Aug 252016
 

genderless shadows kissBegin by settling in your body and adopting a compassionate, curiosity about your own inner workings.  Take three deep belly breaths and let the air all the way out like you are releasing all the stress of the day.

Take the time to settle into your body with a body scan.  Simply rest your attention on your body and notice what is happening there.  Notice any physical tensions, sensations, resistances and openness.  Let this manifest however it needs to.  If anything seems to want or need your attention, simply rest your attention on that spot in your body.  Take slow deep breaths and allow it the time to communicate with you.  Take notice of any images, emotions or physical sensations that come up.

Form a clear intention for this practice and say it out loud, or clearly in your head.  Some examples of an intention are:

“I allow my sexual fantasies to surface as they need to with a compassionate curiosity.”
“I allow myself to feel turned on by my taboo fantasies.”
“My intention is to explore the paradox of love and power while aroused.”

“My intention is to explore being aroused by ……………. (fill in the blank with the emotion or attitude appropriate to you, i.e. degradation, control, shame, fear, longing, abandonment, love, being desired, submission, domination, intimacy).

Enjoy a great masturbation session where you allow these fantasies to come out and play.

When you are finished, answer the below questions in your diary.  You can use paper diary or record your voice, whatever works for you.  However, this step is really important as your insights will dissipate like a fog in the sun if you do not ground them into your consciousness directly after your fantasy play.

One of the best ways of grounding is to write down your fantasy stream-of-consciousness style, without judgement or censorship.  That is, begin writing and simply do not stop or let the pen pause.  It doesn’t matter if you make spelling mistakes or write nonsense.  Just keep writing non stop until it is all out.  You will be surprised what detail comes out when you don’t over think it and just write without judgement!

After writing out your fantasy answer the following questions: 

What storyline did you tap into?
What activities took place?
what physical sensations, emotions or images did you notice come up?
What character/s, if any, appeared in the fantasy?
What attitude and/or emotion did they have towards you?
What attitude and/or emotion did you have towards them?
What made the fantasy hot for you?

 

Jul 202016
 

 

shadow workshop fb-banner-level-one

Artemisia de Vine Conscious Erotic ArtsHi, I am Artemisia de Vine and I am a Sydney-based, professional & lifestyle dominatrix, switch & creative kinkster. I also have a strong, sensual side to my sexuality. We are complex beings with many attributes are we not?

I am here to invite you to my upcoming workshops

Exploring our Sexual Shadows through Taboo Fantasy & Kink  – Byron Bay Aug 5-7 and Sept 29-Oct 2

 

I have created a pod cast which gives you a great introduction to this topic.  If you listen all the way until the end you will get a code word that will allow you to get level 1 tickets at the early bird prices even though early bird has finished.  Furthermore, if you bring a friend and you both book and pay at once, you will both get an additional $50 off your tickets!

Check out the podcast here

Purchase Tickets here

 

Or if you prefer to read…
I have had the privilege of working closely with thousands of people to tease out their unique erotic fingerprint and turn those underlying, and often unconscious, motivations into play scenes. I approach my work, and personal play, with intention and awareness as well as heart and passion. I purposefully create opportunities to interact with more levels of ourselves through our sexuality. This work has the potential to be profound and I am blown away again and again by the positive impact it has on people.

In these workshops we will create a safe and compassionate atmosphere where we can explore the ways in which we can create more satisfying sexual experiences while also deliberately going on a journey of self discovery that brings us into a much deeper alignment with ourselves.

We do this by first discovering our erotic blueprints and what they reveal about our personal erotic shadow. Our erotic shadow contains so much that is important for us if we want to be whole and our fantasies hold important keys to creating intentional relationship with this aspect of ourselves. I will guide you through how to become aware of your own erotic treasure map.

Once we know more about ourselves on this level, we move from an intellectual understanding, into an embodied awareness by creating play scenes based on these sexual blueprints. I go through all the tools I use to design scenes with my clients including the tools needed to create a safe container where we can access some of our most potent peak erotic turn ons.

In order to be whole, we need to embrace all of ourselves, even the forbidden parts. We need to make our sexual shadow our ally and give it safe and healthy expression.

What is our shadow?

When we are first born into the world, we are full of potential. We have the full spectrum of possibilities within us. As we are socialised into our family, our extended social networks and our society as a whole, we learn that some parts of us are acceptable and others are not. This is the process for everyone no matter how open-minded and loving our parents and loved ones may be and no matter what culture you are brought up in.

Both attributes we consider positive and negative end up in our unconscious. However they have not gone away. They are still there influencing our emotions and reactions in ways we are not aware of. It is almost like they take on a life of their own. This is the aspect of ourselves we call the shadow.

An unowned shadow, with a life of its own, can feel really scary. It seems to erupt at inconvenient times in ways that confuse and harm us and those around us.

When we were young, we cut off aspects of ourselves and seem to spend the rest of our lives trying to feel whole again. A person who can reintegrate their shadow in healthy ways feels in alignment with themselves. They are able to access a sense of wholeness and access far more of their potential. Their relationships with others come from a more mature place. More than that, they are able to use their shadow ally as a bridge to access and create a relationship with the deeper part of themselves that carries a wisdom beyond the part of us that is normally in the driver’s seat. That mysterious bigger, deeper, wider self.

FurnitureSo what has this got to do with our sexual fantasies and kink? 

Guess what! Our taboo kinky and/or sexual fantasies are a fantastic way of turning our shadow into our ally!

Sexual fantasies, just like our dreams, speak in the language of the unconscious. They are not logical, or politically correct. In both dreams and fantasies, we often act in ways we never would in everyday life. We often get to express desires that we didn’t even know we had. The langauge of the unconscious is symbolic. Dreams and sexual fantasies speak the language of symbols and reveal so much about what is going on beneath our awareness.

Furthermore, our sexual fantasies allow us to be aroused. Being aroused is an altered state of consciousness where the veils between our unconscious and conscious minds are naturally thinner. We can have a more intentional interaction with both aspects at this time.

I guide each of my client and play partners into an in-depth consultation about their particular fantasies… I peel back the layers of the fantasy to see the common themes that emerge again and again. What are the underlying motivations for arousal? What situations work for you to create the optimum interaction with your shadow? Now I am offering to guide you through this process too.

Dracula RavenBut why role plays and play scenes?

The wonderful thing about play scenes is that they allow us to interact with our fantasies on a different level than if we just had a wee secret wank while thinking about them. Play scenes are embodied ways of acting out the symbols that make sense to our unconscious minds… they are giving our shadow a place in our lives within the safe container of a clearly negotiated and consensual framework.

This has a profound effect on us. Here is what one person has to say about this work.

“Before i went on this journey with you i was aware of some of my turn ons but was afraid of them because they had led to pain in previous relationships. My turn ons were hidden from the world and everyone around me, even my partners. It was a source that i fed off with pornography and in a very unsatisfying way. I wanted to satisfy these turn on so bad but thought that I wasn’t allowed to and knew that i would never work up the courage to.

I couldn’t imagine how i could ever have a different relationship to my shadow and have it be something that i could delve into and derive deep personal satisfaction from in embodied and lived ways. Also i associated my desires with a lack of consent and violence towards women, i felt shame for that and chastised myself for my desires, I thought that i would never be able to work around that.

interfacing with my shadow has helped me to become aware of and work through very key personal issues that i always wanted to confront and explore but never knew how. I was blocked from creating a relationship with those parts of me that i knew were holding me back. I’ve been able to push through some key limitation and grow in very unexpected ways.

Also i just feel so much more sexually satisfied and I’ve felt moments of sexual power and pleasure that i never thought possible.”

This first workshop will be about exploring our erotic shadows.

We will look more closely into why taboo sexual fantasy is actually an ideal method of meeting and integrating our shadows safely. We will look into the frameworks we need to keep ourselves safe and happy while we explore the taboo. I will guide you through some (fully clothed and non sexual) exercises to help you identify your core erotic themes and decipher them as clues to your unique shadow. By the end of this workshop you will:

* Be well on your way to becoming conscious of your unique erotic wiring and how that is linked to your shadow.
* You will have access to frameworks that create safety for exploring this side of ourselves.
* You will have ways of working out your future play partner’s unique erotic fingerprints or core erotic themes.

You will not be required to share your personal taboo fantasies publically unless you choose to and can participate in activities only to the level you feel comfortable at any given time. Consent and safe containers for exploration are important to me.  If this sounds like you, then pop on over here to buy yourself a ticket

Level two:  Shadow Expressions: Learning to play with Fantasy and Kink

So you are keen to explore deeper but how do you bring this to life? You want to create erotic play scenes based on the information you now have about your erotic shadows. What now?

This workshop an immersive intensive and fully catered retreat, where I teach you the tools I use as a professional. These are skills you need to create play scenes for yourself and your play partners that are designed on your unique erotic wiring.

By the end of this workshop you will have created a scene from beginning to end including pre-play consultations and aftercare. You will have a chance to explore a version of this play scene (which doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual) in the play party evening. We will all get a chance to de-brief and learn from each other’s experiences the next day.  If this is for you, then pop on over here to purchase your ticket.

Practitioner Training:
This is something I am very excited about! Next year I will be launching professional training for those who want to incorporate this work, and more, into their professional practices. This goes into a lot more detail about the skills needed to be a practitioner of this style of work. I will share the skills and tools I use to create sessions for clients who want to use their sexuality as a form of self discovery. BDSM practitioners, Sex workers, therapists, sexological bodyworkers and those that just want to be seriously skilled in this work for their personal play, are welcome.

Please join my mailing list here to stay informed.

Jul 192016
 

dancing shadowAn Introductory Evening: Exploring Sexual Shadows: A deeper look into fantasy & kink with Artemisia de Vine  Aug 3, Byron Bay

Artemisia de Vine is offering two incredible workshops here in our region (Byron Bay) reflecting her extensive experience and knowledge in the area of sexual fantasy, shadow and kink. This introduction evening is a stand alone event and also an introduction to find out what to expect from participating in her Level 1 (https://www.facebook.com/events/248718658838845/) and Level 2 (https://www.facebook.com/events/686938861446741) trainings. Artemisia is a walking powerhouse and this is an event not be missed for anyone curious, open and wanting to learn more.

COST: Early Bird $55 available until July 14th
Full Price: $65

Make sure you join my mailing list here for more info on this and future workshops and events.

Nov 092013
 

Temptation logoAs a professional Dominatrix, ocassional switch and educator in the world of conscious kink, I am often asked how I can possibly thoroughly enjoy play sessions that intentionally humiliate or embarrass my play partner.  How can I be invested in a loving, self-aware path that focuses on mindfulness and embodied meditation and also be into objectifying, degrading, controlling and belittling another human being?

Warning!  This blog discusses explicit adult themes of a fetish, BDSM and kink nature.   

It’s true that I am both a person who strives for integrity and cares deeply for the well-being of my play partners while at the same time I find it incredibly hot to make them perform erotically humiliating acts.  It’s one of my specialties and personal core erotic themes.  I am a humiliatrix.  I even like to some times, with the right partner, switch roles.  Embarrassment, power and eroticism frequently go hand in hand.

Being conscious about kink certainly doesn’t mean “light  and fluffy” BDSM only.  Delving into the feeling of danger and mystery can often be what ignites our erotic play… taking risks… peeking into the dark crevices of our souls…  exploring power or intensity can be what gives a session its bite and heat… carving a delicious memory into our flesh that lasts a life time.    

It could be as simple as having to bare your bottom and bend over for a thorough spanking… being anally taken by a strap on… forced to worship my feet… verbal put downs from mild  to intense…. being made to kneel… spat on… called names… small cock humiliation… put in degrading positions… being made to eat out of a dog bowl…  forced to drink golden showers…  being treated like a sissy slut…  being tied up, teased and laughed at about how turned on you are and how you are never going to be allowed to actually touch the body in front of you… and far more intense, explicit things I won’t go into here. 

shadow04Erotic Shadows

Conscious kink is not about sanitising that… It is about engaging with it in a consensual and aware way that aims to have a positive effect on all involved and allows us to travel deeper into each moment.  It is about learning and harnessing skills to ride the wave rather than be rolled by it… and to enter states of being and, well, consciousness one cannot get to otherwise.  Consciously approaching kink play takes bravery to be self-aware, take self-responsibility and be the hero on your own erotic quest of self discovery.  Far from detracting from the experience, being conscious in BDSM play only makes it more potent.

Each of us have core erotic themes that run through our fantasies and erotic dream-scape.  Core erotic themes vary greatly from person to person and are very often made up of the parts of us that we have suppressed as part of our personal and cultural upbringing.   As we develop and adopt the socially acceptable ways of being and behaving in any given family or culture, some natural parts of us are deemed inappropriate.   Showing anger might be one… taking up too much body space might be another… openly expressing our sexuality might be another…  According to Carl Jung, all of these aspects of our personality are suppressed into our unconscious where we are no longer aware of it on  a day-to-day basis.   The qualities that are suppressed are called our shadow and contains both negative and positive aspects of us.   Our shadow becomes the part of us we can’t see yet has a huge impact on the way we feel, act and react all the time.

Creating shadows is a natural part of learning to belong to any culture but creating shadows also creates shame.  It’s pretty simple.   Suppressing certain aspects of us also creates shame about those aspects.   Our shadow self is made up of all these suppressed aspects.  We access our unconscious, where our shadow lives, through the images and feelings in day and night dreams, imagination and yes, our sexual fantasies.     

Core erotic themes vary greatly from person to person but we all have them  if we dig deep enough we find common flavors running through our sexual fantasies and none of them are politically correct.  Some people, have core erotic themes that are about longing, being desired, having power, being powerless and some of us have core erotic themes that are formed from the clay of humiliation, embarrassment and shame.   Even those that have non humiliation core erotic themes, may have a smattering of humiliation woven through their fantasies anyway.  It is not universal but is very common.   

portal spaceSexual Fantasy as Portal to the Unconscious

Our sexual fantasies are gateways to these suppressed aspects of ourselves because being aroused or in sub space or both, takes us into a different state of consciousness.  When in these head-spaces we think, feel and experience things differently.  In these states of consciousness the veil between unconscious self and conscious self is thinner.  The unconscious bleeds through and we start to think in the langauge of the unconscious… in dream language… in fantasy language… So we have sexual fantasy and shame hand in hand here…  We also have an opportunity  for  inner alchemy here.  To turn the base metals into gold…  All the ingredients are there.   We have an opportunity for the conscious and unconscious to co-operate and align if we choose to embrace our shadow in our erotically fuelled  and/or subspace altered state of consciousness.   

knickersSissy Sluts as an Example of Erotic Shadow 

Cis men into cross dressing are into it for a huge variety of reasons and not all of them have a core erotic theme based in humiliation.  Like-wise, not every one who has humiliation as a core erotic theme is into cross dressing.   I am just using cross dressing as a possible expression of someone who has humiliation as a core erotic theme in the example below.

A person born in a male body is socialised to “act like a man” and “man up” from the moment he is first put in his pale blue onesy as a baby.   Depending on the particular culture, subculture and family beliefs, the idea of how to ‘act like a man” will have various expressions.  Some common themes are not being allowed to wear pink, satin, frills, flowers, make up, or anything associated with being a “girl”.   Crying, showing emotion, forming intimate connections with mates where feelings are openly shared… skipping… moving the pelvis in a “feminine” way etc…  Along for the ride with this mentality is the idea that men are the “doers” in sex and women are the “done to”.   Sex inherently taints women but not men.  Being receptive is female…  Being penetrated is not a “manly” thing to do. 

These attributes and acts literally have to be trained  out of our boys to turn them into “men”.   That means the attributes were there to start with buthad to be suppressed. Many aspects of  masculinity have to be performed and reinforced and are often reinforced quite brutally.  I’m not saying there aren’t natural differences between people born with penises and those born with pussies, but I am saying there are clearly also some pretty strong socialisation processes.  Boys frequently bully each other the second they show any sign of being “girly”.  Being like a girl is the worst crime and is considered weak, submissive and pathetic.  It may even earn you a beating and being socially ostracized.   There is deep shame in showing any attributes considered feminine.  Having a “big cock” is the ultimate symbol of being a sexually virile manly man and is associated with dominance.

barbieAs a dominatrix, I see a lot of men who are incredibly turned on by being forced to wear girly, frilly panties.  They feel really turned on by being forced to do all those things normally considered “sissy” but have no idea why.  It is such a common pattern there is a common name for it.  It’s called a “sissy slut” session.  The sissy sluts who also have humiliation as part of their turn on want to feel all the girly things forbidden to them and be humiliated for it.   They want to feel sexually desired and objectified the way women often are.  They love the feel of the silky under things against their skin but for the humiliation themed sissies, it isn’t truly hot until they are mocked and degraded for it.   They want to not only be smeared in lipstick and made to take on the body language of girls but they want to be degraded and called a slut for it… forced to suck my strap on and then be used anally.   Some find having their cock mocked as small and useless is a real turn on.   Basically, living out their worst fears and transforming them into something pleasurable through eroticising them.

This is just a small sample of many possible forms humiliation sessions might take.  Anyone of any gender can enjoy humiliation play on either the giving or the recieving end.  Another example could be treated like an animal, caged  and collared… because likewise the aspects of us that are considered uncultured, raw and sexual are often correlated with “acting like an animal”.  

Another person may enjoy eroticising the feeling of being seen and used as just a sex object.   Some may secretly fantasise about being a trussed up like a naked, hog-tied, turkey in the middle of the boardroom table while surrounded with corporate types in suits observing and analyzing them.   Others enjoy the thought of  being de-humanised altogether and treated like a resource.  A thing.  Or actively scolded and dressed down.

It’s not always overtly erotic either.  It can be more about subspace and the state of consciousness people go when the mind is tricked into a state of open surrender.  Sub space = submission space and often ressembles the place meditators aim to access.  A surrender of the ego to let some other part of us take the driver’s seat.  

Humiliation is complex.  I won’t go into all the possible nuances here.  Some of us have it as a deeply rooted core erotic theme that will remain with us for the rest of their lives.  Others of us have other core erotic themes but have aspects of feeling shame and embarrassment threading through our secret masturbation fantasies like a spice that adds the kick.  It’s not surprising really given the mixed messages we are given about our sexuality from the get go.  It’s a source of wonder and great shame.  The sex Goddess is also the “slut” and the “whore”.  

thespianDoesn’t acting it out reinforce it?  How can that be conscious and healthy?

So what do we do with this?   I have met may a tantrika or well-meaning person who thinks we need to heal this aspect of ourselves.  While I agree that working through sexual shame is one of the great works of our era, I do not agree that  our sexual fantasies and consensual role plays should be “healed”.  That is, the aim of conscious kink as I see it, is not to make those uncomfortable fantasies go away.   To avoid embracing our politically incorrect turn ons would be to suppress those aspects of ourselves even further… creating an even stronger struggle between our conscious minds and our shadow selves.   Instead, I propose we embrace our shadow in a conscious, lusty, full power way with a cherry on top!

By creating safe spaces to bring out and explore our shadow selves in a play scene we are creating a container with a neat beginning, middle and end that allows us to let the usually suppressed parts of ourselves take the driver’s seat.  It is a ritual if you like, where we can create temporary, different rules and ways of being that we consent to with awareness.  Our subconscious doesn’t speak the same langauge or play by the same rules as our conscious minds.  In a play scene we are letting the language of the subconscious take over, or at least bleed through.   By acting these shadow aspects of ourselves out, we  create an opportunity to bring the paradoxical elements of ourselves into alignment.  The paradox never goes away but we learn to ride it and find the treasure at the heart of it.  It is right there in the point where darkness and light meet that the magic lies.  

The point is not to turn darkness into light.  Oh no!  Too much sweetness and light leads to spiritual diabetes.  The point is to ride the paradox and engage with it consciously.  

By bringing unconscious and conscious into alignment something powerful happens.  Our shadow is no longer, well unconsciously controlling our feelings, reactions, beliefs, relationships.   Instead, the conscious and unconscious are co operating and co creating.  The shadow becomes our ally rather than our feared monster under the bed and we have a sense of inner alignment.

This moment of paradox in alignment sometimes just happens accidentally without us ever consciously examining any of the whys and hows.   The play is enough on its own to create this effect.   If you are erotically drawn to something and you have the opportunity to live it out in a safe way with consenting adults, then go for it.  Follow those erotic cookie crumbs!  They are leading you to a deeper relationship with your shadow self.   However just doing it randomly is a bit hit and miss.  

If we enter into humiliation play with awareness and conscious intention, we have the potential to nudge the result into an even more effective and powerful place more often.  While there are never any guarentees, the result is far more likely to be empowering rather than reinforcing the status quo.  There is the world of difference between a client who comes to me like our play is a dirty secret, feels ashamed that he has this need, responds unconsciously by being shifty and sleazy and then turning on me afterwards, to a client who comes to me willing to be the hero on his own inner alchemy quest by exploring his Kink proclivities with awareness and taking self-responsibility.   The outcome of the two sessions are vastly different.

In the case of the sissy sluts, conscious kink creates a place to play with gender.   We don’t try to make it politically correct because that would actually kill the power of acting out our shadow selves.  Remember the unconscious is not politically correct and we need to allow space to give it voice.   By acting out our sissy slut, we come into a greater awareness and relationship with the suppressed so-called “girly” or “slutty” parts of ourselves.    Instead of then becoming revolted when men act in “girly” ways without knowing why, we begin to lose that knee jerk revulsion.  We then have more choice around how we interact with gender and allow those around us to interact with their own gender identity in whatever way they choose.  Being  sissy slut doesn’t stop beign a turn on for us and as far as I am concerned it shouldn’t.   What happens is we have a more aware, healthy relationship to our inner sissy slut that ripples out into our relationship with ourself and others in all areas of life. 

erotic themesPersonal Core Erotic Themes

Each of us has different core erotic themes so not every one will be drawn to explore humiliation scenes.   Of those into humiliation, there will be a huge variety of fantasies about how that might manifest in your hottest turn ons.   Certainly not everyone will be turned on by being a made into a sissy slut.  While many men go through the process of having the “girl” beaten out of them through socialisation, only some end up with sissy slut fantasies.   No one really knows why for sure.  

Perhaps instead your fantasies are based on being caught masturbating, or having the girl you fancy use her power over you to make you jump through hoops?   Being degraded and having your mouth used as a toilet…  Or simply being made to beg to be fucked…  Maybe you like role play where you are caught rifling through your neighbor’s  knicker draw and she threatens to tell your parents if you don’t do exactly as she says…  Maybe you fantasise about being naked in a board room full of corporate types in suits?  The scenarios are endless and I have become very creative in finding ways to tease out those hots spots in an individual’s core erotic theme.  

The reason that I am drawn to humiliation play is that is one of my own core erotic themes.  I get it.  I really get it.  My goodness did it take me a long time to be able to admit it!   I’m into degrading and erotically humiliating others and under the right circumstances, I’m turned on by having the tables turned.  Oh the shame of having humiliation and degradation as a turn on.  *Cue irony*

As an aside, It is also worth noting that having core erotic themes like humiliation, does not stop us from also accessing other forms of erotic pleasure like making love, sensuality, ecstatic erotically-fuelled trance states, kundalini experiences and more.   Fantasy and kink play is only one possible expression out of many.   If you only know how to be aroused from your core erotic theme and can’t access any other forms of erotic interaction, then I suggest going to a sexologcial bodyworker or other conscious sexuality professional and learning how to access even more potential within you.  More options  = more ways of playing and connecting with self and others. 

ying-yang-yin-x-250943 So what makes Conscious Kink humiliation play sessions any different? 

There are all sorts of skills from neo-tantra, mindfulness and other somatic embodiment practices that are helpful to enhance any sort of kink play.  There are all sorts of subtle ways of  moving into deeper relationship with self from various esoteric traditions and somatic body-mind techniques.  Techniques from tantra, yoga, mindfulness and transcendental meditation practices all translate well into kink play.  However,  a really great place to start is simply with intention and awareness.

Just being aware that this play is a opportunity to own our erotic shadow selves and make them an ally already makes a big difference to how we approach any session.   Having the intention to tune into and embrace our erotic shadow changes everything.

I find discussing and stating out loud our intention in a clear sentence or two before we begin has a subtle but potent impact on a play scene.  Our unconscious responds to our intentions in ways that ripple out into our lives in ways we can’t really pre-conceive.   Having the intention, to love and respect ourselves and consciously let go for a given amount of time to fully enter into a normally suppressed way of being, accepting ourselves and each other “warts and all” makes a big difference.  Being witnessed, accepted and held in our  secret, sexy, vulnerable, shameful places is huge!

This kind of play often leads to a way of being where our shadow selves start to work with us in everyday life rather than control us in unconscious ways, bursting out like volcanos in seemingly unconnected areas of our lives.  Personally, I have been blown away with just how powerful simple tools like intention and awareness have.

barbed candleConscious Kink as a Spiritual Path 

Each person has their own spiritual or existential perspective and far be it from me to tell you what to think.  You certainly don’t  have to adopt my take on spirituality for this process to work.   However, to me, the great soul work of being human is to fully experience being human and awaken to our full selves.  Awaken all the layers…  We often wander about in a sleep walk, living our pre-programmed social scripts and wonder why we feel dissatisfied.   The antidote is to wake up!

More and more people are waking up and truly living.  One of the key ways to do this is to befriend our shadow selves and turn it into an ally.    One excellent and effective way to do this is through accessing our sexuality… where the veils between the conscious and unconscious are naturally thinner and alignment is more easily achievable.

I am of the school of thought that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience but we are spiritual beings having a human experience.  That means everything is already sacred just the way it is.  However the ultimate experience is being conscious of and fully exploring our humanity with awareness of our inner spark of divinity.  We feel the most right, the most content and at “home” when we are in alignment with all aspects of ourselves.

Sounds good, so where do we start?  

So all this sounds really exciting and you’d like to play.   Start by thinking about the common themes running through your hottest, most forbidden fantasies.  The ones you hardly dare think about unless you are so aroused you are about to cum.   There will likely be lots of different scenarios you enjoy.  Take notice of what the underlying themes are.  What common ingredient makes it hot for you again and again no matter what shape the fantasy takes?   Break that down so you can clearly communicate it and consent to it, agreeing to safewords and after-care.

hand shakeConsent, Negotiation and Safe words

Humiliation is a volatile fantasy to play with.  It has to be very carefully discussed and consented to before hand because one person’s turn on is the next person’s traumatic experience.  I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to discuss a potential humiliation scene thoroughly and work out exactly what hits the hot buttons and which ones hit the genuine ouch buttons.   It is important for all parties involved to consent to certain activities, attitudes and understand the vibe of the individual player’s core erotic theme.  

No matter how much you plan, there is always a certain amount of risk in these kinds of games.  I get my play partners to actively acknowledge that risk and take self-responsibility for it.  Having a plan for if things go awry is really useful.    We agree to a safe word that can stop our play at any time if needed.  I ask my play partners not to use the safe word willy-nilly but to take three long, slow breaths before using it.  If they still need to use, it, go for it but make sure they need to.  Life isn’t all nice kittens and pie and sometimes the most challenging parts of the play turn out, in hindsight, to be what really gave it power.

My most immediate psychological “first aid” tool for if my play partner or I becomes triggered is to focus on breathing.   When an unexpected surge of emotion rises in us, as it sometimes does when working with erotic alchemy,  I get the person to focus completely on their breath.  Counting with them and guiding them to breath very slowly and fully.. letting the air fall all the way out before taking the next breath.   Doing this for ten breaths is often enough to shift the burst of emotive energy  to be able to talk about it and feel into what needs to happen next.  If what needs to happen is beyond my scope, I have the numbers of highly respected, kink-friendly counsellors and psychotherapists handy.

It’s also important to discuss after-care.  Even if my play partner is grinning from ear to ear at the end of our session, aftercare may be needed to bring things full circle.   It is good to discuss with the person what they need to reassure them they are a respected, valuable human being.  For some people suddenly becoming all nurturing at the end of the session would burst the bubble for them but for others, it is essential or they will feel weepy and empty for days.  There are no fixed rules so communication and risk aware experimentation is key.    Quite often a blanket, a cup of tea and a chance to de-brief about the experience is enough.

If your play partner is not experienced, it may help to seek out someone in the kink and/or tantra scene who is who can help you work it out.   The local kink scene often runs workshops and skill shares.  Or else you can book in for a professional session with a dominatrix or switch. Some professionals approach their play more consciously than others so ask questions until you find the right fit.  Many kink professionals are happy to see couples and guide them into a play session together.  

If you are looking to specifically learn the skills to take humiliation into the realm of conscious play as part of your personal journey into great self-awareness, personal transformation, discovery and alignment then there are people listed on my website who work in those areas offering everytign from counselling, workshops, and play sessions.   There is a book list on the resources section of my website.   You are also welcome to sign up to my mailing list to keep an eye out for upcoming workshops or book in for a personalised consultation or play session.  Skype sessions consultations available.  

Most of all, remember that while this kind of play can push boundaries and be challenging, it is also lots and lots of  fun and one hell of an adventure!   Good luck on your quest to discover even more of your inner world and get off in the process.  Yay for the paradox of holy smut!

 – Artemisia de Vine: Goddess of Conscious Kink

 

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