Bondage - sexual fetish (old thread)

Submitted by wotan on
Printer-friendly version

Hello to everybody on this forum.
I am a 29 year old heterosexual man with a habit of masturbating to pornography. After reading „Peace between the sheets“, I decided to stop it for good. This is not the first time I reflect on the issue of sexuality. Years ago I discovered the connection between my physical and psychological symptoms and masturbation. Unfortunately I came to follow the doctrine of a false guru. He sells his products on the internet. Marnia cites him in her book on p. 47/48. Initially I felt better taking his products, but eventually his „dopamine formula“ led to even more self-indulgence, which in the long run aggravated the hangover symptoms.
So I searched for alternatives and found „Brahmacharya“ by Swami Sivananda. I stopped masturbating and fantasising for two weeks. I followed his proposition to control my mind, and what shall I say - it was ridiculously easy. Then my former girlfriend, with whom I had a long-distance relationship at the time, made a visit, and gone were all the good resolutions.

I am very much in favour of what Marnia calls the middle way. I always believed in striving for balance, avoiding the extremes, and the "Exchanges" really make sense to me. But there is this one thing that I am grappling with lately. I am into Bondage. Not BDSM, mind you. It is more like what some call „Love Bondage“. It revolves around tying each other up. That’s it. No spanking, no torture, no humiliation. I do not like pain. My favourite practice is tying my partner up and then caressing her, enjoying the immense trust she is giving me. I love to see her relishing her helplessness, and I try to express how deeply grateful I am for her to have surrendered willingly her very being into my hands. For me it is about accepting a gift you have to honour. Maybe you have heard of it being consensual, etc. I do not like to do this with a woman who does not want it herself. And as much as I like to caress a willingly bound woman, I enjoy her tying me up, stroking and pampering me.
Why, of course this often leads to conventional orgasm, and there I see indeed a problem. But – and this may be difficult to understand for someone who is not into this – the sexual aspect can under certain circumstances take a back seat. Sometimes my former girlfriend would tie me up and continue preparing her lessons (she was a schoolteacher). I knew she would not have the time to engage in anything sexual. Only now and then she would take a break to look after me. She would lie down by my side and cuddle up to me. In the intervals between her visits I went into what people call „subspace“. No, I did not have any spiritual experiences (although I have heard of that, too), but I was in a state of deep relaxation.
I admit that this was not always the case, as I was naturally inclined to fantasise, thereby triggering the nerochemical changes which make us desire a climax. But I am wondering if there is not a way to include my sexual predisposition in the "Exchanges". I am speaking of „predisposition“ because I do not see how I could break away from it without negating myself. Sure, I have not yet experienced a valley orgasm induced by mutual giving and the psychological changes generated by it. I am however about to finish the third week of abstinence from pornography and masturbation (I am currently single). Maybe this is too early to expect radical changes, but I sense that Bondage is a part of my being. I did not get there by looking at pornography. When I was a little boy, long before I knew what sex is all about, I would get an erection when I unwittingly watched a scene where a woman was being tied up.
There are countless attempts to explain where such inclinations originate from. Everything has a reason, and although I might not be able to pinpoint it, I know for sure that it has nothing to do with banal, coincidental occurrences in the period of infancy. There is more to it.
When I tie my partner up, I like her to see the ropes as an extension of my embraces, and to feel safe and secure. The way I see it, this is not as far away from the notion of giving as it first seems when you hear the word „Bondage“. It does not necessarily lead to the objectification of the other person, from my experience it can be quite the contrary. Of course, you would have to substitute loving exchanges for conventional intercourse.
Any thoughts?

Hi. Interesting post. I've

Hi. Interesting post.

I've never tried bondage but I thank you for providing a description of it that doesn't turn on my red flag signals. Probably the reason for this is that you enjoy being tied up by a woman as much as tying her up. This implies to me that this is more than a need to control women (which, while it may have nothing to do with your inclinations, is the concern that I bring to such descriptions).

While what you describe doesn't sound unhealthy to me per se, I wonder what other delights and treats may have gone by unnoticed because of such an overidentification with this as being the thing that really turns you on.

I say this because there was a point where I could never have imagined the preposterous notion of wanting to voluntarily have sex without orgasm. I needed very much to identify myself as an orgasmic woman for my own sense of self worth, not to mention they can be fun (in the moment, shall we say). I know this is a different thing altogether but my point is that sexual exchange had much more to offer than what I could have ever conceived of or identified with as being an inclination. The greatest thing about the sexual journey in my opinion is that sexuality will never stop expanding, changing, and growing if you are able to savor all of the nuances of it. It seems to me that much of the pleasure you get from this bondage comes from savoring, and from the dynamic between power and trust. And the power of fantasy (which is usually done alone -). The exchanges mentioned on this site are aimed at bringing men and women back into harmony, back together. Fantasy seems to me to be a distraction from this possibility.

THe first thing that comes to mind when I picture a woman or any person tied up is that it would be harder to move in expressive ways.

In the past, my orgasmic feelings were localized in one spot and my body didn't move as much.

Being a massage therapist, I have become fascinated with each joint area and the many ways that we as humans can move but perhaps do not let ourselves. I dance a lot as part of my own practice of body-awareness and felt-sense - a skill that I am always fine- tuning so as to be able to communicate with other's muscles and tissues. I have also been practicing Chi-kung for the past few months (which essentially releases held tension and chi, allowing a more fluid and continuous flow of energy through the body) . The combination of dance and CHi-kung has made my whole body extremely sensitive to touch from another - the electrical charge causes all the muscle groups to vibrate. There is a force in my body that wants to express itself. It wants to ripple through my whole system. The more I choose not to have orgasm, the more this charge is given permission to make its way through my whole body. My body becomes a conduit for the expression of life-force. The waves can be gentle and small or larger spinal undulations. They come with surrender to something greater.

I only bring this up because I wonder how being tied up would hamper this? Who knows, maybe not at all. That's just a little bit where I'm coming from. Ultimately I think the approach described on this forum comes down to generosity. If we're hooked on orgasm, generosity becomes much less likely. So, in any case, good for you for withholding this long. Hope you find someone lovely to explore your bondage inclinations without orgasm.

Hmmm...

First of all, I have no direct thoughts about your turn on. Second, what comes to MY mind is the Taoist saying about how the ideal dynamic between men and women in the bedroom is "woman is the boat; man is the pilot." (I know you like a two-way street, but bear with me.)

For me the Taoists were aware of the fact that women can more easily relax into an open, radiantly loving space if they don't have to "drive" too. Men, on the other hand, are often quite relaxed "piloting" - and once the woman relaxes into that "dynamic stillness" state it's perhaps easier for the man to get there, too.

When my husband and I have given talks to groups, we often have them do an exercise where the men pilot the women around the room, while the women close their eyes and let the men steer their shoulders from from behind. Often women find it a delicious experience to fall into that space of trust, and the men find it equally delicious to be trusted completely. It seems to bring out the best in both partners.

If you're determined to leave orgasm behind, then you may find the urge to engage in bondage naturally fades - simply because it is linked to orgasm. Remember that story from PBTS about the woman whose doctor snipped her when she was a baby, and who, when she became sexually active, always had sexual fantasies about torture? When she stopped going for orgasm, she found it easy to let the fantasies go. Before that they ran in her mental movie theater every time - because her reward circuitry had linked them with the Big Payoff.

So maybe don't try to answer the question "is bondage who I am?" Just let the situation remain fluid and see what happens. I just read a book by a lesbian psychologist, Lisa Diamond. It's called "Sexual Fluidity." She found that over the ten-year period that she interviewed almost 80 "non-hetero" women, 1/3 would change "who they were" every two years (between categories, such as "bisexual" "heterosexual" etc.). She realized that our "sexual turn-on" brain mechanism is not our "emotional bonding" mechanism. You can be deeply in love just employing the second, and that's what karezza is all about, really. It makes intercourse into a bonding behavior, and down plays the sexual heat that so often pushes us toward our more colorful behaviors.

Here's the thing. Most people feel like gaining control of their "sexual turn-on" mechanism makes them "more who they really are." (I'm thinking of the recovered porn addicts and my husband who said the same thing a lot after we got together and started practicing karezza. His depression fell away and his addiction came under control, so some real shifts were going on. And even though he was giving up some of his favorite thrills, such as alcohol and masturbation/orgasm, he said repeatedly that he felt MORE like himself.) I find that interesting, but I'm not sure what to make of it.

Thanks for sharing your story. Welcome to the forum. I've enabled you to blog in case you want to keep us informed. Instructions are here: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

I have an issue with the

I have an issue with the "woman is the boat, man is the pilot" thing. While it sounds fine and all, why couldn't it be the other way around? I'm a guy myself(even though he girly username :p ) and I've often felt that I want to give up the control too, that I want to be gently guided and so..

In general too, whenever someone says "women are this, men are that" in any variation, no matter how spiritual or sacred or anything, I pretty much instantly distrust or even flat out reject it. I'm very much against someone telling me how to be - unless that advice is in accordance with me!! I also don't want to be defined by my genitals or chromosomes; we are all individuals, and some can be quite different from the others. Maybe I'm just a freak. :p

PS: I don't mean that I want to be controlled, or dominated. It's more like that I'd like to feel that I'm safe and watched, that I too can relax(aaaah.) and just let go and drown(excuse the pun) in the sea of gentleness. :)

Some more things(I'm a

Some more things(I'm a two-post guy, it seems).

In most pictures and illustrations, it's always the man holding the woman - in any position. It's always that the man holds the woman and woman can relax or feel safe and held. Now, nothing bad with it, of course - I'd gladly cuddle a lady! However, it's always that I hug and cuddle her, but rarely the other way around. (Or maybe I have my blinders on.) Mind you, I'm quite tall too - 6 feet 2 inches. Sometimes I think that I'd like to be smaller. But that's not really the solution either. I'd like to be really small. A small baby who could be cradled. :) But that's not ideal either, I'd soon grow up again. Solution: be a woman. :)

I think I fell of my rocker. Again. Doh! :)

But it also may not for some

But it also may not for some people.
It's on more than just intellectual grounds, as I said. The "reject the authority" thing is just one little detail of it. I've always been this way, but I always get the message that I have to "stay awake and not let yourself go".
So, sorry but I'll experiment with both of it. Gotta find what works best for me and my mate. :)

Good idea

DO make your own experiments. Surely you see that that is exactly how I ended up learning what I learned. I'm not discouraging you from experimenting. Just attempting to keep your mind slightly open as you do so. Smile

Wotan

Could you tell us a bit more about what happened when you took L-dopa (for those who aren't familiar with it...a drug that is a precursor to dopamine)? It can't be good to speed up the hamster wheel, but I'd be interested in details of what you experienced if you care to share.

Basically my body reacted

Basically my body reacted the way you described it in the articles on your site. I grew ever more „hungry“. In the beginning, I was willing and able to control myself, since Dr. L. recommended an ejaculation frequency of once a week in order to „cure“ myself from over-masturbation. The rush of energy was almost incredible. I would be walking in the streets feeling like a cat of prey. I felt so confident it almost hurt. Often I was disappointed not having more opportunities to showoff my power. I was extremely quick-witted, my swagger regained its characteristic bounce I had before I began to suffer from my porn addiction, and I gained lean muscle mass everywhere on my body, although I only practiced martial arts. I started doing heavy calisthenics like one-arm pushups, handstand pushups, pull-ups, etc. I grew obsessed with physical culture and martial arts, striving also to deepen my theoretical knowledge pertaining to those, so I practically spent my days doing research and working out/training. I should add that in those days I did not find anything unusual about all this, since in my good old days (i.e. before the chronic fatigue set in, which appears to be a characteristic symptom of over-masturbation) I was a very enthusiastic individual. When in your book you talk about people senselessly wasting their forces because they are lacking the manual for their above-average energy levels which they may have made possible in past lives, this sounds like me. Although I had to sleep like every other normal person, I virtually never got tired. Physically and mentally my energy at times seemed boundless. The difference is that then I was collected, composed, able to manifest my energy only when necessary. The dopamine formula made me want to use it right away, whenever possible, in whatever way.
The aftereffects of ejaculation disappeared for a while, which is why I thought that this false guru might be on to something after all. In retrospect I suppose that this was due to the fact that my artificially boosted dopamine levels somewhat suppressed my prolactine levels, if only for a certain time. Later my orgasms grew more and more violent, and so a balance between high and low is likely to have been reestablished in this way. In any case, encouraged by my seeming invulnerability, I restarted to masturbate more often. If before I was addicted, now I was a wanking monster. Not wanting to ejaculate more than once a day, I prolonged the sessions. My sad record was six hours nonstop. I did not even find the time to eat a snack meanwhile (remember the rat experiment you mention in some of your articles...?) The day after I had intense pains in the lower abdomen which came and went like a flash. Worried about a forthcoming appendicitis, I consulted a doctor who found nothing and told me it was a neuralgic thing which is sometimes caused by rapid changes in ambient temperature, it would go away in a day or two. Go away it did, but of course I did not tell him about what I had done the night before.
After several weeks, I was symptomwise in the same situation as before. The added muscle disappeared from my frame and I became lethargic again, with or without the product.

By the way, the product does not contain levodopa in its isolated, synthetic form, the thing they give to Parkinson patients. In the tablets I took it comes in form of a whole-plant extract which apparently is also used in Ayurveda.
And the way I understood it, levodopa does not mimic dopamine, rather, it is one of its precursors. The primary chain of biological synthesis being: L-Tyrosine – L-Dopa – Dopamine, it is evidently the most potent pecursor.

There were many different ingredients in the tablets. The „inventor“ claimed them to be a balanced yin/yang formula if taken together with some of his basic packages, which I also took. I started with a package which did not contain L-Dopa, and one thing I have noticed is that one product in particular eased my smptoms without overstimulating me. Its main ingredients were 5-HTP and GABA. Take this just as a side note. Someone here opened a thread trying to find herbal help in order to ease his withdrawal symptoms. Personally, I am over with supplements once and for all, but for someone who is into debunking the underlying neurochemical mechanism, this might prove interesting.

I am wondering why I seem to be the only person on this forum with a kinky penchant. While people like me are still referred to as belonging to a fringe group, and rightfully so, this group is nevertheless growing rapidly (if we are to buy into the statistics). Is it because „perverts“ are less likely to consider higher forms of expression of sexuality? I thought that the more you got stuck in the mud, the more are you likely to develop the will to change.

Marnia: „I find that interesting, but I'm not sure what to make of it.“ Why that? I thought that it would be clear for you by now. A casting of the skin, which brings to daylight what is really underneath. At least this is how I understand it. Anyway, thank you for the hint. Wait and see is what I intend for the time being. As to the story of the woman who was snipped when she was baby, this may be true for her case, but I do not generally believe in this type of thing. I have what you might call a spiritual teacher, and he told me that each time we come here, we come with a set of dualistic topics – e.g. Power-Powerlessness, Closeness-Distance, and so forth. Two extremes are two versions of the same thing. We are here to find our center. One of my topics happens to be Power-Powerlessness, and it seems only logical to assume that my interest in bondage is a mere expression of it on the sexual level. Hereby I do not mean to justify living it out. I want both power and powerlessness. If I find my center, I can do the right thing at the right time (in life, of course). The pendulum has to stop swinging. Studying the Seven Cosmic Laws was a real eye-opener for me.

Hotspring: „I needed very much to identify myself as an orgasmic woman for my own sense of self worth“ Very interesting, I observed the same dynamic in my fomer girlfriend. Thank you for the hint on dancing. This is one of my greatest passions (I have come to dislike this term a bit lately), I think I will dance more from now on.
"They come with surrender to something greater." Wow, this is exactly the thing I reflected upon as of late. Good point.

Nickname

Incidentally I found out today that wotan is also an english acronym used by right-wing extremists. I have nothing to do with those. I chose my nickname out of the blue, thinking about mythology. Wotan is another name of Odin, the Zeus of Germanic mythology, if you will, probably meaning "to blow", or "to kindle". I just thought it wise to clarify that.

Thanks

I confess that the only "Wotan" I thought of was the mythical one, but you never know.

Anyhow, thanks for sharing your experience and sorting me out on L-dopa. I blush to mention that that is not the first time I've forgotten that L-dopa is only a precursor for dopamine...even if its effects are intended to be very similar. It would be interesting to know what herbs you actually took, although it may be a blessing *not* to, come to think of it. Smile I remember once giving a talk to a conference of sexologists. After I explained the risks of dopamine excess/crashes, I mentioned that there's a sexual enhancement drug that actually tries to *raise* dopamine. That's all they heard. They ignored the advice, which was *obviously wrong* and just wanted to know the name of the drug. *shakes head* They were probably all burned out, poor things.

Sometimes I wonder why we're so determined to avoid balance. *chuckle* Then I remember...I'm no different.

I'm really sorry for what you've been through. I'm naturally a "shortcut" kind of gal, so most of my learning curve has consisted of shortcuts that didn't work. Smile Still I always learned something useful, and obviously you have, too. Sounds like you're gaining healing perspectives on the curious bondage urge, too. Keep us posted. I'm sure others will also benefit.

Subspace

Subspace is something I've read about and discussed, but never experienced. It is talked a lot about in BDSM literature. It can be associated with orgasm but often (usually?) is not. In fact, a number of people have reported that orgasm drops them out of subspace.

Does anyone know what is going on physically in the brain during this time?

P.

By the way, in answer to Hotspring's comment above, in "real" BDSM, it is the sub, not the Dom, who designs the scene, because it is the sub's fantasy that is being played out. BDSM has a cruel public image, but the reality is quite different. I'm not into the scene, but I have interviewed people who are.

Psychiatrist Norman Doidge on BDSM

I thought this excerpt from The Brain That Changes Itself might be of interest to readers. NOTE: You may first want to read this relevant background in the form of earlier excerpts from Doidge's book, before reading this segment.

[pp. 124-126] The rewiring of our pleasure systems, and the extent to which our sexual tastes can be acquired, is seen most dramatically in such perversions as sexual masochism, which turns physical pain into sexual pleasure. To do this the brain must make pleasant that which is inherently unpleasant, and the impulses that normally trigger our pain system are plastically rewired into our pleasure system.

...

For years the police, though raids on S&M establishments, knew more about serious perversions than most clinicians. While patients with milder perversions often come for treatment of such problems as anxiety or depression, those with serious perversions seldom seek therapy because, generally, they enjoy them.

Robert Stoller, MD, a California psychoanalyst, did make important discoveries through visits to S&M and B&D (bondage and discipline) establishments in Los Angeles. He interviewed people who practiced hardcore sadomasochism, which inflicts real pain on the flesh, and discovered that masochistic participants had all had serious physical illnesses as children and had undergone regular, terrifying, painful meical treatment. [emphasis added] "As a result," writes Stoller, "they had to be confined severely and for long periods [in hospitals] without the chance to unload their frustration, despair and rage openly and appropriately. Hence the perversions." As children, they consciously took their pain, their inexpressible rage, and reworked it in daydreams, in altered mental states, or in masturbation fantasies, so they could replay the story of the trauma with a happy ending and say to themselves, This time, I win. And the way they won was by erotizing their agony.

The idea that an "inherently" painful feeling can become pleasurable may at first strike us as hard to believe, because we tend to assume that each of our sensations and emotions is inherently either pleasurable (joy, triumph, and sexual pleasure) or painful (sadness, fear, and grief). But in fact this assumption does not hold up. We can cry tears of happiness and have bittersweet triumphs; and in neuroses people may feel guilty about sexual pleasure, or no pleasure at all, where others would feel delight. An emotion that we think inherently unpleasurable, such as sadness, can, if beautifully and subtly articulated in music, literature, or art, feel not only poignant but sublime. Fear can be exciting in frightening movies or on roller coasters. The human brain seems able to attach many of our feelings and sensations either to the pleasure system or to the pain system, and each of these links or mental associations requires a novel plastic connection in the brain.

The hardcore masochists whom Stoller interviewed must hae formed a pathway that linked the painful sensations they had endured to their sexual pleasure systems, resulting in a new composite experience, voluptuous pain. That they all suffered in early childhood strongly suggests that this rewiring occurred during the critical periods of sexual plasticity.

[Doidge then goes on to tell a detailed story of a masochist who had cystic fibrosis as a child.

Here's a segment on how to rewire the brain to ease a compulsion, which describes a technique OCD patients have found helpful.

i dunno man, i never got the

i dunno man, i never got the whole bondage thing. neither in porn or real life. perhaps women like to be tied up and feel at your mercy. but i don't get it. perhaps it is an acquired taste. one i don't wish to acquire. there is no way in hell that i would ever let a woman tie me up.