Prior to now, all of the Internet memes we participate in have been exclusive to sex bloggers. Scavenger Hunt, Sinful Sunday, Kink of the Week, and Wicked Wednesday are the prime examples, but that list would also include the past Feb Photo Fest, Boobies & Bondage Across America, Boobday, and TMI Tuesday, among others.
For the month of April, we’ll be joining in on a little bit different meme, Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The concept is pretty simple, there are 26 letters of the alphabet, and 26 days in April without counting Sundays (which are Sinful anyway!) Here’s the background of the concept, for those who are interested:
It all began with my post from Saturday March 27, 2010 when I set forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April. Can you post every day except Sundays during this month? And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?
Most of the time if you subtract Sundays from April, you then have 26 days–one day for each letter of the alphabet. When April 1st lands on a Sunday you begin on that day which will be the only Sunday you would post during that month’s challenge.
Using this premise, you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself. The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.
Most of you are probably familiar with Sue Grafton and her best selling series of detective novels known as the “Alphabet Series” that started in 1982 with “A” Is For Alibi up to her most recent “V” Is For Vengeance“. She has made a franchise with the series and there have been other authors who have taken similar approaches. This Blogging From A to Z Challenge will be in the same vein.
I can’t take credit for finding this meme, proper acknowledgement of my sources will require a nod to alluring Catherine “Sassy Cat” Martinique and her You Won’t Tame This Sassy Cat blog. I was there commenting on this week’s Wicked Wednesday post, when I saw a banner in her sidebar about the A to Z Challenge. I knew almost immediately that Serafina and I would need to participate.
If you are a fellow sex blogger and you’d like to join in on the fun, make sure to register with the symbol “(AC) ” at the end of your blog’s title, it’s one of the contest’s few stringent rules. We are participant number 1652. While I was writing this post another participant added their name to the list.
So, there are lots of folks taking part, and there’s still at least a little time left to to register. There are some nice banners to go along with the challenge, as well as a calendar to make coordinating posts that begin with the proper letter very easy.
Do you enjoy heavy breathing, screaming, panting, groaning, moaning, or any of the other sounds and love cries many people make during sex?
Maybe you associate certain sounds (or music) with arousal and sexual excitement?
If you do (and I honestly think there’s a little bit of this in most all of us) than you just might be an acousticophile.
Simply said, an acousticophile is a person who is aroused by sounds. Acousticophilia is said to be an uncommon form of sexual paraphilia, yet I see a little bit of it everywhere.
The sound that causes your excitement can be most anything, from a specific type of music to the sound of a thunderstorm, or perhaps a babbling brook.
Maybe hearing spoken love poems makes you wet, or it could be that the sound of verbal abuse gets everything all revved up. Perhaps it’s your lover giving you directions, or barking commands, that trips your triggers. It might even be a particular accent, or a special foreign language.
It doesn’t really matter what noise it actually is that makes you swoon, if there are sounds that make you aroused, then you have at least a mild form of acousticophilia.
The sounds of lovemaking stimulate both partners during lovemaking, they can be as effective as the spoken word at communicating pleasure. I do feel a very primal response when I hear coos and moans from my Serafina. And, it should be noted that I’m not alone, the sound of a woman having sex is an almost certain attractant to the average heterosexual male.
And, that response really does seem to indicate that there’s a bit of an acousticophile in all of us. In fact, it’s the belief of some scientists, that the male human animal is hard-wired for the response to a female’s love cries. So, it’s no great surprise that the highly adaptive human mind finds other noises to be attractive too.
Whether it’s the sound of love cries, music, or the sound of commands barked like a drill sergeant, there’s no doubt that a wide array of noises is a very real part of exploring the joy of kink.
As I continue the Blogging from “A” to “Z” Challenge, I do want to provide some balance in my look at the joys of kink from “A” to “Z”. Yesterday’s topic was a “soft” topic.
Acousticophilia isn’t particularly edgy. I don’t believe a discussion centered on the acousticophile in all of us will cause any potential distress for readers.
Right up front, I should say that’s not necessarily true for today’s topic. Bastinado is a very real form of punishment and torture, and I don’t just mean in the BDSM dungeon.
As with many things BDSM, bastinado has it’s roots in the real world. And, there’s no denying that it’s a particularly cruel form of torture when used with malice.
Our bodies were built to move around on our feet, so foot pain is particularly inescapable for prisoners forced into continual barefoot locomotion. Bastinado is the “energizer bunny of torture” under those circumstances – it keeps going and going and going . . .
It could be said that our feet are a particularly sensitive issue for many of us anyway, even without the mention of foot torture. Anyone who has suffered foot pain knows that the sensitivity is literally true, our feet are particularly prone to the kind of pain even masochists don’t enjoy.
Foot pain is a part of human existence it seems, second only to back pain in common maladies reported to doctors. And bastinado is very much designed to make that problem worse.
bastinado then and now
Bastinado is a form of corporal punishment where the soles of a person’s bare feet are beaten again and again with an implement. The actual blows are usually delivered with an tool such as a cane, rod, riding crop, truncheon, leather strap(s), rubber strap or bat, or electric cord.
The documented history of bastinado goes back more than 1000 years, and it’s been employed by repressive regimes like the Nazi’s and the Khmer Rouge. Wikipedia’s entry on the topic of Foot Whipping will serve as a convenient short introduction to bastinado as punishment and torture:
It is also referred to as foot/feet caning, sole caning, sole beating or foot bottom caning. The particular Mid East method is called falaka, also spelled falaqa, falanga or phalanga. German terms are Bastonade and in former centuries Sohlenstreich (sole-striking), also colloquially paraphrased with Schläge/Hiebe/”fünfzig” auf die Fußsohlen (strokes/”fifty” onto the soles of the feet).
The use of bastinado is documented from the year 960 in China, in Europe from 1537. It is to be conceded, that foot whipping has been commonly practiced since ancient times, as it is referenced in the bible in multiple passages (Prov. 22:15; Lev. 19:20; Deut. 22:18).
Foot whipping is associated mostly with middle and far eastern nations, where it is occasionally executed in public, therefore covered by reports and photographs. However different forms of bastinado were also a conventional method in western countries to enforce discipline in prisons, reformatories, boarding schools and similar institutions at times when a right to use corporal punishment existed. For instance Bastonade was as a traditional form of punishment especially in German territories. It was commonly practiced in prisons as well as reform schools and also extensively employed during the Nazi-Regime as disciplinary measure.
For being generally implemented closed off from the public in western civilizations and as it appears outwardly unspectacular compared to publicly better known practices such as flagellation and caning that were frequently employed as judicial corporal punishment for serious offenses, foot whipping, which merely served for disciplinary purposes to sanction misconduct or insubordination within prisons and similar institutions, is mostly disregarded in the context of corporal punishment.
Sole caning is still a common form of disciplinary corporal punishment of prisoners in different countries as it is eminently painful while usually no severe or lasting injuries are caused. It is also frequently used for political torture as physical evidence mostly remains undetectable after a relatively short period of recuperation and it can therefore be exerted repetitively over extended periods of time.
Obviously, while the history of bastinado as a form of real punishment and torture can be fascinating, that’s not meant to be the focus of this blog. It’s not called Michael Samadhi’s History of Torture, so with that introduction under our belts, let’s discuss how bastinado can fit into an exploration of the joy of kink.
it’s a treat to beat your feet
In addition to being a kinkster, I’ve been an avid backpacker most of my adult life. The first rule of backpacking is to take care of the feet! As I mentioned in the introduction, one of the insidiously painful aspects of bastinado is that it involves the feet, which we depend on for movement every day. For that reason, bastinado is a form of BDSM “play” that should be approached with a good deal of respect and caution. If one or more of the small bones in a prisoner’s foot are broken, it’s just part of the torture, at least from the viewpoint of the person delivering the blows. If that happens to a BDSM slave, it’s a real tragedy that could permanently compromise their health, not to mention diminishing their ability to serve.
With that said, bastinado can be a fun addition to your play. The sadist inside me does appreciate this kind of torment, and I have indulged myself on more than a handful of occasions. Use appropriate caution, and some common sense, and everything should be fine.
The first thing you’ll need to include bastinado in your BDSM games is a willing partner. That can be a little more difficult than it seems, people can be weird about their feet. More than just a few submissives (at least in my experience) list foot torture as a hard limit. Receiving bastinado is usually not going to be real high on the menu of folks who earn a living on their feet, so it’s not always an option for professions from chefs to nurses to waitstaff at a restaurant.
Next on the list of things necessary for a good bastinado scene is restraint. While a wiggling butt may still present a fair target to a dominant, moving feet are simply an invitation for problems when attempting to strike them with any sort of accuracy. The less “wiggle room” allowed to the victim’s feet the better. So, strict restraint is usually the order of the day.
Then you’ll need to find the right “implement” for your explorations. To my mind a thin rattan cane is the classic instrument for bastinado, but I’m sure that’s a personal preference more than a universal part of foot torture. A riding crop is another common choice for this kind of scene. Floggers and leather straps are also used for bastinado in BDSM. I recommend staying on the lighter side of impact toys for bastinado, as heavier toys would seem to increase the odds of potential problems with the small metatarsal bones that are the primary structure for our feet.
From there, it’s really up to you how to proceed (using caution and common sense of course!) I always avoid the area on the back of the foot around the Achilles tendon. I’ve cared for a person with an Achilles tendon tear, it’s worse than a broken bone in many ways, a truly debilitating injury. While I doubt that a moderate strike with a thin piece of rattan would likely cause a ruptured tendon, it’s an area I don’t take chances with.
I really don’t do much with the tops of feet either, there’s little padding there and the bones seem most exposed from that angle. I’ve seen bastinado applied to the tops of feet, quite effectively in fact, it’s just not my preference.
When delivering bastinado, I concentrate on precise strikes to the soles of the feet. I avoid the toes, and vary the blows between the ball of the foot, the arch, and the heel. All are effective zones to target it seems, full of nerve endings which tend to elicit strong responses. I don’t strike with much force, it’s not needed. That can be one of the positive’s of this particular technique, it’s not terribly strenuous for the person delivering the blows.
As always with BDSM, communication is a key. Knowing your partner intimately and being able to communicate freely about the experience makes it more rich for individuals on both the giving and receiving end of bastinado. A little can go a long way when beating on feet, so make sure to have safewords or other methods of feedback in place, so that your play doesn’t turn into real torture. I always encourage folks to get in person instruction before trying advanced techniques like bastinado on their own. It’s easier than ever to attend BDSM events where classes are taught on a wide variety of tools and technique. Experienced and trusted mentors within the BDSM community are also available for those willing to put a little effort into their search.
In simple biological terms, the word cuckold is used to refer to a husband with an adulterous wife. In evolutionary biology, the term cuckold is applied to males who are fooled into parenting offspring that are not genetically their own.
The term is derived (believe it or not) from the cuckoo bird, as a reference to some cuckoo specie’s common practice of laying it’s own eggs in the nest of others. Although not commonly known, there is a word for the opposite – the cuckquean – a woman with an unfaithful husband.
The word cuckold has been generally used as a nasty put down. My dad always called those kinds of terms – “fighting words”. And, the word itself has always been intended to be derisive, it implies victimization and inadequacy. Also implied is deceit, that the husband is unaware of the wife’s adultery. The ultimate implication is that the wife would actually bear the other man’s child, not her husband’s.
Of course, the kinky definition of the word turns the traditional definition on it’s head. In our world, the cuckold is a willing participant. The “cuck”, the person being cuckolded, usually gets some sort of perverse pleasure from his partner’s infidelity. Often, the cuckold is the one who, at least initially, instigated the experience.
With that said, it’s very common for there to be at least a pretense that the cuck is a victim of their partner’s infidelity. The illusion that it’s being forced upon them by dominant partner who leaves them little or no choice is central to the fantasy aspect for some folks. That’s often the basis for the oddly masochistic pleasure some derive from this particular kink.
As I’ve implied, this fetish is most commonly practiced by a couple where the female is dominant. Although it’s not totally unknown for the roles to be flipped, for a male dominant to cuckold a submissive, it’s far more commonly practiced in female led relationships. Within that lifestyle, the wife who actively enjoys cuckolding her husband is often called a “hotwife”. I’ve also seen the term “cuckoldress” used, although that terms is far less common in usage. The male who plays the stud role is often called a “bull”. Bulls are often dominant, but not always.
I’ve long been aware of this particular type of play, but had little personal experience. I recently started playing with two different couples with a fetish for cuckold play, so this is relatively new territory for my personal experience. My friend Alpha, who’s been pictured here playing with Serafina on more than one occasion, has far more experience in this domain.
Alpha describes cuckolding as a particularly intense form of BDSM play. Cuckolding is very psychologically intense, although it has physical aspects as well. One of the cuckold couples I’ve played with invited me in specifically to teach her how to punish and hurt her masochistic cuck/slave more effectively.
I’ve whipped him to the point of using his safeword on more than one occasion, only to tell him (truthfully) that I’ve seen girls half his size take far more. My statements embarrassed him, yet strangely excited at the same time. Within days, he was asking for more . . .
That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.
~ Carl Jung
From time to time I struggle with the sadism I feel truly is an inherent part of my nature. It doesn’t matter that my masochist “victims” are very much willing, that they thank me when our scenes are done, and not in the ritualized sense that a submissive might thank their dominant for orgasm denial. Their thanks aren’t protocol, I fulfill a need for them, just as they fulfill mine. Yet, that still doesn’t assuage the guilt I feel. I’m still learning to embrace my shadow . . .
“Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”
~ Carl Jung
I’ve heard it said that being submissive is sometimes frightful and confusing. The same could be said for masochism.
Well, my dear friends and readers, I’m here to tell you it’s not a whole lot different for sadists. In the end, we are all similar in one way, that we are allowing a part of our shadow1 to emerge. Acting on thoughts of sadism means exploring a side of ourselves that others might find evil or loathsome.
There’s a standing joke between Alpha and I, usually said after a particularly intense scene with serafina, or one of our other playmates. Alpha turns to me and says, “You know Master2, we would have made good Nazis.”
In truth, Alpha and I would have made piss poor Nazi’s. We are far too much the rugged individual type to be taken in by charismatic mass movements, not to mention the fact that neither of our political leanings tend toward the right. Dominants we are, fascists we are not.
The humor, perhaps more than anything else, could be revealing of the inner guilt we feel in giving our shadow self that free reign. In researching the internal shadow aspect, I’ve learned that it’s often dealt with using humor of that very sort. Which, strangely enough, brings me around to today’s topic – dacryphilia. Any discussion I might have concerning that term is going to involve the shadow, because the response seems to be a polar opposite of what’s expected by society.
A person with dacryphilia (also called dacrylagnia) is aroused by seeing crying or tears. The term dacryphilia is wide ranging, covering all forms of pleasure a person might receive from the tears of others. As such, the term easily fits into a discussion about BDSM and the joys of kink.
In today’s society men are generally conditioned to react to a woman’s tears with some combination of compassion, remorse, sympathy, and/or guilt. Some woman go so far as to use tears as a way to manipulate their lovers. But, if/when such a woman encounters a dacryphiliac, she’s likely to be in for quite a rude surprise.
dacryphilia and me . . .
Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
~ Carl Jung
I know what happens when a dacryphiliac meets a frequent crier from personal experience. I’ve been there, done that, and probably should have a t-shirt proclaiming that I survived.
I had a former submissive who’d been more than a little bit of an actress in high school and college. She and I were married for something like 15 years, which is probably more a testament to my stubbornness and youth than it is to our true compatibility. Let me just say that BlissfulTorment could pout and cry with the best of them. She could make herself cry on cue. If they gave rewards for crying they way a person gets them for flying, I’m sure she could travel the world free for years on her “frequent crier” miles. She did it all the time, and I usually responded with the combination of feelings her crying was meant to elicit.
But, she played that particular card a little too frequently it seems, and it unleashed the shadow. One day her crying game was done to the point of overkill, and then things changed – dramatically. That fateful evening, while in the middle of an acrimonious fight that was a part of our breakup, I found that her tears and pouting had started to turn me on. She’s screaming and crying, sobbing and moaning – and my fucking dick gets hard!
By definition, a person with dacryphilia gets a measure of arousal from viewing a person in emotional distress. Although usually it’s the tears of others, I’ve heard that some people can get aroused by their own tears. With that said, that’s not what I feel at all. Obviously then, dacryphilia comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, pretty much like everything else that is human.
For me to feel arousal from seeing another’s tears, a number of very specific conditions must be met. From a psychological sense, I’d guess this might mean that I’m so controlling that I keep even my own shadow on a tight leash when I do let it out.
The first condition would be that I need to feel close to the person crying. They need to be at least a play partner, at best a love interest. Seeing tears on a stranger does nothing for me.
Second, the tears need to be the “real deal” – crocodile tears don’t excite me. I need to know that real turmoil caused the tears. Now, it doesn’t matter if the turmoil is physical (from intense sensation) or emotional (from intense emotions). I have to sense the crying is real for it to have any effect.
And, I pretty much need to be the cause of the tears too. This part of the “fetish” has some subtleties to it. I’d think that if Alpha and I were working a girl over together and she teared up from the scene, that it would have an effect. I’d probably say to him, “Damn Alpha, we really would have made good Nazis!” as I rubbed my hard-on against our teary victim. But, if it was just him causing tears in a scene as I shot photographs from the sidelines – meh – no real effect.
And, finally, it can’t be carried on for too long. The other night Serafina and I had a scene together where tears flowed down her cheeks for a solid half hour straight. I think they started because one particular zap from the neon wand3 caught her off guard At first I teased her, telling her, “You better be careful girl, you know what those tears do to me.” And yes, at that point I was rubbing a hard dick against her. But, as she carried on longer and longer, things changed for me.
Because the crying went on long enough for me to feel uncomfortable, the shadow was put away. I ended up cutting the scene short, I felt it wasn’t working. I only discovered after the fact that Serafina wasn’t really “crying” as she put it. That the tears were simply tears of joy, she’d realized how much she loves me and how much she loves our play and it overwhelmed her.
Leaving me to ask, was the shadow put away, or did my shadow aspect realize what I did not? Serafina’s tears that night weren’t the kind of tears that feed the shadow. Tears of joy somehow don’t excite that aspect of me at all . . .