Oct 292013
 

power-btnsIn the sort of D/s arrangement I find myself in, I think of ‘turn-ons’ and ‘triggers’ differently. (For the record, I do not mean the triggers for which a trigger warning is required. I mean the mostly desirable ones.)

While turn-ons are what you might expect — things that inspire sexual arousal or excitement — I think of triggers more within the context of D/s. In my mind, triggers are the actions, events, and experiences that evoke feelings of dominance or submissiveness. They increase an individual’s identification with their role and amplify their reification within it.

For me, sexual arousal and feelings of dominance don’t always go together. Even when I don’t feel particularly dominant, I can still find myself sexually aroused. On the flip side of the coin, there have been times when I feel super-dominant without being immediately or overtly turned on.

But most of the time, they do go together. My D/s triggers (if I may call them that) often elicit both feelings — of dominance and sexual arousal — but not quite simultaneously. In thinking back and reflecting on situations where I felt triggered, the trigger itself wasn’t particularly sexually exciting, but the feeling of dominance evoked by the trigger was. In other words, triggers make me feel dominant, and feeling dominant gets me hot.

For me, the meaningful difference between turn-ons and triggers is this:

When I’m turned on, I want to fuck.

When I’m triggered, I want to fuck him against a wall with my hand wrapped around his throat. I want to suck the air from his lungs, pull his flesh from his bones, and consume him piece by piece. It’s ‘arousal,’ sure, but it’s far more intense than that — it’s possessiveness and want and hunger that’s as consuming as it is predatory.

 

  11 Responses to “turn-ons and triggers”

  1. I can appreciate how there is a difference between being “turned-on” and “triggered”. I think of being turned-on as a more visceral experience, whereas for me, moving into the realm of feeling submissive toward someone takes more thought and consideration.

    I can be aroused with out necessarily feeling submissive. It is only when someone triggers that part of my personality that lights up and says “OH!” that I start to feel differently. Unlike you however, I find that being triggered is no more intense than being turned-on… Just different. Aroused sure, but also perhaps more vulnerable feeling. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I know it when I see it. Does that make sense?

    • I find that being triggered is no more intense than being turned-on… Just different. Aroused sure, but also perhaps more vulnerable feeling. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I know it when I see it. Does that make sense?

      I think it does make sense. I think part of my experience of differing levels of intensity has to do with my dissatisfaction with plain old sex. Since I don’t orgasm often, sex can be frustrating, and I often don’t go into it with a great attitude. With BDSM play/sex, I may not have an orgasm, but I still find that I’m satisfied after the experience.

      I think of being turned-on as a more visceral experience, whereas for me, moving into the realm of feeling submissive toward someone takes more thought and consideration.

      This makes sense to me, too, because I’m in my head a lot. If I’m already in my head, it might as well go toward something productive and fun. :)

  2. OH… I forgot something. Nice graphics as well. Subtle. I like it… OK going now!

  3. “When I’m triggered, I want to fuck him against a wall with my hand wrapped around his throat. I want to suck the air from his lungs, pull his flesh from his bones, and consume him piece by piece.”

    Read in conjunction with your excellent piece on Lacan, a fascinating insight into ds from the point of view of a dominant woman.

    This reminds me of a very dark play, ‘Penthesilea’ by Heinrich von Kleist, in which the eponymous Amazon queen, having fallen hopelessly in love with Achilles, kills and devours him in an act of total frenzy.

    As one of the other characters recounts, “Sie frass ihn.” (She devoured him).

    (In German ‘essen’ means ‘to eat’, ‘fressen’ means ‘to devour like an animal’).

    Her reaction on seeing his his mutilated body, and realizing what she has done, is to say:

    “Küsse, Bisse,
    Das reimt sich, und wer recht von Herzen liebt,
    Kann schon das Eine für das Andre greifen.”

    (Kisses, bites,
    They rhyme, and whoever loves with a true heart,
    Can easily take the one for the other.)

    The play was written in 1806-07, but was not performed until 1876, partly because the controversial theme made it unperformable.

    A question that occurs to me is this: does the domme’s desire to consume and devour the object of her passion require a desire, or at the very least a willingness on the part of her submissive, to be consumed?

    My guess is yes.

    • Read in conjunction with your excellent piece on Lacan, a fascinating insight into ds from the point of view of a dominant woman.

      Thank you. :) I hadn’t thought of this in connection to desire (I’m not sure why!), but it makes perfect sense. It is, in large part, about desire and the promise of fulfilling that desire.

      A question that occurs to me is this: does the domme’s desire to consume and devour the object of her passion require a desire, or at the very least a willingness on the part of her submissive, to be consumed?

      I would guess ‘yes’ too, at least for me. I can’t imagine such intense desire for someone unless she or he welcomed that desire. So much of what I enjoy about this relationship is about action/reaction, oppositions, and feeding off the emotions of the other — I don’t think my desire would be as pronounced or as sustainable if the object of my desire wasn’t ‘in it’ with me.

      Thank you for sharing those lines from Penthesilea — they’re lovely. Oooh… and Penthesilea was adapted as an opera in 1927… I may have to look for a recording (if one exists!)

  4. Makes sense to me. I can play with someone and not want to fuck them at all, which obviously isn’t uncommon. I feel like there’s a kind of exchange of sexual energy going on, which does turn me on, but it’s not the person that’s turning me on – it’s our dynamic. So thanks for writing this.

    • there’s a kind of exchange of sexual energy going on, which does turn me on, but it’s not the person that’s turning me on – it’s our dynamic

      I hadn’t thought to put it so bluntly, but you’re absolutely right about the dynamic being a turn-on. It really is, and that coupled with attraction to the other person in the dynamic… *fireworks* :)

      Thanks for the comment, BSB.

      • I like the distinction between the dynamic and the attraction.

        To me playing with somebody for the dynamic is satisfying (maybe in a comparable way to your ”being dominant without being sexually turned on” works for you) but it’s a different kind of high, a dry, very headspacey high of being in control, on top, of things falling into place just the way I want them (and the sexual response of the other side plays a big part in this, even though I am not attracted). On the downside, it becomes boring/a bit futile/a bit sordid pretty quickly.

        ”Just attraction” is well, just attraction. A bit squelchy really, unless mutual.

        And when the two go together, as you say. As you say.

  5. A very evocative way of distinguishing the difference.

    Mick

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