Ask Anything

So, the erotic writer wants to know.

This will be a little different from my usual fair. As Tentacle and I write our minor and degenerate magnificent Tentacle epic, we’ve been discussing (males that we are) the female psyche and the delicious question of pain, pleasure and women. We can’t agree, so we’re asking our readers, women (but also men if they dare). What is it about pain and pleasure that excites a woman? Is it more true of women than men? We think it is. Why do even women seemed to be aroused by the site of another woman who is thoroughly spanked, whipped, nipple-pinched and erotically dominated? And though we know this definitely not true of all women, there’s something about this that’s more true of the female psyche than not. What is it about punishment, erotic shaming, and submission that deeply appeals  to the female psyche? — that make her lift her pussy on all fours? — that makes her tingle, warms her thighs and makes her wet? — that makes her, in the right place, at the right time, and with the right lover,  press her cheek to the sheets and offer herself for the taking? And if you want to ask Tentacle or Mr. William Crimson an erotic question, in return, we promise to be candid.

Madeleine Mitchell has just posted her own thoughts on this subject. She writes:

“Our culture has recreated women as powerful and empowered, and this is a very good thing. But biology is stronger than society, which is why it may be that, even as women enjoy a new found social dominance, so many are drawn, individually, to fairy tales of emotional and sexual submission, ie: 50 Shades.”

She also invites your thoughts at her blog — cleverboots.

Also, I just noticed that the blogger lifeofalovergirl, recently posted on the same subject.

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. vanillamom

    what is it?
    the need to be dominated, for certain. To be controlled. For me, to feel “helpless” (does that free me to be able to enjoy the wantonness of “degenerate” sex games? dunno). To be taken is more erotic than just falling together in acceptance. It is true that “fear” is a huge turn on for me…(not fear of being murdered,, mind you, but of what will happen if thus and so is done and I can’t stop it…there is a huge trust factor that underlies this experience, after all!)

    And pain…who knows why?
    Breast pain, nipple pain…I can ‘get off’ on just that. I can get off without pain…but it is SO much better (more intense, more erotic, MORE) with pain.

    Hmmm…perhaps pain is an amplifier of sorts.

    And as to tentacles..wellll…what is more erotic than being held at every limb and still able to be violated *everywhere* ?? *nods sagely*

    Though there are those of us who would prefer a warm sticky kind of tentacle rather than the cold and slimy kind….just sayin’…


    • I think it’s cool, this reciprocity, between men and women.

      The idea of erotically dominating a woman is powerfully appealing. I’m sure it has to do with the way we’re made, but it’s cool that the erotic imagination compliments our biology. I guess it’s only natural that a woman, being the one who will be penetrated and (in the old days) “taken” for nine months, finds eroticism in the idea of being controlled and taken (how else is nature going to perpetuate us?).

      Spanking? Pinching? Erotic humiliation (as opposed to just humiliation)? Maybe that’s all part of being controlled, owned, mastered. :-)

      Also, you say tha– [wait a minute]. Tentacle wishes for me to communicate that he is *not* cold. Slimy. Well. [Cough.] Maybe. Well… Okay, yes, but only to facilitate penetration deep penetration. It’s [clears throat] an evolutionary adaptation. If one hunts women (dangerous quarry), a quick strike and… hasty… retreat is sometimes necessary. But Tentacle is not cold. Blech. Like he was some crustacean or something…

  2. penelope lake

    I am not a fan of pain or humiliation except in vague fantasies, and in those it has to do with the permission to give in to total depravity and taboo acts. More genuinely erotic would be the vanilla kind of pain, ( certain kinds of spanking ) or the threat of pain without the follow through, bondage with silk ties instead of rope or painful metal. the knowledge that the man *could* inflict pain if he so chose but he wouldn’t really go too far. The display of dominance is the erotic part. But my pain tolerance hovers somewhere around zero, so that may be part of my reasoning.
    Hair pulling, hands on the throat or mouth, put over a man’s lap, forcing to do certain things: sexy. Red welts to the point of huge bruising or sitting under a man’s table kissing his feet: not sexy. In a fantasy, standing in a corner with panties around the ankles could be erotic, in real life? Not so sure. I have heard good things about candle wax though.
    There is the wonderful angry sex, where there might be some genuine pain, ( if a woman is pushed against a wall for instance ) but it’s usually unintentional, or even better, ignorable, and followed by a nicer kind of passion.

    I would imagine the appeal of watching it happen to another woman would be the idea that it could be you. But again, for me there is a limit to what I enjoy watching happen to a woman. Nipple pinching? Ouch. Nipple rubbing on the other hand…

    Can we have some examples of appealing erotic humiliation for Will?

    • That’s a wonderful response. :-)

      And yes, everyone’s tolerance for pain is different. At this point I suppose it’s worth making a distinction between pain and erotic pain; that is, not pain as in suffering, but the kind of pain that promises or suggests pleasure. I think we all know it when we feel it (and see it). Like you say, who wants to be bruised? I also think that vague fantasies can be as compelling (and rewarding) as the real thing. “the permission to give in to total depravity” is the first thing you mention, and its that “giving in”, that “breaking” of a woman that I love the most (from a male perspective).

  3. For some of us, it is the release from the controlled or controlling part of our existence that opens the doors to pleasure in a D/s relationship. That bit of NOT being in control, which allows a woman to let loose all those inner contractions and just be. In my vanilla life, I’m the boss, the leader, the one in charge. Or, as Wolf says, ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed” for 85-90% of the people I come in contact with. The person they look to for help, guidance, etc.

    So, when the ‘doors’ close and Wolf steps to the fore, I melt. I give up all that power, and I can let free that horny woman who cries out in orgasm. And I agree with you on erotic pain. There is that edge, where the pain reaches a limit and the endorphins kick in. Oh my… With it comes the release, the catharsis that is sometimes needed as well, when life is just too much.

    As for Tentacles… Once again, that loss of control which allows total freedom of response. You can’t help but to orgasm if you’re filled. You enjoy it even though part of you feels that it is “so naughty”. :)

    • Wow, Wordwytch. My perspective is the mirror image of that.

      When the doors close, there’s such a reward in finally having complete control, of being able to freely express myself and desire.

      There’s also the fantasy of turning “the woman”, whom no one would ever suspect, into “the cock-crazed slut”. The “erotic pain”, spanking, and making her squirm and display her pussy (admit it), must be a part of many a male’s repertoire. Even something as benign as doggy-style takes on that D/s dynamic. There’s something about the fantasy of “breaking” a woman, of making her admit that she wants “my” cock and wants it hard, deep, on her hands and knees. It’s a catharsis for men too. In a sense, a woman allows us to feel good about our maleness, our desire to do these things to you. You absolve us, perhaps. Yes, it’s okay, be male your orgasm says to us. :-)

    • vanillamom

      oh, I like that.
      we…okay…can’t speak for all sluts here, but for me? I love when “you” (the masculine, or sometimes, Tentacle :) ) take that control and run with it.

      I do like pain. I know I’m not alone, but I know too that many don’t assume domination and pain are a total lock-in. For me it would not work without it.

      and, I *do* like bruises…
      I think because my Master and I are not 24/7, do not see each other daily, lucky to see each other once a week in a vanilla setting, that the bruises are a physical reminder of my ties to Him. As they fade, I feel a bit…sad. Not “subdrop” –i’m not as susceptible to that these days, but definitely an “aww, damn it, they’re almost gone” is my reaction. I’m prone to looking in the mirror at days-end, and lightly tracing them with my fingers, and smiling as I remember how they got there.

      btw…am *loving* this conversation.


    • Maybe the most innocuous version of the bruise is the hicky. For a man, I think, it’s all about marking a woman as his — subconsciously or otherwise. We mark her with our come in her mouth, in her ass or her pussy. We mark her with hickies, welts if we spank them, and even bruises. But I like to “inflict” the slow bruises, the kind that come about by holding a woman hard, placing her and keep her in her place/her pleasure. The thought that any woman would trace one of the bruises I had left behind is as arousing as the thought that she might taste the come I’ve left in her pussy.

    • vanillamom

      i read this when you first replied…and now a week and more later it is still *so* erotic, so arousing. slow deep marks are good too…the kind that rise slowly to the surface…you touch the place days later by accident and…oh! That hurts. then the bruise comes, slow, deep. layer by layer, just as they were inflicted. Not through a beating, but through an enforced “stay”…(my mouth waters at the thought of that….)


  4. I seem to be in the minority of women in that submitting to pain and humiliation doesn’t arouse me – not at all. Having been on both sides of S/m dynamics, I can honestly say that something in me resists it, and that’s because I prefer to inflict pain or humiliation rather than receive it. I’m a dominant personality, so submission, to me, is only erotic if I’m the one being submitted to. That said, I know that this is much more common among men than women, particularly bi-sexual (but straight-leaning) women, like myself.

    I would agree that dominance and submission are evolutionary traits. I think that human beings are hard-wired one way or the other. Even people who switch tend to be grounded slightly more in one. Following that notion to a logical conclusion, I’d also say that it has served women, evolutionarily, to be more submissive, and for men to be, generally speaking, more dominant. We’re animals when you get right down to it, and just as the males of most mammalian species vie for females through shows of aggression and dominance, most human women find dominant males undeniably attractive. That usually extends itself to being turned on by erotic domination and submission. It actually seems to make a lot of women feel nurtured and safe, particularly at the hands of a true alpha.

    Speaking as a woman who is fairly polarized at sexually dominant, even I can say that, honestly, I prefer sexually dominant men, not because I want to be dominated, but because I want someone who can match me. I might play with a sub (of either sex), but in a relationship, I want a sexual and emotional partner, and I’ve only found that in dominant men. Dominance signals sexual fitness in men. In women, I don’t know what it signals, but, while I can’t weigh in on *why* so many women enjoy sexual submission, I can say that it seems to be the result of some pretty primal factors.

    • Madaleine, I just keep being amazed by all your responses and honesty.

      That you prefer the dominant role but still prefer the sexually dominant male/the equal in a relationship, suggests how deeply and beautifully our biology is ingrained in us. You didn’t say whether your dominant streak was directed at other women, men or both. You don’t have to.

      I suspect that the experience of being a dominant woman, a woman who prefers to inflict erotic pain and humiliation, must be very different from that of a man in a similar position. There might be a touch of penis envy, but I think it’s far more complex than that. What does the dominant woman experience differently from the man? What does she want from the experience that’s different and similar? I confess that the emotional and fantasy life of a dominant woman like you is profoundly interesting and wonderfully intriguing to me. :-) My imagination grasps at ideas that may or may not be true.

  5. I’ve actually always been curious about how my experience as a dominant woman differs from that of the dominant man’s. I suspect there might be *some* overlap – taking control, asserting my will over another person (of either gender, in my case) – these are pleasures that I suspect are pretty foundational to dominants of both genders.

    On the specific experience of being a dominant female, I can only speak for myself. That said, I’m fairly certain it has to do with being sexually dominated as a child, (I apologize if that makes any one uncomfortable but it’s at the root of where I’m going). Because I experienced actual fear and humiliation at a very young age and without consent, I can’t tolerate being dominated now, even in a totally safe, recreational way. You might say that the early experience affected my wiring. This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t have been dominant without the trauma, but I doubt the streak would have been so strong. I *suspect* that for most women, the natural default is some form of submission, and that without external influence, evolution and biology pretty much run the show.

    That said, my dominate streak manifests in ways that are fairly female. Aside from the will to *not* be dominated, when I top someone, I do so from an empathetic place. I love pushing a sub past his or her known limits to catharsis. It’s the emotional intensity, control and trust that turn me on. That’s where the pleasure is – in causing someone pain and making them love me / thank me for it. So, I guess you could say that I feminize the act of sexual domination by bending it to my terms and recasting it as a form of nurturing.. through pain, subjugation and humiliation. For me, penis envy (as much as I like and enjoy them), isn’t really a factor. It’s all about power. I’m not sure how that lines up with dominant men, or even other dominant women, but that’s basically how it works for me. :-)

    • I also think there must be some overlap, and I can very much imagine the tenderness and arousal you feel — a kind of nurturing — when you become the sole focus of their attention, their trust, their readiness for release/orgasm. In a sense, you become their orgasm. I also have that sense, but not so much the nurturing. There’s a more primal/emotional appeal to making a woman want an orgasm. Pornography appeals to men because of its visual cues — the way women move their hips, their backs, and their facial expressions when they’re aroused, being fucked and having orgasms.

      Some of the most popular videos involve the facial expressions of women being taken from behind — no pictures of sex, only their expressions. It’s like a window into the woman’s sexual experience.

      So, dominating a woman and being able to elicit that response, to encourage a woman fully reveal that side of herself — that wantonness, that display of arousal, that confession that she too just needs to come, is incredibly arousing and validating. Also, the strange thing about erotic pain is that it often elicits the same “signs” from a woman as erotic pleasure. A woman twisting and raising her hips after being cropped can be almost indistinguishable from a woman doing so because she’s on the edge of orgasm and wants to be taken from behind. I guess, it’s largely about getting a woman to reveal herself through humiliation, pain and pleasure — her need to be fucked — which is so often and so neatly concealed by women (part of the erotic humiliation). Dominating a woman is like slowly unwrapping a beautiful present. Is that power? I don’t know. The feelings of tenderness and love toward a woman, after dominating her and bringing her to orgasm, can be intense.

      I was also reading some of the comments (at the blog). I agree that aggression can be confused with dominance. They can compliment each other, but latter doesn’t need the former.

  6. This has been a very interesting conversation. Another part of this whole dynamic is the train/improve/break/bend thing. Will, you touch on it. Within the D/s relationship is that urge to break, and or bend. Sometimes this comes in subtle forms… having the sub do certain things like wear certain items of clothing or requiring certain grooming habits. Other times it is about taking them over the edge to that catharsis or orgasmic release.

    In situations like Nilla’s, where they are not a 24/7 relationship, these are seen as sort of ‘big picture items’. Her bruises are her reminders, as are the brief meetings where her Master will put her in her place. Bit by bit, he is conditioning her, one lump/bruise/word at a time.

    Wolf and I are 24/7, even though we don’t live D/s 24/7. It is far more subtle, and there are days when I think…”WTF just happened?” The impact isn’t less, but Wolf can work bit by bit over weeks rather than the intense 5-8 hrs that Nilla and her Master might use.

    All in all, it defines the relationships. We give our submission, and trust our Doms to return to us what we need. And sometimes, that ‘No’ is almost as good as that spanking.

  7. “Why do even women seemed to be aroused by the site of another woman who is thoroughly spanked, whipped, nipple-pinched and erotically dominated?”

    Firstly I’d like to apologize for not offering you like for like. I realize, looking at the wording of your question, that there is a taint of the porn-meme about the ‘thoroughly spanked’ linguistic structure. And what I’m giving you in return is not a spectacular pornographic response. Just an honest one.

    It doesn’t excite me at all to watch other women. Although, why so many women seem to want to be watched interests me anthropologically. For me, all those things are interior, lived-experiences that can’t be ‘watched’ and, as time has gone on, I’ve grown to find the ‘data’ gap between the spectacle and the internal experience almost repulsive. I am haunted by the ‘lie’ of the representation. I don’t mean that I think that witnessed person is ‘faking it’. I mean the lie of believing that you’re sharing anything at all by watching something that can only, really, be felt.

    I’ve examined my own motivations for a long time and haven’t come up with a lot of answers. I suspect most of them are subconscious and hidden from me. And in a way, that may be why the dominance and the pain is erotic. Because perhaps it is beyond the veil of words.

    All I know is that I’m really aroused by fear and danger. It can be physical or moral danger. Either will do. But I do have to believe it is real. That means that, being a relatively sensible and responsible person, I will never get what I want. The moment I ‘trust’ someone enough to indulge in that kind of behaviour with me, is the moment I realize there is no real danger. It’s a paradox, since I’m also not in the habit of acting suicidally. If I ‘trust’ someone to cut me, the trill is gone.

    So, the only feasible outlet for my desires is in the realm of moral peril. This is also quite hard to find, because humans have a habit of manufacturing excuses and justifications for pursuing desires they find morally problematic. It’s very hard to find someone who can pursue it without seeking to mitigate their sense of guilt about it. It becomes an act of entering into the transgression fully cognizant of the fact that it is a transgression, that you have no excuse or justification for committing it, but you do it anyway.

    I’m only interested in self-acknowledged tainted souls.

    • //I realize, looking at the wording of your question, that there is a taint of the porn-meme about the ‘thoroughly spanked’ linguistic structure. //

      The reality is that the vast majority of the curious will only explore experiences like these through the taint of pornography. There’s also erotica; and for erotica a similar fascination (for me) applies, though the “spectacle” and the internal experience are, arguably, one and the same. There are also clubs were the gap between the spectacle and the internal experience can become quite blurred.

      Like you, I’m also intrigued by why women like to be watched though, in truth, it can’t be far removed from my desire to watch them. The D/s dynamic profoundly plays into that. The submissive is being watched, and interacted with, and watched… It’s its own erotic dance.

  8. “So, dominating a woman and being able to elicit that response, to encourage a woman fully reveal that side of herself — that wantonness, that display of arousal, that confession that she too just needs to come, is incredibly arousing and validating”

    To elicit a response in a submissive, to get past their boundaries to a point where they reveal something raw in themselves is, without a doubt, an arousing thing, and i think that it must be terribly powerful for the woman (or man) submitting too. There’s very little as intimate as that kind of exchange, and i think it might be in our natures to crave it from one angle or another.

    Wordwytch, you brought up trust and I think that’s key. How amazing it must be to place your trust so completely in a lover / partner and to have that trust rewarded – or not rewarded (if the Dom/Domme so chooses). Speaking from the other side, it’s just as rewarding to leave those marks and receive that trust.

    • Madeline,

      Trust is so important. Wolf and I often discuss how ‘perfect love and perfect trust’ go hand in hand on so many levels. It allows us the freedom to explore ourselves on a deep level that we couldn’t do alone. And yes, that goes for both sides of the equation.

  9. Rudy

    Well I thought I was going to offer something of real substance to the discussion. But after reading what you all have written, I am humbled. I so appreciate the depth of thought, and the honest revelation. Thanks for this stimulating exchange.

    I think it is instructive that the sex act is one of a few human behaviors that is still driven by instinct. The sex drive is animalistic. It sometimes takes over our will and better judgment. When sex is best, it is a release to our animal nature. And in nature, sometimes the female is taken by the male. Sometimes quite forcefully. When a guy with poor impulse control gives in, and takes an unwilling woman, it is rape, and it is severely damaging. But when a man and woman (or other couple arrangement), in agreement, allow their instincts to take over when they make love, it is ravishing. Ravish – “to seize a person (esp. a woman) and carry away by force”. To “overwhelm with emotion”, “enrapture”. “To enchant”. And from the early 14th century, “carrying off from earth to heaven”. Many normal healthy women have fantasies of being taken. And men have the reciprocal fantasy. If we play act by agreement, with respect, even love, very hot sex is the result. As for pain – when the body is aroused, the pain/pleasure divide is neurologically blurred. For the adventurous, once they discover the intrigue of pain during pleasure arousal, experimentation with pain for endorphin pleasure becomes the new territory of sex play.

    Will, please tell Tentacle that his saga has gone into red hot territory, and SHE whom I enjoy dominating, is loving the stories.

    And yes, Will, the tentacle must be warm, not cold. SHE wants it warm!

    • I really appreciate your statement about the sex drive being animalistic. Human beings are, inescapably, animals, though we function within the structure of a comparatively advanced society. It’s our civilization that allows for consent and reciprocity, but within those loose perimeters, even the most civilized people lose control to some degree during good sex. Ironically, it’s the social restrictions that make rape and abuse crimes that provide a structure from within which to enjoy each other’s more animalistic impulses.

  10. My computer is down and the library one considers your blog “porn” so I am typing from my phone and can’t say as much as I would like. I am loving this discussion though!! It turns me on to read about men enjoying domination. I am so naturally submissive that it is very difficult to picture being on the other side of the coin.

    Just experiencing the magnitude of a man’s power over me is amazing. Its the complete loss of control and handing it over to someone else that makes me orgasm so hard. Knowing he could do whatever he wanted to me is frightening, yet exhilarating at the same time. Sort of like the thrill of a roller coaster. ;):)

    • //the library one considers your blog “porn”//

      What? I- Why! They better- Those- I never! I- [sputtering]

      They’re onto me.


      I can honestly say that just experiencing the magnitude of a woman’s power over me, to excite me, to bring my arousal to a boil, is amazing. From a male perspective (my male perspective), I take tremendous pleasure in the way a submissive woman, at my control, demands that I control myself. And that just makes the man’s orgasm all the harder. In a way, we give you complete and free rein to be a shameless cock-tease. You know it, too. That agony is not one way, and it’s a delicious agony because we both know you’re going to break us. There’s going to be that one whimper, that one submissive coiling of your spine, that one look, and we’re going to break. We’re going to fuck you like we’ve wanted to from the start — and with abandon. You’ll make us reveal ourselves just like we tease the submissive (and cherished) cock whore out of you. :-)

  11. Haven’t checked your blog for a few days, but this post reflected exactly what I was thinking about this morning…pain for me is about letting go and knowing you can trust your partner not to go too far, and to go as far as you want, the line is really not very far between pleasure and pain physiologically … at the risk of sounding too simpIistic, really feel it is trust and surrender and the myriad of fractured lines formed between the two when you let this go that make it work for me…and love nilla”s comments, the bruises, welts, fingerprints, make me smile, small sadness as they fade and the anticipation of more…

    • Thanks leejaye, for your thoughts. Every time someone comments, I learn something. I wonder if this co-mixture of pleasure, pain and trust is a primarily feminine trait? — which isn’t to say that men don’t or would never enjoy inhabiting the same roll, but it definitely seems to offer a reward for women that isn’t the same, or less so, for men.

  12. Cecelia

    There is an immense pleasure in serving a strong man – in doing what he tells you, even in being reprimanded by him. To my chagrin, I am aroused by these things in every day settings (especially with authority figures) and always pray that my response is not detected.

    I can’t really speak to being aroused by seeing another woman humiliated, as I haven’t experienced it, but I think pain in general is an indicator that a man is not afraid to assert his authority of you. This is exquisite. I long to please him, serve him, and at times test him to see if he remains a worthy leader.

    These are my feelings regarding submission. :) Thank you for this discussion.

    • //…and at times test him to see if he remains a worthy leader…//

      See… now that really opens the window a little. It shouldn’t come as a surprise (and it’s the way I like to write) but this little admission suggests a kind of reciprocity in the relationship. Yes, the male is dominant, but only with the measured “permission” of the female (rule by consent). I don’t wonder that there are many men who don’t get this — and an authoritarian streak can turn into abuse; and that many women have a hard time disentangling themselves from such abusive relationships (being themselves seduced by the roles they both desired and have lost control of….)

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