Communicating by touch

Posted at 18:45 on 1 Apr 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: featured photos, meta-analysis, Photos, Thomas Cameron

I'm an inconveniently light sleeper. I've also suffered from insomnia my whole life - as far as I can tell, the primary cause is having too much to do, and a brain that is extremely reluctant to turn itself off. Since moving out of London I've managed to develop a routine which has mostly suppressed my getting-to-sleep insomnia, but I still tend to wake throughout the night - and have the same struggle getting back to sleep every time I do.

I recently obtained some ear plugs for the first time to see if they helped me sleep next to a lover who snores. I'd previously only encountered people using the things at nightclubs or while skydiving, those foam ones you have to push in. These were a new design: gel pads which you push over the ear canal to form a seal. They're far more comfortable, and surprisingly effective. As soon as I started using them I realised how much of my wakefulness is in response to sound. Suddenly I'm able to sleep through the night, or take naps in the middle of the day, or get to sleep even when the neighbours are playing loud music. It's incredible - and Tom, a fellow insomniac, has had similar success after I recommended he try them.

The other night, for the first time, we both bedded down together with our ear plugs in. Mostly I've used them while sleeping alone. I realised as soon as we were both deprived of hearing how frequently Tom and I communicate in words. We talk a lot: we have always bonded through in depth conversations; we rarely run out of things to say to one another. Even at the end of the night, preparing ourselves for sleep, we exchange words along with cuddles, sweet nothings, verbal love and affection to reassure and soothe each other. (By contrast, D uses words sparingly; I hadn't noticed any difference when wearing ear plugs in bed with him, as he tends to respond to my remarks non-verbally anyway.)

Sharing our small, temporary sensory deprivation, Tom and I snuggled up to each other in the dark. I would open my mouth to say something, remember he wouldn't be able to hear and kiss him instead. I became very aware of the places where we touched: his hand lightly stroking my spine, my hand sliding around the smooth skin of his torso, thighs pressed against each other. Each touch became resonant with meaning. Eyes closed, I could hear little beyond the pulse of blood in my skull. We could only communicate by touch, and something about it was profoundly intimate.

Sensory deprivation is a common tool for BDSM practitioners, usually experienced by the submissive in a scene. It's not something I've played with myself apart from the occasional blindfold or gag, and I've certainly never heard of a dominant taking part too. It made me wonder what it would be like to be spanked in this state of heightened sensory awareness; deprived of sight and hearing, how much more acute the experience of being over my dom's knee might be.

Playing in a night club is the closest I've come to that experience, where the wall of sound from dancefloor and crowd drowns out subtleties; if you aren't within a few inches of someone it's difficult to hear each other without shouting. When I'm bent over a whipping bench, head down, and my dom/me is standing behind me, the usual verbal check-ins are not possible over the noise of the club. My partner has to pause, bend down, speak into my ear; or else communicate with a hand on my back, a caress, a shoulder squeeze, a brush with the flogger or warning tap of the cane. But I can't reply, not without breaking position.

It's an intense way to play, but it's also difficult. Scenes can go awry more easily without the direct feedback provided by vocal response. And both parties have to work harder to communicate.

I find myself curious about the idea of a scene in which both me and my dom wore ear plugs. If I were blindfolded as well, we would be even more dependent on our sense of touch. What would it be like, being hit without the evocative sounds created by different implements? The cane would sneak up on you out of nowhere. Heavy paddles and straps would announce themselves with a whomp of air before they landed. Would hand spankings feel as sharp without the loud crack of palm hitting flesh? Would every sensation be more welcome, without any other way for me to experience the closeness of my partner?

I'm not sure if I'm going to suggest such a scene or not, but it's fascinating to think about the different role each sense plays in this thing we do.


I've actually tried this before, it is highly erotic and definitely might be something fun to try =)

What a lovely avenue to explore. It makes one think about all the things that sound brings to a scene that we take for granted - such as building and modulating anticipation with the sound of a cane cutting through the air. I wonder how it would be to use the earplugs as you describe and then position a desk lamp to cast your shadows on the wall? You would see the practice swings and careful aiming as a silent shadow-play - the first sound you heard being your own cry as the stroke landed. Thanks for the great idea ms P.

I haven't got much experience with blindfolding, but I love it, because it helps me to focus not only on the touch but also on my fantasies. Therefore with my trusted mate being blindfolded as well as being restrained makes me feel very safe and free. I don't think I'm ready for earplugs, yet, but it sounds like an interesting idea for “advanced learners”. :-)

Mistress L - oooh, do tell! Were you wearing them too, or just your sub?

CINLA - My imagination is flying along very similar lines. I often use shadows to anticipate the swing of a cane or belt (in fact I was doing this just yesterday!) as seeing a stroke coming helps me prepare for it. I love the idea of filming an actual spanking shadowplay though. No figures except the shadows dancing on the wall. It could be surreal, eerie and erotic. A bit of a cinematic challenge though! One to add to the list :)

Kaelah - I've been blindfolded less often than you might think, especially recently. I love it though. It heightens my senses and is a huge trust trip (also I find it makes my breasts more sensitive, which is both strange and wonderful!). The ability to play out a fantasy is useful; I often find myself doing this to help process the pain of a thrashing with just my head buried in the pillow or eyes screwed shut. I've had some beautifully trippy floggings where a blindfold and lack of verbal interaction allowed me to fly away into my own head - can be a very intense experience while handled correctly.

I remember hearing about friends telling me the fun they had with sensory deprivation. Usually it involved being left for a while before the play began, which doesn't really appeal to me at all as an actual scene! I like pro-active submission :)

Pandora i still wating for you to take some mood style canings 75 to 100 strokes plus i would love to see you go to shoot for mood most girls are not brave enought to let top female spank them love you duncan nice back in ohio



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