Shock and Whore

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The problem with extreme sex is that I’m not entirely convinced such a thing exists. If anything, it conjures ludicrous images of overweight women dressed as ponies, pasty businessmen rolling around ecstatically beneath stiletto heels and that old favourite: nails being hammered into penises. I, for one, have never hammered a nail into a penis, although to be fair, I’ve never hammered a nail into anything. I’m not really into DIY.It soon becomes clear that there are no markers by which extremity can actually be determined, whether in sexual terms or any other. You might say pony play, being stood on a leatherbound dominatrix and having someone hang a nice watercolour from your dick is pretty extreme but, if you asked me, I’d say it was pretty silly. But extremity is not necessarily dictated by the weirdness of an act so much as the intensity of the experience.For example, I have a friend who seems to have recently undergone a bit of a Sandra Dee transformation. From a cute, exceptionally devout Christian, she’s now a bi-curious beguiler with a penchant for corsetry – and we say amen to that. Recently she regaled us with the story of the time she went down on a guy while he was driving. Not so very extreme, nevertheless, she was flushed and giggly and obviously thrilled to bits with her own audacity. But this is what it’s all about. Daring to do something that your own hang-ups or boundaries would normally prevent you experiencing, I have a long string of Catholic lovers behind me (what can I say? It’s the guilt thing, makes me horny) and, without fail, their ultimate dirty thrill is always Doing It somewhere in a church, preferably the very church where they sing in the choir on a Sunday. The altar, of course, for those with real courage of conviction. I’ve never been struck by lightning, but then again, I am an atheist. It’s hellish on the knees, though, all those hard surfaces.Of course, deliberately venturing beyond what the Americans would term “your comfort zones” is bound to carry a certain amount of risk. Of course, all the best things do, within reason. I would hope that, as well as the urge to try and copulate interestingly with as many people as possible, preferably simultaneously, some of us were at least granted a modicum of common sense. But herein, I suspect, lies part of the appeal of, for lack of a better term, what you might call kink. BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism) offers an opportunity to explore and, perhaps even travel beyond, your boundaries in what should hopefully be a safe environment.Like almost everything else in the world, BDSM represents a spectrum of experience, from owning a fully equipped bondage dungeon to an inclination for making your lover beg for fulfilment. And, again, it can allow you to discover, on an individual level, what, for you, is a sexual extreme. For some this may be no more than lying still beneath a lover’s caresses, for others it may be the dark austerity of pain, for some the heady self- abandonment of complete immobilisation, for some the sexual drama, for others the prickling of uncertainty or the whisper of fear that comes even when, rationally, you know there’s nothing to be afraid of… and all this without the risk of motoring accidents.Archive: 0th week HT 2004

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