I close my eyes. I’m not going to need them for what I’m about to feel.
I am supine on a massage table. I’m exposed, but aware of everything that’s going to happen to me. I can watch him do his work and he doesn’t mind. But instead I close my eyes. I’m not going to need them for what I’m about to feel.
The low hum. Like a car speeding up the road. A car that never gets here. Always on the cusp of arriving.
Zzzzt. A brief touch to my thigh with the violet wand. Like a single cat claw. A tentative one. I smile.
He’s in my face. “I need you to open your eyes.”
“I don’t want to,” I say.
“I need to monitor you.”
I sigh and open them. “But I want to float away,” I say.
“Don’t worry about that. You’ll float. You won’t have a choice.”
And as he presses the violet wand back to my flesh and begins to trace patterns up my body, that low hum is inside me.
Electricity is everything. Sensation is only accessible to us, only possible because of electricity. Impulses leap across neural synapses carrying pleasure, pain, and mixes of both. For most kinksters, it’s a chiaroscuro: pain as darkness and pleasure as light, each contrasting and accentuating the other.
Electricity is the medium through which we feel and think.
So in a way, you might say that everyone’s kink is electricity. It’s just that most of you are innies, and me? Well, I’m an outie.
As someone who has studied neuropsychology and the intimate way electricity interacts with the brain and the rest of the body, I’ve found it fascinating edge play to disrupt those systems — and briefly re-home them.
With low amperage — when you’re playing with something like a violet wand — electrical play is fuzzy, ponderous. Your body feels wonderfully strange. You can almost feel your nerves fumbling in the dark, grasping for something just beyond yourself. Your boundaries blurring. There’s a reason they say that your skin “crawls” with the violet wand. There’s a slow and deliberate, though stealthy, motion.
As the electricity moves over your body, sometimes it feels as though the energy — and your skin — is in two places at once: The sizzling light is here, but it’s also where it’s just been.
It’s the very same sensation when I begin writing without a plan and then I start to get somewhere. That’s the moment that the power kicks on, and I hear that familiar hum. My skin crawls when I catch the edge of an idea that excites me — I can’t quite see its limits, but I’m reaching to pull it towards me so that I get a better look at it.
I was in third grade when I first heard the writing advice, “Write what you know.”
And although I idolized Mrs. Bagley, I couldn’t stick to it. I wanted to write about werewolves who could transport you between planes of existence by bleeding on you. Heroes who didn’t want to be there and only saved the world because it had been thrust upon them, like razzle-dazzle jury duty. What Civil War soldiers might think about in their last seconds on earth.
“Write what you know.” The advice giver changed, again and again, but the message persisted.
I watched dozens of peers nodding their heads in response every time. “Write what you know,” they agreed as they aged in timelapse from 8 to 80.
Electricity is chiaroscuro: pain as darkness and pleasure as light, each contrasting and accentuating the other.
Frankly? I’m never been sold on the idea. It’s curious because while I’ve worked as a poet and playwright in the past, these days I’m chiefly a memoirist. A blogger. I write about my own life. This should be the epitome of writing what you know. But I’m not interested in writing what I know that I know. I don’t want to take the comfortable inventory. I’m bored by the surface. The familiar.
Instead, I’m addicted to writing what I don’t know that I know — at least not until I write it. Writing is the process of discovering the themes that live in the periphery of my consciousness. As a writer, I love being lost. I live for the unexpected leap.
And yes, you can find this in your own life. Discover irony you missed at the time — a lesson you absorbed without understanding it.
“Yes, please. Go ahead. Do it. I consent,” he says.
He’s a friend’s submissive, the last of several party guests who have lined up one after the other to get a stroke or two from the electrified flyswatter. It’s a silly gadget, $3 at a hardware store. But my Dom is an electrical engineer and realized that if you remove the “safety” grid, it’s easier to shock people with.
It quickly becomes a party game. Friend after friend takes a swat from my Dom. On their bottoms.
One friend, a switch, whips his head back at the moment of impact and snarls. “Okay, that’s enough. For the rest of my fucking life!” He turns to my Dom. “Never do that to me again.”
The Kinky, Sadomasochistic Pleasures Of Getting Inked
The latest from Tina Horn’s ‘Why Are People Into That?!’ podcast.
A few of the more electro-experienced offer their kneecaps. I ask for six strikes, three on each knee. Each time I feel the jolt in my teeth first. My eyes fill with stars. I leave the line purring.
But the submissive at the very end of the line is a little bit different from the rest of us: He’s naked and pointing to his balls. Begging for a direct hit. Practically spewing enthusiastic consent.
His Domme quickly intervenes, “I don’t know if that’s the best idea.”
“I can take it,” the submissive says.
She grabs him by the scruff of his neck and pushes him forward onto a couch, shoving his face into the cushions. “Don’t move,” she hisses in his ear.
She nods to my Dom, who lands a solid hit on the sub’s bare backside. Not quite his balls but an inch or two from it.
The submissive collapses, whimpering. “Oh God,” he says. “I think it jumped.”
That’s the other thing about electricity. When you crank up the amperage, it isn’t just pins and needles. The energy arcs. It jumps. And you go with it.
As a writer, I am forever searching for that simultaneity, the kinds of experiences that vault me into undiscovered territory. I am known, unknown.
It throws you off center. Your muscles convulse. You hang in midair for the briefest of milliseconds; you’re existing in two places at once. Your entire being is where you are and where you’ve just been.