Decided to take a few days out to chill the hell out, but I return! I’ve been looking at the searches which lead up to my blog and I’ve seen that quite a few people have been led here looking for ‘sensual BDSM.’ I figure that this is something quite a few vanilla couples might be interested in, but there’s not too many sites to get information on it. Because of this I’m gonna look at it a bit more, put up a few ideas for those interested and then they can decided where to take it from there.
Anyway, as I said in my previous post on BDSM, sensual BDSM is a sort-of lighter alternative to ‘normal’ BDSM (or what most people perceive as normal BDSM anyway). It has more of a focus on sensation play and less on impact play and things like pain, humiliation, degradation, punishment, etc. Although, all of these can be used to the degree that the people involved want to involve them, but usually the focus is much more on the sensations.
This alternative is good for people wanting to bridge the gap between more ‘extreme’ BDSM or for people who never want to go beyond light pain or sensation play. The popular media often likes to portray BDSM as though it’s always as extreme as possible but this is rarely true in reality, it’s helpful to remember that, like anything else in life, BDSM is what you make of it. It’s just a label with very fuzzy edges, so it doesn’t really mean much of anything.
So saying that, what kind of activities do fall under the umbrella of ‘sensual BDSM?’
– Hot Wax
– Hot oil massages
– Waternberg wheels/pin wheels (can be painful, but not necessarily, it all depends on the amount of pressure used)
– Fur/velvet/suede floggers
– Different textures e.g. Silk, fur, sandpaper (again, think about the amount of pressure used)
– Brushes (think paintbrushes, make-up brushes, oil brush, etc.)
– Be imaginative! Take a look around the house and see what you can find!
Adding a blindfold and/or headphones playing soft music can help the person receiving the sensations to focus on their sense of touch.
Can be painful/uncomfortable, but only if that’s what’s desired. Can also be as restrictive as is wanted, movement can actually be fairly restricted without much discomfort. It can also be done for aesthetic purposes, such as in Japanese Shibari.
Erotic Body Painting/Drawing
Can be done with markers, paint, cosmetics, any number of things.
– Body scrubs
– Body oils/creams
– Face masks
I don’t mean using an actual mirror (although that could be fun…). I mean when you mirror your partner’s actions so you feel the same things at the same time.
Tantric sex is a very slow, meditative approach to sex. It incorporates breathing techniques, erotic massages and a generally sensual approach to sexual acts.
This is pleasure to the point of pain, it usually takes a variety of different sensations to be achieved, but it relies heavily on how the individual reacts to various sensations.
Think on the level of a deep tissue massage, although it can always be tailored to suit the individual. Things like soft floggings and spankings, biting, pinching, etc.
The main difference here between sensual D/s and ‘normal’ D/s is that the submissive’s compliance is usually obtained through positive rather than negative reinforcement. Pain as a punishment isn’t normally used; the submissive simply wants to do as their Dom commands rather than fearing consequences if they don’t (although non-painful punishments may be used).
These are only a few of the things you could try, and I’ll say again, tailor it to suit your needs. If you want to include pain you can, if you don’t want D/s you don’t need it, just take the parts you want and use them. Hopefully this has given you some ideas though!
Pages that helped me with this post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensation_play_(BDSM) – Wikipedia page on sensation play
http://www.peter-masters.com/wiki/index.php/Sensation_play – More on sensation play, also talks about sensory deprivation
Thought about it and deleted my last post, think it belongs in a journal/diary rather than a blog.
Of course it’s rare than anyone ever finds the ‘ideal’ partner – after all, no-one is perfect. But that doesn’t mean we can’t think about the traits we do seek in a person and actively pursue someone with those traits, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever find someone who has all these traits but hopefully you’ll find someone who has a good few of them.
Some of the things listed here are needs, some are wants, some are perks – the icing on a cake. It’s not a list of what a partner ‘must’ be for me, but rather me thinking about what it is I really want or value in a partner – more self-reflection than anything else. (Also a partially stolen idea from little_n from FetLife :P)
What I Would Like In A Partner
Someone who likes cuddles.
Someone who won’t shout.
Someone who won’t try to scare me.
Someone who will help me with new things.
Someone who will reassure me when I’m nervous or not sure.
Someone who doesn’t want to inflict pain for the sake of it.
Someone who is an equal to me in all aspects of the relationship (equal does not mean ‘the same’).
Someone I can laugh with.
Someone who won’t try to humiliate me or make me feel small.
Someone who suggests, advises, tells me what they want, but doesn’t order.
Someone who doesn’t try to make me ‘prove’ myself.
Someone who shares interests with me.
Someone who is sexually compatible with me.
Someone with a warm smile.
Someone who realises that if my limits are to be pushed, the desire to push them must come from me.
Someone I can share new experiences with.
Someone who doesn’t try to mess with my head.
Someone who doesn’t launch big surprises on me.
Someone who makes me feel safe.
Someone who tells me what they want, what they need.
Someone I can have long, intelligent discussions with.
Someone I can just be around, without the constant need for talking or interaction, just enjoying each other’s presence and company.
Someone who will tell me if I’m overreacting or making a fool of myself.
Someone who’ll talk out problems with me and not go to bed angry.
Someone I can comfort when they’ve had a bad day.
Someone who isn’t afraid to tell me how they feel, or to let me help them if they need a little support and guidance.
Someone who won’t laugh or get annoyed because I sometimes find seemingly little or normal things scary or upsetting.
Someone I can look after and someone who can look after me, without becoming dependant on each other.
Someone who understands that sometimes I just need to be alone.
Someone who doesn’t mind if I want to have a scruffy and/or lazy day.
Someone I can do little things for, just to make their day easier.
Someone whose friends I can share, and I can share my friends with.
Someone who will be honest with me, even if it means I may get a little upset, and someone I can always be honest with.
Someone I can teach things and someone who can teach me things.
Someone who won’t try to control me.
Someone who isn’t afraid to be perfect in their imperfection.
Someone with their own goals and dreams in life.
I want someone who doesn’t want to change me.
I want someone who feels they can always be themselves around me.
I want someone who isn’t afraid to disagree with me.
I want someone who will fight their own corner when they need to.
Someone who I can give back just as much to when they give to me.
Someone who can make their own decisions, but isn’t afraid to take advice.
Someone who can put themselves first when they need to.
Someone who knows I will always be behind them.
I think most of these line up pretty well with my kinks and general wants in a relationship. Like I said no-one’s ever gonna be perfect, but if they were, they’d be like this (for me, anyway). And again it’s not me saying that even if someone has a quality the complete opposite of what I’d ‘ideally’ want, that I wouldn’t go out with them, in the end I think a lot of it goes down to chemistry – you make surprise yourself with who you fall for. Or the ‘perfect’ person might just not do anything for you if you happen to find them, that kind of stuff is just too near-impossible to predict.
(I’ve also just had a moment of realisation that any FetLife links that I’ve previously posted can ONLY be accessed if you have a FetLife profile, sorry, totally slipped my mind to mention that somewhere).
Now BDSM covers a lot of aspects, but in order to be considered BDSM it stands to reasons that one of three aspects has to be present – B/D (bondage and discipline), S/M (sadism and masochism) or D/s (Dominance and submission). Anything that doesn’t fall into these three categories is considered non-kinky or ‘vanilla.’ However are non-kinky and vanilla really synonymous? Vanilla is often categorised as ‘boring,’ conjuring images of heterosexual sex in the missionary position with the lights off – but if Vanilla is simply sex not covered by BDSM, is it not possible to be kinky in its own right? Therein lies ‘vanilla kink,’ (or perhaps French Vanilla if you prefer). (There is also the argument that vanilla sex doesn’t include kink at all, regardless of whether it lies within the boundaries of BDSM – but I don’t see why this should be the case, as vanilla is often used as a term for people not into BDSM itself).
For example, does doing a bit of dressing up in the bedroom count as BDSM? Not really, unless the roles involve a Dominant and submissive character. Does anal play count? Not really – even a lot of toys that can be introduced into the bedroom don’t necessarily come under BDSM; butt plugs, dildoes, vibrators, vibrating eggs, anal beads, etc. Or what about foot fetishes? Hot oil massages? Trying out different sex positions? Pretty much anything in the Karma Sutra? Although all these will probably seem pretty vanilla to someone into BDSM, to others they definitely come under the category of kink – ergo, Vanilla Kink.
This really makes the Them vs Us argument present on BOTH sides pretty pointless. There isn’t always a clear cut line, it’s a continuum and a person can fall anywhere on it. What is kinky to some is vanilla to others and vice versa. As well as this, the ‘vanilla is boring’ argument also loses its credibility – although there’s not as many options as within BDSM, there certainly is a lot of room for variety.
Aside from overcoming stereotypes, this offers a middle ground between totally vanilla and hardcore kink. This is especially useful for people who want to spice things up in the bedroom but aren’t ready to venture into the world of BDSM just yet, or as a stepping-stone to BDSM – especially when introducing it to a nervous spouse. Kink doesn’t always mean painful, embarrassing, or anything else for that matter! It’s whatever YOU want and YOU need it to be.
What we need people to realise is that something that works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. What may seem tame to one may be way too extreme for others – but within and outside of BDSM, there’s always room for experimentation and variety. So why the stereotypes? Vanilla isn’t always boring and BDSM isn’t always extreme (not to say it can’t be ;P) – it all depends on the person and what they want out of it.
The whole argument seems a bit silly really.
Yesterday I wrote a new post, but pulled it back at the last minute. It was about whether D/s within BDSM was for me and how it annoyed me that people just assumed that almost everyone who knows you’re into BDSM assumes that you are. However after this very enlightening conversation, I took a step back and changed my stance a little – for the sake of clarity, here’s the original post:
BDSM is made up of many aspects, the three most general being B/D (bondage and discipline), S/M (sadism and masochism) and D/s (Dominance and submission). It seems widely accepted that of course, you don’t need to be into all three of these aspects, you may even only be into one, or only certain things within one group. There’s a lot of submissives who aren’t into pain and Dominants who aren’t huge on sadism. However it seems that if someone is into the S/M and B/D aspects, but not the D/s, quite a few look down on it, some even refuse to believe that someone isn’t into it.
The reason I bring this up is because of certain conclusions I’ve drawn about my own interests, or at least where they lay at this moment in time. I’m just not that into Dominance and submission. Sure I like my partner to take the lead and when they let me know what they want it’s great – but I don’t want to feel controlled. Really, I just don’t. Perhaps the word here is that I like to be guided rather than ordered. That’s not to say I don’t want to put effort in, quite the opposite – I’d want to know what it was my partner wanted so I could get to it right away and with gusto. And at the same time the idea of exploring things I’m a little nervous about with a loving and supportive partner is downright hot…but does that really equal submission? Is letting someone take the lead really the same as ceding over power? Perhaps I’m being pernickety, but it doesn’t feel the same. It doesn’t feel as though in that setting any power has been taken away from me, nor my ability to provide equal input in that setting. Maybe it’s the idea of protocols that puts me off rather than the D/s in general? I’m not sure, they can overlap quite a bit, but I’m not entirely sure that it’s just that.
After seeing so many people insist that everyone must be into D/s at least a bit, I tried pretty hard to convince myself that yes, I must be too. But I just wasn’t – I didn’t get excited by the prospect of feeling powerless, quite the opposite, I love to feel powerful. But that doesn’t make me Dominant either – I crave power over my own life and its course but I have no such desire for that kind of control over anyone else’s. For example, if my partner was constantly asking for my leave to do something or constantly wanting me to make decisions for them I’d quickly get irritated and start wishing that they’d just make their own damn mind up. Why can’t it be that? Why can’t two people strive for equal power within a relationship? Why does there always have to be imbalance? Yes, I agree that perfect balance is pretty much unachievable – but that doesn’t make we couldn’t strive for it.
I’ve heard submissives talk about their dream of completely submitting to their Dom, and I can only wish they one day achieve that goal. But is it strange that when I imagine myself, my absolute best self, I’m completely independent – always loving of friends and family, extremely so – but not at all dependant on them? And to want to be with someone similar? Or does that make me cold? When I’ve told people of this in the past they seem to think it would mean that I couldn’t really love someone because I didn’t exactly ‘need’ them to function – but how can that be true? My world won’t collapse if one of my friends decides to one day leave my life forever, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t miss them incredibly.
This wouldn’t be such an issue if people weren’t constantly trying to hoist a submissive or Dominant label on people in BDSM relationships – not everyone does, but there’s a huge number that believe that you must be one, or if you’re a switch, one during a particular scene. But why? I don’t see why sadism/masochism or bondage/masochism necessarily entails dominance or submission. I don’t understand why people purely into sensation play can sometimes be looked down on either – it’s just one way for people to express their kink. It doesn’t mean there can’t be an emotional aspect to their relationship – that’d be like saying vanilla couples don’t have an emotional aspect to their relationships either. In a community that strives for acceptable of all, this seems to be a prejudice which crops up fairly often – even outside the usual ‘twue way’ fanatacists. Again, it’s not everyone, but it’s a surprisingly high number of people – not people who necessarily say outright that it’s not BDSM without D/s, but those annoying people who insist that you just have to lean one way or the other.
But I’m sick of trying to convince myself that I am into D/s. The idea of being dominated doesn’t make me feel safe, excited or wanted – it makes me feel frightened, resentful and uncomfortable. Great if it works for others, but it’s just not for me.
P.S. I’d love some feedback on this – there are many types of D/s relationships and I’m having trouble with distinguishing if it’s the D/s itself or the idea of protocol that troubles me. Any thoughts or personal views on the subject?
However after the aforementioned conversation, I changed my mind a little. Rather than it being the D/s aspect, which I don’t mind to some extent (although I’ll never like extreme D/s to the point of an M/s relationship) it’s more the idea of protocol that I’m not fond on. I like to go with the flow, I don’t want to have to wait for permission to do something, add ‘Sir’ to the end of every sentence of follow a bunch of other little rules – apart from just being a total turn-off to me, I’d be too busy on focusing on following the rules to be able to properly relax and enjoy myself. Kneeling at your feet sometimes? That I don’t mind, but you want me to be down on my knees and staring at the floor everytime you walk in the room? Not gonna happen. Besides, it detracts from the variety; it constrains things within the parameters of the rules. I don’t like being told what to do, I like to offer my services – as one helpful person in the discussion said – I like to feel useful, not used.
I feel I’ve made a big step here to figuring out where my place is in it all, feeling very optimistic today.
Also thank you to be very helpful people who replied in the FetLife discussion 🙂
I also want to say that although I have met a lot of people who don’t accept a relationship involving BDSM without D/s, I may have just been unlucky to find so many and it may not be the case that such a large majority of people within BDSM are really against the idea. It’s certainly not everyone! (Hopefully I have just been unlucky, I don’t like to think that within such a community that’s so accepting, there’s too many people like this).