Barak Article

Playing to Extremes
Friday Nov 19, 2010

So I was sitting here, after joining the group "Extreme Sadists," considering. I became curious, as to what exactly constitutes an "Extreme Sadist" vs. a run of the mill "Sadist". What are the criteria for classifying one's self in one category or the other. What is the reference point? Is it an intrinsic quality or an extrinsic objective standard? Is it a mindset? Is it a desired outcome? Is this a title we “progress” toward in our scene evolution? Is it playing at the edges of consent? Is it the type of play?

I was also contemplating the fact that possibly it is a question of perception. But then who's perception are we referring to? The Sadists? Perhaps the recipient of their ministrations? Those who are watching the scene? Those who hear about the scene later? Is there some SM boardroom or secret “star chamber” of elite extreme sadists who sit up on high and deem someone worthy? What do we get if we pass this test? A bright red and black t-shirt with an embroidered logo? Perhaps a black hanky for our left rear pocket, embossed with a bright orange stripe?

I refer to myself as a Sadist; simply because I derive energy from another's consensual pain. I mainly derive two types of energy – a sexual charge, and a “Power & control” charge. Those moans, those screams of pain, that look of agony, the whimper of suffering, those leaking tears; all slightly intermingled with either pleasure or a willingness to endure that for me. It’s like the finest wine, or the tastiest food. When the gift of pain is offered and is well received by a willing bottom? It brings me great pleasure and sates my appetite, as though I have fully fed.

Does this mean that I have to go to extremes to get “fed;” not at all. I can derive energy from the simple application of my single finger in a pectoral pressure point. We can stand there with entwined arms, looking into each other’s eyes as my index finger increases pressure and their tears well. I will greatly enjoy holding the superior aspect of the Vastus Medialis (the largest muscle in the inner thigh) between my thumb and index, and giving it intermittent squeezes, eliciting the occasional gasp. Or perhaps a slow rhythmic fist into the upper aspect of the breast? Do any of these appear extreme? Of course not. However, ask that of the bottom after we have been working that area for an hour or so and they are barely able to stand.

Am I willing to go to extremes with someone who can accept that offering? Absolutely. Does it take predicament suspension bondage with a nose hook, an anal hook and a bed of nails? Or will it be drawing a couple hundred cc’s of blood, and creating a huge smackdown bloodbath for the bottom? Is it risking it all with carotid arterial pressure – just to watch the light in the eyes of your bottom fade as they willingly (almost) die for you? Is it finding that a Sjambok just isn’t enough to flay the skin of your bottom’s bottom? While I have gotten a lot of juice from all of the above, and more, does that make me extreme?

Occasionally, I can see the newer players jumping right in, and starting down a path with the goal of being extreme. Sometimes the play is reckless, without those newer players taking the time to get acclimated with their bottom. Instead they barrel headlong into the most extreme play they can fathom. Other times, newer players take their time, judge what works for them, and continue on that path of learning until it reaches the point where it is judged as extreme. But why? It’s because everyone loves the train wreck. We love to watch between the fingers of that hand shielding our eyes. It’s a mixture of horror and fascination.

Is this wrong? That’s not for me to judge. I know what works for me and those I share my play with. I do know that it is an interesting trend in the SM community today. It is both encouraging and terrifying. Encouraging as people are seeking out their bliss; that they are taking it to the edge of their desires. They are determining what works for them. They are discovering new forms of connection or creative ways of sexually and physically communicating with one another. Exciting that they are finding legal and consensual ways to unleash their inner beast and let it run!

But terrifying? As someone who might be considered a community leader; completely. Because the more edges we push, the more boundaries we explore the more we spin that cylinder? Eventually and more often, that hammer is going to hit a live round. As we seek out the extreme, it is important to be aware that with this type of engagement we have a much higher potential to shift from hurt into harm.

While taking risks is something we are all familiar with; are we willing to live with the potential consequences? Let us say that we push just a little too hard, and we damage someone for life? Is that something that both are willing to accept and deal with for the remainder of life? I know that I love my partner Sheba; I care deeply for my girlfriend, Sheryn. If I were to bring harm to either, aside from the possibility of legal consequence, would I be willing to live with myself and care for them if they were paralyzed? If some unknown blood clot broke off and a stroke was the result of our extreme play?

When is enough, enough? When does the risk surpass the euphoria? I remember once as I was just getting involved in the scene and was reading some “erotic horror” type cheap paperback, I read this short story. I will give the quick summary. There was a woman who was into dangerous sex. She could only orgasm when the “danger” was enough. She would bring her boyfriend, who was initially quite reluctant, on these increasingly dangerous trysts. Somewhere in the middle of the story, there was a juxtaposition of their desires. He became the one driving the encounters to more and more extreme limits. The very last image described in the book, had them on the railroad tracks with the speeding train getting closer and closer. She looked up at him frantically, saying “hurry, hurry! The train’s getting closer!” As he was pushing harder and harder into her, he looks up, and seeing the train rapidly closing on them, says, “Just a little closer babe, I am almost there…”

We regularly espouse that our play is all about endorphins. Huge amounts of endorphins are released from both the Top and the Bottom. Both experience a type of “high.” More often than not, when I play harder, heavier or more sadistic, more endorphins are flowing through me. After the scene, as I am snacking, I wonder about the “addiction factor.” I wonder if I will build a tolerance to my own naturally occurring opiates. I ponder the idea that I will have to build higher and higher levels to get the same sensations. Does that affect this phenomenon? How extreme will we eventually have to go to get into “Top Space?”

Let’s look at where we go from here. We get to that place of “What’s the point?” Do we do this to “play to the crowd?” Do we do this to build our reputation, or our “scene legend?’ OR do we do this because it gives us juice? Do we do this because when we play at the razor’s edge of a person’s limits the energy created for both is worth it? Is it because that we are honing our skill to improve and push our abilities? Questions that may be worth contemplating when reaching for the more.

All I can say is this: I do what I do with the people I care about because I thirst for a more powerful connection. I love what it is that we do. When I am playing, the only thing that exists is the two of us, and the dance of our energies. It is a time when the music melds with pleasure, pain, flesh, fantasy and spirit; and it all becomes a swirling cataclysmic wave of sensation. So, if that is extreme, then I guess I am extreme. If it isn’t, well, then I guess I will have to hand back the hanky, my t-shirt and go play somewhere else.

Just my thoughts on the subject,


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