Bottoms Up: Used

I like being used.

Sometimes, sex is for me: my desires are considered and acknowledged, I’m pampered and doted upon, and my orgasm is one of the main goals.

But sometimes, sex is not for me. Sometimes, sex is me being used — warm, open, and at the whim of someone else’s pleasure. I like being used. Within the confines of a well-negotiated BDSM scene, I like when my opinions are ignored, when it doesn’t matter what I want, when my body is present for whatever my dominant decides to use it for.

It’s not that I’m not allowed to have an orgasm; it’s that my orgasm isn’t the goal. It’s not about punishment, although sometimes it can be. When I’m being used for sex, I feel like a vessel through which pleasure flows, hot and bursting. And I can dip into that pleasure, too, even if not sexually.

I love to be used for sex and pleasure because it feels like an ultimate act of service, and I love serving my dominant. Sometimes I can serve them with my actions, but here I can serve them with my whole body. I can become a toy for my dominant to use however they want. It’s a gift for them, and giving it feels like watching someone open a present I got them that they really wanted. Except in this instance, the present is me. The thing they really want or need is me. I get goosebumps just thinking about it: I am exactly what they want and need, just as I am.

Allowing myself to be used for sex is also a huge act of trust. It’s not something I let anyone do; I reserve it for those I’ve known for a while, who know me and my body, and who I already trust. But even if I know someone really well, there’s always the chance that what happens could damage me, so when I give my body to someone like that, I put a lot in their hands. I require them to know my limits and theirs. I require them to communicate during the act to make sure things never get out of hand. In practice, allowing myself to be used puts me in a very vulnerable place, and I crave that sort of vulnerability. I yearn for it because alongside it comes the chance to deepen my trust in another person and to take our relationship to the next level.

I say that I’m putting trust in my dominant that I won’t be damaged because often when my body’s being used for another person’s pleasure, it hurts. I like pain. A lot. I love the feeling of walking around the next day with bruises all over my thighs, remembering that I got them from being thoroughly fucked the way someone needed to thoroughly fuck me. I love the feeling of getting into a hot shower and having the water sting raw bite marks or swollen welts. Physical, painful reminders of sex keep me grounded. Pain helps me experience my body in a visceral way that prevents me from disassociating. It requires me to be present, and that presence is something I always crave.

But I think more than anything, I like when I can offer my body for someone else’s use because it gives me a sense of purpose during sex, and then purpose is directly related to being what my dominant wants me to be. I’m always getting better at quieting the little voice in my head that’s telling me I’m not enough or not a good submissive, but it’s still there. Especially when so much of my service isn’t directly related to sex, allowing myself to be fully present and taking pleasure during sex can make me feel a little guilty. Being used is an act of restraint, of control, and of sacrifice. It connects me to my dominant in a way that other sex doesn’t because no part of this act is something we’re doing for me; it’s all for them. And when my dominants are often so nurturing, so giving, and so willing to listen and adjust to what I want, being used makes me finally feel like I can give them something in return.

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Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 330 articles for us.


  1. I would just like to say that as I clicked on this article, “Sex With Me” by Rihanna came up on my playlist…tis Fate.

  2. Rawr, sexy!

    I 100% relate, thanks for sharing!

    I really love Betty Martin’s quadrant theory to describe this sort of dynamic- the take/allow, she calls it. It feels so good when the trust is there to be able to just lay back and allow them to take their pleasure .

  3. So beautiful. Thank you. Gave me a little bit more understanding of what it can feel like to a playpartner.

  4. Perfectly captures the beauty and heat of surrender. Thank you.
    (If you’re ever in KC, let us know- maybe you’ll happen to be here on a meeting weekend!)

  5. I sent this to my Sir and he goes “It’s almost like YOU wrote it!”
    …so like, I relate a little bit.

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