more than one occasion I've had experiences that approach
today's topic. I can't say that I've actually had the
mystical trips that I'm going to discuss, but I have come
close enough to know that there is something to the "spiritual"
side of leather.
often I have been present as my partner has obviously
experienced a powerful shift in his awareness. Since I'm
neither physician nor psychologist I won't comment on
the reality of the experience. Instead, and what is more
important, let me write about entering an altered state.
spent the better part of college studying Philosophy.
It was enough of an education to prove to me that all
human knowledge is gained through our senses, however
many of them there are, and that our senses act as filters,
making absolute certainty impossible. You know, it's the
old question as to whether we are awake or not. Is life
a dream? Do we actually inhabit a "more" real
world when we sleep? Is the glass half full or half empty?
not much sense to that line of questioning. I've come
to the conclusion that pragmatism is the best approach.
If it works, OK, it works. I may not be able to explain
what happens, but I know that something happens.
that something into words is not easy. Let me just call
it an "altered state," a situation where the
usual sensory and emotional situation appears different.
The difference may be induced by any number of catalysts:
sex, drugs, sleeplessness, meditation, hypnosis, beauty,
art, cinema, affection, pain, pleasure, and of course,
first time it happened was with my then slave Steven,
long before I moved to Chicago. Scenes between us came
easily and without a lot of discussion. We became more
and more aware of what SM meant to us and what a powerful
vehicle it could be.
best indication of what could happen took place one night
in my bathroom. We had been playing for an hour or so
and I was in a real "take over his body" mood.
I had been doing a lot of ass-playing with him and in
fact had given him an enema. He was sitting on the stool
as I fondled his genitals. It was a heavy duty scene that
only two very intimate friends could be expected to share.
scene quietly flowed into a high level of intensity. Both
of us were "buzzing" with delightful sensations.
In that moment we both had an indescribable experience.
Something passed between us, engulfed us, lifted us to
some celestial plane. It was what I have come to call
a "white light" experience.
was pleasant and felt very safe and warm. There was no
fear or danger associated with it, but it was mysterious,
it passed, I looked Steven in the eyes and asked, "Did
you feel what I just felt?" Indeed he had. I gently
ended the scene. We both cleaned up and went to bed, not
untouched by the power that had passed between us.
power of the moment loses a lot in the writing.
events happened with Michael when he was bound spread-eagle
on a cross, with Richard and Lee in intense bondage scenes,
and with a guy I'll call Jim, whom I beat with a riding
crop until he had an "out of body" experience.
each case I was an observer as well as participant. My
actions of dominance, of restraint, and of discipline
seems to have been responsible for inducing the experience,
though it's obvious that my partners participated actively
as well. When the scenes were over, each had an story
and Lee, according to their own telling, had some kind
of past life visions. Lee, for instance, recounted, as
the scene was in progress, his viewing of the two of us
as American Indians in some past lifetime. He described
what was going on between us, as if he were watching a
movie and telling me about it at the same time.
on the other hand, recounted his experiences later.
Michael, I ended the scene pre-maturely. While firmly
bound to a St Andrews Cross, he was whipped past pain
into some kind of ecstatic state. Frankly all I saw was
that he swooned.
interpreted his deep relaxation as trouble and so quickly
untied him and lowered him to the floor. His reaction
was to ask "Why did you stop?" On his part,
nothing was wrong. In fact, everything was wonderful.
most amazing trip seems to have been the one that Jim
took. He and I were playing in my dungeon. Both of us
were naked, as I remember. I was kneeling, legs slightly
spread apart, on a mattress. Jim was lying prone in front
of me, bound in that position.
began by gently beating him on the back with my favorite
crop. Over a period of time, as his back turned an intense
shade of red, I increased the severity of the beating.
had seen Jim play before and knew him to be an experienced
masochist. If ever there was the right moment to bring
someone through a "window" into another reality,
this was it.
a time Jim struggled with the lashes, yelling quietly,
squirming on the mattress to the extent that the ropes
allowed, and bucking up and down, trying to avoid the
pain. I refused to let his cries or his movements distract
he became silent. His breathing moved into an easy, sleep-like
rhythm. His body relaxed profoundly.
kept up my insistent whipping. There was a sense that
he was handling everything very well. Eventually I stopped
and let him lay there until he was ready to "come
back." When he did he recounted how he had seen himself
lying on the mattress from the vantage point of the ceiling.
He felt himself drifting above us, disconnected from the
pain and the moment, aware of the activity but somehow
separate from it.
is why I call myself an explorer. It's adventures like
this one that beckon me to leather.
not like they happen regularly. In fact, they happen only
rarely, only when the situation of experience, deep trust,
patience, and serendipity some together to make it work.
Oh, most scenes are fun, but the best scenes have a strangely
appealing mystery to them.
like to give a simple blueprint for attaining such altered
states, but I can't. Though there are a few baseline requirements,
they are not easily duplicated. You can't seem to make
them happen at will.
and I, for instance, have great sex, but the event on
that cross has never been duplicated. We've come close,
but never close enough.
occurrence is a unknown mixture of practice, trust, open-ness
to the experience, and happenstance. The attitudes of
the partners, the ambience of the place and time (never
in a rush), all seem to promote or hinder going through
the window. Physical properties, such as fatigue, stress,
doubt, fear, and anger seem to detract. Patience, affection,
extremes of pain and pleasure seem to enhance it.
they be repeated? Possibly, but I doubt it. Certainly
no two trips are ever exactly the same. There is some
fluidity in an altered state that suggests that the veil
is parted only seldom, as if some higher force says "Here's
your glimpse, now go back to reality."
indeed a cruel voice that whispers such a sad sentence,
but what else can we do but live where we live, while
searching for the fulfillment that gives a rationale to
1999 by Jack Rinella. This material may not be copied in
any manner. For permission to reproduce this essay, contact
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