Friday, March 11, 2011

Fetish Friday: Yes, yes, OMG YES! But not just yet...

Orgasm control. Oh, the old standby in so many BDSM books. The hero or heroine (or their willing victim) cannot come unless granted permission. And hey, if you have to ask, nine times out of ten you can bet the answer is going to be “no” or at best “not yet”. But as soon as Master says “jump”, the sub’s body says “how high?” and an epic climax results. I think we all want to believe in the holy grail of ultimate arousal—being so turned on that you are, in effect, hypnotized by passion or by your partner. Your lover can just command your body to have a reaction, and it will. Voila! Orgasm on demand!

Dudes, use some caution
as you exercise restraint.
In truth, it’s more complicated than that…but this phenomenon does indeed exist in the BDSM world. Note that there are two distinct practices that often get confused: orgasm control and orgasm denial. In orgasm denial, the sub (or whoever) does not eventually reach gratification within the scene or other time frame. He or she is psychologically and/or physically prevented from climaxing, for days or weeks or longer…even though he may be deliberately and repeatedly stimulated to arousal during that time (long-term this may be dangerous, for men particularly; always do your research).

Orgasm control, however, is different. The perfect “come on verbal command” scenario we often see in books is really the end result of a process that usually takes quite some time to achieve between partners (or you can do it solo, of course, per your personal taste). I’ll describe this in terms of a Dom and sub, but feel free to substitute genders/roles as you like.

I should mention there is a lesser version of this technique that’s very commonly used, of course; the sub asks permission to come, the Dom says no, the sub grins and bears it, rinse and repeat. But at a certain point, if stimulation is continued or the sub can no longer control the reaction, there will be an orgasm whether it’s permitted or not. The more familiar the partners are with one another, the finer the degree of control. But there is also more “formal” orgasm control, which is a truly interesting process and seems akin to hypnosis and/or self-hynosis in many ways.

Ivan Pavlov...oh yeah, baby
The basic process is that the Dom stimulates the sub repeatedly to a point just below the threshold of no return (the “brink”, which is why this is sometimes called “brinking” or “edging”). Then the stimulation is stopped to allow arousal to subside so orgasm is prevented. By pairing consistent verbal suggestions or other signals with the stimulation and the rapid retreat from orgasm, the Dom can train the sub to associate these states with the commands and then slowly scale back the physical stimulation until only the verbal command is necessary. Similarly, using a specific word or phrase when orgasm is finally allowed can train the sub (if already aroused, at least) to climax on command with less and less physical stimulation until verbal control is reached. Descriptions of this vary somewhat but it’s all pretty much classical conditioning, courtesy of Ivan Pavlov.

If anyone could, it'd be this guy.
Obviously, individual results will almost certainly vary along a spectrum. I suspect willing suspension of disbelief plays a big part here (as does an individual’s general susceptibility to hypnotism). But I think it’s a fascinating glimpse into just how deeply psychological BDSM play can get. The ultimate Dom power trip: “I can make you have an orgasm…with my brain.”

Or at least…with my voice.

1 comment:

  1. Del. Nice explanation of the difference between control and denial. There is an alive and thriving group of men who crave a denial lifestyle and many, many choices of devices (cages) to prevent them from orgasming. Thanks for the link to medical considerations.