Sweaty Palms: The Pleasure in Mixing Fear With Sex

photo by Arha Detruit, courtesy of straightuplove.com

There’s a good chance I’m singing to the choir, since fear and sex are likely not new concepts to anyone who’s played with BDSM or any of its magical variations. As a kind visitor to this blog and a supporter of Go Deeper Press, you’re likely sex-positive, and, hey, that’s why we get along so well. So, understanding the roles and limits of BDSM, you know that when I say “fear,” I’m talking a certain type of anxiety that comes with consensually submitting to someone you trust. It’s that heavy heartbeat and cool sensation that runs up and down all the right parts of your body when you’re facing the wall, or on your knees with your eyes closed beneath the blindfold, per your dominant’s command. You’re left to wait and listen, praying that you know what’s coming next.

And you don’t always do, but there are little hints: the sounds of drawers opening, the clinking and scraping sounds of restraints getting ready for wrists or ankles, the sizzle of a cane sliding from its sheath. There’s the weight of the air when your dominant stands close, but you can’t feel them yet, not even the slightest of grazes. You’re left to wait, and so the anxiety, the best type of fear, builds with the excitement of this scene.

Even with all the safe words in place, with the pre-scene discussions, with all the talk about what you want and what they want—and oh! when these two lists match!—fear still plays its part. Or maybe it’s just me? I’m not quick to use a safe word, but that doesn’t mean I’m stubborn or stupid. I trust my partner entirely, and I’m typically more than ready to give her what she wants to take from me, the ways she wants to push and for how long. There’s nothing more satisfying, nothing sexier, than feeling pain that you wanted and negotiated run high toward your limits. And nothing is more satisfying than having a connection with a partner who intuitively knows when enough is enough, who can see and sense you stretched tight. That, for me, is what pleasure means. That’s when fear plays best in sex.

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