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Picture a submissive tied to the bed, wrists and ankles bound, spread-eagle and blindfolded. Their dominant holds a Magic Wand over their cunt, perhaps inserts something into one or more of their holes. Working them up. Faster, faster.
“Can I come?”
“No.” The dominant slows the toys down, moves the vibrator away, softens their touch. They kiss the submissive. After a moment, the dominant puts the vibrator back directly on the submissive’s clit and starts to build the rhythm again.
Whimpering, whining; restraint. Then, again: “Can I come now?”
“No.” Slowing down again. Repeat.
“Please. Please may I come? Please let me, oh god, I have to, you’re going to make me, please—”
“Don’t you dare. You know you’re not allowed. Don’t be so dirty and greedy. I can tell you want it. Look how wet you are.”
“Please, please!” Begging now. “I’m so close!”
The dominant waits a little longer. And just a little longer than that. And then: “Okay. Now. Come now. For me. Because I say.” They talk as the submissive comes. “Good, that’s how I like it, that’s what I wanted.” The submissive is a puddle and the dominant soothes and caresses and grins.
I love orgasm control; it’s one of my core kinks, something that thrills me every time. It’s so sexy, so erotic, so intimate, and such an exercise in immediate control. I’ve played with it in dirty talk for years, and it’s a window into my tendencies to possess and own.
The more I play with dominance, the more I want to dominate. Like the “relationship escalator,” where dating leads to a formal relationship leads to moving in together, on and unquestionably, I unconsciously pursued a “D/s escalator,” where topping and bottoming lead to dominance and submission play lead to D/s outside of the bedroom lead to 24/7 power exchange. In conscious D/s dynamics, folks navigate the exchange of various areas of power. On a spectrum with “total control over everything” at one end and “control over sex scenes, while they happen, only” at the other, most dynamics fall somewhere in the middle — negotiating some areas of control, but not every area of control. For example, a dominant might determine how a submissive dresses or eats, but not where she works or who she befriends. On my unconscious escalator, I expected to gain more control over my submissive partner’s life the longer we stayed together.
The problem with wanting more, though, is that as a dominant my requests are often loaded with our power differentials, and that power is never not in play. In one particular relationship, I would ask for something more, and they would give it, and I would ask for something else, and they would give it… but they slowly began to resent me under the surface. Our relationship inevitably blew up. Sorting out the rubble, I was scared: I didn’t want to make demands that would lead to resentment again. I wanted to play with being demanding and controlling and forceful, but in a way that built closeness and connection rather than mistrust and unease. How would that even be possible? Would I ever have it?
With time, I began to think about it differently: in order for someone to fully give me the gift of their submission, I have to create a space to receive that gift, a space for it to thrive, so my control can thrive as well. It takes time to consciously build that trust and that space.
In my current D/s partnership, we started with orgasm control. Some of the first dirty sexting we exchanged was around tease and denial. “I especially like it when you notice that I’m getting all turned on, and you call me on it, but you don’t let me have what I want,” he told me. This game became a staple: “Oh look how wet you are. You like this so much, don’t you, boy. You want my dick in there? I don’t think so. You probably can’t handle it. Well, maybe just a little. No, I don’t think so. Look how much you want it. You’re going to have to earn it.”
I started to make rules about how he was absolutely not allowed to come. I’d still fuck him madly for a few days in a row, sometimes allowing him one orgasm a day, sometimes none. He’d be “punished” for coming when he wasn’t allowed to, but it wasn’t ever serious — it was more like “funishment,” something he actually liked.
I’d deny him and deny him and deny him, only to “force” him to come on command. Because he’s multiply orgasmic and capable of following directions really well, he quickly learned to control his own body in response to my demands. I learned how to work him up (and then back down, and then back up, and then back down) to keep him in a state of readiness while we played.
Eventually, he asked me to control his orgasms outside of our scenes, too. I started to control his masturbation. The rules have varied over the years we’ve been together, and sometimes he’s had to ask for permission to start, or he’s had to ask for permission to come, or he could only come x times per week, or he was required to come x times per week. All those masturbatory games have been great fun for me, and getting texts like, “Sir, may I please masturbate with a butt plug in?” at work is always a highlight of my day.
Tease and denial is a classic flirtation. Orgasm control is just one step further. It started almost as a game, mostly in the bedroom, and then as I worked to build trust and create a space in which he could feel safe giving more, it extended out of the bedroom and beyond our scenes. We reached a place where I am totally in charge of what happens with his genitals: how often he masturbates, when he comes, what he’s allowed to insert into which holes, how he keeps his pubic hair, who he plays with — everything. And we began to take D/s out of the bedroom, and into everyday life.
Once I started exploring 24/7 D/s, I got to a whole new playing field, along with thousands of new options for play, control, demand, pleasure, and, inevitably, making massive mistakes.