Blogs to do with spicing up your relationship, sexual fun, keeping the fire going in your relationship, increasing passion.

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Master Black Zeus

Master Black Zeus

Welcome to my virtual therapy room!  I am Dr Lori Beth Bisbey and this is Sex Spoken Here. Remember that this Vlog deals with adult themes so if you don’t have privacy you might wish to put on your headphones.

This is part 2 of my interview with Master Black Zeus.  Part one can be found on the A to Z of Sex podcast, Z is for Black Zeus.

I had the opportunity interview Master Black Zeus during Master Slave Conference 2018.  He is a community elder who entered the leather community in 1986 when he was mentored and introduced into the community by a gay leatherman who he rode motorcycles with.  Like many who engage in BDSM and/or are part of the leather community, he began his journey anonymously so as not to cause problems in his daily life.  He entered the public scene in 1997 by joining Black Rose and attending a number of classes and events.   He developed a website and began to host regular online educational events.  He is a member of MAsT Las Vegas and hosts the ISA Network video conferences.

We continued our conversation by talking about the differences between D/s and M/s relationships.   He talks about teaching power exchange (PE) versus total power exchange (TPE) and also talks about erotic power exchange which is solely for the erotic potential of the exchange.

We spoke about the models coming into BDSM, kink and leather.  We spoke about the fact that lots of things get eroticised because of the authority transfer.    So that some service activities become erotic because they are part of the service.

Master Black Zeus says that it is important to talk about more than kink when talking BDSM and that we are talking about relationship building.  He talked about the fact that there was a big thing made in his local community when they found out that he played with men.   He went on to say that being a dominant and a sadist, he can enjoy playing with people of all genders.   I point out that often times sexual orientation doesn’t enter into this because it is all about the dominance and submission, about the sadism and masochism and that means you can play with someone who is not of your usual preferred orientation or gender.

The conversation turned round to respect, relationships, consent and HIV.  We talked about sexual health and the importance of knowing about your sexual health status.  We spoke about the illusion that PREP means there is no epidemic anymore.  We spoke about all the other diseases that are around and how important regular sexual health screening is.

We finished by talking about what is important if you are going to engage in a BDSM lifestyle.   We talked about the fact that we all make mistakes and apologising and learning from mistakes is essential.  No one is perfect.

Thanks for joining me this week for Sex Spoken Here with Dr Lori Beth Bisbey.

Write to me with suggestions for the show, questions you want answered at drbisbey@the-intimacy-coach.com, follow me on twitter and instagram @drbisbey.

For a free 30 minute strategy session with me, go to https://the-intimacy-coach.com and head to the contact page and click the button that says Schedule Now!

I look forward to seeing you next week

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Consent in 2018

With the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the issue of consent has been shoved into the foreground of daily life again.

The conversations around consent on social media, in the mainstream media and on the street highlight to me that few people truly understand the topic and those who do, don’t necessarily believe that people have a right to refuse or withdraw consent.

Consent has always been a bit of a sticky topic.

I’ve spent the past 30 years working with individuals, couples and polyamorous groups to help them sort out relationship issues, fix sexual problems, and create intimate relationships that last. Despite an emphasis on the need for the ‘safe sex’ conversation before having sex since the late 1980’s, an overwhelming majority of couples still skip the conversation and rely on use of barriers (condoms, femidoms, gloves, dental dams).   Talking about sex with a lover or potential lover still remains an area that many people find too tough to manage.  Because of this, people often don’t get explicit sexual consent.

 

Thinking back, my first memory about consent though I didn’t realise it at the time was when I was 7 years old.  I had an aunt who suffered from schizophrenia.  She was always loud, had her lipstick drawn way outside her lips and smelled kind of funny.  I can clearly remember being told to go give her a kiss because she would feel bad if I didn’t.  Before I could agree to do so, she grabbed me and I remember being held tight and struggling to get free.    I have countless friends who tell similar stories and many friends who are parents who admit telling their children to go hug the smelly aunt for the same reason.

 

The concept of consent has changed a lot in the past 40 years.

When I started dating in the 1970’s, a lot of gaining consent was unspoken.   Often a man would touch a woman and see how she reacted in order to see if they had consent.  This was the cultural norm at the time.  Girls were still taught to ‘play hard to get’ so the only real way guys had of knowing what the girl wanted was to make an advance and see if ‘no’ became ‘yes’.   The sexual revolution was in progress so people were given conflicting messages.  If women were hip then they were supposed to have lots of sex but if they did decide to have lots of sex, they were branded as sluts.  There were girls that you had fun with and girls that you had relationships with.  The ones you had relationships with were the ones who played hard to get.  I remember being extremely confused.  I enjoyed sex but when I was honest about this, I was a slut. I wasn’t ever very good at playing hard to get because I didn’t lie well.

 

An article published in the Journal of Sexual Violence in November 2017, highlights that college men are really confused about gaining consent for sex.    It suggests that men don’t make a distinction between a woman expressing desire and a woman giving consent.  Essentially, to these men, an expression of desire equalled a green light to pursue sex.

 

When I think back to the examples of sexual consent in the media when I was entering the world of relationships, the first that comes to mind is Hans Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars.

He pursues her relentlessly and she refuses constantly.  In the end, he pushes her against the wall and kisses her as she is refusing again!  She melts and they form a great romance.    Harrison Ford goes on to force himself on multiple heroines in Blade Runner and all the Indiana Jones movies.  And all of the women melt (including me).   Except this isn’t consent, it is coercion.

The message for men is that women are turned on by this caveman approach and that eventually they will consent and melt.   This might be true but only when the man is as hot as Harrison Ford and the woman is already attracted to him.  And that’s the problem.    If Mary has told Art from accounting repeatedly and clearly that she doesn’t want to go out with him and is not interested in him at all sexually, she will not find him pushing her up against the wall and kissing her hot at all.   She will see this for what it is, a sexual assault.

It isn’t surprising that men feel the goal posts have moved repeatedly and that women are equally frustrated.

With the recent mounting allegations in so many arenas, the imbalance of power has been highlighted when talking about harassment.  If there is an imbalance of power, men are told that any suggestion of sexual activity can be seen as harassment.  When President Bill Clinton had a relationship with Monica Lewinsky, though both acknowledged that there was a power imbalance, Ms Lewinsky wrote in 2014 ‘Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: It was a consensual relationship.’  How are men supposed to walk through this minefield without getting blown up?  If someone takes advantage of you, how can that be consensual?  Would it not be more honest for her to say – ‘It was a consensual relationship’. and leave it at that?

People are still more likely to meet sexual and romantic partners in the workplace than anywhere else.

With the increasing confusion around consent, how can you express interest in a colleague without being perceived as harassing?  If you are his or her boss, don’t express sexual interest period. The power imbalance makes it very difficult navigate this type of relationship.  The person in the junior position will always have some concerns about whether refusing will change the work relationship with the boss and impact upon the job and promotion prospects.    You are best off hoping the person who works for you will express their interest and then you can accept their advances.  Although even this is not without risk.

If you are an equal or are the subordinate in the relationship, then you can express interest but I would suggest expressing it in as non-sexual a way as possible. Invite the person for a coffee instead of telling the person how sexy you find them.

What constitutes sexual consent?

Consent is when someone says ‘yes’.

This may seem obvious but many people confuse the lack of a ‘no’ for consent.  Silence does not mean yes.

You can only get consent from someone who is able to give consent.

People who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol may not be able to give consent.  It depends upon how altered their reasoning ability is whilst taking the drugs or alcohol. For example, if a person is so drunk that he cannot stand up and is blacking out, he cannot give consent. However, if a person is able to function and under the influence of alcohol, he can give consent even though he may not make the best decisions and he may regret it the next day.

Jeff and John met through a friend.  On their first date, they enjoyed two bottles of wine during dinner.  Jeff invited John up to his flat for a nightcap.   John said yes and they each had a glass of port.  John asked Jeff where the restroom was and when he stood up he said ‘I’m a bit buzzed’ and grinned.  When he came back from the restroom, they began kissing again.  Things heated up very quickly and Jeff asked John if he would like to have sex with him. John hesitated for a moment and then said ‘I don’t usually do this on a first date.  But yes, I would like to have sex with you.’    Many people in Jeff’s position would simply make sure there were condoms and lube handy and then go back to the foreplay.    After all, John has consented to sex and Jeff is really attracted to him.

For some people, John being buzzed and also stating that he doesn’t usually have sex on a first date would be enough to make them question whether the consent was valid.  Would John feel happy the next day about having gone against his own mores by having sex on the first date?  It’s possible that John would feel upset with himself but not with Jeff.  Equally, he could feel taken advantage of by Jeff as he could feel that once Jeff realised he was buzzed and he had stated that he doesn’t usually have sex on the first date, Jeff should have suggested that they wait until the next date.    To me, this situation is an ethical challenge. Is a person responsible for protecting their potential sexual partner from a potentially bad decision?   Perhaps but that also could feel extremely patronising.   How does someone know if it is a good or bad decision for another person? Or is it simply the case that when someone is buzzed or drunk and expressing hesitancy about having sex, no sexual activity should be pursued as they are not giving enthusiastic  or affirmative consent.

People who are suffering from mental illness may not be able to give consent.   This depends upon the person’s ability to comprehend what is being asked of her, her ability to comprehend the consequences of going through with what is being asked of her.  If she is not able to understand the potential consequences of having sexual intercourse with a man (like getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted infection), then she cannot give consent.

There is also arousal non-concordance.

Emily Nagoskiwrites about this extensively. Arousal non-concordance is when the body’s signals about the sexual value of something does not agree with the mind or emotion’s feelings about the sexual value of something.  For example, a man can have an erection randomly and it does not mean he wants to have sex with the person he is talking to at the time of the erection.  A woman can lubricate during a sexual activity and not be enjoying it at all. This happens frequently during sexual assaults and is one of the things that makes victims feel so guilty.  They think because there was physical arousal or even orgasm it equals enjoyment.  It does not.  Equally a woman can be very interested in sex and very turned on but not lubricating for a whole host of reasons.  This is why it is essential to listen to someone’s words about what they want rather than thinking that a body is telling the ‘true’ story.

Do you need consent for every single part of a sexual encounter?

Yes. However this does not need to kill the buzz.  In my experience, the best way to make this fun is to have a conversation before beginning. Talk about all the things you want to do with each other and get clear consent.  Talk about your fantasies and ask your partner what she would like to engage in. Ask your lover about her fantasies and what she would like to do.  Consent goes both ways.

Even when you have clear consent as you begin, your lover can still withdraw consent at any time.  For example, you talk about anal sex as part of your consent conversation over dinner and both of you agree that the idea is hot and you want to try it tonight.  You prepare well and use lots of lubrication but as you begin, your lover says it hurts too badly and asks you to stop.  You no longer have consent at this point and need to stop.

Consent is a dynamic process.

Pay attention to what your lover is saying, the emotion being communicated and body language.  If any of this seems at all hesitant or confused, check with your lover again. Ask if they like what you are doing and want you to continue.  When in doubt, listen to your partner’s words.

I still like the video published by the Thames Valley Police in the UK comparing consent to a cup of tea.   However, Cathy Young wrote a great piece that highlights the fact that consent isn’t this simple.  She highlights the fact that lots of definitions of assault now suggest that if someone is badgered until they give in and say yes this is still sexual assault.    She speaks about the current rape narratives in the media that become ‘I said no but he kept trying until I said yes’.  This is coercion.

Please note, I am not suggesting that you keep needling at someone until they finally give in.  That is coercion. But if you do that and I say yes, legally I have given consent.   The idea that if you have to convince me, I have not given consent is dead wrong.  If you convince me to say yes, then I have given consent.   I can change my mind and say no in the middle of things and then you have to stop what you are doing.  When I say no, I have withdrawn consent.  If I say yes because I don’t want to hurt your feelings, that is consent.  As long as I am free to refuse without risking some actual harm (like being beaten, killed, losing my job, my family being harmed), it is consent.   It’s up to me to gather the strength to refuse.

A good portion of the continued confusion about consent arises because in many places women are still objectified.

Men who objectify women don’t understand appropriate boundaries.  They ignore the woman’s role in the workplace and instead see her only or primary role as being a sexual object for a man.  When a man views a woman as purely a sexual object, it is not a big step for him to believe that she should be a sexual object for him.

The current narrative in the media seems to suggest that men fall into two categories:  abusers or not good enough allies.  Few men are depicted as good allies to women.  This is a thorny topic and often ends up making men feel that they can do no right.   The thing is, we all make mistakes.  In my conversation about consent with Kitty Stryker, one of the things she highlighted as being important is there being away for people who have violated consent to apologise and make amends and be accepted back into the community at large.  We were talking particularly about the BDSM community, but we also agreed that this applies when talking about sexual harassment as well.  Clearly if someone rapes a woman, a simple apology and promise not to do this again will not be enough. If someone harasses a woman in the work place, there ought to be a way back into the workplace community. If we do not start providing ways back in when people make mistakes and we continue to focus on blame, things will remain fractured and the divide between men and women will increase.

How do we begin to repair the divide?

To start, we open the conversation.  We admit that all of us fail to get consent at times.  Have you ever given someone a hug without asking and felt their discomfort?  Did you tell your child to go hug Aunt Jane so she wouldn’t feel hurt?  We take responsibility for our part in this dynamic.  Have you played hard to get or have you ignored a woman’s ‘no’?

Then, we express a willingness to teach and learn about consent, to look at the concept not only as a means to an end (How do I get her to f**k me?) but also as a part of how we connect with each other, the dynamic between us.

Finally, we work on how to create real tangible ways to heal breaches of consent instead of focusing solely on blame so that our relationships heal and we move forward into positive relationships in the workplace, social spaces and the wider community.

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Polyamory in Authority Transfer Based Relationships

I have written about polyamorous D/s relationships in the past.  Recently, in a mentoring session with the head of the leather household, House of Trei, Choc Trei, polyamory in a full Master/slave or Owner/property authority transfer based relationship came up as part of a discussion of their House tour.  The discussion raised new points and led to me re-examining the many types relationship style that people who are in an authority based relationship might adopt.

As a refresher, authority transfer based relationships are ones in which one person is definitely the leader and the other is the follower.

These are consensual relationships in which the person who is in the subordinate role, surrenders part or all of their autonomy by surrendering authority over part or all of themselves and their lives to the one who is in the dominant role so that the dominant is the one who makes the decisions or has the final say.

There are a number of different flavours of authority transfer based consensual relationships  The most common are:

D/s (Dominant/submissive) In D/s relationships, the submissive gives the Dominant partner limited authority over themselves and over their lives.   They negotiate the areas of service and of authority transfer.

M/s (Master/slave)  In M/s relationships, the slave surrenders authority over themselves and their lives to the Master.  This is a full transfer of authority as opposed to in D/s.

O/p (Owner/property) In O/p relationships, the Owner has full authority over the property just as in M/s.

However, as with most definitions, these tend to evolve so YMMV.

How does this intersect with non-monogamy?

Many people who practice non-monogamy, particularly those who identify as practicing polyamory dislike the idea of hierarchical relationships.  They eschew the previous common polyamorous structure that had one relationship identified as a primary relationship and others as secondary, tertiary and so on.    They feel that no relationship should be more important than another, no person taking precedence over another, all relationships be seen as and treated as equal.

In practice, equal is truly the wrong term.

While relationships may be treated equally in mind and heart – be equal in value, in day to day life, equal is very difficult if not impossible to achieve.  Equal means to be the be the same in degree, size or quantity.   Attempting to create equality of time alone can be a challenge.

When one of the relationships is a hierarchical one as all authority transfer based relationships are, equal becomes difficult at best and impossible at worst.

If the authority transfer based relationship is a D/s one, it is possible to create equal other polyamorous relationships as both parties retain at least some agency.  However, if it is an M/s or O/p relationship, equal other relationships are not truly possible.

Why is this so?  In surrendering authority, the submissive also surrenders agency.  Some agency is usually returned except in the most restrictive and micro-managed M/s relationships where the Master controls every aspect of the slave’s live.    But even though the subordinate regains some agency, the ultimate decision maker is person in charge.  They can allow the subordinate to have other romantic and/or sexual relationships and they also have the authority to end these relationships.

Full polyamory requires full agency.

As the slave does not have the agency to create the relationship without permission, to define the parameters of the relationship, or to choose if the relationship is to continue or to end, then it is not polyamory as such.

Therefore what is it? It is consensual non-monogamy that is taking its form from the hierarchical authority transfer based relationship.

Choc Trei calls this ‘loaning’ as the Owner/Master/Mistress is the party with the agency to begin the second relationship, negotiate it’s parameters and to end it.    In discussing this, she used the example of a car.  Two people can purchase a car together, share the use of it, the maintenance of it and both names are on the title (registration document).    This is polyamory – with two people each having a relationship with a separate third person.  In the car analogy, both people have agency to use the vehicle as they see fit as they both own part of it.  In the polyamory example, the separate relationships can take any form as all parties have agency over the relationship (which is the car).

However, when there is an M/s or O/p relationship, the car analogy becomes one person (the M/O) purchases the car, takes responsibility for maintenance of it, uses it and that person’s name is on the title (registration document). The owner of the car can choose to lend it to another person.  The owner would define the terms of the loan.  For example, don’t take the car over state lines, don’t use cheap petrol, wash the car every week.  In addition, the owner could end the loan for any reason.  For example, the person who borrows the car uses the wrong petrol or simply the owner has need of the car.   More or less agency can be awarded when making a loan of property, but the final decision point is always the Owner.

The Owner sets the tone for all other relationships that their property has whether these relationships are sexual, romantic and sexual, friendships, business or family relationships. The Owner can award more or less agency to their property to create and maintain relationships but the owner has the final say.

People often believe that this relationship structure is overly complicated.

In my experience, it depends wholly on the tone set by the dominant partner.  Some Owners love to micro manage and sometimes that means that any other relationships can become complicated as permissions and negotiations happen on a regular basis.   Other Owners give significant agency and freedom to their property which tends to mean that other relationships are less complicated.

Jarrod and Seth are in an authority transfer based relationship. Jarrod sees himself as a benevolent Owner.  Seth has always been able to have casual sexual liaisons with minimal interference.  Jarrod requires Seth to ask first and to make clever choices.   ‘Clever choices’ means to choose people who won’t bring any drama into their relationship.  Jarrod does not ask to meet most of the people Seth becomes involved with as he feels no need.   

When Seth meets Angelo, the connection is extremely intense. Seth asks Jarrod for permission to have sex with Angelo and Jarrod grants this.   Seth realises that he wants an actual relationship with Angelo and brings this to Jarrod.    Jarrod sits down with Seth to discuss what kind of relationship he would like to have with Angelo and after this discussion, asks to meet Angelo so they can negotiate the terms of the relationship and discuss the rules. 

Jarrod likes Angelo immediately upon meeting him.  He explains to Angelo that he is happy for him to start a relationship with Seth, his property, with certain rules in place. Rule number 1 is Angelo is always to be available to him (Jarrod) when needed.  Jarrod tells Angelo that he will do his best to respect their time together, but reiterates that if he needs Seth, his need will come before Angelo’s needs or desires.  Jarrod goes on to say that if he becomes concerned about the relationship between Seth and Angelo and his concerns cannot be resolved, he (Jarrod) will end the relationship between them.   The rest of the rules include safe sex only, no group scenes, no cuts or skin breaks of any kind and no permanent marks.  Angelo agrees to these rules and pursues his relationship with Seth. 

After 6 months, the relationship between Angelo and Seth is still going strong.  Angelo tells Seth that he has fallen in love with him.  He becomes uncomfortable with Jarrod having the final say over their relationship.  He wants to their relationship to be completely autonomous and resents that Jarrod has some say over their relationship even though Jarrod doesn’t interfere and never has interfered.  At first, Angelo urges Seth to address this with Jarrod.  Seth refuses and says that Angelo must have this conversation.  Seth tells Angelo that he does not want to change his relationship with Jarrod.    Angelo is upset by this but decides to talk with Jarrod about changing the rules anyway.   The conversation doesn’t go well and the relationship between Seth and Angelo ends.

In that example, the intensity of the relationship between the property and the outside person changed and this lead the relationship ending as the other person would no longer respect the rules set by the Owner.  I see this type of situation in my consulting room regularly either because Owner and property come in to make sense of the drama that has entered their relationship or because the outside person comes because they are not happy having a relationship that is not completely autonomous.  This type of situation can often be avoided if all parties are clear at the outset as to what the relationship possibilities are and what kind of parameters will be put into place.

I often see people who are in an M/s or O/p relationship and want to have other M/s or D/s relationships. In these relationships, the negotiation can be easier as all parties understand authority based relationships. It can also be more complicated while people try to figure out who is ultimately in charge of whom.     Short term encounters are mostly easily managed.  It is the longer term relationships that require the most care and attention to negotiate.

For people whose primary sexual orientation is dominance or submission, it is not unusual for most of their romantic relationships and sexual encounters to have at least an element of dominance/submission.

Though many of my romantic relationships are not D/s, almost all of my sexual relationships involve submission as this is my primary orientation.  My husband and I are in an M/s relationship and so he has the last word on any other relationships that I become involved in. He gives me lots of agency to form relationships and does not micromanage any of these relationships.  He has only a few rules and is laid back as long as these rules are adhered to.  Everyone I become involved with is well aware of the hierarchy before they get involved with me.    People who only want egalitarian polyamorous relationships don’t usually get involved with me because I am in a hierarchical relationship.

The trend to denigrate all hierarchical non-monogamous relationships works to exclude many people who choose authority transfer based relationships as part of their relationship structure.

By their nature, authority based relationships are hierarchical and this does impact upon non-hierarchical relationships that a person has as well.  It doesn’t always mean that the authority based relationship is creating and controlling the hierarchy but often this is the case.

Are you in an authority based relationship and non-monogamous?  If you would like help creating a structure that works well or managing the issues that arise out of the relationship structure, sign up for a 30 minute free discovery session with me on my contact page.  If you want to learn more about authority based relationships, check out my online course here.

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How Erotic Love Making Can Bring the Heat Back to Your Relationship

How Erotic Love Making Can Bring the Heat Back to Your Relationship

Rough sex has become more and more trendy over the past five to ten years.  There’s been lots of emphasis on spicing things up in a relationship by become rougher, trying things like spanking and flogging, and engaging in power exchange.  Rough sex can be really hot and can certainly spice up your relationship but it is not the only way to do so.     Erotic love making is another approach.

The hottest, most exciting and most enduring sexual relationships include a good variety of approaches to sex.

Erotic love making is one that isn’t often talked about.  Perhaps this is because people feel that being erotic is easy and that other approaches are more foreign and so more difficult.  But being truly erotic takes significant skill.  At its heart, erotic lovemaking requires patience, flexibility, connection, focus and the ability to be fully present (mindful) during love making.

Let’s start with a definition of love making.

The distinction between love making and sex is important.  Love making involves mutuality.  The idea is that both of you are fully involved and gaining pleasure from the physicality.  Sex isn’t driven by mutuality.  There may be some but the driving force is more selfishly focused.  In love making, the divide between the self and the other dissolves, if only temporarily.  Two become one.  In sex, this divide continues to exist.  Erotic love making looks at uniting where sex does not necessarily.  Sex can look more at objectifying or possessing.

Erotic Love Making

I am not denigrating the value, importance and sheer pleasure of sex.

I am making a distinction between love making and sex and suggesting that it is wonderful to be able to enjoy both.  In love making you surrender yourself to the other and get lost in each other. It is reciprocal.  In sex, you might surrender or you might take control.

Erotic is defined as sensual, seeking to arouse sexual desire and pleasure.

Erotic love making in this context is love making that is ignited slowly from the sensual, seeking to arouse further desire and pleasure until full desire blossoms.    With erotic love making, physical and emotional intimacy combine until you no longer feel separate.  Energy moves back and forth between you until you no longer know where you end and your lover begins.  For some, this experience becomes a spiritual one.  Others focus on the emotional aspects and talk about how close this type of love making causes them to feel with their partner and still others focus on the raw physicality, the amazing sexual pleasure.

Robert lay next to Annie waiting for his breath to return to normal.  After a few minutes, he fell asleep.  Annie sighed, got out of bed and headed for the loo.   When she got back to bed, she took out her favourite clitoral stimulator, fired it up until she was alight with pleasure.  She was so engrossed in her orgasm she didn’t notice Robert had woken up.  In the morning, Robert brought her coffee in bed and said, ‘I woke up when you were playing with yourself last night.  I know I get off quickly, but I didn’t realise that I left you hanging.’  Annie started to tell him it was no big deal and then stopped.  ‘You did.  I enjoy sex with you but you don’t often last long enough for me to come.’  She looked away quickly, expecting Robert to be angry.  When he didn’t shout, she looked back and noticed how sad he looked.  ‘I’m sorry Annie.  I’ll see if there is anything I can do to slow down.’  Robert telephoned for coaching the following day.

There are as many ways to engage in erotic love making as there are people.

Approaches and styles differ but the end results are the same: intensely delicious love making.     The best erotic love making includes some common elements.  Mastering these elements will create all-consuming, distance dissolving intimacy.

  • Know Yourself.

  • I say this a lot when talking about creating great sex.    The better you know yourself, the easier it is to connect sexual with your lover and make sure that both of you are fully, deliciously satisfied.    If you have sexual problems or issues, attend to these.  Learn what really turns you on, what kind of touch you like, where your limits are.  Robert did some research and decided to study Mantak Chia’s methods of orgasm control.  He found these methods worked well for him and he was able to use these methods along with sex & intimacy coaching to resolve the issues that caused his pre-mature ejaculation and to create new skills that allowed him to fully connect with Annie.
  • Create protected time and space.

  • Erotic love making requires plenty of time and a safe comfortable appealing space.   This is not a time to multi-task.  Turn off the phone, the email, unhook and unplug.   Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door.  Make sure the kids are looked after by family, friends or a baby sitter.  Lock the door.  Do what you need to do so that you won’t be interrupted.  If being at home is too tempting, check into a hotel or a b&b or head to the woods with your tent or to an RV/motorhome/caravan site.   Lots of people find it hard to unplug completely when they are at home.  You can change this but it is a hard habit to break so it is worth starting away from home.   Once you have created some positive habits, it will be easier to squash the negative ones at home.    Making the space appealing can be as simple as tidying up the bedroom and as complex as using special sheets (silk perhaps), scented candles, your favourite grooves.
  • Erotic Love Making
  • Start with seduction.

  • There is nothing like a slow seduction.  Take your time, appeal to all of your lover’s senses, start with light touch and move to firmer touch.  Try an old fashioned strip tease.  (No seriously – here is an old fashioned one.) Pay attention to how the heat is building between you both.Erotic Love Making
  • Observe closely until you can no longer do so.

  • The more you observe, the more you will notice the things you do that work the best, the things that impact your lover the most.  Do this until you can no longer concentrate because you are so immersed in your feelings and sensations.
  • Approach and retreat from orgasm in order to build the intensity.

  • As you move towards orgasm, back off a bit and then build again.  Do this until you can no longer stand it and have to surrender to the orgasm.

Erotic love making will rekindle even the most banked flames between you.  It is a wonderful way to renew your sexual connection and develop and deepen intimacy.  Interest in learning more?  Email me or book a free 30 minute discovery session with me.

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Turning Pain Into Pleasure: From OUCH To Oooooo…

For most kinky sex and BDSM beginning bottoms, pain is not an instant turn on.  You may have read plenty of articles waxing lyrical about how hot pain is and how many stratospheric orgasms you can have if the beating is just right… but the first time that hand, paddle or flogger comes down on your ass all you feel is ‘ouch’. Most of the time, no one teaches you about turning pain into pleasure. Consequently, the fear of the ouch, causes many people rule any pain out.

Jane was one of those people.  She started by saying ‘I don’t do pain’ and told the tops she was playing with and the dominants she was starting relationships this each time.  Because she was a submissive, she was willing to take some pain and discomfort in order to please her dominant. Then she met Aaron.  Aaron was a tall drink of water, about 6 foot 2 and slender.  He had a rich deep voice and soulful brown eyes with long lashes.  She thought she would do anything to listen to him for a bit longer.  Aaron and Jane agreed to use ‘red’ as a safeword.  But he asked Jane to trust him and use ‘yellow’ to tell him that she was close to calling telling him it was too much and give him a chance to push her a bit more.   They negotiated a spanking.  Jane had never managed to last more than a couple of minutes in a spanking before calling safe.    Aaron started slow, with lighter spanks all over her bottom.  Jane felt her body heating up.  She was turned on already.

Sweet Spot Spanking

Aaron knew the first rule of turning pain into pleasure: Start slow.

Starting slowly to give your body time to warm up and then to heat up.  As you get excited, your body will begin to release all the chemicals that make you sing.  If you are a bit frightened, your body will release some adrenalin too which will add to the intensity. Once Aaron could see that Jane was enjoying herself, he increased the intensity of his spanks but not the speed.  Now the pain began to bite in just a bit.

 

Aaron talked Jane through the bite with the second rule of turning pain into pleasure: Breathe into the pain.

Pulling away from pain intensifies the negative sensation.  Breathing into it allows it to wash over you and transform.  This can take some practice.    Most of the time people hold their breath when something painful is going on.  Unfortunately, all this does is intensify the pain and make the experience longer.   Deep breathing helps you to relax your muscles.   Deep breathing doesn’t make the pain go away, it changes the way we perceive pain which is how we can change pain into pleasure.  Deep breathing techniques can be found in many places.  Here’s one that I like which is combined with meditation and mindfulness.  Practicing these techniques when you are not experiencing pain will help you use them when you are experiencing pain.

 

Aaron began to spank Jane harder and focused on the ‘sweet spot’ lifting her bottom up with each spank.  This brought into play the third rule: Focus on the places where there is already likely to be a mix of nerve signals for pleasure and pain.  The sweet spot is the bottom of the bum rolling into the top of the thigh.  The pain and pleasure signals here can become more easily crossed.   To Jane’s surprise, her heat had increased.   The theory is that this area is fed by the same nerve group that feeds the genitals and this is why the sensations mix more easily.

 

Aaron ran his hands all over her body, stroking her nipples, lightly using his nails.   This is the fourth rule to turn ouch into ooooo: Vary the touch to include arousing sensual touch.  Varying the strokes during a spanking or a beating will quickly increase the level of arousal.   The higher the level of arousal the more quickly ouch moves to ooo.

Aaron pressed into Jane and she could feel his erection.  She let out a deep moan.  He whispered in her ear ’Take 10 more for me and we will count them.   The last 5 will be the hardest’.  Jane agreed and got ready to count.

Ouch to Oooo

The fifth rule of moving ouch to ooo: Prepare the person for the ‘worst’ of the pain and let them know how much more they need to bear.  By doing this, the bottom feels a great sense of accomplishment when they make it to the end of the spanking.   By this point, endorphins should be flooding their bodies making the ouch feel delicious.

A few more tips for turning pain into pleasure:

Rhythm is important:  Pain is easier to manage when there is a good rhythm.  When strikes are haphazard and the person receiving the strikes cannot sink into a rhythm, it is harder to manage the pain and the pain can feel more intense.

Pain perception changes depending on the day.  Our pain perception changes as our emotions do.  Some days physical pain is more intense than others.  Women who have their pubic hair waxed can attest to this – just before a period pain can increase intensely.  Emotional stress can also change pain perception.

Pain perception is different depending upon the body part. 

Anyone who has tattoos knows this is true.  Pain is more intense in areas of the body with more nerve endings.

Most people find certain types of pain easier than others.   Thud feels really different from sting and most people have at least a minor preference.  Trying out different types of pain will help you to determine what works best for you.

Jane’s relationship with Aaron only lasted a few months but those few months changed her life.  Now when a new partner asks her if she enjoys pain, Jane purrs ‘yessss’.

Any questions for your relationship about keys for turning pain into pleasure? Email me drbisbey@the-intimacy-coach.com.    Check out all of the fantastic articles on this blogfest #kinkysextips https://vivayourrevolution.com/kinky-sex-tips-blogfest17/

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When Pain Turns You On…

Miranda was experimenting with her first girlfriend when she realized that pain turned her on.

Her girlfriend bit her in the heat of passion and it was an instant orgasm.  At first she felt confused by this and then she felt ashamed.    Wasn’t pain supposed to turn you off?

When Pain Turns You On

According to current statistics, 1 in 10 people has tried BDSM at least once.  This suggests that pain turns people on far more than expected.   Biologically, pain is more related to pleasure than one might think.   A variety of chemicals are released in the brain in response to pain messages.  Endorphins are the ones that most people are familiar with.  These are the body’s natural opiates.  Anandamide is known as the bliss chemical and binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.  It blocks pain signals and brings on a warm, fuzzy feeling just like cannabis when it binds to the same receptors.  Adrenalin is also released and the raised heart rate adds to the feeling of excitement.

People who gain sexual pleasure from some types of pain are called masochists.  If you are a masochist, you will find that pain turns you on when it is part of a sexual and intimate experience.  Masochists do not find stubbing a toe exciting.  That pain just hurts.  It is the pain that is deliberately produced as part of an intimate activity that becomes pleasurable.

When Pain Turns You On

The pain is not simply turned into pleasure as some people have described.  The masochist feels the pain and is also turned on by the pain.  People talk about transmuting pain into pleasure.    If you are finding this hard to grasp, the easiest example is that of the serious professional athlete who practices and exercises until her body starts to signal injury or overexertion with pain.  If the person pushes on, she will begin to experience feelings of euphoria.  This has become known as a ‘runner’s high’. Masochists have the same experience during different types of sexual activity.  They seek out the pain which then turns into intense pleasure.  It goes beyond seeking an intense orgasm.  Many people seek out catharsis as well.

Barry Komisaruk from Rutgers University has done lots of fMRI research on pain and pleasure.  He has found a link between the pain pathways and the orgasm pathways in the brain.  He also points out that facial expressions made during orgasm are similar to those when people are in pain.

Even knowing that pain and pleasure are mingled in our biology sometimes does not diminish the shame people feel when they discover that pain turns them on.

You may feel when pain turns you on that there is something wrong with you.    The shame can add to the turn on for some people but for many others makes it impossible to enjoy feeling turned on.

Jan noticed she enjoyed pain when she was 14 years old.  Her boyfriend held her down while they were having sex and instead of being outraged, she had an intense orgasm.  Initially, she didn’t worry about this connection between pain and orgasm.  It was only after she told a couple of boyfriends who reacted with disgust that she began to feel intense shame around her desires.  After years of fantasizing about pain instead of being in safe and consensual relationships where pain was an integral part of the sex, she finally decided to seek some professional help.  Jan said she was tired of only feeling like sex was lukewarm.

After a few months of personal work, Jan was able to approach her desires with acceptance.  She began to date men who shared her interests and met Burt after a few months of dating.  They enjoy a committed relationship that includes lots of satisfying sex.

When pain turns you on you need to be careful about who you decide to share this with and how you decide to bring pain into your sexual life.  There is more danger associated with sex that involves masochism than there is in other types of sexual relationships.    Before agreeing to sexual activities that include pain and higher levels of physical risk, make sure that you fully trust the person you are inviting into your sexual world.  Take the time to negotiate the types of activities you wish to engage in, your boundaries (including hard limits and safe words).

Start gradually and take the time to talk about the experience afterward.  If the person you are engaging with is not staying the night with you after the experience, make sure that you have support available to you in case your reaction is not entirely positive.  With those precautions dealt with, relax and enjoy the experience.

If you want some help exploring how/why pain turns you on, schedule a free discovery session with me here.

Join me for my teleseminar with Lisa Steadman on 23rd August.   4 Secrets for Arousing and Igniting your Authentic Sexual Self.