As this book might seem overwhelming to a beginner, I want to suggest four different exercises to approach the fundamental themes of sadomasochism. Each activity takes about one to three hours, and I recommend that you take time to evaluate your experience afterwards. I suggest you use the concept of ‘a frame’ described in the previous chapter before beginning these exercises.
The theme of the first exercise is bondage. The active person binds the passive one. In order to avoid potential confusions involving rope tying skills, I often suggest using cling film plastic wrap available at any supermarket. The active partner binds the passive one (in this case it better to use these terms as opposed to dominant and submissive) and stimulates their senses through touch.
If using cling film, wrap them into a mummy (receivers can keep their bra or underwear if desired), avoiding the face as well as leaving exposed any body parts the active one wishes to later stimulate. Have a pair of scissors nearby for when you remove the film (you’re likely to have tailor’s scissors, with upturned edges so be slow and careful when hooking them under the plastic).
This exercise focuses on the experience of the passive person who is encouraged to surrender to their senses. The active person provides the container for this. Be sure to take it slow and make the bondage into a meditative mini ritual which lasts at least half an hour. The passive person’s experience may be deepened by using a blindfold. Any physical stimulation can be anything previously agreed upon, from sexual teasing to calming massage. I suggest avoiding pain, as you get to play with that in the next sadomasochistic exercise. Once the receiver is freed, make sure they drink water and eat something sweet, as bondage, especially in a sweat-inducing plastic wrap, is harder on the body than many realise.
Secondly, Physical Domination and Submission
The next theme is physical domination and submission. Here, you engage in a playful wrestling match in which the winner gets to take their pleasure from the loser. The outer limits of the prizes the winner takes are discussed beforehand during the framing of the session. It can be anything from just feeling them out to sexual intercourse. You can explore switching here; that means not having pre-decided roles in the sadomasochistic play. Or you can decide who wins and look at the wrestling more as foreplay.
This kind of play touches upon consensual non-consent because there will probably be playful struggling and fighting. That means that sometimes the body language will say ‘no’ as a part of the play, so you must rely on your verbal exit strategy (safeword) as a card to be played if needed. Exploring physical domination and submission will help you develop non-verbal communication, where you make little check-ins to ensure that everything is still okay. A fundamental difference between this and the bondage exercise is – now the focus is more on the active person’s pleasure because that is what they’ll take when they ‘win’.
Thirdly, Sadism and Masochism
The third exercise which explores sadism and masochism is the classic spanking. You can use both your hand and some tools. The tools can be very professional, like a whip or flogger, or just whatever you have at home, like a belt or a wooden spoon. The receiving person stands on all fours or lies over the lap of the giving person. The best place to give the spanking is on the buttocks because they are meaty, and there is little risk that anything goes wrong. If you build up slowly, it will likely be an enjoyable sensation, even for the most inexperienced. Alternate between spanking and sensually stroking.
The golden key here is to synchronise spanking with the receiver’s breathing. Land each spank as the receiving partner is about to breathe out, then stroke gently while breathing in. Encourage them to breathe slowly – in through the nose and out through the mouth – to calm down the nervous system. If the receiver is familiar with esoteric energy work, they can visualise each stroke as a wave of kundalini energy travelling up through the spine. Move, shake, make sounds, and work together to avoid tensing up. Always start the spanking with the hand; this gives the greatest tactile feedback. Later you can try switching to a tool if you need more impact power. For the receiver, the pain should be an even challenge, so only apply more force when the pain tolerance increases.
Finally, Mental Domination and Submission
The final theme is mental domination and submission, the opposite of the physical wrestling exercise. Here the dominant partner will focus on their pleasure and give orders to the submissive. The key is to be detailed and progress slowly so you can enjoy every little bit of your partner’s attention. You can, for example, decide what clothes they wear, what food they serve and how they interact with you sexually. Start the exercise with a little ritual to establish the power dynamic. You can, for example, prepare the room with candles and suiting music and then have the submissive wait kneeling to kiss your hand as you approach.
It is essential to give positive feedback whenever possible; you can use expressions like ‘good boy’ or show them using your body language. For the submissive to let go deeply, they must be able to trust that the dominant takes responsibility for their own satisfaction. Otherwise, the serving partner might end up thinking.
Am I doing a good job now? AM I DOING A GOOD JOB NOW?!?!!!
You can also agree on a punishment if the dominant partner is unsatisfied. For example, you can have ‘a stupid corner’ where the submissive sits in to reflect on their behaviour. To ramp up the punishment you can have them kneel on a few grains of unboiled rice, for example, but remember a sense of playfulness and exploration – this is not an exercise in masochism.
As you might have noticed, the first and third exercises focus more on the experience of the submissive, while the second and fourth exercises focus on the dominant. Explore all spectrums to see what aspects you enjoy. Explore, keep your partner’s best interests at heart – and enjoy.