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Happy Masturbation Month

Sex toy incentiveMG00625-20140322-1049As a novelist, who writes erotic romance, May is always a red letter month on my calendar because it’s National Masturbation Month. Okay, I’ll be there first to admit that for me, every month is masturbation month,  and I’m always a bit surprised that anyone could be ashamed of such a powerful creative force.

I’ve shared this delicious tidbit about masturbation before, but as we all gear up for the rowdy, randy month of May, it’s always timely.

The ancient Egyptians believed masturbation was a creative act in its own right. In the Heliopolis creation myth, the god Amen rises from the primeval ocean, Nun, and masturbates the divine son and daughter into existence, and they populate the world. Even if I look at the Judeo/Christian myth in the first two chapters of Genesis, where God speaks the world into existence, I am still looking at a solo act.

Eric Francis on Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross’s Sex Information Online site writes, ‘Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body.

Awareness and a body. Masturbating the world into existence. It happens all the time. At the risk of offering too much information, my understanding of sex, my deepest understanding of my own sexuality, comes from awareness and my own body. That’s what I have to work with. My understanding of writing, my deepest understanding of the creative forces in me also comes from awareness and my own self.

I’m astounded that in a world where solitude and the meditative tradition is a part of almost every religious discipline, we shy away from the very concepts that could have well given birth to it, awareness and Body. Can there really even BE awareness without a body? And how can we possibly understand the boundaries and the limits of either without the two rubbing up against each other. Our act of one-ness, our proto-sexuality, as Eric Francis calls it, I suggest is by its boundary-exploring nature, also our proto-creativity.

A Snippet from Fulfilling the Contract to honour  Masturbation Month

(Caution! Adult Content)

The damned alarm went off in the middle of the hottest fuck Nick had ever had. He came up out of the Fulfilling the Contractdream roaring like an angry bear and practically slapped the clock off the night stand in his efforts to shut it off. There was no going back to sleep, not with his heart hammering and his dick stretching out between his legs like it owned the place. Cursing between his teeth, he stumbled to the bathroom with only one eye half open. Not bothering with the stop at the commode for the piss he knew he couldn’t manage as hard as he was, he shoved his way into the shower and cranked the hot water. No cold showers this morning. He had every intention of giving this dream a good send-off. For a minute he leaned against the wall letting the jets from the shower massage work their magic. Then when he was nice and wet, he soaped up, still not bothering to open his eyes, still doing his best to capture the vivid images from his dream. Once his chest and armpits, lower back and ass were well lathered, he went to work where he needed it most. And when his pubes felt like they were mounded in thick whipped cream, he closed his fist around his well-sudsed hard-on and began to stroke, letting the dream flood full-on back into his head. It had all started on the top of the Humvee in the parking lot at the Mango. It was right there in broad daylight. He had Tanya Povic’s tropical print skirt shoved up over her ass, ploughing into her fast and furious while he kneaded her gorgeous tits like they were bread dough ready to bake. They were grunting and thrusting and shoving and she kept saying in that sexy Slavic accent, ‘Is good! Is so good! Fuck me harrderr, Nick Chase, I vant to come!’ And he was happy to oblige.

The parking lot was full of people with scopes and cameras, of all things, and they were all watching Nick mount Tanya on top of the Humvee. Some of the men had cocks out tugging and jerking like they’d lose control. The women either had hands in their panties or on their tits, which they were happy to expose to the desert sun. Some of the watchers were even humping each other while Tanya kept begging him to fuck her harder.

Elsa Crane had her keyboards and monitors and electronic surveillance equipment set up on the hood of his limo. She was all bent over with her leopard print loin cloth barely covering her magnificent ass. Then all of a sudden she turned to Nick and Tanya and said in a loud voice, ‘Tanya, you’re fired. Get off Nick and let me fuck him.’ Nick watched with his cock in his hand while Elsa gave Tanya’s tits a fondle and made her bend for a good pussy-probing, as though she might be trying to stash something in that tight little hole — like office supplies maybe. It was a dream, after all. As Elsa stroked and spread and examined Tanya’s cunt, Tanya turned her attention back to Nick’s hard-on, giving him a sucking that would have made his eyes cross if he hadn’t been so keenly focused on what Elsa was doing.

Finally Elsa gave the woman a hard smack on her pert little backside, and Tanya went in and out among the crowd offering to suck cock or lick pussy for anyone who would fulfil the remains of her contract so she could get her bonus. Then the next thing he knew, Elsa had her top off and her loin cloth hoiked, as she crawled right up onto the Humvee and mounted him in a seductive squat, her tight pussy sheathing him like a surgical glove. Then she grabbed him by the hair and pulled him up to nurse on her luscious tits, a task he was totally up for. People with their cameras and scopes moved up close and personal-like, to where he could even hear their heavy breathing, which was no small feat above his own. With Elsa Crane gripping and squeezing and rocking and riding, he was about to go off like a nuclear warhead. And then … Then the damned alarm clock went off instead of him.

The tug, tug, tug on his cock against the bounce of his lead-heavy balls was just about to get him there under the pulsing of the shower, though why it should be Elsa Crane who got his cock iron-stiff, he didn’t know. She was a hard ass, if ever there was one, and she’d all but laughed at him when he’d offered to fulfil Tanya’s contract. Tug, tug, tug. She probably did laugh when he turned and left. Jesus, it was insane what they were doing. Filthy insane. He thought about the ménage he’d viewed through the telescope. Tug, tug, tug. He thought about him standing in the desert jerking off from the experience, and it was Elsa Crane he’d been fucking in his fantasy. Jesus, what was it about that woman? Was it that avalanche of thick shiny hair? Those deep blue eyes? Was it the fact that the leopard print did little to disguise the fittest body he’d ever seen? Was it the slight gravel to her voice that he just wanted to rub up against? Tug, tug, tug.

But as the dream gave way to his fantasy, she wasn’t begging him to fuck her harder. She was hardly the begging type, was she? In his fantasy, she rode him like she was a jockey and he was her stud. She didn’t need to ask him anything. She took what she wanted, and he was happy that she took it from him. Suddenly the cameras and the scopes and the watchers were almost on top of them and it was enough. All of them watching Elsa Crane fuck him until his balls exploded – it was enough. He came in a convulsing, backbreaking ejaculation that belied how hard he’d come in the desert just a few hours ago. The cascade of steamy water from the shower washed the evidence of his lust down the drain.

 

Nature and Magic in Story

I just finished another instalment of Demon Interrupted for my blog, so of course my thoughts keep wandering back to the natural beauty of the Lake District and the magic I feel every time I walk the fells there.

The first time I lived in South England, I spent several years as a part of a Wiccan coven. That experience has helped me and very much inspired me with the writing of The Lakeland Witches books, especially when creating the rituals that drive the stories, from the very first protection spell cast on the high fells to the final cleansing ritual and everything in between. That experience is no less helpful as I revisit the Elemental Coven in my Demon Interrupted serial, which appears every three weeks on my blog. I’m especially excited about Demon Interrupted because it’s my chance to revisit Elemental Cottage and suss out one of the many stories yet untold of the witches of the Elemental Coven, and the people and beings who affect them, and I can’t revisit the coven, their Lake District home, or any of the new story unfolding without thinking of how connected and grounded in nature all of the Lakeland witches’ concepts of magic are. But then, it would hardly be a KDG story if that weren’t the case.

There was no sex magic practiced in the real coven of which I was a part. In fact, sex magic, as I’ve written it for the Elemental Coven, doesn’t exist anywhere else. All of the sex magic within The Lakeland Witches stories is a product of my fertile imagination. I chose to make the magic my witches practice sex magic because I wanted to experiment with the idea of what might happen if it were possible to take such a strong part of human biology, such a strong part of the human psyche, such a strong part of all nature, and harness it, shape it, use it as a force to drive magic.

The creative use of sex for magic, as I’ve chosen to write it, is unique to the Elemental Coven and the world in which they live. Covertly, however, all earth-centred spirituality has at its core sex, fertility, and the drive to bring about the next generation, the drive to bring about the next bountiful season. Sex and reproduction are at the very foundation of our existence. That’s pretty obvious, I know. But that sex is so much more, for humans, than just the need to procreate is a powerful driving force in erotica, and it is, in my opinion, a powerful source of magic in which even a sceptic like me can believe.

For me, the very best part of being involved in a pagan tradition was celebrating the seasons and the moon cycles, which automatically brought about an effort to live closer to the rhythm and flow of the earth. That meant an effort was made to be closer to nature, to be aware of the time when the buds on the apple trees begin to swell, to be aware of the time when Orion disappears from the spring sky and Sygnus climbs to prominence, and to be aware of how my own body’s rhythms sync with those of the planet. For me the sense of connectedness, the sense of being a part of the natural world, the sense of being a part of something far greater than myself was magical, and still is. Though I no longer practice with a coven, I find those natural rhythms are still within me, and I find them still deeply moving. Really they always were there, as they are in all of us. Sadly our modern, hermetically sealed life often separates us from those rhythms.

castlerigg_Stone_Circle1I learned a lot about nature while I was a part of the coven. I paid more attention to what was going on around me. I became more aware of the subtle changes happening all the time. That new awareness and that desire to know nature more intimately also inspired the Lakeland Witches Trilogy, as it does now Demon Interrupted. The writing is continually inspired by thoughts of how much else I might be missing out on because my awareness just hasn’t been sharpened enough. I suppose writing, in a way, is an effort to do just that, to sharpen my awareness.

It was thinking about that heightened awareness and contemplating my own dreams that inspired my interpretation of the Ether and the Dream World as places where my witches and their consorts could go to do magic, create spells, and affect changes in the World of Flesh. They were also places where my baddies could bring about fear and destruction, and also escape to when there was a need.

Though the world of my Lakeland witches is far more magical and frightening than was my own coven experience — for which I’m very thankful — I tried to infuse all of my characters with a love and an appreciation for that natural world. Because I’m deeply in love with the English Lake District where the Lakeland Witches stories are set, I tried to bring as much of the reality of that world into the stories as I could so that whether it’s Anderson and Cassandra’s story or Ferris and Elaine’s story, there is a firm grounding in a very real, very wonderful place.

But beautiful, inspiring Lakeland can also be a place of terrifying power and great danger when the storms ravage the high fells. I wanted the world of the Lakeland Witches to feel real and concrete, to express all the facets of the place I love. And I believe that by setting the stories in a real place and drawing that real place as vividly as I’m able, the magic, the interactions with ghosts and witches and demons will be grounded and just a little more scary and a little more sexy and a little more true to life.

Read Demon Interrupted here

If you want to know more about the Elemental Coven’s adventures, check out the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy: Body Temperature and RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy!

Lakeland heatwave banner1

 

Cara Sutra Tells How to Enjoy a Taste of Bondage without Any Accessories at All

It’s totally my pleasure to have the fabulously talented Cara Sutra on Hopeful Romantic today talking about how you can enjoy a taste of bondage without any accessories. Welcome Cara! 

Sounds like an odd thing for someone who has just launched her own bondage kit to say, right?

Cara Sutra imagecs_dress_clean_logoThe truth is, I’d hate for those who have never tried bondage before to be afraid of this invasion of ‘shackles’ into their bedroom, into their sex life. To the uninitiated, it can be highly intimidating to feel like your sex life needs anything other than you and your partner, enjoying one another’s embrace and attentions.

What is this ‘bondage’ thing everyone keeps going on about, anyway? Why is it so popular?

When bondage is talked about in a sexual or sensual sense, it refers to the practice of restraining someone’s movements for the physical and psychological pleasure, enjoyment and fulfilment of both the one being bound and the one doing the restraining. Usually, this includes the use of bondage sex toys such as ankle and wrist cuffs, spreader bars, Japanese bondage rope for Shibari and a whole variety of other options.

Bondage has also come to be known as the ‘catch-all’ phrase for all things kinky, ranging from light role play in the bedroom to full-on, hardcore BDSM activities. Strictly, bondage refers only to the practices restraining movement, but words have a habit of evolving or being appropriated as necessary.

Kink and bondage have always been popular with perhaps a more underground area of society. Cara Sutra image 2fantasy_shoot-18Due to the overwhelming taboo attitude from mainstream culture in previous years, BDSM was forced into hiding – being an activity that took place in the secrecy of private clubs and a hidden part of couples’ sex lives, a shameful secret.

Regardless of what you think of the Fifty Shades of Grey books, there’s no denying that the popularity of this trilogy brought bondage and kink into the consciousness of the general public, making these activities palatable and almost acceptable. More people than ever before want to experience this perceived-as-new way of spicing up their foreplay and sex.

If you don’t know how to begin and unwilling to part with your hard-earned cash for accessories before you even know if you’ll like it, there are some ways to experience a taste of kink and bondage without any extras in the bedroom at all. Aside from your partner, of course.

Here are 7 ‘kinky but cuff free’ ideas to try out the next time you’re feeling a little adventurous.

1. Tell them you want to be held down. Even saying the words aloud will feel kinky enough, but if you’re not quite brave enough to reveal the desires out loud, why not put them in a saucy text message, instant message or email? Or maybe you want to do the holding down. Approach it from a gentle and cautious point of view, with sensuality and eroticism at the forefront of your mind. It needs to be for the pleasure of your partner as well as your own satisfaction, remember. Consent, above all things. Being held down during sex is the most natural form of bondage you can experience.

Cara SutraFantasy-red-full+box22. Introduce spanking through role-play. A Dominatrix bullwhip might sound like the sort of thing you’d simply never enjoy, but a firm hand spanking punishment from your partner? A lot more sexy, yet still corporal punishment strictly speaking. Why not lead the way by suggesting some naughty roleplay before sex, perhaps combined with dressing up? It’s easy to move from scenes such as naughty schoolgirl and a Doctor or Nurse’s body inspection session to a sound bottom spanking of a naughty girl or boy.

3. Try some masturbation and orgasm control. Again, there’s no need to dive into the deep end by throwing them under lock and key with a chastity device. Being controlled or having control of your partner’s orgasm and masturbation schedule is undeniably erotic. Depending on their usual masturbation frequency, you can decide between you whether you ban them (or give up your self-pleasure control) for a couple of days or a week. When you’re finally ‘allowed’ to masturbate or orgasm, ideally with your partner present, the result will be so much more intense and dramatic.

4. Call them names. Nice, dirty names, of course. If you’re used to dirty talk before and during sex, it can become a natural progression to include some terms of respect or submission, as well as the usual depraved names such as ‘slut’, ‘whore’, ‘bitch’ and the like. The effects of calling a dominant partner Miss, Mistress or Ma’am, or Sir, Master or Lord depending on their gender is Cara Sutrafantasy_shoot-7quite profound. Recognising the Dominant and submissive dynamic by using these titles adds an extra hot factor to proceedings.

5. Layer pain amongst the pleasure. If you enjoy exploring one another’s bodies during foreplay and erotic massage, why not include slight tidbits of pain mingled in? Watch for their responses. During the rush of endorphins which happens at high states of arousal, lightly tapping into pain reflexes can add to the pleasure. This might be a slight nip of their skin between licks and kisses, or turning strokes of the skin into light grazes and even a passionate scratch or two with fingernails. This can progress into hair pulling during sex, and from there you can incorporate other ways to deliver the pleasure of pain.

6. Strive for obedience. As your partner what they’d do to please you, then teasingly call their bluff. Suggest that you go for a date night, but request that they wear no underwear. Alternatively you could tell them that you want them to go remove their underwear, then return and hand it to you, while you’re out. Getting naughty in public while no-one else knows what you’re doing is such a turn on, and submitting to your partner and agreeing to be obedient to their whims is an extremely kinky way of discovering new highs.

Cara Sutra postbox-mockup7. Restrain yourself. We’ve talked about enjoying a natural form of bondage where you’re held down by your partner, but what about having to remain motionless while they do what they will? Not being allowed to move while they perform oral sex on you, or even during the act of penetrative sex, is an incredibly erotic experience for both lovers. Stopping yourself from crying out as you’re being pleasured is another way to give a kinky aspect to sex.

It’s clear that you can enjoy a kinky sex life which includes bondage even without the use of any sex toys or BDSM accessories. Once you discover a little more about what turns you and your partner on, you can then make some informed choices about whether you’d like to add any helpful extras in the bedroom. This might be in the form of comfortable leather wrist cuffs, a slave type collar or a spanking paddle. You can find out more about bondage sex toys over at my site.

Enjoy discovering the many facets of pleasure than a broad spectrum of sexuality and kink can bring to your sex life. It’s a fantastic journey.

– Cara Sutra

Cara sutra 2Bannercs_468

Find Cara Here:

 

 

 

 

London Faerie: Playing with Consciousness Part 2

It’s my pleasure to welcome London Faerie back to A Hopeful Romantic for the second instalment of his fascinating post on playing with consciousness. If you missed Faerie’s first post, check out Part One here.

Often in BDSM we talk about ‘sub space’, and this is shorthand for an altered state of consciousness experienced by submissives when things go well. Often when a submissive is experienced, the simple act of putting a collar on them takes them straight into this altered state: London Faerie-23thoughts of anything but what’s happening right now melt away and they focus their attention on the Dominant in front of them. For those who find entering sub space harder, strong impact (spanking, caning etc) often help take the person into an altered state: when the pain gets too much to bear, it feels much better to focus on the sensation than to think yourself away from it. A skilled Dominant uses their voice, their presence, impact and fear to guide the person deeper and deeper into sub space.

Anticipation is a key here. In a recent workshop one participant talked about how not knowing what was coming next was the thing that helped them drop into sub space, and this makes a lot of sense to me. I know it doesn’t work for everyone – for some, the anxiety of not knowing makes them more thinky and less present. But for many waiting for the next touch, stroke or instruction brings them into this focused flow state and out of their everyday relationship with reality.

What is talked about less often is ‘top space’, the altered state of consciousness experienced by the Dominant. I experience this as similar and different to sub space. A sub surrenders to the situation fully, letting go of any thoughts and fully embracing their desire to serve and please the Dominant. Meanwhile the Dominant focuses all their attention on the submissive, letting go of any thoughts and fully embracing the open, vulnerable person in front of them. Feeling the submissive’s desire to please and serve, many Dominants find themselves growing into the present moment, expanding so they feel bigger (often literally) and enveloping the submissive in their expanded attention.

This sounds abstract because it’s hard to describe, but both ways of accessing altered states are reported again and again by both Dominants and submissives around the world. Kinky people instinctively find a way to the flow state described by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, irrespective of what this state means for them.

At the recent Eroticon, KD Grace and Victoria Blisse led a fantastic seminar about Sex & Spirituality, looking at how we enter this different head state through both experiencing sex and writing about it. It was amazing to discover that almost everyone in the room knew exactly what they were talking about. Writers talked about ‘the writing coming through me’, ‘the characters telling me what they do next’, ‘the book writing itself’ and ‘feeling guided’. For some this indicated the presence of an external force or power, but I don’t see that as important. For me I see it as connecting to a ‘grid’ of consciousness which contains everything and everyone. From this hyper-connected place I can feel and access much more than I do when I’m feeling separate. It’s like my mind connects with a kind of global Mind and I’m fed information beyond what I myself know or understand. It isn’t necessary for me to believe this as anything other than plugging into a collective consciousness, like a circuit board that gives me power and creative juice. And this is equally true if I’m making love, doing BDSM or writing.

London Faerie-14Sex, BDSM and creativity are particularly effective ways to shift consciousness, and this is why I lead workshops in these areas. What’s often interesting is the journey people take into deeper and deeper presence over the course of a day- or weekend-long workshop. A key element is how safe we as facilitators make it for people to go there. I see this ‘dropping in’ as a process of removing our masks and our armour so we can be more ‘naked’ (emotionally rather than physically). Along the way, we often meet the pain and difficulties that caused us to protect ourselves in the first place: fear, overwhelm, rage, frustration, feeling unseen, feeling not good enough and so on.

As people feel safer to let go of their protective layer, they drop in right before our eyes. Often we begin the workshops with simple intimacy exercises: for example, standing in front of a stranger and looking softly into their eyes, seeing them while allowing them to see you. This sounds strange because we don’t do it in everyday life, but it’s surprisingly effective and powerful for helping people to drop in to more presence. Seeing someone else as simply human, without any needs or expectations beyond this, recalls our inter-connectedness: ‘we are all in this together’.

The first few times people experience this flow state in workshops, it can really surprise and sometimes alarm them. One participant, asked how they felt on the Sunday morning of a weekend workshop, said “I’m somewhere above Heathrow Airport right now.” They had never felt so fully present and this in turn made them feel incredibly high.

Over time, people get more supple at moving in and out of altered states of consciousness. The masks and armour their wear in everyday life become less welded to them and they learn how to take them off in a few minutes when the conditions are right. I see this with experienced BDSMers who quickly create a safe space for each other to play, let go of anything they don’t need right now and move into this hyper-connected state. Then when they’re done they gently come back to a more everyday state of consciousness, taking time and care not to rush or jolt themselves.

I wrote about this ‘suppleness’ on my own blog here. http://londonfaerie.co.uk/2013/08/magical-space/

For me being able to shift between altered states of consciousness and more everyday ways of being in the world is a great gift. For many people, attending workshops like our forthcoming Through The Portals is a great way to cultivate this suppleness. It means that when we need to attend a difficult meeting and talk about financial projections or project plans, we can move easily into horizontal reality; and when we want to make love with someone and open ourselves to that connection, we can move easily into vertical reality. This suppleness is valuable for just about anything we might do in a day.

And many roads lead to Rome: whatever takes you into altered states of consciousness, whether it’s writing poetry, tending your garden or getting a jolly good whipping, the more often you make those shifts, the more supple you become and the easier they get. The first few times it can be painful to go back into thinking in time after being so lost in the moment; but after a while you recognise that it’s easy enough to shift between the two states, and this makes it safe to go deeper into altered states because you know your way back the everyday ones.

If your interest has been piqued by what I’ve written, I’m running two workshops in April where you can experience these altered states for yourself. On Sat 5th & Sun 6th April I co-lead Through The Portals, an experiential weekend introduction that includes BDSM, Tantra and breathwork. And on Sat 26th & Sun 27th April I lead The Purple Door, exploring ecstatic and altered states through BDSM. Find out more at http://sacredpleasures.co.uk

Through the Portals Workshop:

5th & 6th April

The Purple Door Workshop:

26th & 27th April

www.sacredpleasures.co.uk

About London Faerie:

London Faerie-15London Faerie is a purveyor of authentic desire. He believes that you should ‘Follow Your Bliss‘, and offers a range of workshops, talks, salons and sessions to support people in doing so.

Faerie’s practice is wide-ranging, drawing from BDSM, shamanic healing, coaching, psychodrama and Tantra. He’s been practising and learning for over 12 years, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his groups and sessions. Faerie is the founder of Sacred Pleasures, the place where everything meets: a sex-positive community space where you can welcome more of yourself and make friends with everything you are.

Find London Faerie Here:

www.londonfaerie.co.uk

www.sacredpleasures.co.uk

blog.londonfaerie.co.uk (personal stuff)

Twitter: @londonfaerie

 

 

London Faerie: Playing with Consciousness Part 1

Though I’d met London Faerie before and seen his amazing sacred BDSM demonstrations,  Eroticon 2014 was the first chance we’d had for a real conversation. And when the topic was something as multifaceted as sex and spirituality, I knew I wanted to have Faerie guest on A Hopeful Romantic. The resulting guest post on the topic of ‘head space,’ ended up way too amazing to cram into one post. So, please welcome London Faerie, for Part 1 of Playing with Consciousness! (see Part 2 on 31st March)

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In my work I teach people how to play with consciousness. This sounds a bit grand and, to many people, rather spiritual. However KD’s asked me to write about ‘head spaces’, and this is a great opportunity for me to talk about how you don’t need to believe in God, the Universe or anything else to experience these altered states.

Firstly it’s good to define what we’re talking about here. In everyday life our minds are busy and active with many thoughts, and our attention goes to the past and the future as well as the present moment. I see this as a horizontal reality, where we experience life in a linear way, with the present moment part of a narrative that extends backwards into the past and forward into the future.

Most of us have at times experienced a different space: a peak state, sometimes called ‘flow’, in which we lose ourselves completely in what we’re doing. When we’re in this flow state we lose track of time and everything but the present moment fades away Often this flow state happens London Faerie-23spontaneously and without us doing anything to move into it: for example, when we’re engaged with an interesting and difficult task, like repairing a bike or painting a picture. Instead of finding ourselves on a horizontal line, the present moment expands and we experience a more ‘vertical’ reality, in which we feel deeply connected with the world around us.

For those who are spiritually inclined, this state is often seen as connecting with a higher power: God/dess, the Universe, the Background Presence, All That Is or whatever you individually choose to name it. I don’t however feel that you need to believe in any of those things to experience altered states of consciousness. It’s enough to feel more presence, and in this increased presence to discover that you feel quite different.

These different head-states are special for a few reasons. First of all, they feel great. In his book Flow, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi talks about the flow state as optimal for human beings, a complete immersion that increases our mental capacity and makes us feel much better. He argues that happiness and flow are closely connected: the more time we spend in this peak state, the better we feel. Even though his book actively dismisses spirituality, I recongise that his discovery of the close link between presence and happiness is an important one.

As well as being good for us, going into altered states of consciousness is often very surprising. People report becoming much more attuned to each other, sometimes almost psychic in their ability to feel what is happening to each other. It’s common for people to think similar thoughts at the same moment, to ‘just know’ what to do in difficult situations and so on.

Whatever their beliefs, most people recognise this hyper-connected state as something they’ve experienced from time to time. It’s as if the veil of separateness drops and we experience our inter-connectedness as reality. We still know that we are individual, but we also remember that we’re part of the web of all life and that our thoughts and feelings connect us with everything and everyone else.

London Faerie-14Most of us know these altered head-spaces because we’ve been there, but often this happens haphazardly, by accident and without us being able to easily replicate it. So how do we learn to move in and out of this flow state at will?

Through the course of my explorations with BDSM and Tantra I’ve discovered that there are certain things we can do to enter these altered states again and again. One amazing tool is breath. It still staggers me that changing the way we breathe fundamentally changes the way we feel: it’s so simple and obvious yet it works every time.

When we think about it in reverse, it makes perfect sense. When we feel differently we automatically breathe differently. When anxious we breathe fast and shallow, and this way of breathing increases the anxious feelings; when aroused we breathe fast and deep, resulting in us feeling more ‘charged up’ and more aroused. How we feel and how we breathe are in a dynamic relationship with each other, each affecting the other, taking us into a virtuous or vicious cycle.

Playing with breath deliberately is a simple way to play with consciousness. In Tantra we learn how to become more relaxed through one type of breath, how to turn ourselves on through another and how to become more present and alert through yet another. Similarly we play with breath in BDSM: holding someone’s breath when they have a lungful to induce panic, holding it when their lungs are empty so they feel relaxed and spacy.

If your interest has been piqued by what I’ve written, I’m running two workshops in April where you can experience these altered states for yourself. On Sat 5th & Sun 6th April I co-lead Through The Portals, an experiential weekend introduction that includes BDSM, Tantra and breathwork. And on Sat 26th & Sun 27th April I lead The Purple Door, exploring ecstatic and altered states through BDSM. Find out more at http://sacredpleasures.co.uk

*****

Be sure to stop by next Monday, the 31st for the second instalment of London Faerie’s post on Playing with Consciousness. 

*****

Through the Portals Workshop:

5th & 6th April

The Purple Door Workshop:

26th & 27th April

www.sacredpleasures.co.uk

About London Faerie:

London Faerie-15London Faerie is a purveyor of authentic desire. He believes that you should ‘Follow Your Bliss‘, and offers a range of workshops, talks, salons and sessions to support people in doing so.

Faerie’s practice is wide-ranging, drawing from BDSM, shamanic healing, coaching, psychodrama and Tantra. He’s been practising and learning for over 12 years, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his groups and sessions. Faerie is the founder of Sacred Pleasures, the place where everything meets: a sex-positive community space where you can welcome more of yourself and make friends with everything you are.

Find London Faerie Here:

www.londonfaerie.co.uk

www.sacredpleasures.co.uk

blog.londonfaerie.co.uk (personal stuff)

Twitter: @londonfaerie

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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