What gives you the most pleasure? What gives your partner the most pleasure? How can we co-create the greatest feelings of mutual pleasure? These questions are asked and answered again and again.

Moreover, the very definition of pleasure is questioned and explored. Is physical pleasure the best we can do? What about mental pleasure? Emotional pleasure? Spiritual pleasure? How we can combine different forms of pleasure at the same time, so that all parts of your being are open, receptive, and engaged?

Bliss

What is bliss? How do we define that? How can we create that experience together?

In a way, bliss is a result of letting go.

Many people who’ve experienced bliss would agree that bliss is our natural state. It’s how we feel when we’re at our very best. To return to that state, we need to release the blocks that keep us from it. D/s play is the act of giving another person permission to help you identify and release these blocks.

What keeps you out of bliss? Do you allow your body image to get in the way? Have your turn-ons been shamed and guilted away? Are you afraid of rejection or judgment? Are you unable to express your desires without feeling you’re being too selfish? Do you see people as separate from you, a potential threat? Do you stop yourself from fully surrendering to pleasure?

Are you ready to let all of that nonsense go? Have you decided that it’s time to shed it? Have you come to the awareness that there are no good reasons for denying yourself and others great pleasure? Are you ready to return to your natural state of being — to be happy, to creatively express yourself, to touch, to feel, to smile, to laugh, and to play?

Are you aware that D/s play isn’t just a sexual experience? It’s actually an experience filled with lots of laughter. I think partly the laughs come out as various blocks are released. That once-trapped energy is often released as laughter. Sometimes as tears of joy. And sometimes as other strong, seemingly out of place emotions. And afterwards there’s a tremendous feeling of relief. Finally that trapped energy has been freed.

We block ourselves from experiencing bliss in so many ways. D/s play is simply one tool among many for returning there. It can be intense to be sure, but this kind of intensity is a good thing; it’s the release of trapped energy. If you’re ready to invite that kind of experience, great. If you’re not ready to invite it, no worries; there are other paths of growth to explore.

What I love about D/s play is that it’s a social experience. It is a commitment to explore bliss with another person, to remove our masks and lower our shields, to return ourselves to the recognition that we’re already one.

I could meditate on my own, but more often than not, I’ll simply fall asleep from boredom. I do meditate regularly, but mainly as a way of taking a break and relaxing my mind. I prefer to create the experience of bliss by inviting the body along for the ride, rather than trying to transcend the body and retreat into the mind, heart, and spirit. I want to bring the physical world with me… no need to leave it behind. It can make the trip. It’s all energy anyway. To share such an experience with another is deliciousness incarnate, one of my favorite parts of this human journey.

When I look into a woman’s eyes after we’ve both surrendered ourselves fully, I see an angel. I see her full spiritual beauty, her perfection, her true nature. And I’m in awe of it. To behold such beauty and to feel it beholding me with no shielding whatsoever is a pleasure beyond all pleasures.

The Beauty of Contrast

I understand and accept that I live in a world that has its share of challenges. I don’t resist that. In fact, I love the contrast of it.

I even love the contrast of being called out in public as a narcissist, a pervert, a serial killer in the making for openly and shamelessly sharing my desire to explore and experience the full richness of sensuality, love, and bliss with women. This type of feedback has been my reality for years, and I imagine it will follow me till the day I die.

In the past I resisted it. How wickedly cruel! How terribly unfair! How harshly unjust!

Now I actively invite it in. I tease it. I play with it. I dance with it.

The problem was never the critics. The only problem was my resistance to them. Once I lowered my shields, I realized that they have no swords, no spears, no weapons of any kind.

I give the harshest critics all the evidence they need to try, convict, and sentence me for such perverse offenses against society. I’m guilty as charged. And yet I still remain free.

My friend Zan Perrion loves to say that beauty needs a witness. He’s right. I think that beauty needs a backdrop too. A flower is a thing of beauty when viewed against a sea of green and brown. The mountain is beautiful against the contrasting blue sky. The galaxies look beautiful against the blackness of space.

Even the memory of opposites can create contrast. A field of flowers is even more beautiful against the backdrop of memories of no flowers.

Beauty seen in contrast yields appreciation, and appreciation heightens the experience of beauty. This helped me understand that in order to move towards beauty, I must also move towards the contrast — and to fully embrace it and appreciate it for the service it provides.

Against the contrast of criticism, I take even more pleasure in the experience of looking into a woman’s eyes and seeing her spirit beaming at me. In that moment, her soulful wink speaks volumes to me — acknowledging the delightful nature of living in a world of such contrast, thereby giving meaning to the contrast. She sees me. She knows me. She loves me. Angels do not stand out as vividly against a white backdrop, and so I can appreciate the purpose of the darker one… and playfully invite it to get darker still.



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