I sat astride his chest, “It’s just a thrill,” he said,
as he relaxed on the dark, dark bed,
“it’s just breath control.”
He whispered “Hold me here” and I did and his head fell back.
He whispered “Press harder” and I did and his eyes rolled back. It’s just breath control.
This post comes to you by request of the sweet, lovely, and brilliant Elizabeth (I may have a bit of a crush, shhhh… and let’s not mention her partner Gabe as well… they are both amazing and fabulous), she asked me about the allure of breath play, what I see in it, and why it’s appealing. This is something I’ve been thinking quite a bit about lately, as both the play parties we went to ended up with me desiring breath play at one point or another. It really is something that I highly enjoy, and I don’t ask for it as often as I feel the desire for it.
One instance in particular comes to mind for me to talk about. This was back when I still lived in Ashland, Oregon and Master was coming over for a weekend at a time to visit. I think it was around his birthday in December 2005, our relationship was still pretty new, especially on the physical level, and we had played with breath play a little bit already, but this was the first time I remember experiencing a big “wow” factor, it was what turned breath play from a casual desire to a permanent kink.
We were cuddling on the couch, watching Buffy or Angel (I don’t remember which) as we usually did. Pretty much all we did when he visited was fuck, eat, and if we could pull ourselves out of bed, watch Buffy or Angel (as I own all twelve seasons and make everyone that gets close to me watch through them with me). I forget what provoked it, I may have asked for it or we may have been talking about it, I’m not sure, but I do remember that he had me breathe in deeply before covering my nose and mouth with his hand (my favorite way of experiencing breath play).
I took a breath and we looked into each others eyes as he began controlling me. He held me past he had before, making me light headed and a little dizzy, but in an exquisite way. I felt completely under his power, extremely helpless, and a little out of it in a weird way. I was completely conscious, but felt almost drunk or just loose, basically I was a lot less self-conscious and my overanalytical brain was shut off a bit, I was in the moment rather than overthinking everything as I usually do.
So, basically, there are three main factors which I believe contribute to my enjoyment of and desire for breath play: control, vulnerability, and headspace. The control aspect should be fairly obvious, the Top is controlling the breath of the bottom, controlling something which is usually automatic and subconscious. It brings focus to the mundane and is a way for the Top to illustrate the power ze has over the bottom, because ze controls not only the bottom’s conscious actions but also the unconscious. It can easily be worked into mindfuck scenarios that way as well.
Vulnerability is pretty obvious as well, I think, basically the bottom is putting hir life into the hands of the Top. If the Top was to hold on for a little longer ze could make the bottom pass out or even die (though, of course, none of us would pick Tops who would even consider doing something like that, but the threat is there). The bottom is completely under the power of the Top, and must trust hir completely in order to engage in breath play, and I believe, like all edge play, if done correctly it can strengthen the bond between Top and bottom.
I find that breath play gets me in an immediately vulnerable, helpless, and (basically) a submissive mindset. My brain shuts down a bit (in a good way) and I am taken into a form of sub-space. I am able to dip into that mindset quicker than any other method which we have played around with. In some ways it’s a very spiritual experience as well, as I find all sub-space or pain-space to be, which is really a seperate post I’m working on as well. It brings me more into the serving aspect of my personae, which doesn’t usually happen very easily.
That said, each experience I’ve had with breath play are all slightly different, but they are all slightly the same. The mindset which results is not always identical, and it also depends on what else it’s coupled with and the intensity of it. If we do a short amount while Master is fucking me the affect is completely different than if we are doing nothing but breath play (like the scenario above) or if he is caning me and holding my breath (like the experience at the play party). Every experience slightly varies but the core tenants are the same: control, vulnerability, and headspace/mindset.