Editor’s Warning: This is definitely not for beginners and should only be done with experienced people.
I’m feeling anxious, nervous and really excited. It is my first time in this dungeon space and I haven’t previously played very hard with the Top I’m here with. Yet I’ve agreed to let him use a single tail snake whip on me tonight. Despite the conventional wisdom that says man cannot fly, I am also hoping to Fly tonight. I’m being led through a large dungeon play space that is packed with many very hot leather-clad and naked men engaged in advanced BDSM scenes: floggings, bondage, breath control, needle play, fisting, you name it. The Top I’m with directs me to the far end of the room where a large St. Andrews cross is standing in the corner. He tells me to strip naked.
Despite the fact that I do not have a finely honed gym body (to say the least), I comply with his request immediately and without a lot of nervous stress, because being naked in a room with 40 other men is now the least of my angst. I’m more concerned at this point with not humiliating myself, not embarrassing my Top and generally making sure I’m not in over my head.
At my Top’s direction I stand facing the cross and the corner, with my back to him. He asks if I would like my wrists and ankles restrained to the cross and I explain that I prefer no restraints. He begins warming up by throwing the whip, but not making direct contact with me. I can hear it whistle right before cracking as it breaks the sound barrier. I can also feel the slight air movement near my back. It’s only a couple of inches away now. I am ready to feel it. And then it happens – the first kiss of the whip against my back. The pain is sharp and stinging. I breathe through the pain and vocally grunt to help process it. He continues building the strokes in a relatively steady rhythm and in a classic V pattern on my back. He builds slowly, ramping to harder lashes with longer contact stripes. By ramping the pain slowly and not “burning his dinner” I am keeping pace with the pain he’s inflicting and processing it with the help of aggressive breathing, loud grunting and tons of sweat. I am about ready to Fly.
So what exactly is “flying?”
Some of the more advanced masochists and pain pigs reading this probably know what I’m talking about from their own experiences. For everyone else, I’ll try to do the feeling justice in words, but might come up a little short. I’ll also speak from my own experience and perspective, as it’s likely that different people experience Flying in different ways, under different circumstances and with different results.
Flying refers to the feeling I experience after processing a certain amount of pain –under the right set of circumstance. For example, while I believe Flying is directly tied to my body’s testosterone, endorphins and adrenaline levels rising sharply, I also fly better when I’m with a Top I trust implicitly or with a Top I have a great emotional connection with. When I fly, time slows. Things take on an ethereal quality. I sense things around me (and happening to me), but it’s the point at which you do not feel pain anymore, just the vague sensation that there is some physical contact being made with your body. It’s very freeing, a natural high – and frankly, can also be dangerous. When I Fly, I want the feeling to continue, and in order for that to happen, the pain (that I’m no longer feeling as pain) must keep coming. I want more. Crave more. Need more. I know from experience that this is the point at which I have lost virtually all rational thought. I’m not thinking any more – I’m feeling. And of course, this is where it’s really critical to be with a trustworthy Top who can make decisions for me and about my body’s tolerances. Let me emphasize this point again – if you want to take your body and your mind to this place, you have to have a trustworthy Top who will do right by you (since your brain will be mush at this point). It’s also a good idea to play in a public venue where there are Dungeon Monitors and/or other people around who can monitor your safety.
I feel the whip hit me at the same time I hear it, but I no longer feel the sting of impact. It seems distant and fuzzy. I know it made contact with my back, but there is no need to breathe and vocalize. It just is. It seems factual but not physical. I feel like time doesn’t really exist – or maybe it’s stopped? More strokes come, and my reaction changes from acceptance to greed. I want more. I like this! It’s the greatest feeling! No pain! It’s just bliss! More! More! Each stroke is like a gift and I am just floating on a cloud. I actually hear myself giggle. My Top asks me if I’m crying and I pause for a beat as if answering the truth might get me in trouble. I sheepishly confess that I’m laughing and he starts laughing too. He tells me we’re done and to just stand there so I don’t fall over. I’m high as they get – wobbly legs, sweat everywhere and everything around me seems kind of surreal. I’ve been so focused on my top and the energy we’ve been sharing that I notice only now that there’s quite a crowd around us. I hear some murmuring about my back and it’s not until much later when I’m near a mirror that I see what they are talking about.
The Top sits me down, pats my back with clean paper towels (there is blood) and sprays my back with Bactine to help reduce the chance of infection (side note: Bactine promotes itself as “Sting Free” which is just about the biggest lie ever). The Top packs his gear and cleans the playspace while I put on my jeans and boots. He escorts me out of the dungeon to an adjacent room to recover. I sit down and drink water sans shirt, letting my back start to dry out and scab up so we can go home.
An important part of a scene like this is the “aftercare” where the bond between Top and bottom remains intact while both men come down from the high of playing. The bottom in particular is going to be coming down hard from the headspace he was in and will be pretty vulnerable emotionally, probably have some judgment issues, and may need some minor medical care immediately following a scene. I’ve also learned that it’s critical for me to get some good exercise in the couple of days following a heavy scene in order to avoid a post scene “crash” brought on by the plunge in your adrenaline and endorphins when the scene is over. Your mileage may vary.
Best of all, you don’t have to be into whipping to experience Flying. I’ve flown from whipping, spanking, flogging and needle play – all scenes where a great connection with a Top meshed with the right level and ramp of endorphin rush. Who says man can’t Fly?