PS: Squee -- my first post to this community. Thank you for creating this lovely place... it's so comfortable.
The allure of death is a very powerful and compelling force that sooner or later takes hold of the majority of cognizant individuals populating this planet. The state of death itself is not erotic (ceasing to exist in this particular life will not lead to further sexual titillation), however, the illusion of death or the possibility of dying (or, rather, the extremity of play) during the course of sexual intimacy is a most sought after experience -- and one to be cherished if ever properly (ie. with appropriate safeguards) achieved.
Eroticized death has been sensationalized in film and literature since time immemorial. The Vampire has been one of the most common vehicles for expressing the human desire to experience a sensual death. Yes, there is the attraction to immortality which vampirism can provide, but this is not usually what is foremost in the minds of willing Vampire victims. The Vampire is itself a metaphor for death -- dark, mysterious, forbidden, unknowing. As many individuals are curious to seek what lies in and beyond death, they are so drawn to the Vampire for the same purpose. Submitting to the Vampire is submitting to death -- the ultimate submission of all. The deathly kiss of a Vampire holds answers and provides an experience that can only be acquired once in a life time -- much like death.
For the moment, sensuality aside, the possibility of facing death can have quite the dramatic effect upon the psyche of a person. If the individual in question does not succumb to paralysis brought about by fear, there are two pathways open -- embrace or challenge the experience. Embracing death is not necessarily giving up -- it is accepting that fate and surrendering to a new experience (and, in most cases, a final experience -- for this life time.) This could perhaps be envisioned as the supreme experience in submission. Challenging death expends energy and pushes adrenaline through the body as the fight for life ensues. Life, in the shadow of death, is a very celebratory experience and elicits a most profound result upon the individual. Either way, submitting to or dominating death, the body, mind and soul are thrust into a heightened state of awareness unequalled by many other life experiences. This is not to say that one must become a thrill seeker and challenge the Grim Reaper to indulge in this exploration. This is also not so say that every near death experience is a sensual one. What is to be explored within the confines of this article, is the fantasy of death -- not the reality!
The similarity is found in pushing oneself to limitations and then just a tiny bit further -- this is often conceived of as a mentally life threatening experience. If a submissive has a willing and trustworthy Top, the sub may desire to be whipped beyond the usual boundaries. A good Top will even sense this from the sub. If such is the scenario, the sub's mental and physical attributes should be challenged most thoroughly. A sub may feel as though they are about to die -- a solid and thorough half hour of whipping -- and cannot take much more. Their breath is short, their mind has reached a state where they are alone and isolated with their joyous pain and their heart feels as though it will explode in their chest (not to mention their engorged and tantalized genitalia.) The whip continues to play at their body, striking welts that are already present, perhaps even eliciting some blood. Every additional stroke of the whip sends their mind and body beyond its comfortable state -- they are thrust into the unknown -- a place where they have never been before -- a new arousal awakens and fills the sub and they may feel as though death is imminent. At this point, the whipping could continue more or cease. Upon completion, the sub will feel "reborn" as they had transcended their previous tolerance and entered a different realm of sexual arousal. While death would never be the result of a sound whipping, creating the sensation of impending death is a skill that can be attained. The sub would afterwards be eternally grateful to such a master of the whip.
The above example can be utilized for almost any type of play. However, be warned, this is to be explored by experienced (VERY experienced) Tops only. Permanent physical harm does happen. Death can happen (usually during solo play.) While safe words are utilized to prevent mental and physical harm from occurring to a sub, in the above exorcise, safe words are best abandoned. It is vitally important that Top and sub know one another well, are consenting, not influenced by drugs or alcohol and have extensively discussed the desire to venture into the above type of scene. And ALWAYS have a full medical kit on hand (the best Tops are also the one's who have taken some formal training in basic medical care.)
As death is a transformation of the soul, a death like experience can transform the mind and body on a very sensual level. Entering unknown realms of pain and suffering, feeling the threat of an end to all, causes one to worship life with a new found vigour as the suffering ceases to be. The celebration of life after the threat of death is a most sensual experience to be sure.
Copyright © 1988 Xandria, originally published in "Redemption"