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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

 

 

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Eroticon — Why Ruby Kiddell’s Brain Child is a Must Attend Event

KD: I’m very excited for the chance to interview the brains, and I reckon the majority of the energy behind the much anticipated Eroticon happening on March 3rd in Bristol, the amazing Ruby Kiddell. Welcome, Ruby!

As I look down through the Eroticon website, and the exciting list of guest speakers who are on the yummy menu, I can’t help but get butterflies in my stomach when I think of what putting such an exciting event together must entail, Ruby. Let me just say that you are AMAZING!

What exactly inspired Eroticon? And could you give us a brief history of that spark of inspiration until now.

RK: Thank you, that’s a kind thing to say, all I know is that I’m VERY busy at the moment.

The inspiration for Eroticon came out of the blogging conference Cybermummy which was aimed squarely at the parent, primarily mum, blogger market.

Although I have blogs and businesses that are family orientated I got sponsorship to attend Cybermummy via my Erotic Notebook blog from Sex Toys UK.

This sparked a lot of interest from the other delegates and I found out just how many of my Erotic Notebook readers also had dual Twitter identities.

Just before Cybermummy I thought “hey there should be a sex bloggers version of the conference” and on the day, when I met Molly from Molly’s Daily Kiss and other sex bloggers and writers I was more convinced that we  needed an event where as writers we could discuss our craft and the content openly and without fear of judgement.

KD: I’ve already mentioned being in awe of the time and energy it must have taken to organize an event like Eroticon, what has been the most difficult part of putting together such an event?

RK: Time! I’m a lone parent to a very energetic three year old and I also run my own craft business and that’s before we get to my writing and blogging interests.  This means time is at a premium and it has been hard to find the time to develop all the aspects of the conference I would have liked.  This means there are some things I would have liked to include that aren’t happening.

KD: As you look forward to the event, what excites you most?

RK: In terms of the schedule, though I think they all look fantastic, you’ll definitely find me in the sessions with Zoe Margolis, because I remember her Girl With a One Track Mind blog when she began it, John Tisbury because as an ex-dancer I love his ballet shoe shots, Maxim Jakubowski’s writing session and London Faerie’s “It’s kink Jim…” session.

I’m also looking forward to meeting everyone I speak to on Twitter, those I’ve met before and those I’ve not and the wine and readings at the end of the day.

KD:  Eroticon is billed as the UK’s first sex bloggers and erotic authors conference. As someone who came into blogging to promote my fiction and stayed on for the fun, I’m curious as to how important you see blogging for erotic authors, and what you think is the most important thing an erotic author should know as a blogger?

RK: Finding the time to write our work should come first, but for new and aspiring authors, blogging can be incredibly useful as it is a great way to build an audience, test drive new writing, promote your work, find inspiration and share ideas.

For an erotic author, probably the most important thing to know is how to make a link to your Amazon page! I’m only half joking, I think the most important thing is finding your blogging voice, just as it takes time to find your author’s voice it can take some time to work out what you want to say on your blog and how  you want to say it.

KD: Ruby, I’ve seen your blog and heard you read some of your fantastic fiction when were in Las Vegas together for the EAA conference, could you tell us a bit about your journey to sex blogger and erotic author.

RK: I started writing sexy fantasy scenes for a man I was dating, the fiction lasted, he didn’t. So I put my writing on a blog and got on Twitter, fast forward a few months and the very talented Raziel Moore, who tweets as @_monocle_ introduced me to his editor at Republica Press who signed me up..  My first book, Anthology One, is an anthology of pieces from my blog.  That all happened very fast, but it took me another year to get my second book, Normal, finished and released.

Needless to say my current work in progress is taking a back seat at the moment.

KD: Your top advice to sex bloggers?

RK: My top advice to sex bloggers is much the same as for authors, take time to find your voice.  I had a confessional sex blog for a few months. It went from being public to password protected and eventually I took it down, simply because I wasn’t comfortable with that level of intimate exposure online. What is right for one person isn’t right for another, we all have different ways to express ourselves and finding what we are comfortable with should come before what we think will be popular.

I would also caution people to never post anything on the web that they aren’t completely willing to own up to or willing to lose control of, with sites like tumblr it is increasingly easy for images and content to take on a life of their own outside of the publisher’s control.

KD: Your top advice to erotic authors?

RK: Write first, blog second and don’t let social media eat your time!

KD: What’s been the most rewarding experience so far in the journey to making Eroticon an exciting reality?

RK: Other people’s enthusiasm for it, it is all very well me thinking it is a good idea, but until speakers started saying yes and I sold the first ticket and got the first sponsor then it was all a little intangible.

KD: What do people who are interested in being a part of this ground-breaking event need to do, and what can they expect?

RK: They need to buy a ticket and get to Bristol for 3rd March 2012

Delegates can expect a day packed full of great workshops and inspirational speakers.  A chance to meet other writers and blogger, to exchange ideas, inspiration and blog addresses.

Writers will get a chance to meet publishers, ask them questions and to sell themselves and their writing to them.

Everyone will get bags of sexy swag from our sponsors, as well as a £50 voucher to spend on sex toys at Lovehoney.

An amazing demonstration of kink by London Faerie, readings from the hottest purveyors of smut and perhaps some burlesque too

There’s food – breakfast, lunch and hopefully rude chocolate brownies. And there’s wine, because all that sexiness is bound to make you thirsty!

KD: Anything else you’d like to add.

RK:

Follow us on twitter http://www.twitter.com/eroticon2012

Find us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Sexbloggerconference

Follow the blog http://conference.eroticnotebook.co.uk

It would appear that our Ruby just can’t get enough of a good thing. Not content with the big pile of Oh My! that is Eroticon on March 3rd, she’s spreading her wings and organising an evening or reading and chat in London.

Graciously hosted bySh! Women Erotic Emporium, Portobello this will be a fun and friendly evening of erotic readings and sexual confessions as well as a chance to meet other delegates, speakers and Ruby, herself.

It’s the pre-party! Definitely a must attend.

Where: Sh! Erotic Emporium, Portobello

When: Friday 27th January 6:30

Tickets are £3. Fizz and cupcakes will be served.

 

 

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